Reasons why the descendants of Adam and Eve are punished for the sins of their parents?

Full Question

God is all just, so God punished Adam and Eve for disobedience by removing them from the garden of Eden. But why did God punish all of their descendants by not allowing them to start their lives in the garden? It is not just to punish a child for the sins of a parent. A child has no control of the actions of a parent since we all have free will and since a parent can perform actions before its child even exists.


I think the best way to address this is by means of analogy. Suppose your grandfather inherited great wealth that he himself had not earned. Unfortunately, he also had an unhealthy interest in gambling. Before he died, he went to Las Vegas and lost every penny. You, as a grandson, would have been rich, but instead, your inheritance is reduced. This is the case with original sin. God gave Adam a gift he did not earn, Adam lost it, and so his descendants did not inherit it. But God is still fair to us because he offers us not just the exalted state in which Adam was created, but a much higher state of union with him through Christ. What we have to do is accept the offer.

By Jason Evert



    1. Michael Reply

      O ye of no faith how sad to limit your existence period.

    2. Jerry Tang Reply

      Period. And that’s where you fail to impress on us your willingness to listen to other views. Well, good luck to you. Period.

      1. thomraff Reply

        Jerry, I’m sorry that you will not open yourself up to reality. Peace.

  1. Peter Aiello Reply

    In addition to being expelled from the Garden, Adam and Eve experienced severe psychological changes. They became subject to shame, guilt, fear, and weakness. These were passed on to their descendants. Even if the descendants could go back to the Garden, these effects could not be reversed until Christ came on the scene. Saint Paul discusses this in Romans 7:14-8:2.

  2. Patrick Gannon Reply

    Aside from this being a campfire story, probably for children, let’s look at the story. Until they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they did not know what good and evil were, and therefore could not know that disobeying Yahweh-Jesus was a bad thing to do. Instead of educating them, Yahweh-Jesus abandons them, like a father running out on his kids, and then sentences all of us to a condition we had absolutely nothing to do with. Clearly Yahweh-Jesus is NOT just, as we (and the dictionary) understand that word.
    We know what good and evil are – see Gen 3:22, and we know that to punish people for things they didn’t do (us), or were incapable of knowing was wrong (Adam and Eve) is flat out wrong. What the garden story teaches us is how to recognize the evil in Yahweh-Jesus.
    But seriously folks, the last few Popes have accepted that humans evolved from earlier primates. These early ancestors never woke up in a garden or paradise. They woke up every morning on the menu. They scraped out a living, fighting a daily battle to survive and procreate. There were no talking snakes, but there were snakes that would kill them with a bite. What was their sin? Attaining a certain level of intellect? Attaining a higher level of self-aware consciousness? Learning to speak? Use tools and fire? What did these struggling ancestors (and there were a lot more than two), do to tick off Yahweh-Jesus so much that he had to condemn even those not yet born? And how did he choose to resolve this? He impregnated a young maiden (the original word was not virgin) without her consent, with himself, in order to be born as himself so that he could sacrifice himself to himself, in order to relieve us of the condition he placed on us in the first place? As it turns out, this Rube Goldberg salvation is unnecessary, as the RCC determined in 1854 that Yahweh-Jesus had the ability to permit people to be born without original sin – he just refuses to do it for anyone but Mary. He has the ability to prevent original sin, a condition that results in billions going to eternal torment for failing to be baptized, and yet he fails to prevent it, or if needed to save face, to simply forgive us (for something we never did)… And he’s good? Come again?

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