Infallibility of the Faith
#51
(06-23-2014, 02:10 PM)J Michael Wrote: There seems to me to be an implication in that statement that unless one witnesses something one cannot, at the very best, know that it is true.  Have I misunderstood you, perhaps?

Isn't that faith?  Believing and asserting to be true that which you cannot know to be true?  If there were proof, faith would be unnecessary.  Yes, if one has not witnessed Christ die and rise from the dead, one cannot really be certain that it has actually happened.
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#52
(06-23-2014, 03:26 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(06-23-2014, 02:10 PM)J Michael Wrote: There seems to me to be an implication in that statement that unless one witnesses something one cannot, at the very best, know that it is true.  Have I misunderstood you, perhaps?

Isn't that faith?  Believing and asserting to be true that which you cannot know to be true?  If there were proof, faith would be unnecessary.  Yes, if one has not witnessed Christ die and rise from the dead, one cannot really be certain that it has actually happened.

Yes, that would be a good definition of faith.  But I see I wasn't being entirely clear--sorry.  What I meant to say was that you seemed to be implying that unless you, the person calling himself here "Melkite", needs such proofs *in order* to believe. 
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#53
Back to the mercy/justice argument, you seem to be holding God inside the parameters of our human definitions and understanding of mercy and justice. is it possible that what cannot co-exists in our fallible human understanding of such things can exist infallibly with God?   
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#54
I may be over thinking, but what the heck!
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#55
(06-23-2014, 03:44 PM)J Michael Wrote: Yes, that would be a good definition of faith.  But I see I wasn't being entirely clear--sorry.  What I meant to say was that you seemed to be implying that unless you, the person calling himself here "Melkite", needs such proofs *in order* to believe. 

For me personally, I don't need absolute proof, but I do need to see that the resurrection makes more sense than any other possibility.  And I also need to be able to reconcile Christ with the Old Testament.
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#56
(06-23-2014, 03:54 PM)Copeland Wrote: Back to the mercy/justice argument, you seem to be holding God inside the parameters of our human definitions and understanding of mercy and justice. is it possible that what cannot co-exists in our fallible human understanding of such things can exist infallibly with God?   

Not really.  I mean, theoretically, perhaps we could say there is a such thing as four-sided triangles that we are not capable of conceiving, and God can indeed construct such things, but there isn't any reason to think that they actually exist.  Our understanding of a triangle is a three-sided shape.  With mercy/justice, God is communicating to us on our terms.  It serves no purpose to call himself all-merciful or all-just if by mercy and justice he means something entirely different than what the humanity he is trying to reach understands by it and it is something we can never grasp.  He might as well just refer to himself as all-ckperhlbe and all-dlkjntgiad and not confuse us by using our language to mean something other than what we understand that language to mean.  I guess what I'm saying is, by using human terms and calling himself all-merciful and all-just, he chose to place himself within our parameters.  He didn't have to do that.  So, if by placing himself in our parameters throws us off from what he really means, it is his fault that we don't understand, not ours.
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#57
(06-23-2014, 10:59 AM)Melkite Wrote: I hope you are right that I misunderstand infallibility, but I'm not yet convinced.  Papal infallibility is problematic for me in that the popes didn't seem to be too aware of it prior its definition at Vatican 1.  It also is troubling for me that if papal infallibility is a dogma of such importance that our eternal salvation can be stapled to it, why can't the Church come up with an official list of doctrines that were declared with Papal Infallibility so we can know which things rejection will bring about the loss of our souls?  Prior to 1870, there is no concensus on which papal declarations were actually infallible.

And it seems today the same is true.

For instance look at Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, para. 4. The words sounds awfully like the Pope was invoking infallibility, and yet within the year after Cardinal Ratzinger and the Pope both said that the document was not infallibly defining anything. Rather they said it was just reiterating the previous ordinary Magisterium (so it was still infallible). Perhaps semanics, but clearly infallibility is legalistic.

So, there are still some questions on what is truly part of the Magisterium, and which is not. There will always be, since Catholicism is not just a set of legalistic list to accept but a Creed and its intellectual and moral consequences. Those intellectual and moral consequences are situated not in some idealistic world, but in a real world whose particular conditions changes, thus certain consequences will have to be explicited over time so as to respond to the errors and problems of the times.

