Can an innocent generation suffer for the sins of a previous generation?

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  1. Lady_E profile image64
    Lady_Eposted 13 years ago

    Can an innocent generation suffer for the sins of a previous generation?

    I wonder if this explains – why bad things happen to good people.

  2. Jaggedfrost profile image61
    Jaggedfrostposted 13 years ago

    Have you ever talked to the children of abusive parents? There are some brands of evil that cant help but bleed into the next generation and really cant be hidden.

  3. Wayne Brown profile image82
    Wayne Brownposted 13 years ago

    Certainly...I think there are numerous examples.  One that comes to mind today would be the current generation of German people in light of Hitler's treatment of the Jews in WWII.  Here in the United States there has been talk of restitiution monies being to paid to minorities in light of treatment by previous generations (i.e. slavery). So far, legislation has not been forthcoming but the talk has certainly been there.  In a reciprocal consideration, look at the plight of the Native American in light of their treatment by previous generations coming to America. In some ways, taxpayers paid restitution for those actions for many years as the government provided assistance to Native Americans. Most of these situations resulted from ignorance, fear, and greed thus we can expect that they will never totally be erased from society on a global basis. Thanks. WB

  4. profile image0
    jasper420posted 13 years ago

    yes it says this in the bible we suffer the wrath of our ansaters

  5. profile image0
    Shadow Of Elishaposted 13 years ago

    Not so, under the new covenant. There is a lot of people that have tried to teach "generational curses" from the Bible, but we must understand that we are no longer under the old law! When Jesus died, he said, "It is finished." This included generational curses! Generational curses existed only in the old testament, because they were still under the law of Moses. If we were still under generational curses, then the law of grace would be irrelevent, which would make the atonement of Christ of no effect.

    Can bad habits be passed down from generation to generation? Yes! Can demons have diabolical influence on a family? Yes! This is where sexual sins, child abuse, and even diseases can play a part. Can this "spell" be broken? Yes!!! By the power of the Holy Ghost through prayer and fasting!

    To believe that generational curses still are influential, would mean to deny Christ and the power of His atonement. This is why the veil was torn from the top to the bottom completely.

    Don't allow the enemy to rob your birthright. We are a NEW creation, which means that OLD THINGS are passed away, and behold ALL things become NEW!!! Glory to God!

  6. haikutwinkle profile image59
    haikutwinkleposted 13 years ago

    When I read this question, the first thing that comes to mind is the traditional mindset of the caste system in India which has existed over 100 years ago and is still prevalent until now. It doesn't matter which generation you are born into, your name decides your fate whether you are innocent or sinful.
    It is beyond my comprehension to understand that if you are born into a lower caste system, you are more easily considered guilty than innocent.


  7. angel115707 profile image60
    angel115707posted 13 years ago

    It happens every day, children suffer, because of adults selfish indulgence, Every generation has children suffer under the consequences of their parents, If the child ever makes it to adulthood, they must make the choice to continue the ways set out for them, or be the change...

  8. Springboard profile image81
    Springboardposted 13 years ago

    I'll erase the word "sin" and just say that what one generation does certainly affects the next either in a good way or a bad way depending on the "what" that occurred. For example, if we don't take care of the environment, our children and grandchildren may not enjoy living in the same world we enjoy today. If our government spends too much money, our children and grandchildren may suffer higher taxes.

    Just a couple examples, but that's the gist of it anyway.

  9. earlyman profile image77
    earlymanposted 13 years ago

    It depends, just like others have commented... you can also check out Ezekiel 18 in the bible.

  10. profile image0
    ahorsebackposted 13 years ago

    Evil, in its origins , seems to be explained as coming from "somewhere else" , he or she is evil. They are evil or that leader is just plain evil.The sins of mankind  are inside each of us! "The sins of a generation ",is the same  kind of cop out ,  My answer is this , What do we as individuals do to break the cycles of the past , or of familiar behaviour. In each moment we have to be concience of" how am I going to treat this situation". Act within the moment , We as individuals have to take full responsibility for all that happens.

  11. Dave Mathews profile image61
    Dave Mathewsposted 13 years ago

    over 62 years of living, and I have not yet witnessed an innocent generation as yet. Where are they?

  12. Paul Caruso profile image60
    Paul Carusoposted 13 years ago

    Although the sins of a previous generation have consequences which are inherited by the next, in many cases the following generation rebels against the behaviors of the past. A positive example of this is the anti-war protest movement of the sixties which contributed greatly to the cause of ending the Vietnam war. All generations are born with free choice, children talk among themselves, often cultivating surprising resistance to the status quo of any era.

