The Holy Father’s Wednesday General Audience: -God, Creation and free will

(Vatican Radio) “Everything is a gift from God: it is only by recognizing this crucial dependence on the Creator that we will find freedom and peace”, tweeted Pope Benedict XVI Wednesday at the end of his general audience with 8 thousand pilgrims in the Paul XVI hall.

The Holy Father continued his series of lessons on the Profession of Faith, or Creed, moving on from why we call God ‘Father Almighty’ to why we affirm God as ‘Creator of heaven and earth’.

Temptation to sin – he said – comes from belief that God’s keeping us from best things in life, that happiness is being free of all limits. Instead evil entered the world after mankind freely chose to believe in lies over truth, disrupting our fundamental relationship with God.
The Pope noted that “we all carry within us the breath of life from God and every human life – the Bible tells us – is under the special protection of God. This is the deepest reason for the inviolability of human dignity against any attempt to evaluate the person in accordance with utilitarian criteria or the criteria of power. Being the image and likeness of God means that man is not closed in on himself, but has an essential reference in God”.

“Believing that this is at the basis of all things, illuminates every aspect of life and gives us the courage to face the adventure of life with confidence and hope. So the Scripture tells us that the origin of the world, our origin is not irrational or out of necessity, but reason and love and freedom. And this is the alternative: the priority of the irrational, of necessity or the priority of reason, freedom and love. We believe in this position.

Below a Vatican Radio translation of the Holy Father’s catechesis

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
the Creed, which begins by describing God as “Almighty Father”, then continues that he is the “Creator of heaven and earth”, repeating the affirmation with which the Bible begins. In the first verse of Sacred Scripture, we read: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1) God is the source of all things and in the beauty of creation unfolds His omnipotence as a loving Father.

God is manifested as Father in creation, as the origin of life, and, in creating shows His omnipotence. The images used in Sacred Scripture in this regard are very suggestive (cf. Is 40.12, 45.18, 48.13, Ps 104,2.5, 135.7, Pr 8, 27-29; Gb 38-39). Like a good and powerful Father, He takes care of what He has created with a love and loyalty that are never lacking (cf. Ps 57.11, 108.5, 36.6). Thus, Creation becomes a place in which to know and recognize the omnipotence of the Lord and His goodness, and becomes a call to faith for believers because we proclaim God as Creator. “By faith, – writes the author of the Letter to the Hebrews – we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the visible world was made out of the invisible” (11.3). Faith implies, therefore, being able to recognize the invisible, by identifying traces of it in the visible world. The believer can read the great book of nature and understanding its language (cf. Ps 19.2 to 5), the universe speaks to us of God (cf. Rom 1:19-20), but we need the Word of His revelation, that stimulates faith, so that man can achieve full awareness of the reality of God as Creator and Father. In the book of Sacred Scripture human intelligence can find, in the light of faith, the interpretative key to understanding the world. The first chapter of Genesis holds a particularly special place, with the solemn presentation of the Divine creative action unfolding along seven days: in six days God brings Creation to completion and the seventh day, the Sabbath, ceases all activity and rests. The Day of freedom for all, the day of communion with God and so with this, the Book of Genesis tells us that God’s first thought was to find a love that responds to His love. The second thought is then to create a material world to place this love in, these creatures who freely respond to Him. This structure means that the text is marked by some significant repetitions. Six times, for example, the phrase is repeated: “God saw that it was good” (vv. 4.10.12.18.21.25), and finally, the seventh time, after the creation of man: “God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good”(v. 31).

Everything that God creates is good and beautiful, full of wisdom and love, the creative action of God brings order, infuses harmony, gives beauty. In the Genesis it thus emerges that the Lord creates by His word: for ten times “God said” is stated in the text (vv. 3.6.9.11.14.20.24.26.28.29), emphasizing the effective power of God’s Word . As the Psalmist sings: “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, by the breath of his mouth all their host … because he spoke and all things were created, commanded, and it was done” (33,6.9). Life pours forth, the world exists, because everything obeys the Word of God.

But our question today is does it make sense in the age of science and technology, to still speak of creation? How should we understand the narratives of Genesis? The Bible is not intended as a manual of the natural sciences; it wants to help us understand the authentic and profound truth of things. The fundamental truth that the stories of Genesis reveal is that the world is not a collection of contrasting forces, but has its origin and its stability in the Logos, the eternal reason of God, who continues to sustain the universe. There is a design of the world that is born from this Reason, the Spirit Creator. Believing that this is at the basis of all things, illuminates every aspect of life and gives us the courage to face the adventure of life with confidence and hope. So the Scripture tells us that the origin of the world, our origin is not irrational or out of necessity, but reason and love and freedom. And this is the alternative: the priority of the irrational, of necessity or the priority of reason, freedom and love. We believe in this position.

But I would like to say a word about what is the apex of all creation: man and woman, the human being, the only ones “capable of knowing and loving their Creator” (Pastoral Constitution. Gaudium et Spes, 12). The Psalmist watching the skies asks: “When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars that you set in place, What are humans that you are mindful of them, mere mortals that you care for them? “(8.4 to 5). The human being, created with love by God, is a small thing in front of the immensity of the universe, and sometimes, fascinated as we watch the huge expanses of the sky, we too perceive our limitations. The human being is inhabited by this paradox: his smallness and transience living with the magnitude of what the eternal love of God has willed for him.

The stories of creation in Genesis also introduce us to this mysterious area, helping us to know God’s plan for man. First of all they affirm that God formed man of the dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7). This means that we are not God, we did not make ourselves, we are the earth, but it also means that we come from good soil, through the work of the Creator. Added to this is another fundamental reality: all human beings are dust, beyond the distinctions of culture and history, beyond any social difference; we are one humanity formed with the sole earth of God . Then there is a second element: the human being originates because God breathes the breath of life into the body he molded from the earth (cf. Gen 2:7). The human being is made in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gen 1:26-27). And we all carry within us the breath of life from God and every human life – the Bible tells us – is under the special protection of God. This is the deepest reason for the inviolability of human dignity against any attempt to evaluate the person in accordance with utilitarian criteria or those of power. Being the image and likeness of God means that man is not closed in on himself, but has an essential reference in God.

In the first chapters of Genesis are two significant images: the garden with the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the serpent (cf. 2:15-17; 3,1-5). The garden tells us that the reality in which God has placed the human being is not a wild forest, but a place that protects, nourishes and sustains, and the man must recognize the world not as his property to be plundered and exploited, but as gift of the Creator, a sign of His saving will, a gift to cultivate and care for, to grow and develop in accordance and harmony with the rhythms and logic of God’s plan (cf. Gen 2.8 to 15). The snake is a figure derived from the oriental cults of fertility, which fascinated Israel and were a constant temptation to abandon the mysterious covenant with God. In the light of this, the Bible presents the temptation of Adam and Eve as the core of temptation and sin. What does the snake say? He does not deny God, but slips in a subtle question: “Is it true that God said” You shall not eat of any tree of the garden? ‘”(Gen 3:1). In this way, the snake raises the suspicion that the covenant with God is like a chain that binds, which deprives of liberty and the most beautiful and precious things in life. The temptation becomes that of building their own world in which to live, not to accept the limitations of being a creature, the limits of good and evil, morality; dependence on the creating love of God is seen as a burden to be freed of. This is always the crux of the matter. But when the relationship with God is distorted, by our putting ourselves in His place, all other relationships are altered. Then the other becomes a rival, a threat: Adam, having succumbed to the temptation, immediately accuses Eve (cf. Gen 3:12), and the two hide from the sight of that God with whom they spoke as friends (see 3.8 – 10), the world is no longer a garden to live in harmony, but a place to be exploited and of hidden pitfalls (cf. 3:14-19); envy and hatred towards each other enter into man’s heart: the example of Cain who kills his brother Abel (cf. 4.3 to 9). Going against his Creator, man actually goes against himself, denies his origin and therefore his truth, and evil enters into the world, with its painful chain of pain and death. And if all that God created was good, indeed very good, after man’s free decision in favor of lies over the truth, evil entered the world.

I would like to highlight one last instruction from the stories of creation: sin begets sin and the sins of history are interlinked. This aspect pushes us to discuss that which is termed “original sin.” What is the meaning of this reality, often difficult to understand? I would like to illustrate some elements. First, we must consider that no man is closed in on itself, no man can live only in and of himself; we receive life from the other and not only at birth, but every day. The human being is relational: I am myself only in you and through you, the relationship of love with the You of God and the you of others. Well, sin upsets or destroys our relationship with God, its presence destroys our relationship with God, the fundamental relationship, when we put ourselves in Gods place. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that with the first sin, man, “chose himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status and therefore against his own good.”(n. 398).

Once the fundamental relationship is upset, the other poles of relationships are compromised or destroyed, sin ruins everything. Now, if the relational structure of humanity is troubled from the start, every man walks into a world marked by the disturbance of this relationship, enters a world disturbed by sin, by which he is marked personally; the initial sin attacks and injures human nature (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 404-406). And man can not get out of this situation alone, he can not redeem himself alone, only the Creator can restore the right relationship. Only if the One from which we have strayed comes to us and takes us by the hand with love, can the right relationship be re-woven. This happens in Jesus Christ, who takes the exact opposite path to that of Adam, as the hymn in the second chapter of the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians describes (2:5-11): while Adam does not recognize his being a creature and wants to put himself in the place of God, Jesus, the Son of God, is in a perfect filial relationship with the Father, he lowers himself, becomes the servant, he travels the path of love humbling himself to death on the Cross, to reorder relations with God. The Cross of Christ becomes the new Tree of Life.

Dear brothers and sisters, to live by faith is to recognize the greatness of God and accept our smallness, our condition as creatures letting the Lord fill us with His love. Evil, with its load of pain and suffering, is a mystery that is illuminated by the light of faith, which gives us the certainty of being able to be freed from it, the certainty that it is good to be human.

Summary in English:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In our continuing catechesis during this Year of Faith, we now reflect on the Creed’s description of God as “Creator of heaven and earth”. In the work of creation, God is seen as the almighty Father who by his eternal Word brings into existence a universe of goodness, harmony and beauty. The world thus has meaning as a part of the divine plan, a plan which in a special way embraces man and woman as the culmination of God’s creative activity. The Scriptures teach us that man was created in the image and likeness of God, formed from the dust of the earth. Here we see the basis not only of the unity of the human family but also of our inviolable human dignity. We also see something of the mystery of man as a finite creature called to a sublime role in God’s eternal plan. The tragedy of Adam’s sin, by falsifying our original relationship with God, has affected our relationship with one another and the world itself. Through the saving obedience of Christ, the new Adam, God himself has justified us and enabled us to live in freedom as his beloved sons and daughters. * * * * * I offer a warm welcome to all the English-speaking visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Ireland and the United States. May your visit to the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul inspire you never to place anything before the love of Christ. Upon all of you, I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace.

About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
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144 Responses to The Holy Father’s Wednesday General Audience: -God, Creation and free will

  1. Pingback: The Holy Father’s Wednesday General Audience: -God, Creation and free will | theraineyview

  2. Hugh says:

    If “Everything is a gift from God” why did he give us malaria, hook worms, congenital diseases, birth defects, paedophilia, schizophrenia, etc, etc??

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  3. Toad says:

    You are not supposed to take these things literally, Hugh. Or so they say.

    For instance…
    “The snake is a figure derived from the oriental cults of fertility, which fascinated Isreal… it’s a phallic symbol, in fact.
    Interesting. Never heard that stated or admitted before, especially by a pope. So the oriental cults of fertility predate the Bible. And the sin was, presumably, sex.
    Well, why not? Must come from some source. Man was around at least 300,000 years before the Bible was thought of. And hundreds of years before that, in various forms.
    If you don’t believe Toad, ask Richard Dawkins..

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  4. Hugh says:

    I know what you mean Toad – every time science has refuted the possibility of an event recorded in the Bible, the event has been demoted to metaphor. Yesterday I was thinking about Luke 24, when Jesus is taken up into heaven. In the time that this was written, people actually believed heaven to be “up there”, and so this account made sense. Today, of course, it doesn’t.
    But the Bible contains so many references of comings and goings from heaven above that I don’t see how this can be explained away so easily.

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  5. Toad says:

    Unlikely biblical events can be “explained away” very easily indeed, Hugh.
    By the magic words, “God works in mysterious ways.”
    There. All makes sene, now, doesn’t it?

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  6. kathleen says:

    Hugh @ 9:03 yesterday

    Most of the bad things you list above came about after the Fall. Adam and Eve had no such worries of malaria, hook worms, etc, before they turned from God and brought sin into the world. From then on, as the Bible relates, suffering is now part of our human condition.
    (Your mention of ‘paedophilia’ – and even some forms of schizophrenia – are some of those sins, and not ‘given’ to us by God. They are a result of our bad choices.)

