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Course on Grace: Grace considered Extensively, Grace to Adam [Catholic and Open]
TheRealPresence.org ^ | 1998 | Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Posted on 06/13/2012 10:09:53 AM PDT by Salvation

Course on Grace

by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

PART ONE: GRACE CONSIDERED EXTENSIVELY

I.  Why Grace?
II.  What Is Grace?
III.  Grace to the Angels
IV.  Grace to Adam
V.  Grace in the Old Testament
VI.  Grace to Christ
VII.  Justification in the New Testament

Chapter IV.

Grace to Adam

Deiform Man. What graces were given to Adam in the state of original justice? The array of graces that made him supernatural man: the Indwelling Trinity – sanctifying grace – infused virtues – gifts of the Holy Spirit. What kind of man may we now call him? Sanctified, divinized, deified – but the term we like best, the one which many Fathers and St. Thomas have used, is deiform. Adam was God-like; two complementary “natures” were united, interwoven, into one deiform man. Adam was not God; he was not made ever into God. But he was made god-like, a deiform man, lifted up as it were into the realm of God. And it was sanctifying grace that gave him this deiform nature, infused virtues and the gifts of the Holy Spirit that gave him his deiform powers, the Indwelling Trinity that caused and conserved all these graces in him.

We find in him also certain preternatural gifts: integrity, impassibility, immortality, infused knowledge. We call these graces, too. But while the graces mentioned above (sanctifying grace, etc.) are absolutely supernatural, since they are not due to any created nature, the preternatural gifts are relatively supernatural (supernatural relatively to human nature) since they are undue to human nature, but are due to angelic nature.

Integrated Man. The gift of integrity effected a harmonious relation between flesh and spirit in Adam, by completely subordinating his animal passions to his reason. There was no precipitous pull of passion before or against reason. This gift that put harmony and order in Adam (and Eve) gave him another likeness to God, Who is perfect Order. With such perfect order and control it is hard to understand how Adam could sin. Yet we must remember that he was free, and freedom is a tremendous power – to say NO to God.

By these preternatural gifts in Adam, he became something that we are not, even when we are baptized. He became an integrated man. Human nature is not perfect in itself, and is certainly not the perfect thing that some would have us believe. If man had been created with natural endowments alone (pure nature), there would still have been the seeds of conflict within him. For in man, God has done the seemingly impossible: He has combined “incompatibles,” matter and spirit. The body goes quickly to the things of sense; the mind goes more slowly to things of the spirit. Thus, there are roots of disorder in man’s very nature. St. Paul spoke so eloquently of this battle, this conflict in man (Rom. 7). In Adam, God did not remove the disorderly tendencies, but by the gift of integrity He put in him a principle of control.

Adam likewise had, of course, natural endowments of body, mind, and a will which was free. His nature was like ours, but probably very much better.

Original Plan. What was God’s “original” plan with regard to men? All these gifts to Adam were intended for the human race. We, too, would have been born with the whole line of supernatural gifts, as well as with the preternatural gifts. (The gift of infused knowledge is disputed – perhaps it would have been given only to Adam, who was made “adult” and as King of Creation needed it – to know and name the animals, plants, etc., etc.). We would have been in sanctifying grace, but not confirmed in it; we would have been free to sin and might have sinned. But we, too, would have been: deiform and integrated human beings.

The Fall. What intervened to disrupt God’s plan? Sin, the sin of Adam. And was it a grave sin? Yes. The consequences for Adam were loss of the supernatural gifts (except faith and hope??) and of the preternatural gifts: he became subject to concupiscence, pain, suffering and death of the body. And hell – eternal “death” of the soul – would be his lot unless God would show special mercy. For us the consequences were the same.

Many struggled with this question of original sin. One of these was Pelagius, born either in England or Ireland. He later went to Rome. As spiritual director there, he heard people complaining in discouragement that they were unable to keep from sin, through lack of grace. From his own disturbance he emerged with an amazing answer: there is nothing wrong with human nature, no such weakness in it. Man is a moral superman, strong and independent, full master of his destiny: he can do anything, avoid every sin, do any good, even gain the Beatific Vision – without grace. Adam had no grace, lost none for us; in fact he never fell. There was no fall, there is no original sin and hence no need of grace or baptism to remit this sin.

St. Augustine of Hippo struck out fiercely against this, and wrote out boldly: Nature can do nothing without grace. The controversy was on – with some monks in Africa, who felt Augustine had gone too far. St. Augustine clarified his position: nature can do nothing salutary, nothing conducive to salvation, without grace. But can human nature do all things natural to it – can it keep the whole moral law – without grace? We answer with St. Thomas and the Church: for a short time, yes; but for a long time, no.

The Fall, then, was devastating. And its extent? Is there complete darkness of mind? Complete loss of freedom? Is man a slave to his passions? Is he depraved? Is his nature corrupted? Luther and Calvin said, Yes. But the Church says, No: man is only deprived – of superadded gifts. The Fall wrought great harm: man lost those supernatural and preternatural gifts, but not free will. Without grace man can still know God and other speculative and moral truths, and can do naturally good acts. But he cannot keep the whole natural law, without grace, for a long time. He is not corrupted or depraved; he is deprived of supernatural and preternatural gifts.

God has not made man too strong in himself. As if perhaps to say: “I made angels strong, and many of them did not need Me. I will make man to lean on Me.” So it is God’s part to give grace, and man’s to pray for it and use it. Prayer is man’s expression of his need, salutary prayer; grace is God’s answer to man’s need expressed in salutary prayer.

Orginal Sin. Man in the state of original sin lacks sanctifying grace, and this is not mere absence; it is a privation. Something is not there in the soul which should be there. Moreover, there is the habitual inordinate tendency of the sense appetite, the proneness to inordinate appetition that we call concupiscence.

