Letters of the Earth by Samuel Clemens narrates about Satan’s visit to earth after banishment from heaven for one heavenly day. One heavenly day is equals one thousand earth years.
He is punished by God for talking sarcastically about his creations in the universe. Having being deported to space, he decided to visit the earth to determine the progress of God’s experiment. He wrote private letters from earth to his fellow archangels, St. Gabriel and St.
Michael to informing them the development of God’s creation.
In his first letter, Satan found the man as a curious being who believed he was a masterpiece crafted by God. Satan found this to be sarcastic since he viewed man as a low graded angel yet God viewed him as his masterpiece. Clemens elaborates how Satan criticizes the way human beings pray crudely to God. He believes God does not enjoy the praises and worship by men nor does he answer their prayers.
Clemens believes humans are taught by “salaried teacher” about hell and everlasting fires which will be used to punish sinners. In his second letter, Clemens critics’ man’s ideology of heaven as a place filled with activities that he hates while on earth. According to man, heaven has people singing, playing musical instruments and praying yet only a handful of men on earth can sing, play instruments or pray. In heaven, people from all nations and races live peacefully with each other, yet these people dislike, oppress and hate each other while on earth. Clemens sees it ironical for men to enjoy a variety of life while on earth, yet they all aspire for life in heaven which is full of monotony. Ironically, man forgot to include sexual intercourse as an activity in heaven, an act people enjoy while on earth. According to Clemens, man will risk everything he values on earth only by the thought of sexual intercourse yet he does not believe it will be in heaven.
In the third letter, Clemens criticizes the current Bible as lacking the originality of the earlier Bibles. He believes the earlier Bible contained imposing events unlike the current one which contains only hell and heaven. According to Clemens, Adam and Eve never understood what God meant when he told them not to eat the forbidden fruit.
He believed it would have been fair for God to show Adam and Eve of what would have happened if they ate the fruit. The forbidden fruit contained knowledge on how to identify ethical and evil ways to engage in evil acts. Clemens believed God has different a moral code for himself and another for the people.
He punished Adam and Eve for eating the forbidden fruit yet the snake which was responsible for their actions escaped unpunished. He believes that God should have given them another chance since the Bible requires people to forgive each other. According to the Bible, humans lost everything they had after eating the forbidden fruit. In the fourth letter, Clemens believes humans walked away with the “Supreme Art” which is valued higher than what they had before.
Currently, this art is no longer forbidden since God allowed sexual intercourse as a way of filling the earth. Clemens believes the animals learned the “Supreme Art” after watching Adam and Eve. He believes that they avoided the knowledge of morality without eating the forbidden fruit. According to Clemens, God would have made his reputation had he followed the teachings of the Bible as required by men. He believed God was responsible for the behavior of the human beings since he created them.
Instead of saving Noah and other few people, he should have saved or killed all of them without showing any favoritism. Clemens believes Adam ate the forbidden fruit and learned the “Supreme Art” of multiplying the world’s population.
In the first letter, I found Clemen’s view of man as a low grade angel to be unconvincing. According to the Bible, God created humans in his own image thus he views us as his masterpiece. God also answers prayers as it is written in the Bible, “…Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matthew 21:22). Clemens is also wrong with his believes that salaried teachers teach people about heaven and hell. The bible clearly states the existence of heaven and hell where sinners are punished by eternal fire.
The salaried teachers teach only what is written in the Bible. In his second letter, I found his views on the way people treat each other as convincing. I believe that humans cannot fight their neighbors while on earth and yet when they pretend to be friends while in heaven. His arguments on people singing, playing instruments, praying and monotony in heaven are unconvincing since no one is sure if people will do these activities while in heaven. I believe the activities in heaven will not be monotonous to human beings. In the third letter, Clemens argues that the current Bible lacks originality.
I find this unconvincing since over the years, the Bible has been translated to different languages, but the contents have remained the same over the years. Clemens argument that Adam and Eve lacked the knowledge of morality is unconvincing. The Bible clearly states that even though they were sinless, they could choose what was right or wrong. Contrary to Clemen’s belief, the snake is punished to crawl on its belly for its role in the Garden of Eden.
In the fourth letter, Clemens argues that humans lost everything except the “Supreme Art”. I find this as unconvincing since God only punished Adam and Eve but they did not lose any other thing. I find Clemens argument that the animals watched Adam and Eve having sexual intercourse as convincing. The Bible is silent on how the animals came to learn the “Supreme Art”; thus there is a possibility that Clemens argument is true.