Definition-original sin


Hello, I believe original sin can be defined as egotism/pride. Is this basically what the Christian belief of original sin is? Man wanting to be or believing he is equal to his creator? Thank you for any input.


Well, there are two separate views of original sin in the east and west. There is also the Protestant (Calvinist) original guilt, however the Church rejects this as heretical.

The west views original sin as passed down from Adam, and that the main consequence of original sin is separation from God and sinful nature which leads to death. That is why so much emphasis is put on infant baptism in the west due to western theology leaving the possibly of unbaptized infants going to hell.

On the other hand the east also views original sin as passed down, but the main consequence of it is death and so corruptibility and sin occur.

The Catholic Church accepts both since in their basics they’re the same thing with different emphasis on things.


Not sure about the Christian belief.

The Catholic definition contains who, what, how, why, and consequences. Skip one part and the “definition” fails.

“Man wanting to be or believing he is equal to his creator” needs the explanation of who Adam is and Who the Creator is. *What *is their initial relationship is also an essential part of the Original Sin definition. Genesis 1: 27 is a good starting point.


Man is created GOOD, but there is a
tendency towards evil in un-regenerated
man, that is why Jesus called the people
who disbelieved in Him children of the
devil!! The spirit of disobedience to God’s
Laws and commandments is at work in
in unbelievers(Eph. 2:2)


No. Original sin is the privation of sanctifying grace, which privation we inherit from Adam. The main effects of original sin are a weakened will, a darkened intellect, domination of the passions, a tendency to sin (including pride, the mother of sins), and death.

Sanctifying grace, FYI, is participation in the divine nature, which makes us pleasing to God. It gives us inner harmony and control over our desires and passions (the more so, the more we grow in grace). Sanctifying grace doesn’t prevent one from choosing sin, however, as our First Parents did, although the more we grow in grace the less appealing sin becomes.


One could probably equate: separation of man from God, pride/self-righteousness, loss of sanctifying grace, loss of original holiness/justice, loss of innocence, man’s preference for himself over his Creator, spiritual death, with each other as different aspects of or perspectives on the one same state or disposition.


Original sin pre-supposition is that the bag of clothes we carry are not for God but for our own divine and cosmic error of our complete pleasure.


“privation of sanctifying grace” The definition I found for privation is - “the loss or absence of a quality or attribute that is normally present” So original sin is the loss of sanctifying grace. My question now is what did adam and eve do to lose their sanctifying grace? What was their sin? What was their original sin? To me it seems like pride or egotism-wanting to be like god and have the knowledge between good and evil. Yet I’m told no.


Another way of saying “privation of sanctifying grace” is to say that* God’s life* was lost in Adam. God, the source of all life, had been “scorned” as the catechism puts it; Adam “*preferred *himself” to God in that act. Adam had died spiritually, the “death of the soul” as it’s taught, which is why we must be born again. He had broke communion with God, which is why communion must be reestablished in order to restore justice to man. This is the purpose of Jesus’ coming: the reconciliation of man with God so that God may indwell man again, as was always meant to be, so that man may “have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).


“Adam 'preferred himself” to God…" Again in my mind this seems like egotism/pride and so (to my way of thinking) pride, arrogance, egotism, is/are the definition of original sin. It seems black and white to me but apparently things are more complicated than they seem.


Pride may be a *cause *of original sin, since it exalts itself above everything including God, and is also a consequence of original sin as humankind remained in that separated state after the fall, carrying on the “family tradition”, so that scripture tells us in Prov 6 & 21 that God hates a “haughty look” or “haughty eyes” and in Prov 29 that “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble”. Because pride, by its nature, opposes God.

But Aquinas teaches that the* state* of original sin that humankind inherited is more basic than that I think. He teaches that original sin is a disease, a privation: “the privation of original justice, whereby the will was made subject to God, is the formal element in original sin.” When man’s will is subject to God, he is in a state of justice. Now we’re born into a state of being separated from/turned away from God-and all other sin follows from that state. Is pride the equivalent of that state? I don’t think so even though it’s part and parcel of it. In any case Aquinas tells us that pride is the most grievous of sins because it is contempt of God, aversion from Him and His commandments. Pride/self-righteousness certainly is responsible in one way or another for the worst of the atrocities that take place in our world.


Maybe some of the confusion comes from the two meanings of “original sin”:

Def. 1) The sin of Adam; in that case “original” means the first, i.e. the first actual sin.

Def. 2) The unfortunate state in which we, Adam’s descendants, are conceived. In that sense “original” means from our conception.

If you are going with Definition 1, then yes, you could say *the *original sin was pride.

By Definition 2, pride is a cause and effect of original sin, as fhansen points out. Sort of like a privation of vitamin D resulting in rickets (weak bones).


Thank you Ad…your post was very helpful in allowing me to understand original sin somewhat more.


Do you have other questions?


Grannymh-I always have questions :slight_smile: often they get answers that make sense here or on other forums. Sometimes it takes a while for me to make sense of the way people are answering questions-mine or those of others. I’m good for now though-Thank you for asking. Be well-peace.

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