I recently got a comment on my post about Concupiscence where the commenter discussed the Protestant doctrine of Total Depravity. I encourage you to read it.
So what exactly is Total Depravity? Well basically it's this: after the fall man became sinful and he can't escape it. He's utterly incapable, apart from God's grace, to ever make a good choice or do something good. He relies utterly on God. There is much more to it than that, but that's the basic gist.
Problems with this: from the Catholic prospective, God made us good. We had the fall and then through God's grace (the road to Calvary, Baptism, among other things) we were somewhat restored to our goodness. Like any time a person falls, you will get a scar. And we retain the scar (concupiscence). This doesn't make us evil. It just makes us prone to evil. Biggest difference here: we are capable of making good choices because of our redemption. We are given free will to be good or be bad. Total depravity makes it out to be that God has to constantly stand by and help us make that choice. The Catholic prospective is that he already helped us make that choice when he died on a cross. No hand holding necessary.
At least that's my understanding of it.
There are some other more sinister inherent problems to Total Depravity doctrine other than the constant belittling of God's creation (man). Some people use this theological mumbo jumbo to justify child abuse. Google the Pearl's and you will see that two children have already succumbed to this. The Pearl's advocate spanking a child as young as four months old. They also believe that the "rod of correction" to be used is a piece of plumbing line.
If anyone can tell you how sick and twisted this is, you should read Elizabeth Esther's blog. For those of you who haven't read it, she's a Catholic convert who grew up in a Christian cult. She will tell you that the number one reason why she became a Catholic is that Catholic's don't view people as evil. She explained that Mary was actually the gateway to picking up a relationship with Jesus again. Through Mary's love, she began to see that God is loving and he makes us good.
The whole idea that we are evil, horrible, deserving of hell, and therefore God allows evil to befall us is total rubish. God allows evil in the world. Yes, we deserve hell when we sin. But to think that God sets up our lives this way just totally nullifies Christ's death. If God wanted us to be evil, he wouldn't have done so many great things for us. He wouldn't have redeemed us. God loves us. We make the bad choices, but still God finds ways to make it easier for us to make the right choices. He doesn't make it harder.
Does that make sense?