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Original sin and inherited guilt

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Æsahættr, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. Æsahættr

    Æsahættr Active Member

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    I know that this argument isn't completly new, but I was thinking about it the other day, trying to push it in slightly different directions, and I wondered if any Christians who believe in orignial sin had any reposte to it.

    Basically, it's an attack on the concept of orginal sin, and the fact that the whole of humanity at all times in history has effectively been punished for the sins of Adam and Eve. Normally the argument then goes along the lines of arguing that most people would assume that someone can only be held responsible for their own acts, but I thought of a slightly different way to go from here.
    Of course, another Christian belief is that our consciousness is really an undying soul. That means presumably that the soul is responsible for all decision making. (if the physical brain was responsible then the idea of justice after death would make no sense.)
    However, the nature of original sin is in a sense one of collective guilt, humanity itelf fell. But the soul is responsible for decision making, so in order for their to be collective blame, then there must be some sense of collective soul as well. The idea of the collective soul I am sure would not go down well with people who think of the soul as the thing that is "really you."
    The idea that the soul makes decision, and therefore takes responsibility, and is capable of losing innocence, the idea that a soul is a completly individual thing, and the idea that no-one is born purely innocent are not ideas that are completly compatible.


    Oh, and just as an end note, are there actually any other answers to the question of evil in the world other than the original sin one? I get slightly confused exactly as to which denominations think what about original sin, but my understanding is the all protestant denominations think that Jesus attoned for original sin. In that case, why are we still punished for it?
     
  2. ΩRôghênΩ

    ΩRôghênΩ Disciple of Light

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    i dont believe in original sin and i am a christian
     
  3. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    I dont' believe in original sin either, I've always found it to be an odd idea.
     
  4. Scarlett Wampus

    Scarlett Wampus psychonaut

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    I think the idea of original sin, and similar ideas from other religions, speak to people's feelings of there being something wrong with the world, as if there was something vital that was lost or went awry. For example, a couple of Taoists who have had a strong influence on me believe very strongly that we have become divorced from some deep instinctual understanding of nature, and that the modern world we live in is a warped nightmare of how things should have been.

    Something along those lines is a very common theme amongst different religions. Why? I'm not sure, but those same Taoists believe its to do with how we treat children by passing on our 'illness' to them.
     
  5. Adstar

    Adstar Active Member

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    What we acquired through Adam and eve was the knowledge pf Good and evil. Once we have that knowledge then we use both good and evil in our lives as tools. So everyone who passes the age innocence uses good and evil in their lives. So therefore everyone who passes the age of innocence needs to be forgiven for their evil ways.

    I do not believe in the doctrine of original sin as it is taught in tradition. We are not held responsible for what Adam and eve did. But we are cursed by their rebellion because we all end up doing evil.


    All Praise The Ancient Of Days
     
  6. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Let the dialogue begin.:)
    What exactly do you think original sin is? Be very clear and in a short sweet sentence please.
     
  7. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Well-Known Member

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    Greetings!

    To put it most simply, there simply is NO SUCH THING as inherited sin..

    Mere man-made doctrine unsupported by scripture....

    Here are the details:

    Ezekiel 18:14-17
    But if this man begets a son, who sees all the sins which his father has done, and does not do likewise, ... he shall not die for his father's iniquity; he shall surely live.
    Thus the son will not be judged or die for the sins of his father, and sin is not inherited.

    Ezekiel 18:19-20
    Why? should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father? When the son has done what is lawful and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

    Romans 2:5-6
    The righteous judgment of God Who will render to every man according to his deeds.

    Revelation 20:13
    All were judged by what they had done.

    That is, at the last judgement, all men, whether they lived before Christ or after, would not be judged in context of original sin but by their deeds. As otherwise, those men who lived before Christ would have no hope of salvation under the doctrine of original sin.

    "Many people have argued for a doctrine of 'original sin,' i.e., sin that is 'born into' persons as human beings. There is no passage in the Bible that directly teaches such a doctrine. Paul relatedthe sinful condition of the human race to the original transgression of Adam, insisting at the same time, however, that the result of sin (death) 'spread to all people' not simply because of Adam's
    sin but 'because all people sinned.' (Romans 5:12)"
    (Harper's Bible Dictionary, p. 955)

    I Corinthians 15:22
    For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

    And the Baha'i scriptures say this:

    Adam is the cause of man's physical life; but the Reality of Christ - that is to say, the Word of God - is the cause of spiritual life.
    (Some Answered Questions, pages 119-120)

    But the mass of the Christians believe that, as Adam ate of the forbidden tree, He sinned in that He disobeyed, and that the disastrous consequences of this disobedience have been transmitted as a heritage and have remained among His descendants. Hence Adam became the cause of the death of humanity. This explanation is unreasonable and evidently wrong, for it means that all men, even the
    Prophets and the Messengers of God, ... have become without reason guilty sinners.
    (Some Answered Questions, page 120)

    The above is the basis for the Baha'i rejection of original sin.

