If there was no sin prior the Fall why would adam and eve disobey?

I dont quite understand the origin of sin. If in the catechism we were taught sin entered the world because of Adam and eve’s disobedience…how come they sinned? I mean supposedly they should not be attracted to sin (concupiscence) because they have no inclination for it…or am I not getting it right?

It is a good question. It really is difficult for us to get our minds around. Adam and Eve committing that first sin would be like Mother Teresa suddenly turning her back on God. Times a million.

That is part of what makes their sin so utterly tragic.

yeah. it puzzles me as well…where did Lucifer get his pride?why would the angels sin.

I’d answer this way: why do people choose to sin today? Why would someone choose to steal something, have premarital sex or actively live as a homosexual today when God has specifically told us not to and that these are sins we will have to answer for? There are long answers, but the short answer is because our human nature is weak and we tend to want instant gratification over having to tell ourselves "No!: God asked Adam and Eve to OBEY. We humans don’t particularly like being told to obey or being denied anything that we think we want. God gave Adam and Eve free will–just as we have, He gave them a paradise to live in and only one rule–that they stay away from one of the many trees in the garden. I agree that it seems like a simple enough rule that anyone would have been able to obey it. Yet, what Satan used to tempt Eve was that God was duping her, and that if she went ahead and ate from the forbidden tree, she’d be like God with the knowledge of good and evil. Eve fell for this ploy, thinking that she truly wanted such knowledge. Indeed, she and Adam did become like God in the sense that they knew about good and evil after eating the fruit. Yet, were they better off before they understood evil or after they did? Imagine living in a world where evil simply didn’t exist because nobody could even grasp what it was? Would we be happier or less happy today if we were innocent of some knowledge? I dare say that when God tells us we don’t want or need something, perhaps we should listen–just as Adam and Eve should have!

If they were tempted then it could only mean they have concupiscence even before the fall. But the catechism teaches us, only after the fall did evil break out and concupiscence and sin in the world entered into the nature of the world and humanity.

If Adam and eve have no tendency to sin they would obey the rule, but they didnt so they prolly have concupiscence.

It is not quite logical. So sin was already in their nature even while in paradise? (If conscience teaches us to do what is right) Then Adam and eve, without concupiscence would do what is right and obey God. I mean there choice would not tainted by sin nor evil since it only entered after the fall.

The logic is very simple once one accepts the Catholic truth that God created Adam as a rational being who is “left in the hand of his own counsel” so that he might freely seek the possibility of blessed perfection in the eternal presence of the Beatific Vision in heaven. Ignore the fact that Adam is rational and the logical possibility of sin is ignored. For Catholics, possibility is the operative word. Obviously, sin per se never had legs so that it could independently walk around in the Garden of Eden. Yet, the possibility of sin is found in Genesis 2: 16-17; and Genesis 3:2.

Whenever there is a possibility, the possibility itself consists of choosing between something and something else. In the Garden, because of Adam’s human nature, that is, Adam was not the same nature as God, there existed the possibility of Adam uniting himself to the Creator as indicated in Genesis 1:26-27. Because God is the “good”, Adam had the possibility of choosing God or the something else which would be evil.

The actual origin of human sin is the possibility of human sin.

Why did Adam freely choose to commit the Original Sin? First, it is a non sequitur to equate freedom from concupiscence to the inability to sin. Freedom from concupiscence was an extra, non-inherent in human nature, gift from God. Adam’s “mastery of self” did not invalidate the need for a creature to live in submission to the Creator. Second, the author of the first three chapters of Genesis did not reveal the thoughts of Adam. However, it is common sense that Adam preferred himself over and above his Creator and thus, in his rational freedom, Adam went against his own good.

(Information source. CCC 1730-1732;* CCC* 396; CCC 356; CCC 397-398)

Thank you :slight_smile: I’ll try to understand

They had no concupiscence and were not weak to temptations in the way we are. They would have possessed a nature where their wills and their bodies were in perfect synch with one another, as opposed to the man of concupiscence, where his will might be set towards God, and yet his nature continues to desire the fulfillment of wrath, illicit sexual gratification, a good image for himself versus glorifying God, etc, thus the man remains a weak creature that continually repents throughout his life, even if those sins may be venial ones, and God willing, increasingly farther between one another as the Holy Spirit continually sanctifies him more and more.

