Did the Garden of Eden contain good and evil?


#1

How else could Eve have been tempted by the devil?


#2

[quote="Robert_Sock, post:1, topic:319993"]
How else could Eve have been tempted by the devil?

[/quote]

Wasn't Jesus tempted by the devil? Further, as you know, Judaism does not believe Satan, the tempter and accuser, is in opposition to G-d but instead working for G-d to test the free will of mankind. So one does not have to have evil within themselves or in their environment to be tempted by Satan.


#3

[quote="Robert_Sock, post:1, topic:319993"]
How else could Eve have been tempted by the devil?

[/quote]

Evil is anything which is not Good. Good is anything that is part of God's will/plan. So evil is that which is not God's will.

God created man with a free will and angels with a free choice, to choose God or not. The devil, formerly an angel (the highest angel), chose to reject God's will, thus becoming evil. Evil is not as a substance, evil is a choice. So the Garden of Eden did not contain evil, per say, but evil crept into the Garden to tempt Adam and Eve.


#4

[quote="Robert_Sock, post:1, topic:319993"]
How else could Eve have been tempted by the devil?

[/quote]

The rebellion of the angels happened before the creation of man. All the angels were good to begin with, and were given a test determine if they were to enter into the fullness of the Beaitific Vision. One third of the angels rebelled and followed Lucifer, who was named Satan.

God allowed Satan to tempt Eve, and then she talked Adam into rebelling as well. And so they fell from the full state of grace that they were in.


#5

[quote="Robert_Sock, post:1, topic:319993"]
How else could Eve have been tempted by the devil?

[/quote]

Read Thomas Aquinas. You will learn that evil is a non-essence, accidental to good, inasmuch as it is an imperfect good.

A created thing tends toward the divine likeness through its operation. Now, through its operation, one thing becomes the cause of another. Therefore, in this way, also, do things tend toward the divine likeness, in that they are the causes of other things. ...] it is as a result of the goodness of God that He confers being on all things ...] So, things generally desire to become like God in this respect, by being the causes of other things. ...] by the fact that it is the cause of another, a thing is ordered toward the good, for only the good is directly caused in itself; evil is merely caused accidentally ...] Therefore, to be the cause of other things is good. Now, a thing tends toward the divine likeness according to each good to which it inclines, since any created thing is good through participation in divine goodness."

Evil is not an essence, but a privation, a negation in a substance, and occurs in things apart from the intention of the agents - that is, evil is different from the good which every agent intends. What this means is that the intention of the agents was to do something good - in fact, something in accordance to their good nature, as shown: to try to be like God. Evil was a result apart from intention.

The only way for this to be possible, then is that "a defect in an effect and in an action results from some defect in the principles of the action". Even further: evil cannot exist by itself, since it has no essence, and thus every evil is based on some good. We say that every evil is in a good thing, because, evil being a privation, the privation which is evil is present in a good thing, and is called evil due to the fact that it causes injury to the good.

Since reason is able to apprehend many goods and a multiplicity of ends, and since for each thing there is a proper end, there will be, then, for the will an end and a first motivating object which is not merely any good, but some determinate good.

Hence, when the will inclines to act as moved by the apprehension of reason, presenting a proper good to it, the result is a fitting action.

But when the will breaks forth into action, at the apprehension of sense cognition, or of reason itself presenting some other good at variance with its proper good, the result in the action of the will is a moral fault.

Hence, a defect of ordering to reason and to a proper end precedes a fault of action in the will:

  • in regard to reason, in the case of the will inclining, on the occasion of a sudden sense apprehension, toward a good that is on the level of sensory pleasure;

  • and in regard to a proper end, in the case when reason encounters in its deliberation some good which is not, at this time or under these conditions, really good, and yet the will inclines toward it, as if it were a proper good.


#6

[quote="meltzerboy, post:2, topic:319993"]
Wasn't Jesus tempted by the devil? Further, as you know, Judaism does not believe Satan, the tempter and accuser, is in opposition to G-d but instead working for G-d to test the free will of mankind. So one does not have to have evil within themselves or in their environment to be tempted by Satan.