If God had washed His hands of man, so to speak, and left him alone, what would have happened to him? All those dying as infants would have gone to Limbo, it seems. All adults would have gone to hell, since without grace they could not long keep the entire natural law, could not long keep out of mortal sin. So if they lived long enough they would sin, die in sin and go to hell. Would there be anything contrary to justice in this? No. God could have left man thus; but we say He would not, and He did not.

The Promise. God promised man a Redeemer. This was a serious, operative promise – that would be infallibly fulfilled. And something happened immediately. Grace flowed again into the world as soon as God made that Promise – in virtue of the foreseen merits of the Redeemer. “I will put enmity between thee and the Woman, between her seed and your seed:” these were not empty words. God acted. Instantly a whole new providence, so to speak, comes into play.

God’s providence is amazing, infallible, inscrutable, reaching from end to end mightily, ordering all things smoothly. Now grace was given to Adam in view of the merits of Christ. Adam is no longer King and Center, and Eve is no longer Queen. Christ is the King of the New Order; Our Lady replaces Eve as its Queen.

Is the “second providence” greater that the first? It seems so. The Church in her liturgy sings, “O felix culpa.” Man is now centered in someone else than Adam: in Christ, the God-Man, King of angels and men. All creation is turned to this new Center. Angels apparently had the first and greatest place. Yet it seems that God loved man more than the angels. When man sinned, God sent God in the form of man so that what man had undone, Man would restore. And Our Lady? She is Woman. Again and again the bond between the New Testament and the Old seems reiterated when Our Lord speaks to Our Lady as Mulier, “Woman”, with no further qualification. “Woman, what is that to Me and to thee?” “Woman, behold thy son.” We feel carried back to the promise in the Garden, “I will put enmity between thee and the Woman.” Who else was the Woman of the Garden – but Our Lady, the Second Eve?

Who received the first grace after the Fall? Adam, it seems to us, then Eve. This first grace might well have been an actual grace of repentance. Did this grace flow, so to speak, from precisely the same source as before? No; before Adam sinned he had the grace of God; after he sinned he had the grace of Christ, that is, grace dependent on the merits of Christ, the Redeemer, Who would surely come and redeem.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; grace; mankind
A look at the original plan for mankind through Adam, the Fall, Original Sin, repentance.
1 posted on 06/13/2012 10:10:07 AM PDT by Salvation
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Grace Ping!


2 posted on 06/13/2012 10:16:56 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
Course on Grace: Grace Considered Extensively, Grace to Adam [Catholic and Open]
Course on Grace: Grace Considered Extensively, Grace to the Angels [Catholic and Open]
Course on Grace: Grace Considered Extensively, What is Grace? (Catholic and Open)
Course on Grace: Grace Considered Extensively, Why Grace? (Catholic and Open)

THOUGHTS ON AN INVITATION TO GRACE (Catholic Caucus)
Cardinal Burke calls young converts 'beautiful' image of God's grace
The Mystery of the Annunciation is the Mystery of Grace, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger [Catholic Caucus]
Responding to Your Questions for MORE! (Eblast from Grace Before Meals priest)
Fatima, A Grace for Mankind [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
[Ecumenical] Lent through Eastertide - Divine Mercy Diary Exerpts: Obstacles to God's Grace in Souls
[Ecumenical] Lent through Eastertide - Divine Mercy Diary Exerpts: Grace
Catholic Word of the Day: DIVERSITY OF GRACE, 01-27-11
On The Grace of Gratitude – A Thanksgiving Meditation
Radio Replies Second Volume - Grace and Salvation

The Holy Ghost and Grace : Lesson 9 from the Baltimore Cathechism
Days of Grace (September 29 -- October 7) [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
[CATHOLIC CAUCUS] Obedience as a Conduit of Grace
Catholic Word of the Day: ANTECEDENT GRACE, 08-13-10
The Operation of Divine Grace on Hadley Arkes . . . And Friends [Jewish Convert to Catholicism]
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Sacraments: The Life of The Christian
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Sacraments: Opportunities of Grace
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Baptism: Initiation and Regeneration
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: The Sacraments: Opportunities of Grace: Reconciliation
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Opportunities of Grace: Confirmation

Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Opportunities of Grace: The Eucharist: The Lord's Supper
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Opportunities of Grace: Healing/Anointing of the Sick
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Opportunities of Grace: Matrimony
Catholic Biblical Apologetics: Opportunities of Grace: [Holy] Orders
Pope Benedict XVI Reflects on True Freedom, Grace of Penance...
"This Pain is Grace, Because It Is Renewal": Off-the-Cuff, the Pope Speaks
Revitalizing Your Priesthood (The Grace of Ars -- about St. John Vianney)
With Pope Benedict XVI: At the Throne of Grace
Catholic Word of the Day: GRACE OF GOD, 01-22-10
The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part Two: Channels of Grace, The Sacraments

The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part Two: Channels of Grace, Baptism
The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part Two: Channels of Grace, Confirmation
The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part Two: Channels of Grace: The Eucharist
The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part Two: Channels of Grace, Penance
The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part Two: Channels of Grace, Anointing of the Sick
The Essentials of the Catholic Faith, Part Two: Channels of Grace, Holy Orders
All Is Grace
Catholic Word of the Day: INTERNAL GRACE, 09-15-09
Radio Replies First Volume - Grace and salvation
Beginning Catholic: Catholic Sacraments: Vehicles of Grace [Ecumenical]

Beginning Catholic: The Sacrament of Baptism: Gateway to New Life [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: The Sacrament of Confirmation: Grace for Fullness of Faith and Life [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: The Eucharist: In the Presence of the Lord Himself [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Receiving the Lord in Holy Communion [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: The Sacrament of Reconciliation: Rising Again to New Life [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: The Anointing of the Sick: Comfort and Healing [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: The Sacrament of Holy Orders: Priests of the New Sacrifice [Ecumenical]
Beginning Catholic: Catholic Marriage: A Union Sealed by the Sacrament of Matrimony [Ecumenical]
“Hail, Full of Grace" (Catholic)
Grace is Dark Matter

3 posted on 06/13/2012 10:19:22 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Your tag line is misleading...According to all of the nonsense you have posted the tag line should be, “With the RCC all things are possible. God will have to get clearance from us when He wants to act.”


