Author Topic: Why not hedonism?  (Read 12887 times)

Offline Xavier

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2019, 11:46:19 PM »
The true doctrine is (1) an entirely gratuitous predestination of the elect (2) a thoroughly deserved reprobation of the wicked. Pelagians denied the former. Calvinists denied the latter. St. Augustine insisted strongly on the former. St. Thomas developed and completed it. St. Alphonsus, in his "refutation of all heresies", insists on the latter. In the last part, he ends as follows, "God tells us that he wishes all to be saved, and gives to all grace to obtain eternal salvation; he has promised to listen to those who pray to him, so that if we are lost, it is solely through our own fault. He also tells us that if we are saved it must be by those means of salvation which he has given us, the fulfilment of his holy law, the Sacraments by which the merits of Christ are communicated to us, prayer, by which we obtain the grace we stand in need of; and this is the order of the decree of God’s predestination or reprobation, to give eternal life to those who correspond to his grace, and to punish those who despise it." So, God's grace given to all comes first. Man's persistent rejection of that grace will make him a reprobate. In those who, with the aid of grace, do all that lies in their natural power, God's grace will produce its effect.

The reason Predestination and Reprobation are different is because the evil act and every good action follows a different order. Please read the Meaning of Grace, for a Thomistic Treatment. http://www.ewtn.com/library/doctrine/mnggrace.htm
Quote
"There we have the problem. How is it to be solved? Only Catholic teaching provides a solution or, to be exact, the teaching of St Thomas, for I see in him the confluence of all the efforts made by the preceding centuries. The understanding of Scripture possessed by the Fathers has always been preserved in the Church; and their solutions are coordinated, rethought in depth by St Thomas.

The way to solve the problem is, before all else, to distinguish clearly the case of the good act and that of the evil act. All who fail to do this go astray. They say either that man is equally cause of his good and of his bad acts, or else that God is responsible for man's bad acts as well as his good ones. To adopt the same method of explaining good and bad acts is a fundamental mistake that renders the problem insoluble ...

This then is the structure of the good act. God produces through me my free act and, since he knows all that he does, he knows this act. If I perform an act of love tomorrow, it will be because God has given me the enveloping and sustaining impulse ... From his place of eternity God knows all the free acts his creatures have done, are doing, will do; he knows with a knowledge which does not precede these free acts, but is above them; he knows them not beforehand, but from all eternity. You see then, that when we say 'God knows beforehand', we are attributing to him a human manner of knowing. So God's knowledge is safeguarded in the case of the good act. It is certain that, from all eternity, God sees himself instigating in me this or that good action, making it come to fruition, and that without violating my free will, but rather creating it. God's prescience from all eternity—the prefix must be understood not as meaning 'beforehand', but as signifying knowledge 'of a higher mode ... So it is with the act which is bad. All the being (physical) of the bad act comes from God, but all the deviation (moral) of the bad act, everything that causes the deviation of the movement given by God for our good, all the sinfulness, comes from man alone.

In the good act, God has the first initiative, he is the first, enveloping cause of the act, and man the secondary cause. In the sinful act, man is first cause of the deviation, that is of the non-being, the disorder, the destruction. Homo prima causa mali: man is first cause of evil! But can he be first cause of anything? Yes, he can be first cause of whatever is not a thing; he can do what is no thing, he can destroy, annihilate the divine action that comes to visit him. Here man can take the first initiative; he is first cause of the annulling of the divine action. So, you see, it is a mystery of darkness. God is always knocking at the door of my heart. If I let him act, he makes me assent in a more and more excellent way. I cannot pride myself on this or pray like the Pharisee: 'Lord, I give the tithe of all I possess . . . while this publican is a sinner'. If I do something good, what I should say is, 'My God, I have so often refused you. Thank you for having helped me to consent this time. To you the glory, and not to me, worm of the earth.'

I can say 'No!' It is not that God has not helped me sufficiently. He was there, as I told you, knocking at the door of my heart. I have impeded his movement and in such wise that, if I continue to do so and death comes, it will be hell, separation from God. I shall not blame him, I shall never be able to blame him for not having helped me enough. It is I who willed to hinder the divine movement, I am to blame. None of the damned will arise at the last day to say, 'Lord, you did not help me enough.' They will all say, 'That is what 1 willed.' And they will go on maintaining that their choice was an excellent one. If a single one of the damned could say he was damned by God's fault, God would not be God.