Adam’s nature was in perfect submission to his will. This is mankind as he is suppose to be. Adam could will whether or not he would be angry with someone. He could use his will and conscious to identify whether it would be just or unjust to be angry with someone, and then, and only then, the passion could come or not come. His passions wouldn’t simply assault him here and there without his permission, as is the case in the universe around us for all life. Adam and Eve’s condition is entirely foreign to us. He could will whether or not he should desire his wife, or desire another woman. He could will whether or not he should desire to compete with God, his Creator, and eat the fruit, or refuse Satan’s offer. Adam and Eve’s first sin was the perfect demonstration of a mortal sin, because they chose something without any white noise distracting or weakening or confusing them.

Adam & Eve had the choice to obey or disobey, and obviously they chose the latter. St Anselm, I believe, reduced the reason to this simple fact: Adam sinned because he willed to sin. Now, due to free will this possibility, to disobey-always existed, even though Adam & Eve were created good, as all creation was.

I’d make two points that seem to be players in this story of the Fall of man. 1) man is not God, and as such he lacks the perfection, in terms of wisdom and love, that God, alone, possesses, i.e. creation is inherently inferior to its Creator. 2) the Catechism teaches that God made His creation in a “state of journeying to perfection”. While God did not will that Adam sin, and commanded Adam not to do so in fact, He nevertheless knew it would happen and didn’t prevent it from happening, intending to use it, according to the Church, to ultimately bring about an even greater good from the evil that resulted.

Humankind was exiled from Eden and is here now to be refined, to be molded, to come to conform our wills to His will, over time, with His help but without force. We’re here to learn, for ourselves, the truth that I mentioned in the first point above, the truth that Adam refused to acknowledge: creation is inherently inferior to its Creator. Once we get past that step we can get on with the business of restoring relationship with God, and He can get on with the business of the perfecting of His creation, of doing His work in us. The Atonement plays an enormous part in this, of course, in reconciling man with God. But that’s another part of the story-and of the good that God brought out of the Fall.

I’m going to piggy back off of the OP.

Adam and Eve had free will. But more than that, they were lied to, they were tricked. Without the serpent, there would have been no fall.

This is an important point because in today’s world we have all sorts of excuses on why a sin is either not mortal, or does not exist if you do not know about it. This is why I disagree with those who think mortal sin is “hard” to commit. The First Parents had all of the spiritual information and trappings one could ever need. Yet, they were lied to, they were told God was wrong. But they still were culpable, they still committed sin, no matter the excuse.

Fast forward to today, when people say that people are not culpable because they are being lied to by the culture.

While the Church rightly teaches that sin came into the world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, it is a common mistake to read this into the Genesis narrative as if the Church was claiming that it offered a literal history of origin regarding how sin came to be a part of the human experience.

On the contrary, St. Gregory Nazianzen (circa 329-390 A.D./C.E.) taught that the account in Genesis chapter 3 was possibly allegorical, using simple language of a tree and fruit to explain a situation that was probably far more complicated than we can know in our current fallen state. The inspired account is a condensed version, he taught, carrying the essential truths without the complex details.

Even today, St. Gregory’s commentary is held by many exegetes. It is believed we are not so much reading an account in Genesis describing how and why sin came into the world as much as we are being taught that sin has been a constant facet of the human experience since almost the very beginning. The essentials of the story is that humans were manipulated and tricked by the devil into sinning (not through concupiscence), thus beginning the economy of salvation that marks the historical narrative of all that was to follow in Sacred Scripture.

While this does not mean we aren’t given a literal account in Genesis chapter 3. It may have come down to be as simple as partaking of the forbidden fruit. The point is that there is likely far more to the story than just a surface reading of Genesis can supply. Other posters are correct in that this is likely something we may never fully grasp this side of Heaven, but we do know that it was an issue so great that only the incarnation of God the Son could save us.

People make this too complicated.
They look for concupiscence, there was no lust in Adam for Eve nor Eve for Adam - as Adam said, Eve is bone of his flesh of his flesh…
They look for a fallen nature in man, of which there was none in the beginning.

From my Grand Father, who was a Bible Baptist and an Elder of his Baptist Church.
G.Pa said that people confuse the Original Sin of Man with the existence of Sin which occurred with Lucifer’s fall.
Lucifer brought the sin to the garden, and if Adam and Eve had not fallen into temptation and then into the sinful act, Sin would not have entered into the world thru them.

Mind you, EVE was deceived! Even God the Father accepted this, doesn’t change the finality of the act; however, IMHO was a mitigating circumstance… and the serpent suffered for that deception too.

