Without Hell there is no Heaven
By Agnosticator ~
The Bible is considered to be the Good Book, and the Gospel Truth. We swear an oath in court with one hand on a Bible, and have as our motto, "In God We Trust". God is agreed to be the God of the Bible, particularly the New Testament. Many Americans also believe the Bible is to be taken literally, even though a story of human sacrifice linked with another story about the first human couple seems mythological rather than historical.
Christianity is founded upon these two stories from the Old Testament and the New, forming a religion unlike any other. Though human sacrifice to appease the Gods was a common basis for most ancient religions, the story of Adam and Eve adds a new twist:
Genesis Chapter 2:
"And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
"You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
22 And the Lord God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil..."
In Romans 5:12, the doctrine of "sin" is introduced:
12 "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— "
Yet, "sin" is not mentioned until Cain's wrongdoing in Genesis 4:7! Before eating the fruit, the first couple were naive and obedient just as children before they begin to mature. They were incapable of moral responsibility. So, their "sin" has nothing to do with morals or personal responsibility. It was invented in order to ground the human-god sacrifice of Jesus, because without sin, there can be no salvation.
The sacrifice of Jesus restores us to what we were before the Fall. God desires us to be sexless, naive, immature, dependent, obedient children. We will be "sinless" and incapable of moral responsibility. Heaven is the New Eden where human nature is sacrificed to appease God.
By viewing human nature as sinful and ungodly, the way is made for the punishment hell provides. However, the story of the Fall wasn't about that. The couple didn't die when they ate the fruit, but became morally conscious and aware of their moral responsibilities. They had to learn to make moral decisions on their own. God told them a half truth because He couldn't tolerate human maturity.
If we see Genesis as myth, it makes perfect sense. The story is an allegory about our dependence upon our parents, and the difficulties we must face to become mature adults. Rather than being the solution to life's challenges, the Plan of Salvation exacerbates them. God's intention to save the world becomes an utter failure when we consider that 99% of all life that ever existed is condemned and will be destroyed.
The foundation of a mature morality begins with empathy, compassion, and justice. It will also include the goal of coexistence. Salvation begins with a cynical view of human nature and divides humanity. We are either saved or unsaved, bound for hell or heaven. Without sin, there can be no hell. Without hell, there can be no heaven. Neither can there be anything to be saved from. Finally, without Salvation, there is no need for a Savior.
A literal interpretation of the Fall and Jesus' Sacrifice is like a house built on sand:
Matthew 7:27: "The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."