The Original Sin

s_lone
#1
Can someone explain me the notion of Original Sin? I simply don't understand it.

This question is primarily focused on the Christian notion of original sin. But any type of opinion and contribution is welcome, be it from a atheist, Christian or any other point of view.

Please stick to the subject though...
Last edited by s_lone; Nov 25th, 2008 at 02:13 PM..
 
Spade
#2
Original sin is simply a recognition of the dual nature of man - a capacity for good, and a capacity for evil. This dual nature has been with us since the dawning of our self awareness.

This spake Zarathustra!
 
karrie
#3
To boil it down to the simplest form I've been taught, original sin is essentially just that of having been born of flawed flesh, with earthly weaknesses. 'Freeing' yourself from that 'original sin', is a mental act of acknowledging that you are more than just your earthbound body.

It takes on a lot of complicated symbolism through acceptance of Christ, through baptism, and the stories of the garden of Eden, but, at its core, that is what I've learned of it.
 
tracy
#4
Original sin teaches that we are born flawed, not born innocent. When I look at my babies at work I don't know how anyone could believe that.
 
SirJosephPorter
#5
Original sin is something religious Patriarchs dreamed up to have power over the masses. The doctrine of original sin is truly horrible, we are all judged guilty even before the birth, without a trial.

The only way to escape the punishment is of course, to follow the religion laid down by the Patriarchs.

There is no place for original sin in Atheism or Darwinism. According to Darwinism (and most Atheists would agree with this) we are born with two instincts hard wired into us, the instinct of self survival and the instinct of survival of the species (which at times can be stronger than the instinct of self survival). All of our actions can be explained with reference to these instincts.

Original sin is simply recognition of the dual nature of man - a capacity for good, and a capacity for evil.

Spade, you may call that original sin if you wish, but isnít that also explained by the two instincts hard wired into us?
 
karrie
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by tracyView Post

Original sin teaches that we are born flawed, not born innocent. When I look at my babies at work I don't know how anyone could believe that.

When discussing it with someone who teaches in the church, the view was that we are all born with the seed of original sin, and that we grow with it, and it with us. Born innocent, but, with the potential to sin as we grow. Which makes sense if you mentally graph out the severity of sins committed by years of age. Damn sin seeds. lol.
 
s_lone
#7
So if I understand it right, the newborn baby is already a sinner for the simple reason that it is a human being?
 
karrie
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by s_loneView Post

So if I understand it right, the newborn baby is already a sinner for the simple reason that it is a human being?

no. the baby is just a baby. born of the earth. but with human weaknesses and susceptibilities to temptation.

it's all just metaphorical to basic human development. As we grow we're tempted to do things wrong (lie, cheat, covet). I don't know a single baby who wasn't born that way aside from maybe some Down's Syndrome children.
 
tracy
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

When discussing it with someone who teaches in the church, the view was that we are all born with the seed of original sin, and that we grow with it, and it with us. Born innocent, but, with the potential to sin as we grow. Which makes sense if you mentally graph out the severity of sins committed by years of age. Damn sin seeds. lol.

That's one church's stance. The notion of baptism and unbaptised babies being in limbo if they die clearly implies they are born WITH sin, not simply with the seeds to be able to sin later. It's been an issue at work at times. We've actually baptised babies ourselves when the parents requested and no priest was available because they fear the baby won't go to heaven unless it's done.
 
s_lone
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by tracyView Post

That's one church's stance. The notion of baptism and unbaptised babies being in limbo if they die clearly implies they are born WITH sin, not simply with the seeds to be able to sin later. It's been an issue at work at times. We've actually baptised babies ourselves when the parents requested and no priest was available because they fear the baby won't go to heaven unless it's done.

That's a very good point. Surely a baby must be guilty of something if it is not admitted to heaven for the simple reason that it isn't baptized?

