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  #1  
Old Apr 23, '10, 9:07 pm
dnu dnu is offline
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Default Inherited Guilt from Original Sin before Augustine

Where can I find information about the Churches teaching of humanity inheriting the guilt of Adams sin before Augustines "City of God?"

This is probably one of the things that I disagree most with regarding Catholic Theology. I also know that if Augustine was wrong, and his inherited guilt idea isn't true, then a large portion of Catholic Theology falls apart (the Immaculate Conception, for instance).

I've been investigating the Eastern Orthodox Churches for some time (even while I was going through RCIA to enter the Catholic Church this past Easter), and frankly, the Eastern version of things just seems to make more since. They teach something a little closer to the idea that we inherited the propensity to sin, but Adams guilt was Adams guilt.

I posted a similar post like this several weeks ago that was much more vague. I don't remember where I posted on here though. So if anyone recognizes the content of this question or my name, I'm not trying to bait anyone, I'm just hoping to get another round of opinions. I asked something like "what if I Don't believe it?" and got "it's Dogma, if you're in RCIA you should talk to your priest" if I remember correctly.
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  #2  
Old Apr 24, '10, 1:50 am
tonyrey tonyrey is offline
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Default Re: Inherited Guilt from Original Sin before Augustine

Quote:
Originally Posted by dnu View Post
Where can I find information about the Church's teaching of humanity inheriting the guilt of Adam's sin before Augustines "City of God?
The Church does not teach that we inherit the guilt of Adam's sin:
"Although it is proper to each individual original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants." CCC - 405


Quote:
This is probably one of the things that I disagree most with regarding Catholic Theology. I also know that if Augustine was wrong, and his inherited guilt idea isn't true, then a large portion of Catholic Theology falls apart (the Immaculate Conception, for instance).
Not inherited guilt but inherited moral weakness.
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  #3  
Old Apr 25, '10, 6:14 am
Ahimsa Ahimsa is offline
 
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Default Re: Inherited Guilt from Original Sin before Augustine

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyrey View Post
The Church does not teach that we inherit the guilt of Adam's sin:
"Although it is proper to each individual original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants." CCC - 405
That's called "guilt by association".
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  #4  
Old Apr 25, '10, 6:27 am
mardukm mardukm is offline
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Default Re: Inherited Guilt from Original Sin before Augustine

Dear dnu,

Quote:
Originally Posted by dnu View Post
Where can I find information about the Churches teaching of humanity inheriting the guilt of Adams sin before Augustines "City of God?"

This is probably one of the things that I disagree most with regarding Catholic Theology. I also know that if Augustine was wrong, and his inherited guilt idea isn't true, then a large portion of Catholic Theology falls apart (the Immaculate Conception, for instance).

I've been investigating the Eastern Orthodox Churches for some time (even while I was going through RCIA to enter the Catholic Church this past Easter), and frankly, the Eastern version of things just seems to make more since. They teach something a little closer to the idea that we inherited the propensity to sin, but Adams guilt was Adams guilt.

I posted a similar post like this several weeks ago that was much more vague. I don't remember where I posted on here though. So if anyone recognizes the content of this question or my name, I'm not trying to bait anyone, I'm just hoping to get another round of opinions. I asked something like "what if I Don't believe it?" and got "it's Dogma, if you're in RCIA you should talk to your priest" if I remember correctly.
It sounds like you've been reading a lot about Catholic teaching from the Eastern Orthodox. Personally, I don't know how that would get you informed about the Catholic Church. I hope I am mistaken in my perception.

In any case, I hope this will help: http://forums.catholic.com/showpost....0&postcount=49

Blessings,
Marduk
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  #5  
Old Apr 25, '10, 8:29 am
tonyrey tonyrey is offline
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Default Re: Inherited Guilt from Original Sin before Augustine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahimsa View Post
That's called "guilt by association".
I'm afraid not. It's not guilt at all but misfortune. It's not our fault that our ancestors sinned but we are all members of one family and inevitably affected what others have done. Not only our moral environment but own nature is to some extent inherited from previous generations. We don't start with a tabula rasa...
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  #6  
Old Apr 25, '10, 8:32 am
Ahimsa Ahimsa is offline
 
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Default Re: Inherited Guilt from Original Sin before Augustine

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyrey View Post
I'm afraid not. It's not guilt at all but misfortune. It's not our fault that our ancestors sinned but we are all members of one family and inevitably affected what others have done. Not only our moral environment but own nature is to some extent inherited from previous generations. We don't start with a tabula rasa...
That's exactly what 'guilt by association' is. You didn't actually commit the sin, but you are associated with those who did, and therefore you suffer from effects of that 'original' sin. From the OED:
Quote:
Another form of legal usage comprehends the idea of guilt by association or guilt attaching to an individual through his relation or connection with a group of persons who are charged with a violation of a legally established line of conduct.
The 'original sin' that we today suffer from is not actually 'sin' we committed. Likewise, 'guilt by association' is not actually 'guilt' due to your own actions.
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  #7  
Old Apr 25, '10, 9:32 pm
dnu dnu is offline
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Default Re: Inherited Guilt from Original Sin before Augustine

A poster above gave a citation from the CCC paragraph 405.

