Thursday, April 1, 2010

The fruit of knowledge

This tiny piece from Raymond Smullyan’s This Book Needs No Title (p. 119) is completely off topic but I found it philosophically amusing. So here it is, in toto:

“The reason Adam ate of the fruit of knowledge was that he didn’t know any better. Had he had just a little more knowledge, he would have known enough not to do such a damn fool thing!

“Can we return to the Garden of Eden? Well, if we returned completely, if we entered again into the complete state of innocence, we would no longer have the knowledge to prevent us from eating the apple again. And so again we would fall out of grace. It seems, therefore, that to regard the Garden of Eden, the state of innocence, as the perfect state is simply a mistake. It has the obvious imperfection of being internally unstable and self-annihilating.

“Too bad there weren’t two trees of knowledge in the Garden of Eden, a big tree and a little tree. The only knowledge to be imparted by the little tree should be, ‘It is a mistake to eat of the big tree.’”

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