4 posted on 06/13/2012 10:55:20 AM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: Dutchboy88

Evidently, according to your post — you don’t have Matthew in your Bible? Is that true?

Or St. Paul? st. Paul is always talking about the grace of God.


5 posted on 06/13/2012 1:09:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Dutchboy88
BTW, are you aware that you define yourself as a non-Catholic by using the initials 'RCC"??

There is the Latin Rite, the Byzantine Rite, the Alexandrian Rite, the Syriac Rite, the Armenian Rite, the Chaldean Rite and the Maronite Rite -- all CATHOLIC with a capital C.

THE RITES OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH -- There are many!

6 posted on 06/13/2012 1:16:39 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Who is St. Paul? Is that one of the guys in your secret Rome clubhouse? Is he one of the guys that manufactures all of the conditions and directions and instructions that one must do to acquire the “grace” your group speaks of?

I am aware of Paul of Tarsus, who was called to be an apostle, set aside from his mother’s womb (predestined), the writer of much of what we call the New Testament. Nowhere in his writings does he call himself St. Paul, so you must mean someone else. Paul of the Bible teaches grace is the free gift God gives to His elect, those whom God chose before the foundation of the world. Ephesians, Romans, Galatians. Check those writings...they are better by far than what the Roman organization has peddled.

And, yes, I have a Matthew in my Bible. In my Bible there is a particular passage which says, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” If one reads the entire passage, Jesus is referring to the impossibility of men doing enough “religion” to save themselves. However, Jesus says, if God decides to save you, any man can be rescued. Surely, you didn’t mean to use 1/2 of the verse as a tag line, did you?


7 posted on 06/13/2012 1:47:33 PM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: Dutchboy88

Could you specify with what points in the article you disagree?


8 posted on 06/13/2012 1:55:05 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Depone serpentem et ab venemo gradere.)
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To: Salvation
"Evidently, according to your post — you don’t have Matthew in your Bible? Is that true?

Or St. Paul? st. Paul is always talking about the grace of God."

Who is St. Paul? Is that one of the guys in your secret Rome clubhouse? Is he one of the guys that manufactures all of the conditions and directions and instructions that one must do to acquire the "grace" of which your group speaks?

I am aware of Paul of Tarsus, who was called to be an apostle, set aside from his mother's womb (predestined), the writer of much of what we call the New Testament. Nowhere in his writings does he call himself St. Paul, so you must mean someone else. Paul of the Bible teaches grace is the free gift God gives to His elect, those whom God chose before the foundation of the world. Ephesians, Romans, Galatians. Check those writings...they are better by far than what the Roman organization has peddled. And, yes, I have a Matthew in my Bible. In my Bible there is a particular passage which says, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." If one reads the entire passage, Jesus is referring to the impossibility of men doing enough "religion" to save themselves. However, Jesus says, if God decides to save you, any man can be rescued. Surely, you didn't mean to use 1/2 of the verse as a tag line, did you?

9 posted on 06/13/2012 1:55:46 PM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: Dutchboy88

**Who is St. Paul? **
Are you saying that you don’t believe St. Paul is in heaven? LOL! You are so mistaken.


10 posted on 06/13/2012 2:00:08 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
"**Who is St. Paul? **

Are you saying that you don’t believe St. Paul is in heaven? LOL! You are so mistaken."

I certainly don't believe in a St. Paul. (except perhaps Minnesota). The Paul of the Bible did not use this name, unless you consider everyone a "saint", the way the Scriptures describe us. So, Paul the saint, of course. The "St." is a fabrication of your club.

11 posted on 06/13/2012 2:10:22 PM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: Salvation
"BTW, are you aware that you define yourself as a non-Catholic by using the initials 'RCC"??"

What is your point? The errant material presented under this thread is from Rome. Thus, the RCC is responsible for this error. QED

12 posted on 06/13/2012 2:14:03 PM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: Mad Dawg
"Could you specify with what points in the article you disagree?"

Well, out of the chute...

"Deiform Man. What graces were given to Adam in the state of original justice? The array of graces that made him supernatural man: the Indwelling Trinity – sanctifying grace – infused virtues – gifts of the Holy Spirit. What kind of man may we now call him? Sanctified, divinized, deified – but the term we like best, the one which many Fathers and St. Thomas have used, is deiform. Adam was God-like; two complementary “natures” were united, interwoven, into one deiform man. Adam was not God; he was not made ever into God. But he was made god-like, a deiform man, lifted up as it were into the realm of God. And it was sanctifying grace that gave him this deiform nature, infused virtues and the gifts of the Holy Spirit that gave him his deiform powers, the Indwelling Trinity that caused and conserved all these graces in him. We find in him also certain preternatural gifts: integrity, impassibility, immortality, infused knowledge. We call these graces, too. But while the graces mentioned above (sanctifying grace, etc.) are absolutely supernatural, since they are not due to any created nature, the preternatural gifts are relatively supernatural (supernatural relatively to human nature) since they are undue to human nature, but are due to angelic nature."

This is a fig newton of someone's imagination. Nowhere in Scripture does it represent Adam as anything like this. If James is correct, then a lust for independence existed in Adam (just as it did in Lucifer) which gave birth to sin and led to death. But, "deiform"? Please. This is part of the RCC's heady ambition to make men (mostly themselves) more than they are.

We are broken beings with natures like Adam. We need rescued by Christ. Some have been chosen before the foundation of the earth to be rescued...others have been fashioned for destruction. Grace, in abundance, is given to the former. Destruction will be dealt to the latter. With which part of this biblical position do you disagree?

