Original Sin - Would it have happened eventually?


#1

Was the choice whether or not to obey God about the tree THE definitive choice, such as it was like the angel’s choice? If they had chosen to obey at that moment, would everything have been perfect and they would not be able to sin anymore like in heaven, or would they have kids and someone eventually come along and sin?
It’s confusing to write this, I hope it makes sense to others.


#2

I forgot where I heard this so correct me if I get mistaken…:blush:

The choice to eat the apple was ours (humans)

If we never ate the apple, all of us would have gone eventually to heaven

The interesting thought is that why was it an apple?
partially b/c sin is seductive but God could have made it a spiked or electric apple

But what the serpent said was true: They would have knowledge of good and evil
so God could have a being that could truly know God and love God back
in contrast to an animal which has no conscience

It was mentioned in the Easter exsultet
I think when it says “O happy fault”

[BIBLEDRB]John 17:3[/BIBLEDRB]


#3

First of all, the Bible does not say that the fruit was an apple. Apples were generally shown in Medieval artwork, primarily because apples are common in Europe. I’ve heard that earlier traditions believed that the fruit was a fig, and that in some places in Africa, the tradition is that it was a banana. The temptation, though, was to “be like God” - a continual theme in human history. I’ve read that it’s been thought by some to be talking about the discovery of farming, as domesticated plants and animals are fully dependent on humans for sustenance, while wild animals are dependent only on God.

Regardless, we see the temptation to “be like God” continually today in science - trying to create life in a laboratory.


#4

I couldn’t have ask better myself. The answer still not there, it might be one of those that we have to wait until we meet God.


#5

For everything to be perfect, and guaranteed to remain so, not only Adam’s will, but the wills of all his descendants would have to be confirmed in grace (i.e. made incapable of sin), and that from the moment of their conception, or at least before the age of reason.

Given that God rewarded the holy angels for their choice with the Beatific Vision, and given that we were all “in Adam” when Adam made his choice, it is conceivable to me that God could have rewarded the whole human race for choosing him in Adam, by confirming our wills in grace, just as we were all punished for Adam’s choice of himself, by death.

Still, confirmation of the will in grace is a gratuitous gift, and I think it would be wrong to say that God would in any way be obliged to give it. So in the end, I don’t think we know the answer.


#6

Interesting question.

I have heard that the general understanding is that humans, in our pure and glorified state on earth, would all have our temptation, just as Adam and Eve did. Adam and Eve, had they succeeded the test and not betrayed God, would have gone on to enjoy their lives in the earthly paradise, and then would be assumed up into Heaven at the proper time.

Their children, however, wouldn’t simply inherit this glorified state without being challenged, however. They, too, would suffer temptations, and could be lured and drawn away by Satan, just as Adam and Eve were.

The reason this is possible is because temptation is not sin. Temptation is simply the incitement to sin. Even Jesus and Mary suffered temptations, but the difference between us and them is that we often fall, but they never did.

The children of Adam and Eve (in the scenario we have proposed, that Adam and Eve did not sin) would suffer these temptations, and could conceivably fall to them, just as, say, Mary could have. However, they, not having suffered the effect of Original Sin, would have no concupiscence, and thus, the inclination to sin would be greatly reduced, making them far better able to resist sinning than we are able.


#7

if there were no hypothetical questions, then you couldn’t ask “what if there were no hypothetical questions?”


#8

There is only one person, who is not one of the Persons of the Godhead, who is forever faithful solely to God’s Word, without physical revelation of the consequence of disobedience, who is the Immaculate Conception, Mary, the Most Holy Virgin Mother of God, perfect obedience!

Thanks for sharing the interesting good for thought!


#9

Interesting question to be sure. It can be argued that Adam and Eve represented Humankind and so if they passed the test their offspring would not have the opportunity. Well maybe but then, maybe not. There is no way to tell. We are stuck with the decision made by Adam and Eve.

Another intriguing question is whether, by placing this tree in the middle of the garden, it can be argued that God is pro choice because He allowed man the opportunity to choose sin. That God instilled in man a free will is acknowledged but does that mean that God is indeed pro choice, at least as the term is used in today’s issue of abortion? That God wanted Adam and Eve to make a choice cannot be denied but that does not justify the decision that is made.


#10

The nitty-gritty of Catholicism leads to a technical question. How could Adam represent humankind before he had any children?


#11

There were no laboratories at the beginning…

Wonder what the actual temption looked like when satan said they could be like God…


#12

Since the Church teaches de fide that “Adam’s sin is transmitted to his posterity, not be imitation, but by descent” (Council of Trent), it follows that the good consequence of not falling from supernatural grace would also be “by descent” to his posterity.


#13

Just a thought: God can not create an infallible person, not capable of making a mistake. To be infallible one must be God. God is the only one that is Omniscient, all knowing. He can not create another God. God is not created Humans are created, fallible, and limited, any infallibility comes by sharing His infallibility, not from ourselves, We are totally dependent on God for truth. Because of this condition the children of Adam could make the same mistakes as Adam I believe God knew this when He created man, but being God who is infinitely capable of doing anything had a plan, and this plan was revealed in Jesus. God is Existence and Love. Jesus is the Father’s expression and gift of love for us to redeem us from our fallibility and limitations.


