Tales of the Divine Comedy

by      Thomas Ragazzi   and Dr. Philip A. Pecorino


Chapter FOUR

The Trial

Somewhere beyond the confines of Time and Space, it happened that the Diety, maker of all that is, was challenged by other deities to explain what has gone on with consciousness, and in particular, with human lives.  When asked to give an account as to why humans are made to suffer and grow old and die, the Diety presented the unpleasant experiences as a consequence of the sins of Adam and Eve.  So it came to pass that the Creator of this Universe had to be viewed in light of the close examination of the claim that Adam and Eve, created as the first humans, were responsible in some way for all that followed thereafter.

                So the other deities subjected the story to closer examination and with their powers resummoned up the lives of Adam and Eve and brought them into an area that might be akin to a courtroom in order to interrogate them to determine whether the penalty visited upon them by the Creator was worthy of a creator who is regarded as being beneficent, even loving. 

                The court building which housed the courtroom in which this trial would take place resembled that of the supreme courts of the nations of Earth.  The outside structure looked as if it were made of solid, white marble, though the materials used were nothing of which have ever been used or seen on Earth.  Four porticos with the same colonnade structure – twelve colonnades of twelve columns each – marked the north, south, east, and west entrances to the building, so that an aerial view, if we can use this term to describe a place that is beyond the material, would render it an equilateral and symmetrical cross. 

In the center of the building was the grand courtroom.  The walls of this courtroom were like white marble and the tables used for the counsel and the bench for the Jurors looked as if they were made from polished wood from the strongest and densest oak.  On the bench were twelve deities who were at present endowed with the authority to try the case at hand.

               To assist in the trial, Adam and Eve were given advocates, like unto attorneys.  And while the Creator of the Universe was subject to direct questioning, Adam and Eve were allowed to seek counsel before answering and have counsel assist them in answering.

                The questioning proceeded starting with Adam.  The counsel called him to the stand and asked him to explain the events leading up to the expulsion from the garden, and he reported basically what is recorded in the Sacred Scripture:

                “Sir,” he said, “Eve gave me the fruit to eat.  It was pleasing to the eye and I desired the knowledge it could give.  I trusted Eve for she came from me and I came from God.  Once I ate the fruit, it was like my eyes opened after many years of sound sleep and I realized I was naked.”

                “So you did not realize you were naked before, until you ate of the fruit,” responded the counsel.

                “That is correct.”

                “What happened after you realized you were naked?”

                “Sir, Eve and I proceeded to stitch fig-leaves together and made loincloths to wear.  We then heard the Lord God walking in the garden during the time of the evening breeze and we hid in the trees.”

                “Why did you hide from God?” the counsel asked.

                “We were afraid because we were naked and we feared we may have displeased our Lord who created us.”

                “And then what happened?”

                “The Lord God questioned us as to our newfound knowledge and the fruit that we ate.  We answered his questions and in anger he cursed us and our progeny to die and suffer many other ills.”

                “Thank you, Adam.  That is all.  You may step down from the stand,” said the counsel, and Adam did so.

The questioning continued with Eve.  The counsel called her to the stand and asked her to describe in her own words what happened.  And Eve reported basically what is recorded in the Sacred Scripture likewise:

“Sir,” she said, “I was startled by the serpent who would speak.  It said to me that Adam and I will not die if we eat the fruit, but our eyes will be like God himself, for we will know both good and evil.  The only speaking beings I had known had been Adam and my Creator.  Having heard no other speaking, thinking beings, I thought it must come from the Creator and must be like the Creator, as Adam and I were gentle beings created by the Creator.  And I listened to what this being said and went and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  I then gave the fruit to Adam to eat.  Thereafter, I realized I was naked.  Then the Lord God came upon us in the manner that Adam described before and cursed us to suffer many ills.”

                In regards to her story, her counsel addressed the Court:

“Your Honors, to say that what Eve did was a sin is to ignore the evidence and the facts of the case.  Eve had not been given the ability to conceive of alternative explanations for events by her Creator.  She had not been encouraged to develop them.  In fact, she had been led by her Creator to trust and have faith.  And so she did so only to find the Creator, who knows all things past, present, and future, coming upon the two of them, Adam and Eve, behaving differently after having consumed the fruit from the tree and appeared to be shocked, asking “what have you done?” when He should have known all along what they were going to do having created them with the knowledge that they were going to do it and not having given them the abilities not to do it.” 

The Creator responded to the counsel’s presentation:

“But no.  I gave them free will.  She could have said no.”

The counsel replied:

“Did you know in advance, before you created Adam and Eve, that she would take the apple, eat the fruit, and give it to Adam?”

“Yes.  I did.”

“Then how do you claim free will since you made her knowing everything she would ever do?  And when it happened, you must have willed her decision and locked it in by creating her only to do what she had to do.  Likewise, my client was correct in thinking the serpent was from you.  All is from you.  And in thinking that had you not wanted the serpent to direct her to do these things, you certainly could have stopped the serpent.  And not having done so, Eve had faith that it was your will.  Nothing proceeds without your knowing it or allowing it to happen.  And yet you turn on her, condemning her and Adam to age, to become ill, to die, and their entire progeny for all time to come must also suffer these ills.  Further, you condemn her and all women to give birth in pain, to bleed every twenty-eight days, and to desire her husband yet be submissive to him until the end of her days.”

The counsel for Adam and Eve declared to those serving as Judges that the acts of the Creator were totally in consistent with what is expected of a creator that is to be divine, loving, good.

And then the Jurors were to render their verdict at this trial as to the responsibility of the Creator for these things that go on with human life, for the awareness of suffering and all other ills human beings are subjected to.  The charge was that the Creator is not all good, not beneficent, not all-loving, not all-just.  Those were the charges against the Creator, and the Jury of Beings rendered its verdict:



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© Copyright Thomas Ragazzi and Philip A. Pecorino 2010. All Rights reserved.