Original sin

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Original sin is, according to Christian tradition, the general condition of sinfulness into which human beings are born.


  • It is a question here not of ethical guilt (how could the child acquire it?) but rather of the natural kind, which befalls human beings not by decision and action but by negligence and celebration. When they turn their attention away from the human and succumb to the power of nature, then natural life, which in man preserves its innocence only so long as natural life binds itself to something higher, drags the human down. With the disappearance of supernatural life in man, his natural life turns into guilt, even without his committing an act contrary to ethics.
  • We take nothing from the womb but pure filth [meras sordes]. The seething spring of sin is so deep and abundant that vices are always bubbling up form it to bespatter and stain what is otherwise pure.... We should remember that we are not guilty of one offense only but are buried in innumerable impurities.... all human works, if judged according to their own worth, are nothing but filth and defilement.... they are always spattered and befouled with many stains.... it is certain that there is no one who is not covered with infinite filth.
  • Aquinas and Augustus of Hippo, both proposed this extraordinary idea that babies who were unbaptised would not know heaven. They also proposed the idea of purgatory which doesn’t exist in The Bible. There’s absolutely no evidence for it. However, what an extraordinary brilliant coup to imagine such a thing as purgatory. That a soul needs to be prayed for, in order to go to heaven. In order to turn left when he enters the aeroplane of heaven and get a first class seat. That, he needs to be prayed for. And many hundreds, indeed over a thousand years, you’ll be amazed what generous terms those prayers came at. Sometimes as little as two thirds of a year’s salary. Could ensure that a dead loved one would go to heaven. And money could ensure that your baby. Your dead child, your dead uncle, your dead mother, could go to heaven. And if you were rich enough, you could have a charm tree built and monks would permanently sing prayers so that that existence in heaven for the child would go up and up and up until they were at the table of the Lord themselves.
  • Only Hope was left within her unbreakable house, she remained under the lip of the jar, and did not fly away. Before [she could], Pandora replaced the lid of the jar. This was the will of aegis-bearing Zeus the Cloudgatherer.
  • Adam: This... is mankind's first sin. Man created swords to kill, and was in turn killed by swords. Don't you see? Man has always sought ways to achieve death.
Stiles': That's not true! We created many other things in order to live!
  • Has any one ever clearly understood the celebrated story at the beginning of the Bible - of God's mortal terror of science? . . . No one, in fact, has understood it. This priest-book par excellence opens, as is fitting, with the great inner difficulty of the priest: he faces only one great danger; ergo, "God" faces only one great danger. The old God, wholly "spirit," wholly the high-priest, wholly perfect, is promenading his garden: he is bored and trying to kill time. Against boredom even gods struggle in vain. What does he do? He creates man - man is entertaining. . . But then he notices that man is also bored. God's pity for the only form of distress that invades all paradises knows no bounds: so he forthwith creates other animals. God's first mistake: to man these other animals were not entertaining - he sought dominion over them; he did not want to be an "animal" himself. So God created woman. In the act he brought boredom to an end - and also many other things! Woman was the second mistake of God. "Woman, at bottom, is a serpent, Heva" - every priest knows that; "from woman comes every evil in the world" - every priest knows that, too. Ergo, she is also to blame for science. . . It was through woman that man learned to taste of the tree of knowledge. What happened? The old God was seized by mortal terror. Man himself had been his greatest blunder; he had created a rival to himself; science makes men godlike - it is all up with priests and gods when man becomes scientific! Moral: science is the forbidden per se; it alone is forbidden. Science is the first of sins, the germ of all sins, the original sin. This is all there is of morality. "Thou shalt not know" - the rest follows from that.
    • Friedrich Nietzsche, 'The Antichrist' §48 (H.L. Mencken trans.).
  • What is the nature of the guilt that your teachers call his Original Sin? What are the evils man acquired when he fell from a state they consider perfection? Their myth declares that he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge — he acquired a mind and became a rational being. It was the knowledge of good and evil — he became a moral being. He was sentenced to earn his bread by his labor — he became a productive being. He was sentenced to experience desire — he acquired the capacity of sexual enjoyment. The evils for which they damn him are reason, morality, creativeness, joy — all the cardinal values of his existence. It is not his vices that their myth of man's fall is designed to explain and condemn, it is not his errors that they hold as his guilt, but the essence of his nature as man. Whatever he was — that robot in the Garden of Eden, who existed without mind, without values, without labor, without love — he was not man.
    • Ayn Rand, "Atlas Shrugged," Part III, Chapter VII: "This Is John Galt Speaking".
  • While God created Adam, who was alone, He said, 'It is not good for man to be alone. He also created a woman, from the earth, as He had created Adam himself, and called her Lilith. Adam and Lilith immediately began to fight. She said, 'I will not lie below,' and he said, 'I will not lie beneath you, but only on top. For you are fit only to be in the bottom position, while I am to be the superior one.' Lilith responded, 'We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.' But they would not listen to one another. When Lilith saw this, she pronounced the Ineffable Name and flew away into the air.
  • Bethany: You're saying God's a woman?
Serendipity: Was there ever a doubt in your mind? He's always referred to as "Him." That's not how I wrote it. But one of the draw backs to being intangible...is that you have no sayin the editorial process. The people that held the pens added their own perspective...and all the pen holders were men. So She became a He. Doesn't stop with God either. The whole book's gender-biased. A woman's responsible for original sin. A woman cuts Samson coif of power. A woman asks for the head of John the Baptist. Read that book again. Women are painted as bigger antagonists than the Egyptians and Romans combined. It stinks.

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