Without Guilt & Justice – The Serpent’s Promise

« Are Autonomy and Happiness Compatible? | Notes and Bibliography »

THE serpent was wiser than man and woman and asked them: “Are you afraid?” They answered: “We have been told what is good and evil, and if we disobey we shall die.” But the serpent said: “You will not die, but your eyes will be opened; you will see that all gods are dead; and you will be as gods, deciding what is good and evil.”
They were afraid and replied: “How can that be? The gods are almighty and know everything. We can never be as gods.” But the serpent said: “Nobody is almighty and knows everything. Your knowledge and your power will always be limited. Still, you can decide about your own life, and you need not accept what you have been told.”

The man and the woman replied: “Those who told us knew what is good, and we do not know. If we do not obey, we shall be guilty. We are afraid.” Then the serpent said: “Fear not to stand alone! Nobody knows what is good. There is no such knowledge. Once upon a time God decided, but now that he is dead it is up to you to decide. It is up to you to leave behind guilt and fear. You can be autonomous.”

They answered: “But what are we to do right now to make a beginning?” The serpent replied: “You still want to be told what to do. Perhaps your children will be ready for autonomy.”

« Are Autonomy and Happiness Compatible? | Notes and Bibliography »

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