It was not Adam who commited the original sin; it was Abraham.
In the story, Abraham is not cutting Isaac’s throat, but instead, he is cutting out his own hart, killing his own humanity. He chooses to be the ancestor of a big people and sacrifices his empathy, his compassion, his love in return.
In the story, Abraham is ordered by his god to sacrifice his son. He obeys and is stopped only in the last moment by the intervention of an angel. In the Abrahamic religions sharing this story, Abraham is seen as righteous because of his obedience in this situation. According to this story, righteousness is viewed as based on obedience to the orders of God. Whatever his god orders Abraham to do is viewed as right, no matter how cruel, how unethical, appalling, inhumane and immoral it might actually be. In my view, the right thing for Abraham to do in this story would have been to oppose the order and turn his back on this god. Defining his god’s will as the highest ethical good is the problem here. This is, in my oppinion, the original sin.
If somebody believes that a certain action is good because it is the will of his god (I am using the mail form “his” here because in these matters, we are talking predominantly about males), no matter how appalling it might be, he may commit all kinds of atrocities and still believe – or even worse: believe because of that – that he is a moral person.
Again and again in the history of these religions, we can see this Abrahamic spirit. It is the basis of countless examples of atrocities committed “in the name of God”. You can see it every day in the news right now. The perverse idea that morality lies in doing God’s will has left a bloody trail in history.
And of course, the willingness to take such a position makes the believer suitable to be used as a tool of power as well as a victim of power, in the hands of those kings, prophets, priests, imams, khalifs, popes, preachers, religious party leaders etc. who claimed and claim to know the “will of God”.
We are back to the point where people are slaughtered for reasons of religion (married to power), based on the idea that “God’s will” is the highest value. But if the story of Abraham and Isaac would be happening today, Abraham would be taken to court and might end up in a psychiatric ward if not in a prison. People should better put him where he belongs.
(The picture, showing a detail from Caravaggio’s “Sacrifice of Isaac”, is from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Michelangelo_Caravaggio_023.jpg).