Last time, we noted that the problem with the atheists claims of suffering is that it begs the question. Christianity assumes mankind is basically evil and deserving of punishment, atheists assume that this is false. Unless they independently establish the innocence of mankind, or at least the moral neutrality, this of course would be difficult to prove to anyone with even a cursory knowledge of world history.
But, many atheists will instead argue that the punishment doesn’t fit the crime – after all, per Genesis God cursed the world and brought about death over a piece of fruit (nevermind the question of someone arguing God doesn’t exist because they question his sense of justice).
But the problem is that the world was not cursed over a piece of fruit – the account of Genesis 3 is not about a magical tree that imparts knowledge of Good and Evil, it was ultimately an act of rebellion and treason by man against his Maker.
God made man with a freewill, but freewill is only theoretical if man has no real choices or if his choices had no consequences. The tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was a test. Man, without a sin nature, in the perfect environment, was given a choice between staying in the garden, and living forever, or to rebel and forfeit those rights. Nor were the consequences of that choice hidden from man. Adam, sadly rebelled, knowing the consequences of his sin, but doing it anyway.
Treason and rebellion are serious crimes (recent American history not withstanding), and yet the truth of Christianity adds something most kings don’t allow rebels – a chance at forgiveness.