#14

Actually, yes, God could great such an infallible being. By not giving it free will. Notice the pronoun I used: “it”.

By nature of our free will, we are free to make the decision to disobey and horribly offend God, and He knew this before he gave us the gift. It was his decision to allow evil and sin in the world to give us the ever greater gift of free will.


#15

That sounds like a good answer.


#16

I would say not everyone gets to use their freewill and a choice to decide to disobey and as you say horribly offend God. Some people can be conditioned into sin.

I’m not totally sure God allowed sin into the world, Adam had all that he needed to be the perfect human whom God created all to be. Yes he had freewill, and so he used it. Adam brought sin into the world, with the help of a fallen angel.

Still to say God allowing evil and sin in the world to give us the greater gift of free will, baffles my already pickled brain.


#17

Ah! I totally understand you; you’ve hit, on full throttle, the problem of evil. Mysterium iniquitatem (the mystery of iniquity).

It does indeed seem impossible, ridiculous, and horrifying. But it is true. We must believe it, both because the Church infallibly teaches that it is so and because free will is a self-evident truth.


#18

I was just reading about this yesterday in Adoration, in a book entitled Catholicism and Reason by Rev. Edward J. Hayes, Rev. Msgr. Paul J. Hayes, and James J. Drummey. It’s part of a 5-book set which I think is used in RCIA sometimes. crpublications.com/books.html shows the set on the top row.

As I said, I was skimming through Catholicism and Reason, and settled in to read Chapter 16, “In the Beginning.” I’m always interested in clear explanations of the Church’s teaching on these matters, both for my own spiritual growth and because I’m attempting a C.S. Lewis-style science fiction novel about an alien race that was allowed to become advanced enough to travel to the stars (and come to visit Earth) before being put to the test.

It’s tricky dealing with these questions. I am a scientific-minded person and - along with learned minds and holy people including Popes - doing my best to understand how Genesis/the Bible and scientific inquiry/some process of evolution don’t have to be at war with one another. My understanding grows slowly and now and then hits conundrums, but this is to be expected when grappling with such matters.

In the case of Earth and human beings (the only case of which we know unless proof of extraterrestrial beings with intelligence and immortal souls comes to light), it seems to come down to at what point in the development of primitive hominids were there the ones who were Adam and Eve, i.e., the ones given immortal souls. Then these first parents had to make the choice. If they hadn’t sinned, I’m guessing humankind would all be like the Blessed Mother, and taken body and soul to Heaven when we “fall asleep” at the end of our Earthly existences.

The book I mentioned above, in that chapter, also does an excellent job of explaining how our souls, and the privilege of being in Heaven with God, were offered to us, and God wasn’t being mean to take them away - he offered a gift, we refused it, so we’re simply having to struggle along without that gift - plus God has given us Jesus’s redemption so we have a chance to regain it. It’s that simple.


#19

Interesting post: I offer my opinion in efforts to be in accord with the Church, in all events my judgement is submissive to Church teaching.

God is the Supreme Truth , Omniscient,infinite knowledge, incapable of error. infallible.
Human are created, finite, and fallible. They can share in "infallibility by “endowment” by Divine assistance such as the Church does, not by inspiration nor revelation (Catholic Doctrine)
St. Thomas Aquinas states that one of the characteristic that make up our nature is Potency (the capacity to actualize or to become,) and Act, to be real (or the fulfillment of the potential) This is the principle of change. We are always changing.

God is Pure Act, complete, no potency. Pure Being, Existence no change

Creation and infallibility are opposing concepts one (creation) is finite, the other (infallibility) is infinite
one is changeable , the other unchangeable, one is created, the other uncreated, one is fallible, the other infallible.
Infallibility in humans is an "endowment from God, Divine assistance.
God can not create an infallible being
Adam was the first perfect man( perfect here meaning complete, but not divine) sharing in Divine Grace, by the Holy Spirit with gifts of integrity and justice. He wasn’t ignorant but he didn,t have full knowledge, nor could he. He was tempted to be like God, knowing good and evil. When he fell, because of his changeableness, his fallibility, he lost the Holy Spirit of truth, the gift of justice, and integrity. As the Church states in her doctrine that mankind received this sin by descent, and if Adam had made the right choice(humility instead of pride) his posterity would have received the blessings that would come from his right choice. So I was wrong in my statement about his posterity making the same mistake as Adam, they are not in the state of grace that Adam was, he was in a perfect state, we are not. He wasn’t handicapped, we are spiritually handicapped. This was the purpose of Jesus Christ’s entrance into the world, to bring us back to that state of grace that Adam had, to have that relationship he had with God, to give us His Spirit, to make all things right.

We share in Divine Life by the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth and holiness, to become like God, not to become God I am open to corrections


#20

It’s that simple

Might be simple for you :wink:


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