Thank you for your prompt response.
Let me address your concerns.
Epistemologist Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen points out, in a debate with physiologist Dr. Gordon Stein, that the Transcendental Proof of God’s existence (TAG) is that “Without God, you can’t prove anything.” You can find the audio recording of the debate here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anGAazNCfdY
), and can read the transcript of the debate here (http://www.brianauten.com/Apologetics/apol_bahnsen_stein_debate_transcript.pdf
). The TAG argument, although used by Dr. Bahnsen, is actually conceptualized by Immanuel Kant first, and then fine-tuned by Dr. Cornelius Van Til, a Princeton presuppositionist theologian. Contextually, the TAG implies that moral relativism cannot provide grounds for, as Christianity can, support for Christians who decry what they construe is the unethical treatment of women by ISIS men (e.g., forcible rape). True ethical contingency believe that, depending on which culture one belongs to, they can either rail against how ISIS men treat women or accept it, both of which are contingent upon in which culture a person is raised.
From a Christian perspective, I also believe that atheists cannot verify their metaphysical position. Along with other Christians, I believe that, since atheists are limited in their knowledge of the universe, and can neither affirm nor deny a Supreme Being, the only valid point such individuals can arrive at, based on their worldview, is agnosticism.
I, however, am ready to present an argument that proves God exists, and I will include a formal proof to illustrate that my premises and conclusion are valid.
Premise one: If not all forms of knowledge exist, then not all forms of presence exist.
Premise two: If not all forms of autonomy exist, then not all forms of knowledge exist.
Premise three: If not all forms of intelligence exist, then not all forms of autonomy exist.
Premise four: If not all sources of autonomy exist, then not all forms of intelligence exist.
Premise five: If not all proof confirms God exists, then not all sources of autonomy exist.
Premise six: If it is not wholly true that God exists, then not all proof confirms God exists.
Premise seven: All forms of presence exist.
Conclusion: It is wholly true that God exists.
In the following proofs, L = Line.
L1: -(X)(Kx)>-(X)(Px) (1, Given)
L2: -(X)(Ax)>-(X)(Kx) (2, Given)
L3: -(X)(Ix)>-(X)(Ax) (3, Given)
L4: -(X)(Sx)>-(X)(Ix) (4, Given)
L5: -(X)(Cx)>-(X)(Sx) (5, Given)
L6: -(X)(Gx)>-(X)(Cx) (6, Given)
L7: (X)(Px) (Given)
L8: (3x)(-Kx)>-(X)(Px) (1, Change of Quantifier Rule)
L9: (3x)(-Kx)>(3x)(-Px) (8, Change of Quantifier Rule)
L10: (3x)(-Ax)>-(X)(Kx) (2, Change of Quantifier Rule)
L11: (3x)(-Ax).(3x)(-Kx) (10, Change of Quantifier Rule)
L12: (3x)(-Ix)>-(X)(Ax) (3, Change of Quantifier Rule)
L13: (3x)(-Ix)>(3x)(-Ax) (12, Change of Quantifier Rule)
L14: (3x)(-Sx)>-(X)(Ix) (4, Change of Quantifier Rule)
L15: (3x)(-Sx)>(3x)(-Ix) (14, Change of Quantifier Rule)
L16: (3x)(-Cx)>-(X)(Sx) (5, Change of Quantifier Rule)
L17: (3x)(-Cx)>(3x)(-Sx) (16, Change of Quantifier Rule)
L18: (3x)(-Gx)>-(X)(Cx) (6, Change of Quantifier Rule)
L19: (3x)(-Gx)>(3x)(-Cx) (18, Change of Quantifier Rule)
L20: -(3x)(-Px) (7, Change of Quantifier Rule)
L21: -(3x)(-Kx) (9, 20 Modus Tollens)
L22: -(3x)(-Ax) (11, 21 Modus Tollens)
L23: -(3x)(-Ix) (13, 22 Modus Tollens)
L24: -(3x)(-Sx) (15, 23 Modus Tollens)
L25: -(3x)(-Cx) (17, 24 Modus Tollens)
L26: -(3x)(-Gx) (19, 25 Modus Tollens)
L27: (X)(Gx) (26, Change of Quantifier Rule)
Conclusion: (X)(Gx) (Conclusion, given)
If you want to read my refutation of neurology that allegedly disproves God, see my commentary to Bo Bennett’s The Psychology of Woo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EejmSr9UAH4
Recently, I have drafted a lengthy essay concerning how Adam and Eve can decide rightly in the Edenic trial despite living in a world where they had no formal conception (or at least a very limited one) of morality.
