Can evolutionary psychology confirm original sin?

Faith and Philosophy 24 (3):268-283 (2007)
Abstract
Christian responses to the developing field of evolutionary psychology tend to be defensive, focusing on the task of showing that Christians have not beenpresented with any reason to abandon any central beliefs of the Christian faith. A more positive response would seek to show that evolutionary psychologycan provide some sort of epistemic support for one or more distinctively Christian doctrines. This paper is an attempt to supply such a response by focusing on the distinctively Christian doctrine of original sin, which presents itself as an especially likely candidate for support from evolutionary psychology. I consider five versions of the doctrine in order of increasing content, arguing that all but the last can receive such support. However, in order to argue for the fourth version (which includes the doctrine traditionally described as “original guilt”), I enlist the aid of a Molinist understanding of divine providence. A consequence of this application of Molinism is that God holds us morally accountable, not only for what we actually do, but also for what we would do in any non-actual conditions, and that He acts on His knowledge of what we would do in such conditions. Because many may find this consequence problematic, I also argue that it is both morally acceptableand necessary for the perfection of the relationship between God and human beings. The last version of original sin that I consider insists that it must be thecausal product of the first sin of the first human being(s), but I argue that this is not a reasonable alternative if original sin is to be equated with behavioraltendencies inherited from an evolutionary ancestry
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,399
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Peter King (2007). Damaged Goods. Faith and Philosophy 24 (3):247-267.
Peter King (2007). Damaged Goods. Faith and Philosophy 24 (3):247-267.
Rik Peels (2011). Sin and Human Cognition of God. Scottish Journal of Theology 64 (4):390-409.
Leonard Hodgson (1930/1969). Essays in Christian Philosophy. Freeport, N.Y.,Books for Libraries Press.
Michael Rea (2007). The Metaphysics of Original Sin. In Peter Van Inwagen & Dean Zimmerman (eds.), Persons: Human and Divine. Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press ;. 319--356.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

5 ( #229,963 of 1,102,939 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #183,209 of 1,102,939 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.