What about paragraph 403 (CAPS are the parts that are creating my concern)

"...their inclination toward evila and death cannot be understood apart from the connection with Adams sin and the FACT that is has TRANSMITTED TO US a sin with which we are all BORN AFFLICTED..."

or paragraph 404:

"It (Original Sin) is a sin which will be transmitted by propogation (sex/sperm? Do we have damned sperm?) to all mankind..."

or, also in 404

"...by this "unity of the human race" all men are IMPLICATED in Adams sin..."

Paragraph 406 specifically mentions Augustine.

My understanding is that the Catholic Church teaches that humans being were made "perfect," in accordance with the Augustinian tradition. My understanding (which could be wrong, someone please correct me if I'm wrong) is that the Eastern Orthodox teach that humanity was made with the "potential" for perfection and fell short through the "ancestral sin."

I'm not a theologian, nor am I a philosopher, I'm just a Sociology undergrad. Without the knowledge that one would obtain in Seminary or a graduate theology program, it seems that, as I mentioned in my original post, the Augustinian conception of this whole thing is a little "hair-brained."

The Augustinian approach also seems to be at great odds with the findings and evidence of modern evolutionary biology. In fact, the Augustinian tradition almost seems to demand Creationism. The E.O. idea influenced by Irenaus (If I remember correctly) seems to be more reconcilable with the evidence of how we humans came to be.

Last edited by dnu; Apr 25, '10 at 9:45 pm.
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  #8  
Old Apr 26, '10, 8:56 am
tonyrey tonyrey is offline
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Default Re: Inherited Guilt from Original Sin before Augustine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahimsa View Post
Quote:
I'm afraid not. It's not guilt at all but misfortune. It's not our fault that our ancestors sinned but we are all members of one family and inevitably affected what others have done. Not only our moral environment but own nature is to some extent inherited from previous generations. We don't start with a tabula rasa...
That's exactly what 'guilt by association' is. You didn't actually commit the sin, but you are associated with those who did, and therefore you suffer from effects of that 'original' sin.
Another form of legal usage comprehends the idea of guilt by association or guilt attaching to an individual through his relation or connection with a group of persons who are charged with a violation of a legally established line of conduct.
Legal usage suggests that an individual is either guilty by association because he was somehow involved with the accused or he is not guilty but lawyers are trying to manipulate the jury into finding him guilty by association.
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  #9  
Old Apr 26, '10, 10:32 am
Ahimsa Ahimsa is offline
 
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Default Re: Inherited Guilt from Original Sin before Augustine

Quote:
Originally Posted by dnu View Post
A poster above gave a citation from the CCC paragraph 405.

What about paragraph 403 (CAPS are the parts that are creating my concern)

"...their inclination toward evila and death cannot be understood apart from the connection with Adams sin and the FACT that he has TRANSMITTED TO US a sin with which we are all BORN AFFLICTED..."
The "sin" that Adam transmitted to us, in Catholic theology, is not actually a sin committed by us. It is, in fact, not a "sin" at all; instead, the "sin" referred to here is actually the deprivation of the original holiness given to Adam and Eve by God. Thus, this "sin" is called "original sin", which has two meanings in Catholicism: (1) the actual sin committed by Adam and Eve; and (2) the deprivation of original holiness that the descendants of Adam and Eve suffer from.

This is where the Orthodox would differ. Orthodoxy would say that you can't use the word "sin" when talking about what Adam transmitted to us, because an "action" (like "sin") can't be transmitted. Instead, the Orthodox speak of Adam and Eve's "ancestral sin" (disobeying God's command to not eat of the fruit). This ancestral sin then led to the introduction of suffering and death into the world. And, since the descendants of Adam and Eve are born into a world of suffering and death, then the descendants of Adam and Eve respond to that condition in a very frustrating and deluded way, by disobeying God's commands. So, in Orthodoxy, no one is born with original, or ancestral, sin. Everyone (except Mary) committed sin at some point in his or her life.
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