As has been pointed out, the story is an allegorical tale designed to answer a lot of questions about how things came to be. It is a myth. It tells a story of how mankind became aware of their separation from their creator. In my opinion, some of the most significant words in the bible are "Who told you that you were naked?".
Questions on Adam & Eve?
If it is not taken literally, you enter in the realm of interpretation, and then the text can say anything, I have a book about the different interpretations of this kind of bible's myths along history, very interesting, now I'm at work, maybe later I will post some paragraphs of this book.
I don't particularly like the absolute skepticism of some post-modernist, but this opinion maybe fall in the post-modernist mindset.
I think what conflicts you most about the story might be, that it was taught to you as a history of actual events. Teaching it now to your children you see that belief as absurd and you may be having difficulty separating what you were taught the bible said from what the bible said.
I started a thread last week that turned into a major forest fire just because I suggested that it was poisonous to children to teach them fantasty WHILE INSISTING IT IS REAL. I think that is deeply troubling to a child when they get older. Why? Because before we are master and commander of our own mind our mental furniture is arranged "for us" by our parents. The room where we keep the make-believe and the room where we sort reality are separate. It can be very troubling to walk into our reality room and find talking snakes and Adam and Eve sock puppets!
We tend to doubt ourselves; even our own sanity when it comes time to throw these things away.
I, myself, know the Bible is old tales, stories, pseudo-history and religious hijinks; but--I keep going back again and again to examine and re-examine it. WHY? I think it is because my parents put it in me when I was impressionable and trusting that this book IS THE MOST IMPORTANT BOOK in the world!! I just can't seem to get rid of it psychologically!
Terry the Bible is totally different then a fairy-tale. A fairy-tale is make believe where as the Bible is what people live by and worship and say it is Gods Holy words. People know not to live a fairy-tale but they live by the Bible so many inconsistency.So if Adam & Eve are make believe what can be taken literally in the Bible that people will die for?
It may be hard to imagine in some places, but there is such thing as liberal (i.e., non-fundamentalist) Christianity. People who allow themselves to take into account
(1) the literary genre of Biblical texts: it's pretty obvious to me that neither the writer nor the first readers of Genesis 2--3 understood this story as history; it was a tale meant to teach something about life, not the report of any "past event".
(2) a critical approach of the texts: even when you figure out what the probable intent of the writer was in writing the story, that does not mean you have to agree with him. This makes room for a basic evidence: all the texts which happened to be gathered into the Bible do not agree with each other, not only as to the apparent facts they describe but also as to their meaning.
Iow, many Christians do not believe literally in the talking snake, in Joshua tumbling down the wall of Jericho or stopping the sun, in Jonah swallowed by the big fish, or even in Jesus physically risen from the grave. And a smaller number of them realize that they cannot simply derive their faith from the Bible: they consider it as a source of inspiration, not an authority.
(Btw, I would not include myself in that number since I do not claim to be a Christian anymore. I just want to be fair to many Christians I know.)
The story is a psychological exercise to measure the gullibility level of those who can be suckered into believing anything. The more absurd and illogical the story, the easier it is to determine the level of manipulation a person or group can use on the ones buying into it. Since the existence of god is left to belief and or faith, logical and absolute provable evidence is no longer necessary. When the believer accepts as fact that a perfect human was created, but his perfect creation did not include the knowledge of good and evil, but it would be added by eating a piece of fruit, he will in fact, believe anything. Just attach the word "god" to the story and people will flock to it like the uneducated investors did in the 90's when .com was added to the name of an upstart unproven company.
Belief is a more powerful word then "fact" when it comes to those who choose to openly accept what is told to them by someone they trust as opposed to doing a little work and gathering facts to find out the real truth about an issue themselves. Trust, belief, faith and blind acceptance are the tools that all religions use to convince the gullible what they preach is indeed based on fact and then accepted as human history. Add an old book with numbered sentences, say it was inspired by a god, sprinkle some basic words like love, understanding, miracles, paradise and grace mixed with other words like disobedience, sin, shame, and destruction and you have a recipe for attracting the gullible to believe anything you want them to.
No matter how illogical and how much a story goes against the proven laws of physics is, just add the concepts of belief and faith and all reasonable arguments against it are mute to the believer. Start with the incredibly ridicules story of Adam and Eve, slip in Noah's ark and the 80 million animals as his year long ship mates, have people buy into those stories and you have your eager costumers just waiting to buy it. Once they buy those mythical products they will stand in line to buy the stories of Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, and Mohammed. Virgin births, walking on water, feeding multitudes with a few loves of bread and a couple of fish, and raising the dead only add to the gullible one's level of gullibility. They then believe in those products so much they will even kill to convince others that their brand of god is the only true one and if you do not believe it, you are crazy, godless, and heartless humans. The less radical believers that try to do good in the name of their god still believe the same myths as much as the radical jet pilot bombers and free clinic arsonist but try to separate their level of belief by mixing in a little social acceptance instead of "ain't I special" martyrdom. No matter what level of action that is taken on behalf of their belief, it is all based on the same mind controlling mythical belief.
It's a marketing campaign that has been working for thousands of years and will continue to work as long as you have gullible people to buy into it. The story of Adam and Eve and those like it, are just the first step into replacing the workings of a logical mind people were born with, with a mind controlled by belief in a myth, and then imbedded deeper into their minds by converting their belief into faith. After the initial myth is accepted, the rest falls right into place and believing in anything written in the book is easily accepted.
It is not the obsurd details of the spacific myths that are important but rather the ability of their belivers to accept and beleive in the myths that the religious founders are interested in.
If God put 2 trees (knowledge tree and everlasting life tree) Why did he have to guard the
everlasting life tree when he kicked out Adam/Eve? He could have just destroyed it, and not wasted the cherubs time?
some in the Catholic Church add that the fruit is symbolic of the act of sex
Wow Seven006 that was really good!!!!!!
Why would God give Adam and Eve free-will or choice, and then punish them for using it?
If Adam and Eve lost their innocence after they ate the fruit, it stands to reason that they were too innocent BEFORE making the decision to fully comprehend the decision they were making. Perhaps if they were not created so innocent, they would not have had to acquire knowledge in such a manner. The fault therefore lies with the creator, not the creation.
Adam and Eve did not have experience with human death therefore they had nothing to fear. The threat of 'death' did not have as much weight due to this oversight. Unfair and harsh punishment for such 'innocent' 'new' humans.
Is the above confusing? yes Are their answers? not really Why? It is a story void of detail used to quickly form a springboard for the rest of the bible.