Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Commie Mudmen vs The Lord and His creation






From the bastid, Hobbes, to the bastid, Rousseau, those commie creeps were the progenitors of a malign materialism that has poisoned the minds of most men but these bastids must be given their due because their revolution inverted the history and wisdom of the ancients.

Hobbes and Rousseau, what is one to make of them?

ABS considers them to be limaceous liberal lunatics whose slime has been lapped-up by modern scientists but, admittedly, it would not be just to dismiss them after only a thought; no, they are worthy of a second thought - but only if that second thought is, To hell with them and their ilk.

Josue 24:



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Sin autem malum vobis videtur ut Domino serviatis, optio vobis datur: eligite hodie quod placet, cui servire potissimum debeatis: utrum diis, quibus servierunt patres vestri in Mesopotamia, an diis Amorrhæorum, in quorum terra habitatis: ego autem et domus mea serviemus Domino.

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But if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, you have your choice: choose this day that which pleaseth you, whom you would rather serve, whether the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia, or the gods of the Amorrhites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.

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If the Lord’s service mislikes you, choose some other way. Shall it be the gods your fathers worshipped in Mesopotamia, or the gods of the Amorrhites, in whose land you dwell? I and mine will worship the Lord.

As for ABS and his family, they will follow The Lord and believe in His creation.

Adam was the first man and he was created as an adult, the most intelligent man who ever lived whereas the limaceous liberals, the Commie Mudmen, wish you accept as scientific faith that the first man was aught but a pretty clever monkey who did know enough to come in out of the rain.


Pfffftttt, such malign materialism is fit for their soulless scientism.

Walter Farrell, O.P., A Companion to the Summa volume 1

CHAPTER XVI -- EVE'S FAMILY AT HOME
(Q. 94-103)

EVE'S FAMILY AT HOME
(Q. 94-103)

World memory of an age of gold

THE statement of man's evolution has been hurled at our minds so constantly and from so many different directions that we are apt to overlook the fact that this idea is fairly recent. Men did not always maintain that man began from a woefully inferior status and gradually worked up to his present perfection like the hero of a success story. For centuries men cherished a precious memory. They told, with poignant regret, the story of an initial happiness and perfection that was only gradually lost as men descended step by step to the present miserable state; whatever the century this "present" represented, it was always a miserable state for the old days were always best.

Tradition and mythology of Greeks and Romans

There are written records of such a memory dating back as far as nine hundred years before Christ, Hesiod's Works and Days. According to that first of the Greek poems, the days of men were fittingly divided into ages of gold, of silver, of brass and of iron That first golden age, an age quite distinct from the age of the heroes of Greek mythology, was a moral paradise; there way no sin in it, no injustice, no moral evil whatsoever, but all men lived in a delightful peace and harmony.

Much later, the Roman poet Ovid gave evidence of the vitality of this ancient tradition by recording the fume division of the days of men, insisting again on the golden age as an age of faith and justice. Of course physically it measured up to an Italian ideal an eternal spring with gentle breezes, rich harvests springing up spontaneously, with none of the unpleasantness of cold, ice or snow. The degeneration of man goes on steadily until the iron age (the "present" of Ovid) is reached. He describes it thus: "The last age was of hard and stubborn iron. Instantly all kinds of wickedness broke out in this age, of a more degenerate turn: modesty, truth, and honor fled, in place of which succeeded fraud, deceit, treachery, violence, and an insatiable itch to amass wealth."

Place of moral factors in this tradition

Throughout all these ages of the pagan tradition of an original state of perfection of men, the emphasis was steadily centered on moral factors. There was no question of man being driven down or up by blind, irresistible forces that left him stripped of praise or blame, even though the loss of the golden age was due to an overthrow of the reigning god, Saturn, and his replacement by Jupiter. The perfection of the golden age was seen as essentially a moral perfection; it depended on the absence of evil and was characterized by a profound peace and a harmony that echoed the deepest wishes of the human heart. In that age, men were happy because they were good; as that perfection became a memory, sin made its entrance on the stage of the world.

