Original Sin - Guilt by Association

Introduction

Perhaps one of the most damningly immoral aspects of most Christian beliefs is the existence of the doctrine of Original sin. Most people are familiar with the idea and with the story of Adam and Eve that Original Sin is extrapolated from. The basic concept is that Adam and Eve's sin in the Garden, which involved eating from a magical tree, would then spread to any offspring Adam and Eve had. In some versions this infection of Original Sin into creation stems from God's cursing of his creation and of Adam and Eve immediately prior to their banishment from the Garden.

In this hub I will touch upon my objections to Original Sin and on the supposed “Salvation” from it offered by Jesus.

The God Who Knew Too Little

One of the qualities often ascribed to the Christian God is that of omniscience, or knowing everything. In most versions of this quality this includes not only all information in the past and present but also knowing the future. This means that rather than sit down and weight pro and cons on consequences that God would KNOW what would happen as a result of any decision he – or anyone else – might make.

Often times Christians will interject the caveat of Free Will in order to block out God's omniscience by claiming that God cannot see or predict what decisions we humans will make with our God given free will. This negates entirely the premise of omniscience as any gap in knowledge necessarily disqualifies such a claim. So God either knows all and all is predetermined, or God's knowledge is at least in part limited.

A problem arises, however, when the Bible tells stories which suggest that God cannot predict the future of his own decisions. The story of Original Sin in Eden is one of the strongest examples of this in the entirety of Biblical canon. God makes the decision to create two beings who are void of the “knowledge of good and evil”, he seems to specifically deny them this quality for a reason. He then proceeds to inform them of a tree he's planted in the Garden that will grant them the ability to know right from wrong, he does not want them to eat from this tree.

Obviously denying them the ability to tell right from wrong does not prevent them from doing something wrong, or sinning. God apparently does not foresee the negative impact of his decision to deny them this ability or his decision to plant the tree to begin with. He also doesn't foresee the issue with creating snakes that can talk, or be possessed by Lucifer depending on your interpretation. Surely God's decision to plant the tree that he doesn't want them to eat from in the Garden where he has them living out their lives can ONLY lead to BAD things. The best result God can hope for is that Adam and Eve, with no moral compasses whatsoever, will decide to obey that command for their ENTIRE lives, which Genesis seems to suggest lasted centuries and which many Christians claim would have lasted for eternity (the idea that there was “no death before the Fall”).

God CANNOT realistically expect perfection from beings that he has created with the necessarily imperfect ability of free will. What do I mean? Free will, in order to be fully free, MUST contain the ability to make one's own decisions and those include decisions that are not morally good. In creating Free Will God creates the potential for sin and thus is creating an imperfect system. So God must know that this plan will backfire, yet he still acts out-raged when Adam and Eve cave into temptation. He's granted them the ability to cave into it, granted them no capability to realize that giving in would be morally wrong and then decided to be SURPRISED and UPSET when his incompetence blows up in his face.

And the Generation After that, and so on

After the initial backfire of God's plan God makes what can only be seen in hindsight as a terrible error on his part. Instead of finding a way to wipe Adam and Eve's slate clean, to forgive them and start all over, God instead allows Original Sin to go forward and spread from Father to Son. The sins of the Father now get slapped onto the son from birth allowing the entire world to be worthy of condemnation to Hell. This is the belief that I was instilled with as a child, that we all deserved Hell, that we were all filthy sinners, and that it was Adam and Eve's fault.

In truth though it was God's fault. If Adam and Eve are his children and they do something wrong it is up to God to correct them, to set them on the right moral path, and to see that they are raised up correctly. Instead God, who is meant to be the ultimate Father figure, imparts no wisdom to Adam and Eve, he curses them and banishes them from the Garden. Imagine you are a parent, are you going to kick your kid out of the house when they make the first mistake? Yet God is meant to be long-suffering and merciful, more so than any human parent could ever be.

Surely God should be able to see the error of letting the infection of Original Sin spread and put the whole world in danger of Hell. Indeed God, being omniscient, should know that not only are people in danger of Hell, many of those in his beloved creation are DESTINED to go there IF Original sin is left in place. Why God does not act immediately to correct his blunder is only further evidence of this character's fictious-ness. We're not dealing with depictions of an actual infallible deity, we're dealing with a fictional deity claimed to be infallible by the incompetent mythologists that wrote about him him.

