While studying a Milton class at my University, we read the book “Paradise Lost” and studied its meaning to excruciating detail. Now, I’m not going to go over the information we deciphered from the text, but I do want to talk about the most prominent argument throughout the semester between the students in the class. The argument of “Ignorance is Bliss” vs. “Knowledge is Power.” The argument consisted of everyone’s opinions on if ignorance was more important (or more preferable) or if knowledge was. Of course, most everyone picked knowledge, which really shouldn’t be all that surprising since it’s a classroom of students who pay a lot of money to gain knowledge. However; that wasn’t the tough subject, I would be surprised if not more than half of the world chose knowledge over ignorance; however, what about before the fall of Adam and Eve? What would have been more important to us then?
Before the fall of Adam and Eve, or prelapsarian, ignorance was actually considered bliss. God forbid Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge, which if we think about now in our postlapsarian situation, we would all ask…but why? Why would God forbid us to gain knowledge when knowledge is power? It’s easy to find passages about how important knowledge is to Christians. However; this is all AFTER the fall. Before the fall, God was protecting us from the knowledge that is now required to choose from good and evil. The knowledge we now require to have includes pain, suffering, and evil when before we were shielded from the hurt and bad and kept safe in the Garden.
A lot of people would argue that this is controlling of God, that we should have free will and access to knowledge, but again this is an argument coming from a postlapsarian point of view. It’s difficult to wrap our head around the idea of being shielded from all things bad as a good thing! It’s also hard for people to understand that the importance of having knowledge is a consequence we live with when Adam and Eve chose to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. God did give Adam and Eve the free will to eat from the Tree of Knowledge if they chose to, but forewarned them of the consequences if that were to be their choice. He had all the power in the world to make it so they couldn’t eat from the tree, he had the power to not even put the tree in the garden!
As postlapsarian people, we must understand that yes, knowledge is power. However; God’s initial intention in a prelapsarian era was for us to be protected against evil, pain, hurt, suffering, etc. Which is, in my opinion, the most important piece of knowledge one can have. While we learn right from wrong, good from evil, remember we had a choice to be protected from it and chose otherwise. However; God is good, and he will forever redeem us from hurt and pain if we just choose to believe in him. Teach others about this, bring a realization to those around you that knowledge is power. However, once we gain knowledge we need to remember that we now have the power to choose right from wrong. To choose God above all else. If we can spread this knowledge to those around us and remind them of God’s intent of ignorance vs. knowledge, we can spread understanding and create a surrounding knowledge of Christ in everyone.
Signup to get our amazing updates before it goes viral