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St. Thomas Aquinas, commenting on Rom. 1:24
Quote: Wherefore, God gave them up to the desires of their heart [because they "worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator" (v. 25)], unto uncleanness: to dishonor their own bodies among themselves
in cap. 1 l. 7, discusses the causality of homosexuality:
Quote: 139. But since impurity of this kind is a sin, it seems that God would not give men over to it: God himself tempts no one to evil (Jas 1:13).

The answer is that God does not give men over to impurity directly, as though inclining a man's affection toward evil, because God ordains all things to himself: the Lord has made everything for himself (Prov 16:4), whereas something is sinful through its turning from him. But he gives men over to sin indirectly, inasmuch as he justly withdraws the grace through which men are kept from sinning, just as a person would be said to cause another to fall, if he removed the ladder supporting him. In this way, one's first sin is a cause of the next, which is at the same time a punishment for the first one.

To understand this it should be noted that one sin can be the cause of another directly or indirectly: directly, inasmuch as from one sin he is inclined to another in any of three ways. In one way, when it acts as a final cause; for example, when someone from greed or envy is incited to commit murder. Second, when it acts as a material cause, as gluttony leads to lust by administering the material. Third, when it acts as a moving cause, as when many repetitions of the same sin produce a habit inclining a person to repeat the sin.

Indirectly, when the first sin merits the exclusion of grace, so that once it is removed, a man falls into another sin. In this way the first sin is the cause of the second indirectly or incidentally, inasmuch as it removes the preventative.

(translation from: Larcher, Fabian R., trans. Commentary on the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans, ed. John Mortensen and Enrique Alarcón, with parallel Latin and the Greek text of the epistle. Lander, Wyo.: The Aquinas Institute for the Study of Sacred Doctrine, 2012. pp. 47-8)

Important parts:

"God does not give men over to impurity directly, as though inclining a man's affection toward evil"
In other words: He, the Author of nature, does not put same-sex attraction in human nature.

St. Thomas clearly says: "one's first sin" (in this case: idolatry, turning away from God, "worshiping and serving the creature rather than the Creator") "is a cause of the next" (in this case: homosexuality, "uncleanness," "dishonoring their own bodies among themselves").
Thus homosexuals' personal sins made them homosexual.
Have you in mind any particular sin(s) which you suspect lead to homosexuality, or are you only arguing the general point that it must be the result of some sin or other?
(12-08-2014, 04:45 PM)Geremia Wrote: [ -> ]"God does not give men over to impurity directly, as though inclining a man's affection toward evil"
In other words: He, the Author of nature, does not put same-sex attraction in human nature.

St. Thomas clearly says: "one's first sin" (in this case: idolatry, turning away from God, "worshiping and serving the creature rather than the Creator") "is a cause of the next" (in this case: homosexuality, "uncleanness," "dishonoring their own bodies among themselves").
Thus homosexuals' personal sins made them homosexual.

I think you're getting more from St. Aquinas here than what he says in these teachings. No where in that comment does St. Aquinas explain where disordered appetites comes from.

You have to distinguish between people who have same-sex attractions, which both St. Aquinas and St. Alphonsus de Ligouri could both be considered to have expounded upon, in as much as they've talked about disordered appetites.

That is of course if you distinguish at all between behavior and desires. Doing the former is immoral, no serious moral theologian agrees with that, having the latter is not even a sin as long as its not consented to.

What the master does here, however, is explain that God withdraws the grace needed to resist those appetites from certain people, and there it makes clear sense that this is caused by people turning away from Him. God then reciprocates by withdrawing grace from them, as they don't want it or seek it.

"...as he justly withdraws the grace through which men are kept from sinning, just as a person would be said to cause another to fall, if he removed the ladder supporting him."

Furthermore if your thesis that idolatry is the cause of homosexuality is correct, then you would have to disagree with St. Aquinas, since Aquinas clearly states that these sins acts only as an indirect cause of homosexual behavior. You would be arguing that its a direct cause, since the sin would then cause the person to develop a habit and a new orientation.

However the sins are clearly an indirect cause, as God simple removes the graces that prevents a persons disordered nature from manifesting itself, and thereby gives a person over to an evil they're seeking.