    But yes, everything we possess, either materially, physically, or spiritually, is a ‘gift from God’. Everyone has been handed out a different amount of ‘talents’ [N.B. ‘talents’ as understood in the Gospel story], and how we use these talents is what counts. Much is expected from those who have been given lots of ‘talents’, and this could include most of us in the West!!

    Suffering that befalls us can often make us suddenly aware of our vulnerability, our frail mortality, and a path towards discovering God’s great love and desire for our happiness with Him. As we, like Christ, ‘take up our Cross and follow Him’, we come to realise how our unavoidable suffering is not in vain. Redemptive suffering has great merit in the saving of souls….. including our own.

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  7. JabbaPapa says:

    Hugh and Toad congratulating each other for their shared cleverness —

    Hugh : every time science has refuted the possibility of an event recorded in the Bible, the event has been demoted to metaphor

    This is a blatantly false statement — the metaphor is a figure of rhetoric that is deliberately used in a number of various different ways. Ordinary speech is littered with metaphors.

    Religious and philosophical language uses metaphor extensively — and quite deliberately.

    But — if YOU decide to read a metaphor as if it was intended as a statement of fact, then YOU are misunderstanding and misinterpreting the language.

    As for the Pope’s statement, a declaration of generalities does not destroy any particulars nor exceptions.

    Besides, your knowledge of evils such as the ones you mention is derived from your Original Sin — your knowledge of good and evil.

    The more pertinent meditation is : “why does Evil exist ?”

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  8. Hugh says:

    Kathleen @ 10:07
    “Your mention of ‘paedophilia’ – and even some forms of schizophrenia – are some of those sins, and not ‘given’ to us by God” Where do you get such specific information? Where does it come from?
    How and when did hookworms come to exist?
    Why did God chose to invent a gift such as malaria?
    What bad choices do these infants make in order to contract malaria and die?

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  9. Hugh says:

    Jabapapa
    “The more pertinent meditation is : “why does Evil exist ?”” According to Kathleen above, the evil which is the terrible, traumatic and deadly effects of hookworm infestation, for example, was a gift from God after the fall of Adam and Eve . Do you agree with this point of view?

    “if YOU decide to read a metaphor as if it was intended as a statement of fact, then YOU are misunderstanding and misinterpreting the language” Are you then saying that every reference in the Bible to heaven and God being up above the sky is metaphor?

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  10. Toad says:

    “Most of the bad things you list above came about after the Fall…” Kathleen tells Hugh.
    All right, what “bad things ” were there before the fall, Kathleen?

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  11. Toad says:

    “Hugh and Toad congratulating each other for their shared cleverness —” Where, Jabba?

    It seems Hugh entertains some similar reservations to myself.
    Some kind of sin, no doubt.
    You will pay for this, Hugh.

    I think Father Hugh, on the “Outspoken Silence” thread, is right. “Whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must remain silent.”

    But we don’t, do we? Any of us.
    We all go chattering on.
    Like a lot of magpies.

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  12. kathleen says:

    Hugh, you are putting words into my mouth that I never uttered. I never said that “hookworm infestation” was a “gift from God“. Please reread my comment.
    These things (suffering, illness, pain, etc.) came about by our own doing – as a consequence of Original Sin – which destroyed from then on man’s perfect existence with God.

    But we must not despair. As we hear sung out during the ‘exultet’ during the Easter vigil, through our “felix culpa”, Our Blessed Saviour took on human flesh and came to Redeem Mankind.

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  13. kathleen says:

    Toad @ 14:08

    Explanation: most of the bad things on Hugh’s list of woes came about indirectly after the Fall. Sins (like paedophilia) came about directly, or IOW, as a result of our weakness and concupiscence towards sin.

    There were no ‘bad things’ before the Fall.

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  14. teresa says:

    Actually, St. Jerome already told us to search for the theological messages contained in the Bible and not to use the Bible as a kind of scientific textbook. St. Augustine taught something similar.

    And the standard textbook in the Christian middle ages was Aristotle’s Physica and other natural philosophical writings, not the Bible. Due to Protestantism people started to maintain a very naive access to the Holy Scripture after the Reformation. That is why today the quarrel between atheists and Bible fundamentalists is mainly a phenomenal in Protestant regions. The Catholic Church is not affected by it.

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  15. JabbaPapa says:

    Hugh : What bad choices do these infants make in order to contract malaria and die?

    Rather than just ask “which infants ?” …

    … I’ll just state that I have no idea why you’re expecting Catholics to justify Protestant doctrines.

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  16. JabbaPapa says:

    Hugh : Do you agree with this point of view?

    That is not an answer to my question : Why does evil exist ?

    I doubt that you have one ; I’ve no idea why you think that I might have.

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  17. johnkonnor72 says:

    …since as was said before evil is the state of abjection from or or privation of some good which if a thing or being possessed they would fully actualize their form to the measure which God willed…since God is pure goodness..there is no privation in God so God cannot be considered a cause of evil…if we lived in a world where God miraculously withdrew evil then it could be said that man would have no free will to choose..if this was the case man would need no intellect either..and man would be incapable of love…moral evil exists so that the concept of God’s justice be made evident…natural evils occur so that the lion seeking nutrition might bring about the death of the lamb etc etc…moral evil is necessary so that God may actualize the universe and bring about the greatest good…evil exists due to God’s permissive nature..”But since the rational soul is likewise joined to a matter composed of contraries, from the inclination of that matter there results corruptibility in the whole man. In this respect, man is naturally corruptible as regards the nature of his matter, if it is left to its own inclination, but not as regards its form”..since man’s form(soul) is not prone to corruption God has ensured man’s possibility of salvation…a body is prone to evil by its nature…evil does have a formal cause but not directly but only iin an accidental way…fire brings about the destruction of the wood by consuming it and providing heat etc etc….the infants do not make a bad choice however in an accidental way the evil from some prior choice which is not in accord with God’s will causes the evil to be made manifest in the infants(hugh)…read thomas aquinas summa on evil….

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  18. Toad says:

    “…moral evil exists so that the concept of God’s justice be made evident…”

    If that is so, John – and I highly doubt it – it puts God in a very shabby light, does it not? That the sole object of “moral evil” is to demonstrate how just, and loving, and good, God is?
    Surely not?
    Bit like saying God gives some people cancer so He can cure them with a miracle.

    “..natural evils occur so that the lion seeking nutrition might bring about the death of the lamb etc., etc., ..”
    A lion killing and eating a lamb is NOT a “natural evil,” John. Any more than an earthquake, a meteor strike, or leprosy.
    They are simply the way the world works. Utterly impersonal events, no evil or malice involved.

    If you happen to be drowned by a flood or eaten by a polar bear, or die from malaria, that may be unfortunate for you, but it is not “evil.”

    If things had been designed to work that way deliberately than we might very well be justified in considering the designer evil.

    But, as it is, the food chain, tsunamis, avalanches and disease are the price we must pay – for living on a volatile and unstable, often uncomfortable, living, constantly evolving, planet.
    It is not our fault and it is not due to “Original Sin.”
    Whatever they tell you.

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  19. johnkonnor72 says:

    …It most certainly is a natural evil (the lamb being consumed is evil i respect to the experience of the lamb in that the lamb now is privated of life) you seem to have difficulty with absolute definitions without ideals we have no volatile world otherwise we can have no chemistry we need ideal conditions for reactions to take place…maybe u should pick a definition of what evil is …instead of chalking it all down to ..that is simply the way a volatile world works…on one hand you deny the logic i put forward but u do not give an explanation…so i must only conclude that u are pulling my leg..u do not offer any logic of your own only..saying the world works in mysterious ways..which is a trash statement…as usual you mix up the natural evil of cancer with the moral evil of making a bad choice..

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  20. johnkonnor72 says:

    ..by saying God is shabby and by stating that natural evil does not occur but only attributing it to volatile forces beyond our control is true to form only toad attempting to refute an argument with no argument at all or a subtle variation which has no logic associated with it(ignoratio elenchi)..indeed God does not give anyone cancer since this would be making false assertions on God..and he indeed does remove the guilt and the penalty associated with moral evil through the miracle of his efficacious grace and the uncreated grace of his begotten Son through the passion as it applies to humanity…although we must cooperate however he does set the conditions of our choosing so that we exercise our free will according to his will..yet it is a free choice efficaciously made for our benefit and the benefit of our universe…in short we are able to reverse spiritual death since our form is a spiritual nature(not prone to decay) but only the penalty of loss which has appended to it a mode of matter(body)..the nature of the body is such that it is prone to decay however since the substantial nature is the soul this ensures that through the efficacy of grace and free choice we are able to overcome the evils of nature and those inflicted on the body..we are able to enkindle in our nature the divine and actualize ourselves towards the divine..with God’s help of course..however we work together…

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  21. Toad says:

    “…maybe u should pick a definition of what evil is …”
    Yes, John, I think I should. I will define it quicky, and probably a bit too crudely, as a conscious act performed with the intent to do harm to another being. It can be physical or mental. “Conscious” is the operative word.
    If I kill someone in a car accident, that’s not evil. May be criminal.

    If a lion killing a lamb to feed its family is evil, then surely Jesus (or any of us, come to that) killing a fish must be evil too. But surely you don’t believe that?

    And, if you re-read it carefully, you will see I didn’t say God was shabby. I doubt if he is.

    And..it’s a bit late in the day I know, but maybe some less unconventional punctuation might help me/us follow your argument?

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  22. johnkonnor72 says:

    …Killing a fish is an evil in. Regards the fish but a greater good comes from it…the fish must endure its death which is evil..either an action is evil or it is not…either criminality is evil or it is not..there are degrees but u cannot argue that criminality is not evil…if as u say evil is the conscious decision to do harm that is ambiguous…it is subjective…if a baby is aborted that is a conscious decision to do harm…however according to some it is not evil since the mother is saved the pain of having to raise the child…by saying evil is a decision to do harm then u say there is no such thing as evil…for what one may think evil another may think good..it is relativism…so what u are saying if i choose to kill a fish that is not the same as killing a man…to kill is always evil..u see what u are saying is that killing is both bad and good..this is a fallacy it is bad logic…it is contradictory…u are mixing up culpability with the action itself…if i run over someone but i do not intend their death an evil still has occurred namely the pain and sufferring or death of the one i strike…i am not culpable however since i did not intend it..yet a privation of life has occurred..your definition is contradictory…if i intend the death of the fish then i am guilty of committing an evil upon the fish however the good outweighs the evil since the fish provides sustenance…on one hand you say intention to cause harm is evil but on the other you say no in regards the fish..non sequitur…if i do not eat the fish then a greater evil has occurred it depends why i kill the fish however killing is an evil no matter what u say…

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  23. Frere Rabit says:

    As I remember it – not having a copy to hand – the best explanation of theodicy I ever read began with an explanation of why the lion chewing off the lamb’s ear was NOT evil. For the lion is acting within his nature as a lion, i.e. created for that act. Falling into evil is when we are stepping outside our nature. Simples. Bad example, johnkonnor!

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  24. johnkonnor72 says:

    ….Because it is natural for the human soul to be united to a body composed of various elements, humans have the natural possibility of their bodies dissolving and decomposing. This possibility, however, is not due to their specific nature, i.e. their form or soul; it is due to what is matter for this form, i.e. the body. (For a discussion of the relationship between form and matter see, The Principles of the Philosophy of Nature) However, this possibility would not be actualized were it not due to the action of an exterior agent. The exterior agent, a lion for example, pursuing its own good, nutrition, incidentally bringing about the corruption of another thing, a lamb.

    For a natural agent does not intend the privation or corruption; he intends the form to which is yet annexed the privation of some other form, and the generation of one thing, which yet implies the corruption of another.4…aquinas….sorry if i am misunderstood …maybe it is a bad example…however the lion is indeed acting within its nature..however an evil has occured namely the courruption of the lamb…however the lion is acting from instinct..thanks frere rabbit…i am not an expert just learning as i go along…i appreciate your help…:-)

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  25. Toad says:

    “…however killing is an evil no matter what u say…”
    So Christ spent a fair bit of his short life hanging around with men how spent their lives doing evil to fish. And never once suggested they ought to stop, did he John?

    Life is a cycle of killing. Presumably was before “The fall” as well. Things died, killed and were killed, millions of years before “Adam,” weren’t they?
    So life is intrinsically evil?
    Always has been?

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  26. Hugh says:

    Kathleen
    please could you explain how and when hookworms came into existence as a result of human activity. Thanks.

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  27. Hugh says:

    Jabapapa
    Evil exists because that’s how life evolved. it’s a result of the way animal nature evolved to help them survive and thrive. Maybe you too believe that evil only came about because God saw that Adam and eve were being naughty, but there is no way this position can be defended by rational argument.

