Original Sin

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info.gif Original Sin: "The universal sinfulness of the human race (except for Jesus and--for Roman Catholics--Mary) originated by Adam and Eve and transmitted to their posterity. Some languages actually use the term inherited sin for original sin, though it is questionable whether sin can be inherited. Philosophical problems raised by this doctrine include questions as to the relation of Adam and Eve to later humans and the responsibility and freedom of those later individuals. Some distinguish between the sinfulness or predisposition to sin that is inherited and actual sin."

Evans, C. (2002) Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

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    Collins, Robin

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    Evolution and Original Sin

    "Probably the major area of perceived conflict between the theory of evolution and Christian theology centers around the Christian doctrine of original sin...Addressing the question of original sin involves at least five different dimensions, that of scripture, theology, church tradition, science, and experience. In this paper, I will attempt to put all these dimensions together into a coherent view of original sin. The view I will suggest is what I call the historical/ideal (HI) view, and I will argue that this view is scripturally, theologically, experientially, and scientifically sound, and retains the important theological core of the traditional idea."
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    Copan, Paul

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    Original Sin and Christian Philosophy

    "The broader topic of the problem of evil will leave us with unanswered questions, but the Christian philosopher is still able to place evil in a plausible context (e.g., evil suggests some standard of goodness or design plan from which something deviates). The doctrine of original sin in particular—a subset of the problem of evil—can likewise be placed into its appropriate context by the Christian theist. First, he can show that deep sinfulness—not simply abnormality or mental illness or deviancy—best explains the human misery we witness and experience in the world. Then he can move from there to argue that original sin is not the full picture, but there is a broader context of redemption and hope to help make sense of it. The secularist alternatives offer no hope or solution."
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    King, Peter

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    Damaged Goods: Human Nature and Original Sin

    "[T]he Doctrine of Original Sin...lies at the heart of Western Christianity. Fallen human nature, beset by original sin, is the reason for Christ’s atonement and redemption of humanity through divine grace, accomplished by the Incarnation and the Crucifixion; there would be no call for a rescuer were we not in need of rescue. The Doctrine of Original Sin is intricately and inextricably fitted into the web of Christian dogma. Yet I want to set aside theological issues in favour of what seems to me a more pressing, and baffling, metaphysical difficulty. According to the Doctrine of Original Sin, human nature has been changed as a result of the choices and actions of human beings. It is not clear that this claim makes sense. How can something literally change its own nature?"
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    Rea, Michael C.

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    The Metaphysics of Original Sin

    "I have shown in this paper that there are at least two ways of reconciling the traditional doctrine of original sin with MR, the principle that one is morally responsible for the obtaining of a state of affairs only if that state of affairs obtains and there was something one could have done that would have prevented it from obtaining."