When God does get around to imparting wisdom, this is what we get:

Jesus Christ, you cannot be serious

Christians reminded of verses from the Old Testament showing God's barbarism and stupidity will typically resort to bringing up Jesus. Jesus changed all those Old Testament laws (even though he didn't) and forgave the world's sins by dying for them. It's the same trick I used to do when I was a Christian, focus on the loving and merciful aspects of Christianity and the Bible and downplay any reasons to doubt or question.

The most powerful way to do this is to tell people that Jesus was thinking of them on the cross and that whole time he was having the shit kicked out of him. It's a powerful idea, that one man's blood and sweat and tears and the whole time he was doing it for a bunch of ungrateful pricks who wanted to just wanted to drink, gamble and fuck all the time. This stirs up feelings of guilt and sets up a “you're either with Jesus or you're against him” mentality and preys on emotional vulnerability.

This is your guilt by association, you are a filthy wretched sinner worthy of being burned in a lake of fire for not bearing proper “fruit” for God. All because of Adam, all because you're a human being. Christianity tears you down as a person and then inserts the “But God loves you, you filthy bastard”.

So Jesus Christ is God's plan for redemption for the human creation that has gone astray eh? You can't be serious. Jesus Christ came and went 2000 years ago supposedly, yet does the world look remotely redeemed? Sure we've made some progress as a society but that progress has, more often then not, been in direct contradiction to religious ideas. Slavery, for example, is condoned openly by God in the Bible, we abolished that a few hundred years ago. In that war, the Civil War, hundreds of thousands gave up their lives to put to rest a barbaric and dehumanizing practice that the Bible openly approves of. You want to talk about sacrifices to make the world a better place?

But Jesus was just here to save souls right? Not to actually make the world a better place? Would making the world a better place not have helped save souls? Yet look at what became of Christianity, wars, genocide, prejudice, suppression of science and only now hundreds of years later do we see folks out there feeding the poor and the homeless. Jesus, if he existed, accomplished the opposite of his goal and, according to the book of Revelations, plenty of human souls will still be cast into Hell. God should have been able to see all of this, and predict it, but he remains just as silent and indistinguishable from the imaginary as the rest of the gods out there.

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Comments 18 comments

secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City

Excellent points.

The whole concept of "sin" is profoundly illogical and troublesome. What is sin? Sin is doing something wrong. And what is "wrong"? Well, since all right and wrong comes down to what God says (there is no larger moral standard beyond God, as God is the source of all morality), to be good means simply to do what God says, and to be wrong means to NOT do what God says.

Therefore "sin" constitutes nothing more than disobeying the random and unpredictable desires of this cosmic tyrant. Like any third world dictator, his might makes right. There is no larger objective standard of "right and wrong" outside of him.

Since God knows everything, he knew long before he created the universe that almost all people to ever exist would disobey him, and thus, sin, and therefore be extinguished in hell.

So the bottom line is, God has created billions and billions of souls just to kill them. What kind of an entity does a thing like that? A psychotic? A sadist? A schizophrenic? All of the above? Clearly not a perfect entity, in any case. And clearly not one worth worshipping.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 4 years ago from back in the lab again Author

Thanks secularist10,

Even more troublesome is they tell us that God gave us free will, yet if we exercise that free will to do anything contrary to what God wants we are worthy of Hell. So why give us free will to begin with? It would inevitably lead to our disobedience.

Sometimes I'm at a loss as to how anyone could believe this stuff, then I remember that I too used to believe it thanks to early indoctrination, emotional manipulation and constant reinforcement from those around me. It frightens me to think that every day this is happening to children around the world.


secularist10 profile image

secularist10 4 years ago from New York City

So how did you move away from it? What was the transition like?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 4 years ago from back in the lab again Author

Gradual. I always had some doubts but the constant reinforcement of church and parents and Christian friends made me suppress those. When I was 17 I stopped going to church. I began to seek my own answers and read the Bible in it's entirety without being spoon fed what is was "supposed" to mean by an apologist. After that I couldn't believe in the Old Testament God but for a while I still wanted to believe in Jesus.

Eventually though I drifted into a sort of nebulous pantheistic mish-mash of beliefs, including reincarnation and, even, for a short time, the idea that we were created by alien beings. I bounced around like that until late 2009 when I realized I fit the definition of an agnostic-atheist. During and after that transition I learned how to better apply my skepticism and let go of a lot of the weird beliefs I used to hold in favor of open-minded skepticism.