The Edenic Test, and the Epistemic Solution to God’s Trial
The Biblical account of Adam and Eve seems, prima facie, as a straightforward demand of the Edenic duo’s obedience to their Creator. While this claim proves enormously significant, it is tested through five mediums: the ability to recognize categories in logic, the capacity to draw inferences from stated hypotheses, the knack of comprehending what a transposed form of an argument implies, the adeptness to fathom the truth-value of assertions, and the care to check any declaration for soundness. Whether Adam and Eve, in their Prelapsarian state, possess cognition of the first-order logic stated above is debatable, although Adam and Eve might have exhibited an understanding of any or all of the rational analytical instruments named above. In this analysis, I will argue that God and Satan both present valid arguments about the nature of truth; nevertheless, in trusting Satan, Adam and Eve perhaps neglect to weigh Satan’s existential status against God’s omniscient ontology. This, in turn, leads Adam and Eve to treat Satan’s statements as equivalent to God’s, despite the fact that he lacks God’s everlasting knowledge to construct such propositions.
God issues the following command to Adam in Gen. 2.16-7: “Of every fruit thou mayest freely eat; But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die.” Eve comprehends, too, that “we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, But of the fruit which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die,” which is chronicled in Gen. 3.2-3. It is worth noting that the “we” references Adam, who God forms from earth and “breathes” bodily and spiritual life into, in Gen. 2.7, and Eve, who God sculpts from a rib of Adam while he is in a state of sleep which God induces. The order, though, is not given to the birds and sea animals, which are created in Gen. 1.21, and land creatures, which God makes in Gen. 1.24. God’s order strictly applies to some creatures, which formulates the touching or consuming outlawed sustenance functions as a sufficient cause for death. The raison d’ etre touching forbidden fruit results in death is that an added consequence of the action entails partaking of outlawed sustenance. Simply put, handling forbidden fruit signposts an intention to eat it in much the same way that planning to blow up buildings signals a desire to fulfill that act. God is very clear in using the term “not,” and Adam, too, the first “male,” and Eve, the first “female,” as Gen. 1.27 notes, understands the prohibitive conjunction, and, too, the concept of exclusion: that is, the idea that they can sample fruit from all trees except one. Whether or not Adam and Eve comprehend the term “die,” in their unfallen state, is immaterial—what is significant entails they recognize that a certain type behavior brings about a specific consequence. The Edenic pair know, categorically, that God’s demand is directed at some creatures (i.e., humans), and that performing at least one action which God prohibits (i.e., touching forbidden fruit) will bring about a particular outcome. If Adam and Eve, the certain creatures who receive God’s directive, transpose God’s Law, they understand that living involves not touching or eating forbidden fruit. Yet, perchance Adam and Eve doubt the truth of God’s argument, they can ensconce upon a premise where handling and tasted outlawed sustenance fails to effectuate in death.
The self-doubt characterized in the last sentence of the previous paragraph will be exacerbated by Satan, who, in Gen. 3.1, is labeled as a “serpent,” and belongs to the categorization of land creatures spoken about in Gen. 1.24. When introducing himself to Eve, Satan asks Eve if God forbids her, as well as Adam, to refrain from tasting the fruit of all trees, in Gen. 3.1. In Gen. 3.2-3, Eve corrects this statement which contradicts what God says, specifically, that God permits the Edenic duo to eat the fruit of all trees except one in the center of the garden, the fruit of which they are not to handle or taste on penalty of death. Satan replies in the following manner, in Gen. 3.4-5: “Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be gods, knowing good and evil.” The serpentine notion that God disallows sampling the produce from all “trees” is contradicted by the fact that He permits eating the fruit from some “trees.”
Like God, Satan limits his rules to some creatures, namely humans; however, whereas God’s premise contains one’s statement, Satan’s proposition contains two premises, and a conclusion. Unlike God’s declaration, Satan’s issuance fails to mentions touching forbidden fruit at all, and does not list sampling outlawed substance as a capital offense. In his second argument, Satan maintains that Adam and Eve not dying are prerequisites for them becoming gods. Nowhere in God’s Law does a reference to deification surface. Actually, the first condition of Satan’s involves eating forbidden fruit as a sufficient cause for living. From the two causes, it can be deduced that, according to Satan’s reasoning, the effect of deification arises from disobeying God. Although Satan’s demands address the same creatures as God’s issuances do, Satan produces conditions which prove simultaneously less straightforward and more attractive than God. Adam and Eve might harbor worry over why they must eat outlawed sustenance to continue living. The Edenic duo could even find the allure of being deities inviting. The two results named above are designed to manifest themselves by obeying Satan, while, at the same time, disobeying God. Whereas both God’s and Satan’s propositions constitute demands required of a certain “kind,” God’s argument ends in one implication, whereas Satan’s suggests three different truths.
