I recently heard John Phillip Newell speak. If you don’t know him, he is an expert on Celtic Spirituality. CS falls under Catholicism, though not Roman Catholicism. There is a very good reason for this. Back in the 5th century, there was a split in the Church between Celtic philosophy, belief, and practice, and Roman or Western philosophy. Western Catholicism was led by Augustine, who promoted the concept of Original Sin, the inate sinfulness of humanity, and the dogma that Christ atoned for our sins to The Father by His death (Atonement theory).
Celtic Spirituality took a very different approach. Led by Pelagius, the prominent Celtic Theologian of that time, believed in the inate goodness of humanity, that we are not inately sinful, and therefore Christ did not die to atone for our “sins”, Original or otherwise. Pelagius believed that in the birth of a child God is giving birth to God’s own image on earth; that we all carry this image of God within us; and that the truth of the purpose of each of our lives is to be found within us, placed there by God. For Pelagius God is within, therefore why would God create an essentially “bad” or sinful human?
There is evil, but it is a separate entity from us. It obscures our inate goodness, distorts it. Christ overcame evil. Therefore Christ’s death and resurrection free us from the bonds of evil, thus releasing what we essentially are.
For Pelagius, we do not “inherit” Original Sin. There is no original sin. What Adam and Eve did in the Garden is simply an example of evil, and its consequences. It is a lesson for us, not a condemnation of all humanity for ever and ever.
Rather the image and goodness of God is at the heart of each of us. This is our center. We need only to connect with that center to find our purpose and meaning in life.
I have never believed in the inate “badness” of humanity. I have never believed that about myself or anyone I have met. Yes ther is evil in the world, but it can never overcome the light of God. The darkness can never overcome the light. Celtic Spirituality is a beautiful way to think and believe and I urge you to look into it. Just read some of Newell’s writings, he has many books on the subject. You will learn much and perhaps you too will come to believe that we carry the image of the Creator within us, and that we are therefore essentially good.