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  28. johnkonnor72 says:

    …”The evil of corruption thus is unnatural to material things as regards their form. Nevertheless, the potency to be corrupted arises from their nature as material and composed of contrary elements. The natural evil of death and corruption is incidental to the action of the corrupting agent insofar as it incidentally brings about the corruption of another thing while intending its own preservation…”””…the difference between moral and natural evil and lies in the concept of guilt or fault…the agent accruing a moral evil is at fault …the natural evil occurs so that a greater good arises..Jesus did in. No way perpetrate a moral evil upon the fish however a natural evil did occur namely the fishes death however the evil occured according to the natural order of thiings..namely man’s’dominion over the animals…i suggest you read thomas aquinas on the difference between natural and moral evil…he will explain it better than i can… 🙂

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  29. johnkonnor72 says:

    @ Hugh…since evil is the privation of some good that is a due a thing we may say evil is a negation of an attribute..in an evolutionary series positive traits are held and negative traits die out due to natural selection..since evil is the negation of a trait it is not a trait at all but an absence and so cannot be passed..hence evil does not evolve….

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  30. Hugh says:

    I really don’t understand what you mean. If children and infants are being killed by hook worms, for example, is this an evil? According to Kathleen such evil only came about because God discovered that Adam and Eve had been naughty.

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  31. Toad says:

    I’m afraid you won’t get much change out of hook worms for a little while, Hugh.

    The ship’s on fire.

    Like

  32. johnkonnor72 says:

    …the universe is ordered so that God may ensure its good end..in order that this may occur he has afforded the existence of natural evil so that this may come about in the most efficiently possible way…the hook worm in and of itself is not evil since it is a creation of God…animals have no volition in and of themselves they are motivated by exterior sources…having no will they are moved by the instinct to survive..as was mentioned earlier…”.Dumb animals and plants are devoid of the life of reason whereby to set themselves in motion; they are moved, as it were by another, by a kind of natural impulse, a sign of which is that they are naturally enslaved and accommodated to the uses of others” -aquinas…the utility of the hookworm can be seen as force for good..since when people contract hookworms they inevitably get sick this is a natural evil however…due to uncooked meat or insanitary conditions this motivates people and communitys to cook their food or adopt more hygenic standards this in effect is a good outcome…so we see a greater good has occured…and the notion of fault is kept in balance since hookworms have no will and are acting according to their established mode,form and order…since God through his permissive nature has allowed incidental evils to occur we cannot say God is evil>>God is not limited by his creation….same is true with moral evil…if everyone was to succeed the good as well as the bad there could be no notion of merit…namely we could say that there is no justice and this would mean the imperfectible God was unjust…which is contrary to his nature…so we see owing to free will some must fail based on their choices not God’s…however all things are correctly ordered so the economy of the universe as a whole is preserved and continues towards its proper good end….

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  33. JabbaPapa says:

    Hugh — considering all things within the scope of the good/evil dichotomy is the precise nature of Original Sin.

    I agree that these things are evils, but that is because of my own subjection to Original Sin. Baptised Christians are forgiven this sin ; not freed of it.

    Are you then saying that every reference in the Bible to heaven and God being up above the sky is metaphor?

    I’m saying nothing so simplistic, extreme, nor so one-sidedly black & white.

    A metaphor is simply a figure of rhetoric whereas one or more extra significances are attached to the literal significance — but these other meanings are not properly comprehensible except in reference to the literal meanings.

    Whether the literal meanings are intended as being understood literarily or not is separate from the question of whether metaphor is present or not.

    As such, your question is quite simply foreign to what metaphor actually is.

    You seem to be treating metaphor and fact as if they were in opposition — this is a false understanding. It is possible for a statement be be both factual and metaphorical simultaneously.

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  34. johnkonnor72 says:

    … a good analogy would be that through the permissibility of evil God keeps us on the right track similar to a coastal road say on one side is a sheer cliff which leads to demise on the rocks and the water below and on the other side is a mountain face…we must be alert and watch from all sides as we drive on the road…this is the utility of evil..it keeps us alert and aware of the consequences of our actions…without certain evils we could not gain merit or virtue…courage, fortitude, perseverance, loyalty, patience perspicacity, discernment , wisdom etc etc….if you can’t see this then i dont know what else to say..we must be aware that evil could befall us at any time so that we make good use of our time and do not fall into sloth or postpone a good work..this ensures that those who use their time wisely rea the benefits and if some unforeseen calamity arises they have no sauce to worry since they have fulfilled themselves to the best of their ability…

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  35. JabbaPapa says:

    Toad : If that is so, John – and I highly doubt it

    I doubt it too.

    Evil is a Mystery, that theology can describe somewhat, but not explain.

    But our knowledge of good and evil IS our Original Sin.

    Our knowledge of evil is inherently sinful, which is why we are incapable of explaining its existence theologically — as our ideas about evil are of human, sinful origin, and they are not provided by divine revelation.

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  36. JabbaPapa says:

    Toad : I will define it quicky, and probably a bit too crudely, as a conscious act performed with the intent to do harm to another being. It can be physical or mental. “Conscious” is the operative word.

    Nope — even as a definition of sin, that would be Protestant… and you’re clearly confusing evil with sin as well as with malicious intent.

    Evils exist that are no consequence whatsoever of any intent at all to do harm to another being.

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  37. johnkonnor72 says:

    …I realize original sin is our shock of recognition ..however toad and hugh want logic they are obtuse ,d’indifferent through no fault of their own i suppose u need grace and faith to accept original sin as a coincept ..i am only doing my best

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  38. johnkonnor72 says:

    ..U may doubt..however our sinful perfectible perceptions is a moot point..as i have illustrated in the previous analogy the precense of evil including original sin points us to or maes us aware of greater good without it we would be unaware…hence the prresence of evil enables God to make his love more manifest..ie: the passion and death of his begotten son…

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  39. Toad says:

    “Nope — even as a definition of sin, that would be Protestant…” says Jabba, which makes it wrong, of course.
    In his book, at least.
    Toad thinks it’s perfectly possible for Prods to get it right right every so often, equally well as it is for Catholics, and even Muslims, Atheists and Agnostics.
    Even a blind pig can find the occasional acorn. We have to have an open mind.
    This is heresy, of course.

    However, Toad is taking a brief hiatus from Sin and Evil to consider the effects of “The Bark of Peter” hitting the rocks, and the Skipper jumping ship while pleading incapacity.

    Of which we have not heard the last.

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  40. JabbaPapa says:

    which makes it wrong, of course

    It is of course wrong to protest against truth.

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  41. Toad says:

    “It is of course wrong to protest against truth.”

    That is the kind of comment that makes Jabba, in particular – and Catholics, in general – so endearing. It is to say, “As only Catholics have the truth, it is wrong to protest against Catholics, or anything they do, or say.”
    We can agree on that, at least.

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  42. JabbaPapa says:

    Well, if toad can come up with some kind of scenario whereby saying what is not true might be laudable, I’m sure that his correspondents on this site would be rather surprised !!!

    Oh — our toad doesn’t bother with any of that Quid est veritas ? malarkey, does he ?

    Nor any other method of engaging with any discussion points directly, for that matter …

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  43. Hugh says:

    Jabbapapa
    You said:
    “A metaphor is simply a figure of rhetoric whereas one or more extra significances are attached to the literal significance — but these other meanings are not properly comprehensible except in reference to the literal meanings. Whether the literal meanings are intended as being understood literarily or not is separate from the question of whether metaphor is present or not.”

    But can you explain why the Bible contains so many clear references to God and heaven and angels being above the sky? My explanation is simply that this is because those who wrote the Bible believed that heaven was up above the sky. Are you disputing my explanation?

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  44. johnkonnor72 says:

    ..To say God and the angels are above is meant in a spiritual sense..there is no above in the spirit in a physical capacity..the realm of spirit is above our knowledge..it is above the plane of physical existence..in this way is meant the term above…anywhere in the spirit is no where in flesh…sorry to barge in

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  45. Hugh says:

    Johnkonnor
    You said:
    “the utility of the hookworm can be seen as force for good..since when people contract hookworms they inevitably get sick this is a natural evil however…due to uncooked meat or insanitary conditions this motivates people and communitys to cook their food or adopt more hygenic standards this in effect is a good outcome”
    Your theory is bereft of any compassion.
    Hook worms usually enter the body through the feet. There are also a great number of other, non ingested, parasites which cause untold suffering and death to millions of innocent people worldwide.

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  46. kathleen says:

    Hugh…… and hookworms, etc. 😉 (Sorry, but my thoughts were elsewhere yesterday!)

    Rather than have your eyes fixed on those nasty little worms, look at the situation as a whole.
    I’m sure you know the outline: God created Man. (One can believe in the Bible story of the sudden creation of Adam and Eve, or that this was symbolic of a moment in history when an ape-like creature evolved into a human being, a beginning, when God infused an immortal soul into our first parents and gave them Free Will.)
    And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth, and breathed into his face the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And the Lord God had planted a paradise of pleasure from the beginning; wherein he placed man whom he had formed.” (Genesis II: 7,8)
    This first man and woman lived in perfect harmony with God and Creation until Pride overcame them and they turned away from God. This, as you know, is called Original Sin. It is passed down from them to all of us, their descendants. It is not a punishment for “being naughty” – it is a consequence of a rebellion, of bad choices (as Rabit said) of the first Man, and passed down to all men there afterwards.
    Evil was unknown to Man before this Original Sin. Jabba has already pointed this out, and that Baptism frees us from this sin, but does not free us from its consequences – our inclination to sin.

    Toad quite rightly points out that we live on a fragile planet prone to natural disasters (that some would call ‘evils’), e.g. volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. But we would not have the fertile, rich Earth now, where food and natural resources for our sustenance abound, were it not for these geographical phenomena.
    All we know is that before the Fall, Man was not negatively affected by any of them. Our knowledge of pain and suffering, evil as opposed to good, came into the world from then on.

    Hope this helps, and sorry if I did not make myself clear at first.

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  47. johnkonnor72 says:

    …John 4:24…
    New International Version (©1984)
    God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”….as Jesus also mentioned his words were spirit and truth..i do not know where u would get the puerile notion that the bible writers conceived that God and the angels were above in the sky…

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  48. Hugh says:

    Johnkonnor
    You said:
    “..To say God and the angels are above is meant in a spiritual sense..there is no above in the spirit in a physical capacity..the realm of spirit is above our knowledge..it is above the plane of physical existence..in this way is meant the term above…anywhere in the spirit is no where in flesh”
    So where was Jesus going when he went up in the sky? Where did angels come down from? Are you seriously telling me that those who wrote the Bible did not really believe that heaven was up above the sky?

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  49. Toad says:

    “All we know is that before the Fall, Man was not negatively affected by any of them (“natural disasters” disease, etc.)
    On the contrary, Kathleen, the majority of people know no such thing. They know that the world – animals, humans, trees, whatever, have always been subject to these things.

    It is absurd to suggest there was ever a time when everything in the garden was lovely.
    Whatever the Bible says.
    And if, yet again, I ask “How do you know there was ever such a time?” ..we know what the answer will be: “Because the Bible says so.” Right.
    And how do we know the Bible is correct? “Because God says so.” Sigh. It’s enough to make a pope quit, let alone a toad..

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  50. Hugh says:

    Kathleen
    Thanks for your reply.
    Surely our inclination to sin comes from the animal characteristics of evolved behaviour? Civilised behaviour is what comes from overriding the instinctive behaviour. Early humans would not have survived and reproduced if they had not been aggressive, self serving and lusty.

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  51. kathleen says:

    To you it might be absurd Toad. To me it makes perfect sense.
    As it does to our dear Pope Benedict XVI, who might be quite rightly called “the Pope of Faith and Reason”.

    I repeat: Man lived in harmony with Nature before the Fall. Whether he killed prey to eat, or not, is unknown. What we do know is that all that God created was “good”. He tells Adam: “Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed upon the earth and all trees that have in themselves seed of their own kind, to be your meat. And to all beasts of the earth and to every fowl of the air, and to all that move upon the earth, and wherein there is life, that they may have to feed upon.” (Genesis I: 29,30)
    Man was given all this to be his sustenance, to care for as guardians of the Earth. (Which is why acts of sabotage on Nature or cruelty to animals are sins.)

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  52. Hugh says:

    Toad is right Kathleen. What you claim does not make any sense when we consider what is known of the evolution of species and the geology of the planet. just as our lineage can be shown through DNA and anatomy, so it can by our behaviour. Why would humans suddenly adopt the characteristics of animals which enable them to survive and reproduce in the wild, just because of the Fall?