Neil 4 years ago

I have just one question:

Where did your ability to speak in tongues come from?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 4 years ago from back in the lab again Author

They've done studies on the subject. The ability comes from the brain and forms of glossolalia (the scientific term for it) exist in numerous cultures and religions.

One of the things I noticed after I learned how to speak in tongues was that it wasn't just "spiritual" things that set it off, a poem, a secular song, even a beautiful woman, could set it off. This is why for a time after I learned how to do it (I learned it when I was maybe 15) I doubted I actually had received the Holy Spirit but was merely speaking gibberish. Of course now I understand that my doubts were correct all along.

There's nothing more magical about speaking in tongues than there is about a hypnotists stage show, it's likely a trance of sorts.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 4 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Titen: Indeed "Free Will" for mankind is totally ludicrous. The term that should be applied and appropriately so is "Free Choice" not "Free Will". All mankind is free to "Choose" for themselves. Neither you nor me nor anyone else that is human can "Will" something into existence, into being. But God Can. You cannot simply "Will" your kitchen stove into the livingroom and it goes there anymore than I can will a person to be healed from cancer and have it happen. God Can!

Even the angels of heaven, God permitted to have the freedom of choice, to choose whether or not they wanted to love God and obey God because God never wanted a robotic response from either the angels or mankind.The Arch-Angel Lucifer aka.Satan,aka.the serpent,aka. the devil, along with 1/3 of heaven's angels wanted to be God and because of their rebellious nature were cast out from heaven.

Had satan the serpent, not interfered and introduced the first lie, by telling Eve that God had lied to themand if Eve had not listened to him and been conned, today we all might be living in the Garden of Eden enjoying a simple existence.

In a way, I can agree with what you are saying, God being all knowing should be able to know the minds of Adam and Eve, and know in advance that they would choose to sin, but then what does he do? How does he stop the cascading effect or prevent it.

God had to permit nature to take its course if you will since he permitted an outside corrupted influence to move freely in the garden.

I don't know what turned you so negative against God and against Jesus and against the Holy Bible and the teachings that are within that book. That's between you and God, and believe me God will question you on it, but I hope and pray that before it is too late, God finds a way to turn you around again. I'll pray for you on this matter.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 4 years ago from back in the lab again Author

“You cannot simply "Will" your kitchen stove into the livingroom and it goes there anymore than I can will a person to be healed from cancer and have it happen. God Can!”

Well, actually, if you take the New Testament and the Gospels at their word, YOU CAN will things to happen through faith. Jesus suggests that his followers will even complete feats GREATER than those he supposedly did while on Earth. Also, you had best make sure that your stove is one of those special “Sabbath Safe” stoves, otherwise God will want you stoned to death by your neighbors for using it on a Saturday.

“"Free Choice" not "Free Will". All mankind is free to "Choose" for themselves”

The difference is negligible at best as the ability to choose what you're going to do is part of free will. The defense doesn't work. Surely God, in his infinite wisdom, would foresee the fall of man and the rebellion of Lucifer and his angels. To suggest otherwise is to limit God and make him lack the quality of omniscience. This means that God created Hell knowing that he would curse billions of humans and angels into ending up there.

“Had satan the serpent, not interfered and introduced the first lie, by telling Eve”

Genesis does not say the serpent was Satan. The idea that the serpent is Satan is a LATER INTERPRETATION.

“I don't know what turned you so negative against God and against Jesus and against the Holy Bible and the teachings that are within that book”

Reading it did.

“God had to permit nature to take its course if you will since he permitted an outside corrupted influence to move freely in the garden.”

Why would God allow this corrupted influence?

And why MUST God allow nature to take it's “course” in this case? God could have allowed nature to take its course by never creating humans, after all it took an act of divine magic, breathing life into dirt, to create Adam. God could have allowed nature to take it's course on the world before the Flood, instead of drowning everyone (including innocent children, infants and animals). God intervenes in the world on a regular basis in the Bible, he even violates free choice (Jonah for example), the idea that he allowed sin to spread simply to allow nature to “take it's course” is an insult to our intelligence.


