Humanity: Sinful? Or Depraved?

Right, I was over at Christianity Today Movies, and happened upon the review of “The Dark Knight”. Anyhow, towards the end of their reviews, the post a few questions for discussion, which often times allows worthless films to obtain some merit, simply by the contrast they provide to good things. Anyhow, one of the questions went thusly…

Do you believe, as the Joker attests, that all humans will drop their morals and codes when fear rips away the established order? Explain. What’s the difference between believing all men are sinful, and believing they are truly depraved if only pushed? Is there a difference?

I’m mostly interested in the second and third questions, the bolded ones. (Heh heh, the Bold-ed Ones…) All because I can do no more than :shrug: “I dunno…”

Is there a difference from being totally depraved and being fallen? Might the former stink of Calvinism?

Oh, and if I might, I also passed by and spied this article

and namely, this piece right here.

Far from a Revelation-22-like epiphany of eternal glory in which every tear is wiped away, Tolkien’s story resonates with elegiac sorrow and acute awareness of things lost never to be regained. Again and again we are made aware of all that once was and shall never be again (or never again till the world is renewed). The Ents never find their Ent-wives; Frodo never returns to Lothlorien; the Elves depart forever into the West.

All of this is shaped by the author’s consciousness of the fallenness of the world and the inevitable sorrows of this life. “I am a Christian, and indeed a Roman Catholic,” Tolkien once wrote to a friend, “so that I do not expect ’history’ to be anything but a** ’long defeat’** — though it contains (and in a legend may contain more clearly and movingly) some samples or glimpses of final victory.”

Anyhow, what would you say to my saying that on the whole, we, humanity, lost a great deal before and during the Great War?

We may have never been civil prior, but it seems to me that moral declines are irreversible. Then again :shrug: “I dunno…”

Thanks! God bless!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit