FAQ: If disease & death are a result of Original Sin, then how come they affect organisms that cannot sin & predate the Fall?
Properly speaking, it is human suffering and death which are a result of the Fall, not disease and death in the purely material creation. Clearly, if God gave humans and animals the plants for food (Gen 1:29-30), then He envisaged that plants would die before the Fall. And presuming that we are not fundamentalists, carnivores, created before the Fall, would have eaten other animals—what else did God create a tiger’s teeth and claws for? We make a mistake if we attempt to equate animal suffering and death with human suffering and death. Because we have spiritual souls, and therefore have true self-consciousness, whereas the animals do not, the two realities are not properly comparable. In fact, it is one of the results of original sin that we are not fully aware of our souls or the dignity that they confer on us. Thus we can be tempted to treat humans as mere animals, e.g. though slavery or abortion, and to sentimentalise animals as if they were human. It is because we have immortal souls that, apart from sin, we would have been immortal in body as well. Everything else in the material creation exists for a time, fulfils the purpose it was created for, and then passes away; and this is part of the goodness of creation.
January & February 2017
Recent Blog Posts
- Blog: 12.01.17
- Blog: 13.12.16
- Blog: 09.10.16On his blog and in a recent Catholic Herald piece (9.9.16) Bishop Robert Barron offers some excellent reflections upon a recent Pew survey looking at reasons why young people are leaving Christianity in droves. He well shows how Roman Catholic leaders and teachers are dangerously underestimating ...Read More
- Blog: 23.08.16
- Blog: 08.08.16On 23 June 2016 a referendum was held in which a narrow majority of voters in the United Kingdom (nearly 52%) voted in favour of leaving the European Union, the so-called “Brexit”. This contrasts with the large majority (67%) who had voted to join the then European Community in 1975. ...Read More
- Blog: 17.07.16Thirty odd years after this overview of twentieth century Catholic intellectual culture, the points of James Hitchcock seem even more relevant. Below are some extracts but the, significantly longer, full article repays study. [Post-mortem on a rebirth. The Catholic Intellectual Renaissance, from ...Read More