Original Sin, Jury still Out


#1

Original Sin “a consequence of this first sin, the hereditary stain with which we are born on account of our origin or descent from Adam”. New Advent

Our physical makeup is an obvious disadvantage if we are to take this definition seriously. In other words we inherited OS due to the physical makeup of our being, as part matter and part spiritual, and due to being one species and having the misfortune to probagate. However, it should be remembered both the physical way we are formed and the way we pro-create is not inherited culpability, and there is nothing we could have done about it, but the physiology could serve as another practical reason not too obvious to us.

This reasoning leaves us with the inevitable events, that in the *design stage*, if it were possible for material creatures to sin in the future (pre Adam),  then there is no way he *could* *not *pass on the sin. The reasoning for spirits is that if it were possible for such a creature to sin in the future (pre Fall), then there is no way *he could* pass on the sin. Even in the design stage it is evident some compensation is wanting, but OS is evidence of the lack of this.

So we can see from this that desires are already in place prior to any sin event, and by the heavenly events that follow, that is, the removal of potential for further sin in spirits, we can come up with the reasonable conclusion that God simply desires some creatures close to Him regardless of potential, and the seriousness of sin comes second place to His desires. But we are left with the question why there is a built in default for the material creature.

The reason given that the spirits did not inherit OS is because they are all a different species, and they do not pro-create. These are technical attributes with respect to them as a creature. We will see this becomes a reason of convenience, and not one that justifies the exclusion. I think this reasoning is somewhat tongue in cheek and we are wanting for a better explaination.

God could just as well justify they all receive OS using inclusive reasoning rather then exclusive. When the grand celestial rule of determining species was written, it would have been obvious there are more common attributes than there aren’t. Some of those common attributes rejected as not pertinent are valid instruments for the mechanism of sin. There may be two attributes to disqualify them, ie: species and non procreative, but there may be a dozen that qualify them, if He considers all the factors for spirits.

The two creatures have much in common in respect to pertinent factors in sin. Spirits all have the ability of passing knowledge(ie: persuasion to sin), to communicate, they have intellect (ie: choice), they have spiritual commonality, they have the equivalent mobility, and most pertinent of all is, they all have a potential for sin. (before thet was fixed of course). By proximity to God and their favored state(executive positions on the corporate ladder), and also possessing an elevated awareness of the impact of their actions, sins by degree should have a more seriousness as compared to the material creature(office clerk), and call for more strict handling of culpable cases for spirits.

  After the fall, the remaining *still potentially imperfect *spirits had the potentiality quickly removed by the beatification process because of earned charitable expression. However, for some unknown reason, this event should give pause to consider the possibility of this having occur again. But further testing was felt unecessary. We can then summarize the results of their respective events. 1/ after the fall of billions of spirits, the result was the beatification of billions, 2/ after the fall of two individuals, the result was blanket stigmatation in a compounding fashion to billions. 

In comparison, we can see from this that the material creature, prior to his existance, did not hold the title for creatures who could sin in spite of a more favorable environment the spirit possessed. The material creature’s attributes also are similar in the attribute of mechanism of choice, although he possess the added burden of being tempted by another being he can’t see or identify, and his influencing nature, all this while relatively more distant to the presence of God.

(Part II)


#2

On the species issue, one could just as well apply the same logic to material creatures, and that is they are all different species, as their genetic makeup does not through progeny create a carbon copy of himself (ie: DNA, I know, their trying). Here, even if we place predicament aside, you will find much more than a dozen reasons to exclude them from original sin than include them, perhaps as distant from his parent has there are a billion genes/differences in a single helix. They are at least as unalike as any spirit is to each other by the definition, and a billion times so. It depends who does the defining and the motives.

And now we enter the crux of the problem. It is interesting that the definition of specification and individuation in attributes is used to justify who qualifies for stigmatation to original sin, when these differences have no bearing on the case. The sins are actually tied into the misuse of an attribute common to both creatures,intellect,reasoning and ultimate choice. Regardless of what type of initial stimuli that their respective environment and exposure may subject them to, sensual,personal,influence,etc they are still channeled through this final process. Based on these pertinent attributes, we can see we jump species(whatever definition) lines and find ourselves with the logical conclusion that each type of creature collectively can choose wrong, thus are candidates for original sin.