According to Christian dogma (let's say Catholic because it's more strict and official), does a baby who die before baptism go to Heaven? (I sure hope so...)
 
karrie
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by tracyView Post

That's one church's stance. The notion of baptism and unbaptised babies being in limbo if they die clearly implies they are born WITH sin, not simply with the seeds to be able to sin later. It's been an issue at work at times. We've actually baptised babies ourselves when the parents requested and no priest was available because they fear the baby won't go to heaven unless it's done.

I'd probably ask to have it done too tracy, even knowing what I know and feeling the way I do. Not out of fear, but because it's part of our ritual. Ritual is such a funny thing.

But, also keep in mind that when you say 'that's one church's view', it's not even that of one church. It's a snapshot in the time of the church, and even within the Catholic church, there are parishes that would be disgusted that it is taught as a metaphor and not literal truth of adam and eve having cursed us all in a garden once upon a time.
 
karrie
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by s_loneView Post

According to Christian dogma (let's say Catholic because it's more strict and official), does a baby who die before baptism go to Heaven? (I sure hope so...)

yes. according to every teacher priest and nun I've discussed it with, yes... there's nothing getting in the way of a baby's entrance to heaven.
 
tracy
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by s_loneView Post

That's a very good point. Surely a baby must be guilty of something if it is not admitted to heaven for the simple reason that it isn't baptized?

According to Christian dogma (let's say Catholic because it's more strict and official), does a baby who die before baptism go to Heaven? (I sure hope so...)

Some Catholics believe baptism is necessary for salvation and since babies are born with sin, those that are not cleansed through baptism will not go to heaven.

Some priests teach simply that it is impossible to know for sure and we must simply trust that God will do what is right (since Jesus wants all children to come to him, we hope that he would show compassion and give them salvation as well). It's certainly the more palatable answer.
 
tracy
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

I'd probably ask to have it done too tracy, even knowing what I know and feeling the way I do. Not out of fear, but because it's part of our ritual. Ritual is such a funny thing.

But, also keep in mind that when you say 'that's one church's view', it's not even that of one church. It's a snapshot in the time of the church, and even within the Catholic church, there are parishes that would be disgusted that it is taught as a metaphor and not literal truth of adam and eve having cursed us all in a garden once upon a time.

Most of our families deal with a very traditional Catholic view of things. We're talking about people who don't use birth control, don't believe in abortion under any circumstances, etc. Most Catholics are not so literal I know, but the RCC's softening of many views seems more about keeping their membership than anything to me. I'm glad they do it, but it's hard to argue they are keeping true to their original doctrine.
 
tracy
#15
from catholicismabout.com
"The Necessity of Baptism:
Christ Himself ordered His disciples to preach the Gospel to all nations and to baptize those who accept the message of the Gospel. In His encounter with Nicodemus (John 3:1-21), Christ made it clear that baptism was necessary for salvation: "Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." For Catholics, the sacrament is not a mere formality; it is the very mark of a Christian, because it brings us into new life in Christ."

Note that Christ doesn't give any exceptions to the rule, though the RC church recognizes the baptism of desire and blood as well (neither of which babies can qualify for).

"Infant Baptism:
In the Catholic Church today, baptism is most commonly administered to infants. While some other Christians strenuously object to infant baptism, believing that baptism requires assent on the part of the person being baptized, the Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans, and other mainline Protestants also practice infant baptism, and there is evidence that it was practiced from the earliest days of the Church.
Since baptism removes both the guilt and the punishment due to Original Sin, delaying baptism until a child can understand the sacrament may put the child's salvation in danger, should he die unbaptized."

"The Effects of the Sacrament:
Baptism has six primary effects, which are all supernatural graces:
  1. The removal of the guilt of both Original Sin (the sin imparted to all mankind by the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden) and personal sin (the sins that we have committed ourselves).
  2. The remission of all punishment that we owe because of sin, both temporal (in this world and in Purgatory) and eternal (the punishment that we would suffer in hell).
  3. The infusion of grace in the form of sanctifying grace (the life of God within us); the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit; and the three theological virtues (external - login to view).
  4. Becoming a part of Christ.
  5. Becoming a part of the Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ on earth.
  6. Enabling participation in the sacraments, the priesthood of all believers, and the growth in grace"

