Ego = free will?

Gen3:7 - Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

The “Ego Explosion” Hypothesis

“The Fall, then, refers to a change which occurred in the psyche of certain human groups around 6,000 years ago. It was the point in history when these peoples developed a strong and sharp sense of ego. The Fall was, and is, the intensification of the human sense of “I” or individuality.”

"From around 4000 BC onwards a new spirit of suffering and turmoil enters human history. It is now - and only now - that a “horrifying sense of sin” becomes manifest in human affairs. At this point, it seems, a completely new type of human being comes into existence, with a completely different way of relating to the world and to other human beings. In Riane Eisler’s words, now comes “the great change - a change so great, indeed, that nothing in all we know of human cultural evolution is comparable in magnitude.”

- Steve Taylor, The Fall: The Insanity of the Ego in Human History and the Dawning of A New Era

I would not equate ego with free will. However, I’ll note that it is difficult to define “free will” and there’s probably a lot of disagreement about what that means.

My original view of the Adam & Eve story, was that it was a kind of “Just So” story intended to explain what makes man different from other animals. And human consciousness would be part of that difference. I’ll note that I never did buy into “The Fall” or original sin.

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There’s two ways to look at this, and this is the primary distinction between my view and the author’s view of “the fall”.

In the author’s view he is tracing the emergence of the modern human ego anthropologically. His view on “the fall” narrative is that religion and the concept of God is a product of this new ego, as well as religious views. And that the fall is a mythology created in those terms inspired by this change in humanity.

In my view, the fall is a real thing. Adam and Eve were created exactly as described, and ‘the fall’ is the birth of human ego. The “I”. Individuality. And that their presence and influence on the human population around them ignited the birth of modern humanity as we are today.

Then I’m closer to the author’s view. Even back when I was a Christian, I took the A&E story to be a kind of fable.

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I used to see it the same way. The problem was others within the story didn’t. The whole thing even draws a direct line of descent from Adam to everyone in the story and keeps re-emphasizing it. It’s hard to dismiss it without dismissing the rest.

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Genesis 3:7 is so childish. Humans had no need for clothing living in the tropics for hundreds of thousand of years. Nakedness was the norm. Once humans reached higher latitudes, warmth from animal skins was needed. I believe Neanderthals were the first to wear clothes. Also skin color changed with latitude. Lighter skin tone is an adaption for more vitamin D absorption at higher latitudes.

The is no historical, scientific evidence for the Fall. The Fall is outside of scientific inquiry and is purely a theological construct like sin.

Yes, functionally, practically, it is as you described. Clothes were not worn to hide one self from others. That’s something that changed somewhere along the way.

Genesis is talking about wearing clothing for a different reason. Self awareness. Ego. A stronger sense of ‘I’.

I intend to show you otherwise.