And that disordered nature would already be present, otherwise God withdrawing these graces would no more cause a person to fall, than removing a ladder would cause a person to fall if he was standing on the ground.
Homosexuality is neither chosen nor inborn. Homosexual desires are acquired or strengthened  through habituation and cognitive conditioning. A good example of how this process takes place is how one becomes an alcoholic. No alcoholic choose to be an alcoholic nor nor was he born that way. There are many ways that lead someone to become an alcoholic, but the fundamental process is through habituation and cognitive conditioning. The same can be said of homosexuality, pedophilia, bestiality, etc. 
(12-08-2014, 08:34 PM)Leonhard Wrote: [ -> ]Furthermore if your thesis that idolatry is the cause of homosexuality is correct, then you would have to disagree with St. Aquinas, since Aquinas clearly states that these sins acts only as an indirect cause of homosexual behavior.
No, he says that God is the indirect cause of their subsequent sins: "he gives men over to sin indirectly"
(12-08-2014, 08:34 PM)Leonhard Wrote: [ -> ]You would be arguing that its a direct cause, since the sin would then cause the person to develop a habit and a new orientation.
Yes, the sin can be a direct cause of the subsequent sin(s): "sin can be the cause of another directly or indirectly"
(12-08-2014, 08:34 PM)Leonhard Wrote: [ -> ]However the sins are clearly an indirect cause, as God simple removes the graces that prevents a persons disordered nature from manifesting itself, and thereby gives a person over to an evil they're seeking.
One's sin of idolatry is a direct cause of his homosexuality, and God's withdrawing of grace is an indirect cause.

But this is besides the point since you're arguing idolatry isn't a cause of homosexuality at all, right? Direct or indirect causes are still causes.
(02-14-2015, 12:33 AM)Geremia Wrote: [ -> ]
(12-08-2014, 08:34 PM)Leonhard Wrote: [ -> ]Furthermore if your thesis that idolatry is the cause of homosexuality is correct, then you would have to disagree with St. Aquinas, since Aquinas clearly states that these sins acts only as an indirect cause of homosexual behavior.
No, he says that God is the indirect cause of their subsequent sins: "he gives men over to sin indirectly"
(12-08-2014, 08:34 PM)Leonhard Wrote: [ -> ]You would be arguing that its a direct cause, since the sin would then cause the person to develop a habit and a new orientation.
Yes, the sin can be a direct cause of the subsequent sin(s): "sin can be the cause of another directly or indirectly"
(12-08-2014, 08:34 PM)Leonhard Wrote: [ -> ]However the sins are clearly an indirect cause, as God simple removes the graces that prevents a persons disordered nature from manifesting itself, and thereby gives a person over to an evil they're seeking.
One's sin of idolatry is a direct cause of his homosexuality, and God's withdrawing of grace is an indirect cause.

The defense of God against the accusation that he tempted people into sin, is the title of the chapter, and that is dealt with beautifully in the first paragraph. And as St. Aquinas is very thorough, he also goes into the causal nature of sin, in order to elucidate his first point.

Here's what St. Aquinas argues.

First he gives three ways that a sin can be the direct cause of another sin, and then describes how sin can indirectly cause another sin. Its not really hard if you look at what he's writing:

The three ways sin can directly cause other sin:
"In one way, when it acts as a final cause; for example, when someone from greed or envy is incited to commit murder."
"Second, when it acts as a material cause, as gluttony leads to lust by administering the material."
"Third, when it acts as a moving cause, as when many repetitions of the same sin produce a habit inclining a person to repeat the sin."

Notice already here, that idolatry can't be moving cause as idolatry is a different order of sin and there doesn't produce the habit of lust by repetition, but only the habit of idolatry. It can't be a material cause since idolatry, unless its a pornographic statue, can't essentially but only accidentally lead someone into the sin of lust. And I'm not sure how idolatry could supply a final cause. So just from that it looks dubious that homosexual urges are created from the act of idolatry.

Then he gives the indirect way that sin can beget sin:
"Indirectly, when the first sin merits the exclusion of grace, so that once it is removed, a man falls into another sin. In this way the first sin is the cause of the second indirectly or incidentally, inasmuch as it removes the preventative."

And this is precisely what he argues takes place here. The people who committed idolatry sinned to such a degree, that God removed the grace that allowed them resist their urges. And then those people were given up to those urges. ¨

No where does he say that the idolatry itself caused the urges, either by final, material or moving cause. If he did, I missed it.

Quote:But this is besides the point since you're arguing idolatry isn't a cause of homosexuality at all, right? Direct or indirect causes are still causes.

No, I did not argue that idolatry couldn't be an indirect cause, I argued that you were wrong that it was a direct cause, which you do, in as much as you say that idolatry cause homosexual urges. And so anyone who has such urges are 'committing idolatry in their hearts'. Whereas the situation St. Aquinas is giving, is one where these people already suffer from concupiscence, and by their many sins, including idolatry, God finally redraws the grace that allowed them to not fall into lust, and so falls into it. Both their sin, and God's actions, are both indirect causes of the homosexual acts they (among other sins) fell into.

