Sally makes the following argument: Suppose theres a father, and the father takes his toddler son and toddler daughter – lets say theyre around 5 years old – and brings them to the dinner table. The father pulls out an open cup of hydrofluoric acid (a very dangerous acid) and puts it on the table. The father tells his son and daughter: This is hydrofluoric acid. Dont play with it. If you do, you both will get hurt, injured, burned, disfigured, and most likely even die. I will leave it here on the table. Do not touch it, do not go near it, do not even look at it. The son and daughter look at their father and they say Yes father. Then, the father leaves the house and goes to the store to buy something. When the father comes back, he finds that his son and and daughter had played with the cup of acid and caused serious injury to each other and their eventual and inevitable death. Who would we blame? We would surely blame the father. The father made the acid accessible to the children, and, being children, they are innocent and do not understand the notion of death, danger, etc. So, we blame the father.

But now consider the traditional story of Adam and Eve: God creates Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve do not know death, and they are innocent and good. In the middle of the Garden of Eden is the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. God, shows the tree to Adam and Eve, and tells them they are not allowed to eat from that Tree. Later, Adam and Eve defy God and eat from that tree. Surely, in this case, if we are to be consistent, we should blame God, not Adam and Eve. Like the father in the previous case, God made the Tree accessible to Adam and Eve, and, like the son and daughter in the previous case, Adam and Eve are innocent and naive, not knowing death, sin, etc. So, if the Adam and Eve story is true, then Adam and Eve are not to blame, but God is. If you think the snake makes a difference, it actually makes it worse! Suppose an evil neighbor came and told the kids that their father is lying, and are told to drink the acid and the kids do. We blame the neighbor! But in the Adam and Eve story, God blames Adam and Eve in addition to the snake! So, if the Adam and Eve story is true, then original sin is Gods fault, or at least not entirely Adam and Eves  fault!

What do you think about Sallys argument? Is it good? Do you agree? Disagree? Explain your position and your reasons.

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