Why did God create animals that cause pain?
#11
Part of this conversation requires a discussion of what Creation would have been like had sin never entered the world. Reading some mystical authors, the image of original humanity is much different. One author (whose name presently eludes me) suggested that Adam was a being of brilliant light and translucent like a fiery gem, ingesting things only of pure goodness, and excreting likewise only the purest, sweetest vapors/liquors from his mouth and elsewhere. There was, of course, no defecation as we know it or similar unseemliness, though we can assume that the parts presently concerned with those enterprises were there in much the same configuration, though, presumably, perfectly well-formed and radiant in perfection and applied to finer work?
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#12
I agree with you, Cyriacus but I would say that its almost as impossible to imagine creation prior to the fall as it is to imagine heaven, our perceptions having been so drastically changed.
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#13
There is a bit of discussion on this in Father Seraphim Rose's magnum opus Genesis,Creation and Early Man, and in St. Simeon the New Theologian's homilies in the book The First Created Man. As Dominicus has said, it's hard to imagine, as we have no real way outside revelation and trusting the saints and mystics visions to really know. 

One thing I love about the Eastern Tradition is there is a real sense that even the animals suffer on account of the Fall of man. At the Parousia even animal life can become transfigured and restored. This is my own opinion of course.

I forgot to mention, there's a great book called Animals and Man, a State of Blessedness that goes into this a little.
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#14
(03-12-2017, 01:38 AM)formerbuddhist Wrote: One thing I love about the Eastern Tradition is there is a real sense that even the animals suffer on account of the Fall of man. At the Parousia even animal life can become transfigured and restored. This is my own opinion of course.

That isn't just "Eastern tradition"; it's Sacred Scripture.
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#15
(03-12-2017, 02:16 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote:
(03-12-2017, 01:38 AM)formerbuddhist Wrote: One thing I love about the Eastern Tradition is there is a real sense that even the animals suffer on account of the Fall of man. At the Parousia even animal life can become transfigured and restored. This is my own opinion of course.

That isn't just "Eastern tradition"; it's Sacred Scripture.


Of course it's Sacred Scripture, but most the saints and fathers  that contemplated this stuff and put it into writing are many saints and fathers from the Eastern Tradition and Eastern hagiography. That was all I meant by that. 
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#16
(03-12-2017, 12:49 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: He's describing Heaven, and Heaven is a place of perfection, so no...

If it's describing heaven, then how is that saying that certain animals on earth weren't created to be carnivorous?

(03-12-2017, 12:58 AM)Cyriacus Wrote: Part of this conversation requires a discussion of what Creation would have been like had sin never entered the world. Reading some mystical authors, the image of original humanity is much different. One author (whose name presently eludes me) suggested that Adam was a being of brilliant light and translucent like a fiery gem, ingesting things only of pure goodness, and excreting likewise only the purest, sweetest vapors/liquors from his mouth and elsewhere. There was, of course, no defecation as we know it or similar unseemliness, though we can assume that the parts presently concerned with those enterprises were there in much the same configuration, though, presumably, perfectly well-formed and radiant in perfection and applied to finer work?

That's an interesting thing to discuss, something I'm very much interested in.  It seems that that discussion is going towards/would arrive at an understanding that our perception of reality is faulty and cannot be trusted.  If that is the case, how can we trust that revelation is telling us what we perceive it to be telling us?  If the fall has so flawed us in our physical perceptions that they may be wrong, then we can't even be sure that there is revelation to begin with.
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#17
(03-12-2017, 02:34 AM)Melkite Wrote: That's an interesting thing to discuss, something I'm very much interested in.  It seems that that discussion is going towards/would arrive at an understanding that our perception of reality is faulty and cannot be trusted.  If that is the case, how can we trust that revelation is telling us what we perceive it to be telling us?  If the fall has so flawed us in our physical perceptions that they may be wrong, then we can't even be sure that there is revelation to begin with.

Interesting hypothesis, I think I understand what your saying but the point of revelation is that it goes beyond our physical perceptions. Where our physical senses lack, that is where faith comes into play. The perfect example of this is in the Eucharist, we cannot possibly understand it using our human senses and so we rely on God's word and even then our understanding amounts to nothing compared to the greater reality. Its not up to us in this life to understand every detail, we trust that Gods Word is truth and accept that we are ignorant.
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#18
(03-12-2017, 12:48 AM)Cyriacus Wrote: ...panthers signify Christ, in the sweetness of their fragrance that lures other creatures to them, as Christ draws in sinners and furthermore resembles a panther in his gentle disposition and his multicoloured brilliance.

I didn't realise what you were doing and had to google it!

(03-12-2017, 12:48 AM)Cyriacus Wrote: There is a medieval tradition of allegorizing nature....

Do you know Charbonneau-Lassay's Bestiary of Christ? Real interesting.
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#19
(03-12-2017, 02:34 AM)Melkite Wrote:
(03-12-2017, 12:49 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: He's describing Heaven, and Heaven is a place of perfection, so no...

If it's describing heaven, then how is that saying that certain animals on earth weren't created to be carnivorous?

St. Gregory of Nyssa wrote that "the resurrection promises us nothing else than the restoration of the fallen to their ancient state; for the grace we look for is a certain return to the first life, bringing back again to Paradise him who was cast out from it." So that intimates a lot about what Eden was like given what Scripture says about the Heavenly Kingdom, assuming St. Gregory is right.

Aquinas wrote these responses to the following objections, my emphasis:

Objection 5. Further, certain animals are generated from putrefaction, which is a kind of corruption. But corruption is repugnant to the first founding of the world. Therefore such animals should not have been produced at that time.

Objection 6. Further, certain animals are poisonous, and injurious to man. But there ought to have been nothing injurious to man before man sinned. Therefore such animals ought not to have been made by God at all, since He is the Author of good; or at least not until man had sinned.

Reply to Objection 5. Since the generation of one thing is the corruption of another, it was not incompatible with the first formation of things, that from the corruption of the less perfect the more perfect should be generated. Hence animals generated from the corruption of inanimate things, or of plants, may have been generated then. But those generated from corruption of animals could not have been produced then otherwise than potentially.

Reply to Objection 6. In the words of Augustine (Super. Gen. contr. Manich. i): "If an unskilled person enters the workshop of an artificer he sees in it many appliances of which he does not understand the use, and which, if he is a foolish fellow, he considers unnecessary. Moreover, should he carelessly fall into the fire, or wound himself with a sharp-edged tool, he is under the impression that many of the things there are hurtful; whereas the craftsman, knowing their use, laughs at his folly. And thus some people presume to find fault with many things in this world, through not seeing the reasons for their existence. For though not required for the furnishing of our house, these things are necessary for the perfection of the universe." And, since man before he sinned would have used the things of this world conformably to the order designed, poisonous animals would not have injured him. [Vox: nor, presumably, other animals, given that death of sensate beings entered the world with the Fall]

Hope this helps some..

ETA:  Of course, we know now that animals don't generate from corrupting things (e.g., per the old belief that maggots come from rotting meat). But Aquinas's larger point remains.

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#20
(03-12-2017, 09:26 AM)bryanreynolds Wrote: Do you know Charbonneau-Lassay's Bestiary of Christ? Real interesting.

That is SO up my alley! I just "gotta" get a copy (hope it's available, and in hardcover)! Love medieval symbolism and God's creation, so a blending of the two in bestiaries is way too cool... Thanks for that tip, Bryan; I'd never heard of that particular bestiary before!
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