The Journal of Provincial Thought
jptArchives Issue 18
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No. 011 Professor Loose Adam & Eve are In Session!
The Acquittal of Adam and Eve

Hopefully by now we have convinced everyone who is convincible that the first chapter of Genesis is amenable to interpretations other than the usual religious dogma.  I won’t swear that mine is the only one that is right or that it is right at all.  Hopefully, however, the point has been made that sans literalism, Genesis correlates fairly well with the current scientific model.  Like any great story, it can accommodate many different ‘morals’ or comparisons.

          Now we come to the second chapter of Genesis, which, interestingly enough, presents an order of events totally different from that of the first chapter.  This fact is usually not mentioned by creationists, and most people who admit to being one have apparently never studied the text enough to even realize that there is a difference.  Again, to be a literalist requires things to be literal if words have any meaning.  In this case the first and second chapters are diametrically opposed and contradictory.  I, not being a literalist, have no problem in diametrically opposed versions of truth.  Again I cite the inherent enigma of existence itself being the basis of existence as represented by the dual behavior of light, complementarity, and Pi (the latter being a transcendent number equaling the ratio of two non-transcendent numbers—area and square of radius).

          That being said, let us see if we can analyze Adam’s lawsuit of unjust conviction.  If I were a good lawyer (a really, really good one!) I would charge God with real estate fraud and lack of disclosure and ask that the expulsion be overturned.  The lethal tree of knowledge was disclosed, so God is in the clear on that one.  What was not disclosed, however, was the talking snake.  Is it not a little problematic that this place called “Paradise” is full of talking snakes?  I have had some real bummer vacations, but even I would not sign up to go to a “Paradise” if talking snakes were disclosed. 

          Not just talking snakes, but snakes apparently educated in Harvard Law School.  The closest equivalent to this kind of Paradise would be a redneck strip bar where naked women try to con you out of your money, and most of the other spectators are the husbands of the same said naked women and are poised to break the neck of any stranger who tries to get more than his sweaty dollar bills warrant.  Not that such places actually exist, or that I have ever been to one.  I deny everything.  The comparison just seemed obvious.

          There is another little problem here that I would like to point out.  Even though Eve was accused and convicted, she was totally innocent.  Again a little casual perusal of the fine print will show that Eve did not even exist at the time the command was given.  It plainly states that God “commanded the man not to eat.”  Therefore she was not aware of that restriction.  Presumably Adam explained the situation after she was made, but that still is hearsay[1] and she did not hear it from the original source. 

          Not to mention the fact (from the standpoint of Eve’s defense) that Adam was not the most forthright person himself.  When Eve was being harangued by the snake, why didn’t Adam just step in and hit it with a stick?  Did Adam step in and tell Eve not to listen to that hissing, overgrown spinal cord?  Adam said and did nothing, and then he blamed God for the debacle because God gave him the woman in the first place (even though Adam liked her at first).  She was set up.  It is a clear case of entrapment.[2]

          It seems rather obvious that Adam was pretty much a schmuck before he ever ate whatever the fruit was (there is no mention of an apple).  He was a bad character witness.  This is further attested to by the following fact:  he was not a competent husband.  The fact is the snake didn’t even bother talking to the man of the house (maybe he was too busy playing with his power tools!).  The snake went to the only one apparently capable of having a decent conversation—the woman.  Maybe she was a blonde.  Whatever the case may be, Adam was a wimp.  She ate the fruit and gave to the man and he ate.  No questions asked, no argument given.  This little issue I would like to point out to those who think that men are the only ones in the household who should wear pants.[3]  For thousands of years women have been condemned because of this story.  Amazing!

          Is Adam really even guilty?  The law said that the day you eat of the tree you will die.  Technically speaking, Adam did not even eat of the tree.  Eve gave him the fruit, so he did not pull it off the tree itself and therefore did not really eat “of” the tree.[4]  Not only that, he did not die.  Do words have any meaning?[5]

          I don’t want to change the subject (I am on the verge of reversing Adam and Eve’s conviction and sentence, after all!) but words are interesting.  There are many more ways to use words than literally.  In fact, literalism is the smallest part of any conversation and most written text.  For a good exercise in the use of pure literalism try reading the instructions for putting together a twenty-thousand-piece baby carriage.[6]  In the everyday world, there are special terms for those who don’t know the hidden codes behind the words spoken: square, geek, nerd, moron.  If you don’t know the lingo, you isn’t cool, man.  Just a passing thought.

