Original Sin

Are we (all of humanity) paying for the sins of Adam and Eve? If so, I don’t quite understand. Why are we paying for someone else’s mistake? I mean we’re talking about a mistake that has ultimately caused massive amounts of suffering to countless generations. I have this sin nature due to simply being born and I stand in judgement cause of it. I wish we could’ve all been able to vote on a better representative of mankind other than Adam and Eve considering all that was at stake. Can someone explain this to me in terms that make sense? I’m looking into Catholicism but I’ve got some issues here and there that I want to make sure I understand first. Thank you.

Well, what Adam and Eve did was not to give us a ‘sin nature’ per se, but to open us to concupiscence. That, meaning, temptation to sin–is not itself sinful.

But the thing to remember above all is that even though we ARE affected by the choices of our ancestors (and that is the case of many bad AND good things which affect us --for example, some people inherit diseases from their ancestors and die young even though they are personally health-conscious and ‘good’; some inherit ‘good genes’ so that even if they themselves smoke like chimneys and drink like fish, they live happy healthy lives into their 90s!) Jesus SAVED us from the consequences. We may be weakened, we may be tempted, but He has given us salvation, eternal life. . .things which we do not deserve on our own merits.

It’s not as though even if we’d been created without original sin that we would be perfect. After all, Adam and Eve THEMSELVES were created without sin. . .and look what happened!!!

Are you familiar with these verses from Genesis, chapter 1? This is the Bible link I use. usccb.org/bible/books-of-the-bible/index.cfm

24k Then God said: Let the earth bring forth every kind of living creature: tame animals, crawling things, and every kind of wild animal. And so it happened:

25 God made every kind of wild animal, every kind of tame animal, and every kind of thing that crawls on the ground. God saw that it was good.

26l Then God said: Let us make* human beings in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the tame animals, all the wild animals, and all the creatures that crawl on the earth.

27 God created mankind in his image;
in the image of God he created them;
male and female* he created them.

28 God blessed them and God said to them: Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.* Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that crawl on the earth.m

And these verses from Psalm 8

4 When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and stars that you set in place—

**5 *What is man that you are mindful of him,(“http://www.usccb.org/bible/psalms/8#23008005-b”)
and a son of man that you care for him?c

**6 **Yet you have made him little less than a god,*
crowned him with glory and honor.

The reason I ask is that we can learn about Adam, the first, original, human – which should help us understand what really happened in that lovely Garden. Personally, I like to emphasize the dramatic shift from Genesis 1: 25 to Genesis 1: 26.

Since you are investigating the faith, I offer these thoughts on your concerns about the first human beings:

Undeniably they were weak (and so, may appear to be less than stellar representatives of mankind). However, they served as the catalyst to show the perfect justice of God.

Just as Jesus told us in the 9th and 11th Chapters of the Gospel according to John, the reason for the man being born blind, and the reason for Lazarus’s death was to show the glory and power of God through their healing and rising, the disobedience of Adam and Eve would show the power and glory of God by their disobedience giving the impetus for the creation of the Second Eve (Mary, the Mother of the Living), and the Second Adam (Jesus Christ, the first fruit of the dead) to restore human immortality following the Fall of Man (recall that the Fall introduced “death”, and after death there was nothing (except perhaps Sheol - the Land of the Dead- where both the just and unjust went after death, until Christ died for atonement of our sins, and went to preach to the dead those 3 days before his resurrection, so that they were offered the hope of eternal life in Heaven).

Peace and all good!

While I am sure that when you described Adam as “weak”, you did so in a kind and loving way; nonetheless, please look at Genesis 1: 27 in post 3 – Adam was sharing in God’s life. In 20-20 hindsight, Psalm 8: 6 (post 3) is dancing on the ceiling . My Bible describes Psalm 8 as the “Majesty of God and the Dignity of Man.”
Paragraph 343 of the universal Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition, says:

**343 **Man is the summit of the Creator’s work, as the inspired account expresses by clearly distinguishing the creation of man from that of the other creatures.
Footnote: Genesis 1: 26.

The dignity of Adam has to be recognized before one can attempt to understand Original Sin as taught by the Catholic Church.

Links to the universal Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition.
Please note: One needs to first read paragraphs 20-21 in order to understand the use of small print.



I like to think that Adam and Eve were created with supernatural gifts, gifts which they lost when they sinned. Without those supernatural gifts, human nature devolved to its natural condition. It is no injustice then that the children of Adam and Eve were born in the natural human condition without supernatural gifts because gifts are gifts, not entitlements.

