This is not a new question, but I have been unable to find a good answer for it. I wonder if you can help me find it. You don't have to answer in your own words if you don't want to, but perhaps you can point me in the right direction.
If Adam and Even did not know good and evil before eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, how could God hold them morally responsible for their evil?
Imagine Adam and Eve having no concept of right and wrong. Imagine them not even comprehending the idea that disobeying God was "wrong" but obeying him was "right." Do we hold or pets morally responsible for the "wrongs" they commit, even though they don't have a clue that what they do is considered wrong?
God said to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because they would die if they did so. (Gen 2:17)
The serpent later questions them about what God said would happen if they ate of it, and said that they "will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Gen 3:1-5)
They later eat the fruit and their "eyes were opened." (Gen 3:7) They realized they were naked and they felt shame and hid from God.
After all this, God is recorded as saying, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever." (Gen 3:22)
From the biblical account, it seems clear to me that before they ate, only God knew good and evil. So Adam and Eve did not know good and evil until they disobeyed God and ate. That means they did not know that to disobey God was morally wrong. How could God justify this permanent, world-changing, eternal punishment for a crime that the perpetrators didn't even know they were committing?
This is not a post that is meant to be sarcastic or mocking in any way. This is a genuine challenge I am seriously curious about. Thank you.