Yet, when transposed, Satan’s propositions pressure Adam and Eve to eat forbidden sustenance. For example, if Adam and Eve perish, that will be a consequence of failing to sample outlawed fruit. Both humans will also fact the effect of forfeiting self-deification if they die. In its totality, the Edenic pairs’ inability to become gods effectuates from their unwillingness to taste illegal produce.
Perchance Satan is wrong, though, Adam and Eve can expect that 1) all eat forbidden fruit (i.e., potentially), and all in the Garden of Eden die; 2) all in the Garden do not die, and do not become gods; 3) all in the Garden eat (see 1 for clarification), and do not become gods. “All” here suggests that, if any creature tastes forbidden fruit, that will spell certain consequences for Eden’s inhabitants. This, too, can be misleading: perhaps a bird can taste illegal sustenance, and bring about the same effect that Adam and Eve might bring to fruition if they participate in a similar action. The only question now entails whether Adam and Eve should trust God or Satan.
Adam and Eve might have won their test if they realized that God’s mindset can be commented on by Satan insofar as Satan understands his Creator’s perfect attributes to be, but Satan’s commentary, whether true or false, reflects only a small part of God’s omniscient mind. Satan, who is not omniscient, cannot possibly fathom, from a limited perspective, every conceivable fact about his Creator, as some of these so-called “truths” might be fallacious. By contrast, since God sculpts every item in the universe, including Satan, He knows everything about Satan down to the smallest detail. Therefore, the Edenic duo fails to recognize that Satan’s propositions, which are subject to fallibility, are never on par with God’s Laws, which are always accurate.
In the end, God holds humans responsible for illogical reasoning, and Satan, too, for tempting humanity with statements which are the composition of either deliberate or haphazard arguments that prove existentially invalid. In Gen. 2.5, it notes that Adam and Eve “were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed,” in contradistinction to Gen. 3.6, where “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat,” the result of which, one verse later, Adam and Eve recognize their nudity, and weave “leaves together” to clothe their bare bodies. Contextually speaking, a priori to disobeying God, the Edenic pair are not embarrassed by their nakedness; nevertheless, after they defy God’s orders, Adam’s and Eve’s bareness becomes a source of embarrassment for them. I want to call attention to a possible reason why. Thoughts of impropriety and eying the bodies of women or men lustfully only transpire after Adam and Eve sin against God. In humanity’s unfallen state, they are sinless beings, and, hence, do not conceive of such ideas.
Before proceeding, care should be taken to highlight the limitations and parameters of God’s test. Even Satan admits, in Gen. 3.5, the sampling of forbidden fruit will effectuate in the ability to discern right from wrong. It might seem a difficult task to obey God if one cannot fully comprehend the subtleties and nuances of morality. This objection is answerable by the fact that God told Adam what he is “not” allowed to do, in Gen. 2.17, and even Eve comprehends that a specific prohibition is placed on her behavior, in Gen. 3.3, when she speaks to Satan. The term “not” is a logical command, and good and evil need not be understood to comprehend a command of exclusion. The knowledge, too, that Adam and Eve are restrained from knowing about entails a certain branch of epistemology, namely ethics, and not epistemology in general, which encompasses fields such as literature, math, art, history (in Prelapsarian Eden, what happened in the past), ad infinitum. The fact that the Edenic duo comprehend logical operators, an indication of their familiarity with logic, makes them rational individuals, and, hence, candidates for consequences if they break God’s Law.
Propositionally, Adam and Eve handle forbidden fruit, which, by reasoning of inchoate crimes (i.e., those which are intended but not completed) necessitates punishment. Truthfully speaking, both Adam and Eve handle and eat outlawed fruit in Gen. 3.6. In Gen. 3.24, God informs both Adam and Eve that they will die—that is to say, both will live until an age when they become inorganic matter, which will then decompose into the elements from which their bodies are formed for their disobedience, declaring that, “for thou art dust, and unto dust shalt thou return.” Although God’s listener in the instance above is Adam, the declaration applies equally to Eve. The above logical deduction is modus ponens, a valid logical deduction, which states that 1) if Adam and Eve perform a certain action, then it will effectuate in death, and 2) the Edenic duo exhibit a specific type of behavior, so 3) they will perish. God’s orders are thus confirmed as true.