We also know that infallibility was defined in 1870 against the liberal Catholics and the Enlightenment and post-Enlightmenment philosophers and theologians. It was emphasized because it was effectively being denied. Before this there was little need to try to define it, because it was generally accepted (even if only in a vague way). Add to it as well the excesses of some Ultramontaines, and the early 20th century exaggeration of Papal authority, and definitions and criteria were also quite necessary.

There are some Catholic writers who, perhaps rightly, do not question Papal infallibility, but do question the prudence of its definition at Vatican I, suggesting that this catalyzed the "obey Rome, don't think" mentality that allowed liberals to get ahold of key positions in the 1930s-1960s. When strong orthodox Pope were in control, all was safe, when weak or heterodox Popes were in control, people blindly followed this heterodoxy.

In order to understand Infallibility, however, it needs to be set in its historic context as well as its theological context.

(06-23-2014, 10:59 AM)Melkite Wrote: If you look at the criteria for infallibility, Pope Urban's condemnation of Galileo seems to fit with that definition. "...We say, pronounce, sentence and declare that you, the said Galileo, by reason of the matters adduced in trial, and by you confessed as above, have rendered yourself in the judgement of the Holy Office vehemently suspect of heresy, namely, of having believed and held the doctrine – which is false and contrary to the sacred and divine Scriptures – that the Sun is the centre of the world and does not move from east to west and that the Earth moves and is not the centre of the world;..."

We now say that matters of science are not dealing with faith and morals.  But, apparently, Pope Urban did not agree with that assessment?  He made it clear that Galileo was being condemned of heresy because what he was teaching was contrary to the faith.  Even though the condemnation was directed at Galileo alone, he made it clear that the substance of what Galileo was teaching was heretical, such that by inference anyone else holding those views would be guilty of heresy as well.  So even though it has to do with science, because the Pope charged it with heresy, he was teaching that it was a necessary aspect of the faith to believe that the world does not move and the sun circles it.  I don't see how this does not meet the criteria for infallibility.

The criteria for Papal infallibility (extraordinary Magisterium) are: the Pope invokes his authority as the successor of St. Peter; He promulgates a theological proposition regarding Faith or Morals, He intends to bind all Christians to profess this proposition, and this proposition is directly or at least virtually (implicitly) revealed. It is not a matter of a certain formula, though this can help assure these criteria, so it is not strictly a matter of a certain rite or words.

If we look then at the Galileo problem, there is no issue with Papal Infallibility.

First, the quote you cite from the sentence (often called "Papal") of Galileo following his trial comes from the Holy Office (aka the Inquisition). Is not from any Pope. Urban VIII never issued this decree. He never confirmed this decree in forma specifica, thus it was never His decree. It was the product of a group of Cardinals who were the judges of the ecclesiastical tribunal of Galileo. Further, even if it had been confirmed by Urban VIII, it does not propose a proposition that regards Faith and Morals (at best it only indirectly touches on the interpretation of Scripture), it does not involve any theological proposition which was directly or virtually revealed, it involves a particular single individual and does not propose the sentence against anyone else thus is not universal in any way, thirdly the entire document never invokes the authority of the Pope as the successor of St. Peter.

It fails all of the criteria for infallibility. And that's confirmed by my earlier post, when I pointed out that the Pope in 1820 confirmed that it was permissible to print material supportive of heliocentrism.

Even if the politics of the Roman Church are nastier than the inside of a sausage factory, no one would have let so gross a mistake pass (direct contradiction between this condemnation and the 1820 permission) if it was really contradictory, or if the sentence were really an infallible act.

So, in fact, in this instance, you are wrong. I hope this will demonstrate that you don't have a correct understanding of Infallibility, and should not reject it until you have educated yourself on it. There are plenty of solid tracts from Catholic apologetic sites to help here. I don't need to reinvent the wheel.

(06-23-2014, 10:59 AM)Melkite Wrote: Beyond that, even if I am wrong on this instance, infallibility is still problematic to me.  A while ago, I began to consider how nuts the doctrines of Mormonism were and question how intelligent people are able to surrender credence to them.  It's really easy to ponder the crazy of a religion from the outside.  So I started to wonder, what do I believe as a Catholic that, if I were not, I would consider a crazy belief and see as proof that Catholicism was false?  Papal infallibility is one of them.  From the outside, it clearly looks like a political grab at controlling the people.  What better way to keep the sheep in line.  And Catholicism isn't even the only religion that teaches it.  Shia Islam also believes that the supreme ayatollah has infallibility of teaching the faith.  Catholics would look at that and reject it because, obviously, Islam is a false religion.  Well, says who?  The Shia don't think it is.  If they can be so sure of something that is so wrong, how can Catholics know that what they are sure of is not equally wrong?  What proof is there to support Catholic infallibility over Islamic infallibility?  It all boils down to a few verses in Matthew that can only be vaguely interpreted on the stretchiest of stretches to be referring to papal infallibility.  If that is the strongest evidence for papal infallibility, it has to be rejected.

