Would a human clone have Original Sin?

I read a lot of science fiction and have always wondered IF (hopefully never) human cloning came to be.

Original sin is about the law of heritage. The law of God says (paraphrased) a man will receive his heritage from his father. His good and perfect idea was to have many sons through Adam. Adam would have the heritage of his father, God, and would pass that on to his sons. A family is what God had in mind.
The law also said, (paraphrased)if you sin you die. Not just any sin, but a specific sin of attempting to usurp your father’s house. For the free man, there is no other law. Adam did exactly that and was sentenced to death. This sentence of death was deferred until a later time and he became a slave of God in care of the captain of the guard, Satan. The law of heritage is still the law and each son of Adam now receives the heritage of slavery, awaiting the execution of God’s just judgement, death.
Jesus used the inverse of this law to save us. “If you don’t sin, you don’t die”. Since he was a free man having the heritage of God his father, he has a case in God’s courthouse. While Adam is caught up in a criminal case, Jesus is filing a civil case. While Adam is found guilty and sentenced to death, Jesus wins his civil case and is awarded his recompense - full authority over the law, governor of everything. As governor, he can, at his discretion, grant Adam a full pardon.
I hope this helps you see that, if your roots are in Adam, the law of heritage shows you to be a rebel, the son of a rebel.
God bless you.

All humans inherit original sin, so if someone is human they also inherit original sin regardless of how they came into being-- through natural generation by their parents, through artificial conception techniques, or through “cloning”.

Original sin is a state of deprivation of original holiness, we all come under original sin save the Blessed Virgin who was preserved from it by a singular act of grace.

Absolutely. :thumbsup:

The idea that original sin is inextricably linked with the sexual act was once popular among theologians, but in the light of artificial conception, it has been superseded.

I don’t think so as a human clone would most likely not have a spiritual soul but an animal soul. The soul being that part of an organic organism that animates the body. The Spirit animates the soul and the soul animates the body. Humans have souls (minds) and bodies but also a Spirit which sets us apart from other living creatures. Adam and Eve would have been animals until God breathed His Spirit into them.

Fulton Sheen compares man to a peach. The pit or core is the Spirit, what surrounds the pit is the soul and what is the outer covering is the body. (If we aren’t healthy spiritually eventually it will effect the mind and the body)

I think all living things can be said to have a soul whether it is a complex brain or meer instinct for survival but only man also has a Spirit and is created in the image of God. spiritually.

I think so. If they are human, then they have Original Sin. Ever since Adam and Eve all people have it with the only exception being Jesus and Mary. If they are human, they have original sin. I also think the only point of departure would be if they are made by cloning, are they really human?


If our society insists on pushing this “I have to be great and feel about something” mentality, someone is probably going to try this at some point.

Two great points.

Great! Been arguing with my priest whom believes we are just body and soul/spirit. I tell him we are tripart beings. If we were made in the image of God and God is a Trinity. Why would we be tri-part beings also. 1 Thes 5:23 “And the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete,…”

The spirit as our inmost part is the inner organ, possessing God-consciousness, that we may contact God (john 4:24, Rom. 1:9). The sous is our very self(Matt. 16:26; Luke 9:25), a medium between our spirit and our body, possessing self consciousness, that we may have our personality. The body as our external part is the outer organ, possessing world consciousness, that we may contact the material world. The body contains the soul, and the soul is the vessel that contains the spirit. God as the Spirit dwells: in the soul, our self dwells; in the body the physical senses dwell.

So If God is Spirit…a clone which is an act of ourselves and not God would not have a Spirit. Unless you think we are actually cloning God. Which would be a very prideful thing to think we could do and would think ranks up there with a certain angel that got booted out of heaven for eternity for such thinking.


I guess human clones would have souls and original sin. That’s the only explanation that makes sense.

…but the view of sex stemming from this rejected idea is still being cherished.

St Augustine seems to have clouded the issue of original sin (according to my Parish Priest) I myself remain confused. If evolution comes into play now ,as more and more Catholics are stating it does and that we evolved from whatever? and genesis is forever being seen as "just a story "it leaves me as a simple catholic person who always believed what I was taught quite puzzled as to at what point in evolving do we attain original sin?. There are many scenarios that come into play but I personally would just like to accept the Genesis scenario. Please can someone give me a definitive answer so I can move on. Thank you.

Not at all. What about the Theology of the Body? :slight_smile:

But that’s a topic for another thread.

I doubt that any human being, whether conceived naturally or technologically, would be free of original sin; he would still have a human soul.