G.Pa would go on to explain (and I will try my best to remember is words, I may have to paraphrase a tad here or there, he’s been gone for a very long time):

Angels and Men were given free will.
Upon creation, all that were created were without sin for no sin existed.
Lucifer, as with all of God’s high creations (G.Pa words), being with God are outside of time and space.
Lucifer therefor could see that God loved Mankind above all else and in order to save Man would humble himself before Mankind; a creation that Lucifer held as lessor than himself and the Angels.
Lucifer saw this as a weakness, despised God for this weakness, became prideful, and would not obey God the Father; thus, sin was with Lucifer and with those Angels that agreed with and followed Lucifer.
Now until this point sin did not exist within Man nor the World… only with the Fallen ones; however, we have free will, and it was this weakness and strength that Lucifer attacked.
Knowing that an assault upon Adam would be fruitless, for Adam had named and therefor knowledge of all in the Garden, Lucifer went after Eve.

From here, we know the story as to how Lucifer deceived Eve and Adam failed in his convenient with God the Father.

For clarification, this is how the Church teaches it:
**390 The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man.264 Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.265 **

Certain aspects of the account of the Fall of man are figurative and allegorical, while others, including the existence of a first pair of parents from whom we’re all descended, and who comitted the first sin, are not. And the purpose of revelation together with the authority of the CC is to *help *us mere mortals to come to know more than we otherwise possibly could in “our current fallen state”. But you’re right, it’s a mind-bender either way.

That doesn’t really explain why Adam sinned, why he believed satan rather than God, or where Lucifer’s pride or envy came from.

Regarding post 6. In reality, it is more like an outline than an in depth presentation.
Because the parts of post 6 are so closely related to each other, it is possible to choose one part, which is the easiest to understand, and then proceed to other easy parts, and finally to the difficult parts.

If you wish, you could choose any part and I will help you proceed to the other parts.:slight_smile:

This is an excellent post. Thank you!


Eve knew that she should not have eaten from the tree, so she must have had the same knowledge Adam had, or this would make her out to be naive, unaware of what would happen. Eve not having sufficent knowledge as her husband would have been unfair, for the two are of the one body.

With respect, YES–concupiscence does enter in! God made man pure and free of evil in the beginning, but also gave man free will. This means that if man were given the option to sin and chose to do it, he/she could act on it–and yes, I do think that Adam and Eve had concupiscence in eating the fruit from that tree. It’s not as if the fruit fell off the tree, hit Eve in the head and she had no idea where it came from. She was tempted and she gave in to that temptaton If we were baptized as infants, then there was a period where we were truly innocent and free of all sin. Then we grew up. I’ve always said that I can remember as a little girl in parochial school, telling my parents that I’d never, ever commit a mortal sin. I truly meant it back then. However, then I grew up and sadly must admit that practically everything I was so very sure that I’d never even be tempted to do back then, I did as an adult. There’s a good lesson in there somewhere I’m pretty sure.-because Adam and Eve were like us right after baptism in the start, just as we are given the same choices in our lives… And just like most of us, they succumbed to temptation.

We face similar issues every day of our life. Sometimes we actively choose sin and sometimes we reject sin. Nobody accidentally has an adulterous or homosexual incident in their life–at least as an adult! Nobody accidentally chooses to join a gang and kill someone as a rite of initiation or beats a child to death by accident. God gives us the ability (by free will) to make these decisions. Whatever decision we make is on us–just as Adam and Eve’s decision was on them!

But self-mastery is taught to be one of the preternatural gifts given to A&E. That would exclude concupiscence.

This is not correct. Before the fall, Adam and Eve did not have any inclination to sin, ie concupiscence. This is very difficult for us to imagine. The temptation by satan must have been very strong, because they chose to disobey God when they had absolutely no desire to do so.

C.S.Lewis, in his second book of his space trilogy, “Perelandra”, gives a fictional account of the temptation of Eve. In this book, the first man and woman have just been created on Venus (Perelandra is their name for the planet) and satan tries to tempt the woman into disobeying God’s law (in this world it is not eating of a particular tree, it is spending the night on fixed land, as opposed to the floating islands). I don’t know if he got it right, in general it almost seems that the woman was eventually going to be hopeless to resist the temptation, as the arguments were very clever, and the temptation went on for weeks. But he does a good job of illustrating how it was actually a completely foreign concept to them to disobey God. They would never have imagined doing so without the temptation.

I have read other writer’s who speculated the word “serpent” is actually closer to perhaps a monster, and Eve was terrified and followed the serpent’s advice because she lost trust I God to protect her.

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