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  53. johnkonnor72 says:

    …In Acts Luke and Mark it mentions Jesus being Taken Up…not proceeding into the sky in a physical sense…to be taken up in spirit if u look in other parts of bible ususlly means consumed by the spirit etc etc…check your bible commentaries…i do not believe we can assume Jesus floated into the sky as say a child’s’baloon let go from a carnival midway…your notions and biases projected on others in no way make them plausible unless backed by concrete référence…it is possible he did physically ascend however the context insinuates something more of a mystical experience…to say the authors believed this we cannot be so presumptuous to assert ..as i said it is unfounded…unless u find reliable sources to back up your claim… 🙂

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  54. kathleen says:

    Hugh, I never said they didn’t hunt or fish. I only affirm that “Man lived in Harmony with Creation”, in perfect peace in the Garden of Eden. Or, IOW, having no sin he had no knowledge of suffering or unhappiness until the Fall. We have no idea how long this period lasted – perhaps it wasn’t very long!

    P.S. Yes, we have bodies that function like animals.
    But our souls (that our beloved animals do not possess) are created “in the Image and Likeness” of God.

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  55. Hugh says:

    Johnkonnor
    When we consider all the references in the old and New Testaments to God and heaven being above the sky, how on earth can you say it is unfounded to think that it was what the authors actually believed? Otherwise they would surely have made it clear that this was not the case to prevent the inevitable mass misunderstanding.

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  56. Hugh says:

    Kathleen
    But what you call ‘sin’ is aspects of our animal nature, so therefore it must have always been with us.

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  57. kathleen says:

    No it’s not Hugh. Animals do not ‘sin’ when they kill, maim, ‘rape’, etc., other animals! They are only following their instincts for survival, reproduction, or whatever.

    In the same way, man is not sinning when he breeds animals for food; this, naturally, involves killing them!

    Surely I do not have to define to you (presumably a Catholic?) what sin consists of, do I? 😉

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  58. johnkonnor72 says:

    ….According to the Philosopher (Phys. viii, 5) that which causes its own movement can be either in motion or not: and for the same reason that which is cause of its own act, can act or not act. But nature cannot act or not act, since it is determined to one action. Therefore it is not the cause of its own action, but acts as moved by another. Now this cannot be the case in God. Therefore in God no action is from nature, and consequently neither is generation. Therefore generation is from his will, since all agents are reduced to nature or will as stated in Phys. ii, 4.
    6. If the action of nature precede that of the will, this leads to an absurdity, for the will would be rendered void. Because since nature is determined to one course of action, if it moved the will, it would move it to one thing alone, and this is contrary to the essence of the will which, as such, is free. On the other hand if the will move nature, neither nature nor will is abrogated, since that which is indifferent to many things is not debarred from moving towards one. Therefore the action of the will reasonably precedes the action of nature, rather than vice versa. Now the generation of the Son is pure action or operation. Therefore it comes from the will.
    ….@ hugh u say man overrode his instinctual nature and replaced it with his reasonable nature however this then assumes that man had a dual nature but this as we see above is absurd…since man acts from the will and not by the nature it is safe to assume that man did not evolve from an animal with instinct to a reasoning being…if this was the case then man at the outset would have been created or would have evolved with two opposing natures contained in one form and one nature would cancel the other out rendering man incapacitated to say the least…as well since no essentially ordered series of causes can proceed from a state of eternal regress we must afford for the existence of a first efficient cause …since absolute inifinity cannot exist in time since infinity cannot be divided we see all things have not existed forever so we see that there is a beginning to the process of creation and evolution that beginning is God…whether you believe in orginal sin as a concept or not makes no difference to the argument that man did not evolve from an instinctual creature into a reasoning one…. 🙂

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  59. Hugh says:

    Well that’s exactly my point Kathleen. These actions have become ‘sins’ because humans have evolved into intelligent, conscious and self aware creatures, that can consider and judge their own behaviour and that of others. We become civilised when we override these animal instincts for survival, reproduction, or whatever.

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  60. johnkonnor72 says:

    …sin is ascribe to an action of the will…sin proceeds from an action interior…through the senses we glean phantasms and form abstractions through the action of the intellect then by way of cognition we make judgements and proceed onto the will and make a motion or a decision on what action to take …as was said above hugh…animals move from nature according to one aim..namely that of self preservation…animals do not love animals do not reason…indeed animals nutrute their young out of necessity..however animals do not sin..sin is not an aspect of our animal nautre since we have no animal nature as was explained above…please do not weave contrary notions into one train of thought and pass them off as a parity for logical deductive reasoning…

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  61. johnkonnor72 says:

    …@ hugh…there is not overridiing of natures since this a contradiction….also if you want God to be in sky then that’s wonderful…if you think the authors of the bible thought that God was in sky that is equally wonderful….indeed God is above the sky..he is also under it as well…according to his coercive power which he exerts on all creation…however God exists substantially in heaven which is a spiritual realm….as Mr>Pappa said there is considerable use of metaphor since people at the time could understand the use of sky and heaven as metaphors for boundless or limitless space which is exactly where God might be occaisoned to dwell in a numinous sense….so to say God is above the sky kills two meanings with one stone so to speak both are correct however the spiritual sense is the more exact sense….

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  62. Hugh says:

    Johnkonnor
    however much gobbledygook you try and cover it with, we can see how humans may have evolved reasoning by observing reasoning behaviour in the great apes. If we humans developed into more intelligent apes with a greater ability to communicate, why ever would our powers of reasoning not be greater than the other apes? Even crows have been shown to be “capable of causal reasoning”.

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  63. johnkonnor72 says:

    @ hugh..please explain your allegation that the utility of certain evils in nature that i put forward lacks compassion…??????….parasites are indeed acting according to their nature…people indeed suffer..however as result…better measures for dealing with parasites evolve..such as medical research … new discoveries are made…medecines are formulated…we gain a better understanding of our surroundings …in turn society improves due to enhanced health and hygene stipulations…in short God is perfect…how God ordered the universe is indeed perfect…due to the presence of mystery we must face the fact that we are not perfect and there is a great murky area or a deficit in our knowledge …we are prone to corruption so our minds are not reliable sources of truth…as was said before by mister Pappa we must rely on revelation from God to equalize the equation….

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  64. Hugh says:

    Johnkonnor
    “please explain your allegation that the utility of certain evils in nature that i put forward lacks compassion…??????”
    Because you think that the terrible suffering of millions is useful, as it encourages scientific development to combat a creature that God created to feed on humans from the inside. Shocking!

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  65. johnkonnor72 says:

    there is no way to evolve a free will….an animal that acts according to impulse becomes a slave to its surrroundings…a prescient being with a free will is not a slave to its environment it commands its environment…there is no way that an animal could be instintual and have a free will at the same time…as i said the instinct could never coexist with a free will since the instinct is ordered to one action whereas the will is free to choose from many possible courses of action…as usual if one does not have an intelligent retort they resort to ambiguous meaningless detractions….gobbledygook?????…The absence of evidence that non-human animals use sophisticated cognition when solving complex physical problems has led to suggestions that causal reasoning in humans is fundamentally different (Penn & Povinelli 2007; Penn et al. 2008)……yes in the experiment you refer to the crows impetus was to get meat…which is basically a quest for self preservation and a learned response to a natural stimulus….not a free choice..it does not prove anything about free will

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  66. Hugh says:

    Johnkonnor
    It is indisputable that humans are influenced by animal instincts.
    “there is no way to evolve a free will” An increasing intelligence and self awareness would automatically lead to free will.

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  67. johnkonnor72 says:

    …God did not create every parasite to feed on humans specifically…some parasites origiinate in pork some in mosquitoes som ein rats…they become pernicious when humans ingest the meat or come in contact with rats at close quarters or move into tropical regions..humans are to blame in some respects owing to their poor choices …sometimes greed is the culprit …sometimes commerce as in the black death where rats on trade ships entered europe ……God does not design the parasites with the aim at causeing suffering in man solely…there are myriad purposes for parasites you are just over emphasiizing the scenario to make me look like a discompassionate monster which is very far from the truth….i did not say the terrible suffering of millions is useful in itself i said a greater good arises from the terrible suffering…there is always a price to pay for knowledge….lessons are learned and society improves as a result…there is nothing shocking about what i claim…it is practical truth….@ hugh your claims are based on inconclusive statements void of logic… :-)..please dont make a monster out of God he did not design every parasite to feed on humans from the inside..some parasites feed on toenails and little rivulets of hair in the pubic region as well….i am sure this causes undue discomfort but not the cause of serious alarm although heroic patience is required by caregivers to quell the hysteria …which may be conjured up by utopian idealists such as yourself…. 🙂

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  68. Hugh says:

    Johnkonnor
    “there is always a price to pay for knowledge” The constant suffering of millions and millions of children for a hundred thousand years or more????? And God watched over all this as it happened, as it is happening, and does nothing to help. The suffering caused by his own creations???????

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  69. Hugh says:

    Johnkonnor
    and instead of giving people the knowledge to combat and prevent disease and infestations, he waited for that 100,000 years for them to work it out for themselves. But even today a child dies from malaria alone every 45 seconds (Christian Aid).
    I’m not making a monster out of God but pointing what I think you believe to be true.

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  70. johnkonnor72 says:

    @ hugh…An increasing intelligence and self awareness would automatically lead to free will….this is a logical fallacy confusing association with causation….sentience, intellect and free will work in unison…they do not causate each other….intellect ascribed to the cognitive reason, sentience the conscious mind and both help to influence the will ( an appetitive power) based on the choices made….God cannot give people knowledge..this would take away their free choice..effectively removing their capacity for preference it would make the necessity of intelligence useless…if God made all the choices then human beings would be incapable of love…since to love is to make a movement of the will… God leaves people free otherwise people would indeed be animals motivated by nature if God did all the choosing and offered all the help….children die of malaria indeed…old people pass away …people get sick… it is inevitable…this does not make God evil…God does not cause the suffering…God permits it…however you choose to magnify the natural evils but do not speak of the other side of creation the good… the beauty the resplendent variety of nature…children may die of malaria but i am sure it is a fate far less harrowing than arguing with someone who will not listen reason…. 🙂 …either God lets people have free will or he provides help and takes away the choice can you not see this is a contradiction????…God indeed provides the help… but you are intent on ignoring it… :-)..God can indeed do anything but he cannot contradict his nature…he cannot give something and take it away at the same time…

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  71. Toad says:

    “What we do know is that all that God created was “good”.”

    Who is “we,” Kathleen?
    It isn’t me, for sure. And, assuming anyone at all, apart from you, “knows” it – how do they know it?

    You never answer that. For example, you say..
    “Man lived in harmony with Nature before the Fall. Whether he killed prey to eat, or not, is unknown..”
    Then how do you “know” man lived in harmony, when you don’t even know by what means he he lived?
    If you don’t even know whether he killed other animals or not?
    Or, presumably, if the animals killed one another?
    Of course man, and the other animals killed to live. Always have, always will. What else could they do? “We don’t know,” Kathleen will no doubt say, “We only know everything in the garden was lovely.”
    Lovely. But how? How? How?

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  72. Hugh says:

    Johnkonnor
    You said: “God cannot give people knowledge” Then what is the Bible about? The ten commandments? Jesus’ teachings? What you must mean is that God can’t give us any knowledge other than what those who wrote the Bible already knew.

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  73. johnkonnor72 says:

    …God cannot give any knowledge. Which might remove free will and subvert the process of self actualization …if God revealed 2000 years of scientific and medical advances and infused that knowledge into humankinds mind that would subvert the need for self exploration..man would miss out on the process of potentiation of the species..and so be privated of many freedoms namely the power to choose..since man would already have the knowledge .man would not have free volition…since God effectively chooses the outcome ..the ten commandments is a set of laws which is a guide..it does not take away the power of choice since man may choose to ignore the commands…it is a contradiction to say God would create parasites but at the same token remove man’s’ choice as to how to eradicate them…why bother having parasites in the first place if God eradicated them..what u are implying is a contradiction..God cannot create and destroy at the same token… 🙂

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  74. Hugh says:

    Johnkonnor
    “God cannot give any knowledge” but God does give knowledge – the Bible is full of accounts of such events. If God can tell people to avoid homosexual activity, why not tell them to avoid dirty water, for instance? Man may choose to ignore this command too.
    If horrible parasites had never existed, we would never have missed them. Your theology really does appear to me as an unenviable, and wholly unsatisfying task of shoehorning.