I’m not following here. :confused: A human clone is essentially a delayed twin. I see no reason to think that a human clone produced artificially would not have a spiritual soul, any more than a person who is conceived via IVF or even by rape or adultery would not have a spiritual soul. All of these are against God’s laws and contrary to His plan, but that doesn’t make the people born from these processes less human.

As I understand it, as long as there is a human body, there is a human soul, which by God’s design is a spiritual, rational, immortal soul. It’s impossible for a human being to have an animal soul.

And if it’s a human being, then he inherits the Original Sin of his first parent. Just because he is brought into being in a way contrary to God’s plan doesn’t affect his humanity.

If you human being was created from SCRATCH, that is molecule by molecule, enough to
create at least a reproducing cell that would develop into a human being, then PERHAPS
it would not have Original Sin, but would it have a soul? Doubt it.

However, all humans are born sinful, being descendant from the
first humans that brought sin into the world. So, if a human was
cloned from another human who was born of Original Sin, then
that clone would likely have Original Sin as well.

The Church doesn’t teach Genesis is “just a story”. If anyone is telling you that they are severely mistaken. Genesis recounts a real, historical, event. But, it uses figurative language to convey it. In other words, our first parents really existed, they really did sin, they really did reject God and cut humanity off from God’s friendship. Whether or not there was a real tree, or if the tree is a symbol for their pride, and their actual sin was something else, we don’t know. It’s not really important.

Evolution only attempts to describe where the human body came from, not the soul, and so it poses no problem to the doctrine of Original Sin. It’s possible that God used evolution to form the first man’s body, but what is certain and what the Church definitively teaches is that at some point God directly intervened and infused a soul into the first man, and that’s when he became a human being. And it was that first man, Adam, that sinned and separated humanity from God.

Yes, all living things have a soul - but there are distinctions:
plant souls have vegetative life
animal souls have sensative life
human souls have rational life

A human consists of only a body and a soul. There is no third part called “spirit”. What is sometimes referred to as “spirit” is included in “soul”.
CCC #363.CCC #363 In Sacred Scripture the term “soul” often refers to human life or the entire human person. But “soul” also refers to the innermost aspect of man, that which is of greatest value in him, that which is of greatest of value in him, that by which he is most especially in God’s image: “soul” signifies the *spiritual principle *in man.

**CCC #367 **Sometimes the soul is distinguished from the spirit: St. Paul for instance prays that God may sanctify his people “wholly”, with “spirit and soul and body” kept sound and blameless at the Lord’s coming. The Church teaches that this distinction does not introduce a duality into the soul “Spirit” signifies that from creation man is ordered to a supernatural end and that his soul can gratuitously be raised beyond all it deserves to communion with God. It would be contrary to Church teaching to say that human nature consists of body, soul & spirit.

Well put.

Hold on there. What is the ontological difference between:

(1) an ovum fertilized by a live sperm in woman’s body
(2) an ovum fertilized by a live sperm in vitro (IVF)
(3) an ovum to which we have transferred a DNA from a somatic cell (cloning)
(4) an ovum to which we have transferred a DNA assembled synthetically

I claim that there is none. In all cases, the ovum is just molecular machinery and DNA is just the information carrier.

Augustine’s theory of original sin has been experimenally proven to be false when the first human IVF suceeded. It’s dead. Cloning (step #3) is just another nail in its coffin.

So instead, modern Catholic theology tries to tie original sin to some elusive “human nature”. The biggest problem with it, is that is is completely undefined – nobody knows what it is, because nowadays nobody can provide a rigorous definition of a human.

Consider the following thought experiment. Human DNA and chimpanzee DNA are known to be 99% identical. So we take chimp DNA and start introducing changes to match human DNA – one base pair by base at the time. Then we introduce each version into an ovum and let it develop – creating millions of intermediary forms between a human and a chimp. Some of these will survive, so we let them grow into adulthood. (And since we’re running a thought experiment, we have unlimited budget and do not have to worry about ethical committee). At the end we have, say, 1000 intermediary forms. Can you say which ones are ensouled and which are not? Which have original sin?

I can understand this regarding a clone who is ‘born’ and matured in a donor mothers womb, but what about a clone that was never in a womb, or born of a mother, one that is cloned and grown in a lab, or special equipment, IMO, would not be considered human, and therefore would not have original sin, but would not have a soul either. It requires God to breath life into each fetus for something to have a soul, so a being that is created by mankind, would not have that breath from God…this gets confusing, but I tend to think clones will be kind of like animals in God eyes, maybe not even that though, as an animal also requires that breath of God to start life…not sure what a clone would be then?? LOL

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