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 4 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

Titen: Your cynical attitude and point of view serves nothing except to make the chasm between you and God wider, but the day will come when you two will be face to face and I hope that day you will change your mind.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 4 years ago from back in the lab again Author

I wasn't aware that using empathy, basic morality, logic, and reason to come to a conclusion was "cynical". If you think I am wrong in my arguments please explain where the flaws in my reasoning are.

Saying that I am going to stand before God someday probably makes you feel good inside, bolsters your beliefs. But it's about as meaningful to me as someone telling me I will stand before Thor in Asgard or Valhalla or that someday I will stand before the Cosmic Lords of Time on the Edge of the Universe.


Neil 4 years ago

"I learned how to do it (I learned it when I was maybe 15) I doubted I actually had received the Holy Spirit but was merely speaking gibberish. Of course now I understand that my doubts were correct all along."

I am very interested to learn more about what you are saying. What do you mean, you learned it? How? Did you repeat words parrot-fashion off of other people and then one day you simply put a few learned phrases together? Tell me how because I really want to understand this?


Neil 4 years ago

Mr Dave Matthews

You are a disgrace and you think you are doing God a favour but you are not and are meddling in things you should not be meddling in.

He and others like him have every right to question the scriptures because a person can only come to God through believing in Him and you don't get to truly believe in Him (Jesus) by blindly believing.

I may not agree with what he is saying but at least he is being honest, which is a lot more than I can say for you - censoring comments on your page with other people who disagree with you (namely me) so that you don't look bad.

Mr Matthews you are a hypocrite and a Pharisee. You are nothing more than a deluded Churchianity man and you wouldn't know the truth if it hit you in the face. You cannot see the truth beyond that of your own pride.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 4 years ago from back in the lab again Author

I began to be able to do it during a church service where I prayed really hard to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. My glossolalia never sounded anything like anyone elses, in fact mine sounded a lot more like gibberish than everyone elses which is part of the reason I doubted it to begin with. When I would pray in tongues I would always whisper because I was afraid folks would hear what it sounded like and think I was just faking it.

Later on I found that non-spiritual things could prompt me to do it whenever something had the right emotional effect or put me in the right state of mind. I also found that I could do it even after I was no longer a Christian. I was sort of a pantheist, I believed that God was just this benevolent spiritual force that either was the Universe and that the creator and creation were the same thing, for a while, and I think I did more speaking in tongues during that period in my life than I ever did as a Christian.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands

Hi :)

Yes, it is wrong, I think, to encourage people to consider themselves 'sinners'.

And, if God created everything, then he also created sin.

And, if the mythological Adam and Eve did wrong, then who can blame them? They were, in effect, just new born babes.

And why is it more wrong for Adam and Eve to eat an apple than it is for God to slaughter babies (Amalekite and others)?

And, how could individuals, apparently made in the image of a perfect God, do wrong, anyway?

And why is it assumed that Jesus is so different from God, when Jesus is, supposedly, God?

And, and, and ...


EinderDarkwolf profile image

EinderDarkwolf 4 years ago from Tempe, A.Z.

I think this hub was very well written. I personally turned away from Christianity and all it's nonsense when I was 8. I think it's good to let people know why. I also know what you mean by speaking in tongues. I know it sounds like gibberish, a lot like gibberish, but I think it may be the original language. My little brother and I use to use it to communicate a lot, and we perfectly understood each other, though I don't know how. Anyway, it was a very good hub, voted up and shared.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 4 years ago from back in the lab again Author

Thanks EinderDarkwolf. I know what you mean about gibberish though, when I was a kid we used to communicate like that as well and seemed to understand each other fairly well. But the thing about that is there's a lot to tone of voice, emotional inflection, and hand gestures that make it understandable even if it's gibberish. Like if a toddler is babbling generally you can understand the mood or even infer the child's desires.

Studies about speaking in tongues have shown that the part of the brain responsible for language isn't activated during glossolalia and the part that is most stimulated is the emotional part. So I don't think it's an actual functional language.

Thanks for the comment :)


EinderDarkwolf profile image

EinderDarkwolf 4 years ago from Tempe, A.Z.

Your Welcome :)

And it's possible. We evolved and that means our language skills had to evolve as well. We had to have some way to communicate before then, this is the best explanation that I've heard so far!


A Thousand Words profile image

A Thousand Words 4 years ago

So very well-written, Titen! Voted up! I continue to bring these points up to people, and they then proceed to tell me how much this God "loves" me, or that I will be judged for pointing out this "perfect" God's shortcomings.

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