Philosophical versions of this original age
A world of hate and strife (Hobbes)


The precious memory was definitely abandoned when the renaissance philosophers attempted to picture the natural state of man in such a way as to support a political theory. The exceedingly fearful and timorous Hobbes, championing the English monarchy's power and protection, insisted that all men are essentially bitter enemies because their happiness consists in exceeding their neighbors. By nature, all were equal, all self-seeking; so that the natural state of man was one of terror, war and a supremacy held by might -- a condition of things that was particularly terrifying to a man like Hobbes. Men finally realized the futility of all this and the necessity of a common power to keep all in awe; they ceded their rights to the sovereign, not by a contract with the sovereign but by a contract between the subjects. They are now completely subject to the king.

A world of unrestricted individualism (Rousseau)

Rousseau went to the other extreme, insisting that men did not need a government to give them peace and happiness; all they needed was to be let alone. The theory of Rousseau might well have been expected. It was one of the periodic swings of the pendulum that had been throwing its shadow back and forth from the beginning. By one swing the position was reached that man was badly damaged somewhere along the line, some integral part of his nature had corrupted so that, as he now exists, he is essentially evil. At the opposite extreme, it was insisted that man had absolutely nothing the matter with him, needed no help from anyone in any line; he was in as good condition now as he ever was, as perfect as the day he was made. Rousseau, clumsy, ill at ease in society, plagued by complexes of inferiority and persecution, not only championed an absolute individual liberty and an emotional participation of life untrammeled, he attacked all authority. It is precisely because of authority, discipline and convention that man has been ruined; these things must be done away with. In his original state, man-was good, as was nature and God. Man's original peace, goodness and innocence have been destroyed by human institutions. Both Rousseau and Hobbes denied the social nature of man in his original state; the one picturing society as a corrupter of human nature, the other as an artificial savior of man from himself.

The modern world of mud

With the advent of a thoroughly materialistic modern philosophy, the happy memory of an original state of perfection of man was doomed. What perfection man can claim must find its source in a purely material universe that certainly did not produce effects above the material. Man was an integral part of a completely material world, to be explained, examined and evaluated as any other part of that universe. Thus man is pictured as a product of an evolving process within that material universe, a purely material product whose original state was at worst a primeval slime, at best a brute animality; his present position is not due to a degeneration or a fall, but to centuries of a steady climb that has left him qualitatively the same as his animal ancestors.

Sin, faith, justice, morality had no part to play in the origins of man, as they have no serious part to play in his present life. The change (for the better) that has taken place in man explains itself; for it was the very process of change that brought about the improvement. Man is the result of a blind necessity, of the interaction of natural forces that need no explanation. No credit can be given him for his present or past condition; no hope can be held out for his personal future. He is caught in a relentless tide of progress without a goal and without a beginning; in that progress he is an unimportant phase.

Principles for the investigation of the original state of man

St. Thomas was familiar with the ancestors of the renaissance philosophers; he knew materialism in its earliest forms; the dreams and memories of the pagans were packed away on the shelves of his memory. But when he came to treat of the original state of man, he resorted to none of these; rather he was content to go to the factual account in the Book of Genesis, examine it, analyst draw out its implications, fill in its blank spots with reasonable hypotheses to give us a full picture of man in his first home.

The integrity of nature

Before plunging into the story itself, St. Thomas lays down some fundamental principles that give his whole treatment a unity which makes its rational character stand out strikingly. The first principle he insists on is that nothing that was natural to man was lost by man's sin. When we speak of fallen nature or of the wounds suffered by nature through the sin of Adam, we do not mean that human nature suffered a bad smash-up and was condemned to hobble through the ages a hopeless cripple. True enough, human nature was injured, but in the same sense that a man is injured when he is left naked by the roadside. Objectively, he is in the same condition as a man who has never had any clothes, though he certainly feels a great deal worse. So human nature now is in the same condition it would have been had Adam never received any extraordinary gifts; but it has been stripped of those gifts which Adam did receive. This is not a gratuitous assumption. There are sins enough in the world to give us material for a thorough check on the fact that sin, in itself, does nothing to destroy the integrity of human nature.

