The Doctrine of Original Sin is Ineffective and Damaging
Updated: Aug 17
The definition of morality from Oxford Reference states the following:
“A system of values, normative rules, or principles according to which intentions or behaviours are judged to be good or bad, right or wrong. Such judgment can arise from cultural, religious, or philosophical beliefs. see ethics.”
There is plenty of literature to describe in depth the meaning of morality. In this context, I will briefly (otherwise will turn into an essay) share my thoughts about morality in terms of good and evil in a philosophical and psychological sense rather than a religious one typically associated with Original sin with Adam disobeying God by eating the forbidden fruit.
Early Christian fathers developed the idea that man’s nature is conceived and born in sin. It seems priests of that time had the power and authority to devise the notion that humans inherit a tainted nature and are saved by repenting, therefore under condemnation: Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one person sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
Adam’s transgression, I deduce that good and evil are essential for man’s nature to progress and decide the path he wants for himself. In my view, the concept of Original Sin has an underlying tone to control and undermine human power, which is the Divine will that resides in you, not outside of you.
Connecting to the Divine will, you are likely free from guilt and shame and step into a spiritual dimension that is the opposite of external forces, as well as managing feelings associated with primal fear: fear of death, abandonment, and fear of failure. The spiritual dimension is a place to discover the meaning and power of the Divine will inside of you. I cannot say or suggest what spiritualism means for you. Every person is unique and has an inner journey that describes their meaning of spiritualism, but of course, there is a universal definition.
Why We Make Bad Choices: The God’s Labyrinth of Good and Evil Encountering the Self illustrates the importance of good and evil within us and what happens when suffering is experienced. Then it is up to us to transcend or continue on the same path without God's judgement. Nevertheless, you may become unbalanced and is caused by you, not God, your parents, your partner, your children, your friend, but you alone. People, places and things may trigger you; however, you continue to feed the negativity. In this context, feeding the negativity that removes you from your centre and betrays who you are with all your flaws may well be a sin, such as:
Seven deadly sins,
Not taking risks to cultivate personal growth and
Negative thinking patterns.
However, such sufferings are crucial to transcend the self; therefore, we need sin or the collective/personal shadow. Therefore, The Doctrine of Original Sin is Ineffective and Damaging.
Good and evil, good and bad, are common merism similar to the yin and yang symbol to suggest the whole, like day and night – one without the other cannot exist. Thus, I infer that the Christian belief that we inherit sin is sin. To deprive man of facing or accepting his dark side can also be described as his emotional pain. For example, behaviours related to breaking any of the ten commandments, then the Christian fathers are potentially labelling emotional suffering as a sin. The mental and emotional repercussions of breaking the moral code can be viewed as fundamental to developing the self that encourages individuals to reflect and provoke change. Repenting does not always motivate people to look at themselves and deny accountability for their actions, but it alleviates the guilt by repenting. If you repeat the same behaviours, why repent only to feel guilt free for that moment? I have often felt remorse for what I said and did, but nothing changes only when I become self-aware.
In the story Why We Make Bad Choices, I put forward the idea that God created evil in Genesis 1:21 before man was made rather than the serpent representing the voice of Satan in Genesis 3. There are different versions describing God’s creation in verse Gen 1:21 “…great whales” (King James Version), “great sea monsters” (e.g. NASB, Legacy Standard Bible, Amplified Bible), “Great sea creatures” (New American Standard Bible, New James King Version). Some biblical Scholars have associated the sea creature with the ancient Near Eastern and Babylonian mythology of the primordial sea serpent called Leviathan. Britannica says the following:
In the Old Testament, Leviathan appears in Psalms 74:14 as
a multiheaded sea serpent that is killed by God and given as
food to the Hebrews in the wilderness. In Isaiah 27:1, Leviathan
is a serpent and a symbol of Israel’s enemies, who will
be slain by God. In Job 41, it is a sea monster and a symbol of
God’s power of creation (Encyclopaedia Britannica, March
Therefore, I theorise that the serpent in Genesis 1 symbolically represents evil; thus, God created evil before Adam crossed God’s sacred boundary. This could mean there is a dark side to God projecting onto humanity to develop virtues in man, not to consolidate or strengthen evil into the world as we see today as a common theme among ourselves. Man has internalised evil for personal gain, enjoyment, and the power of control and dominance, which are evil traits. We see this with domestic violence, bullying, political corruption, human trafficking, wars, and abuse towards children. The scale of evil is never-ending, but the tides can change if we acknowledge our dark side and transform those traits. That’s why the power of awareness is equally as important as the power of now.
In my opinion, the power of awareness precedes the power of now. Without the power of awareness, how can we change our interpersonal dynamics that influence the ability to apply the philosophy of the power of now? I consider self-awareness the first step to recognising the difficulties we encounter or challenging aspects of ourselves, which can cause emotional suffering or repress the negative traits by projecting, blaming, transferring, gaslighting others, etc. Self-awareness of our mental and emotional vulnerabilities that trigger certain unfavourable behaviours helps us align ourselves with the present by adopting techniques such as breathing and staying with the difficult feelings that support staying with the here and now. The power of now is crucial to minimise acting out, but how can we be with the present without self-awareness? I am talking about mental and, specifically, self-awareness of what our body is telling us, like sensations and feelings you can experience with the power of now. However, there is a difference between the two concepts. The power of self-awareness gives you an understanding of yourself and your triggers, therefore, the ability to stay in the present and not react. However, I suggest the two concepts are merism, which sits opposite to consolidate the co/interrelationship of the two concepts.
At the beginning of this blog, I started with briefly discussing the topic of morality in the context of Why We Make Bad Choices: The God’s Labyrinth of Good and Evil Encountering the Self and flow to how the dark side of God symbolically created evil by way of the sea creature in Genesis 1 and projected on to humanity, for one reason only to transcend the mind of man to reconnect with their inner Divine rather than giving it away to external energies.
Morality is also associated with right and wrong; people may disagree with me, but who defines wrong? One society or group, or person defines morality differently from the next, so what does wrong mean? When someone crosses your boundaries, you will likely think they have done you wrong. However, your boundaries may not coincide with theirs. Therefore, they believe they have not done you wrong. Some individuals think they are entitled to do as they wish, so they have done everything correctly in their view of life. Using the experience as a learning curve isn’t easy when the emotional wound runs deep.
I’m not talking about the legal definition of wrong or what the dictionary defines wrong. Doing wrong can be a personal experience. The feelings attached to doing wrong may answer your question, such as feeling guilty, ashamed, embarrassed or humiliated by others and ourselves. When we think we have done wrong for most people, there is a natural tendency to feel such emotions. Continuing to do evil is likely to cause suffering, unbalance, repress, and suppress addictive behaviours, not wanting to acknowledge the wrongs that eventually may force us to stop, reflect, and change. Doing wrong can work in our favour eventually.
Biblical merism of good and evil has a ripple effect that can show us the dark side of God has positive and loving intentions rather than represent inherit sin.
“I would like to have everything that is good, genuine and beautiful”.