Why is “knowledge of good and evil” a bad thing?

When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, we are told that the fruit provided “knowledge of good and evil.” Why is this bad? After all, when we study ethics or even our catechesis, isn’t that what we work so hard to learn?

 Adam and Eve only realized they were naked after they had eaten of the fruit. They quickly covered their private parts… Does this mean nakedness is evil and they only realized it after having eaten of the fruit?

 The part of the text that made me think of this is Gen. 2:7: “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.”

 Is it bad for our “eyes to be opened?” Is God teaching us that blind loyalty is better than reasoned faith? I believe that this story is a parable, explaining that there is suffering and pain on earth because of God’s decision to give us free will. Just as Jesus taught in parables, so did Moses.

 It is odd, though, that our ancestors’ decision to disobey God is what condemned us to a painful, mortal life. Still, the parable concept works here. We are given free will; we all sin—and the price of free will is suffering on this earth. We are not being punished for what Adam and Eve “did,” but we suffer because God has given us the gift of free will. We cannot have free will without the consequence of free will: suffering.


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