Adam and Eve

I have a 89 year old relative whose chief occupation is watching Catholic TV, specifically at this moment the Pope in Australia. I told her my problem (or one problem) with the Pope is his opposition to family planning, something I personally find perverse. There are 9 billion people on Earth and there is insufficient food, water, fuel and raw materials to go round. The mohammedans as just as bad.

Ah, says she, it is the fault of Adam and Eve. They broke God’s law and had sex/ate of the fruit of the tree of life or something. (dear, dear). If it wasn’t for Adam and Eve we wouldn’t have so many people ( and we would presumably have only two people on Earth, rather old it has to be said thinks I).

Says I, but the pope is encouraging unprotected sex, just like Adam and Eve.  Is he in contravention of God’s laws?

The answer wasn’t clear, but generally I find that if you call someone on the Old Testament they will tell you that that is unsatisfactory anyway owing to the merciless cruelty and violence, and that is why we have the New Testament. I wish they would make up their minds and scrap the O.T if it is out of date. And why cannot my elderly relative not admit that Adam and Eve is just a myth made up by ancient and ignorant people, not to be confused with modern and ignorant people.


  1. According to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, the word myth means
    “.. a traditional narrative usually involving supernatural or imaginary persons and embodying popular ideas on natural or social phenomenon.”

    I understand that the ‘ancient and ignorant people’ were quite successfully using a myth to describe the way humans became moral beings. It was not the ‘tree of life’ they were forbidden to eat but the ‘tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ – so by realising the difference between good and evil we thereby lost our ‘innocence’. It doesn’t have anything to do with sex being bad unless of course, we choose to use sex as a way of abuse.

    Our nearest relatives, the noble Chimps may have strict social rules and hierarchy but as far as we know do not have a concept of good and evil. They are therefore ‘innocent’, in the terms described above. They certainly enjoy their sex.

    So there must have been a time when we acquired this concept. Perhaps when we had the language for such thoughts.

    I understand that the Jews, whose sacred writings include Genesis, do not take the first chapters of this book literally but have always seen it as a myth.

    Of course, why God didn’t want us to have this concept is another question I will one day ask a theologian!!

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