    Regards,

    Bruce
     
  8. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    • Like Like x 1
  9. Squirt

    Squirt Well-Known Member

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    To me, original sin is a doctrine that teaches that, due to Adam's transgression, each of us is born into a sinful state. This would mean that, if we were to die prior to having that sin absolved, we would be held responsible for it. Since I do not personally believe in this doctrine, I may be mistaken in my understanding of it. If that is the case, I apologize. I do believe, that Adam's transgression brought sin into the world and that, as his descendents, we are born with an inherited propensity to be sinful. But, since I don't believe it is possible for a person to sin without being able to distinguish between good and evil, I don't feel that we can sin until we have reached a certainly level of spiritual maturity. Consequently, I don't believe that a baby or a small child who dies will be held responsible for either Adam's transgression or for his own misdeeds.
     
  10. Quiddity

    Quiddity UndertheInfluenceofGiants

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    Apology accepted. Scott put it best,

    Original Sin is:
    Human nature deprived of its original holiness.

    As a result of
    original
    sin, human nature is weakened in its powers, subject to ignorance, suffering and the domination of death, and inclined to sin (this inclination is called "concupiscence").

    That doesn't mean you are being blamed or it is not to be confused with personal sin.

    Still object?
     
  11. Jerrell

    Jerrell Active Member

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    Original Sin is a Catholic Doctrine, That if babies die and they are not baptized they go to Limbo forever seperated from God never able to obtain heaven...I dont beleive this though, the Bible never states this.

    Though it matters how u look at it. Adam has passed his curse on to every human being, do we account for our sin when we have no knowledge of what sin is, or do we account for it when we have knowledge of it.....That is what i Beleive, When you know you are doing wrong and still do it, that is accountable.
     
  12. Squirt

    Squirt Well-Known Member

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    Actually, that doesn't strike me as terribly different from my own belief.
     
  13. James the Persian

    James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin

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    Nor is modern RC belief any different from Orthodox belief (though we use the term Ancestral Sin rather than Original Sin). We speak of it using different language. In other words, whilst we mean the same as they do, we do not refer to people being born with Original Sin (which terminology is confusing to me as it does imply inherited guilt) but rather being born with the mortal nature that is a consequence of the Ancestral Sin. Inherited guilt is absolutely incompatible with Orthodoxy. In the past it is certainly the case that at least part of the RCC taught that everyone is born guilty, hence the idea (not doctrine) of Limbo and (though modern RCs would dispute this, I see no other explanation) the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Thankfully, they no longer teach this, though I have met some RC laiety who still hold to it. The idea of Original Sin as inherited guilt, however, was never so well developed in the RCC as it was in certain Protestant groups such as the Calvinists, so it strikes me as distinctly unfair to tar Roman Catholicism with that brush.

    James
     
  14. BruceDLimber

    BruceDLimber Well-Known Member

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    Good for him! I agree with what he said.

    I stand by my what I posted!: there is no such thing as inherited sin, as the Bible states and I demonstrated.

    You will forgive me, I trust, if I rely on what the Bible asserts rather than your opinion....

    Peace,

    Bruce
     
  15. Æsahættr

    Æsahættr Active Member

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    Apologies everyone, I created this thread and then have been unable to come online for a couple of days. I'll try and catch up with all the replies there have been.


    I think that the idea of original sin is the idea that mankind is inherently sinful, because we fell into sinfulness a long time ago (whether literally from Adam and Eve story or metaphorically).
     
  16. Æsahættr

    Æsahættr Active Member

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    My response to this would be, how is this consistant with a just god? That would surely suggest that when God threw Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden (again, literally or metaphorically as you please), that he was not only punishing them, but punishing every human who would ever live. If He is omnipotent, then he must have been able to punish Adam and Eve in a way that would not affect their descendants. Yet He obviously chose not to do that, so He chose to punish people for something that they are not responsible for, which is an unjust thing to do.
     
