Original Sin and Adam and Eve

I’m a cradle Catholic.

Why are we punished via original sin resulting from the actions of Adam and Eve? It seems unfair to me to suffer the consequences of my ancestors’ behavior. It akin to punishing my kids for life because of something their grandparents did as children.

God’s ways are not our ways. Believe me He has His reasons for doing this and it is all for our better good.

Don’t think of it so much as a punishment as the lack of an inheritence. Adam and Eve squandered a gift that we would have inherited otherwise.


I like that way of thinking about it. I was taught in grade school that we are all being punished (teacher’s words) for Adam and Eve defiance.


How are we ‘punished’ for it?

By having all the trials and tribulations of life (sickness, hunger, wars, etc) and not being in paradise while alive on Earth.

Would you swap following Jesus in this life of trials for a life in paradise the way Adam and Eva lived it?

Nice…! :+1:

Another way of thinking about the same thing is to realize we’re talking about consequences, not punishments.

Over here in western PA, in steel country, there are stories of immigrants who, on payday, would take their cash straight to the bar and drink away pretty much their whole pay. When they did that, their family wasn’t “punished”, but they did have to deal with the consequences of that action. (The way that the stories go, when wives realized what had happened, they would subsequently go down to the steelmill gates and wait for their husbands on payday. They’d take the pay envelope, give their husbands some cash to go to the bar with, and go home with the rest of the pay.)

Now… would it be fair to an immigrant family that they’d have to scrimp and go without because of their breadwinner’s actions? No. Is it fair that we don’t have the gifts that were originally given to Adam and Eve prior to their first sin? Yes – after all, we are all sinners, and we all sin, and therefore, complaining about the ‘unfairness’ really amounts to a sort of petulance… :wink:


NOPE He put me here & now for a reason and I trust Him and His will.



Adam and Eve didn’t have all they needed in Eden, they lacked one thing, something God asked them to opt for: Himself. They had not yet freely bound themselves to the ultimate good, their Creator, which would’ve ensured them perfect happiness and fulfillment. So even they were depraved in some ways, while possessing enough knowledge from God to be able to make the better choice then the one they did, which meant disassociating themselves from God, seeking their happiness elsewhere, in themselves and other created things as it turned out. Man needed to learn his limitations vis a vis God. Man needed to come to know of his need for God, of his lost condition without God, of the overwhelming superiority and trustworthiness and goodness of God. And so God took away even that which man had, leaving man to his own devices to experience a world where God and His wisdom and will and His love did not reign supreme; Adam & Eve got what they wanted. They would from then on literally know both good and evil, the evil of separation from God with all the sin, corruption, and death that that separation entails, the evil that we continue to experience or know to this day.

The purpose, the reason, is that God created His world “in statu viae” in a “state of journeying” to perfection, even if that meant a detour into a land where we might possibly learn to hate and avoid all that is evil, all that is inconsistent with Him., so that, when He calls, we should have gained the wisdom to answer Him, to turn back to the true and ultimate Good, the source of all good.

1 Like

Beautiful answer. Thank you.

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.