I wanted to get everyones perspective on the Christian mentality of "We are all born sinners". Obviously this is not a sentiment I agree with.
The only argument I have yet to hear from a Christian is "it just means we are not born perfect". Despite the fact that very few Christians define sin as "imperfect"
It does at time get pretty twisty! Not quite as bad as some of the theological arguments in Talmudic Judaism.
That's why @Gallup would be much more effective in his critique if he were to comment on how opaque and culture-laden Catholic doctrine is, rather than trying to make the same sort of superficial arguments that we Catholics have heard from evangelicals nitwits forever.
All humans have similar natural impulses. Some of those impulses, if acted upon, would result in actions that most of us would consider immoral. So, yes, in that sense, we are born sinners. The trouble with the term born sinner, however, is that it is a religious concept. It is much better to simply forget the word "sin" entirely. We should focus on reality based notions, which I think are more than adequate to support workable moral systems that allow us to live together in harmony.
...would result in actions that most of us would consider immoral.
Mo, I'm happy to have left religion so far behind that, instead of immoral, I say harmful.
It's a reality-based notion.
You know, I have often heard it said that morality is a religious concept, but I find no reason to think this is true--except for the fact that the religious have tried to claim the authority of moral arbiters for centuries. If you look up the word, neither the definitions nor the etymology have anything to do with religion. Here is a link to the Dictionary.com definition: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/moral?s=t
"Sin" in modern English is a religious concept, I agree. I'm not sure of the etymology. I think "harmful" or "immoral" works just fine, though. We Christians would agree with atheists that much of the content of morality is a function of Natural Law, which can be ascertained by Reason, without reference to God.
Christians believe that due to Eve convincing Adam to eat the apple from the tree of knowledge that it has ultimately ruined all perfections of humanity. The bible states that Adam and Eve were created to be PERFECT and the serpent was the devil in disguise to test God's creations. Hence, the Christians mentality of this... of course anyone with a logical thinking brain can point out the unlimited number of flaws from this little story but hey, it's what they think because they were forced in to it and they're too lazy to figure things out for themselves.
I don't agree with it. A baby is not born with any kind of mentality or "built in IQ" by any means. Just like a baby is not born with a religion. We are all born for one purpose...to maintain life and help sustain human life on Earth...that's my take on it. "Sin" is a man made term. I am pretty sure that it was created for those who knew how to write and such to have power over those that were illiterate and uneducated. That's always what I thought about the bible altogether anyways...
In the end, I disagree with their opinions also but that is all they are, opinions. An atheist cannot believe in this if they truly are an atheist simply because we don't believe in "sinning"...we believe in bad choices.
I am pretty sure that it was created for those who knew how to write and such to have power over those that were illiterate and uneducated.
No, I'm pretty sure it was "law" that was created for that purpose. :)
That is precisely what I had meant to say...hence "it was created for those who knew how to write and such to have POWER over those that were illiterate and uneducated"
That, to me, sounds like what "law" is.
I thought this mentality came from Adam and Eve eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge... Some call it the original sin, others call it the fall. Ultimately, since alot of churches are now saying that Genesis was a metaphor (because, come on.... talking snake...) they have to somehow keep up with the existing dogma that we are all born sinners. This leads to odd statements like
it just means we are not born perfect
Judith, you get my vote for best response!