Consider this part II of Problems with a literal Adam and Eve, which I posted shortly before Thanksgiving. In it, I detailed the scientific problems that come with a lot of biblical claims surrounding the creation of man. The popular explanation for why we aren’t all deformed cousins if the bible is accurate is that Adam and Eve were perfect specimens. Aside from the fact that there is zero scriptural evidence to support this assertion, there is also, you know, science. I tried to use the post as a way to explain that errors and mutations, while certainly “bad” sometimes, can also be highly beneficial. But I’d like to examine a theme that ran through the comments another blogger made, and that were echoed by the Christian site I linked to, and that is the idea of sin.
The argument is that Adam and Eve were perfect–they had zero genetic flaws. Again, no basis for this in scripture or science, but okay, let’s run with this assumption for a moment and grant that it’s true, for the sake of argument. Creationists, like the one who commented on my post, will often explain that this means that disease, genetic error, mutation, genetic degradation, etc did not exist before Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit. The Christian who replied to my post went so far as to say that after their expulsion from paradise, God cursed the sun to give us cancer. That’s literally what they said:
“Adam and Eve were not only perfect but were also in a perfect environment. Obviously the processes which cause genetic damage didn’t exist before they sinned. One consequence of sin was that God cursed the ground. Perhaps he also cursed the sun so that it began to emit harmful radiation. Or they could have been immune and lost their immunity.”
Aside from the fact that the only thing “obvious” here is that this person is pulling this out of their ass (check scripture or science for any reference to immunity from cancer or the sun being cursed and you’ll come up empty handed), there is an implication here. If Adam and Eve lived in a perfect environment and were not subject to disease or mutation, then they were immortal. When I made this statement, to my surprise, this Christian agreed with me:
“Without disease and genetic degradation people would be immortal and Adam and Eve were immortal before they sinned.”
Wow, okay. So they sinned and were not only kicked out of paradise, but lost their immortality. Here, the Christian blogger provides some scripture:
“Romans 5:12 says, “Sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin.” Death is a consequence of sin. God didn’t want Adam and Eve to sin; therefore he wanted them to be immortal.”
Wow, God even WANTED them to be immortal. That’s a pretty huge statement to make. And ultimately it leaves me with one question:
What about heaven?
There’s a gap in logic here that I think begs some serious answers on the part of Christians. If this interpretation is correct, there’s an odd implication as a result.
Immortality = no heaven. With me so far? If you never die, you can never go to heaven. Seems pretty straightforward. So what’s the alternative? An eternal physical existence? Fine, but even given a perfect environment free of pain and suffering, that’s a damnation in its own right.
Think of what it would mean to have an eternal existence. Eventually, you’d have seen everything and done everything you could ever hope to see and do. You’d have had every possible conversation, etc. And then what? An eternity of mind-numbing boredom. And also, if people never die, but keep reproducing (you know, “Go forth and multiply”) wouldn’t we eventually reach a point where there were so many people on the earth that you literally couldn’t turn around without bumping into someone else? This was God’s plan?
What kind of miserable existence is that? An eternal physical life where you run out of things to do and see and places to go and are left just standing there staring off into nothing because there’s nothing left to do? Where time no longer has any meaning to you? Forever?! Sounds pretty awful.
Now, consider life with sin. Suddenly, because of sin, there is death. And because there is death, we can now go to heaven. But wasn’t the original claim that God wanted Adam and Eve to be immortal? That he didn’t want them to sin? Those were the exact words. Well if God didn’t want Adam and Eve to sin and to be immortal, that would mean he wanted them to always be alive, and if they’re always alive, that means they’d never get to heaven.
It would mean that God wanted them to experience an eternity wherein they did everything, saw everything, said everything, and then had to just exist, doomed to never experience or feel anything new again. God wanted them to experience a life where time and joy and pleasure lose all meaning.
It was only through sin–which is “bad”–that we were able to throw a wrench in this plan of God’s, causing him to send us Jesus and allow us into heaven.
And really, isn’t that what all Christians want, to live forever in heaven? Well, guess what? That wouldn’t even be possible if it weren’t for sin. And please, don’t give me crap about pain and suffering during our mortal life as “punishment.” Any pain and suffering one endures during life is literally infinitesimally small compared to the eternity of awesomeness that Christians think heaven is. It would be like someone offering you $100,000,000,000,000,000,000 but only if they got to punch you in the face just once.
So thanks, Satan, for ensuring that we all go to heaven instead of roaming the earth in eternal ennui and dissatisfaction, a type of living zombie.