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Offline Maria Regina

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What if Adam had refused to taste the forbidden fruit?
« on: December 18, 2018, 12:23:40 PM »
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    Ladislaus

    I actually wonder sometimes what would have happened if Eve had given in but then Adam didn't follow suit.  Interesting exercise in speculative theology there.  Would God have made Adam another companion?  Or, alternatively, would their offspring have Original Sin transmitted through Eve alone had Adam not fallen?
    Do the Church Fathers address this topic? Did St. Thomas Aquinas?

    My opinion is expressed below,  so notice the use of modal verbs and the hypothetical "if".

    If Adam had refused Eve's request to taste of the forbidden fruit, then Adam, as head of the First Family, could have prayerfully led Eve to repentance as acts of repentance and forgiveness are graces from God.  Then Adam would have fulfilled his role as Priest, Prophet, and King. When the two met Christ on their daily walks in Eden, then Adam could have begged Christ to forgive Eve, and things could have been restored.

    But would that initial rebellious sin of Eve have left a weakness that could have been passed onto their offspring? Would Christ as Savior and Redeemer still need to be born to redeem us?

    We must also ask: Why was Christ our eternal King and God known as the Incarnate God? He created the world, and appeared as the Incarnate God in His daily walks in the Garden of Eden even before His Incarnation as a New Born Child.

    "O Happy Fault that merited such and so great a Redeemer!"

    Even St. David the Psalmist begged forgiveness and was forgiven long before the birth of Christ. Psalm 50 is a product of that repentance.
    Lord have mercy.

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: What if Adam had refused to taste the forbidden fruit?
    « Reply #1 on: December 18, 2018, 12:29:37 PM »
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  • Of course Eve could have been forgiven, but I don't believe she would have been restored to a state of Original Justice.


    Offline Vintagewife3

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    Re: What if Adam had refused to taste the forbidden fruit?
    « Reply #2 on: December 18, 2018, 12:32:37 PM »
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  • I’ve always wondered the same thing. 

    But would God still punish Adam for not guarding Eve better? 

    I always thought it could go one of two ways. The first one you brought up. That Adam scolds Eve, and tells her to beg God for forgiveness. Or that God wipes Eve out to make a better model. I do think it would still pass on to offspring because it couldn’t have gone entirely unpunished. 

     to be honest it’s nice to think if Adam hadn’t eaten the apple our Loving Savior wouldn’t have had to endure what He did for us.  

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: What if Adam had refused to taste the forbidden fruit?
    « Reply #3 on: December 18, 2018, 12:35:50 PM »
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  • My guess is that God would not have wiped out Eve but that He would have created another helper for Adam.  He would not punish Adam and his offspring on account of Eve's sin.  IMO.  Eve would have been kicked out of the Garden, while Adam stayed.  Unless Adam chose to go with her out of love and compassion.  I would imagine that God would have given him a choice.  Stay here in the Garden, and I'll make you another helpmate, in which case your offspring will be as planned ... or else go with Eve, and your offspring will be born into Original Sin.


    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: What if Adam had refused to taste the forbidden fruit?
    « Reply #4 on: December 18, 2018, 12:41:04 PM »
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  • Cant say for sure but most theologians say Eve’s sin alone wouldn’t have transmitted Original Sin.  

    Also, the Old Testament talks about “sins of the father” being passed down through the ages, not the sins of the Mother. 


    Offline Vintagewife3

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    Re: What if Adam had refused to taste the forbidden fruit?
    « Reply #5 on: December 18, 2018, 12:44:45 PM »
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  • It wasn’t just her sin that brought our Lord to such suffering. Both of their sins combined did. I feel as if God would have had to punish them together because they were “married”. But again, there are multiple outcomes.

    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: What if Adam had refused to taste the forbidden fruit?
    « Reply #6 on: December 18, 2018, 12:50:42 PM »
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  • Exactly.  It was Adam's sin that caused Christ to have to redeem the human race.  Eve's sin was her own, but spiritually, the mother does not affect the children to the same degree as the father (i.e. Adam) because the husband is the head of the family, so his sin is greater and has more consequences.

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: What if Adam had refused to taste the forbidden fruit?
    « Reply #7 on: December 18, 2018, 12:55:47 PM »
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  • Another interesting aspect of the question is:  would Adam have been held accountable for the sin of Eve because he was her head, or was that relationship due to the post-Fall subjection of woman to man?


    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: What if Adam had refused to taste the forbidden fruit?
    « Reply #8 on: December 18, 2018, 12:56:23 PM »
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  • Asking questions like this might seem silly, but it helps to elucidate the principles behind what actually happened:  about the nature of Original Sin, about its transmission, about the relationship between husband/wife before the Fall and after the Fall, etc.  One poster here said they were married.  Were they?


