Did Adam and Eve have complete dominion of reason over appetite?


The debt of sin did not “diminish humanity’s worth.” In fact, the Incarnation is proof that the value of human souls remained dear!

There is a recent thread discussing Scotus’ musings vis-a-vis the relationship of the Fall of Adam and the Incarnation. Scotus suggested that the Incarnation doesn’t ‘depend’ on the Fall, but rather, that it would have happened anyway, in order to bring Man’s relationship with God to its apex.

The Devil brought about the Fall, if not for him it would not of happened

We don’t know that, do we? Something else could have happened, in which they might have chosen sin, right? I mean… it’s possible! So, we can’t say that the devil is the cause of sin – just that he instigated it.

Something else? Not in the book?

None of this answers the question I proposed, but let me rephrase the question so that you might be able to come up with an answer that addresses it.

Given that God is infinitely beneficent and merciful, for what reason would He give Adam and Eve a “preternatural” state, but in doing so did not give them the information needed to make the wisest choice?" Why would a Father who wants the best for His children do this, especially when the decision was going to lead to harm to all mankind? He could have very well done so, and the results would have been different.

I am not negating faith, Vico. I am challenging premises that lead people to conclude that there is something bad about people or something unmerciful about God. Please remember that I truly believe that the story and its interpretation have its place, but a mature spirituality involves moving past the negativity.

The Gospel is Good News, Vico. The image of God we can see through Christ is redeeming. The image of an unforgiving God is against the theme.

Do not address the passage I quoted.

Doesn’t say anything about what is “unforgiveable”

Vico, I am quite surprised at you on this. I have never known you to actually misrepresent the CCC, but you have done so glaringly. None of those “Species” represent anything unforgiveable. In fact, CCC 1864 does address unforgiveable sin, but what is really communicated is not that God does not forgive, but that the individual refuses God’s forgiveness. It is an absence of reconciliation.

I don’t know from where you are getting this “Species” comment, but it’s not anything I have seen from the Catholic Church.

Actually what does give scandal is to say that something that comes from God comes from satan, which is a very unwise perception, born of lack of understanding. You might consider asking a priest about giving people the benefit of the doubt, Vico. It is a matter of charity.

You might want to check this thread, also:Benefit of the doubt and the Catechism?

As well as CCC 2477 and 2478

But did you imply that Pope Francis did not mean it when he said that God always forgives us?

God did not create Adam an Eve with reason… It was not required in Eden. Appetite needed no dominion other than to do as God had asked. The Devil by his crafty deception and lies caused Eve to believe she would be giving a greater gift to Adam than obedience to the word of God. After eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil they gained reason and lost communion.

Not snarky, it was an exhausted statement from me.

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Well, it’s a moot point, isn’t it, since they did sin!!!

Oh, my. No, I’m afraid you’re quite mistaken, there!

From the Catechism:

And, most directly in answer to your objection:

So, reason and rationality are part of the human nature that all of us – including our first human parents – have received from the very beginning.

No, that is erroneous. Reason isn’t the result of sin – it’s the result of the human nature God gives us!

You wrote: “If God was giving them a “preternatural” state, why would He not give them at least the information needed to make the wisest choice?"

I answered it before, so you sould read it. Note that preternatural state is insufficient to describe the situation so your question is not logical.

Species means a kind or sort. Read the Summa Theologiae for species of this six kinds.

That the individual refuses God’s forgiveness - the absence of reconciliation - is the unforgivable sin. You can readily understand, if you need another source for final inpenitence, Saint Pope John Paul II in Encyclical Dominum et Vivificantem, 46-47):

“Against the background of what has been said so far, certain other words of Jesus, shocking and disturbing ones, become easier to understand. . . . They are reported for us by the Synoptics in connection with a particular sin which is called ‘blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.’ . . . Why is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit unforgivable? How should this blasphemy be understood? Saint Thomas Aquinas replies that it is a question of a sin that is ‘unforgivable by its very nature, insofar as it excludes the elements through which the forgiveness of sin takes place’ (ST 2b:14:3). According to such an exegesis, ‘blasphemy’ does not properly consist in offending against the Holy Spirit in words; it consists rather in the refusal to accept the salvation which God offers to man through the Holy Spirit, working through the power of the Cross. If man rejects the ‘convincing concerning sin’ which comes from the Holy Spirit and which has the power to save, he also rejects the ‘coming’ of the Counsellor . . . If Jesus says that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit cannot be forgiven either in this life or in the next, it is because this ‘non-forgiveness’ is linked, as to its cause, to ‘non-repentance’, in other words to the radical refusal to be converted. . . . Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, then, is the sin committed by the person who claims to have a ‘right’ to persist in evil—in any sin at all . . . [T]he Church constantly implores with the greatest fervor that there will be no increase in the world of the sin that the Gospel calls ‘blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.’ Rather, she prays that it will decrease in human souls”.

