Original sin of a sexual nature? - revisited


#1

WARNING: In this post I cannot avoid using certain terms related to sexual intercourse. I’ve used terms that I hope will not cause offense. Still, those who find any and all explicitness distasteful should not read further. In any case, please don’t flag this simply for addressing a sexual aspect of theology – I’ve tried to phrase it as modestly as possible.

Someone on CAF recently inquired about the idea, adhered to by certain Christian sects usually labeled “gnostic”, that sexual climax (and in particular the “climactic spasm”) may have been what is meant by “Adam and Eve’s first sin” – the one that constituted the Fall.

Ridiculous, right? And indeed many users were quick to comment in that other thread that this was silly, baloney, convoluted, heretical, bizarre, etc. And that’s understandable, given that none of the mainstream denominations appear to teach anything like this. The argument could furthermore be made that the text (Genesis 3) simply does not say anything of the sort, and that therefore any attempt to interpret the event involving the apple as a metaphore for something else, is pure speculation. That would be a fair refutation.

But here’s the problem. In Christian theology all humans are born sinful as a consequence of the original sin passed down from Adam and Eve, who committed the first sin. Note: ALL humans inherit the original sin. So it seems clear that all offspring from Adam and Eve were conceived after Adam and Eve had committed the first sin, i.e. after the Fall. Adam and Eve apparently did not conceive any offspring before they had committed the first sin. But why not? It seems that prior to the Fall, Adam and Eve were either not having sexual relations, or they did so without experiencing climax in a way that would lead to conception. This seems to suggest that sexual relations involving climax either constituted the first sin, or followed directly from it.

Much though this may be to the chagrin of those who don’t like the idea, it seems to me that this inference is difficult to refute, which would lend some credence to these ideas.

Comments welcome.


#2

I am not sure I follow your logic. God told Adam and Eve to go be fruitful and multiply, BEFORE they messed up. (Somewhere in the first chapter of Genesis).

If God ordered them to multiply, before they were sinful….I guess they were just following instructions from God, even after they “fell”. No? I don’t see how having children can then be the cause of sin when God told them to do so.

I would say it was more of an “oh oh, we messed up, now what? Let’s follow what God says for once and maybe He wont be so angry with us anymore.” :slight_smile:


#3

Adam and Eve were constituted in original justice. As a result of the will to disobey, the state of grace was lost, which lead to the loss of original justice. Specific concupiscence resulted from the fall and is a desire of the lower appetite contrary to reason. The sensuous and the rational appetite can be opposed: the natural object of the sensuous is gratification of the senses but the object of the rational is the good of the entire human nature and that is achieved by subordination of reason to God.


#4

they could well procreate otherwise than by the means of voluptuousness. Many private revelations including those recognized as authentic by the Church, affirm that before the fall, procreation should be done without voluptuousness


#5

I don’t follow….Is voluptuousness between husband and wife sinful? I never would have thought….I thought it was a gift that God gave to love between married couples. Outside of marriage, ok, but within a sanctioned marriage? I am not sure I can agree with this……


#6

Weird theory. Kinda suggests that original sin = God rewarding bad behavior.

Maybe the Fall simply happened before Eve got pregnant. Sex doesn’t automatically equal pregnancy: it can take a few months of trying.


#7

voluptuousness is not a sin, but it is a sign of human nature hurt by sin. In voluptuousness, the human seeks and finds his joy with the creature and not with the creator.


#8

To be honest, it’s still not easy to understand what God truly wants us to do with our lives


#9

on the contrary, knowing the will of God is very easy, as St. John Eudes said, and as I myself have always thought. And the psalmist says “what you want me to do is writen in the book …”.
The will of God is the natural law, his commandments, his counsels. That’s all! I do not understand how certain have managed to make the will of God a great mystery …


#10

@kgmlg The logic is simply that apparently all offspring were conceived after the Fall, otherwise they wouldn’t have inherited original sin. I’m aware of the be-fruitful verse, and I agree that it seems Adam and Eve would have heeded that. But at that point they had not fallen into sin, so if there were any offspring, they could not have inherited original sin – which goes against the doctrine that all humans have inherited original sin.