Right, and God offers grace and salvation to whoever asks for it anyway so it wasn’t permanently lost.

I’m just baffled every time I think of all the havoc that came into the world cause of this one decision. Death, cancer, war, poverty, famine, etc…take your pic. Billions and billions of people have suffered cause of this. I feel like my brother robbed a bank and the judge decided that my wife and I and my son should go to jail for life too just because my brother and I are related. It just seems awfully harsh. And then on top of that we all stand condemned and judged to go to hell because we are now born flawed and imperfect. Am I missing something here? Thanks for the responses everyone. I’m just trying to wrap my head around this.

When people misbehave or do stupid things that make you shake your head in wonder, you will hear the expression, “Well, that is just human nature.”

What does that mean? It means that it is human nature to misbehave and do stupid things.

This is my understanding of original sin. It isn’t a matter of being punished for the sin of Adam and Eve. It is a matter of inheriting the fallen nature of being human.

If I believed that this is the answer, I wouldn’t be a Catholic.
This is not Church teaching.

We have be given freedom of will. We are not puppets on a string. The misery brought to this world is because of the choices humans have made. One of the things that separate us from animals is our innate knowledge of good and evil. The choices we make, with the knowledge given us, is what either separates us from God or brings us closer.

We can’t sin by accident. When we sin, it is with full knowledge that what we do or don’t do is wrong. We know that it is wrong but we do it anyway.

Yes. posts 3 & 5. If no one cares about these …then there is no point in continuing these posts according to Catholic teachings, especially the Catholic teachings on human nature, the original relationship between humanity and Divinity, and the necessity for Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.

For example. The dignity of Adam has to be recognized before one can attempt to understand Original Sin as taught by the Catholic Church. (post 5) Yet, even in a Traditional Catholicism Forum, there is silence. :o

Please note: I sincerely appreciate the above posts which do have quality information. Thank you sincerely.


The human person is worthy of profound respect.

Please expand on that some.
Perhaps if the OP understood that importance of the dignity of the human person and approached the question from that angle, he might be able to make more sense out of the answers given.

Keep in mind lucifer was the first sinner. Quite simply if it wasn’t lucifer, or Adam, or, Eve commiting sin it would’ve been someone somewhere along the line. It’s common sense that we are made in the image and likeness of God. What does that really mean? Our main Godlike faculties are our intellect and our will. All souls are created good with knowledge. The species God ENTRUSTED to freewill (the ability to choose good or evil, NOT THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE EVIL) are the Angels and the humans. Both species defied God and betrayed Him. This is hard to put into language but I guess to put it in laymans terms is that we have the minds similar of God on a very minuscule scale. That knowledge is pure intelligence. For a good created being with no dark temptations alluring him because everything was good at the time such as lucifer why did he sin? Because knowledge is power. Confidential information on love, innocence, happiness, life etc. Because he could do it based on what he knows. With all that knowledge and intelligence it can be easy for a good being to tempt itself into defiling the good, and robbing other creatures of their happiness, innocence, and love. So the thing is if it wasn’t lucifer or adam or eve it could’ve been anyone else. And when sin begins it starts a chain reaction in destruction and other good creatures upon seeing the sin in front of them will be tempted. They may then fall as well. God’s intellect is perfect and cannot be fully understood especially in human language. I hope I have explained somewhat of what you were wanting as you sound frustrated for answers. But understand everything cannot be answered perfectly in our human language. Assent of faith is necessary first before the mind can more coherently grasp God. Always read Scripture so as not to try and find fault in God. For instance someone reading Sacred Scripture with a disapproving mind may read the story about Jesus turning the water into wine. They will read how the waiters poured water into the jars and then drew the water back out and it had turned into wine. Now the disproving mind might say something like this “Well Jesus must have not been that powerful if He needed water in there first.” Or. “He must not be really God because He couldn’t just pop wine out of thin air.” The fact is Jesus could do those things. It is possible for God Almighty. However, to the mind that gives the assent of faith it is understood. There needed to be no question this was Divine work taking place. Those waiters most likely needed to see that because ---- “Ok, I’m pouring water in here. Whoa! now the water I put into there just turned into wine!” That way there is no question of this being a possible pretend magic trick. That may not have been the only logical reason why Jesus did that as well. There could have also been a plethora of other reasons why Jesus chose to turn water into wine vs thin air into wine. Why does God allow evil? First of all He is truth so God says what He means and He said it was going to happen if we sinned. And also to allow the greater good to come out of it. It is said our glory will be greater for going through this battle vs our previous state of grace with Adam and Eve. No Cross No Crown. No pain no gain.