13 posted on 06/13/2012 2:26:39 PM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: Salvation
The Fall, then, was devastating. And its extent? Is there complete darkness of mind? Complete loss of freedom? Is man a slave to his passions? Is he depraved? Is his nature corrupted? Luther and Calvin said, Yes. But the Church says, No: man is only deprived – of superadded gifts.

Here, I will argue with Fr. Hardon. I don't think he says it completely (who can blame him?), and I don't think he says it the best way.

Why, as he says, would the Angelic Doctor say that without supernatural grace one can do good for a while but not for long? It is because the conflict Paul describes in Romans 7 is ever with us. Without grace we will, first, not KNOW what a perfectly just motive would be and, second, always be of mixed mind and feelings, because we are shattered creatures. This inner division or rupture is just too much, too fundamental to be overcome without grace. A hero might be able to walk a little way with a torn Achilles tendon, but if he is to walk well the tendon must be repaired.

And similarly,I think Fr. Hardon is a little unfair to Calvin and especially to Luther. I'm really not sure of Calvin's philosophical competence, and I think Luther was messed over by Nominalism. But I think at least Luther would get that to speak of depravity and corruption cannot mean the every single aspect of the human being is completely evil. Philosophically and psychologically that won't hold water.

For: knowledge of the good and the ability to discriminate between good and evil are both goods.
A thing with SOME good cannot be totally evil.
Therefore the totally corrupt mind would not recognize that some things are better than others.
But few are so evil that they cannot appreciate pleasure or have no sense of justice and loyalty, even if it is a primitive and tribal sense.
And even those who think the Gospel foolishness or worse argue from ideas of justice, freedom,and responsibility and even truth.

SO,
unless we have a kind of meaningless tautology
(any good thing anybody ever did came entirely from grace and in spite of his thoroughly corrupt nature)
we must understand that fallen man is a disordered admixture of good and evil.

After all, the evil is not corrupted, What is good is corrupted with some taint, which does not remove but which spoils the good.
And therefore Fr.Hardon is perhaps a little glib both with the errors of Luther and Calvinbut also with the nature of original sin.

Q.E.D.

14 posted on 06/13/2012 5:31:10 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Depone serpentem et ab venemo gradere.)
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To: Dutchboy88
This is a fig newton of someone's imagination.

No one who writes this can be entirely evil. Just sayin'

:-)

I'll try to give a more thoughtful answer tomorrow, D.V. I would say at first blush that "deiform" is an attempt to deal with "image and likeness," and that first time through I didn't find much to object to in what you wrote.

15 posted on 06/13/2012 5:37:03 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Depone serpentem et ab venemo gradere.)
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To: Salvation
"The Fall. What intervened to disrupt God’s plan? Sin, the sin of Adam. And was it a grave sin? Yes.

Adam must have been one powerful individual to disrupt God's plan.

"Orginal Sin. Man in the state of original sin lacks sanctifying grace, and this is not mere absence; it is a privation. Something is not there in the soul which should be there. Moreover, there is the habitual inordinate tendency of the sense appetite, the proneness to inordinate appetition that we call concupiscence."

Man was created in the Image and Likeness of God per Genesis 1:26-27. God did not rescind any gift, nor did He change His mind in any other way.

"The consequences for Adam were loss of the supernatural gifts (except faith and hope??) and of the preternatural gifts: he became subject to concupiscence, pain, suffering and death of the body. And hell – eternal “death” of the soul – would be his lot unless God would show special mercy. For us the consequences were the same.

There was never any loss of gifts. Faith is simply a belief in what someone says. Hope is simply a desire for change based on some reason. Man was created as a sentient rational being in the Image of God. Knowledge and understanding are not elements of that Image, as was made clear in the parable of Genesis. That same parable indicates an immortal existence in this world was never a gift and neither was a pain free life. Note also that Ezekiel 18 indicates that God would never punish anyone else for someone else's transgression.

" Many struggled with this question of original sin. One of these was Pelagius, born either in England or Ireland. He later went to Rome. As spiritual director there, he heard people complaining in discouragement that they were unable to keep from sin, through lack of grace. From his own disturbance he emerged with an amazing answer: there is nothing wrong with human nature, no such weakness in it.

Pelagius was right, God created man in His Image and likeness and never retracted those gifts. Disturbance wasn't how he arrived at the conclusion though, rational thought was.

" Man is a moral superman, strong and independent, full master of his destiny: he can do anything, avoid every sin, do any good, even gain the Beatific Vision – without grace.

Hyperbole is neither evidence, nor fact. God's grace was in His creation and which was never rescinded.

" Adam had no grace, lost none for us; in fact he never fell. There was no fall, there is no original sin and hence no need of grace or baptism to remit this sin.

That's correct. See Gen 1:26-27 and Ezekiel 18.

"St. Augustine of Hippo struck out fiercely against this, and wrote out boldly: Nature can do nothing without grace. The controversy was on – with some monks in Africa, who felt Augustine had gone too far. St. Augustine clarified his position: nature can do nothing salutary, nothing conducive to salvation, without grace.

The grace was there at the beginning.

" But can human nature do all things natural to it – can it keep the whole moral law – without grace? We answer with St. Thomas and the Church: for a short time, yes; but for a long time, no."

There was never any time limit placed on how long a person's decisions would last.

16 posted on 06/13/2012 7:15:33 PM PDT by spunkets
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To: Mad Dawg
"No one who writes this can be entirely evil. Just sayin'

:-)"

Well, there goes my cover.

Looking forward to your thoughts on this topic. And, I understand the "image and likeness" attempt, but the detailed descriptions were far beyond this level. Nevertheless, I will await.

17 posted on 06/14/2012 8:46:40 AM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: Dutchboy88
And, I understand the "image and likeness" attempt, but the detailed descriptions were far beyond this level.

I think the problem faced by anyone who draws or tries to draw conclusions from Scripture is doping out when the last tether was cut and the craft started drifting randomly -- if you take my meaning.