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  75. johnkonnor72 says:

    ….@ Hugh…how do you know we would never have missed them???what is your basis for the statement??? you are not reading what i stated you are reiterating part of my statement…i said he cannot give knowledge that would subvert free will if God told man not to drink dirty water or told man not cross the street because he might be killed that would remove all volition from man and make him a conditioned automaton void of free will….under your logic there would be no neccssity for existence of an intelligent mind since man could not choose anything…he would be incapable of love…he would need no intelligence.. if God provided all knowledge and made all his choices…no room for self actualization….God provides knowledge sufficient for his good end…if God revealed every aspect of everything at all times then man would need a transcendent mind his mind could not contain all knowledge because man’s mind is perfectible…in short you are asserting it would better for God to do all the legwork …which is indeed illogical..your logic is a bulwark of contradictions… :-)..what your doing is providing a slippery slope scenario here…thanks but i will choose God..you are free to choose your own fate…. 🙂

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  76. johnkonnor72 says:

    …..at toad………if we work from the premise that existence is a state whereby a thing or a being is able to actualize a potentiation of some good which occurs in God and which God would wish to communicate to his creatures through the process of being since God is pure actuality…then we can say non-existence is the abnegation of God’s goodness and we see that this is a state of evil not of fault but of penalty and since God is not guilty of any fault any penalty imposed on God is unjust…to limit God by his creation is to say God is not omnipotent..so we say existence is good since God is existence itself and God is goodness itself since God’s quiddity is contained in his attributes of beiing and all things participate in the essence of God to receive their essence by the power of generation…. God knows all things in their individual essences. But all things pre-exist in God’s knowledge. Therefore, all things pre-exist in God’s knowledge, not only with regard to their existence but also with regard to their individual essences… God’s aseity means that He is Being; everything else merely has being. God is Pure Actuality; all other things have both actuality and potentiality. Thus, God, cannot not exist. All creatures can be nonexistent. That is, they have the potentiality for nonexistence. Only God is a Necessary Being. All other beings are contingent…if something is privated of God’s goodness then that is an evil contracted into the nature of a thing…to not exist would be a privation of God’s goodness…in an edenic past it is thought all things participated to the full measure of their nature towards the end which God willed for them..however now through the disparity between God’s benevolence and the existence of suffering we see that the suffering that occurs in the world is a consequence of the fault of man since God is imperfectible…how we know this is that now in our fallen state some inevitably fail to succeed not as a consequence of God’s negligence but of their own fault..since there is no fault in God…we can deduce that since God is perfection he would not create an imperfect world however we see that our current world there are things prone to corruption and decay which in a perfect world would not occur however through God’s infinite wisdom he has figured in the consequences of our bad choices and brought about a greater good from apparent ill and has ensured the preservation of the universe and its final good end…we also get this from divine revelation however toad does not acknowledge it and i am doing my best to explain in my feeble way….

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  77. johnkonnor72 says:

    …@ Hugh..if as you say it would be better for God to provide a complete itemized guide on what to do and what not to do and the infinte consequences of our actions then there would be no need for the senses and man would be unable to actualize his condition of being that was started as a good work in God..and so God’s work of creation would be frustrated…”Aquinas accepts the proposition that any knowledge that is to count as real knowledge must be universal, but he rejects Plato’s view that knowledge derives from a contemplation of ideas that exist latently and innately in the mind. Aquinas insists that the soul, which includes the intellect, would have no use for the body if, as Plato held, all knowledge were derived from the mind alone…ie directly infused by God… Not only does Aquinas thereby affirm the necessity of the body and reject the notion that the body is an impediment to our acquisition of truth, he also rejects the doctrine of innate ideas. In other words, he contradicts Plato in asserting that there is nothing in the mind that was not first in the senses. At the same time, though, he says that the mind contributes to the acquisition of knowledge by forming “phantasms,” that is, mental images, that are ultimately derived from sense experience and by forming universal ideas and principles. Thus, sense experience provides the passive component of knowledge and the mind provides the active component of knowledge”….man’s happiiness ultimately consists in contemplating the truth of God and God provides truth suited to this end namely in his revelation in scripture and his commandments…if you believe this is shoehorning then that is wonderful… 😉

    Like

  78. JabbaPapa says:

    Hugh :

    This question suggests that you’ve simply ignored my explanations.

    Like

  79. JabbaPapa says:

    Hugh : Your theory is bereft of any compassion

    Your nitpicking suggests a personal affinity with the hookworms that you’re ranting on about.

    Like

  80. JabbaPapa says:

    Hugh : what you call ‘sin’ is aspects of our animal nature

    Rubbish.

    Are you karlf ???

    Like

  81. johnkonnor72 says:

    @ Hugh…….” For since it is the part of a wise man to arrange and to judge, and since lesser matters should be judged in the light of some higher principle, he is said to be wise in any one order who considers the highest principle in that order”… the difference between knowledge and counsel is great..a command from God would be considered a counsel in the course of right action to have this knowledge we need certitude…to arrive at a certitude from God’s counsel we need faith..to obtain wisdom we need to order our knowledge correctly so as to promote right action…to be certain of allthings in all circumstances as hugh says would require incredible insight…if God were to protect from all evil and lets say for example avoid dirty water to keep us from contracting parasitic infestation..we would need to know the what quantity of water to consume what time we would have to consume it we would need to know the place and this would need to be elucidated for each individual in order to ensure all were saved from natural evils…we would need to have pre cognition the ability to change future events and in effect the ability to manipulate time and the course of history if we had complete omniscience of future events to ensure our preservation then this would bar the notion of free will…all this before the fact this would give us knowledge that is unnatural to our nature…even if we had knowledge we would need discernment God cannot provide ideal conditions so that we could not fail this would remove our free choice…if God preordained that all people should be protected from parasites and all people should exercise right judgement there would be no necessity for justice and God’s mercy and love could not be made manifest…there would be no merit everyone would be the same since all would act in a right way this negates free will…no matter what we did God could not protect us from all evil and still allow us to retain our free choice… anyway i am beggining to repeat myself and this is a tedious argument but fun since i am learning alot… 🙂 thanks to Hugh and Toadstool

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  82. Toad says:

    Thanks are not necessary, JohnKon; for Toad at least. We each try to do our miniscule bit to throw the light of reason into life’s dimmer corners.

    A modest proposal: The use of punctuation, capital letters, full stops, paragraphs, and suchlike bourgeois trivia will clarify your cause no end.
    No need get crazy, and go in for the “itals,”and “bld,” which disfigure so many of Toad’s efforts, and which he constantly gets bolloxed.

    However, what you are suggesting theologicaly, I gather, is that sin is necessary in order that we might be saved from it. Hmmm.

    Wrong end of the telescope, I suspect. But who knows? (Kathleen knows.)
    Or that pain is necessary so that it can be nice when it stops.
    Or it’s salutary to watch a Mel Gibson movie, because eventually it will be over.

    To be less unserious, what you – and believers in general – are constantly trying to do is to force the circle of a benevolent deity (as you see it) into the indisputably awful square of life.
    Not easy.
    Toad hesitates to use the word “impossible,” but some pretty fancy footwork is required to deceive the eye.

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  83. Hugh says:

    Jabapapa
    Do you think “nitpicking” is really an accurate term for pointing out the terrible suffering of many, many millions of men, women and children, over tens of thousands of year, suffering caused by creations of God, while God himself watches over but does nothing to help?
    Your comment sounds more like the result of psychopathy, rather than a lack of compassion.

    Like

  84. Hugh says:

    Johnkonnor
    then perhaps God could have just told us to boil the water, in the same way as he tells us to avoid homosexual activity for example.
    “But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.” Genesis 9:2

    Like

  85. kathleen says:

    Toad @ 17:31 yesterday

    It is really impossible (or practically impossible ;-)) to argue points of Catholic Doctrine with someone who refuses to believe in any of it…. Or most of it anyway.

    The “we” I refer to, is of course Catholics…. and most other Christians too.

    Just re-read the lesson above by Pope Benedict for most of your answers. In arguing (friendly-fashion) with you and Hugh, I’m doing little more than discussing what he has already told us. I don’t “know” anything from any other source than from what our Pope and the saints of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church have taught us. And this comes from Revelation.

    But yes, you are most probably right that our first parents hunted and killed animals for their sustenance…… So what? It was still a ‘Paradise’ before the Fall, when sin then came into the world.

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  86. johnkonnor72 says:

    ….@Hugh…man has been boiling water since the recoginition of the utility of fire….in order for God to protect us from malaria we would need to avoid contact with mosquitoes…in order for God to protect us from tuberculosis we would have to avoid breathing pathogen laden air or drinking contaminated water…in order for God to protect us from syphylis etc etc…in the final analysis we would have no freedom….if God were to protect us from all evil at all times as was stated earlier he would have to give us omniscience…as such giving us counsel as to the danger inherent in the act of homosexuality is a warning..it becomes knowledge when we gain certitude based on faith….the commandments are moral commands which are designed to model our will in accord with the good….Only what is logically necessary is unavoidable for God. A state of affairs is logically necessary if the description of the prevention of that state of affairs contains or entails a contradiction…as an all good creator it is logically necessary that God provide statutes so that we can apply our faith and reason and procure virtue etc etc….as was said earlier if God were to protect us from every evil we would need intmate knowledge of every aspect of our environment (omnisicence) this is a contradiction in our nature since a will that is free must be ordered to have the freedom to choose its own demise….since God is is logically necessitated to allow us freedom he ccannot protect us from all evil since this would contradict…..in order to be omnisicent man would need a transcendent mind..for the sake of avoiding a long protracted communication breakdown i would urge you to read the collected works of thomas aquinas, john duns scotus, peter lombard’s the sentences, boehtius the consolation of philosophy ..since an argument from incredulity is a poor defense.. 🙂

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  87. Toad says:

    “But yes, you are most probably right that our first parents hunted and killed animals for their sustenance…… So what? It was still a ‘Paradise’ before the Fall, when sin then came into the world.”
    Can’t have been much of a “paradise” for the deer being torn to bits by wolves, can it Kathleen? Not much of a paradise for men armed only with pointed sticks and stones trying to kill a sabre-toothed tiger, either. It seems to indicate there is some flaw in the concept of The garden of Eden, to me, anyway.

    If I didn’t have reservations about some aspects of Catholicism/Christianity there would be no need for me to comment or question at all, would there? I raise these objections hoping to get a senseible picture.
    In my view, questions, like the one above, about “paradise,” and “original sin,” are entirely appropriate on a Catholic forum.
    Maybe I’m wrong.

    Maybe I should simply shut up and and believe whatever is “revealed” to me by men in funny outfits. And maybe not.

    Like

  88. JabbaPapa says:

    Hugh : Your comment sounds more like the result of psychopathy, rather than a lack of compassion.

    Good GRIEF !!!

    Evil exists ; complaining about it and making sinful comments about God or Scripture will not magic it away into nothing.

    Like

  89. Eccles agrees with Toad that Toad’s contribution to throwing the light of reason into life’s dimmer corners is miniscule, although, being a more experienced writer, Eccles spells the word “minuscule.” Like Toad, Eccles is allergic to pronouns, and Eccles prefers to use nouns, especially Eccles’s own name, whenever Eccles can.

    Eccles agrees that maybe Toad should simply shut up and and believe whatever is “revealed” to Toad by men in funny outfits. Eccles thinks that the “funny outfit” comment is very original and completely brilliant. He wonders whether Toad thought of that himself, or whether some acknowledged wit such as Polly Toynbee sent Toad the joke. Eccles cannot stop laughing at this hilarious comment. If Eccles had dared to expand on the brilliant words of his hero Toad, Eccles might have suggested that the nature of revelation is even more complex than Toad thinks, and that a good book on Catholicism for beginners would make an excellent reading project for Toad during this season (which, as Eccles is reliably informed by inside sources at the Vatican, is called Lent).

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  90. Hugh says:

    Johnkonnor
    Didn’t God tell us “you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.” ? – doesn’t really fit in with your theology, does it?

    God saves no one from terrible suffering. Prolonged sexual abuse of children, repeated gang rapes, torture. Even though he sees it happening and knows that it will happen. But this is for the sake of free will! Great! Let’s offer up some of that ‘free will’ to save a few million people from these dreadful existences!
    So what about the terrible suffering caused by God’s own creations? disease, parasites, birth defects, mental illness, wild animals, tsunamis, floods, famine, earthquakes? Children left to die slowy, terrified, in terible pain? God does nothing. We both know that. Forget the fantasy, the gobbledygook and shoehorning, and get real.

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  91. JabbaPapa says:

    Hugh, is there a reason behind these rantings, or did you just feel like logging onto some random Catholic website to insult the beliefs of some random Catholics ?

    Why does the existence of evil and suffering surprise you ?

    It is not reasonable to complain that the conditions of our existence are the ones that do, in fact, exist.

    The conception that you have of God and of Revelation is contrary to the truth, given that God does not behave in the manner that you suggest, nor does Revelation consist solely of your (strange) personal interpretations thereof.

    No Catholic worships the fantasy god of your strawman argument ; furthermore, the belief of some Protestants that the Bible was literally dictated by God is contrary to the Catholic Faith.

    Why not try joining the discussion forums of some Young Earth Creationist Biblical Literalist Millennialists instead ?

