21. By saying to Adam that he will draw his nourishment from the Earth by the sweat of his brow, God symbolized the obligation of work; but why does he make work a punishment? What would the intelligence of man be if it were not developed by labor? What would the Earth be if it were not made fruitful, transformed, and rendered healthy by the intelligent work of man?
It is written (in chap. II, v. 5 and 7): “the LORD God had not sent rain on the Earth and there was no man to work the ground, the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground.” This quotation, taken in connection with another, which is: “Replenish the Earth,” proves that man was from the beginning destined to occupy all the Earth, and to cultivate it; moreover, that paradise was not a circumscribed place upon one corner of the globe. If the culture of the Earth was in consequence of Adam’s fall, if Adam had not sinned, the Earth would not have been cultivated, and the views of God would not have been accomplished.
Why did he say to the woman, that, because she had committed this sin, she should bear children in sorrow? How can the pain of child-bearing be a chastisement, since it is a consequence of the organism, and has been physiologically proved to be necessary? How can anything which is according to the laws of nature be a punishment? This is what theologians have not yet explained, and that which they will not be able to do while they look at things from their present point of view. However, theses Bible quotations, which seem so contradictory, can be justified.