He doesn't account here for how these Romans had gotten this sinful state. I'd say he likely does that when you read his accounts of the Fall and its effect on man.

You've implied that in fact all homosexuals by the mere fact of their urges are somehow committing idolatry invisible, or prior to their sin. You haven't established this much stronger point, and if you merely try to move from the point St. Aquinas established, to this, then you're committing the non sequitur fallacy.

You'd need to find an argument from St. Aquinas, or even from St. Alphonsus de Ligouri who is his superior in moral theology, that argues that all homosexuals have committed idolatry.

Nothing like that exists, so I'm afraid (as I've stated somewhat aggressively in the many other threads you've opened on this) you're wrong.
(02-14-2015, 07:42 AM)Leonhard Wrote: [ -> ]You've implied that in fact all homosexuals by the mere fact of their urges are somehow committing idolatry invisible, or prior to their sin.
So, homosexuality is never a punishment for idolatry?
(02-14-2015, 07:42 AM)Leonhard Wrote: [ -> ]He doesn't account here for how these Romans had gotten this sinful state.
St. Thomas plainly says: "one's first sin [idolatry] is a cause of the next [sodomy], which is at the same time a punishment for the first one." This echos St. Paul saying that, as a consequence that they "worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator" (idolatry), "God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness: to dishonor their own bodies among themselves." Thus, he clearly accounts "for how these Romans had gotten this sinful state."
(02-14-2015, 04:50 PM)Geremia Wrote: [ -> ]
(02-14-2015, 07:42 AM)Leonhard Wrote: [ -> ]You've implied that in fact all homosexuals by the mere fact of their urges are somehow committing idolatry invisible, or prior to their sin.
So, homosexuality is never a punishment for idolatry?

How would that follow from anything I've said? In fact I'm not even sure I understand what you're saying here. Are you saying that God placed homosexual attractions into the hearts of men, directly?

If you answer no, but say "the sin of idolatry is a direct cause of homosexual attraction." I'll answer that neither by final, material or movement cause can idolatry cause a person to fall into the sin of homosexual acts.

If you answer no, but say "the sin of idolatry is an indirect cause of homosexual attraction." even this is false, in as much as the concupiscence is already present in the hearts of these people, if it weren't then God would have to infuse it, which He can't, because God can't tempt anyone into sin. You'd have to give an indirect pathway for how idolatry causes a person to become a homosexual. You didn't do that, St. Thomas Aquinas doesn't, and neither does St. Paul give an account of this.

If you answer yes, then you're plainly mistaken because God cannot tempt anyone into sin, which is a point St. Thomas Aquinas stresses in this article.
(02-14-2015, 04:52 PM)Geremia Wrote: [ -> ]St. Thomas plainly says: "one's first sin [idolatry] is a cause of the next [sodomy], which is at the same time a punishment for the first one."

No you're inserting your own interpretation of St. Thomas here, he said in full:
"But he gives men over to sin indirectly, inasmuch as he justly withdraws the grace through which men are kept from sinning, just as a person would be said to cause another to fall, if he removed the ladder supporting him. In this way, one's first sin is a cause of the next, which is at the same time a punishment for the first one."

They have the inclination already, if they didn't, then God would have directly caused them to sin. If his analogy here is to be taken seriously, a person would also be the cause of the gravitational pull, which is absurd.

I remove the ladder supporting a person, I indirectly cause him to fall.

He further underscores that he means it only in the indirect sense, since he plainly says "in this way, one's first sin is a cause of the next..." In this way, that is in the indirect cause. There's no talk here of idolatry being somehow either a final, material or movement cause towards homosexuality.

Quote:This echos St. Paul saying that, as a consequence that they "worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator" (idolatry), "God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness: to dishonor their own bodies among themselves." Thus, he clearly accounts "for how these Romans had gotten this sinful state."

No he doesn't, there's no description here at all about where the Romans got their sinful inclination from. It says only that they had committed grave sin against god by idolatry, and so God (as St. Thomas explains in the article you've quoted) withdraws the grace that prevented them from falling into these other sins.

I've bolded the part you keep ignoring, and I and many others have highlighted for you again and again. If the desires are already there, then how can the idolatry be the cause of it? Therefore, as St. Thomas Aquinas says here, God isn't a direct cause of their sin, but merely removes the grace that prevented them from falling in the acts their hearts already impelled them towards.
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