Cause and essential notion of superiority of the original state

By way of a second principle, St. Thomas points out that the cause of the original perfection of man was his original justice. That is, man was created in sanctifying grace with his soul completely subject to God; this subjection extended right on down so that man's sensible appetite was subject to his reason, and the physical world was subject to man. These two, original justice and original perfection, went hand in hand in Adam. They were, however, quite capable of separation, for one was within the order of nature, though not of human nature, while the other was above all nature. So, in the Blessed Virgin Mary, there was the same supernatural perfection and perfect justice as in Adam, with the same complete subjection of her soul to God; but without the accompanying extraordinary gifts of Adam's original perfection.

The individual in the Garden of Eden

The extraordinary gifts that went to make up the original perfection of Adam were not supernatural but preternatural; that is, they were not entirely above the powers of all created nature but they did not belong to man by the principles of his nature. The immortality given to Adam, for example, was quite different from the immortality to be enjoyed after the general resurrection; this latter is something intrinsic, flowing from the body's participation in the spiritual qualities of the soul. While that of Adam was an extrinsic thing, supplied to the first man from an outside source. His immunity from suffering, or impassibility, was not that incapacity for injury which the blessed in heaven will enjoy because of the penetration of the body by the spiritual qualities of the soul; it was rather an escape from harm through prudence and providential care, an extrinsic rather than an intrinsic gift. Man's dominion over the created world followed the lines of his dominion over himself: as his sense appetite obeyed his reason, so did the animals obey his command; but, as he had no power of command over his vegetative powers, so neither could he command the vegetative and physical powers of the world, but he could use their help without impediment.
In other words, while the individual man in the Garden of Eden had considerable advantages over the individual man or woman of today, he was not in any way essentially different.

His intellectual equipment and progress: That of Adam

Adam started off the human race on its long life; as its proper starting point, he represented that race in its perfection. Just as he began with physical perfection -- without the bother of being born, growing up, developing his muscles and so on -- so he also started off with an intellectual perfection. In fact, this latter perfection was quite necessary in view of his position as head of the race and, consequently, as teacher of all who should come after him.

As the first human teacher, Adam brought an equipment to his task that has never been equalled since by any member of that noble profession. He did not see God directly, seeing the divine essence, for that is quite super natural and, once had, cannot be lost; that is, if Adam knew God in this way, he could not have sinned. Rather, he knew God as we know Him, but more perfectly. After all, he had none of the worries about bread and butter clothing and housing, not to speaks of the family's future, that distracts the mind of man today. Moreover, the clarity of his insight was not the least bit clouded by passion. From the effects of God, particularly from the act of the human intellect and the nature of the human soul, Adam's mind rose quickly and easily to a knowledge of God. His knowledge of the angels was had in the same way. But it is important to notice that Adam knew these things and all others as we know them, through intelligible species.

As for his knowledge of other things, well, Adam had to teach and govern the human family and, obviously, he could not teach what he did not know. His natural knowledge extended to all those, things that men are intended to know, that is, all those things implicitly contained in the first natural principles of knowledge. St. Thomas inclined to the belief that this knowledge -- an extraordinary gift not to the individual Adam but to Adam as head of the human race -- was an explicit, complete and perfect knowledge. Not that Adam knew every singular thing: that this stone would fall into this river at such a time, and so on. Nor did he know future free things, like the thoughts of men. His supernatural knowledge (his knowledge of the mysteries of faith) was limited to those things necessary for the correct government and guidance of human life in that original state of existence.

We do not have a full grasp of the intellectual stature of Adam unless we look beyond the rich deposit of knowledge given him to the use he could make of it. Many a deeply learned man is the answer to a swindler's fondest hopes; many an expert in one line is a simpleton in another. We make our mistakes through haste, prejudice, passion, insufficient evidence, in a word, because our reason is not in complete command of the situation. Adam's reason was in absolute command, command of his own kingdom and of the world; he seas incapable of mistakes in judgment and reasoning. He was, then, a deeply learned, very wise and exceedingly clever man.

That of his children

If we were born in paradise, eve would have had all the advantages of reason in full command; but we could not have looked forward to such equipment as was given to Adam as head of the race. There would still have been school days, and plenty of them. We would have acquired our knowledge through the senses, we would have had to discover things for ourselves, be taught by others and so, bit by bit, pick up full knowledge. It would have been a much easier job, it is true, than it is today: {or nothing, either in ourselves or in the outside world, would have interfered with the process of learning -- no day dreaming, no laziness, no heat, cold, hunger, thirst or stomach-ache.

