[quote="believerabcd, post:17, topic:316079"]
If they weren't perfect, then that explains why they didn't obey God's word.
It does indeed explain it.
What exactly does Genesis 1:31 say? Going back to the earliest Bible:
Viditque Deus cuncta quae fecit et erant valde bona
This does not say "perfect". It says that all things created - angels, man and woman, all creatures, in fact the whole creation - were very good (from validus, "strong", and bonus, "good". Not perfect.
Scripture itself says: "I have seen a limit to all perfection" - that limit being God, who (as Thomas Aquinas brilliantly shows) is Perfection itself. This is why the protagonist of the book of Job says about God: "though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse" - no creature, no matter how good, can claim perfection.
We go one step further, and state that the only perfection is that which is unchanging, a perfect that precedes all imperfect and becomes the measure of all comparison. This is God. Man, on the other hand, though created very good, is not created perfect, for this would mean equality with God, which reason negates in many ways. To begin with, imperfection does not contradict goodness: for "things that merely exist are not imperfect because of an imperfection in absolute being"; rather, "they participate in being through a certain particular and most imperfect mode". In Scripture, only God is, unchanging, a motor immobile.
God does not create man equal to Him, but "in his image and likeness". "It is more fitting to say that a creature is like God rather than the converse" because "that which is found in God perfectly is found in other things according to a certain diminished participation, the basis on which the likeness is observed belongs to God absolutely, but not to the creature. "
Now consider the root of the temptation: "you will be like God". Forget for a moment the erroneous premise that was not taken into consideration by very good beings of imperfect intellect. The temptation reflects something profound that, in fact, is proof of man's goodness.
"A created thing tends toward the divine likeness through its operation. Now, through its operation, one thing becomes the cause of another. Therefore, in this way, also, do things tend toward the divine likeness, in that they are the causes of other things. ...] it is as a result of the goodness of God that He confers being on all things ...] So, things generally desire to become like God in this respect, by being the causes of other things. ...] by the fact that it is the cause of another, a thing is ordered toward the good, for only the good is directly caused in itself; evil is merely caused accidentally ...] Therefore, to be the cause of other things is good. Now, a thing tends toward the divine likeness according to each good to which it inclines, since any created thing is good through participation in divine goodness."
But then why was something so wrong done?
Evil - as Aquinas shows - is not an essence, but a privation, a negation in a substance, and occurs in things apart from the intention of the agents - that is, evil is different from the good which every agent intends. What this means is that the intention of the agents was to do something good - in fact, something in accordance to their good nature, as shown: to try to be like God. Evil was a result apart from intention.
The only way for this to be possible, then is that "a defect in an effect and in an action results from some defect in the principles of the action". Even further: evil cannot exist by itself, since it has no essence, and thus every evil is based on some good. We say that every evil is in a good thing, because, evil being a privation, the privation which is evil is present in a good thing, and is called evil due to the fact that it causes injury to the good.
Finally, having seen the root of man's goodness and of the temptation and the accidental evil that resulted, one thing remains yet to be said: how could this have happened. And the answer - always by the solid arguments of Aquinas - is that evil is caused only by the good, since evil, not a definite being, cannot be the cause of anything. Of course, we emphasize what was already stated: evil is *accidentally *caused by the good.
since reason is able to apprehend many goods and a multiplicity of ends, and since for each thing there is a proper end, there will be, then, for the will an end and a first motivating object which is not merely any good, but some determinate good.
Hence, when the will inclines to act as moved by the apprehension of reason, presenting a proper good to it, the result is a fitting action.
But when the will breaks forth into action, at the apprehension of sense cognition, or of reason itself presenting some other good at variance with its proper good, the result in the action of the will is a moral fault.
Hence, a defect of ordering to reason and to a proper end precedes a fault of action in the will:
in regard to reason, in the case of the will inclining, on the occasion of a sudden sense apprehension, toward a good that is on the level of sensory pleasure;
and in regard to a proper end, in the case when reason encounters in its deliberation some good which is not, at this time or under these conditions, really good, and yet the will inclines toward it, as if it were a proper good.
This is original sin.