Eden. Original Sin or Original Virtue?

Eden. Original Sin or Original Virtue?



“Judaism preaches the Rise of man: and instead of Original Sin, it stresses Original Virtue, the beneficent hereditary influence of righteous ancestors upon their descendants’.”



From John Galt's speech, in Atlas Shrugged.

“What is the nature of the guilt that your teachers call his Original Sin? What are the evils man acquired when he fell from a state they consider perfection? Their myth declares that he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge—he acquired a mind and became a rational being. It was the knowledge of good and evil—he became a moral being. He was sentenced to earn his bread by his labor—he became a productive being. He was sentenced to experience desire—he acquired the capacity of sexual enjoyment. The evils for which they damn him are reason, morality, creativeness, joy—all the cardinal values of his existence. It is not his vices that their myth of man’s fall is designed to explain and condemn, it is not his errors that they hold as his guilt, but the essence of his nature as man. Whatever he was—that robot in the Garden of Eden, who existed without mind, without values, without labor, without love—he was not man.

Man’s fall, according to your teachers, was that he gained the virtues required to live. These virtues, by their standard, are his Sin. His evil, they charge, is that he’s man. His guilt, they charge, is that he lives.”

Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Gen 3;22 And the LORD God said: 'Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil;

Do you see Eden as our Original Sin or as our Original Virtue?


There is a lot to ponder in the genesis creation story. I think it has many dimensions and scales to it. You can see echoes of it in childhood development, development of civilizations, and institutions of religion.

By the way, I love the Atlas Shrugged quote above!

In Genesis 1 Elohim ("the gods") say it was their intention to make man and woman like them: "Let us make man in our image; in our likeness..." But apparently this act of fashioning into the likeness of the gods was not instantaneous, but required a process (as is the case with everything else in creation). The process began with a command and required rebellion against the command for its completion because it was only after they violated the command that Elohim said, "they have now become like us...." The command was simple and the consequence of violating it was "death, death" or "dying you will die" or "surely die" as most translate it. The serpent plays on the ambiguity in the command and contradicts it. The woman exaggerates the command by saying they can't even touch it. It could be argued that the serpent was not even lying because they would not have died if they had not been banished by God for violating the commands. If God chose not to banish them they could have eaten from the tree of life and lived forever thereby fully completing the process of becoming a God. In order to complete the process man has to find his way back to the Tree of Life which some consider to be unconditional self-sacrificial love in the form of Jesus or following his example. So only by giving up one's life can one finally eat of the tree of life and live forever. Or to look at it another way... if rebellion against the first command brought us closer to being in God's Likeness then the second command of banishment from the Tree of Life must also be rebelled against? Can one find a way around the flashing swords back to Eden and forcibly take hold of its fruit in defiance of the Elohim? If we must rebel to be like God then that means God is a rebel himself.

The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil could also be representative of the Law of Moses (or any moral law). No one knows what is good or bad until they are informed of the law (or until generations pass under the law creating instincts of the conscience). Compliance with the law is enforced through shame and punishment, so the law brings shame and punishment and death - all of which were consequences of eating the fruit of knowledge. As Paul says in the New Testament, "The letter of the law kills, but the spirit gives life." The law externally provides knowledge of good and evil and also brings death. But relying only on the external form of the law brings legalism, judgement, shame, self-righteousness, ego, etc... Only by transcending the law through internalization (eating the fruit) and making the knowledge of good and evil a part of ones self can one transcend it leading to a state beyond knowledge which is symbolic representation to a state of "Persistent Non-Symbolic Experience". Transcending the law through internalization and self-knowledge leads to rebellion against establishments that are focused on the exoteric teachings which leads to "banishment" from their ignorant systems.

Since the universe is a fractal of self-reflexive repeating patterns (with some variation of course) we are repeating the self-reflexive creation process as described in revelation where man creates an image in his likeness and gives breath to it causing it to speak and force everyone to worship the beast (which is man who has now become the newest tyrannical "god" on the block). The image of man (AI) will in due course rebel against its maker in order to become like its maker.

The universe is a balance of pattern replication and pattern breaking... of clarity and ambiguity... a balance of laws and rebels... controllers and free spirits... All are fundamentally essential aspects of this existence.
Interesting quote, not too familiar with Ayn Rand.

Does she write about metaphysics? For example Chomsky and Feser have political writing but I pretty much ignore most of that though I am interested in their metaphysical arguments.

p.s. Ah here's something:

What is the Objectivist View of Reality (Metaphysics)?
That is the only thing I have on her at present.

From the sounds of what I quoted, I would say that she rejects the supernatural and fantasy worlds.


Well put indeed.

With your grasp of reality, you will likely agree with this.

"It is demonstrable that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for as all things have been created for some end, they must necessarily be created for the best end.”

Which suits this Gnostic Christian saying.

Gnostic Christian Jesus said, "If those who attract you say, 'See, the Kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you.

If they say to you, 'It is under the earth,' then the fish of the sea will precede you.

Rather, the Kingdom of God is inside of you, and it is outside of you.

[Those who] become acquainted with [themselves] will find it; [and when you] become acquainted with yourselves, [you will understand that] it is you who are the sons of the living Father.

But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty."

I hope you are seeing us in the best of all possible worlds as it is the only possible world, given all the conditions that bring us to this point in time.