The Root of Sin
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The Root of Sin.
Written as journal entries and prayers to God, Confessions by St. Augustine became a favorite to the religious people. In his Confessions, St. Augustine writes about his sinful youth, his regrets of following other religions and the immoral ways of life that he used to live before his conversion to Christianity.
His mom was known to be Catholic and his father a Protestant, this mixture of customs and beliefs are at fault for his confusion of religion. He dealt with this confusion as a youth until he was in his late twenties. Evidently this little understanding of what religion is made it hard for St. Augustine to truly understand what religion really meant, resulting in his delayed decision about which religion he would later claim. Admittedly St. Augustine first followed the doctrine known as Manichaeism, which explained how the operative forces in the universe decided good and evil. Then he followed Neo-Platonism, which emphasized the souls striving for perfection in an imperfect world. Augustine acknowledged he was a bouncer of religions. It wasnt until he heard the mantra, “Take up and read (Davis, 1051)”, referring to the Bible, that he stopped questioning religions, eventually deciding Christianity would be his chosen belief. Today St. Augustine is noted to be one of the most important theologians of the ancient church. In his Confessions, his thoughts surrounding “original sin” are disclosed.
The Christian doctrine promotes, and St. Augustine cosigns, this pessimistic view that individuals are, “depraved sinners deserving of eternal damnation.” Like St. Augustine, the doctrines in Genesis, for me, are the easiest to believe. Without a doubt, all I need for validity is to observe the factors that currently influence me.
Born and raised Catholic I was taught what original sin meant, from a biblical sense. When I was baptized I was cleansed of my original sin and made pure. The parenting I received as a child influenced the life I choose to live thereafter. Sin is inevitable. My friend defined sin, “as the animal within us,” which made a lot of sense to me. The distinction between animals and humans is that as human beings, we are equipped with a soul and this soul gives us the ability to know right and wrong, even if we are never taught such things. When we act in sin, our soul is not having a say. In the Garden, St. Augustine writes about a conversation he has with Alypius “in my heart, troubled both in mind and in countenance I cried out to him, what is the trouble with us?” (Davis 1048). My basic understanding is that living in this world, the world of material matter, I will never experience what being truly happy means. It is in my nature to experience, pride, envy, gluttony, anger, lust, and sloth. This is what is the matter with humans, we are human, this is the flaw. This is why I said the only validity I needed was to just look at the factors that currently influence me, such as reading the news, witnessing hate, or eavesdropping on conversations. Since we are all human it is in our nature to sin.
Psychology has its own spin on the origins of an individuals original sin. Its definition is termed as, nature vs. nurture. According to Mosbys Medical Dictionary, Nature vs. Nurture, is the term given to the relationship between the “relative influences of genetics versus the environment in the development of personality” (“Nature vs. Nurture”). Augustine would say that neither the nature nor the nurturing of