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 Blooming Stars

Defective Humanity – 1

            The four major religions of the world - Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism - have major problems as they have wrong philosophies of life and world-views that have crippled humanity, and have so far brought only discredit on themselves. These religions comprising of most of the world’s population have wreaked havoc on humanity. They fight among themselves and do not have a common minimum program for humanity to reach the One God or Power they all worship. They have a bloody history that cannot make humans to feel good and proud of themselves. Original Sin, in Christianity and Inter-birth Sin in Hinduism and Buddhism (Janmanthara Papam), and consideration in Islam of unbelievers (Kafir) as evil and worthy of being destroyed and killed have not served humanity well. They grievously contaminate humanity, and affect negatively every aspect of human living. Here I am going to consider only the Myth of Original Sin in Christianity and the Myth of Inter-birth Sin in Hinduism. 1.The Myth of Original Sin: The story of Original Sin resulting from the disobedience of the first parents of humanity to God has its origin in the Book of Genesis common to both the Jewish and Christian scriptures. Description of humanity as depraved and humans as worms primarily emphasizes humans’ relationship with God as that of sinners to a Savior. A humanity that is defective in its core, that is, in its substance, right from the beginning of creation, has a very poor self-image. In such a view of humanity, humans either act in on themselves and become depressed in a major way, or act out on others in aggression, and unleash various vices of domination, subjection, separation and elimination of others, and greed. Examples of domination and subjection would be colonizing and empire building, serfdom and slavery, race and class; those of separation and elimination would be apartheid, race discriminations, Nazi Holocaust, ethnic cleansing; those of greed would be hoarding and possessing wealth and essential goods at the expense of the vast majority. And this is what is happening right now in the national and the global scenes. Relationships are not based on trust but on paranoia, distrust, and hatred. Corrupt themselves and having a poor self-concept, they have very poor self-esteem, and do not accept and love themselves and others.

            The concept of original sin never made any sense to me. I will never understand why I should be responsible for the sin of my ancestors. The doctrine of inherited or ancestral sin is not found in most Judaism. In the Christian scriptures, the four Gospels do not make any mention of the original sin. St. Paul (in Romans, 5: 12-21 and Corinthians, 15:22) talks about sin and death coming into the world through one man, Adam, and salvation and grace coming into the world through another man, Christ. Paul, however inspired and immersed in Christ, is just another human and follower of Christ. The concept of original sin was first alluded to by St. Irenaeus only in the second century in his controversy with certain Gnostics. St. Agustine’s formulation of original sin equating it with concupiscence deeply influenced Protestant reformers. According to them, original sin destroyed the freedom of the will. I am not going to elaborate on this. What I am saying is that we need to critically examine key concepts and speculations. We do not need to bring in original sin to justify the necessity of Christ’s entrance into history.

            The concept that is closest to original sin is predatory selfishness, to use a term of Reinhold Niebuhr, or what I would call thoroughly entrenched selfishness that needs to be systematically rooted out. Human is not depraved and defective. Christ as a preeminent teacher has a necessary role in human spiritual formation. Human is a beautiful child of God and friend of Christ, the guide.


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