His will, his justice and his peace

For all his cleverness, Adam might have been a very unpleasant person, even a holy terror in the Garden of Eden, if he were not also a very holy man. As he was created, his will was good. Moreover, there would have been no point to God's delaying the gift of supernatural life, keeping Adam cooling his heels as he dawdled about the meaningless tasks of a purely natural life; Adam was created in sanctifying grace and, as he was destined to glory as the angels were, there was no reason why he should not have started off earning his reward immediately. In fact, this sanctifying grace and consequent total subjection to God were the foundation of the whole perfection of Adam's state.
With sanctifying grace, he had all the virtues, though, indeed, those that implied some imperfection never flowered into action until after he had sinned. How could he be penitent who had committed no sin; or what field was there for mercy in a place that knew no misery? The virtues that did bloom into acts produced acts that, considered in themselves, were much more worthy of merit than ours are; for the perfection of his nature removed all obstacles to grace and all possible imperfection in his works, whereas with us there is the constant pull of the sensible world, the difficulty of attention, the flabbiness of our will. Still, because our acts are sometimes so difficult to place, the very doing of them indicates a much greater willingness, even eagerness, than if they were produced with an ease that made close attention entirely unnecessary.

It might seem difficult to understand how a man as intellectually and morally perfect as Adam could have sinned if we did not know that the sublime perfection of the angels was not proof against sin, and if we could scrape up any sufficient cause of our own sins other than our own free will. The sin of Adam will be treated at length in the second volume of this work under its proper title of original sin. Here it is enough to notice that we are in no position to sneer at Adam. If we had been born in paradise we too would have been born in sanctifying grace, for that original justice of Adam's was a gift to the whole human species, it was not a personal thing for Adam alone; and grace was the foundation of original justice. We, too, would have had the fullness of virtue, as Adam had; and, like him, we could have lost it if we made up our minds to lose it. Heaven would not have been guaranteed, nor would hell have been an impossibility for us; such complete security comes only from the vision of God which is the end, not the beginning, of human life. Indeed, the odds are that some of us would have sinned even if Adam had never offended God; and our sin would have had the same tragic consequences for our children that Adam's had for his. We would have lost the extraordinary gifts for ourselves; of course we could not give to our children what we ourselves no longer possessed.

His physical nature: His passions

During their short stay in the Garden, Adam and Eve got on very well together. Of course they had human passions; they were human, after all, and passion is an integral part of human nature. That they were buoyant with hope, alight with desire, urged on by love was entirely a matter of their own free will, for these passions were under the complete control of reason. It must be admitted, though, that only some of the passions of the milder or concupiscible appetite -- love, desire, hope and joy -- had any place in Eden; the other passions -- anger, despair, hate, fear and all the rest -- presuppose evil and there was no evil in paradise. The battle between flesh and spirit, then, did not get started until the reign of peace that was a part of paradise had come to an end. There were no gluttons or drunkards in Eden, no one cowered in fear or boiled with anger, men were not beside themselves with passion, their intellects clouded, their lives swayed by the sensitive appetite. This was not the way men were started off on their earthly life by God.

Conservation of his life: Food, drink and vital actions

It is not certain whether Adam and Eve used forks; but it is certain that they took time out, now and then, for a bite to eat and a sup to drink. They did not have glorified bodies; in all its essential actions, their human nature was not different from ours. The natural consumption of energy involved in physical activity, the burning up of cells and tissues, demanded constant repair work by way of food and digestion. Moreover in the children, if there had been any, the necessity of growth would no doubt have produced the same prodigious appetites we see in children today.

The first couple might have been vegetarians for the little while they enjoyed this original perfection; on the other hand, Eve might have been an excellent cook and exceedingly proud of her skill. There is no way of outlawing steak from the menu of the Garden, for the use of animals for his own welfare is only a vindication of man's dominion over the animal world, not a proof of savagery. It might be argued that Eve would not have been condemned to the drudgery of cooking; but that is to overlook the fact that cooking is drudgery only to a blundering cook and to draw a purely imaginative, and false, picture of Eve languidly posed against a fitting background for all the endless hours of the long days. No woman can keep that sort of thing up all the time.