    Like

  92. johnkonnor72 says:

    ..God may signify his meaning via words or things…in scripture words firstly signify the historical and literal sense..however since God is spirit his words also contain a spiritual sense which presupposes the literal….in the spirit we have moral, metaphorical and anagogical (God’s glory)…since the author may indeed have a literal sense however since God is the author and he comprhends all things in every sense it is not unrealisitic to claim that there be varied senses…”When Scripture speaks of God’s arm, the literal sense is not that God has such a member, but only what is signified by this member, namely operative power. Hence it is plain that nothing false can ever underlie the literal sense of Holy Scripture-Aquinas”…if God told us to not eat flesh with its blood he is clearly defining a directive..he is probably saying to cook your meat and avoid cruelty to animals… in the spiritual sense namely to eat one’s flesh would be to gossip about another person along with their blood would mean to gossip and spread rumours thus destroying their good name or their blood as in their family lineage…God as the author of all that is good does not make bad choices because he allows bad choices to happen it is not his fault..if he sees people doing bad things it is not the same as him perpetrating the act..if your children do bad things it is not your fault..even though you may be guilty of raising them poorly… however God does not raise his children poorly he gives them commands to follow and excellent advice…dont forget to cook your food… 🙂

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  93. johnkonnor72 says:

    …@ Hugh..it is wrong to say God does nothing since God by definiton is pure action he sets the universe in motion and creates…your misunderstanding lies in the notion of God’s omnipotence God can do anything that is possible according to his nature however there are things he cannot do since they are contrary or alien to his nature…such as sin, create evil, lie, God is always right since he is perfect, he cannot duplicate himself in another creature there is only one God from all eternity, he cannot undo something or uncreate something that he has created(such as give free will then take it away)…“God cannot perform an unjust action”, but, as we have seen, an unjust action is a failure in action and to say that God’s action cannot fail is another way of saying that He is omnipotent….to make something and then to unmake it would imply a contradiction..God can make what was not to be and what is not to be, but to bring it about that something both was and was not, both is and is not, does not come within the range of His power, because these are impossible… 🙂

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  94. Toad says:

    Thank God we have Eccles to occasionally introduce a note of sanity into these proceedings.
    And to correct the misspellings of the ignorant and unlettered – in stern, but kindly, fashion.
    Yes. very possibly Toad ought to once more consider resigning.
    Before all this flattery goes to his head.

    Very modish, resigning, these days. Quite the thing.

    And poor old Raven is having to do some pretty heavy pecking on another “thread.”
    What is the world coming to?

    Like

  95. JabbaPapa says:

    it is wrong to say God does nothing since God by definiton is pure action he sets the universe in motion and creates…your misunderstanding lies in the notion of God’s omnipotence God can do anything that is possible according to his nature however there are things he cannot do since they are contrary or alien to his nature…such as sin, create evil, lie, God is always right since he is perfect, he cannot duplicate himself in another creature there is only one God from all eternity, he cannot undo something or uncreate something that he has created(such as give free will then take it away)…“God cannot perform an unjust action”, but, as we have seen, an unjust action is a failure in action and to say that God’s action cannot fail is another way of saying that He is omnipotent….to make something and then to unmake it would imply a contradiction..God can make what was not to be and what is not to be, but to bring it about that something both was and was not, both is and is not, does not come within the range of His power, because these are impossible…

    erm … actually you are setting too many limits on God’s possibilities in this description.

    God can do anything that is possible according to his nature however there are things he cannot do since they are contrary or alien to his nature

    Technically, God does not have a “nature” — and virtually every phrase commencing with the words “God cannot” is going to be inherently incorrect.

    You’re right about sin and evil — but it would truer to say that God **does not** lie rather than “cannot” — it is silly to think that something that is so trivial to us should be impossible to God !!! Furthermore, there is an epistemological and hermeneutic question concerning truth and falsehood, so that we are quite capable of mistaking either for the other ; and so on.

    he cannot undo something or uncreate something that he has created

    No — this is poorly phrased enough to be wrong.

    Logic provides that God cannot alter something that has existed so that instead it has never existed. This does NOT however mean that God cannot undo something (when there are several examples in Scripture of His doing exactly that), nor that He cannot “uncreate” something (the verb you’ve used here is so general in meaning as to be unacceptable).

    God cannot perform an unjust action

    Again, there’s an interpretative problem — all of God’s Actions are of course inherently just, but for our sins it is possible for us to imagine otherwise ; particularly if we find ourselves in states of spiritual or metaphysical suffering.

    to make something and then to unmake it would imply a contradiction

    No — again, this is too vague.

    God’s creatures** come into existence within History, and they pass out of existence within History. No contradiction, just the passage of time…

    but to bring it about that something both was and was not, both is and is not, does not come within the range of His power

    I’d probably end up disagreeing with you here as well — though to do so would involve some more mystical questions that would be completely beyond the scope of this more strictly theological discussion …

    Briefly, there are two orders of reality, the Kingdom and the World … some creatures exist in the one but not in the other, so that they could in a sense be described as “is and is not” simultaneously — but of course, only within the terms of such mysticism.

    Another point to think about BTW — the Son both is and is not the Father, in Trinitarian theology.

    ** Using “creature” in its classical philosophical meaning — every separate “thing” inside Creation is a creature, whether it be a person, an animal, a plant, a planet, a sun, or a force, etc etc.

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  96. Hugh says:

    Jabapapa
    I’m sorry, I don’t mean it to be a rant but just a way of communicating my points efficiently.
    “Logic provides that God cannot alter something that has existed so that instead it has never existed” I think this statement just about sums up my points. “Logic provides…”! Hilarious!
    Catholics the world over pray for Mrs W, and Mr X and Mrs Y to recover from some nasty affliction, which they don’t. But when Mr Z recovers from a stroke, or whatever, they say God is so caring and loving to have cured him, while millions of children are needlessly suffering and dying all over the world. That is the reality of prayer. This is what goes on in churches.
    Human society is full of different religions, cults, conspiracy theorists who all believe in these things, as you believe in yours. They believe what they want to believe, what suits them. You might be above average intelligence perhaps, but this only enables you to concoct ever more effective methods of self dillusion.

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  97. JabbaPapa says:

    “Logic provides that God cannot alter something that has existed so that instead it has never existed” I think this statement just about sums up my points. “Logic provides…”! Hilarious!

    I’m not sure why you want logic to be hilarious — I find it rather dry, myself.

    You *do* understand that the existence of God is a posit of such a conclusion, rather than a debated question ?

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  98. Hugh says:

    Jabapapa
    you wish your theories of god to be true and you appear to spend your life working on protecting these theories and challenging those who question them. This is the way of people of all religions, conspiracy theorists, New Agers and the like who protect the ideas that they feel benefit them.

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  99. JabbaPapa says:

    ???? — As far as I can tell, Hugh, you’re actually the one who wishes your theories of god to be true and spending huge effort protecting these theories and challenging those who question them…

    Me, I just have a hard time putting up with people posting their own personal ideas as if they were to be considered as true by default…

    There are only so many ways to carry on pointing out to all and sundry that you reject God and think that Christians are “delusional” or whatever before it gets boring … and you seem to have used them all up, haven’t you.

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  100. kathleen says:

    Hugh,
    It appears you have a bone to pick with God, blaming this disfigured idea you have in your head of ‘God’, for all the world’s ills.
    Do you even believe in God at all? You are using the name to point blame for all the suffering and evils everywhere. So much easier to blame ‘someone’ else rather than oneself, eh?
    Can you not see from all the evidence (and much which has been given to you by commenters here) that nearly all these evils you reel out come about from the misbehaviour of Man?

    And you say: “Human society is full of different religions, cults, conspiracy theorists who all believe in these things, as you believe in yours. They believe what they want to believe, what suits them.
    And: “you wish your theories of god to be true and you appear to spend your life working on protecting these theories and challenging those who question them

    Is it not you yourself doing just that? Believing what suits you?

    So to Whom do you give thanks and praise for all the wonders and good in the world? Notably the wondrous gift of Life itself.

    Like

  101. kathleen says:

    Hmmm…. Seems I’ve said much the same as Jabba!

    But I posted my comment above before I’d seen his. 🙂

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  102. Hugh says:

    Kathleen & Jabba
    unlike you, and people of other religions, I am not telling anyone that I know about things which I do not really know. That is the difference. I have been questioning your claims of knowledge or truth by putting forward opposing arguments.
    “Can you not see from all the evidence (and much which has been given to you by commenters here) that nearly all these evils you reel out come about from the misbehaviour of Man?” Diseases, birth defects, earthquakes, floods, drought, parasites, dangerous animals, tsunamis, mental illnesses? No Kathleen, the evidence is non existent in these cases.
    Surely it would suit me to believe in an after life in heaven and a loving god wouldn’t it???? Think about it.
    “So to Whom do you give thanks and praise for all the wonders and good in the world? Notably the wondrous gift of Life itself” I’m not too sure Kathleen. Who do you blame for the untold, terrible suffering of millions of innocent infants?

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  103. johnkonnor72 says:

    @mr pappa..thanks. For the clarification ..i am sure this is a better statement which encapsulates how God acts..There is no doable thing that escapes God’s power..and God indeed does have a nature …however since he is first efficeint cause he is above all posit and negation..so he would be superessential nothingness and transcendental being…anyway appreciate your help… 🙂

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  104. JabbaPapa says:

    Well, I know who I blame for our continued exposure to boring, repetitive, anti-religious ranting anyway …

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  105. johnkonnor72 says:

    …@ Hugh..u fail to mention poor stewardship of the earth, unequal distribution of wealth, which in turn leads to people in less wealthy regions to aggregate where they can find work this leads to overcrowding and poor sanitation lack of potable water etc etc…all this is a result of our system of commerce which is consumerism consuming itself..please present a more balanced argument…there are many variables in play..it is careless and misguided to blame God solely for all suffering… :-)..

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  106. johnkonnor72 says:

    ..indeed one more thing as i have not had the chance to look it up however i did remeber coming across it and that is why i so carelessly ran away with the notion…indeed this is in reference to a previous comment… as mr pappa had stated to say God cannot is incorrect… so i looked it up..anyway…”Therefore, everything that does not imply a contradiction in terms, is numbered amongst those possible things, in respect of which God is called omnipotent: whereas whatever implies contradiction does not come within the scope of divine omnipotence, because it cannot have the aspect of possibility. Hence it is better to say that such things cannot be done, than that God cannot do them”-awuinas summa on omnipotence..so mr pappa is quite right however aquinas does indeed state that God cannot sin and this is where i picked up the error..”To sin is to fall short of a perfect action; hence to be able to sin is to be able to fall short in action, which is repugnant to omnipotence. Therefore it is that God cannot sin, because of His omnipotence.”-aquinas summa, omnipotence…..anyway i will be more careful in the future..charity is patiently making one aware of the truth so thank you for your charity…. :-)..now time to stop beating this dead horse thanks for allowing me to post…

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  107. Toad says:

    Hugh, It appears you have a bone to pick with God, blaming this disfigured idea you have in your head of ‘God’, for all the world’s ills.”..Kathleen tells him.

    Two points here:
    1: Is it wrong to “pick bones with God” on a Catholic website? Or simply tedious?
    2: I think what Hugh is getting at is; If there is a God, then He is responsible for the world and everything in it. Because it’s His. All of it.”
    Of course, if the is no God, or He has died, or resigned, then, well…

    (Might be missreading Hugh, of course.)

    I now see this business of sin roughly in relation to mine with my dogs.
    I didn’t create them, but I took them on, and so am responsible for them.
    If they “sin” (which they sometimes do) it’s my fault for letting them. And I will try to lovingly change their behaviour.
    But I would not allow any of them to go to Doggie Hell for all eternity, no matter what they did.

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  108. Hugh says:

    johnkonnor
    I am well aware that humans are to blame for a great deal of human misery and destruction of the environment. I was never arguing against this.

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  109. Hugh says:

    Toad
    “But I would not allow any of them to go to Doggie Hell for all eternity, no matter what they did.” Love it!
    But you are aware that a dog can’t sin in the proper sense of sinning?

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  110. Toad says:

    Well aware, Hugh. Innocence is one of their strong points.
    So it’s up to me to decide what constitutes “sin” for my dogs.
    And what I decide might be another person’s idea of virtue.
    All relative, you see.
    Bit like Christians and Muslims.
    Whether one might draw any parallels with this regarding God and humans, is I suppose, a matter for Aquinas. Or Jabba. Or JohnKon.

    Apropos of not much, have you read, “What I Believe,” by Anthony Kenny?
    You might appreciate it, if you have not already.
    Anyone would. (Well, nearly anyone.) I think.

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  111. kathleen says:

    Yes, Toad has to be forgiven for a multitude of sins, thanks for the good laugh he often gives us…. “Doggie Hell” indeed! 😆

    But in reply to Toad (referring to what I said to Hugh), the reason we humans are to blame for many of the evils and suffering in the world is because God gave Man stewardship of the Earth we inhabit, as Genesis in the Bible tells us. (John Konnor has just pointed this out too.) So much of what does go wrong, and causes such misery and suffering to so many innocent people, has its roots in Man’s bad ‘stewardship’.