God demonstrates the proper use of inference to illustrate how He knows about Adam’s and Eve’s rebellion as well. From earlier commentary, it is noted that, if Adam and Eve do not sample forbidden fruit, then they will not be cognizant of their nudity. However, Adam and Eve are aware of their bareness, showing that they have eaten forbidden fruit. The name of the valid logical procedure explained above is modus tollens. In the Bible, after Adam and Eve sensed God’s “presence” and “hid” from their Maker, in Gen. 3.8, they heard His “voice,” in Gen. 3.9, and then God demanded that the Edenic pair disclose their location. Adam admits a fear of God and an embarrassment over his nudity, in Gen. 3.10, and, from that response, God asks, in Gen. 3.10, how Adam understands the shame of nudeness if no one has disclosed that information to him, and if he has not sampled forbidden fruit. In Gen. 3.12, Adam confesses to his crime, but not without putting some of the blame on Eve’s shoulders for urging him to consume outlawed fruit. The Edenic duo’s attempt to conceal truth fails, as an Infinite Being can always deduce verity from establishing valid propositions, and checking the components of His statements afterward. God, indeed, investigates the evidence in Eden to ensure the soundness of His claims—though he does not need to, since He is omniscient—thereby establishing Himself as rational.
Satan’s arguments are negated by observable truth. In Gen. 3.6, both Adam and Eve eat forbidden fruit, and are sentenced to death by God in Gen. 3.19. The death, though, is not immediate; instead, it constitutes a process of daily rigors which will lead Adam’s and Eve’s bodies in the direction of decay over time, of which pain and suffering are a part. Even Satan, in Gen. 3.13-5, is part of the decay mentioned above, for he must endure God’s curse, in the words of Gen. 3.14, “all the days of thy life.” It might seem objectionable to impugn Satan for conditions which did not involve him. However, by punishing Satan, God illustrates why it is not necessary to mention the consequences for a specific type of act for there to be one. People might argue that acts are just what one does, and are not implicative of a consequence; yet one can always add a judgment, so the individuals must choose between the disjunction of either not behaving in a certain manner or facing justice for their digressions. By material implication, the disjunct can be expressed in its logically equivalent form of implication: acts imply consequences. Hence, if people participate in certain acts, they can expect to be judged for their behavior. But, suppose no judgment falls upon them. This means that they refrain from various forms of conduct. After all, “the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which God had made,” which is cited in Gen. 3.1. We can draw the conclusion that, if Satan can guile Adam and Eve into disobeying God, then it is possible that he had an adequate amount of reasoning to formulate opinions as to what type of conduct he should or should not engage in.
Adam and Eve, unlike what the transposition of Satan’s second proposition implies, are not slated to die immediately, as God notes, when he suggests that Adam’s punishment, and, by inference, Eve’s as well, will continue “till thou return unto the ground,” as described in Gen. 3.19. However, Adam and Eve, in Gen. 3.5, do not “become gods,” but, instead, are prevented from reaching a state of deification in Gen. 3.22. In Gen. 3.22, God admits that the Edenic duo now can discern between good and evil, and will need merely a sampling “from the tree of life” to self-deify. In the following verse, God prevents them from gaining this opportunity by expelling them from Eden. God also, in Gen. 3.24, orders Cherubims with fiery rapiers to guard the “tree of life,” perhaps just in case the Edenic duo attempts to disobey God again, and tries to eat fruit from “the tree of life,” which will make them deities who, like God, know right from wrong. Contrary to what Satan suggests, the Edenic duo’s consumption of forbidden fruit, in Gen. 3.5, does not lead to deification, which is explained above when speaking of the passage germane to it, specifically Gen. 3.22-4.
In its logical context, God does not punish Satan, in Gen. 3.14-24, with diseases other than death—they are simply manifestations of it. Rationally speaking, in order for Adam and Eve, as well as Eden, to be free from death, sin must be wholly absent. One the Edenic pair transgress, death, or decay, becomes an absolute fact of the universe, and the conception that inhabitants on Earth will stay immortal simply becomes a nonentity. In other words, unhygienic conditions and physical stress caused by deformities, mental, and physical wear created by adversity, complications related to birthing and the mental grind of oppression via subordination to a hierarchal position, and work-related stress all are candidates which can contribute to one’s death. It should be duly noted that, in Gen. 3.22-4, God, realizing that the fruit of life can cure death, bars them from Eden, and protects the plant from which it originates from humans, so it can no longer serve as an antidote to cure their ailing conditions. In logical terms, death becomes a universal quantifier which can be instantiated in such a way that certain details, or constants, remark on it.
