The Maturational Naturalness of Original Sin
Keywords:Original sin, Transmission of sin, Theological anthropology, Cognitive science of religion
A doctrine of original sin or of the human condition generally requires an account of how that sin or condition is transmitted. One would think there are two options for thinking about this. Either original sin is innate or it is acquired. Both would seem to be problematic, the former because all the available options involve untoward metaphysical commitments or implicate God in unacceptable ways; the latter because of the uniformity of the human condition the doctrine requires. In this article, I use conceptual advances within the cognitive science of religion and empirical research to advance a plausible model of what the human condition consists in and how it is passed down.
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