[quote=“OneSheep, post:472, topic:497321, full:true”]

The clergy are bound by canon law for the sacraments of Eucharist and Anointing of the Sick, to avoid scandal for those in manifest grace sin.

You asked: “But did you imply that Pope Francis did not mean it when he said that God always forgives us?”
A. God always forgives mortal sins that are repented of. He forgives other sins easily as to their guilt, however we still have to suffer the temporal consequences.

Are you not repeating or referring to the words because they do not exist? You have not answered the question, Vico. I cannot find an answer to the question I asked in your posts.

I’ll just accept that you don’t have an answer.

I have an answer: The story of Adam and Eve, and the depiction of God in the story, is all meant to be an allegory of acquisition of conscience. It is not to be taken literally, not in the least.

Aquinas is not the CCC. Revelation unfolds. Aquinas was on a slippery slope.

Encyclicals do not represent infallible teaching, but I do stand corrected that some Catholics put a slightly broader definition on what is “unforgiveable”. Vico, do you favor a broader definition of what is “unforgiveable”? Have you ever forgiven an unrepentant person?

The fact remains that Jesus forgave the unrepentant from the cross. Any restriction on the forgiveness from God is against the theme of his infinite love and mercy. God’s forgiveness, however, does not mean that a person will ultimately choose the Kingdom.

If you are implying that God does not forgive sins that are not repented of, this is not what Pope Francis said. You would be changing his statement.

Here is the closest thing he said to condemning the unreptentant, (though he did not):

However the people in the city who refused to trust in the Lord and accept the corrections he gave him cannot receive salvation because they are closed to it, he said, while it is the meek and the humble who trust that will be saved.

This was after an extensive search, Vico, and it upholds what the CCC says. It is not said that God does not forgive, it says that man does not receive or accept.

Four days ago (#410) I answered “A. They had that information.”
You then asked: “They knew that they were making a choice that would hurt their children?”
Then two days ago (#433) I added “If is not and was not necessary to know all the ramifications in order to sin mortally. What is needed fo knowledge is to know the moral character of the act or omission. In this case that was known.”

Then you asked again: “If God was giving them a “preternatural” state, why would He not give them at least the information needed to make the wisest choice?"

Although I posted on that perternatural state being incomplete, for it is the supernatural state that is most significant. Note that the descendents of Adam and Eve do not have the preternatural gifts, however they do have the supernatural gifts with baptism, and can therefore avoid all mortal sin.

God forgives the baptized, even without proper contrition. However, for those that sin mortally after than point, repentance is necessary.

Then you asked again: “If God was giving them a “preternatural” state, why would He not give them at least the information needed to make the wisest choice?"

Although I posted on that perternatural state being incomplete, for it is the supernatural state of constitution that is most significant (giving original justice). Note that the descendents of Adam and Eve do not have the preternatural gifts, however they may have the supernatural gifts of baptism, and can therefore avoid all mortal sin through it. The Catholic Church teaches what assures salvation.


1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. 60 He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. 61 Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. 62 The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit.” God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.

1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.

1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

Yes, if a person is not receptive then there is no intention to manifest charity, which is essential.

From the Council of Trent CHAPTER IX.

Against the vain confidence of Heretics.

