This is the story of “The Fall”. The explanation of how man lives the hard life he lives if there really is a God to protect us.
The answer is that it’s his own fault.
Even as a child I never bought this and reading it now I think it makes even less sense. Even if we allow the idea of a talking serpent, it makes no sense.
My biggest issue is the treatment of Adam and Eve. You see, before they eat of “The Tree” they are entirely ignorant of what is good and evil, right? Logically they don’t understand if it’s good or not to do as God commands. Of course, we know that what we consider as “good” or “evil” is an accumulation of our experiences throughout life. We learn what causes ourselves suffering, and through empathy and experience, how that suffering effects others. “Good” and “evil” isn’t just a unit of knowledge we inherit, but a complex interplay of memory, rational, and emotion.
There is just so much wrong with Gen 3 that we’re forced to clearify the assumption it implies.
The assumption is that man is required to obey God. Why? Is there any reason for this other than “because the bigger guy says so”? Of what real value is this to man? To suggest that our obedience was to be rewarded with an eternity of bliss in the Garden is to see man as merely a pet. Another creation to amuse another god. We are being who think and do and ask and explore. Eve did as a human should do: she tested. If God did not understand this, then he is not a god but merely a tinkerer.
So, God did not understand his creation. Gen 3:1 “the serpent was more craft…” Apparently it was more crafty than even God, for it stole his secret and gave it to woman. And the serpent didn’t lie. It said you will not die, as God had said in Gen 2:17 (“when you eat of it you will surely die” implies immediacy).
And what did Adam and Eve learn? They learned that they were naked and they should cover themselves. Apparently, this was an evil that God had been allowing in Eden the whole time. The Tree taught them it was evil, and not God. Also, Adam didn’t learn that it’s good to take responsibility. Gen 3:6 states that Adam was there the whole time and did not stop her, yet tried to blame her. God’s Tree is turning out to be a dud!
Alas, God starts handing out the punishments to all involved. Ricky Gervais does a good job discussing the punishment the snake gets.
Here is, I think, the best part of Genesis 3, maybe even the entire book of Genesis. Gen 3:22. God says that man is like “one of us” (plural) and that he mustn’t eat of the tree of life and live forever. Wow! God placed the means for man to become his equal in every way in the Garden and when man started to, God makes sure to shut him down. Sounds like cheesy sci-fi to me.
Taking the story at face value, we have a creature God made, that is apparently designed in a way God didn’t understand, that told God’s secret (how to become a god) to another creature God created, who disobeys based on that secret (without real understanding of it’s actions) and therefor punished the billions of lives who came after.