As I rushed through Fr. Hardon's stuff, when I see "deiform" I just think, okay, that's a Latinate way of referring to man's being made in the image and likeness (hereinafter "I+L"). So I don't have the sense of hitting a wall that you had (I'm guessing) when you ran across that word. So I have to go back and see what I missed.

I was struck with the, let's say,"enthusiasm" of the first part of Hardon's description. But I think he pulls it out of the fire when he says:

The body goes quickly to the things of sense; the mind goes more slowly to things of the spirit. Thus, there are roots of disorder in man’s very nature. St. Paul spoke so eloquently of this battle, this conflict in man (Rom. 7). In Adam, God did not remove the disorderly tendencies, but by the gift of integrity He put in him a principle of control.
IF I understand him, he's saying that of unfallen man.

So, if that's right, to sum up the first part is to say that by the grace of his creation, by the grace of his "right relationship" (itself a gift) to God, Adam has many other graces which follow, like holiness. He also has graces that are (Hardon says) praeternatural, graces such that creatures (like angels) might be given.

(I hit a wall at impassibility. I don't see why unfallen man would not suffer, and I would want clarification here.)

So, two things: one is that a lot of this seems to be just drawing out what a man, an animal that can think and choose, is and what would be the case if such a creature had no history of sin. When Hardon writes of "a principle of control" that seems to answer to my experience. The "higher" thing for me is to watch my diet because it's good to take care of the body God gave me. Because of the Fall, my "principle of control" is out of whack. When I ride my bicycle where the aroma of hot oil from all the fast food places assaults my nose, I know how weak my principle of control is.

But I can imagine unfallen Adam saying,"Yeah, smells great. No thanks."

And deiformity seems to me to be not SO bad a term. "You are gods," quotes IHS. And John says, "We will be like him for we shall see him as he is." And remember, when we say "form" we don't mean shape, we mean something like principle. One might say the "Form" of a chair is "sit-on-ability." So man's deiformity would be something like thinking and choosing and loving spiritual things-ability. And it's approximate because we can't create stuff, including ideas (true ones,anyway), because it is in every respect derivative, while God's form is what he is, AND it is, "adjusted" to suit an animal who feeds and breeds.

So to me,the TERM "deiform" just is shorthand for I+L. And then all the stuff Hardon says about it is not found in scripture any more (or any less) than Euclid's proof of the Pythagorean Theorem is found in his definitions and axiomata.

I guess my hope is that if you hack your way through my verbiage, you can find the question or two that skewers the whole thing OR you can comment on the different turns I take in the road and say why you would have turned the other way.

18 posted on 06/14/2012 11:11:21 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Depone serpentem et ab venemo gradere.)
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To: spunkets
Faith is simply a belief in what someone says.
"Now faith is the [hypostasis] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Can you relate these two statements? I don't mean to be contentious. I'm interested.

19 posted on 06/14/2012 11:21:21 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Depone serpentem et ab venemo gradere.)
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To: Mad Dawg
"I guess my hope is that if you hack your way through my verbiage, you can find the question or two that skewers the whole thing OR you can comment on the different turns I take in the road and say why you would have turned the other way."

Frankly, your light-handed (in the best sense of that term) treatment of this material leaves little to squabble over (some, but little). My original squawk was the enormously complex integrated circuitry drawn by Hardon (& Co.) wherein "grace" is mapped into packets of "power" Adam is either granted or denied (or eventually stripped of).

When Hardon denies that the Adamic story is the direct outcome of God's plan for human failure ("What intervened to disrupt God's plan?"), he makes God a surprised bystander (or a hand-wringing buffoon) who must scramble for a plan B. What about the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world? So, God didn't know what was going to happen? He really did not know where Adam was when He asked, "Adam, where are you?"? The whole Hardon trail points in the wrong direction right from the beginning.

Hardon hints of the "roots of disorder", but claims Adam has "...perfect order and control...". This is simply not the case. The character cannot withstand the very first enticement to rebellion by his wife. Control? Please. Further, Adam could not have possibly been as "god-like" as Hardon wishes him, since he did not originally possess even the capacity to recognize good and evil, an understanding acquired as his on-board lusts drove him to eat of the tree. Recall, this was no apple tree, but the tree of the "knowledge of good and evil". Once sampled, God said the man had to be removed as he now had become, "...like Us, knowing good and evil."

Evidently, Adam also lacked eternal life from the get go, seeing that God drove him from the garden before he could eat of the tree of life and live forever. The guy was really just everyman, doing what we do best...rebel. And, Paul makes this point in spades, "There is none righteous, not even one, there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God..." Rom. 3:10ff. Hardon misses this by a country mile and, as you noted, mischaracterizes Luther & Calvin. I might disagree with much the two said, but that everything the unregenerate man thinks, does and believes is tainted with evil is spot on. Hardon loves man too much; total depravity is a reality.

As I said, the excessive focus on "grace" being treated like various power pills sprinkled over everything detracts from the grace to which Paul refers. When God invades a life, dead in its trespasses and sin, adopts the person while still at war with Him, breaks the heart over the rebellion, and rescues the man by forgiving him, then clothes the soul in the righteousness of His Son, we see what "grace" is. This is the only grace described by Paul. This is the course on grace Hardon should take.

I have grappled with you in the past, but I have always noticed you maintain a kind of peaceable reasonableness. And, while it is obvious that you have deep connections to the Organization (which I consider the errant perpetrator of an instituional and non-biblical theology), it seems you wander dangerously close to allowing the Book to tell the story and out where the Son of God, alone, is the Head of His body.

20 posted on 06/14/2012 12:34:21 PM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: Dutchboy88; Mad Dawg
When Hardon denies that the Adamic story is the direct outcome of God's plan for human failure ("What intervened to disrupt God's plan?"), he makes God a surprised bystander (or a hand-wringing buffoon) who must scramble for a plan B. What about the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world? So, God didn't know what was going to happen? He really did not know where Adam was when He asked, "Adam, where are you?"? The whole Hardon trail points in the wrong direction right from the beginning.