Impassibility

The natural consumption of energy was taken care of by ordinary food; but the gradual running down of the physical organism of man's body is not prevented by food, even by very good food, as we well know. In heaven, this natural mortality is provided against intrinsically when the soul communicates to the body not only what powers it has as a substantial form but also some of the properties it possesses as a spiritual substance. In the Garden of Eden, this natural mortality was temporally staved off by a special food, a food with special properties given it by God, the fruit of the tree of life. The eating of this food from time to time was to have kept man in his prime until such time as God took him to his eternal happiness in heaven; for the gateway to heaven from paradise was not death.

Adam and Eve did not have tougher skins, arms and legs that could not becut off or lungs that could not become infected. The thorns on the rose bushes of paradise were just as sharp as they are everywhere else; and man's skin was just as tender. Adam and Eve were incapable of injury and sickness; but not because their bodies were somehow different from ours. Rather, this impassibility was an extrinsic gift, one that did not flow from the nature of man but came to him from the outside. In plain terms, man escaped injury and sickness by his own prudence and by the action of divine providence, just as many of us do today; only in that original state, this was the ordinary, the universal thing. In other words, man then had sense enough to keep his fingers away from thorns, to avoid the injurious things; moreover, divine providence assured him of not being taken unawares. It can be safely said that many a stranger in New York keeps divine providence a great deal busier than ever Adam did. Adam, of course, had the distinct advantage of his command over the animals; under such circumstances, it would not be much of a trick for him to maintain his seat on a horse or to cow a savage dog.

Immortality

Though they would be very nice things to have at the present moment, the impassibility and immortality of Adam are not to be compared with that which awaits us in heaven. Neither of these gifts totally outstripped the powers of nature. They are not to be considered as supernatural but as preternatural, that is, in the same class with such a gift as might be given to a farmer enabling him to take off after a chicken hawk by merely flapping his arms. Flying, you see, is not above all the powers of nature; it just does not belong to the nature of man.

His relation to other individuals--equality and inequality

Let us suppose for a moment that Adam had not sinned and, after all these centuries, we, as tourists, were to take a trip to the flourishing cities of these perfect men, would it be as dull an affair as standing for hours to watch a mass production gadget roll out of a factory? No, indeed; on the contrary, we would be astonished by the variety in evidence there. One person would be brighter than another, one would have a stronger will, one would be bigger, another more beautiful, of different coloring, different individual attractions, more pleasing personality, and so on. Life would certainly not be dull; particularly as the minimum of any of these things would still represent the perfection that excluded all evil, all defect. There would be no beauty parlors or plastic surgeons. A girl would not have perfect eyes and a nose that had best be forgotten. No man would be so fat as to be too fat, or so thin as to look scragged. For perfection of types, it would be a kind of super-Hollywood, with none of the bitter tragedies of disappointment lurking under the surface. Human beings would, indeed, be unequal: different in sex, different its body, different in virtue, different in intellectual gifts. But none would be deficient; all would enjoy that special equality that makes every man perfect and every man a sovereign being.

Domestic life in the Garden of Eden: Difference of sex

The diversity of sexes in man's original state is plain from the account in Genesis. That it should have been so is plain from human nature itself: with only one sex, the species would have been incomplete, indeed, the individuals would have been incomplete as the sexes complement and perfect one another. So Eve was given to Adam as a helper, particularly in the work of generation.

Generation of children

There would, of course, have been generation in the Garden of Eden. Thomas thinks this is true beyond all doubt, though it might be argued that, since generation is for the maintenance of the species, it was unnecessary in this state where men did not die; or, at least, it would have been sufficient to restrict the generative act to Adam and Eve since they were to live forever. Such argumentation overlooks the fact that the individual man is much more important than as a mere means to the good of the species. Nature intends the enduring and each man and woman, by reason of an immortal soul, is a much more enduring thing than any species however complete. In other words, the purpose of generation is not only the duration of the species but the multiplication of individuals within that species. As for the notion of restricting generation to Adam and Eve, St. Thomas says that it is as much a part of man's nature to live the domestic life and have children as it is to eat; so much so, that in the Garden of Eden there would have been no sterility, no perpetual virginity, everyone would have married. To this end, it would have been necessary that there be as many boys born as girls; Thomas thought that the control of the sex of the child would have been in the power of the parents, thus eliminating months of maternal anxiety and guesswork. At any rate, there would have been children born in those days, and born in exactly the same way as they are today; for, from the very beginning marriage has been a holy thing. However, the physical difficulties and pain of childbirth would have been avoided by man's preternatural gift of dominating nature and of impassibility.