So then, if I die in an act of love, it is God who will have enabled me to do this act, and I shall say, 'Lord, it is due to your infinite goodness that I am entering finally into your Light. You have sent me into Paradise, as an archer shoots his arrow at the mark. To you be the glory.' That is precisely what predestination is: the act by which God takes hold of me and causes me to give the ultimate assent to his love.


Two simple syllogisms: (1) no one can be saved without being justified, and (2) justification is always gratuitous, therefore, (3) salvation is always gratuitous, even leaving apart other things. And similarly, since (1) no one is lost without choosing to fall into mortal sin, and (2) mortal sin is always freely willed and self-chosen with culpability, therefore (3) no one is lost except through his own fault. Therefore, predestination is totally gratuitous, undeserved, freely given; while reprobation is entirely deserved by self-chosen faults.
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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2019, 11:58:03 PM »
You do realize of course that St. Alphonsous challenged the Banezian understanding such that Garrigou-Lagrange countered him in, I believe, his work titled “Grace”, right?

St. Alphonsous did not follow the Banezian understanding unfortunately repopularized by GL in the 20th century, but was a Congruist.
 

Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #32 on: January 18, 2019, 12:01:08 AM »
Quote
The only free being in the universe, properly speaking, is God. He is the one that determines everything that comes to pass and the only one who can't be determined.

Do I freely choose to type this reply, did God force it, or does God merely already know about it (yet I freely chose the wording)?

God has determined from all eternity whatsoever comes to pass. Everything. Every atom out there, every subatomic particle in the vacuum, everything, even my fingers as they type right now cannot type if not by the will of God. No creature can frustrate His will because every creature is a product of His eternal will. "And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" (Daniel 4:35)

All existence, including this very conversation, is a product of His will. Yes, we can try to discern the complexities and subtleties of the chain of causation, and all its tensions with the notion of personal accountability, but the bottom line is God's absolute sovereignty and freedom. Either that, or He is simply an impotent sky-god that is determined by His creatures, unable to accomplish that which He has determined that should come to pass. Not the God of Scripture. Or the God that became incarnate in Christ.

The "complexities and subtleties of the chain of causation" can't be totally belittled or you end up denying the Catholic doctrine of free will.

Or does "hopeful fatalist" mean that you are not Catholic?

I think we are thinking anthromorphically when we interpret Scripture (or the true part of what you said) so as to turn God into a  puppet master that destroys freedom in His creatures.

We can't "figure God out" satisfactorily in our own heads; we can't satisfactorily resolve all the complexities. At SOME point we  have to admit mystery.  But we have to accept two absolute truths: the absolute sovereignty of God and man's free will.   We rush to the conclusion that there is a contradiction, but we don't understand God's causality.                                                                                               

God determines everything. He is not determined by anything. A system that turns man into an overriding element of God's will, or that turns man's volition into something completely independent from God's absolute fore-ordinance of everything that comes to pass, may apparently "solve" some issues, only to make them, I confess, unremittingly worse. Essentially, we're left with the God of the humanists, ever ready to appease and respect man's will, impotent, filling the gaps of history, the Potter that has no power over the will of his vessels of clay, the God that has led us all slowly but surely into atheism for the past 4 centuries.

In fact, I only grant one of your two "absolute truths": that God, properly speaking, is absolutely sovereign and free. The prime mover and cause of all, the absolutely perfect and sole creator of everything visible and invisible, dispenser and governor of existence, judge of all, judged by none, whose will by definition cannot be frustrated and in whose universe not even a subatomic particle can move without Him having foreordained it from all time to move. He does not simply observe to be determined by the observation, rather He determines, He creates, He ordains, He wills, He rules, He commands obedience and worship by the very nature of those things, He's not an impotent puppet that weeps at our fate. He is the sole captain of the universal ship of life in whose sole hands our souls rest.

Man's will is conditionally "free", not absolutely so. To speak of free will is usually a bad idea. It's preferable to speak of volition or, dare I say it, autonomy. With caution, though.

Can I solve the centuries-old riddle between God's sovereignty and man's accountability? Not decisively, no. But one thing I do know: God is as sovereign over these very lines that you're reading right now, as over anything else that exists or will ever exist. He is the absolute.

The master of my fate, the captain of my soul.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 12:03:28 AM by Vetus Ordo »
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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2019, 12:03:14 AM »
Inshallah?
 

Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2019, 12:05:48 AM »
Inshallah?

Mashallah.

What man wills, God has willed and determined it first from eternity past.
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Offline Xavier

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2019, 12:17:14 AM »
You do realize of course that St. Alphonsous challenged the Banezian understanding such that Garrigou-Lagrange countered him in, I believe, his work titled “Grace”, right?

St. Alphonsous did not follow the Banezian understanding unfortunately repopularized by GL in the 20th century, but was a Congruist.

Yes, St. Alphonsus did disagree with Banez. There are some questions that remain to be clarified, as Cardinal Journet says, which is why the final definition has not yet come. St. Alphonsus defends intrinsically efficacious grace against Molina. He also denies negative reprobation. I think both of those are right. "negative reprobation" is a totally wrong idea that confused the issue completely. St. Alphonsus lays great stress on the point that reprobation is always consequent to faults and thoroughly deserved - both in a sermon on "the number of sins beyond which God pardons no more", which St. Alphonsus repeats in his work, "the true spouse of Jesus Christ" warning those in religious life especially, not to listen to the devil when he says, "you can sin mortally now and repent later", that any mortal sin could be their last, and cause them to die in final impenitence. So, here we have consequent or "ppd" reprobation.

No Thomist is obliged to agree with Banez on these and a few other points. We are Thomists because of St. Thomas.

Summary from St. Alphonsus: "And the more, because divine grace, by which alone men can gain eternal life, is dispensed more or less abundantly by God entirely gratuitously, and without any regard to our merits. So that to save ourselves it will always be necessary for us to throw ourselves into the arms of the divine mercy, in order that he may assist us with his grace to obtain salvation, trusting always in his infallible promises to hear and save the man who prays to him."

+Journet: "There are two schools of thought on this. One is that of St Thomas Aquinas which, through St Augustine, derives from St Paul—the great traditionalist school.

The other arose in the age of the baroque and of humanism. It is that of Molina, a Portuguese Jesuit who, on account of certain unresolved difficulties, wanted to explain in a way hitherto untried the relation of grace and freedom. God and man, he said, act like two horses on the tow-path of a canal drawing a boat. The actions of God and of man are supplementary like those of the horses. Molina thought of them as simply added one to the other. His doctrine has not been condemned, since he said, as regards the good act, God and man, grace and freedom. But, as we see, he transposed to within the circle the preceding error and if he did not set them against each other, at any rate he juxtaposed the divine and the human action. He did not sufficiently grasp the difference in plane between divine and human action and stressed unduly, to an extreme degree, the power of the human will. Here, expressed in accepted Christian terminology, we find again the example just given: God holds out his hand, I take it.

5. The traditional doctrine, the only one rooted in Revelation, has not yet been defined because there still remain certain questions to elucidate. But the definition will come, already the general line is clear: human action is subordinated to the divine action. It is not only God and man, grace and freedom, but God through man, grace through freedom, that does the good act. Is the rose produced by the rose-tree? Or by God? Or else partly by God, partly by the rose-tree? We must say: the rose is produced wholly by the rose-tree as secondary cause, and wholly by God as first cause, the enveloping cause. God gives the rose-tree the ability to produce the rose. God, acting on the rose-tree to make it produce the rose, does not diminish, but rather enriches, it. The more he intervenes, the more excellent will be the rose-tree the more powerful its action ... We come to man, a free being with intelligence and will, with his immortal soul greater than all the world; when God touches his soul he enables it to act according to its nature, which is to rule over things of a lower order. Freedom is not independence in relation to God: if God does not touch me, am I then free? O no! If God does not touch me, I act no more, I exist no more, I fall into nothingness. Freedom is to be found within God himself, as in its infinite source; the nearer I draw to God and the more I share in his rule over lower beings, the more I am free. My freedom is a dependence in relation to God, a dependence that gives me a power over and freedom of choice in regard to the lower things ... My soul keeps its power and freedom of choice. Then God, when he touches me according to my nature, does not infringe my freedom but, on the contrary, exalts it: 'God who made this delicate machine of our free-will is the only one who can move it without breaking it.' He does not impair natures, but makes them flourish. Who was more dependent on God than St Francis of Assisi, and who was freer? You could place him in any condition you like, throw him into a concentration-camp, he would still be in command of all that was lower in the scale of being, he would still be St Francis."
To understand God's Plan for Humanity, and how He has provided the means by which we can minimize the Coming Great Tribulation, read: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/

Offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, for All Lay Apostolates, and All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

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Offline Davis Blank - EG

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2019, 09:44:19 AM »
Quote
God's absolute sovereignty and freedom. Either that, or He is simply an impotent sky-god that is determined by His creatures, unable to accomplish that which He has determined that should come to pass. Not the God of Scripture. Or the God that became incarnate in Christ.