Again, I think you see here a material resemblance, where there is truly a formal difference.

In Mormonism, there is a constantly evolving revelation. The religion constantly changes its doctrines, so there is no such thing as infallibility, but there is a teaching authority. The simple fact that God makes completely contradictory revelation, though, is proof enough that this is mere material resemblance.

In shia Islam there is ‘iṣmah, which does have a note of infallibility to it, but it is not the same kind of thing as Papal infallibility. The shia do not have a consistent doctrine here. Some say that all imams have such ‘iṣmah. Others say only Mohammad and earlier prophets enjoyed this. It is impeccability and infallibility in the sense of knowing the totality of God's will and able to give guidance which perfectly accords with God's will.

The differences between Papal infallibility and ‘iṣmah should be apparent. These can't really be compared, rather, to evaluate them, you have to take them each on their own footing. If you have doubts about ‘iṣmah, then study it's foundation (which is an interpretation of the Qu'ran). If you have doubts on Papal infallibility, study that on its own footing (founded on Scripture and expressed since the earliest days of the Church in various ways). You can't pit two different concepts against each other and think we can come up with some meaningful result.

In short, your criteria of evaluation here and your questions are bad questions. They really don't address the fundamental issue. If Papal infallibility is true then it will stand on its own two feet. If other religions claim something similar, then whether these are true will have to be evaluated in the same way, based on their claims, not based on comparison with Papal infallibility.

(06-23-2014, 10:59 AM)Melkite Wrote: I'll pm you about the other issues.

Got the PM, looking forward to the discussion.

(06-23-2014, 10:59 AM)Melkite Wrote:  For deism, I don't understand it the same as you do.  Although I used to.  When I say deism, I don't mean God created the universe and walked away.  God is the ground of all being.  If his attention looked away from us for a moment, we would cease to exist.  I believe that wholeheartedly.  So I do believe that he is loving and merciful, and I do believe that he is concerned with us, but I don't believe he alters the flow of the universe for us. He doesn't intervene to stop evil.  He doesn't heal amputations.  He doesn't (as of yet) resurrect from the dead, or even prevent death.

He doesn't or he can't? It makes a difference. If he cannot, then it's not really God, if he does not, then its a matter of demonstrating that you are incorrect and He does and has.

Further we also have to distinguish between "intervening to stop evil" and "allowing evil". If you assert what you wrote above, then no being (even an action) could escape God's Intelligence or Will. If an action happens, God either directly wills it, or at least permits it. If so, we're not then looking at it like a God who could but does not prevent evil, but a God who allows evil because of free will.

Allowing evil is not something itself evil. In fact, in many cases, this is the usual activity of a Father. How many warnings might a Faither give a child who is going to do something which will result in injury. Yet, sometimes the only way to teach the child (and thus achieve the greater good of his formation) is to allow the child to hurt himself. If this is normal, prudent behavior for a human Father who sees more broadly than the child, a fortioriGod who sees all?

If we take the miracles recorded in the Gospel, it's pretty clear that He does sometimes alter the normal course of the universe (by preventing a secondary cause from acting as it usually does).

Since the New Testament is a reasonably accurate historical record (more so than even other documents we have from that period), then we're going to have to find some pretty solid criteria for rejecting it. We can't just decide to rewrite parts of it either. If the miracles (which are the proof of Christ's divinity) are thrown out, then the Gospel is just a story of a lunatic who did nothing special except get Himself crucified and zealous followers who had reason to create a new religion. Pretty much, the whole Gospel and Catholic religion make no sense if you dismiss the miracles. And there is no good reason to dismiss the miracles.

If we accept those miracles, it is pretty clear that he does and has brought men back from the dead, healed the sick and lame, etc.

(06-23-2014, 10:59 AM)Melkite Wrote: Multiple studies have shown zero efficacy to supplicatory prayer.

And somehow scientific studies can detect supernatural effects? Isn't science about the natural, observable world, not about the supernatural (i.e. non-observable world).?