Condition and care of children

Certainly there would have been no danger of the domestic life of paradise going on the rocks through sheer ennui. Couples there would not be driven to non-existent divorce courts through the boredom of having nothing to do but look at each other. There would have been children -- and that immediately accounts for many hours of work. For these children would be as children are today: helpless, in need of care, nourishment, education and training.

There would have been work outside the home, too, something to take care of Adam's spare moments. The biblical account tells us that our first parents were to guard and work the place of paradise. Work, it seems, is not something man was meant to escape; when he succeeds in dodging it, he is inevitably miserable. This work, whether of Adam or of Eve, would have been something like the born mother's joy in her children, the chef's artistic pride in a pot of stew, or the book-keeper's delight in his hobby of gardening. It would not have been laborious, distasteful and fatiguing; but rather a joyous source of pleasure. The reason for assigning work even in paradise seems quite obvious; man needs work for the fullest development of his powers and, indeed, for the full perfection of his knowledge, at least for the experimental discovery of just what man himself can do and what nature can accomplish under his guidance.

There would have been no private property in Eden; such a division of property is necessary for harmony, order and efficiency where there is the constant threat of dis order, confusion and laziness. There was no such a threat in man's original state. Man would not have been an anarchistic individualist; social and political life would have been real necessities for man even in his state of perfection. This is apparent from the very inequality of individuals in that original state, an inequality that even Rousseau found no way to deny. That one should excel another in knowledge and virtue would be unfitting such a state if that superiority did not itself contribute to the welfare of the inferiors. In fact, it is a general principle that such superiority imposes the obligation of direction and assistance to inferiors; virtue and knowledge, in other words, are not only assets, they are also liabilities, ordained to the welfare of others.

Social life in the Garden of Eden:
Necessity of political organization


Moreover man is a social animal. His full perfection is not to be attainedin a solitary state of life; true, he might succeed in existing alone, but he could not reach to the enjoyment of that full human life of which his nature makes him capable. In Eden, then, men would naturally have lived in society, that is, they would have united for a common end to be obtained by a common means; which, of course, implies common direction. Obviously ten firemen, following their individual ideas as to when and how to get to a fire and what to do about putting it out, would be a great curse to insurance companies; just so, a society without a governor would be no society at all but a cluster of individual outposts forbidding in their armament.

Slavery

The political society of Eden would always be the type that dominates a man or directs him to his own and the common good. The domination of one man over another, which we know as slavery, by which one man uses another exclusively for the proper ends of the first did not exist in paradise; indeed, such domination could not exist until the bond that kept man subject to God had been broken.

Dominion over the physical world

Man's social, domestic and individual life was made much easier and more pleasant by the dominion he exercised over the physical universe, a dominion that was modelled on his own command of himself. He could call a tiger (if he wanted a tiger) and get immediate obedience, just as he could command his own animal nature and get immediate and complete results. But he had no such command over the plant and inanimate world. He could call a carrot (if he wanted a carrot) until he was hoarse; he would have to go to the carrot, it would not come to him. He dominated this part of the world as he did his own physical nature, using it without impediment, joyously and freely. He could not order a plant about, but he could escape the embarrassing labor of biting on hard celery in a quiet dining room.

Physical surroundings of the first man: The situation of Paradise

Where was the Garden of Eden? St. Thomas, judging from the rivers that sprang from it according to the biblical account, thought it was somewhere in the East. Wherever it was, Thomas thought it had the physical characteristics of the more pleasant part of Italy on a perfect day. He did not exactly say this; but he did draw the line at snow and ice, holding out for an equable climate, being particularly insistent of the advantages of a warm sun. It was not to be too hot nor too cold, but in between with a pleasant variety that would not call the inhabitants' attention to their lack of clothes.