But, although it is necessary to believe that sins neither are remitted, nor ever were remitted save gratuitously by the mercy of God for Christ’s sake; yet is it not to be said, that sins are forgiven, or have been forgiven, to any one who boasts of his confidence and certainty of the remission of his sins, and rests on that alone; seeing that it may exist, yea does in our day exist, amongst heretics and schismatics; and with great vehemence is this vain confidence, and one alien from all godliness, preached up in opposition to the Catholic Church. But neither is this to be asserted,-that they who are truly justified must needs, without any doubting whatever, settle within themselves that they are justified, and that no one is absolved from sins and justified, but he that believes for certain that he is absolved and justified; and that absolution and justification are effected by this faith alone: as though whoso has not this belief, doubts of the promises of God, and of the efficacy of the death and resurrection of Christ. For even as no pious person ought to doubt of the mercy of God, of the merit of Christ, and of the virtue and efficacy of the sacraments, even so each one, when he regards himself, and his own weakness and indisposition, may have fear and apprehension touching his own grace; seeing that no one can know with a certainty of faith, which cannot be subject to error, that he has obtained the grace of God.

What did Adam and Eve gain from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, if not reason? Self determination?

When God said, they are now like us and must banish them from Eden to prevent them from eating of the tree of life and living forever. What did they gain to be more like God?

The sin is pride.

Proverbs 10:2 Treasures of wickedness shall profit nothing: but justice shall deliver from death.

Yes, in order to make the wisest choice, they would have to have known that their behavior would harm their own children, which was what God in the story was planning to do.

Yes, this was a diversion from my question, and did not answer it at all. I did not ask why what they did counted as a sin under a rubric.

People avoid all mortal sin through the development of conscience, which is in part informed by experience. People have also very naturally have developed a tendency to question authority, which frustrates leadership, but is a very natural part of human development. Unquestioned (human) authority has the ability to make laws that are corrupt, and humanity has developed a built-in resistance to this. It is God-given, because it increases, not decreases, our ability to survive as a species. Man scrutinizes the given laws for their validity, their basis. In the story, God provided the basis, which was “you’re gonna die if you eat this”, but the young couple doubted it, because it looked so good, They questioned the basis, and doubted its validity. People are made this way.

However, the capacity to act upon doubt has its limit. A human may be willing to take a risk that will endanger one’s own life, but will not take such a risk that will endanger her children.

So, you have been very patient with me, and I will be patient with you. I am asking why a benevolent, omniscient God the Father would not give Adam and Eve enough information to make the wisest choice, which would have included the wisdom of knowing that their action would harm their own children.

That passage is not to be taken as a limit on God’s mercy. It addresses “vain confidence” which is a condemnation against those who would boast that repentance is unnecessary in some way. Repentance is necessary because even though God always forgives us, reconciliation involves acceptance in the heart of the individual person.

Again, revelation unfolds Vico. Much of the theology of the Council of Trent, especially the image of God it presents, has changed over the years.

Yes, a person may have “fear and apprehension”, but this is not what God the Father wants of us. What He wants is this:

Luke 12:22-34 New International Version (NIV)

Do Not Worry

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.

Would your Father have you not worry about your life, but worry about His forgiveness? Do you see how such worry would take the joy out of a faithful person? We can know that God always forgives us, Vico, just as Pope Francis says. We can know this when we practice what He asks of us, to forgive everyone whether they repent or not, just as Jesus did from the cross.

Have you ever forgiven an unrepentant person, Vico?

If you can help me OneSheep and Vico (any others welcome to join the topic). Adam and Eve and the Fall at it’s most basic level and please correct any points I make here:

God created Heaven and Earth.
God created Man.
God created Woman for Man.

Man and Woman were placed in the garden of Eden.
The Devil was made by God.
The Devil deceived Eve into eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which God had said not to.
Eve gave the fruit to Adam.

The Fall

If we can agree on the basics and build out it would be very much appreciated.

I agree that all of us can relate to a “fall”. All of us have experienced times where we have let ourselves down and/or let down the loving people around us. However, if the “fall” means that there is some aspect of humanity that is bad in some way, that is not where my own journey, my own relation with the Father has taken me. We are all born lacking wisdom, but such lack is not a negative, it is neutral, an unknown void into which creation itself develops and reveals.

Everything else you mentioned is solid orthodoxy, friend, but what is to be challenged by the Gospel itself is the general image of both God and man presented in the story of Adam and Eve. The presentation of God in the story make Him less than benevolent and certainly not omniscient, and the presentation of Adam and Eve as humans graced with some special knowledge makes them less than human in their subsequent behavior.

What can be shown is that the incarnation itself, especially what occurred at the crucifixion, completely overturns the images of God and man presented in Genesis 3.

In case you are wondering :slightly_smiling_face:, our conversation ended with my last post to you (#404), were you going to answer it?

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