  17. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    From:-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustine_of_Hippo

    Augustine remains a central figure, both within Christianity and in the history of Western thought. In both his philosophical and theological reasoning, he was greatly influenced by Stoicism, Platonism and Neoplatonism, particularly by the work of Plotinus, author of the Enneads, probably through the mediation of Porphyry and Victorinus (as Pierre Hadot has argued). His generally favorable outlook upon Neoplatonic thought contributed to the "baptism" of Greek thought and its entrance into the Christian and subsequently the European intellectual tradition. His early and influential writing on the human will, a central topic in ethics, would become a focus for later philosophers such as Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.
    It is largely due to Augustine's arguments against the Pelagians, who did not believe in original sin, that Western Christianity has maintained the doctrine of original sin. However, Eastern Orthodox theologians, while they believe all humans were damaged by the original sin of Adam and Eve, have key disputes with Augustine about this doctrine, and as such this is viewed as a key source of division between East and West.
    Augustine's writings helped formulate the theory of the just war. He also advocated the use of force against the Donatists, asking "Why ... should not the Church use force in compelling her lost sons to return, if the lost sons compelled others to their destruction?" (The Correction of the Donatists, 22–24)
    St. Thomas Aquinas took much from Augustine's theology while creating his own unique synthesis of Greek and Christian thought after the widespread rediscovery of the work of Aristotle.
    <-------------------------------------------snip------------------------------------------------>
    Pelagianism is the belief that original sin did not taint human nature (which, being created from God, was divine), and that mortal will is still capable of choosing good or evil without Divine aid. Thus, Adam's sin was "to set a bad example" for his progeny, but his actions did not have the other consequences imputed to Original Sin. Pelagianism views the role of Jesus as "setting a good example" for the rest of humanity (thus counteracting Adam's bad example). In short, humanity has full control, and thus full responsibility, for its own salvation in addition to full responsibility for every sin (the latter insisted upon by both proponents and opponents of Pelagianism).
    Pelagianism was opposed by Augustine of Hippo, leading to its condemnation as a heresy at several local synods. These condemnations were summarily ratified at the Council of Ephesus, although it was not considered a major act of that council.
    Pelagianism never vanished completely from Christian history; it survived in variations like Semi-Pelagianism, which was born during the 19th century evangelical American revival movement and by its defenders, with the theology espoused by Charles Finney.


    Pelagianism is the belief that original sin did not taint human nature (which, being created from God, was divine), and that mortal will is still capable of choosing good or evil without Divine aid. Thus, Adam's sin was "to set a bad example" for his progeny, but his actions did not have the other consequences imputed to Original Sin. Pelagianism views the role of Jesus as "setting a good example" for the rest of humanity (thus counteracting Adam's bad example). In short, humanity has full control, and thus full responsibility, for its own salvation in addition to full responsibility for every sin (the latter insisted upon by both proponents and opponents of Pelagianism).

    Little or nothing is known about the life of the monk Pelagius. Augustine says that he lived in Rome "for a very long time," and that he was originally from Britain. (St. Jerome suggests he was Scottish or perhaps from Ireland.) He was certainly well known in the Roman province, both for the harsh asceticism of his public life, as well as the power and persuasiveness of his speech. Until his more radical ideas saw daylight, even such pillars of the Church as Augustine referred to him as “saintly.”
     
  18. Æsahættr

    Æsahættr Active Member

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    hmm, just thought, I ought to try not to have one post per response to someone.

    Again, a similar response here to the last one I gave. If God is just then no-one will suffer without just cause. If someone has not sinned then there is no reason for them to suffer. Yet people suffer on Earth long before they reach an age of maturity. In fact, it's not as if this injustice is distributed evenly. Some children will live very happy childhoods while others are starving. If they are not capable of sinning, why would God put them through that misery?


    Hmm, I'd say there's another question of justice here. Before I try and construct too much of an argument on this, perhaps you could tell me, do you think that inclination to sin in any way affects the punishment for that sin? Does our inclination to sin get taken into account when we are judged?
     
  19. The Panentheist

    The Panentheist New Member

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    Do I think that Humanity is morally IMperfect? Yes. Do I think Humanity can make very bad decisions? Yes. Do I think Humanity grows away from God, in spirit, as they grow older? Yes.

    Do I think Humanity is inherantly evil and corrupt? No.

    I think Humans are born good and pure, but as they grow up, learn about the world, experience things, and react to needs, they can sometimes do very bad things. But Humans always feel a need to do good. They feel good when they do good things. They want to know some form of God, even if logic tells them otherwise. These things negate original sin.

    Humans are good. Not perfect, but good, and they have an amazing potential to do good things.
     
  20. fromthe heart

    fromthe heart Well-Known Member

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    quote=BruceDLimber Greetings!

    To put it most simply, there simply is NO SUCH THING as inherited sin.. I have to disagree with this statement.