As discussed previously, just because people do not view acts as conduct-related, this conviction is errant, as consequences can always be annexed disjunctively to behavior, which, by the rule of implication, necessitates that an action demands a judgment; transposed, it suggests that behavior which is not impugned did not arise from certain acts. Satan, Adam, and Eve are all subject to the laws of causality. This, though, does not imply that God should impugn the threesome equally. Analyzing God’s penology demands context. In Gen. 3.4, the serpent is the first creature to tell a human, specifically Eve, that she will not die if she eats forbidden fruit, and, in Gen. 3.5, he further assures Eve that she will metamorphose into a deity who can distinguish righteousness from unrighteousness. Also, Eve comes to the conclusion that sampling outlawed sustenance, in Gen. 3.6, is acceptable and constitutes a pathway to wisdom, and, consequently, eats forbidden fruit a priori to handing Adam forbidden sustenance, who also consumes it. Yet, as Gen. 3.13 notes, the serpent influences Eve to rebel against God first; Eve encourages Adam, in Gen. 3.12, to disobey God afterward; Adam follows Eve’s encouragement to dishonor his Creator’s Law as well. The domino effect causing the Fall of humanity is orchestrated by Satan first, so we should expect God to punish him the harshest, followed by Eve, who told Adam to disregard God’s commandment not to eat illicit fruit, and emulate her by consuming it. Adam’s punishment should be the lightest, given the fact that his disobedience results from listening to the poor advice of another human. All sentences, though, should be death-related, regardless of the severity of the punishment.
When God asks why Adam consumes forbidden fruit, in Gen. 3.12, Adam replies that Eve “gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” In Gen. 3.13, when God questions why Eve tastes outlawed sustenance, Eve blames Satan for her actions: “The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” In Gen. 3.12, Adam argues that he should bear the least burden for his crime, since Eve provoked him to disobey God. However, Adam’s choice is not the source of confusion, as it is illogical to rely on anyone whose behavior is guided by irrationality. In other words, Eve is wrong to believe that Satan, an existential creature, can know more than an eternal God, and it is, therefore, fallacious to believe that she will die if she fails to obey Satan, and neglects to taste forbidden fruit. Eve is doubly guilty for encouraging Adam to accept invalid form of reasoning (i.e., the universal generalization of a constant) as valid, and Adam bears single guilt for basing his conduct on information deduced in the aforementioned manner. Satan is triply guilty for committing the fallacy stated above initially, and then transmitting this faulty form of argumentation to Adam and Eve in hopes they will accept it as true. In the guilt line, Adam can name a fellow tempter, meaning that his actions are not purely of his own volition. Eve cannot refute Adam’s claims; however, she can name a party of guilty encouragement. But, Satan can neither dismiss Adam’s claims nor name a predecessor which instructed him to beguile Adam and Eve. God’s punishments will soon affirm degrees of guilt in Gen. 3.14-19, which is part and parcel of the penalty pertaining to forfeiture of life, which will come upon Satan, in Gen. 3.14, and Adam and Eve, in Gen. 3.19. No one will be able to remedy God’s penalty of physical death, as God drives the Edenic duo, in Gen. 3.23, from Eden, then appoints Cherubims to guard against the only plant in Eden, which is alluded to in Gen. 3.24, which cures death, and is referenced by God in Gen. 3.22.
God tells the Serpent, in Gen. 3.14-5, that, because he tricked Eve into consuming outlawed fruit, “thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise thy heel.” In the passage above, God reprimands Satan the most severely. Whereas God permits snakes to defend themselves by inflicting flesh wounds on human feet via biting that particular species, humans are equipped by God with the capacity to injure serpents by striking blows to their head. While humans face harsh penalties for their iniquities, they will not, like Satan, be punished severely enough to be God’s most despised kind, as the laws of non-contradictions prevents this: Satan cannot be the most hated and not the most despised creature, which would occur if God also pronounced the same punishment on humans.