  13. MrKnowledge profile image60
    MrKnowledgeposted 13 years ago

    Not on a religious standpoint, I give you two words. Social Security.

  14. Stuart Barnes profile image56
    Stuart Barnesposted 13 years ago

    Of course, it happens all the time and we are causing it right now.  The future generations, our children, grandchildren, and their offspring are going to have to deal with our selfish use of the resources our planet offers.  We are using up everything we can from oil to minerals (to the top soil for farms for that matter).  We are making choices everyday that will cause the future generations to suffer.
    Whether this is a theological question or not I am not sure of.  But I do know that one generation can make decisions (sins) that will be suffered on the proceeding generations.
    I think bad things happen sometimes because bad things happen sometimes.

  15. profile image0
    Audacious Shelleyposted 13 years ago

    Yes.  I think the most short-term example is that of an aborted baby.  A baby who has been aborted is certainly in the category of an innocent generation, and yet he/she has been slaughtered because of the irresponsibility, promiscuity, complacency, unforgiveness, fear, or bigotry of his/her parents.

    A long-term example is in politics.  I think nothing illustrates this better than what is happening between the college-age students in Iran and their dictator.  The actions of generations that preceeded them are the sources of their current oppressions by the Iranian government.

  16. Dave Barnett profile image58
    Dave Barnettposted 13 years ago

    Everyone here has great answers. There really isn't much to add, you've all covered the bases pretty well. Secular and Christian answers are on the table. Here's one that is slightly different. On the material plane, yes, what one generation does effects the next, but on the spiritual plane, each spirit, or soul answers for the sin that they are responsible for. A demonstration of this is Karma. Acceptance of Christ is considered absolution, as is the baptism of water, but the idea was that you go and sin no more,

  17. profile image50
    mailme.lagarposted 13 years ago

    An innocent generation(I use singular) should not suffer because of sin of  previous.  Let we take it a singular session.. sin is the one when you think of it is a sin.  The culture variations are sure play a crucial role.  When the minds and soul of same and highly good unite there is no sin ever take place.  The poor picture is that will never happen .. we are greed for money, facilities, enjoyment, pleasure and much more.. when such pure minds/soul unite we never do them and make them to perish.  This is the nature that gave us to think and to save ourselves.
                 And the pain is we never never learn from our past.  When the plural approach we want to say .. very simple .. slave to other country and the boss country act as a owner.  The cruelty grow with sweet tongue and hands.  And the greed is always there.  Only difference is the community, religion and ups and downs ....

  18. cnocera profile image60
    cnoceraposted 13 years ago

    Yes, I believe an innocent generation can suffer sins of a previous one.  Look it what is going on now for example.  The environment is being destroyed right before our eyes.  Our nation is financial crisis.  I believe that we are paying for the greed that has been created through the generations; whether it is right wrong or indifferent.  I also, believe it is like a domino affect.

  19. j_sacoco profile image61
    j_sacocoposted 13 years ago

    yes, i think so. If you think about it. It's like its coming back to haunt you or deja vu or even karma.

  20. wvierra profile image61
    wvierraposted 13 years ago

    Yes, and no, it is true that every generation have to bear the sins of the old but this doesn't have to be.

    For example: when people are born in a poverty stricken family, or an abusive family. Life would dictate that they would also be poverty-stricken or abusive. But why is that?

    The reason that this is mostly true is that when they are brought up only knowing poverty or being around abusive family that there mind has been conditioned to the point that they know of no other way.

    However there are those few people who can open up their mind and look beyond that and take control their life. And it's those kind of people that cannot except that is all life has to offer them. Only then do they break free from those barriers, where they can suppress their parents rather it be emotional or financial.

  21. liamoreilly profile image61
    liamoreillyposted 13 years ago

    before answering I'm inclined to consider the question: in what ways has an innocent generation benefitted from the virtues of a previous generation? Equality comes to mind.

    There is another way of looking at the question: can a corrupt generation suffer for the sins of a previous generation? If so is that really fair to be punished for a sin you never committed even if your guilty of another sin? Like you face ethnic discrimination for being British while visiting India and feel unresponsible for British occupation and rightly so and yet you litter and waste water and food without remorse toward the environment.

    To put your question into a different context: the 1993 Somalian genocide but what I mean is two groups of people, hutoo and tutsi, living together almost twenty years later. Can they co-exist without resentment and recourse? Similar examples include Israel and Palistine, Irish catholics and Protestants.

