I Dont Have Enough Faith to be an Evolutionist - Skepticism of Evolution
(09-15-2019, 02:34 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: 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.

Yet there's an issue I take with even this view before the Fall, in both scripture and the teachings of the Church Fathers. Forgive me, I don't mean to hammer you with quotations, but I would just like to back up my point.

Citing Genesis 1:29-30
Quote:'Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground--everything that has the breath of life in it--I give every green plant for food." And it was so.'
This passage explicitly states, via the order of creation wherein the plants preceded the animals, that plants, herbs and fruits of the earth were created to provide sustenance not only for Adam, but also for the animals and 'beasts' as well. This suggests that before the Fall, all animals would have been naturally herbivorous following in the order of their master, Adam. It wasn't until Adam fell, that, in his role as appointed master of creation, that all of creation followed suit and faced accidental changes to their nature (developing predatory instincts, carnivorous appetites, etc.) Much like how the passions of man were altered.

But I won't just stop there with scripture, there are various Church Fathers who make the same conclusion:

St. Theophilus of Antioch; To Autolycus, 2.17
Quote:And the animals are named wild beasts [θηρία], from their being hunted [θηρεύεσθαι], not as if they had been made evil or venomous from the first — for nothing was made evil by God, but all things good, yea, very good — but the sin in which man was concerned brought evil upon them. For when man transgressed, they also transgressed with him. For as, if the master of the house himself acts rightly, the domestics also of necessity conduct themselves well; but if the master sins, the servants also sin with him; so in like manner it came to pass, that in the case of man's sin, he being master, all that was subject to him sinned with him. When, therefore, man again shall have made his way back to his natural condition, and no longer does evil, those also shall be restored to their original gentleness.'

This excerpt from St. Theophilus falls in line with what I stated above regarding creation following suit with Adam's transgression, as evil did not just befall Adam but all of creation.

St. Ireneaus; Against Heresies, 5.33.4
Quote:'It is right that when the creation is restored, all the animals should obey and be in subjection to man, and revert to the food originally given by God (for they had been originally subjected in obedience to Adam), that is, the productions of the earth.'

St. Ireneaus is speaking in manner of context regarding the world after the Last Judgment, but it also pertains to the formation of the world and the state of existence pre-Fall in Paradise. He is specifically citing Isaiah 11:6-7: "the wolf shall feed with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat..."

St. John Damascene; On the Orthodox Faith, 2.10
Quote:'At that time the earth brought forth of itself fruits for the use of the animals that were subject to man.'

Again citing the role of vegetation as the sole diet of creatures.

St. Basil the Great; On the Origin of Man, 2.6
Quote:'Doubtless indeed vultures did not look around the earth when living things came to be. For nothing yet died of these things given meaning or brought into being by God, so that vultures might eat it. Nature was not divided, for it was in its prime; nor did hunters kill, for that was not yet the custom of human beings; nor did wild beasts claw their prey, for they were not carnivores. And it is customary for vultures to feed on corpses, but since there were not yet corpses, nor yet their stench, so there was not yet such food for vultures. But all followed the diet of swans and all grazed the meadows.'

St. Basil is the most explicit of the cited Fathers in stating the pacifistic state of creatures before the Fall, citing the lack of the presence of death too.

And death, even in regard to animals, is something I take issue with before the Fall because it is a privation of life, which would go against the integral good. Yes, it would be a good for lions to eat lambs as they are today, but the Fathers appear to agree that the pre-Fall state of carnivores is that of herbivores given that the privation of life would introduce an evil into creation. And it is not the place of animals to introduce evil, but man, due to the order God set within creation.

Finally, I just want to cite an excerpt from a Fr. Ripperger talk on the same subject, unfortunately he doesn't make any specific references (to the Fathers), as I had to find those myself. See ~45:35 to ~48:22
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

"In my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and found him not. I will rise, and will go about the city: in the streets and the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and I found him not.The watchmen who keep the city, found me: Have you seen him, whom my soul loveth? When I had a little passed by them, I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him: and I will not let him go, till I bring him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that bore me." - Cant. 3:1-4
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RE: I Dont Have Enough Faith to be an Evolutionist - Skepticism of Evolution - by Augustinian - 09-15-2019, 09:33 PM

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