Before proceeding to Eve, it is important to recognize why God places tension between Eve and her offspring, in Gen. 3.15, and why the strife between serpents and humans do not necessarily presuppose an exclusively female human adversary, or, for that matter, a rival female snake. God creates rivalry between humans and snakes by negating the proposition that snakes are friendly, a truth-value which the snake actually formulates by his actions. In Gen. 3.1, when the snake asks Eve what fruit she is permitted to consume, and what fruit she is not, the tone of his approach is “subtle” at first, and, at a cursory glance, the serpent’s disposition seems as an inquirer eager to learn about the world, rather than one who is wary of his surroundings. It is only after Gen. 3.2-3, when Eve identifies the forbidden tree as the sole tree which she is allowed to sample from, that Satan lies to her, promising that 1) if Eve eats forbidden fruit, she will not perish, and 2) she will become a deity, as is chronicled in Gen. 3.4-5. On the basis of thinking the “food” as “good,” one verse later, Eve offers Adam the tainted fruit, and he eats it too. Because Adam’s temptation results as an indirect consequence from serpent prodding Eve to eat forbidden fruit in Gen. 3.4-5, and leads to humans viewing each other’s nudity shamefully, the serpent is just as much responsible for the outcome his prevarications trigger in much the same way an arsonist is accountable for unintended fatalities that effectuate from that crime. Hence, that is why, in Gen. 3.15, all humans possess a natural dislike of snakes, which originates in Prelapsarian Eden. The enmity stems from the snake beguiling the woman to consume forbidden fruit, as noted in Gen. 3.13; Eve, as Adam points out one verse earlier, trusts the snake’s word in giving him illegal produce. God sentences Adam and Eve to a future time when they will both die, in Gen. 3.19, and forbids the Edenic duo from becoming gods by refusing them the right to eat from “the tree of life,” as Gen. 3.22 indicates. Inferentially, the passage above seems to suggest that the sum of knowledge of morality and infinite lifespan leads to one becoming a deity. By denying these conditions, God’s punishment, in Gen. 3.15, portrays the snake as an animal willing to betray the human race by forging a pseudo-companionship with them. Secondly, God places the hatred of each other squarely on the shoulders of the ancestors of each kind (e.g., humans and snakes) in Gen. 3.15 as punishment for their precursors’ actions, explaining how female snakes can loathe humans with the same degree as venom as the male serpents do. The reason females snakes are cursed when their gender did not guile the Edenic duo stems from the fact that the serpent initiated the downfall of humans, and, therefore, will be given more austere penalties as a consequence.
On a side note, Adam and Eve can never attain the omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence that God is embodied with based on a serpentine promissory note, which resonates the loudest in Gen. 3.4-5. The snake, Adam, and Eve are all created by God, and, if the threesome become deities, their knowledge, presence, and power will be unlimited from a certain time forward—however, the threesome will remain unaware of items in the past which God alters. Thus, God, universal in every sense of the term, can use factors of which He is cognizant—and his creatures are not—to strip them of their godhood. Here, another lie of the serpent is revealed: created gods are not the equivalent of God since they lack the universality of His qualities.
However, Eve tempts Adam to eat forbidden fruit in Gen. 3.6, which is verified later by Adam, in Gen. 3.12, when God who urged him to consume outlawed sustenance in Gen. 3.11; therefore, Eve must be punished proportionately for the crime she commits. In Gen. 3.16, God pronounces the following sentence upon Eve: “Unto the woman, he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and they conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thou desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Eve’s first penalty entails physical pain effectuating from birthing children. Turning the topic of wife subordination, one might accuse God of being a sexist; nevertheless, when Eve honors the serpent’s word over God’s, in Gen. 3.4-5, she, ironically, not only submits to the wisdom of a male, but an animal who is lower in rank than humans. I would argue that Eve’s inability to make the correct logical choice leads to her subordinate role in a marital context. The above illustration denies the potential argument that Eve is self-reliant, and bases her information on a non-male data source. Furthermore, God never mandates that Adam treat Eve in an inferior manner, as that constitutes an argument from silence, an informal logical fallacy.
That, though, does not mean Adam answers to no one for his actions. Although Gen. 3.6 informs that, when Eve offers Adam banned sustenance, “he did eat,” and, in Gen. 3.12, Adam tries to deflect the blame for his crime by fingering Eve as the guilty culprit, God, in Gen. 3.17-9, outlines the details of Adam’s punishment: “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all thy days of they life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread, till they return to the ground, for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust thou art shall return.”
