Could the Fall of Man happen retroactively?

It is taught that Mary was affected in the present by an action that happens in the future. (The Immaculate Conception)

Would this be possible for the Fall of man as well. Hypothetically, could there have never been a Garden of Eden, and sin/suffering was around since day one…due to the sin from someone in the future (WannabeSaint perhaps :wink: ) ?

Adam and Eve were given supernatural grace and preternatural gifts neither of which are natural to humans, and this was prior to the actual original sin.


I’d be more inclined to consider Eden to be another world outside of our own world’s timeline than to consider it as in our future. Adam and Eve did not have the same kind of sinless state as Mary. That is to say theirs, as far as we know, did not come from a part in the resurrection of Christ. If they were from the future that implies there is a future sinless state of humanity, on this world, and that it is achieved outside Christ’s sacrifice. I am highly skeptical that is possible.

To clarify, so there is no way Adam and Eve would have been affected by the sin of a person from the future?

Well firstly, if Adam and Eve were affected by someone else they couldn’t be the origin point of original sin. I read your first post as a hypothetical where Adam and Eve would exist and sin sometime in the future.

My objection wasn’t that the actions of a future Adam and Eve couldn’t ripple backwards through all of humanity, my objection was about the hypothetical of this sinless Adam and Eve arising in the future without achieving that state through the Resurrection of Christ.

How was Mary affected in the present by her own conception occurring in the future? Her own conception couldn’t have occurred in the future.

In order for Mary to be affected by something, Mary would have to exist.
In order for Mary to exist, Mary would have to be conceived in her mother’s womb.
The Immaculate Conception refers to Mary being conceived in her mother’s womb.
(NOT the conception of Jesus in Mary’s womb.)

As Mary herself said at Lourdes, “I am the Immaculate Conception”.

I meant Mary was born free of original sin retroactively due to Christ’s atonement on the cross. That’s what I was taught happened.

Okay, I guess I see how you could view it that way. However, the actual wording in Pope Pius IX’s Ineffibilus Deus is that Mary was free of original sin “by a special privilege of God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ” and in another section the wording is “by virtue of the foreseen merits of Christ”. Since Jesus Christ already existed before his incarnation as human Jesus, I’m not sure if we’re seeing a retroactive effect removing Mary’s sin here, although the term “foreseen merits” does perhaps suggest a reference to the future sacrifice of human Jesus.
Also, to the degree her Immaculate Conception was a “special privilege of God”, then there was no retroactivity needed as God is outside of time.

Having said that, I do believe it’s possible that the Fall of Man could have a retroactive effect.

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