If not for original sin, we would not baptise infants. We would wait until they were old enough to understand what it means to join the church. But, because we don't want them to die in a state of sin (original sin is a state, not an act), we baptise them.
 
s_lone
#16
Thank you for this information Tracy. I personally find it despicable that one would believe an infant would not be accepted to Heaven for reasons absolutely beyond its control. What do you think?
 
karrie
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by tracyView Post

If not for original sin, we would not baptise infants. We would wait until they were old enough to understand what it means to join the church. But, because we don't want them to die in a state of sin (original sin is a state, not an act), we baptise them.

And from everything I've been told, the infant baptism is to ensure that a child is done, clean, slate wiped, incase they die in those grey years between being a baby, and being old enough to consent to baptism. It's not about the state they are in at birth. One view.
 
karrie
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by s_loneView Post

Thank you for this information Tracy. I personally find it despicable that one would believe an infant would not be accepted to Heaven for reasons absolutely beyond its control. What do you think?

Personally s_lone, I think any parish or religion or group, that spends it time focusing on 'wrongs' needs a smack upside the head. Spending your time dwelling on sin and death and hell.... BLECH. When there is so much more in the world to look at, to rejoice over, to worship.
 
tracy
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by s_loneView Post

Thank you for this information Tracy. I personally find it despicable that one would believe an infant would not be accepted to Heaven for reasons absolutely beyond its control. What do you think?

I should be clear, the church does not teach infants unbaptised WON'T be accepted to heaven. It simply states it does not know and must trust that God is merciful and will do what is right (which could be accepting these infants to heaven or putting them somewhere else, not necessarily hell). Jesus always showed tenderness to children so the church teaches there is hope those infants will attain salvation. They just can't say they WILL because there is no teaching in the Bible or church doctrine that says so.
 
karrie
#20
BTW s_lone. I'm Catholic, and my children were baptized at 9 months with my first, and not until 5 years old with my second. Nobody batted an eyelash, no priest wrung his hands over the fate of my children's souls. But, Catholicism in Canada seems a tad more relaxed than in the US.
 
tracy
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

And from everything I've been told, the infant baptism is to ensure that a child is done, clean, slate wiped, incase they die in those grey years between being a baby, and being old enough to consent to baptism. It's not about the state they are in at birth. One view.

What does an infant need to be cleaned of if not original sin? You yourself say "slate wiped", "cleaned". That implies they are born with something wrong or at the very least they could sin enough to lose the ability to enter heaven before they were old enough to consent to baptism. Otherwise, why would we be spiritually "cleaning" an infant? If the church set an age at which children were capable of sinning and baptised at that age, then I could see them arguing they don't think babies are born into sin. But, infant baptism is clearly in place to cleanse them of an impure state. It doesn't say babies commit sin or are personally guilty of sinning. It does say they are born in a state of sin, a separation from God, inherrited from Adam that is washed away through baptism.

One of my favorite people on our unit is Sister Mary. She's an older Irish nun, and an absolutely AMAZING human being. Even she will admit that a lot of the things Catholics believe, do and teach are not consistent with church doctrine or the bible. They need to comfort their flock after all and mercy and compassion are just as important to some of them as following church doctrine to the letter.
 
tracy
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

Catholicism in Canada seems a tad more relaxed than in the US.

And the rest of the world! The same could be said for the Anglicans, eh? I'm glad for it. I think it reflects the true message of Christ more genuinely than those who will only follow the letter of the church's laws but miss the spirit in which they were intended. The letter of the law comes straight from the Vatican, the spirit of the church is in the feelings and actions of its members.
 
karrie
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by tracyView Post

What does an infant need to be cleaned of if not original sin? You yourself say "slate wiped", "cleaned". That implies they are born with something wrong or at the very least they could sin enough to lose the ability to enter heaven before they were old enough to consent to baptism. Otherwise, why would we be spiritually "cleaning" an infant? If the church set an age at which children were capable of sinning and baptised at that age, then I could see them arguing they don't think babies are born into sin. But, infant baptism is clearly in place to cleanse them of an impure state. It doesn't say babies commit sin or are personally guilty of sinning. It does say they are born in a state of sin, a separation from God, inherrited from Adam that is washed away through baptism.