    Offline klasG4e

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    Re: What if Adam had refused to taste the forbidden fruit?
    « Reply #9 on: December 18, 2018, 01:05:43 PM »
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  • Another interesting aspect of the question is:  would Adam have been held accountable for the sin of Eve because he was her head, or was that relationship due to the post-Fall subjection of woman to man?
    I once heard it said that Adam committed the first sin in falling asleep at the switch so to speak -- in negligently letting the snake get into the Garden in the first place!

    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: What if Adam had refused to taste the forbidden fruit?
    « Reply #10 on: December 18, 2018, 01:15:22 PM »
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  • Likewise, [St Augustine] notes that death reigned even over those "who had not yet sinned of their own individual will, as Adam did, but had drawn from him original sin...because in him [Adam] was constituted the form of condemnation to his future progeny'' (Ibid. I.13; Fathers of the Church).

    St Thomas writes that, "Wherefore, original justice being forfeited through the sin of our first parent; as human nature was stricken in the soul...also it became subject to corruption'' (Ibid. IaIIae.85.5; New Advent).  Through removal of original justice, "the sin our our first parent is the cause of death and all such like defects in human nature'' (Ibid.; New Advent). 

    St Thomas continues, distinguishing between Adam's willful 1st sin and the effects of Original Sin of the rest of the human race, who are not guilty of Original Sin through their bad will but through nature.  ...Though original sin is a sin of the will of Adam, it is not a sin of his descendants "except inasmuch as this person [his descendant] receives his nature from his first parent, for which reason it is called the `sin of nature'' (Summa Theologica IaIIae.81.1; New Advent

    First parent = Adam

    Is not Christ, then, subject to Original Sin because He is an offspring of Adam?

    Thomas Aquinas, on the other hand, finds that Jesus Christ, by virtue of his conception, would not be subject to original sin. Aquinas found that original sin passed to men since they were "one body'' with Adam (Summa Theologica IaIIae.81.1; New Advent). But Christ was not part of this body. As Aquinas notes, original sin is only contracted by those "who are descended from him [Adam] through seminal power'' (Ibid. IaIIae81.4; New Advent).

    In other words, only those properly of the seed of Adam would be subject of original sin. Thus Aquinas concludes that ,''If anyone were to be formed by God out of human flesh, it is evident that the active power would not be derived from Adam. Consequently, he would not contract original sin'' (Ibid.; New Advent). Thus, Aquinas finds that Jesus Christ would have no need to cleanse his body of original sin, since his conception, by its independence from carnal generation, would have been without sin.

    http://www.memoryhole.net/~chris/research/original_sin.html


    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: What if Adam had refused to taste the forbidden fruit?
    « Reply #11 on: December 18, 2018, 01:58:36 PM »
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  • I once heard it said that Adam committed the first sin in falling asleep at the switch so to speak -- in negligently letting the snake get into the Garden in the first place!

    Interesting.

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: What if Adam had refused to taste the forbidden fruit?
    « Reply #12 on: December 18, 2018, 01:59:50 PM »
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  • Thomas Aquinas, on the other hand, finds that Jesus Christ, by virtue of his conception, would not be subject to original sin. Aquinas found that original sin passed to men since they were "one body'' with Adam (Summa Theologica IaIIae.81.1; New Advent). But Christ was not part of this body. As Aquinas notes, original sin is only contracted by those "who are descended from him [Adam] through seminal power'' (Ibid. IaIIae81.4; New Advent).


    Interestingly, this makes it sound almost as if Original Sin is transmitted genetically.  So that's another question.  Is it transmitted physically or spiritually ... or through some combination of the two?

    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: What if Adam had refused to taste the forbidden fruit?
    « Reply #13 on: December 18, 2018, 02:12:14 PM »
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  • Yes, it sounds like it is transmitted by a combination of both.  1) physically, since all men are descendents of Adam, genetically (except Christ, whose Father was the Holy Ghost).  2) spiritually, since all men's parents had original sin (except Christ, since Our Lady was spotless and the Holy Ghost is God).  So Christ is free on both accounts.

    Offline Pax Vobis

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    Re: What if Adam had refused to taste the forbidden fruit?
    « Reply #14 on: December 18, 2018, 02:20:49 PM »
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    I once heard it said that Adam committed the first sin in falling asleep at the switch so to speak -- in negligently letting the snake get into the Garden in the first place!
    I see what you're saying but I disagree.  St Augustine says that both Adam and Eve committed Original Sin before eating the apple because sin is committed first in the will.  He said that their desire for knowledge was a sin against pride first, then they sinned in action as a result of the loss of grace.

    Since Eve sinned through her will and desire for knowledge, which are internal sins, it could be argued that such a sin could've taken place with or without the presence of the serpent.  So even if Adam had protected the garden from all external forces, the temptation to pride (which is the sin of the angels and arguably, the ONLY sin that Adam and Eve were capable of, since their reason, intellect and human nature had no disorders) would've always been an internal struggle.  In other words, God would've tested them in some other way, since Adam/Eve had to be tested just as the angels were.

     

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