In conclusion, we can see a justice based on no known precepts or code, or one that is not immediatly known to us, take our pick, or, it is not justice, but a simple manifestation of a desire. This is what I think we are seeing. For certainty, from a perspective of justice where double standards are non-existant, the sentence could never hold water. It should leave us with exempt man and spirits, OR, one where both are stigmatized. In any case we are defintely left with a case that in this world would be one candidate for appeal to the supreme court. As it is now, we are left with a paradox, as what is bound on earth is bound in heaven.

Ref: Aquinas (Summa)

Andy


#3

I enjoyed reading the post and would submit that while your reasoning holds true it is false due to one fatal flaw. The flaw can be found in reality as opposed to the direction that your post goes which is in the area of speculation or idealism. The base root of your missunderstanding is found in a lack of understanding of the nature of Original Sin and in the effect that Time - or the lack thereof - has on the situation for spiritual beings and human beings.

First, you correctly affirm that an angel has no children in the sense that they do not have the capacity to pass on generational sin. However, you miss the reason which is found in the fact that for each angel there is only a singular nature to each angel as opposed to humanity who share in a common human nature. Notice, it is the issue of nature (in prima) that has to be addressed because it is in and through the participation in the common human nature that Origianl Sin is passed from one person to the next. However, with, let us take St. Michael, he exhausts all of Michaelaity whereas no one man can exhaust all of humanity because of the finite nature of man some of the shared human nature only exists in him 'in pontencia" but what is only potential in an individual man is found fully in a single angel as pertains to his individual and unique nature which is not shared.

Second is the issue of time. Due to the nature of spiritual beings (angels or demons, if you will) [notice here that I am not using nature equivocally] they have perfect intellects and perfect wills. Further they are outside of time and their actions are not subject to the progession that we find in our own situation. Thus, once a spiritual being makes the singular decision for or against God that singular decison marks them for the rest of eternity while us in time must make each decision for or against God at every moment of our temporal existance.

Third, you speak about relative distance from God. However, this would require a lesson on Grace and freewill to explain. The short version is that God is as present to a person as to a Angel but the difference is that this person or that person is effected by original sin and is thus cut off in a sense by their own freedom from experiencing God in such a way. However, Sanctifying Grace can restore that gap as long as the individual disposes themselves to charity to thus dispose themselves to the presence of God all the more.

Fourth there is the issue of material v spiritual beings in the arguement. The first problem is that in this case man is equated to a material being. This is not completely true. Due to the rational soul man has more in common with the Angel than with the beast. Thus, man is radically different than that beast in the fact that a beast cannot choose but only react to the sensative appetites because of the lack of rationality. This by the way is what bars non-rational creatures from heaven. And it is in this bit of freedom that the issue bears itself forth.


#4

Mosher:

Thanks for taking the time to read such a lengthly theory. I usually try to make things short on e-forums but couldn’t this time around.

   ..... as opposed to the direction that your post goes which is in the area of speculation or idealism.

Actually what you are witnessing is an example of permitted Plural Theology*. The crusadists have a problem with this new concept, but rest at ease, the magisterium recognizes the worth of lay sentia opinionata. You imply my work here is baseless, but that is undeserved, has I base all my work on carefully worked out understanding of this eschatology to the best of my lay ability, of works by the Doctors,scripture, and the empirical data available to me, and in combination with reasoning. Even here, the Church recognises some theology has not yet found maturity in full acceptance, but is accepted nonethless for the time being. The Catholic moves toward a better understanding, and it is for this that the late Msgr. F.J. Sheen encouraged study in dogma through reason and logic.

   However, you miss the reason which is found in the fact that for each angel there is only a singular nature to each angel as opposed to humanity who share in a common human nature.

Firstly, Christ’s focus in his stay here was the concern that we make proper use of our free choice and to cultivate a good conscience. This has a universal reason, not just global, and that is, it is the cause for sin among God’s creatures.

Secondly, the singular nature of angels is a level down from a higher and loftier more pertinent genus classification, and that classification is they are all spirits, and they all possess the potential for sin by free choice. In my post I listed all the attributes they have in common. It is logical to see that the concern must be addressed at that level as that is where it’s first potential makes it’s threat, and it is unecessary to step down to the next to apply any rules. The potentiality for sin through the choice mechanism is the nexus, and we find it at that level first, then at the lower, ie: species.

