sin


sin
   'Sin' is used in two senses 'original sin' and 'actual sin'. 'Actual sin' describes those moral wrongs that are actually committed by humans (and other agents). 'Original sin' describes the universal sinfulness shared by all people, which is traceable to the moral fall of the first humans, Adam and Eve. While discussion of original sin is found in patristic theologians, Augustine was the theologian that determined the form of the doctrine in the West. One controversial aspect of the Augustinian tradition is the claim that human beings also possess the original guilt of the sin of Adam as if we had committed it. This doctrine is controversial given the powerful intuitions that I cannot be guilty of an action if I have not myself committed that action. Another contested issue is the mode of transference of original sin from Adam to his descendents. Realistic theories see original sin as rooted in an actual ontological inheritance, while federal theories see original sin as rooted in God's declaration of imputation. Finally, one might ask whether the theory of evolution renders the claim of a historical fall incredible, and, if so, what implications this has for both original sin and salvation. F. R. Tennant denied a historical fall, and instead grounded human sinfulness in the vestiges of what were once amoral animal instincts in our ancestors, but which now corrupt our moral being.
   Further reading: Blocher 2001; Plantinga 1995

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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