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Saturday, April 21, 2007

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David

“He saw Christian faith, not in continuity with earlier religions, but rather in continuity with philosophy as a victory of reason over superstition.”

I wonder what Eagle Man would think!

Celestial SeraphiMan

Please allow me to play "devil's advocate" for a moment. Doesn't original sin obscure humans' perception of Natural Law? If people are supposed to figure it out on their own, then why do they come to different conclusions on what exactly Natural Law says?

Jose

"If people are supposed to figure it out on their own (...)". I´ll risk swimming in the high seas, but I suppose you mean, Celestial, if people´s openness to reality is necessarily filtered by their subjectivity. Augustine has of course a lot to say about it. In a very, very schematic way, each person´s thought is structurally placed between memory and love ("On Trinity"). And there necessarily is a sacramental, cultic, social dimension in love ("De Civitate Dei"). There always is, but revelation showed us the bona fide one. Getting to the objective existential meaning of "natural law", which means opening oneself to a cosmos where there are objective moral responsabilities, demands then a)remembering there´s a desire that associates itself with reason to go beyond it; b) learning to love oneself, which means orienting oneself to God (or letting oneself be oriented) and showing other people this love of God. Here is "true religion", says Augustine in DCD, X, iii. And he believed it is to be found among Catholics.

Jose

errata: "I suppose you mean, Celestial, if people´s openness to reality is necessarily filtered by their subjectivity, then how do you get to any kind of safe and common perception of what natural law means?"

Cristina A. Montes

"Please allow me to play "devil's advocate" for a moment. Doesn't original sin obscure humans' perception of Natural Law? If people are supposed to figure it out on their own, then why do they come to different conclusions on what exactly Natural Law says?"

You're right. Original sin does obscure our perception of the Natural Law, and people do come up with different conclusions on what the Natural Law says. This is the reason God revealed the natural law even if we could have figured it out by ourselves: so that all men could know it, and without error.

I highly recommend the book "50 Questions on the Natural Law" by Charles Rice.

Mark Brumley

Original sin affects our ability to think clearly. But not so much that we can't know anything or can't ever reason correctly regarding right and wrong.

People sometimes come up with different conclusions about what to do. Sometimes they come up with the same conclusions. That there is sometimes agreement and sometimes disagreement is consistent with the notion of original sin's affect on human rationality. What's more, although human reason has been affected by sin, grace is also operative in the world.

Jose

"Original sin affects our ability to think clearly". It sure does. Errata II, just in case : a) "Getting to the objective existential meaning...". Delete "objective". b) "...objective moral responsibilities...". Please read "...objective moral values...".

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