    It is probable the choice of addressing it at the lower level is one of accomodation, and that is to make it possible to exclude spirits in general from OS, IF, the case should arise that one may sin. If we apply Christ's mission in the first paragraph to the first level, we find we can justify the application then and there. 
    
  "they do not have the capacity to pass on generational sin."

The vehicle that was used to bestow free choice is irrelevant. They either have received it instantly, or through probagation. Christ stresses that it is how it is used that is pertinent.

 Further they are outside of time and their actions are not subject to the progession that we find in our own situation.

Aquinas’s teaching on angelic local movement disputes this statement. There is progression that can be defined by it’s dimension. Still, we conceptualize events preceding and progressing in that place, and they don’t occur all at once.

  "It can be first in this place and afterwards in that place"

.
“an angel may at will be present successively in several places and thus may be said to pass through space between the first and the last…”

    "...now since there is succession, that is, before-and-after..."

Regardless, in one instant of their space/time, a singular decision was made by Lucifer, that proved the angels as a genus is capable of sinning progressively inter-species(devine definition), as many were persuaded to follow.

(Part II)

#5

it is in and through the participation in the common human nature that Origianl Sin is passed from one person to the next.

You just made my argument. Thanks for narrowing the culpability group to those who have attributes in common. If there is no double standard, you will alow me to apply your common rule to spirits. The commonality of spirits, that is, their ability to be tempted, and their potentiality to sin by choice, is what they participate in by their common attributes.

  singular nature to each angel as opposed to humanity who share in a common human nature.   

Again you narrow down to commonality in the human species, but are reluctant to apply the same standard to the genus, and forget about the difference scape goat, as you say it isn’t pertinent.

Yes or no. Are all spirits at that time(pre fall,initial grace,not beatified) capable of making a decision and capable of making a wrong choice? Are all men capable of making a decision and capable of making a wrong choice? Are they both creatures created by Him and being less perfect? Are they both susceptible to be persuaded to sin? If yes to all, why would God not stigmatize all based on the factors He uses to judge them individually?

   The first problem is that in this case man is equated to a material being. This is not completely true.

I stated material for the sake of clarity to distinguish man from spirits in my arguments, and to emphasize the organism’s decisions. My opening paragraph I make reference to my understanding of the interplay of the soul.

    you speak about relative distance from God

I only touched on it, for the purpose of detracting from my main point and I didn’t want to go into it due to the length I required to convey my point.

In conclusion, you haven’t presented a convincing argument on the bases of reason, but simply advanced current dogma. But all the same, it was fun, and thanks for the time and work to answer.

    AndyF

    * "Faith in Question" by Peter Hebblethwaite S.J.

#6

The crux of the issue with the Angelic beings and some analogous form of Original Sin is that Original Sin is passed generationally as is all other sins. Scripture points out in many places the reality of generational punnishment for sin. This being true through revelation we know that the means of the transmission of Original Sin is all important per this generational aspect. This is closly related to the unity of the Church as the Mystical Body and to the necessity of the Incarnation.

While it may be true that the higher genus of the Angelic Beings is that of Spiritual Beings over their own unique genus there is a minor error found in this assertion. If so then one would have to say that God fits in that genus as He is a spiritual being. However, we cannot ascribe a common nature to God and the Angels. To categorize all spiritual beings into a common genus does not bear to reason.

To equate the choice of Adam and the choice of Lucifer as similar in affect is to miss the real difference (as opposed to distinction) in the natures of man or angel. While above I stated that Original Sin is generational and the means is necessarily important it is important to recall why. This difference in natures gives the singular act of Lucifer and the singular act of Adam and infinatelly different quality due to the generational nature of humanity. While the nature of Adam is shared with his kin and thus his actions speak for all of us in relation to the Preternatural Graces the nature of Lucifer cannot speak for the nature of Michael or any other Angel because their nature is different an non-generational.

This is the reason why the Incarnation was necessary to abrogate Original Sin. Christ took upon Himself our human nature so that one with our nature without sin could atone for the Sin of the sinless Adam. Due to the loss of the Preternatural State man in his fallen state did not have the capacity to attone for Original Sin. However, Christ did not make propetiation for the sins of the Demons because they do not suffer from the fallen state when their singular choice for or against God is made at their creation.

