The Myth of Original Sin does far more evil than merely inverting our inherent desire for knowledge and understanding and turning our greatest and most beautiful attribute into a means of debasement. Perhaps even more vile, the Myth of Original Sin seeks to replace our greatest attribute, our rationality and understanding with Faith.
While there is an extensive epistemological discussion on what constitutes Faith elsewhere on this page, the brief summary is this. Faith is a belief in an unknown or unrealized proposition in spite of evidence that the belief is incorrect. Faith is clearly NOT a belief in an unknown or unrealized proposition that is SUPPORTED by the evidence, because if that belief was supported by the evidence, it ipso facto does NOT REQUIRE Faith.
Faith is impervious to reason. Unmoved by evidence. Undeterred by logical inconsistency of fallacy. Faith is, by its very nature, an irrational belief, a belief contrary to the available evidence. The very antithesis of rational understanding.
The Myth of Original Sin takes our inherent desire to know and understand the world through our senses and with our minds and declares that we are evil, debased, fallen because of our curiosity and our desire to know. Our most basic human desire and our most powerful means of knowing about ourselves and the World is therefore BAD. At the same time, our redemption from our fallen state, our salvation from our mortal sin is to have Faith in an unseen, unknown, empirically obscured entity known as God. To have Faith, is therefore GOOD.
Since God is unseen, unknown and empirically obscured, how do we know what to have Faith in?
Have Faith in what his Agents tell us about Him.
How do they know what his Will is?
Have Faith because they have received Revelations from Him (or ARE Him).
How do we know that they're telling the truth?
How do we know that they're accurately reporting what His will is?
How do we explain the fact that a lot of what you say is inconsistent?
How do we explain the fact that a lot of what you say is inconsistent with our observations of the world?
How do we explain...
Look, you just don't get it, Faith does not require explanations - explanations are unnecessary. In fact, if you could explain it, if you had evidence for it, it wouldn't require Faith and it would therefore be BAD.
The Myth of Original Sin and Exultation of Faith are an insidious masterstroke for the human Agents of God. In one fell swoop, they completely insulate themselves from any and all criticism, any and all rational inquiry, any and all accountability for discrepancies and inconsistencies in their 'Revelations.' Any irrationality can be quickly dismissed for to seek knowledge and understanding is BAD, a part of our fallen and debased nature. And to have Faith in SPITE of contrary evidence is GOOD. Therefore any troublesome question can be quickly dismissed with a simple admonition that the questioner lacks the proper amount of Faith.
This is, of course, complete lunacy.
What is truly ironic is that while Faith is a perfectly valid salve for any and all inconsistencies, errors, inaccuracies and unexplainable or irreconcilable problems within a given belief structure, Faith in OTHER belief structures is wholly invalid. Christians, Jews, Muslims all extol the virtues of Faith. When asked why they do not believe in the belief systems advocated by others, however, what do they cite? Evidence of inconsistencies, errors, inaccuracies, unexplainable or irreconcilable problems within that belief structure and deviations from their own belief structure. In other words, THEY CITE EVIDENCE! They appeal to REASON! They reject OTHER FAITHS based on evidence and reason, yet fail to apply the same standard to their own.
As an outsider, all of their criticisms appear valid and their reasons for rejecting one another's faiths all appear wholly rational. The problem here is NOT rationality, NOT reason, NOT understanding or our desire to know. The common problem is Faith. The common problem is irrationality. Which leads, of course, to the old saying 'When you understand why I have rejected all other Faiths, you will understand why I have rejected yours.'
Redheaded Skeptic credit to Freethunk.