Tuesday 7 October 2008

Being Nocent

I don't believe for one moment that Adam and Eve existed.

I treat the Old Testament as a collection of fairy stories and national myths, to be frank.

But nevertheless, I do believe a huge part of what I see as having been my epiphany moment, was actually doing a thought experiment.

As in, how would Man have lived if the fall had never taken place?

What if we'd stayed in Eden? And multiplied and lived in Eden, Man unfallen?

Because if you call yourself a Christian, then a fundamental part of your belief is this. That God had to make himself man to rescue man from the error man had made. That God made himself man, so that through his own sacrifice to himself, Man could return to the purity of heart and mind that man had before man ate the apple and became sullied.

And the interesting point is, that theologians throughout the ages have kind of realised the implications of it. Realised what it really is that sin is rooted in. And the point is, that theologians throughout the ages have KNOWN in their heart of hearts that fundamentalists are wrong.

Because the whole point is- according to the myth- that Adam and Eve needed no Law. The Law was made because Man had changed. Man was no longer what God intended. Man had eaten the apple. Man had become 'nocent'.

Nocent is a real word. It's not used today, it has become obsolete. But we still use it's opposite. Innocent. But the opposite of innocent isn't in fact guilty. It's the root word, nocent. Which actually appears in 'Paradise Lost' ironically. It's where I first discovered that word that the English language surely misses, because the concept is so important.

Nocent doesn't mean guilty. It means knowing sin. Innocent means NOT knowing sin.

You can be nocent without being guilty. Since the fall, we're all nocent. That's the point. So, if you believe Christ came for anything, the real point is, to give us back our innocence.

If you believe Genesis, then really the point is that you believe there was a possible world that God envisaged where we never became nocent.


If you follow the logic, had Adam and Eve never tasted the fruit, they'd just multiplied sinlessly, how would humanity have lived?

Think about it. The tree is the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

The fruit taught them to covet. That's the point.
To covet.
To want to own bits of the Earth. And people.

Until they ate the fruit, they didn't want to do either.

Until they ate the fruit, Adam and Eve just wanted to bask in the sunshine, make love and enjoy God's bounty.
The fruit made them want to be God.


So, if you believe in a literal interpretation of the bible- which I actually don't- you believe Christ came to free us from that.

If you're a Christian fundamentalist and you really follow the logic, then I don't see how you have any other option than to admit that living in a State of Grace cannot be anything other than living in a state of Free Love and Communism.

You see, I don't believe in Genesis.

I'm a practising Roman Catholic.

My church accepted evolution in 1908. Do you know why? Because contrary to popular belief, aside from the Galileo fiasco, Catholicism is generally a faith friendly to Science. The father of generics was a Catholic Abbe, Gregor Mendel, and the Big Bang theory was first put forward by a Catholic priest, Georges Lemaitre.

And in 1908, once it was radioactivity became understood, it was realised it WAS actually possible for the Earth to be older than 60 million years therefore it WAS possible for evolution to have taken place by random mutation, the Catholic Church embraced it.

I'm a practising Catholic, but I don't believe in a personal deity and I don't believe in Genesis.

But I do believe that the universe is conscious and most of the surviving religions contain truth.

For example, I believe the Buddhist principle of Karma.

But what I'm sure of, what I passionately believe is the the only thing the Old Testament has to tell us, is that message hidden between the lines.

That mankind living in a State of Grace, is mankind living in a state of Free Love and Communism.

This I believe.

And I believe that really, this is what Christ believed too.


Anonymous said...

When you say you are a practising Catholic- what do you mean? I don't mean to criticise your beliefs but am just interested- I've always thought that being a Catholic involved the Nicean creed, adherence to Papal clerical authority and the tradition of the church. But you would seem to undermine all three by syaing that you don't beleive in a personal god- so and I don't mean this hostilely, what do you mena by saying you are a practising Catholic?

Anonymous said...

Crushed, Interesting post, but I am going to have to be mean and disagree with you to some extent.

It the fruit gave them the knowledge of good and evil. The ability to see it, to tell the difference. Presumably before that they may have done ‘bad’ stuff but not intentionally and they would not have realised. In other words, Ignorance is bliss.

In fact it might be arguable that the so called original sin can not have been a sin. If you follow the logic then Eve ate that apple whilst having no knowledge of good and evil, so how could that act have been a sin? I guess the sin would be offering it to Adam after she ate.

So living without the knowledge might be ‘discovery channel living’, as the song says ‘living like animals do’. Killing, eating, enjoying sex, lazing around when possible, throwing poo, etc. some of that might be ‘bad’ but we would just not know it.

As for owning being part of it. Well that is a bit of a jump. It does not really follow.

In any case a lion clearly ‘owns’ it’s food and would get pretty nasty with you if you disputed his ownership, but as far as I know there was no leonine eve. So owning a sin?… I don’t think so.

I would tentatively agree on the ‘free love’ thingy. But it should be governed by loyalties and friendships, love and such.

Gracchi makes a good point. Is it a case of believing two things at the same time, or maybe in serial... or more like being Jewish but not religious?

Anonymous said...

I am a practicing spiritualist, or maybe that is just a cop out on my part. Cat

Anonymous said...

You are a mass of contradictions. But it always makes for an intersting read...

Anonymous said...

I try to use the word as often as I can, to somehow or someway bring it back to the English language. And of course in the older context of sin. I also try to use the word integrous. I guess the question I pose is this: What was God's intention for the tree? Here's another: Did God forever forbade eating from this tree?

I ask this question maybe to say that God is God and He needs not to answer these questions. I think, more likely, I ask the questions to ponder further the character of God. If God is Benevolent or all good, wouldn't He putting the tree in the garden so that His Son would come to Earth to die for our sin, wouldn't this thought make God manipulative? Isn't that wrong? I may or may not be a Christian Fundamentalist. I'm curious.