Is The Tree of Knowledge actually an allegory of Law and Order?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Yesterday I discussed a little about how people from the early Stone Age emigrated to the lower Mesopotamia and established the Kingdom of Sumeria. Some anthropologist and psychologist said that the movement and process from the state in natura into statehood could actually be explanation of Garden Eden.

Here is what Philosopher and Psychologist Erich Fromm said:

The cornerstone of Fromm's humanistic philosophy is his interpretation of the biblical story of Adam and Eve's exile from the Garden of Eden. Drawing on his knowledge of the Talmud, Fromm pointed out that being able to distinguish between good and evil is generally considered to be a virtue, and that biblical scholars generally consider Adam and Eve to have sinned by disobeying God and eating from the Tree of Knowledge. However, departing from traditional religious orthodoxy, Fromm extolled the virtues of humans taking independent action and using reason to establish moral values rather than adhering to authoritarian moral values.

Beyond a simple condemnation of authoritarian value systems, Fromm used the story of Adam and Eve as an allegorical explanation for human biological evolution and existential angst, asserting that when Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, they became aware of themselves as being separate from nature while still being a part of it. This is why they felt "naked" and "ashamed": They had evolved into human beings, conscious of themselves, their own mortality, and their powerlessness before the forces of nature and society, and no longer united with the universe as they were in their instinctive, pre-human existence as animals. According to Fromm, the awareness of a disunited human existence is the source of all guilt and shame, and the solution to this existential dichotomy is found in the development of one's uniquely human powers of love and reason. However, Fromm so distinguished his concept of love from popular notions of love that his reference to this concept was virtually paradoxical. (Wikipedia)

A few weeks ago, there was a very interesting article from Der Spiegel about the latest scientific findings of a place called "Heaven":

Der Brite David Rohl etwa, Autor des Bestsellers "Legend", untersuchte die Kapitel zwei und drei der Genesis, "die den Garten Eden fast wie ein irdisches Ferienziel behandeln. Himmelsrichtungen werden genannt und umliegende Gebiete." Die Hinweise auf die vier Flüsse, die im Paradies entspringen, darunter Euphrat und Tigris, deuten darauf hin: Das Land Adams und Evas lag im heutigen Nordiran in der Nähe des Urmiasees. "Und er scheint auf einer heißen Spur zu sein", so der Bericht: "Ausgerechnet am Oberlauf von Euphrat und Tigris, wo Adam laut Bibel erstmals Korn drosch, wurde tatsächlich der Ursprung der Landwirtschaft ausgemacht."

Spiegel also told about the myth of the snake, and showed a photograph of the Stone Age time artifacts, with snake in a tree. Snake, Spiegel said, is a part of the Sumerian myth. Tree of Knowledge is probably the symbol of an ability to domesticate and grow plantation as the ancient people enters the New Stone Age.

As has been discussed yesterday, domestication of animals and farming created a system of property. Property has to be protected by the State institution. The process of creating the state is know by philospohers as the Social Contract. In a way, I think we can say that the process where Adam and Eve was outcasted from heaven is actually the process towards an entrance to a new society, a change from the state of nature into statehood.

Now back to MNT. If personal nanofactory is available to everyone, this would make any person to have similar armed forces capability as the State could be left malfunction due to this development. This may send humans back to the state of nature. The next question should be (1) can we avoid the casting back into the state of nature? (2) if yes, what kind of future society that should be pre designed?

What I am afraid is that the first possibility occurs. However, with the infinite resources in Space that needs join exploitation from mankind, I would expect a Re-Contract Social to occur. And the question now is: what would be the form of the new social contract? And the tickling question would be: What kind of myth will the modern-savage society left to its post modern human descendant? Being casted out from Hell?