God in this story (see previous post) really doesn’t come out in a very good light. Because one woman and one man disobey him, every man and woman for ever more is to be made to suffer.
It’s true, as a matter of simple observation, that the actions of one person may reverberate for generations. One abusive parent may set in motion a chain of distress that is passed on through the family long after he has died. But what would we think of a parent who insisted on meting out punishment to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren for an act of disobedience which happened before they were born?
Even snakes are punished forever, the story tells us, for the actions of that one remarkly articulate snake at the beginning of time. This would be particularly unfair if that snake wasn’t really a snake at all, but the devil in disguise.