    However I do agree that there is a certain evil, or natural disasters that cause untold suffering, that do seem to be impossible to point towards Mankind as being the culprit. This is indeed a mystery. Yesterday I was doing quite a lot of searching for answers for Hugh on this topic, and I found many interesting and helpful links that can point one towards seeing “evil permitted by God” (‘permitted’ is the important word here) that can be the signpost in a person’s life to lead them towards discovering God and the salvation of their souls.
    Rather than just give you a list of these links – I know many people like our old commenter, Mr. Whippy, just refuse to use them – do a google search yourself with the question, “why did God create us?” or “suffering and evil”, and a whole lot of theological explanations will come up. Don’t forget to put ‘Catholic’ or ‘Christian’ in the search engine too, or you will get no end of loony links! 🙂

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  112. Toad says:

    “Doggie Hell” is where there are an infinite number of sausages lying around eternally, and only cats are allowed to eat them.

    “However I do agree that there is a certain evil, or natural disasters that cause untold suffering, that do seem to be impossible to point towards Mankind as being the culprit. This is indeed a mystery.….says Kathleen.
    Well done Hugh! I’ve been trying to get someone to admit that very thing – for what seems like eternity on CP&S – with no luck whatsoever.
    What did you say, that I didn’t?
    No matter.
    What this comment seems clearly to indicate is that there is something fundamentally wrong, either with the theory of creation and/or the practice. Or both.

    And it leaves the notion of “Original Sin” blowing in the wind, it seems to me.
    But I might be wrong.

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  113. kathleen says:

    Toad, I don’t believe anyone on CP&S – or anywhere – has ever said that the existence of evil is not a mystery!
    But don’t quote me out of context! What followed above is what gives some explanation for this ‘mystery’ of evil. God permits evil when good can come from it.

    Another important fact to bear in mind is that God created Man out of Love. Love begets Love. God wants Man’s happiness and He placed everything necessary in our hands to lead us towards that perfect happiness – unity with Him. He gave us the gift of Free Will, so that instead of being pre-programmed robots, doing everything the right way automatically, we have the freedom to choose to accept (or not) His immense Love. It is made even easier by an inborn natural inclination towards goodness; but temptation to sin exists too, and the choice to avoid sin must still be ours.

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  114. JabbaPapa says:

    I’ve been trying to get someone to admit that very thing – for what seems like eternity on CP&S – with no luck whatsoever

    hmmmmmm, I can still remember that you both read and responded to a comment of mine pointing out that there is a source of cosmic evil, beyond any human sources…

    It is made even easier by an inborn natural inclination towards goodness

    … although one wonders about your own inborn natural inclination to forget that the questions that you keep on asking have been answered on multiple separate occasions by various contributors to this very website.

    Are your doctrinal preconceptions *really* that hard for you to get rid of ?

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  115. Toad says:

    Sigh.
    Let me put it this way, Kathleen:
    If you now agree that there have been “natural disasters”, “natural evils.,” if you like, which usually prove fatal – since life the moment on Earth began – including the fact of living forms devouring one another – How can you possibly justify the idea that there was ever a time of “Paradise” on Earth? A time that humans are accused of bringing to an end by committing a sin?
    (Which was, apparently according to the outgoing pope, copulating? Hence the serpent as an “oriental fertility symbol”)
    A time during which mankind was all set to be immortal? Was in fact, for a short while, if I understand it correctly?

    And, is it required by the Catholic Church to believe about Adam and Eve’s (That is mankind’s) immortality?
    And if you agree what you said about the mystery of the fact of natural evil from day one on Earth, where does Original Sin fit in?”

    You raise other questione which never get a satisfactory answer, in my mind:
    How can God have “a plan”? How can He, in fact, “want” anything? How can He “love”, since love involves desire, and a perfect being desires nothing? If he did, desire it would be because he “lacked” that thing, and so would not be perfect.
    All basic stuff, I know. But still.
    I think people on here have gamely tried to answer these questions before. Which is kind of them. So may questions – and I’m bound to have spelled something wrongly. Eccles will be very cross. But he will put me right.

    Like

  116. Toad says:

    Doh. Got the coding wrong again. Serves me right.

    Like

  117. kathleen says:

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church, all the many encyclicals from the Popes, the writings of the Church Fathers, the many erudite saints (especially St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine), so many wonderful Catholic books, etc. provide the answers to all your questions Toad.
    Why don’t you just start reading and learning from some of the great minds of the Church instead of hammering out the same old questions here?* It would set your mind at rest.
    If you really try to understand some of the commenters above too, you will see that you have been given some tentative explanations to the question of why God created Man, suffering, evil, et al.
    Obviously I have not been very successful! 😦

    On the interesting article, “Pope Benedict: Vatican II, as I saw it”, the Holy Father says at one point, “...the exegesis tends to read Scripture outside of the Church, outside of faith, only in the so-called spirit of the historical-critical method…”
    This is what I think you are doing Toad. Only if you can put to one side your pre-conceived ideas, can you see how God makes Himself known to Man through Revelation. Because God IS Love, Goodness, Truth. He ‘reaches out’ to us; He ‘calls’ us.

    Yes, you are right that we use ‘silly’ words, that put limits on a Transcendent Being, Who has no limits. But that is because we are very ‘limited’ ourselves, and language is too.
    Yet when the Bible says Man is created in the “Image and Likeness” of God, it means we can aspire to the perfect qualities we know God to possess. Our Original Sin gets in the way of course, but as Jesus says: “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

    * I’m not suggesting you should leave us of course, just that we don’t seem to be making much headway here on this issue.

    Like

  118. Toad says:

    “Only if you can put to one side your pre-conceived ideas…” I am advised.

    When a Catholic, presumably with a straight face, accuses me of “pre-conceived ideas,” I just ought to give a philosophical little shrug, a wry smile, and let it go. Or try to.

    You have got the ideas you were isssued with at the baptismal font,, Kathleen.
    Fair enough, but how “pre-conceived” can any living human being get?
    I was force-fed the same stuff myself when young . I thought about it quite hard, and then rejected it as being largely illogical and irrational.

    I may have made the wrong decision to do so, maybe not. So far, I think not.
    But, either way, I can’t see where “pre-conceived” comes in.
    Perhaps you can.

    However, you are right about one thing for sure – this is all futile.

    Like

  119. JabbaPapa says:

    When a Catholic, presumably with a straight face, accuses me of “pre-conceived ideas,” I just ought to give a philosophical little shrug, a wry smile, and let it go. Or try to.

    Even when such a Catholic was an agnostic until the age of 29, and baptised at the age of 40 after many years’ worth of pro et contra philosophical and theological doubts and ponderings ?

    You have got the ideas you were isssued with at the baptismal font,, Kathleen

    This is quite simply so … arrogant and dismissive … that one hardly knows what to do with it… (well ; “almost hardly” :p )

    Are you seriously peddling the atheistic MYTH that all religious ideas result from “indoctrination” ???!!??

    And REALLY Toad — do ideas enter into the mind by the application of oil and water ???!!??

    It may interest you to reflect, instead, on the more sensible notion that Catholics are NOT in fact magically deprived of the critical faculty by virtue of religious belief — no more than an atheist might magically be provided with any traits of vasty intellect simply by virtue of their own anti-religious beliefs.

    The Catholic Faith of Catholic adults is ALWAYS the result of a conscious, rational decision — do I accept the Faith of the Church, or not ?

    It is ludicrous and illogical to claim that these might decide “no” on the basis of superior information to those that have abandoned the Faith, when in fact the yes/no decision is an individual choice concerning the very same information — but interpreted differently.

    Now — of course, bad catechism will not provide good understanding of the theological nor religious teachings — which is deplorable ; junk in > junk out, in computer programming parlance ; but CRIPES Toad !!!

    You YOURSELF have been baptised, haven’t you !!!

    If Kathleen’s ideas “were isssued with at the baptismal font”, then why on EARTH are your own ideas in disagreement with hers ???!!??

    Can it possibly be because one’s ideas are in fact NOT dictated by childhood experiences, bur are instead — GASP !!! — the result of rational consideration in one’s adulthood ???!!??

    Like

  120. johnkonnor72 says:

    …i understand how one can become mystified by the presence of evil…a common error is the assumption that all we are on this earth is all there is of life however with the gift of faith onegaiins more certitude..as a result the reason is able to accept the notion that all that happens is not entirely according to the influence of visible forces…our senses as they stand are prone to decay and are not reliable instruments fro discerning truth…what one perceives will not be the same for another..so we see that we are not reliable source of truth…there is a motion of invisble agents which if one uses their reason can arrive at the plausible conclusion that the affectation of evil as we understand it is caused by the power of intellectual coercion…as we know the mind is a powerful organ…as we see in nature there is vegetable mineral organic as well as spiritual…everything that is alive comes to life through a spiritual mode of being this is the animating principle behind life..in turn the spiritual life is causated by the intellectual nature of God which is the highest power…so we see things are moved by intellect…if nature is at all consistent then we can argue that this is the case…nothing is a coincidence all things happen for a reason…as dietrich of frieburg mentions in his notion of redition that things of a higher nature influence the things below and have authority of being and trasmit this power of coercion so we say a man can move a rock however a rock does do not move a man by its own power etc etc…so we see that pure spirits have the ability to move nature as well and so since the bad angels will the dowfall of man they may be the cause of natural evil since they are determined to bring about the downfall of man and turn man away from God…God allows evil so as to give us the opportunity to become one with him through Jesus and raise us to a higher level..one which could never happen in an edenic past…yet through the entrance of evil into the econmy of salvation and the death and resurrection of Christ we are able to use Christ as the bridge to raise our nature with the aid of grace…the presence of evil allows us to choose…even the presence of natural evil can be said to be a test of our faith in an all good God…the presence of evil can be said to strengthen our faith…to say that life on earth is the best state for a man to occupy cannot be asserted without grounds for doubt..to say man reverts back to the nothing from where he came is also an illogical statement without basis in reality…so in my opinion what we have revealed to us by men in funny suits is the best option…life is not a tragedy …life is a triumph..and the presence of evil makes us strive even harder to endure and become more complete in virtue…

    Like

  121. Toad says:

    “If Kathleen’s ideas “were isssued with at the baptismal font”, then why on EARTH are your own ideas in disagreement with hers ???!!??”

    You’d better ask Kathleen that, Jabba.
    It would appear she didn’t question them. I did. But maybe she did, too.
    And calm down. You will get Eccles all excited.
    You are quick to say I don’t pay attention to your answers – but here what on earth are you getting at? My ideas, I suggest, are in disagreement to hers, because we now see things differently. It happens.
    Both she and I were baptised Catholics, quite a while back, and we both had our heads crammed with dogma from the moment we could speak.
    We will both agree on this, I’m sure.
    I thought about it, decided about age 15, that maybe people like Russell (Why I Am Not A Christian) and several others like Voltaire, made more sense than, for example, transubstantation – and decided to take a somewhat more skeptical view of a great many things.
    For me, at the time, this was the correct decision, or so I think. No more than that. I might be wrong.

    Now, millions of years later, I’m trying to find out if the decision I took was really the right one, or not. The jury is still out.

    Like

  122. johnhenrycn says:

    You’ll never be a Christian until you’re able to give your pet parrot to the town gossip, Toad. In other words, you, I, all of us, are travelling down the Continuum Turnpike. If you think that at some point in time everything will be clear and that you will (or may) then embrace Christianity, but not before, you are dead right. The key word here is – dead.

    Like

  123. JabbaPapa says:

    You’d better ask Kathleen that, Jabba

    ?????!!??

    Is there some reason why your own opinions as to why your “heads crammed with dogma” reached different conclusions cannot be explicited ?

    Can it be that your views concerning “indoctrination” might be fundamentally flawed by your own self as a counter-example ???

    ie that these views must therefore be inherently illogical, and thereby irrational ?

    Like

  124. johnkonnor72 says:

    ….we know we cannot gain certitude on any aspect as it occurs in nature…we can approximate using what we perceive with our senses are the forms or the substance of things but the way in which the form expresses itself through matter accidents of time and spcae and quality…even quantum physics tells us so heisenberg’s uncertainty principle as well as the observer effect found in the double slit experiment..in quantum mechanics, which deals with very small objects, it is not possible to observe a system without changing the system, so the observer must be considered part of the system being observed….hence to gain absolute certainty we need an outside observer who cannot effect any cahnge on the system through his observing namely God…since we gain our knowledge through composition and division it is not unlikely that we can make an error in compostion since we are dependent upon corruptible sense…anyway without faith revelation and reason we can’t know anything with absolute certainty…volataire and bertrand russell cant know what they are saying is absolutely true true or not..no one can ..only God can..and since God is good he would not leave us in the dark..so he has his church of which there can only be one since God himself is one..it is fitting that nature should mirror heaven…and the hierarchy contained within

    Like

  125. johnhenrycn says:

    Lord have mercy.

