Dear People Whom God Loves,
Original Sin. G. K Chesterton said that the doctrine of original sin is the only doctrine that is verifiable. That means if we look at human beings, we see difficulties and problems with living well. Something doesn’t seem to work right. Looking at myself and looking around I surely appreciate that.
The word original causes me no concern. This problem is with us from the beginning of our lives and apparently from the time the first humans existed.
The word sin can be misleading. The word sin carries with it the notion of moral responsibility. Obviously an infant has no moral responsibility. So we can’t think of original sin in the sense of personal sin.
How can we think of this in a way that makes good sense and can be valuable for our spiritual growth?
First of all just the fact of being a human being causes us to struggle. We live from what is processed by our brain. There are many parts. We will use the three general terms for our brain. The oldest is the reptilian brain. A newer part is called the limbic system or the mammalian brain. The newest part is the cortex. The newest part of the cortex is the pre-fontal cortex. That is the part that distinguishes us from the other animals.
From the reptilian brain comes our sexual and aggressive impulses. They come to us on their own. There is no morality involved. From the limbic system comes our emotions and our drive for intimacy, though they may be influenced by our pre-fontal cortex. These impulses and emotions are a part of being human and there is no morality involved. It is misleading when we use the word sin for these human emotions and impulses.
More next time.
Smile, God Loves You,