In Genesis 3, we see what is often referred to as “The Fall.” God’s world, which had been very good, is no longer. What causes this shift? Adam and Eve are said to eat of The Tree of The Knowledge of Good and Evil. There are a range of understanding about what exactly this tree and its name mean and many of those understandings are compatible with each other, but I’m going to focus on one particular idea and how it relates to social justice.
In this understanding, eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil does basically what it’s name implies: gives them the knowledge of good and evil. This might sound like a good thing, but I don’t mean simply having a conscience to help you discern ethical decisions, but I don’t think that’s what it’s saying. Rather than discerning for my own life between good and evil choices, I think (along with many others) that it is about gaining the ability to discern the good people vs the evil people.