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December 2nd, 2011
#303-Do we believe in Original Sin if the Adam & Eve story is a myth?

#303-Do we believe in Original Sin if the Adam & Eve story is a myth?  Please give to our “Double Your Dollars Holiday Fund Drive.” Church Search in Maryland. 12-3-11.

Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • JuliePurple

    It’s looking like nobody is ever going to try to clarify this. Bummer.

  • Julie Hagan Bloch

    Just to clarify, my question wasn’t as stated above, “Do we believe in Original Sin if the Adam & Eve story is a myth?” It was *Given* that the story of Adam and Eve is a myth, what rationale does the Catholic Church have for holding on to the idea of original sin?” It’s rather a different question than the one that was answered. Nevertheless, I do appreciate the attempt. Thank you for your efforts.

  • Julie Hagan Bloch

    Thanks so much for your answer. I do understand about artistic constructs conveying, or trying to convey, ideas about abstract truth. It is obvious that the book of Genesis is not a factual historical document, and is, at best, an allegory. That’s not in question.

    Your explanation was largely an explanation of why the book of Genesis is simply an allegory rather than out and out fiction. What I was hoping for was a more in depth discussion or explanation of the rationale behind attributing negative tendencies (for lack of a better term — possibly you’d prefer the word “sin” :-) to a spiritual cause as opposed to, for example, an evolutionary one.

    Humans as well as other organisms evolved in a very complex process, which involved/involves not only physical characteristics but also mental, psychic, emotional, etc. states as well. Our tendencies are part of the whole process of evolution. And how could it happen but that the creator of the universe set it up that way? To hold the opinion that there is such a thing as original sin or “rebelling against God” is ludicrous. Evolution favors what works. And what works, in the long run, seems to be kindness, self-discipline, thoughtfulness, and so forth. There doesn’t need to be any divine dictate supporting those qualities in order for them to make sense. And yes, of course other, less generally desirable qualities are present as well. It’s part of the evolutionary mixed bag necessary in order to find what works. There have to be a multitude of choices available to suit different circumstances. (For example, “don’t kill” is very good in a general way, but what if someone is trying to kill you? Self defense sometimes requires that one kill for one’s survival.) It has nothing to do with inherent sinfulness.
    So, no, even as explained, I see no reason to accept that there is such a thing as original sin.

    ((By the way, the dictionary definition of concupiscence is simply “strong desire” (often, but not always, referring to sexual desire). It has nothing to do with deciding to go against “god’s will”.))

    Anyhow, I appreciate your attempt. Perhaps you’ll get around to going more deeply into the question at a future time. Thanks.

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