Thoughts on Original Sin by Tatha Wiley (2002) 6E

Reinhold Niebuhr (d. 1971) saw “anxiety” (or better, “existential anxiety”) as the reaction to the situation of personal and social sin formulated above.  His focus is on the situated individual (who is contextualized by theology).

Anxiety belongs to the realm of the situation.  It directly correlates to Liberation Theology’s milieu of personal and social sin (that is contextualized by Original SinME (ME = in the modern era).

Anxiety situates “one’s own stance towards the milieu of personal and social sins” when that stance is “egoism”.

“Egoism” is an act of the imagination.  “Egoism” is the feeling of me-first.  “Egoism” fantasizes that “I can protect me, promote me, survive by me-alone, and so forth”.

A “will to power” finally contextualizes anxiety.  The “will to power” uses words, tools and appeals to manipulate the me-in-the-situation of anxiety(egoism).

Thus, the individual’s experience of the situation that is contextualized by Original SinME may be written as a nested term:  will to power(anxiety(egoism)).

An Archaeology of the Fall complements Niebuhr’s insights by noting that speech-alone words define “reality” and in the process “construct society” regardless of the consequences.

One cannot even call our inclination to use words, tools and appeals for assuaging the anxieties that well up through our fragile egos; “temptation”.  It is part of our nature.  We know not what we do.