    Like

  126. kathleen says:

    What was that new Nobel prize our friend Golden suggested for Toad? Something like “Nobel Prize for Most Exasperating Person”, wasn’t it?? 🙂

    Toad, how can you say I presumably received my ‘ideas’ at the baptismal font……. and then when it is pointed out to you by Jabba that if that were the case, the logic there should mean that our ‘preconceived’ ideas should be the same…….. you swing the question back to Jabba, telling him to ask me why!!!

    We have spent some time discussing different topics of Catholicism over the years, and as you know, I am, like you, a ‘cradle’ Catholic. I was never “force-fed” Catholicism when young, but my parents, like all parents who love their children and want the best for them, passed on their Faith – the pearl of great price – to me and my siblings. In the same way we teach our children to talk our language, our same culture, values, manners, etc., it is natural we also teach them our Faith.
    I agree absolutely with Jabba when he says: “The Catholic Faith of Catholic adults is ALWAYS the result of a conscious, rational decision — do I accept the Faith of the Church, or not ?”

    Like everyone else, as a young adult I went through my period of questioning and searching – you might remember that I have mentioned this in the past – and I came to the certainty that God exists, that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world, and that the Catholic Church is indeed the One True Church.

    Why you and I should have reached a different conclusion, I don’t know, but every person treads “a virgin path to God”. Maybe yours is just a bit tardier in arriving!
    But as John Henry points out….. don’t leave it too late! 😉

    Like

  127. Toad says:

    “If you (Toad) think that at some point in time everything will be clear…”
    Says JH.
    No, JH, what I increasingly believe is that NOTHING will ever be clear.

    Least of all God, Original Sin, Transubstantiation, Purgatory, The Assumption of the Virgen, the Virgen Birth, or even the Sacred Monkeys in the Vatican.

    Nor am I even mildly confident as to whether we will ever know why Ben called it a day so suspiciously soon. But I have my theories. (Don’t we all?)

    I’m getting more confident about all these holy mysteries with each day that passes.
    If you see what I mean.

    Like

  128. Toad says:

    All these meaningless words in the dark.

    Kathleen, were you ever told, as a child, aged eight or so, that if you did seriously wrong, (like deliberately missing Sunday Mass) and didn’t confess it – you would go to Hell when you died? And suffer excruiatingly torments for all eternity?

    (While your lucky friends, who had confesed in time, would look on, and smil, and said “Poor Old Kath”?)
    The nuns told me that, some time before I was eleven.

    Was I the only one who was bombarded with this utterly obscene nonsense?

    Let’s hope so. But I do know the rest of my class was.

    Of course, all this nostalgia d’angst (that can’t be right – I just made it up) is why Toad bloviates endlessly, self-hatingly and boringly on CP&S.
    He’s often said so.

    Good day at the races, though.
    God allowed several of Toad’s selections to stroll home at Ascot.
    So He must be true.
    Big vets’ bills can nosw be paid.
    And we look to Cheltenham!
    Life is good!

    Now, to bed.
    Things were different when Eccles was alive.

    Like

  129. Frere Rabit says:

    Toad may benefit from a racing tip from Rabit: put your money Archbishop Angelo Scola of Milan.

    Toad may also benefit from reading Scola, who is probably a little more organised in his philosophical understanding of Catholic faith than Toad:

    “The foundation of the ontological priority of experience over theology lies in the concept of Christian experience itself. In fact, when we talk about Christian experience, we have to recognize that it contains its own principles of rationality [], its own .”

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/THEOLOGY/EXTHEO.htm

    Lapin

    Like

  130. Frere Rabit says:

    That last bit was supposed to read “its own logos” but the italics didn’t work right!

    Like

  131. kathleen says:

    Yes Toad, I was told that those who die in “unrepentant mortal sin” would be in danger of going to Hell. I admit, that scared me! But I was also taught that if one was sorry for their sins – even without going to Confession first, if that were impossible – they would be saved from this fate.
    Were you never taught that?

    A lot of emphasis of my early Catholic upbringing was placed on God’s great Love for His children, and His unlimited forgiveness and mercy towards sinners.
    Growing up at a time when so much of the fullness of the Catholic Faith (including the teaching of the existence of Hell and Purgatory) was not being taught, I and my siblings were so lucky with the wonderful devout parents we had.

    I also admit to always having had a great passion for everything to do with Catholicism, which undoubtedly helped me accept some of its more ‘awkward’ teachings – a ‘passion’ you sadly seem to have lacked.

    Like

  132. kathleen says:

    Rabit,

    Putting some ‘money’ on Cardinal Antonio Cañizares might be a good idea too! 😉

    Like

  133. Toad says:

    No Kathleen,
    I was taught that the only way to get rid of sin – any sin- not only mortal, was confession
    Quick.
    And that’s it. No alternatives.

    Was I taught wrongly?
    Yes.
    What you regarded as “awkward” I saw as illogical, unreasonable and, nowadays, absurd.
    But it did take me until I was about 15 or so, to come to that conclusion.
    I’m stubbornly fond of things that appear to make sense, although I must admit there’s precious few of them around. And fewer still, as the years slide by.

    Still, takes all sorts, don’t it?

    So, if a ten-year-old child dies unrepentant because he, or she, deliberately missed Mass to go swimming , what happens to them, by your reckoning?

    (Yes, we don’t know.)

    Like

  134. johnhenrycn says:

    Kathleen, if you wish to play Vatican Roulette, you’d best place Marc Cardinal Ouellet at the top of your list. After all, a Canadian, Chris Hadfield, is in charge of the International Space Station, and Mark Carney, from Alberta, is set to take over the running of the Bank of England in June. Why not go for the hat-trick (pun;) and place the white zuccheto on the head of yet another Canuck?

    Like

  135. JabbaPapa says:

    Was I taught wrongly?

    No — you just failed to listen with your ears and mind and heart and soul open …

    Credo : Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum.

    Like

  136. Toad says:

    “No — you just failed to listen with your ears and mind and heart and soul open …”

    Jabba tells Toad.

    But how do you know that, Jabba? Did God reveal that to you?
    It might be you assume too much.
    Maybe. I don’t know.
    You did not have the dubious benefits of a Catholic education, I gather.
    Takes some getting over.
    Its main function seemed to be to inspire fear in our young hearts.
    And it worked, for a while.
    At age 11, I was delivered from the nuns to the priests, whose first words were,
    “You must now forget practically all the symplistic stuff the good nuns have, in good faith, told you..”
    (I paraphrase, but that was the gist.)

    Like

  137. JabbaPapa says:

    At age 11, I was delivered from the nuns to the priests, whose first words were,
    “You must now forget practically all the symplistic stuff the good nuns have, in good faith, told you..”

    Good for those priests !!!

    But yes, nuns do (far too often, anyway) tend to provide a catechism that would be fine for the formation of nuns ; but not so much for the typical Lay Catholic.

    A life of prayer and contemplation will expose one to an entirely different order of potential sinfulness, for starters ; and the normal Rule of their religious Order will also require stricter behaviour than is imposed on Laity ; indeed, most clergy too.

    The Credo, OTOH, remains more catechetically sound than the childhood catechism that you suggest having been exposed to.

    Like

  138. kathleen says:

    Toad @ 19:24 yesterday,
    “Awkward” teachings does not mean “unreasonable” – quite the contrary sometimes. I found everything in Catholic Teaching to be filled with reason and wisdom.
    What I meant by saying “awkward” are those teachings that are tough, difficult to fulfil and require self-control and restraint……. like the teachings on Holy Purity! (Blush)

    @ John Henry,
    Vatican Roulette? No, just joking. I don’t gamble! 😉

    Like

  139. Toad says:

    “I don’t gamble ” Says Kathleen.
    In Irwin Shaw’s short story, “Tip On A Dead Jockey,” one character says that.
    So another says, “Well, you should. because there comes a time when each of us is obliged to gamble* – and if we aren’t used to it, we’ll probably lose.” (I paraphrase, without the original.)

    As usual Kathleen, we share different views as to what constitutes, in this case, “”awkward.” I don’t mean just “tough,” like purity, or abstainence, or going ballistic on CP&S, I agree about all that – I mean very hard to believe – like Original Sin, or Transubstantation, or Eternal Damnation.

    * Pascal?

    Like

  140. kathleen says:

    Toad,
    Not one of those teachings is “hard to believe” if you look at the Catholic Faith as a whole. In fact they all make perfect sense. Wonderful sense! That is why it is so important to use Faith and Reason together.

    Let’s just take a quick look at the three things you mention:
    Original Sin.
    Have we finally come to agree with the fact that animals do not sin?
    But Man undoubtedly does…. frequently! So in this way we are very different from every other living creature that inhabits the Earth. Through our concupiscence towards sin that we inherited from our first parents, Man alone has the ability to choose his behaviour. He can choose to give in to his basic low instincts – i.e. to commit sin – or to try to resist them and reach out to his higher calling for which he has been created. Every single day of our lives we will be making these choices. Little ‘hiccups’ should not be allowed to discourage our good intentions, because there will be plenty of them! The consequences of Original Sin will never be shaken off till death separates body from soul.
    How, without the Doctrine of the Fall and Original Sin would you explain this mysterious inclination (or temptation) we have to commit sin? (Or, IOW, to say ‘no’ to God, making choices that go against His Divine Law.)

    Transubstantation.
    A beautiful and amazing dogma of the Catholic Faith, taken directly from the Gospels. The transforming of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, to be our spiritual food and drink, our nourishment, could only be the work of a Great and Loving God. He left us this great and wonderful Gift at the Last Supper, the Holy Eucharist, to be the focal point of the community of believers in His Church: “Do this in remembrance of Me”.

    Eternal Damnation.
    First of all we have to realise that Man is immortal. He has been created “to know, love and serve God, and be happy with Him forever in the next”. Heaven is our goal and our destiny, for which God – in His immense and unlimited generosity – has created us. He, “who desires that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth”, has “prepared a place for us” with Him in Heaven.
    But what of those men who do not wish to be with God? Are they to be forced? Of course not….. for this is the very reason we have Free Will. God’s Divine Mercy, forgiveness, will always be there for the sinner – for even the greatest sinners we can imagine – if they repent and turn to God, but if this is refused, absence of God (which is Hell) is the only place left for them.
    This is the terrible reality: we choose our destiny! Our Blessed Saviour was Crucified and Died for our sins, to redeem Mankind. But no one will be forced against his will to accept His Saving Grace.

    Like

  141. Toad says:

    I do really and deeply appreciate the time and patience you devote to poor old skeptical Toad, Kathleen. It is saintly.
    But..

    1: We, you and I, have always agreed the other animals cannot sin. Not really sin. Just be naughty. That’s why I lov e them so.
    But the animal called man can and does, not because he’s sinful as such, but because he’s insane.
    We all are.
    You ask, “How, without the Doctrine of the Fall and Original Sin would you explain this mysterious inclination (or temptation) we have to commit sin?” Because it’s fun! Very often! That’s why. You know that. You must have read about in in Graham Greene novels, surely>>?

    2: “The transforming of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ…().. could only be the work of a Great and Loving God.” This is true, and it’s also why I don’t currently believe it. I see no evidence of the existence such a God anyway.
    Only pain and misery.
    By the same token – by saying some words over my computer – a spell, in fact – it might become a washing machine, except that the exterior would, to our eyes, not physically have changed.
    Hard to believe, for me.

    3: “First of all we have to realise that Man is immortal.” No we don’t. Catholics have to, but a great many people don’t I suspect, and neither do I.

    No evidence here, either. None anywhere, I’m afraid, for any of your kind, painstaking and patient answers.

    We must just wait and see. I suspect. And while I’m rambling absurdly on, what about the boy who missed Mass and went swimming?

    Where is he now?

    Like

  142. Frere Rabit says:

    Of course, Toad, you will also know that Greene shows how wafer-thin is the divide between sinner and saint. The boy who went swimming prolly evangelised a shark. Maybe a great white.

    Like

  143. johnkonnor72 says:

    ..89 Still the philosophers could maintain that evil occurred in the world by a necessity of nature, since they claimed that God moved one series of causes which terminated in the eduction of the form and another series which brought about the superabundance of matter. That the body of an animal is an organism results from the first series, whereas that it has too many members is a consequence of the second. And so it happens that the animal turns out to be a freak. Yet this does not happen contingently, because if the one cause acts necessarily, so the other impedes its action necessarily. There is no alternative good, however, to evil of this kind, for it was a matter of necessity that these other causes impede the action since they are the stronger…john duns scotus..treatise on God as afirst principle…where would the church be without all its red-headed step children who refuse to go to mass sinc ethey are adamant on painting their little red wagons on sunday???i am sure he is a fine swimmer however the swimming will eventuate in an end which as you assure will be nothing and so is in fact a waste of time… :-)..remember what is not ordered to an end is not an effect…

    Like

  144. Toad says:

    …Easy for you to say, John.

    Like

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