Part of the problem we run into Tracy is old ritual melding with new thinking. And there just doesn't seem to be a vocabulary to explain all the changes. While the baptism is still often performed as a baby, and we hold that it is still essentially for the same reasons (thus my use of the terms), we don't hold to the old view that it's 'needed' on a baby, or that a baby is born sinful (let alone a child). But, it's the way it used to be done, so why worry about changing it?
 
Nuggler
#24
Oh, **** me!!! More sinnin and stuff!!

More bullsh i t from the great church(es) to keep the peasants in line.

Whatever floats yer boat.

If I don't like it I don't gotta read it eh?? Right, Nugg, don't read it if you don't like it, eh.

ok
 
tracy
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

Part of the problem we run into Tracy is old ritual melding with new thinking. And there just doesn't seem to be a vocabulary to explain all the changes. While the baptism is still often performed as a baby, and we hold that it is still essentially for the same reasons (thus my use of the terms), we don't hold to the old view that it's 'needed' on a baby, or that a baby is born sinful (let alone a child). But, it's the way it used to be done, so why worry about changing it?

Churches teaching that aren't towing the Vatican line, can we agree on that?

I think people worry about it because until the Vatican comes out and changes it, I will still have parents concerned their dead babies will not go to heaven. It's sort of a big deal to them. Their traditional view is still that the pope is infallible and anything coming out of the Vatican is LAW, end of story. I think we are very lucky to have someone like Sister Mary who has modernized with the times, just as your church obviously has. The Vatican is much less modern. They still teach that we are born into original sin and no one can know what fate awaits unbaptised babies in the afterlife because of it. They can only hope God will welcome them. It's not exactly a comforting message for parents of dead babies. I've personally lied to a family and told them we completed the baptism before the baby's death when I really can't be certain because I didn't want them to wonder about whether their baby made it to heaven or not. Hopefully that kind of thing won't be necessary if the Vatican ever comes out clearly on the issue.
 
karrie
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by tracyView Post

Churches teaching that aren't towing the Vatican line, can we agree on that?

.... if the Vatican ever comes out clearly on the issue.

Sure, we can agree on that Tracy. That's part of the tricky bit about being a Catholic. The vatican doesn't necessarily always 100% of the time speak for all of its parishes let alone all of its members, despite what they like to think and bluster on about. It's been the history of the church that the Vatican has had to learn to bend with the times. Unfortunately, they're thick like bricks about most things and don't bend too easily. Don't count on fast change. But I still love it oddly enough, and wouldn't leave it for any other flawed human construct. I'll just spend my time trying to bend bricks I guess. lol.
 
tracy
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

But I still love it oddly enough, and wouldn't leave it for any other flawed human construct. I'll just spend my time trying to bend bricks I guess. lol.

I truly wish you all the best of luck with that Hopefully the Vatican will one day realise it needs to adapt with the times or will die off, just like anything else in the world.
 
petros
#28
The "original sin" eh? How can god be all seeing and all knowing if he couldn't handle watching just two people? Logic would say that he is almost all seeing and almost all knowing but where does logic fit into religion? Logic it's self was the original sin since the sin was knowledge.

FASINATING huh?
 
scratch
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by tracyView Post

Original sin teaches that we are born flawed, not born innocent. When I look at my babies at work I don't know how anyone could believe that.

I am with you on that tracy.

It's pure tripe.

rgs
 
TenPenny
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by tracyView Post

Original sin teaches that we are born flawed, not born innocent. When I look at my babies at work I don't know how anyone could believe that.

In the words of Sarah McLaughlin: 'We are born Innocent...'

As my mother said, after the christening of my older brothers: "conceived in sin? What the ****? My children weren't conceived in sin, and this church can go to hell'
 

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