I Dont Have Enough Faith to be an Evolutionist - Skepticism of Evolution
(09-15-2019, 12:52 PM)Augustinian Wrote: Yes, and I made an error in my distinctions here, which I apologize for. What I should have emphasized is that sin does not change the essence itself of a thing, which as you noted is erroneous, but that sin changes the accidental nature of that thing so that it is defective. And this idea is rooted in the notion of the integral good, where that all things God creates are wholly good. To have any sort of defect is to introduce a lack of good in some aspect of that thing, which would be an accidental defect of its nature rather than, as I erroneously held, a change of the integral nature of the thing itself.

Yes, sin caused an accidental change in human nature in that the præternatural gifts previously added to nature as accidental qualities were removed, making man again subject to death, illness, suffering, pain in childbirth, etc. all of which are natural and belong to all of material creation by nature. But then also came punishments which disordered the nature and introduced defects. Thus it is human nature, but wounded with an indisposition (a kind of accident), which only grace can overcome.

(09-15-2019, 12:52 PM)Augustinian Wrote: Now, the point I was trying to make with the Fall is that there is this accidental change in the nature of creatures due to sin, not due to the actions of God, in which all of His actions are perfect per the integral good. Now, the issue arises with theistic evolution, and especially that of neo-Thomists who accept this position, is that of a rejection of this integral good. To say that God utilizes evolution in any such way is to say that God purposely created things to have defects and that He created, or introduced, death into the world.

Now, the way that things outside of the good are introduced into the world, such as thorns and brambles or the vicious carnivorous appetites of animals, are through secondary causation. The Fall was essentially a result of secondary causation, keeping in mind the integral good. Therefore, any changes we see through defects in creation, such as the fallen state of man from Adam or corruption and mutation in species, are due to these secondary causes.

I'm not arguing for theistic evolution. I don't like the idea myself, but it is not as problematic as you suggest. I personally take no position, do not need to create any model for myself, and prefer to just follow the theology, philosophy and science where they lead.

That said, your principles here are a bit off, as well.

God did create things with imperfections, because while he is the perfect good, what is not perfect, by definition has imperfections as related to the whole, even if in its own nature these are not defects. For instance to not have the animal powers of the soul in the hierarchy of universal goods is a defect as relates to the universal whole, but certainly not defective as regards a plant. It cannot perform more universally perfect actions, but it is a plant and perfectly acts as a plant. It itself it is integrally good because it seeks its own end according to is nature. As regards the whole it is imperfect. As regards itself it is perfect.

The same in the hierarchy of animals. A dolphin is more perfect than a bacterium in a universal sense, while each is perfect in its nature (because it cannot act against its nature).

This is why one can say that imperfection is necessary for the perfection of the whole. Whenever there is a hierarchy there is necessarily imperfection, and were there not, the whole would not be perfect.

Those defects on a universal scale did not come about by secondary causality. They come from the nature of the thing. They come from the intention of God ordering by Providence the whole universe towards its proper end.

These imperfections include death which is natural and therefore must of preceded the fall in material creatures which were not protected by some præternatural gift of immortality. This can be shown by the number of plants and animals which cannot exist without the death of other animals, or those whose nature is violent (my example of a lion). Their perfection requires the "imperfection" (the ability to die and be reduced to nutrition) in another.

So while through secondary causation, the Fall and the impact on man can easily be seen, it cannot be asserted that somehow that fall changed, accidentally or substantially the natures of things beyond man. The only way to say this is to assert not an accidental, but a substantial change in all of Creation as a result of sin, because while man can now (because he has a will) act against his nature, others animals and plants do not have said will, so blindly seek their proper end, and cannot choose against their nature, which means they act according to their nature.
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RE: I Dont Have Enough Faith to be an Evolutionist - Skepticism of Evolution - by MagisterMusicae - 09-15-2019, 02:34 PM

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