The Curmudgeon Presents Two Morality Problems

Today we’re going to test your sense of morality. Creationists say that you can’t possibly be moral, because you refuse to accept their view of things. Are they right? We shall soon find out. Okay, let’s get started.

Scenario One: You’re a single parent raising two young children. You’ve been informed that a depraved child molester is loose in your neighborhood. His technique is to bribe children with candy and then lure them into his van, where he does unspeakable things to them. Knowing this, you say nothing about it to your six-year-old daughter and her seven-year-old brother — but you do instruct them not to eat any candy. You go off to work in the morning, leaving them alone to play in the front yard.

Upon returning home at the end of the day, you discover that the worst has happened. It’s the pervert’s work, of course, but is he the only one to blame? Question one: Do you blame your children for what has happened, because they disobeyed your command about candy and were therefore foolish enough to enter the pervert’s van? And question two: Is any of this your fault for improperly supervising your children?

While you’re pondering that, we’ll move on to Scenario Two: God creates Adam & Eve and places them in the Garden. They know nothing of the world, and have no experience with evil. God knows that the Devil is prowling around. He doesn’t mention that, but he warns Adam & Eve to avoid a certain fruit. While God is busy elsewhere, the Devil tricks Adam & Eve into eating the Forbidden Fruit. God returns and discovers their disobedience. Okay, same questions. One: Are Adam & Eve to blame for what they have done? And question two: Is any of this God’s fault?

Okay, dear reader. Even though you’re a bunch of evolutionists, let’s see if you’ve got what it takes to sort through the difficult moral issues we’ve presented. In each scenario, who is morally responsible for what happened?

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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14 responses to “The Curmudgeon Presents Two Morality Problems

  1. How dare you sir! How dare you point out the obvious! How dare you point out that when Adam and Eve are evicted, then, then the proprietor sets up a guard around the Garden. Could He not have afforded a guard around the tree? Was that not in His budget? Or whats it another “lock the barn after the horses got free” sort of mistake?

  2. Steve Ruis blames the Curmudgeon. I wasn’t expecting that.

  3. Ruis blames the Curmudgeon. I wasn’t expecting that.
    You weren’t??!! Do you read your own blog, sir?

  4. The mother should have given the children all the candy they could possibly want, thus making it unlikely they would be lured.

    Likewise, God should have given Adam & Eve all the knowledge they could ever want to know, thus obviating the serpent’s lure.

    guess I should have been in charge back then.

  5. The “tree” was not simply the tree of knowledge but the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Apparently God wanted the pair he’d created in His own image to be as ignorant of that distinction as any other animals. What that would imply about God Himself if Genesis were true is terrifying, so we can all be glad it isn’t.

  6. Eric Lipps – I think it’s pretty clear the pervy old bast*rd just wanted to watch them run around in the garden without any clothes on.

  7. Ceteris Paribus

    Quite plainly the fault must be attributed to Gawd. Even a fool can see that what went wrong with both of those scenarios is that the female gender was present when tragedy struck. If Gawd had merely had the common sense to just stop at Adam, or at least populate the earth with only humans of the male gender, we wouldn’t be discussing this right now.

  8. I don’t suppose this is relevant, either, but the scriptural answer is that God clearly intended that the Man and Woman should receive the knowledge of good and evil, and hence gain agency and choice, but it was apparently not the Divine Will that they gain this – or salvation – without exercising their own will. He therefore left them with the primal choice – obey without knowledge and hence remain as the beasts, or else disobey, entail on themselves the burden of sin, which would require a perfect sacrifice to expiate (don’t ask why; that’s a separate subject altogether) but gain the knowledge, and with it, moral compass. God wanted them to have free will; he wanted servants who would become His children and eventually inherit His Kingdom. The only way that they could be fit for companionship with God was to know right and to do it, while claiming the Grace of expiation when they did wrong, as they inevitably must.

    The flaw in the implied analogy SC proposed is that the Man and Woman in the Garden were not assaulted, nor sexually abused. They were expelled from the Garden, and their privileges were withdrawn, but the only way in which they could be said to be physically punished was in the Curse of Eve – “in sorrow (or pain) shalt thou bring forth children”.

    Even that does not include death in childbirth, the fate of so many women, That must be attributed to the introduction of imperfection and dysfunction of our own bodies because the world is sinful; or some such evasion as that.

    For I do hope that no one who bothers to read such a screed as the above attributes these ideas to me.

  9. When you write about inheriting the kingdom, it makes me wonder how much of this is dependent upon an assumption of a model of government and social order: an absolute monarchy.
    It is perhaps unfair of me to bring this up, for I have not pursued this seriously. Just wondering if anyone has.

  10. Hans-Richard Grümm

    In your scenario #2, God did not only know that the Devil was around, he had created him and given him high mendacity and persuasiveness. IOW, he knowingly created a danger for A & E.

  11. When Satan rebelled against God, what were the consequences? Did Satan lose his immortality? Did the rest of creation suffer? How grievous was Satan’s sin compared to Adam’s?

  12. Satan has been on equal footing with god. They are both competing for numbers and the jury is still out on who’s winning

  13. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    They ate the candy. Leviticus/Deuteronomy makes it clear they are to be brought before the village and have their skulls caved in with rocks.

  14. I’d say it’s a poor and reductive analogy for the text they’re actually talking about and pull out my Bible and walk them through the actual story.

    If I’m talking with someone who’s reading it for the first time, I’d excitedly explain about tropes and themes in Bronze and Iron Age mythology and how they apply to the text. And then they’d back away slowly, if history’s anything to go on.

    If I’m talking with a Christian who thinks that this is exactly what happened, really and historically, and that it’s praiseworthy, I’ll poke at their arguments a little, but mostly just back away. You can’t win against a True Believer.

    If it’s someone who’s in the middle there – a Christian who was raised with this story as literal truth and is now realizing how remarkably awful that is, I’ll explain to them rather more carefully and kindly how the story is structured, functions, and is intended to be read as a myth, an example, a prototype, and uses a lot of cultural markers we simply don’t have.

    In any case, if they get up and walk away, I wouldn’t go after them. There’d be no point.