@Vico Your points noted, but they don’t address what I have pointed out, i.e. that the doctrine on the inheritance of original sin implies that all offspring were conceived post-Fall.

@Mboo Yes, you’re right. But if Adam and Eve conceived offspring prior to the Fall, without voluptuousness (i.e. lust), then there should be a part of humanity that did not inherit original sin, i.e. the pre-Fall-branch of humanity. But as said, this goes against doctrine.

If by voluptuousness you mean lust, then yes. Pope JP2 wrote about this. Paraphrasing, he taught us that the marital union does not legitimize lust. It legitimizes sexual intercourse, of course, but that intercourse should ideally be free of lust. (But that’s a topic for another thread.)

@TheAmazingGrace You’re saying maybe they had been “trying” since before the Fall, then the Fall happened, and then later Eve got pregnant? Possible, but that is an ad-hoc counterargument relying on coincidence: i.e. you’re saying it’s pure coincidence that there were no offspring before the Fall (because they were having intercourse), and pure coincidence that Eve suddenly did get pregnant after the fall.

To all: note that the argument under discussion is not that sexual intercourse was the original sin. It is that sexual climax and/or ej***lation was the original sin. This was the point raised in the other thread. (Forgive the explicitness.)


#11

This is what the Church teaches, I quote the CCC:

The Creator himself . . . established that in the [generative] function, spouses should experience pleasure and enjoyment of body and spirit. Therefore, the spouses do nothing evil in seeking this pleasure and enjoyment. They accept what the Creator has intended for them. At the same time, spouses should know how to keep themselves within the limits of just moderation.(Pie
XII, speech October 29, 1951).

So voluptuousness is not a sin, but it can become a sin when there is no moderation. And that is the problem! how do we know we are moderate or not? man will always convince himself that he is moderate and will enjoy as he pleases the sensual joys permitted by marriage.


#12

This would mean then, that original sin is something that we inherit genetically. I don’t think that’s the case.

I think it’s as if I took a hammer to my house and smashed everything. My children would naturally inherit a broken home.

Adam and Eve invited sin into the world which made the world a broken place for all of us. Again I have difficulty with original sin having a genetic component.


#13

Thanks for your replies, Mboo, but you’re veering off on another topic, i.e. of whether voluptuousness (i.e. lust) is a sin or not. Please open a separate thread for this if you want to discuss it; I’ll comment there. The topic of this thread is whether the original sin committed by Adam and Eve was sexual in nature (specifically whether it was orgasm) or not.


#14

I’ve heard this theory discussed before. I would think not, they were supposed to be having sex. It was pride the original sin my understanding.


#15

Thanks for your response, but I did not say that the inheritance mechanism is genetic. The mechanism of inheritance is irrelevant to my original inquiry, and also to RCC doctrine. The doctrine of the inheritance of original sin refers to the tendency to sin that was caused by our primordial ancestors having sinned; it does not refer to us being handed down a broken world – though certainly that is the case. The original point remains that Adam and Eve had no offspring prior to the Fall, and that suggests they either had no intercourse, or had it in a way that did not lead to conception.


#16

That may well be the traditional understanding. But it does not explain why Adam and Eve had no offspring prior to the Fall.


#17

For example, on October 1, 1980, the pope declares that a husband cannot be guilty of “lust in his heart” for his wife, but a week later, in the conference of October 8, he states confidently that even husbands can sin in this fashion.

https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/disembodied-theology-body

Looks like there is a “half-way” mark on “lusting after” your spouse. :slight_smile: It’s confusing…so maybe it has to be with pure love as the prime factor, but it would be sad if I didn’t “lust” after my spouse, if I had one that is. :slight_smile:

(apologies for going off topic….I will shut up now. :slight_smile: )


#18

God bless, when you mentioned conception of Adam and Eves offspring I thought that’s what you meant. That if a child was concieved before the fall they would NOT have original sin. That’s why I mentioned the world we are born into.

I still don’t think the first sin was orgasm, just my two cents.


#19

You’re right it doesn’t


#20

Timezone bump.


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.