Eve and the Serpent: A Rational Choice to Err

In dealing with inexplicable disaster, like the untimely death of a child in a hospital, we increasingly turn to the justice system for accountability and retribution. While seemingly sensible, criminalizing human error has a range of negative consequences. But it does offer "good" narrati...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Journal of religion and health
Main Author: Dekker, Sidney W. A.
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Springer Science + Business Media B. V. [2007]
[publisher not identified]
In: Journal of religion and health
Year: 2007, Volume: 46, Issue: 4, Pages: 571-579
Further subjects:B Human error
B Serpent
B Eve
B Sin
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
Description
Summary:In dealing with inexplicable disaster, like the untimely death of a child in a hospital, we increasingly turn to the justice system for accountability and retribution. While seemingly sensible, criminalizing human error has a range of negative consequences. But it does offer "good" narratives of failure as the result of human fault—even at the cost of guilt. Such narratives allow us to pinpoint a cause: people made a rational choice to err and should be punished. This allows us to imagine ourselves in control over random, meaningless events. This paper traces Judeo-Christian roots of such regulative ideals in Western moral thinking, by examining the Genesis account of Eve and the Serpent, and St. Augustine's interpretation of it.
ISSN:1573-6571
Contains:Enthalten in: Journal of religion and health
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1007/s10943-007-9118-1