Sola scriptura and your personal reasoning led to this belief.  I choose to come to God and learn of Him through the means He intended, which is through His Church.  I welcome you to do so as well.
 

Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2019, 01:04:16 PM »
Quote
God's absolute sovereignty and freedom. Either that, or He is simply an impotent sky-god that is determined by His creatures, unable to accomplish that which He has determined that should come to pass. Not the God of Scripture. Or the God that became incarnate in Christ.

Sola scriptura and your personal reasoning led to this belief.  I choose to come to God and learn of Him through the means He intended, which is through His Church.  I welcome you to do so as well.

I'm afraid the Church is no more an infallible teacher on these things than you and me, Davis.

If she were, no such thing as Traditional Catholicism would even exist, would it? Vatican II and its aftermath destroyed once and for all any pretense of infallibility. Or the quarrel between Thomism and Molinism would have been decided centuries ago, instead of being embarrassingly postponed ad infinitum. Or the she wouldn't have made Geocentrism a matter of faith as she did when the Galileo affair erupted, only to quietly drop it later on. Or she wouldn't have flip-flopped on usury when the Modern European market economy started to boom from the Renaissance onwards, making easy access to credit a vital mechanism of growth. Etc.

It's clear the Church makes educated guesses as much as we do. Apparently, a lot of stuff isn't divinely revealed, nor there seems to be any divine guarantees preventing the educated guesses of popes, councils and theologians from being wrong every now and then. There's no need to point fingers at anyone, though. Only God knows all the answers. With a healthy dose of self-criticism, we can only hope to make better educated guesses with the data available to us as time goes by.
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Offline Non Nobis

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2019, 01:27:08 AM »
Educated guesses about God's Mysteries are guaranteed not to hit the mark; given that God's Mysteries are infinite they cannot be fathomed. I think the Church knew this in condemning neither Thomism nor Molinism.  God's mysteries are reflected in the reality that we do see, so that speculations are worthwhile, but they must be understood with the humility that recognizes how limited they are.

I think both "that there is free will" and "that there is absolute sovereignty" are better than educated guesses; common everyday experience and not-all-that-much reasoning about God from Scripture brings us to these conclusions.  The Church reinforces these truths and tries to prevent self-proclaimed educated guessers from absurdly denying one or the other.  But despite the Church's efforts heresies do arise.

I don't understand all the changes in the Church (including some in the distant past  in teachings that I believe were not formally declared as universal doctrine (specific teachings on usury, geocentrism)).  But I can't abandon Christ's Church's authority in teaching altogether making myself the private interpreter of EVERYTHING  both in Scripture and in past Church councils.  It's a matter of FAITH and PRUDENT thinking (docile to the Church), not perfect totally-satisfying-to-me understanding.
[Matthew 8:26]  And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm.

[Job  38:1-5]  Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: [2] Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words? [3] Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me. [4] Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding. [5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

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Offline Non Nobis

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #39 on: January 19, 2019, 01:35:40 AM »
About free will: it is not something that was taught only by St. Thomas and Church councils and modern Catholics and the world today. The Church Fathers have much to say.  They speak much more forcefully and unapologetically about it than you, Vetus Ordo. Here are some examples:

http://www.historyandapologetics.com/2015/02/church-fathers-on-free-will.html
OK, I'm including the whole thing here (sorry!). NOTE: the original quote (someone else's post somewhere else) had a lot of brackets in it that were being interpreted by SD's interface to strike-through etc.  I added spaces to prevent this.