Logically, in trusting Eve’s wisdom, in Gen. 3.6, Adam directly trusts a creature with a limited knowledge over God, who declares, in Gen. 2.17, death as a penalty for eating forbidden sustenance. When Eve tells the serpent that God instructs the Edenic duo not to “eat” or “touch” outlawed produce, in Gen. 3.3, she also displays moral awareness of God’s orders, and, in actuality, when Adam accepts the fruit from Eve, in Gen. 3.6, he is falsely confident that information indirectly sourced by the snake, an existential creature—as seen in Gen. 3.4-5—is equal with God’s declaration. But, rationally speaking, God created land animals in Gen. 1.24-5, a category to which the serpent belongs, and humans in Gen. 2.7-8, 21-2, the species of which Adam and Eve are a part. Since all creatures are made by a Creator, they are not privy to events that transpired prior to when they are sculpted as the God who “created the heaven and the earth,” as spoken of in Gen. 1.1, is. Consequently, the snake’s and Eve’s existential minds will never parallel the mind of God, which is universal. When God sentences Adam to hard labor just to feed Eve, and his future family, it is a result of him thinking irrationally and impulsively, rather than having the audacity to delineate at all. Also, although Adam is given authority over Eve, in Gen. 3.16, that autonomy includes stress over worrying about his wife or his eventual family. Hence, in his original state, humans are given a Paradisiacal Garden to maintain, as Gen. 2.15, 20 suggests, in a stress-free setting. It is only after God curses Adam, in Gen. 3.19, that the pleasurable aspect of tending a garden becomes burdensome.
God defines death in Gen. 3.19 as the regression from being an animate, organic individual to an inanimate, inorganic creature which will decompose over a number of years. As pointed out earlier, the serpent, Eve, and Adam are given different degrees of punishment which will end in their deaths, which are, respectively, ordered from greatest to least. However, all former immortal creatures will now confront mortality and death.
The final four verses of Gen. 3 show how God activates his sentence intended for Adam and Eve, which unfolds in verses 21-4: “Unto Adam and also to his wife did the Lord make coats of skin, and clothed them. And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil, and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and live forever. Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every which way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” Just as God permits the snake to “bruise thy heel,” in Gen. 3.24, or to bite the heels of humans in order to prevent them from attacking serpents, such as stepping on snakes’ heads—which will allow a snake, as an animal, to survive encounters with humans—God, understanding that Adam and Eve are naked, in Gen. 3.10, and that they “sewed fig leaves together to make themselves aprons,” or to conceal their private parts, weaves “coats” together from “skin,” in Gen. 3.21, and provides them with adequate dress which will allow them to function in their new respective environment. In this sense, God remains loving to both the serpent and humans, even after the Fall.
However, while the basic needs of both species are fulfilled, God still has the right, as noted earlier, to impose conditions on each kind which will effectuate in death. Beginning with Adam and Eve, both members of the Edenic duo are aware that they must not taste forbidden fruit, according to Gen. 2.17, or touch it, as chronicled in Gen. 3.3. The problem with God allowing the Edenic duo to eat from “the tree of life” in Gen. 3.22 is simply that Postlapsarian Adam and Eve will become immortal. Since Adam and Eve, again, are created by God, as Gen. 2.7-8, 21-2 indicates, they are not omniscient like their Creator, who has always existed, as seen in Gen. 1.1. This will lead to the Edenic pair’s deification from a certain point forward, meaning the time that they metamorphose into gods exhibits a fixed point, and so does their understanding of right and wrong. Philosophically speaking, this means that it might be possible for Adam and Eve not to know all things which are just or unjust, or to confuse the two as a result of ignorance. Thus, the laws they proclaim as deities can harm God’s creation. It is likely for this reason that God bans Adam and Eve from the Garden, in Gen. 3.23; also, one can additionally reason that eating from “the tree of life,” mentioned one verse earlier, will nullify Adam’s and Eve’s sentence, and negate God’s belief, presented throughout this essay, that actions have consequences. The term “man,” as mentioned in Gen. 3.22-3, is not just a reference to Adam; rather, it is, by means of synecdoche, a way of using the existential being Adam to stand for both Adam and Eve, and the human race as well, as both humans, and their ancestors afterward, will face the eventual death penalty for the Edenic duo’s actions. While it may seem severe to impugn the Edenic duo’s ancestors with death also, their punishment stems from being imperfect, as a result of the Fall, and making sinful choices in the process.