I would submit that the whole piece is built somewhat narrowly... And it deals with 'fallen man' as a problem internal to man alone. The resulting curse from the original sin is not on man alone, but on the whole of creation - While there are no doubt 'things internal', a broader scope would need to be applied.

How does one define 'natural man', if the entirety of what we perceive to be 'natural' is not in it's original state?

And could it be that no 'graces' have been lost at all, but that the alterations in the natural environment and in physical man have left him in a condition wherein the comfortable choice... feeding his belly, as it were... is a powerful distraction which leads man inevitably to depravity, even as it leads him inevitably to plow the ground?

This seems a more reasoned (or at least as reasoned) approach, and is not so unnecessarily convoluted - And it also explains why the sins of Adam are conveyed upon his progeny throughout time - Something which would otherwise seem to be an unjust result.

21 posted on 06/14/2012 3:07:46 PM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just socialism in a business suit.)
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To: Mad Dawg
Re: Faith is simply a belief in what someone says.

"Now faith is the [hypostasis] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

"Can you relate these two statements?

The first statement is a definition of faith and is a universal and objective definition of the word that that applies in any and all rational beings. ie. persons. It is belief based on the trust held for the particular person(s) presenting the thing to be believed. Trust is a decision the person makes based on the particulars of some set of evidence held by the believer, regarding the honesty and integrity of the claimant. Notice that the evidence does not apply to the claim to be believed, because that evidence is almost always not available. This definition applies universally, not only to all persons, but to any and all rational intelligent machines.

The second statement is Hebrews, as given in Douay Rheims, or King James 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not."

The statement refers to the beliefs themselves, which are the things hoped for and believed without evidence. Paul says that the beliefs themselves function as "evidence". In a rational system, that can been understood as beliefs being priors, or prior knowledge, but never factual evidence. Faith based beliefs can not be factual evidence, by their very nature. Knowledge is the entirety of a set of beliefs held in general, without regard to the nature of acquisition, or justifications for including an item in that set.

Hebrews 11:1 is not a precise definition of faith, which in order to be precise must include the characteristics of acquisition and the nature of the justifications for believing.

22 posted on 06/14/2012 6:53:16 PM PDT by spunkets
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To: spunkets

Thanks. Very nice. Only quibble would be that I don’t think a definition has to be a complete account, which I understood you to suggest.

I may be hanging around the ecclesiastical shoppe today and maybe I can churn out a kind of comment from Aquinas’s POV.

Isn’t ANYBODY going to ask about my signature tag? Hint: I said it tease a sister lay Dominican who is a charismatic.


23 posted on 06/15/2012 3:50:37 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Depone serpentem et ab venemo gradere.)
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To: Dutchboy88
And, while it is obvious that you have deep connections to the Organization (which I consider the errant perpetrator of an instituional and non-biblical theology), it seems you wander dangerously close to allowing the Book to tell the story and out where the Son of God, alone, is the Head of His body.

Shhhhhh! Don't say that too loudly!

They even let me teach some times!

And one of the things I teach (I admit it, I'm a clown) is... well I like to teach sitting down and I'm talking about the Fall and suddenly I bend over, look at the floor, and point as if looking down from heaven and say, "Wait! What? Hey Gabe! Mike! Get over here! You see that? I can't buhLEEVE they're DOING that!" Then I turn to the class and say,"It's not like that."

We think God is outside of time and sees the whole thing at once. He doesn't "FORE-see" anymore than he changes his mind. Yet first it's REALLY hard to talk or too think that way, and second we have language all over the Torah the presents God as "repenting of the evil" after he sees some change in behavior or hears Moses or something.

But we don't think that God kind of looked around and said, "Oh boy, what're we gonna do now?"

But then, I often offer as a proof of the Christian religion that it spread for centuries before the discovery of coffee.

I mean, just think: All these people standing around after Mass with donuts in their hands and thinking,"I don't know, but I just feel I should be holding something warm."

24 posted on 06/15/2012 7:01:07 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Depone serpentem et ab venemo gradere.)
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To: roamer_1
One of my best teachers said that the trouble with theology is that you need to say everything at once, because you always leave something out -- it's inherent in temporality and in the nature of language.

So yes, I think Hardon's intent is circumscribed and his discourse, which is virtually schematic in any case, suffers from that.

How does one define 'natural man', if the entirety of what we perceive to be 'natural' is not in it's original state?

I think we can extrapolate somewhat. I'd GUESS something like this: God don't make no junk. The things that are natural to man are, simply considered, good. It's the relationship that's messed up. (I think the main theme of the 'curse' is trashed relationships -- with God, with creation, with one another, and with ourselves.) So I think we can look at the goods and imagine what they would be like unhampered and in a proper relationship.

I'll have to cogitate on the passing down issue. Good thoughts. And could it be that no 'graces' have been lost at all, but that the alterations in the natural environment and in physical man have left him in a condition wherein the comfortable choice... feeding his belly, as it were... is a powerful distraction which leads man inevitably to depravity, even as it leads him inevitably to plow the ground?

25 posted on 06/15/2012 7:19:48 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Depone serpentem et ab venemo gradere.)
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To: Mad Dawg
"I mean, just think: All these people standing around after Mass with donuts in their hands and thinking,"I don't know, but I just feel I should be holding something warm.""

Cute. But, this implies the donut was invented by the Roman Catholic Church, too. I mean, sheesh, the pretzel, double entry bookkeeping, AND the donut? Well, I am pretty sure that us protesters invented the...lawnmower?

"We think God is outside of time and sees the whole thing at once. He doesn't "FORE-see" anymore than he changes his mind. Yet first it's REALLY hard to talk or too think that way,... On this matter, however, I have to take issue. CS Lewis was firmly aligned with your view, here. He argued, as you did, that God sees all things at once and that therefore there is no "yesterday" "today" or "tomorrow" for Him to see. It just all appears to Him. Sadly (for the free will advocates) this argument is eminently weak.

Read the claim carefully. Of course God sees everything at once. The problem of "foreknowledge" is just that. What God sees at all moments is "something" and that thing which He sess He is His plan designed after the counsel of His will. We are all moving exactly, and only, toward that thing He sees at all moments. There can be nothing else that could happen. (Must I cite the passages contending this?) There are not an infinite number of outcomes that He is seeing as He tries to become a better guesser of which one might actually transpire and adapting to get His "hopes" to come true, in spite of the eventual outcome. Surely, you don't teach this in your sit-down sessions. Lewis thought this raised the nobility of man and solved his need for "free will", but it actually proves divine determinism.

"...and second we have language all over the Torah the presents God as "repenting of the evil" after he sees some change in behavior or hears Moses or something."

Now this...this is an interesting matter. I would not agree that it is "all over the Torah", but there are remarks that God was sorry He created man and a couple other matters. (Gen. 8?). What though should I conclude from your statement?

26 posted on 06/15/2012 8:55:21 AM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: Dutchboy88
If you like philosophy (and headaches) you should try Whitehead's “Process and Reality.” He argues that God does not “need” to be eternal (as I am using the term).

The standard, and glib, answer to the objection is, “Knowing isn't causing,” and therefore God can know what man “will” do without causing it.

But this is the point where my brain starts turning to mud and dribbling out my ears. I don't see what “responsibility” can mean if there isn't freedom, but I have trouble seeing how there is freedom. How can I NOT be like the brute beasts that perish if I cannot direct my choices according to reason? (Kant has the same problem, IIRC.)

(We only say we invented the donut because otherwise somebody would say we're eating it because it's a pagan symbol, being all round and everything. We could say it's just a gentile bagel, I suppose.

(The devil invented the lawnmower. Saints use goats.)

27 posted on 06/15/2012 12:39:56 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Depone serpentem et ab venemo gradere.)
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To: Mad Dawg
"(The devil invented the lawnmower. Saints use goats.)"

Thank you. I will inform my wife of this very truth.

Although I am not qualified to examine ear dribblings, it certainly does not seem that your brain is thus affected. Quite the opposite.

I tried some of Whitehead's work and found it right up there with Sartre's "Being and Nothingness" (or down there, I cannot recall which). Anyway, after I got down off the stool and put the noose away, I committed to never open the books again. I have no idea why I included this.

True, theoretically God may know without causing. But, the Scriptures claim He is causing everything. I don't want to post the 35 passages that display this (unless you require it), but suffice to say that they persuade me that He knows BECAUSE He causes.

Now, what does that do for responsibility? Well, in what context do you arrive at your view of "justice"? Do I go to the unregenerate world and ask, "Is this fair? Give those of us who cling to Christ, your definition of justice" Their answer is, "In order to be considered guilty, I must be free to decide to sin." Really? So, the original sin which left all progeny guilty is "unjust" according to this? No wonder most unbelievers think Christianity is bogus. It does not match their paradigm. In their world, it is unjust that God allowed evil, at all. Thus, by their judgment, God is unjust. Hmmm.

But, if I ask God, "What do you consider fair? Please inform me as to what you have established." I find the answer, "You are guilty, helplessly, hopelessly...unless I intervene." Is this justice? Apparently, it is. Paul found a great deal of objection to this situation everywhere he went. "You will say to me then,'Why does He still find fault? For who can resist His will?" Not fair? Paul's answer. He is the Potter and we the clay. God can make anything the way He wants to...that is because He is God.

You are not among the brute beasts, NOT because you have freedom from God, but because God has said you are not like them. Is that enough?

28 posted on 06/15/2012 2:24:42 PM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: Dutchboy88

You just articulated THE difference between us (I think). One could phrase it as, “What is reason, and what good is it?”

In related news: Is a thing good because God does it, or does He do it because it’s good (and He is), or what? (I think the answer is “what.”)

But now I have to lie down, since the flesh appears to be in rebellion. Maybe we can work some more tomorrow.


29 posted on 06/15/2012 4:11:47 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Depone serpentem et ab venemo gradere.)
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To: Mad Dawg

Enjoy the snooze time.

I could not resist, however, a quick response to the phrase, “What is reason, and what good is it?” As kind as you are, I take this to be a slight pat on the head accompanied by the crooked smile. Ouch.

If you believe I have no regard for “reason”, either I am unable to communicate well or you are unable to catch what I am getting at. I absolutely believe reason is important...subordinated to God’s disclosures. If something collides with His perspective...the something needs alteration. Otherwise, the unregenerate reasoner Stephen Hawking needs to be your pope. Just sayin...


30 posted on 06/15/2012 4:41:26 PM PDT by Dutchboy88
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To: Mad Dawg
"Only quibble would be that I don’t think a definition has to be a complete account, which I understood you to suggest."

Yes. A defintion needs to be accurate and precise in capturing the essence of the thing and short according to the KISS principle.

Go lay doen the snake and the poison. ...'cept shouldn't venemo be veneno?

31 posted on 06/15/2012 8:01:02 PM PDT by spunkets
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To: spunkets

depone (put down)
serpentem ([the] snake)
et ab venono(and from the poison)
gradiri (step)
Put down the snake and step away from the poison.

And you are right about it’s being venenum not venemum.

Aquinas offers that faith is assent of the intellect directed by will to something one does not know. (or something like that.) Article 1, Question 2, II-IIae “Whether to believe is to think with assent?” Short answer: Yes. But it’s to do so about something you don’t know.


32 posted on 06/17/2012 10:51:47 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Depone serpentem et ab veneno gradere.)
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To: Dutchboy88

I did not at all mean to say you don’t think reason is important. Srsly. I don’t mean anything that “Either/Or”. The whole question is nuanced. And, worse, I’m not really ready to give an account of reason from my POV.

But I seriously meant the question in its own terms, not as a backhand.

Hawking! Ptui! [makes sign against the evil eye.] THAT guy couldn’t reason his way through a book of cigarette papers!

If you want to see something unusual, try Feser’s “The Last Superstition.” The guy writes like the love child of Thomas Aquinas and Ann Coulter.

The book begins with a compelling anecdote: Antony Flew, the “great” English philosopher (and professor and all that) was a professed atheist most of his life.

Toward the end of his life he became a theist. But NO sort of Xtian. Just a philosophical theist. What changed his mind?

Well, after years of professing philosophy he decided to read Aristotle. Like most academic moderns (I dare say) he “knew” that Aristotle was fusty and old and “discredited.” So he just passed that along, but never troubled to look at the guy’s work.

When he did, at long last, he was persuaded!

So of course, all the other “philosophers” began to mock him, accuse him of senility or fear of death and so forth.

It is against this crowd — indeed he’s hardly “against” them at all — that a philosophical buffoon like Hawking goes to war. And so he gets invited onto NPR where he is fawned over by people whose metaphysics, ethics, and theology is governed more by the idea of unbridled sexual intercourse than by anything else. The idea that there might be an implicit dignity or weight of glory to which humans are divinely directed or that what one does with one’s genital organs might rival sorting one’s trash for moral import is unthinkable to them.

Hawking follows neither God NOR reason, IMHO.


33 posted on 06/17/2012 11:25:35 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Depone serpentem et ab veneno gradere.)
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To: Mad Dawg
"Aquinas offers that faith is assent of the intellect directed by will to something one does not know."

Directed by whose will? A determinist would claim it's the particular physical arrangement of the individual's rational machinery that provided the apparent function of will. The Calvinist would claim it was god's will. A person who believes in free will would claim that the will must be the individual's will. Will though is a rather imprecise, arbitrary and thus useless term, when describing how decisions and actions are caused.

34 posted on 06/18/2012 2:44:18 PM PDT by spunkets
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To: spunkets

I’ll complain about your complaint (!) about “will” because he goes into what will- is elsewhere — at length, believe me.

I think he means the believer’s will. But he would say that faith in Christ is impossible w/o grace. Faith is a “theological virtue’ in his scheme, and they’re impossible w/o grace.


35 posted on 06/18/2012 5:07:28 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Depone serpentem et ab veneno gradere.)
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To: Mad Dawg
"he goes into what will- is elsewhere — at length...

Will is still an imprecise term that is not useful for understanding rational decision making.

"he would say that faith in Christ is impossible w/o grace. Faith is a “theological virtue’ in his scheme, and they’re impossible w/o grace."

Nothing is needed beyond what was provided to complete the image as per Gen 1:26-27 in order to make any decision, other than information.

The only consistent and unique meaning for the word faith, in all instances of use is that: faith refers to a belief in what someone says, based predominantly on trust, not on an analysis based on evidence. That definiiton conforms to the use in Mark 5:34, "daughter your faith has healed you". and Mark 6:6, "He was amazed at their lack of faith." Jesus most certainly was not amazed, because he had given no grace to provide for "theological virtue". He was amazed, because they made those decisions on their own while in possesion of sufficient evidence to make the correct decision.

36 posted on 06/26/2012 1:44:32 PM PDT by spunkets
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To: spunkets
!

I'm laughing (NOT AT you) because rarely does Aquinas get accused of imprecision!

Check it out: http://www.newadvent.org/summa/3.htm And then root around for will. NOT to persuade but just to see another guy working in his unique way through the questions.

37 posted on 06/26/2012 2:19:20 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Depone serpentem et ab veneno gradere.)
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To: Mad Dawg

Not only is will an imprecise and arbitrary term, Aquinas claims it’s driven by appetites. Appetites are of course emotions, feelings, ect... and not rational decision making processes based on rationally chosen values. These explanations are rooted in ignorance.


38 posted on 06/27/2012 7:18:26 PM PDT by spunkets
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To: spunkets

It is a novel experience to read someone’s describing Aquinas as ignorant!

I think you and he would disagree about the relationship between “appetite” and reason. He would say that man desires what he thinks (mistakenly or not) to be good, and that reason regulates the appetites (again, more or less well, depending on graces and virtues.)


39 posted on 06/28/2012 3:59:53 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Depone serpentem et ab veneno gradere.)
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To: Mad Dawg
Ignorance is relative; he died in 1274.

I don't think he was aware of such things as the nucleus accumbens, the hippocampus, the amygdala, small world networks, selective inhibitory synchrony, Baysian updating, ect... All elements of the machinery of mind. There are no graces, or virtues that effect this machinery, other than what the person chooses, as values by rational decision making processes. Pleasure(an appetite) can be a part of that, but the person must choose that as a fundamental value in order for it to.

Gen 26-27(the Image is given), Ezekiel 18(the Image is never taken away, or defect) and the passages I posted above from Mark, that are God's view on the matter(the Image is sufficient — as modern Intellegence theory indicates) of grace, faith and virtue as gifts also contradict Aquinas's claims.

40 posted on 06/28/2012 6:59:51 AM PDT by spunkets
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To: Mad Dawg
Ignorance is relative; he died in 1274.

I don't think he was aware of such things as the nucleus accumbens, the hippocampus, the amygdala, small world networks, selective inhibitory synchrony, Baysian updating, ect... All elements of the machinery of mind. There are no graces, or virtues that effect this machinery, other than what the person chooses, as values by rational decision making processes. Pleasure(an appetite) can be a part of that, but the person must choose that as a fundamental value in order for it to.

Gen 26-27(the Image is given), Ezekiel 18(the Image is never taken away, or defect) and the passages I posted above from Mark, that are God's view on the matter(the Image is sufficient — as modern Intellegence theory indicates) of grace, faith and virtue as gifts also contradict Aquinas's claims.

41 posted on 06/28/2012 7:00:14 AM PDT by spunkets
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