Suppose we take the Biblical account of creation as given. Given Eve chose to disobey God, and given Adam chose comfort of Eve’s body and companionship over eternal life, clearly Adam and Eve were cognitive. Given evidence for cognition arises in context of a choice between obedience and disobedience, however, the sin context does not reveal the extent to which Adam and Eve possessed cognition in context of a sinless world.
In a sinless world within which Adam and Eve would continue to have face to face fellowship with the physical manifestation of God — Jesus Christ, who then as yet was not revealed to mankind as Savior— would Adam and Eve possess capacity for exercising choices? Could Adam and Eve choose differently from God?
Is there any evidence that in absence of sin, in presence of a sinless world, Adam, Eve, and their descendants — you and I — would maintain cognition, have capacity for choices?
One of the reasons people eschew a sinless world is the foreboding that a sinless world would be gray, boring, monotonous — a world lacking in fun, humor, laughter. This perhaps was the hidden reason Eve was attracted to the forbidden fruit — desire for more of fun in context of coexistence with her husband, Adam.
Granted, some sects of Christianity have painted sinlessness to be a rather boring combination of activities — prayer, study, listening to others preach, and attempts at looking as sad as possibly could be without ever seeming to be depressed. Such portrayals are, however, not consistent with the principle that Christians always are expected to be in a state of rejoicing, equivalently in a state of thanksgiving (1Thessalonians 5:18, Philippians 4:4).
Is it ever possible to be truly thankful in our hearts towards God or others, this while at the same time having on of a sad countenance?
In Genesis Chapter Two, subsequent to creation of Adam on the sixth day of creation week, and prior to creation of Eve, God demonstrated that Adam possessed cognition, possessed capacity for choice in context of a yet sinless world.
The context is as follows. Subsequent to creation of Adam and the animals, God made all of the animals pass in front of Adam, directed Adam name the animals and from within their populations, choose a helpmate for himself.
What then happened? Adam declined God’s offer. Can you imagine this effrontery — man rejecting an offer from His Creator? Adam gently, firmly told God that what he had on offer for companionship was not nearly good enough.
Call Adam whatever you will for allowing Eve create all of the mess or evil with which we live today. One thing stands true, Adam had the guts to look God in the eye and say, ‘No, God, this is not good enough for me.’
Adam had the boldness, the courage, the effrontery to tell God, ‘No, this is not good enough for me.’
If you were God, you perhaps would throw a ball of fire at Adam, hope somehow to miss. What then did God do? Well, God put Adam to sleep, opened up his body, took out a rib along with the flesh on it, sewed Adam back up, made Eve. All of this without asking Adam for description of what exactly it was Adam wanted as helpmate. Eve already was fully made, alive ever before God woke Adam out of his sleep.
Given God did not inquire of Adam what exactly it was he wanted, clearly all the while He was showing Adam the animals, He already knew what it was exactly Adam desired in his heart.
But if God already knew, what then the initial charade of directing of Adam to picking of a helpmate from within the population of animals?
In the parade of the animals, Adam’s capacity for saying No, and God’s acquiescence to and production of what exactly it was Adam needed, this without Adam’s participation, we arrive at the only rational conclusion, which is, God was demonstrating that Adam possessed cognition. God was demonstrating that Adam would not accept what God was offering — companionship from within the population of animals — just because God offered it. Adam knew what he wanted, and would be bold enough to tell God whatever He had on offer was not nearly good enough.
Why is it we are unable to conclude Adam was being disobedient, equivalently insolent to God? Well, Adam said yes to responsibility, namely, naming of the animals. Since the choice of companion was his by God given right, God merely was offering a menu of choices, a menu from which God omitted what already He knew man really desired. In the accession to naming of the animals, and simultaneous rejection of God’s menu for companionship, this while not knowing that God already knew what he needed (Matthew 6:8), Adam demonstrated highly sophisticated cognition. Adam reasoned God could expand His menu, create something more in line with his desire.
In context of a sinless world, God demonstrated that Adam possessed highly sophisticated cognition, possessed capacity for saying Yes, and capacity for saying No in context of the exact same activity. Adam said yes to naming of all the animals, said no to choosing of one of those animals as helpmate. Adam reasoned God could expand His menu.
In the test of Adam in context of a sinless world, we arrive at the conclusion that man would have possessed cognition, would have had capacity for choice in context of a sinless world. Since Adam would have had cognition in context of a sinless world, so would Eve.
In a sinless world, Eve would love to choose between a green dress, or a blue dress. Would love to choose between turquoise or lilac colored gemstone earrings. Would love to choose between ‘white silver’ and ‘dashing gold’ bracelets. Might love to wear her hair dark, or streaked with red.
In a sinless world, Adam could choose to play scrabble or tennis with friends. When feeling romantic, he could choose between Sade’s ‘Nothing Can Come Between Us’ or Billy Ocean’s ‘Color of Love’, or Luther Vandross’ ‘Think About You’.
If Adam wanted to go down memory lane, he could come up with Michael Jackson’s ‘Do You Remember the Time?’, or Billy Ocean’s ‘Love is Forever’, or Sade’s ‘By Your Side’.
If Adam and Eve needed a song for reflecting on the love of God, they could choose between, ‘Jesus I Love You’ by Phil Driscoll, ‘You’re a Good Good Father’ by Chris Tomlin, or ‘Draw Me Close to You’ by Michael W. Smith. If Adam and Eve wanted to dance, they could do a slow waltz to either of, ‘The Walk’ or ‘The Quiet’ by Phil Driscoll.
In a sinless world, all of those beautiful songs of redemption Christians love to sing such as, ‘Nothing But the Blood’ by Phil Driscoll, or ‘O Come to the Altar’ by Elevation Worship, or ‘Reckless Love’ by Cory Asbury (I would rather title this one, ‘Proper Love’, but I get the drift), or ‘Through it All’ by Andre Crouch & The Disciples, never would have been composed. The songs would sound strange, exactly the reason unfallen angels attempt to understand the joys of the plan of salvation (1Peter 1:12).
But, would a sinless world ever have become as sophisticated as this imperfect sin tainted world with which we find ourselves stuck?
Well, if good tainted by evil could produce as much good as we have in this sin tainted world, rationality demands good not tainted by evil would have produced even more good, more beauty, more excellence.
Sure, we may not have airplanes in a sin tainted world. But who needs airplanes in a world within which you can create a wormhole for almost instantaneous travel between America and China? Or better still enjoy the view by creating wings to fly you there, wings you jettison when their work is done.
Whether or not you believe man is created by the Father of Jesus Christ, one thing is sure, which is, men and women both possess sophisticated cognition. Over time, however, and commencing with Eve, evil in the world decidedly has tainted this sophisticated cognition.
When a man steals from his neighbor, yet is angered by stealing of what he stole, he demonstrates deterioration of cognition. When a woman cheats on her husband, then seeks out arguments and strife at home, this so she can feel good about her actions, yet expects to be loved perfectly at home, this is evidence of deterioration to cognition.
If you give in to evil, you contribute to degradation of overall state of cognition in affairs of earth. If you give in to what is good, you contribute to enhancement of overall state of cognition. The state of cognition on earth then is not independent of your choices, your actions.
What will the future have to say about your contributions to maintenance of cognition in affairs of earth?