          Did Adam die?  No, Adam did not die.  Someone got a wild allegory up their pituitary and said that even though it was allegorical, the pronouncement referred to the death of all humankind.  Excuse me, where was that stated?  This is the entire basis of all the trouble with literalist Christianity!  Was it ever mentioned that the penalty would be applied to the entire progeny of the human race?  This conclusion was projected into the story by the Apostle Paul when discussing the allegory of Christ.[7]  It has been cited by the Ruling Class in order to justify the exploitation of powerless humans and the planet.[8]  It is contrary to the justice meted out by God in this instance.  If we want to be literal, the words must be law.  We can’t say we are being literal but then say we are being metaphorical too.  It was clearly stated that Adam would be the only recipient of the penalty; and Eve was not present at that injunction.  Therefore, it did not even apply to her. 

          It might appear that had Adam eaten of the Tree of Life (TOL) first and then of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (TOKGAE) he would have been set.  However, the law does seem to say that if he ate of the TOKGAE he would die—period.  So, eating of the TOKGAE seems to preempt the TOL.  But then he was thrown out of Eden, so he could not eat of the TOL and live forever in spite of the fact that he had already eaten of the TOKGAE and had died?  Something is definitely suspicious here. 

          Let’s go over this again.  If Adam ate of the TOKGAE (which, as I pointed out, he didn’t technically even eat “of”) he would “die,” cease to exist, kaput, s.o.l. etc.  However, apparently, this ruling was a paper tiger because it could be reversed by eating of the TOL.  On the other hand, if he had eaten of the TOL, in contradiction to living “forever,” he would only live until eating of the TOKGAE since that would result in “death” (which apparently isn’t even real death).  This is the legal contract determining the fate of the human race?  Dog help us.  Explains everything!  People believe this stuff literally?  They have not even studied the case file!

          There is one final, irrefutable argument of Adam and Eve’s innocence.  It is said that the TOL was in the middle of the garden and so was the TOKGAE.  The fact is, there is only one “middle,” so they must have so intertwined that no one would have been able to tell them apart.  It was said that Adam and Eve could eat of any tree in the Garden; but God didn’t mention the tree of life or that there even was a tree of life.  Just stay away from “that one there,” which was also where the TOL was—in the middle of the garden.  So when the snake approached Eve, he reiterated the command that they could eat of any tree of the Garden.  Eve clarified that by saying they could not eat of that tree (singular) in the middle of the garden.  Which tree was in the middle of the garden?  BOTH! 

          So when the snake said you will not die he was CORRECT, because the TOL was also in the middle of the garden.  When Eve ate of the TOKGAE she DID think she was eating of the TOL, at least if she knew about it.  Thus, it is also true that the snake did deceive her, the talking snake that had not been disclosed.  Eve wasn’t simply stupid after all!  Furthermore, after the couple was thrown out of the garden, it is written that there was a sword to protect the way to the TOL, but nothing was done to protect anybody from the talking snake and that lethal TOKGAE.  Thus the trap was set for the next pair of innocents—evidence, perhaps, of ongoing negligence, further strengthening the couple’s case.  

          Now even if this argument isn’t enough, it is said, “…So God sent forth the man out of the garden  ...So he drove out the man…”  In other words, even Adam wasn't buying it!  He saw the situation as it was and he was taking no chummed-up plea bargain, but he was thrown out anyway!  Case closed.  No final arguments, ya honor.  It is a clear case of entrapment and railroading.  “Acquittal granted!” sayeth the judge!

          I am so literal!  When we read the story like this (and this is exactly what it says), Paradise sounds like some seedy corner of San Quentin prison, full of scams, stool pigeons, falsely accused and the self-deceived.  I haven’t been hit by lightning yet.  I am just reading the fine print and reaching the obvious conclusions, your honor.