(06-23-2014, 10:59 AM)Melkite Wrote: I think just observing life, for whatever reason, shows that God wants the universe to unfold as it would.  If he is constantly interfering with miracles, then it's not the brilliant creation of his that its supposed to be. It would mean he created a faulty universe in the beginning that he constantly has to tweak because of the bugs in the program he apparently wasn't omniscient enough to prevent in the beginning.  

You're entirely right. If God created a universe that required his constant tinkering, He would not be God. Yet, it does require His constant maintenece of its being. But "miracle" does not mean a violation of the laws of nature at all, nor does it undermine God's wisdom or immutability. God being Omniscient, foresaw from all eternity all He did and would do. This is because in God (as Aristotle proves) there is no movement from potency to act. He is pure act. Thus His acts are not sequential or separate. It is one single, perpetual act. Because, however, we are in time, the effects of His acts appear as sequential. Thus His healing of a man's sickness comes sequentially after the man's birth in time, but in God's action there is no real distinction of these two things.

So, He created once, and by the same perpetual act, maintains this creation, and sees the entirety of creation. He does not sequentially look at creation. That alone would disprove His omniscience. Any intervention to prevent a secondary cause from acting as it normally does (a "miracle") was foreseen and planned from eternity in the same act which created the universe, because God could not have come to know something which He did not know from all eternity, else it is not God of which we speak.

So, you objection is correct, but it takes as its starting point a false premise and notion of God.

(06-23-2014, 10:59 AM)Melkite Wrote: So death is natural, it's the way things are supposed to be. Our death is natural, it's not the punishment of a forefather's sin.

Actually, no. The nature of a thing is to be what it is, not to cease to be what it is. The perfection of a nature is the perfect operation of its faculties. Naturally man should remain united body and soul, and this eternally, since the soul is eternal.

The only explanation for death is a nature which is wounded. And original sin perfectly explains this. Otherwise, there should be no death.

(06-23-2014, 10:59 AM)Melkite Wrote:  God's choice to not interfere is loving, because it guarantees absolute free will, without which love of him is impossible.  This explains pointless suffering, why babies die, and everything that calls into question how a loving God could let that happen when he is powerful enough to stop it.  If he intervened, even once, he would destroy our free will.  So apparently, our free will is of the utmost good, relative to us, in this universe.  This is another reason why I completely reject predestination.  The evidence of life demands absolute free will.  We cannot be judged for our sins without a will that is not absolutely free.  We cannot love God without an absolutely free will.   We cannot repent of our sins without an absolutely free will.

While I can't agree entirely, you're somewhat correct here. Our free will is paramount. However, our free will is a power. But a power is defined by its object. And the object of the will is Good.

If a thing exists it must have a purpose. The purpose of our free will is to choose and seek after the good. Because we are body and soul this will be a mixture of corporeal goods and spiritual goods. And this all is meant to acheive the ultimate Good which is God. Even Aristotle figured this part out. The ultimate good of man, according to Aristotle, is the contemplation and love of God. From Revelation, we know that this is achieved in a heavenly union with God and participation in His very Life by seeing Him as He Is.

I agree, if God did not allow us to use the free will, but caused us to operate as automatons, then we could not be judged for our actions. In fact, that's why natural automatic bodily functions can never be sinful. We don't control these, so we are not employing our free will.

But the will is not only for choosing between two things. It is not as if we can have cake or ice cream and we must choose one. No, we could choose not to have either. The will always has the ability to refuse something. So even if God were to limit our choices to one thing, he also allows us to refuse that one thing. This is why, in heaven, we still have free will, but cannot sin, because we see perfect Goodness Himself, and our will and intellect are completely fulfilled by this perfect Truth and Good, the Saints still willingly choose God, instead of refusing Him. And yet this is no impingement on our free will.

The problem with Predestination is not the Catholic understanding (which accords with free will), but the Calvinist one, which effectively rejects free will. If God is as we described Him above, pure Act, and in one perpetual act saw all things from all time and all of what He would do, then He knows from all eternity exactly what graces He will give, which graces we will accept, which we will reject, and how we will be disposed when we die. He gives sufficient grace for all to freely choose Him, and even superfluous grace, up to the last moment, but knows which will reject these graces and thus merit Hell. None of this is unjust, because grace is, by definition, a free gift of God.
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#58
(06-23-2014, 04:26 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(06-23-2014, 03:44 PM)J Michael Wrote: Yes, that would be a good definition of faith.  But I see I wasn't being entirely clear--sorry.  What I meant to say was that you seemed to be implying that unless you, the person calling himself here "Melkite", needs such proofs *in order* to believe. 

