A. Guy wrote:When are human souls borne into existence? Was my soul present with Adam, along with everybodies 'soul-stuff', à la traducianism? Or created uniquely at conception or birth?
Existing in Adam seems to explain original sin and fallenness better that God creating a depraved soul; but I imagine Universalists' have a different take on this. That's why I'm asking here. Can somebody shed light?
If you want more on the history of Traducianism
, read the Wiki article.
But as the article Got Questions
Traducianism is the belief that at conception both the child’s body and soul or spirit are passed on to the child from the parents. In other words, the child inherits both the material and immaterial aspects of his being from his biological parents.
A differing view is creationism, which holds that God creates a new soul ex nihilo for each child conceived. Both traducianism and creationism have their strengths and weaknesses, and both have been held by various theologians of the past. There is a third view, not supported by the Bible at all, which sets forth the theory that God created all human souls at the same time, prior to Adam in Genesis 1. At the time of conception, God attaches a soul to the child’s body.
But here's an important element or conclusion, from the Got Questions site:
Scripture does not clearly affirm or deny traducianism.
And if we look at the Theopedia
site, the brief scriptural quotes for each side, give credence to the Got Questions site conclusion. I like its summary of weaknesses of both positions:
The weakness of Traducianism is that it is unclear how an immaterial soul can be generated from another soul.
The weakness of Creationism is that it has God continually creating new human souls, while Genesis 2:2-3 indicates that God ceased creating. Also, since the entire human existence, body, soul, and spirit, are infected by sin if God creates a new soul for every human being, how is that soul then infected with sin?
And there is a good, four part article on this topic by Reasons to Believe:
There is an interesting article at Creationism vs. Traducianism
. Depending on which perspective we take, it has philosophical and theological repercussions for sin, according to the article.
The Catholic encyclopedia
gives a short Catholic perspective and history, on the topic.Probably it would be best to read the links I have provided, before taking and defending any particular position. I particular recommend these:
Creationism vs. Traducianism
The Origin of the Human Soul Series