Does anybody now believe in the story of the serpent? I pity
any man or woman who, in this nineteenth century, believes in that
childish fable. Why did Adam and Eve disobey? Why, they were
tempted. By whom? The devil. Who made the devil? God. What did God
make him for? Why did he not tell Adam and Eve about this serpent?
Why did he not watch the devil, instead of watching Adam and Eve?
Instead of turning them out, why did he not keep him from getting
in? Why did he not have his flood first, and drown the devil,
before he made a man and woman.
And yet, people who call themselves intelligent — professors
in colleges and presidents of venerable institutions — teach
children and young men and women that the Garden of Eden story is
an absolute historical fact. I defy any man to think of a more
childish thing. This God, waiting around Eden — knowing all the
while what would happen — having made them on purpose so that it
would happen, then does what? Holds all of us responsible, and we
were not there. Here is a representative before the constituency
had been born. Before I am bound by a representative I want a
chance to vote for or against him; and if I had been there, and
known all the circumstances, I should have voted “No!” And yet, I
am held responsible.
Robert Green Ingersoll – “Orthodoxy”(1884)