    American Muslims will likely suffer because of 9/11 for generations to come but to what severity is unclear. 9/11 is apart of American history as long as there is American history. Even British Muslims will suffer and likely any other muslim living in a western society that has been attacked by muslim terrorists because western people remember their own history with great pride, especially events like 9/11 - of course this hurts their pride and hence the vulnerability of innocent muslims who had no hand in the act.

    I'm unsure of all the facts but two or three decades ago infants received vacinations and non-coincidentally there was a rise in autism occuring simulataneously. Some people argue there is a link between the rise in the use of this vacine and a rise in autism. That has happened here in canada.

    Another consideration is freedom and responsibility of the individual. However individual freedom and responsibility is always curtailed by the collective will and vice versa. The collective will of the people is synonmous with generation.

    I argue that to take responsibility for future generations takes responsibility away from future generations. There is helping those who need it (and want it) and preventing harm and that is the right thing to do and then there is helping those who are seeking recognition, like some people honestly believe their saving the world! that is pride - self-importance, if it weren't for heros in the world, the world would crumble - ya right no one is that responsible, not sincerely.

  22. Guy Collins profile image61
    Guy Collinsposted 13 years ago

    "I wonder if this explains – why bad things happen to good people."

    No, that's just life, which is inherently unfair.

  23. puebloman profile image61
    pueblomanposted 13 years ago

    Of course. My generation has just finished paying the Americans for the second world war. They sat on their arses all through the battle of Britain when our children were being killed, sold us crap ships that sank, at hugely inflated prices, John Kennedy's Dad, who was ambassador to London was telling everyone how Hitler made the trains run on time . . the Yanks only came into the war because of the Japanese and I had to pay for it . . .

  24. lagvarela profile image60
    lagvarelaposted 13 years ago

    It should be noted that your question may have two different causes, and probably two different answers.

    If we take into consideration direct, objetive causes that may explain current suffering there's not much to talk about. It's simply cause and consequence as we unfortunately have to pay for the mistakes that were made in the past, no matter when, how and who made it. There are notorious cases that happened in the past that induces impacts in our current society, such as slavery causing social tension in many countries, genocide resulting in civil wars, nazism and the consequences to jewish people, baby boomers bringing trouble to the future of pension funds, and even a wrong decision of our parents that may impact our overall future.

    But when it comes to an overall suffering that is not a result of direct human action, we face much more difficult questions to be answered than our common sense could handle. For example, who should be blamed for the earthquake in Haiti? And what about the tsunami in the Pacific Ocean a few years ago? These are events that are totally out of our control, as opposite to floods, storms, hurricanes and alike, which are weather events that we know we are responsible for the climate changes and need to handle this "natural revenge". What if we have a perfectly healthy family for many generations and suddenly a newborn son is born with cancer or a serious terminal disease?

    Some religions try to explain it by saying that we need to pay for the mistakes of the past, or even that we are just bodies that encompass eternal souls that keep their reincarnation cycles over and over, and somehow one had the misfortune of being a lost soul that made so many bad things in the past in another life. If we start discussing about the countless theories and foundations of hundreds of religions worldwide, we would keep on this doubt until the day we die.

    Bottom line, everyone has their own beliefs and somehow we are always searching for an easy answer or something that could bring us comfortness and the absolute sense of reality and truth. But the point is that each person has its own background and nobody should suffer because of this kind of question. My final suggestion is that no matter what the religion, faith, logic or opinion you have, get stuck to your beliefs and try to do your best during your whole life. You don't know if you'll have another chance, so take the lead and make it happen.

  25. suny51 profile image61
    suny51posted 13 years ago

    Our next generation will not take it kindly,whatever we are doing today with the environment, Climate changes affect us all and they will hit the future generations still badly.

  26. Bikash jha profile image60
    Bikash jhaposted 13 years ago

    well we are suffering for all the hatred, racism and sexism and conservative thoughts and social evils our previous gen have hatched and our children will suffer from all theese along global warming. climate changes and new surprises we will add later

  27. heavenbound5511 profile image66
    heavenbound5511posted 13 years ago

    Generational curses from unconfessed sin
    "and He (the Lord) passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, the Lord, the Lord, the compassionate & gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, & forgiving wickedness, rebellion & sin. Every 3rd and 4th generation has to deal with the sins of there ancestors. Ex 34:6-7

    See, I am setting before you today a blessing & a curse- the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; the and a automatic curse for not letting me help you by turning away and serving false gods which has never satisfied you. Duet 11:26-28

    Moses addressed this issue when the Israelites were preparing to enter the promised land. He told the new generation that was getting ready to enter in unless they dealt with their own personal sins and also the sins from the generations before them.