For me personally, I don't need absolute proof, but I do need to see that the resurrection makes more sense than any other possibility.  And I also need to be able to reconcile Christ with the Old Testament.

What would it take for you to see that the resurrection makes more sense than any other possibility?

Christ was Christ in the New Testament and in the Old Testament.  You know...eternally.  He and the Father are One.  The Father is God.  God is written about extensively in the OT.  So........what's to reconcile?  That He would give man freedom of will, allow man to choose to disobey Him and reap the consequence of death even when told that to eat of the fruit of the tree would cause them to surely die?  Isn't ALL the evil on earth a result of our choosing to sin, both ancestrally and individually? 

Have you discussed these issues and your concerns with your priest?
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#59
Hello Melkite:

I just wanted to say  most any good book on apologetics can answer your questions if you will take the time to read them. Two that i like and are  for the layperson are the folowing  (1) Handbook of Catholic Apologetics: Reasoned Answers to Questions of Faith [Paperback]Peter Kreeft (Author), Ronald Tacelli (Author)and  (2) Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels Paperback
by J. Warner Wallace  (Author), Lee Strobel (Foreword).  The first on is of course written by a Catholic and the second by a protestant author. His approach  is unique and focuses on analytical reasoning of the type used by the police. Peter Kreeft is a philosopher  that can make the hard to understand easy for lay people.  I think these books will help you  in your understanding.

God Bless

BTW both of these are available at Amazon :)
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#60
(06-23-2014, 04:38 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: So, in fact, in this instance, you are wrong. I hope this will demonstrate that you don't have a correct understanding of Infallibility, and should not reject it until you have educated yourself on it. There are plenty of solid tracts from Catholic apologetic sites to help here. I don't need to reinvent the wheel.

Ok.  I accept that I was wrong about Galileo's condemnation being infallible.

Quote:Again, I think you see here a material resemblance, where there is truly a formal difference.

In Mormonism, there is a constantly evolving revelation. The religion constantly changes its doctrines, so there is no such thing as infallibility, but there is a teaching authority. The simple fact that God makes completely contradictory revelation, though, is proof enough that this is mere material resemblance.

In shia Islam there is ‘iṣmah, which does have a note of infallibility to it, but it is not the same kind of thing as Papal infallibility. The shia do not have a consistent doctrine here. Some say that all imams have such ‘iṣmah. Others say only Mohammad and earlier prophets enjoyed this. It is impeccability and infallibility in the sense of knowing the totality of God's will and able to give guidance which perfectly accords with God's will.

The differences between Papal infallibility and ‘iṣmah should be apparent. These can't really be compared, rather, to evaluate them, you have to take them each on their own footing. If you have doubts about ‘iṣmah, then study it's foundation (which is an interpretation of the Qu'ran). If you have doubts on Papal infallibility, study that on its own footing (founded on Scripture and expressed since the earliest days of the Church in various ways). You can't pit two different concepts against each other and think we can come up with some meaningful result.

In short, your criteria of evaluation here and your questions are bad questions. They really don't address the fundamental issue. If Papal infallibility is true then it will stand on its own two feet. If other religions claim something similar, then whether these are true will have to be evaluated in the same way, based on their claims, not based on comparison with Papal infallibility.

It's not in the idea that concepts share all the same criteria where my doubt lies.  It is simply in "what would I consider crazy about Catholicism if I were not Catholic?" at the time.  What in Catholicism asks us to suspend reason in order to believe them.  Even if ismah is not a direct parallel to papal infallibility, believing papal infallibility still asks us to suspend rational thought to believe it.  It's not a naturally occurring phenomenon.  We have to accept that the laws of nature are somehow working differently here than on any other human being. 

Quote:He doesn't or he can't? It makes a difference. If he cannot, then it's not really God, if he does not, then its a matter of demonstrating that you are incorrect and He does and has.

He doesn't.  Obviously a god who created the universe would necessarily have the power to intervene in it.

Quote:Since the New Testament is a reasonably accurate historical record (more so than even other documents we have from that period), then we're going to have to find some pretty solid criteria for rejecting it. We can't just decide to rewrite parts of it either. If the miracles (which are the proof of Christ's divinity) are thrown out, then the Gospel is just a story of a lunatic who did nothing special except get Himself crucified and zealous followers who had reason to create a new religion. Pretty much, the whole Gospel and Catholic religion make no sense if you dismiss the miracles. And there is no good reason to dismiss the miracles.