Quote from: Church Fathers on Free Will
This post is supposed to compile early examples of support for the Catholic doctrine of free will. I  [not Non Nobis] made this thread because some Protestants deny the reality of free will, and I think the Church Fathers can help show that it is real. BTW I’d love to add to this. Do any of you know of any other examples of support for free will

150 A.D. - St. Justin Martyr - "[It is not] by fate that men do what they do, or suffer what they suffer, but [rather] each man by free choice acts rightly or sins... [For] God in the beginning made the race of angels and men with free-will, [and] they will justly suffer in eternal fire the punishment of whatever sins they have committed. And this is the nature of all that is made, to be capable of vice and virtue. For neither would any of them be praiseworthy unless there were power to turn to both [virtue and vice]." (Second Apology Chapter 7) See also First Apology Chapter 43 and Dialog with Trypho Chapter 141.

170 A.D. - Tatian - “[E]ach of these two orders of creatures [men and angels] was made free to act as it pleased, not having the nature of good, which again is with God alone, but is brought to perfection in men through their freedom of choice... [T]he bad man [ is] justly punished, having become depraved through his own fault, but the just man [ is] deservedly praised...since [ by] his free choice he refrained from transgressing the will of God.” (Address to the Greeks Chapter 7)

And: “[T]he power of the Logos...foresee(s) future events, not as fated, but as taking place by the choice of free agents.” (ibid.)

177 A.D. - Athenagoras - “[M]en...have freedom of choice as to both virtue and vice...for you would not either honour the good or punish the bad, unless vice and virtue were in their own power... [ S]o is it among the angels [also].” (Plea for the Christians Chapter 24)

180 A.D. - St. Irenaeus writes a chapter about free will that is titled: "Men are possessed of free will, and endowed with the faculty of making a choice. It is not true, therefore, that some are by nature good, and others bad." (Against Heresies Book IV Chapter 37)

~195 A.D. - St. Clement of Alexandria - "[If] faith is not the rational assent of the soul exercising free-will, but an undefined beauty, belonging immediately to the creature—[then] the precepts both of the Old and of the New Testament are...superfluous." (Stromata Book 5 Chapter 1)

And: "[ S ]ince some are unbelieving, and some are disputatious, [therefore] all do not attain to the perfection of the good. For neither is it possible to attain it without the exercise of free choice; nor does the whole depend on our own purpose." (ibid.)

And: "Wisdom which is God-given...rouses indeed our free-will, and admits faith, and repays the application of the elect with its crowning fellowship." (Stromata Book 5 Chapter 13)

197 A.D. - Tertullian - “[You use] swords, and flames, and crosses, and wild beasts [against us]... [ but] all you can do to us [depends] upon our pleasure. It is assuredly a matter of my own inclination, being a Christian. ... [We] would far rather be condemned than apostatize from God…[therefore] our haters should be sorry rather than rejoice, [for] we have obtained [martyrdom] of our own choice.” (Apology Chapter 49)

216 A.D. - Tertullian - “[T]he vicious action [comes from] each individual free-will. ‘Behold,’ says [God], ‘I have set before you good and evil.’ Choose that which is good: if you cannot, [ it is] because you will not—for that you can if you will He has shown, because He has proposed each to your free-will.” (On Monogamy Chapter 14)

226 A.D. - Minucius Felix - “Neither let any one either take comfort from, or apologize for what happens from fate. Let what happens be of the disposition of fortune, yet the mind is free; and therefore man's doing, not his dignity, is judged.” (Octavius Chapter 36)

228 A.D. - St. Hippolytus - “Since man has free will, a law has been defined for his guidance by the Deity, not without answering a good purpose. For if man did not possess the power to will and not to will, why should a law be established?” (Refutation of All Heresies Book 10 Chapter 29)

248 A.D. - St. Cyprian - “That the liberty of believing or of not believing is placed in free choice [you may read in]...Deuteronomy: ‘Lo, I have set before your face life and death, good and evil. Choose for yourself life, that you may live.’ Also in Isaiah: ‘And if you be willing, and hear me, you shall eat the good of the land. But if you be unwilling, and will not hear me, the sword shall consume you. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken these things.’ Also in the Gospel according to Luke: ‘The kingdom of God is within you.’ ” (Testimonies Book 3 Chapter 52)

248 A.D. - Origen - “God, who preserves the free-will of each individual, may make use of the evil of the wicked for the administration of the world, so disposing them as to conduce to the benefit of the whole.” (Contra Celsus Book 4 Chapter 70)

251 A.D. - St. Cyprian - “But the Lord permits and suffers [heresies] to be, while the choice of one's own liberty remains.” (On the Unity of the Catholic Church 10)

~299 A.D. - