Adam & Logic

[FONT=Arial]In my humble opinion, it is logical, given the human nature that you and I possess, that Adam existed as explained by the Catholic Church. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Source:* Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition*.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]Because the Catholic Church holds that a transcendent Pure Spirit without restrictions (simplified description) does in fact exist–the presupposition for this thread is God as Creator exists. [/FONT]

Could you elaborate on the logical train of thought from “human nature” to “we must all have descended from a single person whose sin of eating a forbidden fruit corrupted human nature”?

My suggestion is to begin with the human nature that you and I have. It is observable that human persons have the tools of reason, self-reflection, logical evaluation, abstract concepts, and analytical thought. These rational tools are part of human nature – the human being one sees in the mirror. It is observable that other living organisms, elephants and plants, bacteria and insects are not rational in the same manner as humans. Obviously, we do not consider plants, bacteria, and insects on the same level as ourselves. Still they and we share life.

Non-human animals and ourselves also share life. Yet, there is still the difference between being rational and highly sentient. Apparently, there is an additional something inherent in human nature which places us at the pinnacle of creation. This something is not necessarily seen. Comparing our decomposing anatomy with the anatomies of other similar creatures, we find similarities within our vertebrate group. Thus, we humans tend to wax philosophically.

Over the centuries, the art of “determining how many angels can dance on the heard of a pin” has developed successfully. However, rather than declaring that this or that philosophical system has all the answers, it seems that a both-and approach is more useful. By both-and, I am referring to both the Divine Revelation contained in the Catholic Deposit of Faith and what we have learned from the important and very valuable discipline of philosophy.

Is that a fair start?

By the way, eating a piece of organic fruit is the outward sign of Adam’s disobedience. What wounded, definitely not corrupted, human nature was the shattering of the relationship between humanity and divinity.

Hi granny;

I think you are spot on. However, I must take issue with your statement “Over the centuries, the art of “determining how many angels can dance on the heard of a pin” has developed successfully.” This is a protestant parody of Scholastic philosophy, and it was never discussed by the great medieval philosophers. It was invented as a criticism of the supposed pedantic quibbling of Aquinas, et al (interestingly, my thesaurus gives “sholastic” as a synonym for pedantic!!!)

But I digress…you are right, I think, in the direction you are going with this. At least, it seems that way to me, but I’d like to hear more…

Really, “angels and pins” go back to Scholastic philosophy. In my old neighborhood, it described the difference between those who lived in the Ivory Tower and those who lived in the Real World below. Ooops! Sorry.:blush:
However, as I am researching the inductive method of reasoning, I did come across a reference to Aristotle and the inductive (scientific) method. batesvilleinschools.com/physics/phynet/aboutscience/Inductive.html

For the record. I live and move in the both - and world.

To find Adam, logically, we need to continue with our observations of what we can find in our natural environment by using the inductive (scientific) method. In other words, I have to see it to believe it. Please note that this approach does not eliminate the human approach of using rational tools such as reason, self-reflection, logical evaluation, abstract concepts, and analytical thought. This thread is definitely not one of those “either this or that” discussions.

As we observe human nature, we discover that there is a sensitivity to something that is beyond the range of physical sight. I am not referring to pink unicorns and the tooth fairy. Genesis 1:1, along with shamans, Baal, Roman gods, and weather forecasters, demonstrates that humans know that there is something out there. What that something is does not necessarily have to be immediately known. The only point I am presently demonstrating is that obviously, since day one, all cultures have made references to something super-natural. Source: Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition, paragraph 28.

This human sensitivity to something super-natural is the inherent human ability to recognize the “spiritual” as existing outside of ourselves.

Agree?

Looking ahead, I am about to use another old saying dating to my childhood among the dinosaurs. This bit of wisdom is “It takes one to know one.” Is that o.k.?

grannymh, THANK YOU for starting this thread!!

I also live in the both/and world, and I agree with you that it seems, given the evidence, there really was an Adam. And yet, it seems, given the evidence, that the species Homo sapiens sapiens has been around for something on the order of a million years or so. Attempting to resolve this apparent dilemma, I have done research into Natural History, into Written History, and into the world’s religious texts such as have come down to us. I think I found the resolution of it on a web site whose author is a Kabbalist.

Adam was not the first member of the species Homo sapiens. Biologically, it doesn’t even make sense to posit a “first member” of a species. Speciation is not thought to occur via any so-called saltation events. But Adam was the First Man. So obviously, we are here defining “man” differently than according to our biological species.

Adam was the first human to know God, and he knew God with knowledge in which there was no uncertainty. And for a brief shining moment, however long that moment may have been, Adam and Eve knew God, and did not sin. But then, they sinned. They fell away from the perfect Knowledge of God, because although they could attain it, they could not maintain it.

There is a lot more. A LOT more. But this may serve for a start. Looking forward to a good discussion!

Really, it doesn’t! If I am not mistaken, the first known use of the parody is by the protestant theologian William Chillingsworth in the 17th century. Hunt through the Summa…you will find no reference to pins and dancing thereon by angelic hosts.

But I digress again! (you can see I have a bee in my bonnet about that old chestnut). Let’s return to your interesting observation about Adam, etc. I think I am inclined to agree with you, but I was wondeing if you could clarify something: how do we find Adam, so to speak, not simply in the context of human history but in the context of Revelation (first created by God, etc), if all knowledge is derived from inductive experience? Unless I’ve missed your point, in which case I apologise and am ready to be corrected.

Is it the case, that all knowledge is derived from inductive experience? If this is the case, then it would seem that it is knowledge, and it would seem by its own premise, that it too is derived from inductive experience. But, the Black Swan Fallacy and related fallacies are fallacies of inductive experience. So, seeing that there really are black swans, it would appear that inductive experience is not a proper base for knowledge. And then if you say “all knowledge” is so derived, it would seem you are saying there can be no knowledge at all. But if this is the case, again, it would seem that that too, must be knowledge, and therefore can’t be. So we are worse off than when we started.

It appears to me at this juncture that the best question I could ask you is, why in the world would anyone ever think that “all knowledge is derived from inductive experience?” It doesn’t seem supportable, given what I’ve just presented.

Corrected–no. Congratulated-yes. Allow me to explain.

Long, long ago, this thesis was presented.
“The possibility of two sole parents of the human race lies within the nature of the human species.” Note: the word “two” was added to the original thesis as an important clarification.

Discussion on my thesis was aborted due to some personal problems and my lack of knowledge regarding its depth and implications. A granny will rush in where angels fear to tread.:o
Since that time, I have learned enough to re-open that thesis and thus benefit from what I can learn on this forum.

With thanks to you and Love4All, I now have two discussion partners, which is the way I learn.

Love4All, post 6, raises some valid points for discussion, which in my humble opinion, need to be addressed as a logical foundation for the thesis. From my old experience, I see that a preliminary discussion may be necessary.

To answer your question-- “I was wondering if you could clarify something: how do we find Adam, so to speak, not simply in the context of human history but in the context of Revelation (first created by God, etc.), if all knowledge is derived from inductive experience?”

Your observation is correct in that originally I planned to demonstrate Adam’s existence solely on inductive experience. This was an error because “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” (Source: Matthew 4: 1-11) This time around, I added–“it is logical, given the human nature that you and I possess, that Adam existed as explained by the Catholic Church. [FONT=Arial]Source:* Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition.”*[/FONT]

Because, in this century, there are so many people who consider Adam symbolic of some kind of religious truth, I feel that it is necessary to do some preparation before addressing Divine Revelation.

For example.
When we go back in human history exploring Natural History, into Written History, and into the world’s religious texts such as have come down to us, which is what Love4All talked about in post 6,-- when we do that we find that humankind is united in its recognition of the “spiritual” as something existing independent of the human person. This reminds me of an old saying dating to my childhood among the dinosaurs. “It takes one to know one.”
(Sources: posts 5 and 6 above; and paragraph 28, Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition.)

Hi Love4all; thanks for your comments.

Perhaps a better way of expressing it, is that all knowledge begins in inductive knowledge (rather being all knowledge is equivalent to inductively obtained knowledge). Would you be more comfortable with that?

Don’t we all!
Thanks for your thoughts granny…
I look forward to further developments on this from you…please keep me posted!

Not really. It sounds like Humean empiricism to me. And if we are talking about Adam, we are talking about the first human being to know God. How could knowledge of God be a result of inductive experience?

I can see why you think that! But there is a significant difference between Humean empiricism and the Aristotelian/Thomistic principle that “all knowledge begins in the senses”. For Hume, knowledge begins and ends in sense experience; whereas for Thomas all knowledge begins in sense knowledge, but does not terminate in sense knowledge (we are capable of metaphysical conclusions). We can, for example, move from the observation of things in motion to the understanding that there is an Unmoved Mover, etc.

If our knowledge did not begin in sense experience, we would be committed to holding that the human person is endowed with either innate knowledge at birth, or unmediated infused knowledge. Thomas does allow for the possibility of infused knowledge, but that even infused knowledge will involve phantasm or language, both of which are derived from experience and abstraction from experience.

As for the knowledge of Adam, Thomas says that his knowledge of God was not unmediated or immediate, but was knowledge obtained through the created order (De Veritate, q18).

Hope that makes sense…

The creation of Adam and Eve makes perfect sense, it’s reasonable. The other theory, “the soup” it’s a non-sense and it is considered only by the force of necessity, that’s the only logic.
We do have myths for Noah, but there is no “survivor myth” for the first humans.
I recall a documentary saying something like there is one woman from which all mankind comes, and she lived 50000 years ago, and there is also one man ancestor of all, who lived 20000 years ago. They explained in a romantic way how there was such a natural catastrophy that only That Ancestor, using his superbrains, have found resources to survive with his family.
For me this is not reasonable. I can’t imagine such catastrophy hard enough to distroy all pre-peoples but not that hard for one like us.

Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrial_Eve
has general information about the 1987 “one woman” research paper by Rebecca Cann et al. One needs to scroll down to “Misconceptions” where it is plain that this research cannot be applied to the real, first Eve, as taught by the Catholic Church. This is because the paper’s Eve was part of an existing population. The real Eve was part of a population of two persons, Adam and herself.
:hug1:

What was happening in paleoanthropology was that there were two competing theories for the origin of modern humans. Needless to say, neither theory credits Adam and Eve as the founders of humankind. This is because paleoanthropology operates in the scientific domain of the material/physical world. We, thank our lucky stars(;)), are members of both the material/physical world of our environment and also the spiritual world of God.

The word “rush” in “A granny will rush in where angels fear to tread.” is a tad exaggerated. :smiley:

If you go back to your grandmother, she obviously shared your rationality. And your ability to reason and form abstract concepts. As did her grandmother and hers before her and so on. At some point, you will reach a direct maternal ancestor that didn’t have these abilities. Because she wasn’t human.

The Catholic Church accepts this because it has no problem with evolution. But it seems it has made it difficult for itself in also trying to hold onto a concept of an original couple from whence we all came.

Thank you for joining this thread.:thumbsup:

With respect to this “ban” Sticky: Temporary Ban on Evolution/Atheism Threads (http://forums.catholic.com/images/misc_khaki/multipage.gif [/FONT]1[/FONT]2) Jo Benedict

May I update you with the 21st century Catholic position on current natural science. Actually, the present position was stated in the 1950 Encyclical Humani Generis by Pius XII, sections 35, 36, 37.

vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_12081950_humani-generis_en.html

Basically, the origin of our decomposing anatomy can be debated because it is material/physical. I believe that is the position people refer to.

However, Pope Pius XII clearly pointed out that natural science also intersects or collides with another basic Catholic doctrine monogenism which is that humankind descended from Adam as the first human parent along with his spouse. While this foundational doctrine in Humani Generis has been debated in Catholic circles, it has not been overturned.

As my Irish Mother would say. “There is more than one way to skin a cat.”

There are at least two ways to logically demonstrate the existence of two, sole, real, fully-complete human parents of all humanity, including you and me. The first is to understand human nature per se and the second is to understand the scientific method per se.

Because I freely chose to discuss issues from a Catholic position, I have posted this at the beginning of the thread.
[FONT=Arial]In my humble opinion, it is logical, given the human nature that you and I possess, that Adam existed as explained by the Catholic Church. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]Source:* Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition*.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]Because the Catholic Church holds that a transcendent Pure Spirit without restrictions (simplified description) does in fact exist–the presupposition for this thread is God as Creator exists. [/FONT]

Therefore, both evolution per Forum ban and proving the existence of God are off topic.

As OP, I have the right to state the thesis and presupposition.

All CAF members are invited to discuss Adam & Logic within the above stipulations.

My personal policy is to respect worldviews which are different from mine.

The problem with the scientific method is weather can be applied to all problems or not.
The intervention of God can not be considered while studying the law of gravity, but I don’t think it is the same if you think about the first humans. If you start with the supposition that there was no intervention, well you have to end up in some sort of story like the one I have mentioned from that documentary. Also in historical matters, how comes nobody is interested in how a religion was developed ? For example, would be reasonable to belive that the story of Jericho was invented 300 years after the event of destruction, from nowhere, all of a sudden? Wouldn’t that compromise the whole Bible? With the scientific method thats the only alternative. Something is missing.

I have to add something. We can’t imagine the possibilities open for an almighty person. Better this way of science than to have scientists imaginig all sort of things on behalf of God. Anyway, we end up with “invisible pink unicorns” whether or not science consider God’s intervention in some matters.

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