Post 14 is great with its information. What is needed is to explore the dignity of Adam as pertaining to his “high rank,” that is, his position in the history of humankind.

The author of the first and second chapters of Genesis could have focused on the accomplishments of the Hebrew nation and its devotion to a single God, etc. Instead, the focus is on the single first creature that is totally human. This human is intended to be the founder, with his spouse Eve, of the human species. (Genesis 2: 18; Genesis 2: 23)

The additional dignity of Adam is that he is the original first human being. Paragraph 404, Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition, explains Adam’s unique dignity in this manner. "The whole human race is in Adam ‘as one body of one man.’ " A few sentences later, paragraph 404 explains “But we do know by Revelation that Adam had received original holiness and justice not for himself alone, but for all human nature.”

The additional dignity of Adam, as the original human being, is the base of the original relationship between God as Creator and humankind. Obviously, the status of Adam and the status of the Creator is not the same. CCC 396 emphasizes that humankind can live in a friendship relationship only in free submission to God. At the dawn of human history, it is Adam who is first to be in friendship with God. Adam begins life in the State of Original Holiness aka the State of Sanctifying Grace. As the first parent, with his spouse Eve, Adam’s descendants will continue in the same “state.”

Original Sin is the name of Adam’s free action of disobedience. The result of Original Sin is that the original human relationship with God is shattered.

In this example from post 8.
“I feel like my brother robbed a bank and the judge decided that my wife and I and my son should go to jail for life too just because my brother and I are related.”

Please answer the following questions based on the above example from Post 8.
Where is God?
What is God doing?
Is a human judge God?
What did you inherit from your brother?

Humanity experienced two forms of loss when Adam and Eve sinned.

  1. They lost the grace in which they had been created, and thus no longer had that supernatural gift to pass on to their children together with their nature (as God had intended the two, nature and supernature, to go together as a package deal). So part of original sin is simply being born without the help of sanctifying grace. And without grace, we cannot enjoy eternal life. But this can’t be described as a punishment because no one deserves grace (and thus eternal life). No one has a claim on God’s free gift.

  2. They damaged their nature itself such that we inherited darkened intellects and disordered desires/passions instead of an enlightened, well-ordered, fully-intact human nature. Because of this damage, we cannot freely choose the supernatural good without the intervention of God’s grace to help turn our will toward that good. Thus in all our decisions prior to or apart from grace we freely choose against God, and thus are justly punished.

Naturally, I do not expect answers to these questions. The real point is to demonstrate that the comparisons between the real Catholic teachings on Original Sin and human allegories are flawed. Primarily, a human parent, human judge, human this or that does not have the actual status of God the Creator. Primarily, the necessary role of Jesus Christ in the restoration of the broken relationship is overlooked, probably because the basic requirement for a Divinity/humanity relationship is ignored. Genesis 2: 15-17; Genesis 3:15; CCC 396-398; CCC 404-405.

Where is God? Start with John 3:16-17. What is God doing? The victory is described in 1 Corinthians 15: 54-56.

My poor analogy was describing God, original sin, and the suffering that has come forth since then. Ultimately I know God is God and I am not. So I mean no disrespect. It just seems like the rest of humanity since Adam and Eve have suffered greatly because of some one else’s mistake is all. I didn’t ask for this sin nature. I can’t help that I’m unable to be perfect 365 days of the year in thought, word, and deed. But yet, I stand guilty anyways. I wonder if Adam and Eve knew of the repercussions of their decision before hand. Did they know they would ultimately bring about death, war, disease, famine, etc…Remind me to have a little talk with Adam and Eve if I ever make it to heaven. Was it truly necessary for God to allow this domino reaction? Maybe it was. I dunno. I obviously look at suffering as bad and not how things ought to be. It’s just something that bothers me greatly. Thanks for your replies and understanding.

Also to add insult too injury, One could also point out that as ecclesiastical the book denotes, he could only find one man in a million he could trust and know females in a million . . Point of evaluation being, both were born without original sin but the female was to blame, ostensibly because the man would hold his joy within ( very scriptural ) and like the modern day sinario the female cannot cope and run`s around like a gossip , " maybe " : Eek :

Also, like those disciples with G_od, there respect and belief of him considering was not really sufficient ( Post two by tantum Ergo is I think pretty well written ) . .

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