They're not written about anywhere else.  For example, there are no reports from other sources of all the tombs in Jerusalem opening and the dead walking the streets.  There are no other sources that talk about the veil in the temple being torn in two (not really miraculous, but significant).  If these didn't really happen, how can we be sure the rest did?  And, again, believing that they happened requires one to at least momentarily suspend rational thought.

Quote:And somehow scientific studies can detect supernatural effects? Isn't science about the natural, observable world, not about the supernatural (i.e. non-observable world).?

No.  Science can detect when there is no difference between a control group and a test group that is supposed to have supernatural effects taking place.  In studies where people were asked to pray for a group of people that had cancer to be healed, and there was a control group where no one received prayer, there was no difference in the incidence of cancer going into remission or being spontaneously healed in the two groups.  Studies like this have been replicated multiple times.

(06-23-2014, 10:59 AM)Melkite Wrote: I think just observing life, for whatever reason, shows that God wants the universe to unfold as it would.  If he is constantly interfering with miracles, then it's not the brilliant creation of his that its supposed to be. It would mean he created a faulty universe in the beginning that he constantly has to tweak because of the bugs in the program he apparently wasn't omniscient enough to prevent in the beginning.  

Quote:You're entirely right. If God created a universe that required his constant tinkering, He would not be God. Yet, it does require His constant maintenece of its being. But "miracle" does not mean a violation of the laws of nature at all, nor does it undermine God's wisdom or immutability. God being Omniscient, foresaw from all eternity all He did and would do. This is because in God (as Aristotle proves) there is no movement from potency to act. He is pure act. Thus His acts are not sequential or separate. It is one single, perpetual act. Because, however, we are in time, the effects of His acts appear as sequential. Thus His healing of a man's sickness comes sequentially after the man's birth in time, but in God's action there is no real distinction of these two things.

So, He created once, and by the same perpetual act, maintains this creation, and sees the entirety of creation. He does not sequentially look at creation. That alone would disprove His omniscience. Any intervention to prevent a secondary cause from acting as it normally does (a "miracle") was foreseen and planned from eternity in the same act which created the universe, because God could not have come to know something which He did not know from all eternity, else it is not God of which we speak.

If this is true, then what is the purpose of supplicatory prayer?  If God acts outside of time, then our prayer can in no way alter that action.  It is worthless to ask of God anything.  It would also mean that predestination is true, even more fully than what the Calvinists propose, and that every evil that falls upon us, even if only passively so, was planned and created by God.

Quote:Actually, no. The nature of a thing is to be what it is, not to cease to be what it is. The perfection of a nature is the perfect operation of its faculties. Naturally man should remain united body and soul, and this eternally, since the soul is eternal.  The only explanation for death is a nature which is wounded. And original sin perfectly explains this. Otherwise, there should be no death.

So then squirrels and rabbits and foxes and elephants were all supposed to be eternal as well?  And how then could animals that existed prior to humans be carnivorous, if death is unnatural?

Quote:The problem with Predestination is not the Catholic understanding (which accords with free will), but the Calvinist one, which effectively rejects free will. If God is as we described Him above, pure Act, and in one perpetual act saw all things from all time and all of what He would do, then He knows from all eternity exactly what graces He will give, which graces we will accept, which we will reject, and how we will be disposed when we die. He gives sufficient grace for all to freely choose Him, and even superfluous grace, up to the last moment, but knows which will reject these graces and thus merit Hell. None of this is unjust, because grace is, by definition, a free gift of God.

No, even the Catholic understanding of predestination does not really allow free will.  I've had plenty of former fishies try to explain this to me.  Sufficient grace, efficacious grace, yada yada.  If we can't choose for God without efficacious grace, and God chooses to not give efficacious grace, thereby making it completely impossible for us to choose him, then he has chosen to reject us.  If God only gives us the choice to not choose him, then he hasn't given us free will in the least.  God can't predestine some to heaven by giving efficacious grace, and withhold efficacious grace from others - without which it is impossible to attain heaven - but still give them sufficient grace to choose what they are incapable of choosing without the efficacious grace he is withholding, and then be said that he did not actively predestine those to hell.  Free will and predestination of any sort are incompatible.
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