When God banishes the Edenic duo from the Paradisiacal Garden, in Gen. 3.23, and forces them to “till the ground” outside of Eden, this reinforces a point made earlier in this analysis: whereas sustaining oneself in the Garden of Eden, as Gen. 2.15, 20 implies, is free of angst and takes no time off one’s life, working the soil, which is spoken of in Gen. 3.23—a consequence for humanity’s Fall, as referred to in Gen. 3.19—will cause gardening duties to become stressful, and subtract from one’s life span as a consequence. Moreover, God, in the concluding verse of Gen. 3, commissions angels with fiery rapiers to guard against the prospect of Adam and Eve returning to steal fruit from “the tree of life,” as Gen. 3.22 indicates. The reason behind God’s logic is that imperfection begins the moment Adam and Eve rebel against God, in Gen. 3.6, and consume forbidden fruit. If it is possible for the Edenic pair to defy one order of God, then it is plausible for Adam and Eve to return, via stealth, to Eden, and to eat, as illustrated in Gen. 3.22, from “the tree of life.” Sadly, God can no longer trust the word of a Fallen race of humans. Unlike Adam and Eve, though, God is always true to His word. In the last three verses, God honors his commitment that eating forbidden fruit, as comprehended by Adam in Gen. 2.17, or touching outlawed sustenance, as understood by Eve in Gen. 3.3, will bring about death. The final three verses of Genesis ensure that there are no loopholes in God’s punishment so as to allow the Edenic duo to escape from perishing.
One must wonder, then, why God does not ban the serpent from the Garden, in Gen. 3.22, and, in Gen. 3.23, protects the tree from him as well. In Gen. 2.17 and in Gen. 3.3, the order not to eat or touch forbidden fruit is given to Adam and Eve, rather than the serpent. It should be duly noted that, while God determines that, if Adam and Eve consume fruit from “the tree of life,” and combine it with the knowledge of morality they stole in Gen. 3.6, they will become deities, nowhere does God express concern for the serpent eating from “the tree of life” in Gen. 3.22-3. While God does not provide an opinion, the most likely explanation is that what serves as an antidote for Adam and Eve might be a placebo, or even a slow poison, for the snake. When such a proposition is promulgated, it is done from the standpoint of an argument from silence.
This entire analysis considers whether or not Adam and Eve, or the serpent, can, from an existential standpoint, challenge God’s arguments. The answer is no, as neither animals nor humans know how the cosmos has always existed, and, as a result, it is erroneous to believe that limited knowledge can unlock infinite understanding, a quality which only God possesses. God, as this essay suggests, is not keeping Adam and Eve ignorant of all kinds of knowledge, as His orders to Adam and Eve are meant to prevent them from probing into the realm of ethics, while leaving them free to explore the terrains of art, history, literature, science, ad infinitum. In other words, moral knowledge constitutes merely a leaf on the epistemic tree. As discussed earlier, when God forbids Adam and Eve to possess a comprehension of scruples, this constitutes an act of social paternalism, as knowledge of sin leads to envying another’s gifts, which might effectuate in a raging jealousy harbored by one human towards another, prompting the former individual to kill the latter person. Although Satan is not directly given orders by God to refrain from tempting Adam and Eve, he is created before the Edenic duo, and, not only possesses more knowledge, as a result, about his environment, but also feigns a friendship with humanity just to betray them, and bring about their downfall. For this reason, Satan is penalized the harshest, as not being issued commands to abstain from a certain type of behavior does not mean that one cannot use logic to calculate God’s stance on a particular act. Neither Adam nor Eve escape punishment either, even when the Edenic pair faults the serpent with tempting them, as they could both think for themselves, and reject the snake’s propositions, as alluring as these premises seemed. In the end, God punishes each guilty member proportionately for their wrongdoing. One can always resort to the argument that, if Adam and Eve, or Satan, had no grasp of morality, then they could not appreciate the consequences for their actions. This assertion, though, is misguided, as knowing what God forbids (e.g., the structure of the argument) makes it either valid or invalid, while the cognition of morality establishes an argument (e.g., the truth-value of the position) as either sound or unsound. Logically speaking, it is impermissible for any argument to be considered rational if they are either invalid or unsound, and Satan’s, and Adam’s and Eve’s conviction, that existential creatures can know infinitudes, as God does, is invalid. Hence, all three creatures are punished for accepting faulty arguments. In its finality, an argument can be adjudicated apart from its moral components. Hopefully, the practice of evaluating Adam’s and Eve’s trial as a test of reasoning, rather than a moral test, will be given increasing attention in theological studies.
I hope my comments are helpful. Feel free to ask follow up questions.
Happy New Year!