    Mere man-made doctrine unsupported by scripture....Again I disagree...there IS scripture to say otherwise...Romans has a verse in it that says "For ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God"...for this statement to have been made as well as MANY others that refer to the original sin affecting the generations....

    Here are the details:

    Ezekiel 18:14-17
    But if this man begets a son, who sees all the sins which his father has done, and does not do likewise, ... he shall not die for his father's iniquity; he shall surely live.
    Thus the son will not be judged or die for the sins of his father, and sin is not inherited. This is correct...except for the part of inherited sin...we will not have to answer for anyones sins but our own...our fathers will answer for themselves

    Ezekiel 18:19-20
    Why? should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father? When the son has done what is lawful and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself. Again this replys as to someone elses sin besides our own

    Romans 2:5-6
    The righteous judgment of God Who will render to every man according to his deeds.
    This is very correct...the sins of all have to be taken care of...those who do not receive salvation will answer to God...Christians will not have to answer to God but to Jesus who's death we accepted as sacrifice for our sins...once saved by the blood of Christ when we sin God does not see this sin because Jesus died for ALL the sins we committed proir to salvation and being God as well He knew what sins we will commit after our salvation...ALL of our lifelong sin is covered by His saving grace...when a Christian sins it's like taking Christ and resacrificing Him all over again...this comes with great penalty for Christians. For those who stand before God without Christ's sacrifice for them covering their sins will receive eternal punishment BY GOD...He will say "Depart from Me I never knew you"...off then you will go to the place of eternal damnation...Hell.


    Revelation 20:13
    All were judged by what they had done. Also true...but it's more than just as stated You have to read and understand the Word of God to get the knowledge of whom it is refering to and in what sense.

    That is, at the last judgement, all men, whether they lived before Christ or after, would not be judged in context of original sin but by their deeds. As otherwise, those men who lived before Christ would have no hope of salvation under the doctrine of original sin. There were MANY pefore the death of Christ for our sins that will be saved due to their believing that a Savior was to come to save the human race...those prior have made their own sacrifices within the law of that time that God reccognized as saving for them....all fell under the law then and not under the saving grace of Christ...NOW we have the saving garce and are in no way able to do ANY kind of works that will save us of our inherited sin except the saving blood of Christ on the cross.

    "Many people have argued for a doctrine of 'original sin,' i.e., sin that is 'born into' persons as human beings. There is no passage in the Bible that directly teaches such a doctrine. Paul relatedthe sinful condition of the human race to the original transgression of Adam, insisting at the same time, however, that the result of sin (death) 'spread to all people' not simply because of Adam's
    sin but 'because all people sinned.' (Romans 5:12)"
    (Harper's Bible Dictionary, p. 955)

    I Corinthians 15:22
    For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. This is self explainatory if you continue to read the rest of the text included with this statement...If you drop down to verse 43 you will read 'sown in dishonor and raised in power'...we are born into sin for not one of us are immaculently conceived as was Christ...through the power of Christ will we be raised only into a spiritual body...but only those who have accepted Christ's saving sacrifice.

    And the Baha'i scriptures say this: To these I can not speak from.

    Adam is the cause of man's physical life; but the Reality of Christ - that is to say, the Word of God - is the cause of spiritual life.
    (Some Answered Questions, pages 119-120)

    But the mass of the Christians believe that, as Adam ate of the forbidden tree, He sinned in that He disobeyed, and that the disastrous consequences of this disobedience have been transmitted as a heritage and have remained among His descendants. Hence Adam became the cause of the death of humanity. I do believe this is true! This explanation is unreasonable and evidently wrong, for it means that all men, even the
    Prophets and the Messengers of God, ... have become without reason guilty sinners. YES...all were born to sin...we have that inherited sinful nature that we must strive to overcome...but no matter how hard you try you will sin...this is being human!!! Only by the saving grace of Christ will any be saved from death...and in death I mean to die spiritually...we all will die physically as in our body...but once that death occurs that's where it get's really sticky for some who have believed mistakenly in the wrong god/goddess/person/belief...at this point it(the Bible) plainly says that no one cometh unto the Father but by the Me...(meaning the SON)..I don't recall the exact scriptures that state it since there are several...but no one will go to heaven except for those who believe in Christ and have accepted His blood in atonment of their sins NOW...Present day and days to come...before Christ was another matter(not meaning Christ wasn't always with God).
    (Some Answered Questions, page 120)


    I do apoligize for not understanding the Baha'i but perhaps along the way I can come to understand just what all you do believe...currently though being a Christian and knowing there are many misconceptions about Christians
    The above is the basis for the Baha'i rejection of original sin.

    Regards,....FTH;)

    Bruce
     
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