    Leviticus 26:39-42

    And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.

    If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;

    And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:

    Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.

  28. Storytellersrus profile image67
    Storytellersrusposted 13 years ago

    Every generation considers itself innocent!  Perhaps if we all took responsibility for our own behavior, we wouldn't pass on to future generations our self-proclaimed innocent yet harmful philosophies.

  29. davidkaluge profile image61
    davidkalugeposted 13 years ago

    Well it depends on what sin we are talking about. This is because some mistakes or sins can be easily understood for instance slavery, racism, terrorism, religious intolerance among others is mistakes that should have not been done or started in the first place. Therefore, younger generation can suffer because of such sins or mistakes (call it what you will). However, they are some sins in religious view which can be considered personal in terms of a person or nations relationship with God. Such sins for instances in the bible, were said to be suffered to the 7th generation or so. This is a situation where it becomes a personal issue in that for child to suffer because his/ her parent disordered God and the child may not even know the cause of such suffering is what may be considered  unjust because we all have to reap as we sow.  what am trying to say is that it depends on the sin we are talking about

  30. ocoonocoon profile image73
    ocoonocoonposted 13 years ago

    I agree one generation affects the next; just look at what is happening now. Kids who are graduating college now and looking for work can hardly be blamed for the lack of jobs.

    However, they cannot merely blame those who came before them. They may have to suffer, but if they succeed in turning things around then they will be more honorable than the generation before them. Just hope that they remember the mistakes of their parents.

    To leave things in better shape when you leave than when you arrive is a very respectable thing.

  31. roxxxy42 profile image60
    roxxxy42posted 13 years ago

    I know this to be true. My husband who is now dead had a father and several sons all who drink not a little but a lot. this thing which is taking a drug is now destroying my childrens lifes and grand children who all think its cool to do drugs or drink. its not cool its stupid. only one is not hooked to this crazy ness. They can stop and some are trying but it comes from the people before and its easy to see.

  32. heathermarie628 profile image79
    heathermarie628posted 13 years ago

    Springboard got it right with 'I'll erase the word "sin" " because no generation is innocent. Every new generation brings its own sense of right and wrong, just as it does in individual family groups. Therefore, we might blame our parents generation for the things we think are wrong and our children will blame us for their idea of the "wrongs" we have done to them. In reality, everything is cause and effect, whatever the motives behind it. We change our world with every decision we make, even if we decide to do nothing.

  33. profile image49
    laurenclickposted 13 years ago

    I guess it depends if the previous generation has children ( innocent generation) and if the previous generation was sinful to the children, possibly the children could see being sinful as the right thing to do which would make an innocent generation suffer for the sins of a previous generation or in your case, why bad things happen to good people.

  34. profile image49
    letsconverseposted 13 years ago

    Absolutely. One uses a clean cloth to clean the dirt. And sometimes the cloth wears off but the dirt remains.

  35. raakachi profile image61
    raakachiposted 13 years ago

    This is a simple logic;as per Sir Isac Newton's 3rd law,"For every action,there will be equal and oppsite reaction".Here,the deeds of our ancestors,whether it's a good or bad,will take effects on us,after their demise.

  36. goldie77 profile image41
    goldie77posted 13 years ago

    There is no such thing as an innocent generation
    -although I agree with Audacious Shelley about aborted babies, who by the way are not suffering now because they're in the arms of Jesus -and I agree with dave too

  37. Sa`ge profile image61
    Sa`geposted 13 years ago

    YES! Look around you ,
    if you can not see the facts, then You are blind!
    If you can not hear the facts, then you are deaf! 
    Id you can not feel the facts, then you are numb! 
    With each mew generation the suffering is multiplied!
    Each new invention seems to used to annihilate rather then propagate love and peace!
    I pray and hope and do my best to pass this earthly test!

  38. flowerpick profile image66
    flowerpickposted 13 years ago

    No, Jesus Christ states the law of Karma, "He says What you reap is what you sow". If you do bad today you will be born again next life to suffer for what you have done. That is reincarnation, If you do good deeds (Good Karma) then you will sow nice things in your next life, you will be born in a wealthy and nice family. You can be good person today but you may be suffering because of your past life bad activities (Bad Karma).
    i will make a hub on Karma and reincarnation to further explain this. coz this is a very long topic. tnx!!

