Bacon's Criticism Of Adam And Eve

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Even among christians, it is largely contested whether the supposed first man and woman, Adam and Eve, truly existed, or if their story was merely an allegory meant to explain the christian doctrine of the fall of man and original sin. However regardless of one’s belief, their story is essential to the christian faith and it is believed by many that every human being, even Jesus himself, is a descendant of Adam and Eve. Their story demonstrating man’s fallibility was even used to prove claims in 17th century writings, including those of Francis Bacon and Bathsua Makin. Bacon wrote his book Of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning, Divine and Human in 1605. In the preface of this book, Bacon outlines his views on the importance of learning…show more content…
She states that “women ought to be learned, that they may stop their ears against seducers…Heresiarchs creep into houses, and lead silly women captive, they they lead their husbands, both their children; as the devil did with Eve, she her husband, their posterity” (Making, 427-428). Her point is that women have to be educated so that they can’t be tricked into sinning, as Eve was with the snake. However, ironically, it was Eve’s thirst for knowledge that caused her to sin in the first place. The tree she wasn’t supposed to eat from would give her the knowledge of good from evil, making her therefore more educated. Also, it’s clear she did know she wasn’t supposed to eat from the tree but still chose to act otherwise. Therefore though she had knowledge of the right decision, she still chose to act against it. Therefore, the argument that women’s knowledge will lead to less sin can be disproved by Eve’s…show more content…
Makin claims that “had God intended woman only as a finer sort of cattle, he would not have made them reasonable. Brutes…might have better fitter some men’s lust, pride, and pleasure; especially those that desire to keep them ignorant to be tyrannized over” (Makin, 426). Though it isn’t as apparent as other references, this quote directly ties into the creation of Eve. In Genesis, Eve was created because even with animals, Adam still felt that he didn’t have a “suitable helper” (Genesis 2:20). Makin is saying the same thing here, that if man had been happy with animals, then God would never have needed to create Eve. However, this is not the case, so as Makin argues, women should be treated by men as “bone of [their] bones and flesh of [their] flesh” (Genesis 2:23). By claiming that the very thing men are arguing against, women being educated, goes directly against God’s purpose for women, to be true companions to men, it turns the argument around on the men. They must then content with their own beliefs on women’s role in their lives in light of
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