The question has been asked if the angelic being can make the free choice prior to beatification to which the answer is in the negative. The reason behind this is because of the “progression” of the awarness of the angel of discernable things. For the angel the first realization is God then self and then the choice. For man the progression is self then God then multiple choices in time untill death. This, in a sense the angel is before God fully when he chooses for or against God and is thus in a beatified state “so to speak” when the choice is made. For this reason only one choice is given and only one choice is made because the angelic choice holds the weight of a perfect act of the intellect and a perfect act of the will which cannot be attributed to man due to the fall.

I have enjoyed the discussion as it is a nice change to be able to discuss theological principles in depth with a disinterested air with charity intact. I agree that my defense is to merely put forth current Dogma but that was my intent because true theology comes first from a position of a believer and not of scepticism.


#7

Mosher:

Thanks for the answer.

You know I’d like to find a way of extending the word limitation on this forum. But then perhaps it’s an indicator I shouldn’t say so much.! :slight_smile:

[quote=mosher]The crux of the issue with the Angelic beings and some analogous form of Original Sin is that Original Sin is passed generationally as is all other sins.
[/quote]

 I have no problem with OS. But I do with it's criteria of selectivity.

Stigmation could be analogous to a servant who is sent out to search for spirits who exhibited a certain marker, and when found, to paint a spot on their back. For this exercise, we place the original sinner aside for the moment, let's try it.

  First we set a *species* marker on him that identifies him as one with the original sinner. He goes out and finds none.
  Next we place a *potential to sin* marker on him. He goes out and comes back. We venture out and do a tour to see what effect it had. We discover that it jumped species but not genus, and everyone was painted. 

   If we were partial to the *species not found*, then the first is satisfactory.
   If we are partial to those who *do not have the potential*, then the second is satisfactory.

   The conclusion is our criteria had an effect on the outcome, and we can set the criteria to obtain the desired result.

If so then one would have to say that God fits in that genus as He is a spiritual being. However, we cannot ascribe a common nature to God and the Angels.

 I assumed we both understood we were speaking within the parameters of beings that are less perfect and capable of sin, therefore my lack of distinction. I think you would agree that would imply God would be excluded. 

This difference in natures gives the singular act of Lucifer and the singular act of Adam and infinatelly different quality due to the generational nature of humanity.

 The generational issue is a technicality that in reality holds no barrier in imposing OS on spirits, and has the intent of removing focus on the obvious.

  It is through the effect of Lucifer influencing other species that we see species boundaries being bypassed, and not by any hypothetical I may advance. If we readily recognise the ability of other humans to influence us to sin, why would we look the other way when it is done by other imperfect creatures among their kind. That is an injustice to man.

  I have shown at length how spirits have more in common in their natures than not, that it should include them as a genus, regardless of species.  

 (Ans 2B)

#8

The question has been asked if the angelic being can make the free choice prior to beatification to which the answer is in the negative.

How does that reconcile with Summa?

“A rational creature (that is, a creature with intellect and will) can sin. If it be unable to sin, this is a gift of grace, not a condition of nature. While angels were yet unbeatified they could sin, and some did sin.”

They were created only with sanctifying grace, not confirming grace. 

For man the progression is self then God then multiple choices in time untill death.

If this is what I think you mean, then how would this reconcile with Summa:?

"Freely loving creatures must recognize God as their end or goal and tend to him before all else. Hence love of God comes naturally (in free creatures) before love of self, and is the greater love" 

 Man is not exempt to first express charity to his creator as his initial act.

…but that was my intent because true theology comes first from a position of a believer and not of scepticism.

   Yes, but I would add baseless skepticism.

Scepticism in part drove the Doctors to further study and took them out of nebulous predicaments. Recognition of our need for assurance is on going and comes in all forms in our life with Christ. We have for instance the appearance of the Blessed Mother, the answers to our prayers, and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit through the prophets. All these are open at any time for our perusal.

It is no shame to place the fingers in the side of truth. Some who were borderline will finally be convinced by it, evidence that fateful day in the closed room. Truth is not threatened by dissection or re-assembly. Truth can be presented in it’s finished form, or it’s constituent parts of reason and logic, the sum accumulation by the Authors. One thing that we can always count on, truth can withstand scrutiny.

    The Church does not assume we will have all the answers in this lifetime.

    I also found this talk interesting. Thanks.

    Andy

#9

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