  39. monticeharmonbook profile image40
    monticeharmonbookposted 13 years ago

    Yes, the bible tells you a cycle of sin within a family can carry throughout a generation. brake the curse...& redeem faithfulness. & over come the ways of the world. it's nothing new under the sun, just new ways of making things worser!

  40. Andrew8o5r profile image58
    Andrew8o5rposted 13 years ago

    Every generation suffers from the mistakes of the last...

    Global warming
    Child abuse
    ...are few of many examples whe one generation makes decitions that the next have do deal with

  41. vocalcoach profile image94
    vocalcoachposted 13 years ago

    Bad things do happen to good people and thats just the way it is. How we handle very difficult times is the important thing.

    Life is about learning and growing and involves the spiritual, physical and mental.  One generation most definetly effects another generation. However, if we choose to, we can overcome our extended environment to a point.

    The actions we choose today, can have a lasting effect on tomorrow and the future. So choose your actions well.  It's not just about "you" or "me".

  42. shaunclarke profile image59
    shaunclarkeposted 13 years ago

    From a christian point of view, we live in a fallen world and we have to deal with those problems that spawn from that.

  43. Hair Styles profile image60
    Hair Stylesposted 13 years ago

    innocent generation? no one is innocent imho, other than just born babies, we all "somehow" get into sin..

  44. Apostle Jack profile image61
    Apostle Jackposted 13 years ago

    Yes... if you follow the same ungodly ways of conduct and ill choices that they made before us.The consequence of negativity apply to every time span of our existence.

  45. zenap profile image62
    zenapposted 13 years ago

    We've been making future generations pay for forefather sins for decades.  Some Canadian examples. My parents, my children and I are paying(literally) for the sins of those that first came to Canada and committed genocide against the aboriginal people.  We are going to be paying for all the horrors that were committed against our Chinese brethren during the years that they built the railroad and were treated like slaves; and it goes on and on.  And "sin" would be the correct word.

  46. profile image56
    usmankhan1posted 13 years ago

    how to become a successful stock agent?

  47. xnotion profile image61
    xnotionposted 13 years ago

    Absolutely. Just think about global warming - obviously the generations that contribute the most to it are going to be long gone before it truly has an effect. So that leaves the (semi) innocent generation to suffer.

  48. svarun profile image71
    svarunposted 13 years ago

    Of course it can. It happens all the time. Just check the history and you will find many examples.

  49. profile image49
    MARIAMORTAposted 13 years ago

    The Bible states that three generations will pay.
    In my case, quite sincerely, it does look like curse.
    The probabilities involved in all I suffer, each and every second since second semester of 2000, but even worse since end of 2001, are close to being negative. Yet... .
    My grandmother and my mother, full of siblings, have suffered the same way, like unlikely to happen in every second.
    In common?
    The name of my grandma was 'Maria', that is, Mary, like Jesus' mother.
    The name of my mother is Lea Maria, that is, Mary as second name.
    My mame is Marcia, that is, Maria with a c... .
    Maria was a daughter of a bitch, for she sacrificed the life of her only son to protect her sins.
    I never sinned after I was an adult, am sure, until end of 2001.
    I had never, you will not believe this, not even told a lie to someone else that far since becoming an adult.
    I asked preventive protection against Brazil, entire Brazil, entire place, everyone from it, for I was already been attacked gratuitously by the rejected nation since 2000.
    I asked preventive protection against further abuse and violation by Priest, Patricia, Sever, Florica, Brad, and others.
    Denounced their crimes, had proofs and witnesses.
    More than eight world authorities were sought after by me in 2001 to prevent each and every second of this.
    Many more people and authorities were tried since then to stop it and give me justice to best human kind may provide.
    Yet, nothing.
    If I am paying for sins, they are obviously not mine.
    Please help.
    Visit my hubs and help.
    Am at
    It is obviously super urgent, for ten years ago.

  50. Maximum A profile image75
    Maximum Aposted 13 years ago

    Yes, it happens, though I think the term "sins" is too heavy a word. The things we do will always affect others one way or another, positive or negative because we interact with one another in our lifetime. People on the streets, the Holocaust, even the economic status of a country can result (directly or indirectly) from the previous generations' actions. Of course, this doesn't mean that the blame is solely on the past. Each one of us has a choice to act now and make things better for the future generation.


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