Its inhabitants

Speaking of inhabitants, it may be worth noting that Adam was an immigrant to the Garden of Eden while Eve was a native; Adam, you remember, was made outside the Garden and brought in by God himself, while Eve was made on the spot -- a fact that may or may not be significant. There were to be no dogs allowed in Eden, for this was an exclusively human habitation. The only animals there, normally, came at the express command of the human inhabitants. There a man could take a siesta and not wake up to find the cat asleep on his stomach or a visiting lioness surveying his tousled condition with a critical eye. However, the life there was by no means to be a continual siesta. There was to be work, man's work and woman's work. plenty of it; a work that was to go on, joyously, until the "Master of all good workmen" would put an end to the labor, easily slipping man into his eternal home where he could see for the very first time what heights happiness could reach.

Conclusion: Difference from the account of Genesis
In the pagan tradition


Many of the details of this chapter are supplied by St. Thomas, arguing sometimes strictly, sometimes only plausibly, to complete the full picture of man's original state. Putting aside those details and concentrating on the bare skeleton of the account in Genesis, it should be evident that this story is not to be shrugged off as just another myth, even though we do not take into account the infallible authority of the God of truth Who inspired it. Unlike the pagan tradition, this is not the kind of story men think up about themselves, or even about their relatives. The pagans of Greece and Rome made the original state of man one of long duration, with long accounts of the idyllic life during all those years of perfection; its loss was attributed, not to the fault of men, but to the overthrow of a god. Genesis insists that this say of men in the earthly paradise was hardly a moment in the long life of the first couple, stating baldly the hard bet that was most unflattering; for the brevity of that stay was immediately due to the wilfulness of men themselves. The biblical account tells what glorious chances man had, and of how he immediately muffed them. Having muffed them, man was left as he would have been in a state of pure nature; the trials, labor and difficulties of existence today do not offer material for self-pity or excuses on grounds of disability, man has his full equipment for life.

In renaissance philosophies
In modern materialistic philosophies


The renaissance philosophers, in defiance of the facts, denied man's social nature, making of him a beast of prey or a paragon of virtue. Genesis makes no such mistake about our nature; God does not make mistakes. Nor, for that matter, can man fool himself about his very nature, though he may tell himself fables about himself by way of escape from reality. The materialistic philosophy that has such a hold on the world today specializes in denial of facts; it makes man merely an animal, thoroughly un-moral; it denies the undeniable facts of his immaterial, spiritual soul and even the more inescapable fact of his origin from a first absolutely perfect first cause. This version of man's nature, like all the others, cannot afford to sneer at the account of Genesis. An air of superiority cannot gloss over the stubborn facts of God's causality and man's nature as we undoubtedly have it today.

The significance of these differences:
For an estimation of the nature of man


Indeed, it is only by facing these facts that we get a real appreciation of man's nature. Only thus can we see him as spiritual and physical, as enjoying a freedom that even God must respect, a freedom that can hurl him ashamed from the portals of an earthly paradise or rush him triumphant into an eternal one with God. Only by facing the facts can we see man as he is: a creature made for work, for love, for marriage and a family; made to learn, to perfect his virtue, to approach to God and ultimately to rest with Him. And only in appreciating these things can we be fair to ourselves.

For an appreciation of the work of God

Honesty before the facts enables us to appreciate the work of God,seeing Him remedying the defects that naturally follow from the very ingredients of human nature, even though such correction demanded the planning of extraordinary gifts by the all wise architect of the universe. In the light of the facts we can see that the plans were spoiled, not by the architect, not by the builder, but by man himself.

For a determination of individual possibilities and goals


The present state of man is man's work, not God's; even that initial tragedy was made a thing of hope and inspiration by the Son of God's redemption of those mistakes of men which we call sins. Because of the insistent part God has played in the destiny of that nature of ours, we can hope, labor, pray, love and live life to the full; for there is a paradise to which we can attain that alone fulfills the longing of our nature, that alone gives human life meaning and purpose. The story of man's beginnings is a sad account of what might have been; but it is also a vague hint of the glories that yet can be.




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