          Hopefully, by now we have convinced anyone who is convincible that the second chapter of Genesis is even less amenable to the literalism of the usual religious interpretations than the first chapter.  If we can be willing to abandon the ridiculousness of literalism and its absurd conclusions, we will find that the second chapter of Genesis has remarkable similarities with Jungian psychology, as shall be discussed next time.

[1] Dapper attendee suddenly alert:  “Excuse me, but you are taking the lay sense in which hearsay refers to the mechanism by which Eve acquired information, and you’re cheating that meaning into the sense of some witness introducing second-hand evidence of Eve’s knowledge in a legal proceeding.  Is this the kind of fuzzy distorting you do at these gatherings?”
Professor Loose:  “In Adam’s suit against God, God tries to testify that Eve knew the rules, because the archangel Gabriel told God that he’d heard from a certain Mr. X that Adam had filled her in.  Hearsay objection sustained, okay?  Now, even if the Court buys the idea that Adam told Eve something, that communication lacked the perfect authority of the Almighty, and distortion or omission is quite possible in any case.  ‘Ignorance of the law is no excuse’ can only apply where the law has been documented and made available to the public by the governing body.”           

[2] The dapper attendee:   “Entrapment is also a legal term of art that you don’t precisely capture.”
Professor Loose:   “Capture this.  I said clear case of entrapment.  Clear can mean many things to many people:  to some, not at all clear; to others, quite clear; to still others, clear enough.  You’re just fighting the flow here because you don’t yet have a pint or two in you.  The stout is particularly relaxing today.  Relax.  Quietly is more enjoyable.”

[3] Tank-top gal:  “What have pants got to do with authority and power and personality?  Pants are just garments.”
Professor Loose:  “I did not invent the metaphor ‘who wears the pants.’  It is, however, understood far and wide, and I thought it fair game for a little jab.  Why does this bother you? ”
Tank-top gal:  “It bother…”
Professor Loose (interrupting):  “Yes, never mind.”   

[4] Liz Calandro:  “This is just petty semantics.  It’s just as valid to say that eating fruit that someone else has picked off a tree is eating of the tree.”
Professor Loose:  “A story can be told different ways, Liz.  I like to tell mine in a way that lines up with my thesis, don’t you?”   

[5] Gaunt fellow by old pickle barrel:  “What do you mean, ‘he did not die’?  That’s when the judgment of mortality befell humanity!  When he did die, this sin of disobedience is why.” 
Gaunt fellow’s buddy:  “It wasn’t necessarily a punish-judgment, Stuart.  It’s more like, by partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, against God’s command, man threw off God’s protection and took responsibility for his own well-being.  And of course, the new knowledge being imperfect, and the knowledge of good being tainted with knowledge of evil, man lost his immunities and his immortality.  He really screwed up.”
Professor Loose:  “He did not die that day.  Unless, perhaps, God was going back to His kind of timeless day—but how would such a reference have served any meaning to Adam, who knew standard days and nights?  Anyway, the point is, he did not die on the literalist’s ‘day you eat of the tree.’  I have other comments shortly.”         

[6] Moderately popular intramural athlete:  “Are you saying that the instructions for a twenty-thousand-piece baby carriage are literal or that they are not?”
Professor Loose:  “Yes.  I am saying that instructions for putting things together are exquisitely literal, and depending on how badly they are written, can be interpreted many different ways even though there is no allegorical intent.” 

[7] Moderately well-known Biblical literalist, bristling over his fruit punch:  “What do you mean, ‘the allegory of Christ’?
Professor Loose: “We can delete that phrase; it is well beyond the scope of this session—or of any session wherein harm conceivably could come to me.”

[8] Unidentified voice:  “How does the idea that Adam’s penalty was death for all humanity help the ‘ruling class to exploit anyone?”
Professor Loose:  “It is a way to explain and justify the boot of the ruling elite on the necks of ninety-nine percent of humanity.  It is the same as ‘religion is the opiate of the masses.’”
Voice:  “I still don’t get it.”
Professor Loose:  “That’s your privilege.”

jptARCHIVE Issue 18
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