[/quote]

Are you serious? I never knew that was a Jewish belief.


#7

[quote="dailey, post:6, topic:319993"]
Are you serious? I never knew that was a Jewish belief.

[/quote]

Yes, according to Judaism, Lucifer is essentially an employee of G-d, not an evil foe, and he serves several functions, one of which is that of the tempter who tests our free will, while hoping we do not succumb. Lucifer does the "dirty work" involving temptation as well as accusation in the Holy Court, prompting us to defend the morality of our lives. He also acts as the Angel of Death. The angels are assigned various roles by G-d; they do not have free will and thus would never dare to disobey G-d. Only humans, neither the angels nor the beasts, have free will and disobey G-d; however, that is what makes us uniquely beloved by G-d.


#8

[quote="meltzerboy, post:7, topic:319993"]
Yes, according to Judaism, Lucifer is essentially an employee of G-d, not an evil foe, and he serves several functions, one of which is that of the tempter who tests our free will, while hoping we do not succumb. Lucifer does the "dirty work" involving temptation as well as accusation in the Holy Court, prompting us to defend the morality of our lives. He also acts as the Angel of Death. The angels are assigned various roles by G-d; they do not have free will and thus would never dare to disobey G-d. Only humans, neither the angels nor the beasts, have free will and disobey G-d; however, that is what makes us uniquely beloved by G-d.

[/quote]

Judaism makes a lot of sense to me. Especial the Tanya. and other beliefs contained in Chabad.


#9

Maybe the bottom-line message regarding the serpents’ presence in the garden is that the temptation to oppose God’s will is always unavoidably present in sentient beings who possess free will. Temptation isn’t evil in itself; only the disobedience that it may lead to is evil.


#10

Per the Church… Angels have free will and knowledge.


#11

[quote="teeboy, post:10, topic:319993"]
Per the Church... Angels have free will and knowledge.

[/quote]

You are correct!


#12

[quote="bzkoss236, post:3, topic:319993"]
Evil is anything which is not Good. Good is anything that is part of God's will/plan. So evil is that which is not God's will.

God created man with a free will and angels with a free choice, to choose God or not. The devil, formerly an angel (the highest angel), chose to reject God's will, thus becoming evil. Evil is not as a substance, evil is a choice. So the Garden of Eden did not contain evil, per say, but evil crept into the Garden to tempt Adam and Eve.

[/quote]

Our right given to us by God is a choice between two alternative courses of action.

Choose to act based on your own will or choose to act out God's will.

The first commandment relates to this.


#13

Carrying the Cross is doing God's will. Those who do it encounter a new found joy.


#14

[quote="bzkoss236, post:3, topic:319993"]
So evil is that which is not God's will.

[/quote]

(King James Version)
John:1:3

All things were made through Him, and nothing that was made was made without Him.

Colossians:1:16

For by him were all things created ...

It looks like there isn't such thing that wasn't God's creation, so, if everything is God's creation then everything should also be God's will, including the evil.


#15

quote="believerabcd, post:14, topic:319993"
John:1:3

Colossians:1:16

It looks like there isn't such thing that wasn't God's creation, so, if everything is God's creation then everything should also be God's will, including the evil.

[/quote]

Evil is the absence of good. God gave free will to the angels, and to us. When we choose what is not of God, it is evil.


#16

Just because Eve could be tempted, it doesn't follow that there was evil in the Garden.

Of course, Satan was present, and as a rather wicked fellow, I guess you could put the evil down to him.

However, temptation is not of itself evil, and neither is inordinate temptation, which is at best problematic because it can lead you to commit evil acts. One can always resist temptation, like Christ did.

Now, why did Eve succumb, that's really the nub of the question? Did she do so out of evil intent, that is, out of a deliberate wicked desire. I don't think so. It was probably a combination of selfishness, distrust in God and ignorance. I'd say the same with Adam.

The real problem with what happened in the Garden isn't really - or at least, merely - that they sinned but that they refused to repent and instead hid away in their shame. Imagine what could have happened in history if they had just said, "We admit what we did, Lord, and are sorry. Please forgive us."


#17

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