“Early in her Eveship, Toby had asked if it was really necessary to split such theological hairs, and Adam One had said that it was. “The truth is,” he’d said, “most people don’t care about other Species, not when times get hard. All they care about is their next meal, naturally enough: we have to eat or die. But what if it’s God doing the caring? We’ve evolved to believe in gods, so this belief bias of ours must confer an evolutionary advantage. The strictly materialist view — that we’re an experiment animal protein has been doing on itself — is far too harsh and lonely for most, and leads to nihilism. That being the case, we need to push popular sentiment in a biosphere-friendly direction by pointing out the hazards of annoying God by a violation of His trust in our stewardship.”
“What you mean is, with God in the story there’s a penalty,” said Toby.
“Yes,” said Adam One. “There’s a penalty without God in the story too, needless to say. But people are less likely to credit that. If there’s a penalty, they want a penalizer. They dislike senseless catastrophe.”
What would the topic be today? Toby wondered. Which fruit Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge? It couldn’t have been an apple, considering the state of horticulture at that time. A date? A bergamot? The Council had long been deliberating over that one. Toby had thought of proposing a strawberry, but then, strawberries didn’t grow on trees.”
Excerpt From: Atwood, Margaret. “The Year of the Flood.” Anchor Books, 2009-09-22. iBooks.
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