Gardens, snakes and cookie monster.

When I believed in God, I was taught to believe he created each of us, unique and special, and that he loved us all enough to die for us.  I accepted this as a fact.  I felt there was nothing I could do to make God not love me, and that once I accepted Jesus, I would get to go to heaven, no matter what.

Later, I found out that was not what a lot of Christians believe at all.  They believe this god made them to follow blindly.  They believed God created Satan, who would lead them astray.  They believed God had no responsibility for how they were, and that he had no choice but to punish them for not being exactly the way he demanded them to be. 

When I was a kid, I read the story of the Garden of Eden, and never thought the whole story out.  God makes the earth.  God makes the animals.  Then God makes a man, without a woman, to begin with, even though he made the other animals in pairs.  He waits until the guy gets lonely, and then decides he needs a woman.  God knocks the guy out and takes his rib, and makes a woman. 

Now, God has made this lovely garden. It has all this awesome looking fruit in it, but there is a catch.  He has this one tree with fruit that will make you live forever, and another one that will make you know everything, or at least right and wrong.  You would think he might want the brand new man and woman to know the difference, but he doesn't want that.  That is because he wants to test these new creations and see if they will be obedient little slaves....He makes a point of explaining what the fruit is, and that they can't eat it, or they will surely die.

Ok, so here is the part I missed the first time I read it.....They didn't automatically go and eat the fruit. As a matter of fact, they left it alone for a while.  They didn't even seem interested in it, on their own.  You don't see it saying they looked at it or thought about it, or even walked close to the tree to see if it seemed good.  Until the serpent came along, and started talking to them, they weren't interested in it at all.  They didn't take the bait and screw things up for themselves quickly enough, so this great god who loved them so much created a serpent to come along and talk to them, and get them to eat it. 

And, after they do eat it, god gets mad, and blames everyone but himself.  He set the trap, and sent someone to push them along and prod them into "sinning", and then chose to punish the people and the serpent.  It would be like me setting a plate of cookies on a table and leading a couple of kids into the room.  I make sure to tell them not to eat them, or they will get in trouble.  When I leave the room, I listen in.  When they don't act interested in the cookies, I send Cookie Monster into the room to convince them to eat the cookies.  And when they finally do, I punish the kids and cookie monster, and all kids and all muppets for all time....

And then, the good news is, I will make myself into my child, so I can come down and show them how much I love them by dying for their "sin" of their parents eating the cookies.  God makes so much sense......I can see why I used to believe all of this...

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Comment by Grinning Cat on July 2, 2013 at 11:43pm

That is an absurd set of magical fairytale beliefs!

(Not to mention those other fairytales millions supposedly accept as true.)

But even without these details, the universe, our planet, our species, our societies, our morality, and so on simply didn't need any supernatural phenomena to become what they are. Belief in gods certainly has its effects, but the purported gods are imaginary.

We can say that with the same confidence that we say the sun will rise tomorrow: there certainly is no good evidence for anything conforming to the (much weaker than Christians') "standard model" of a creator god with a special interest in us human beings, who listens to prayers and doesn't hide her/him/itself from true seekers.

(See God: The Failed Hypothesis by Victor Stenger.)

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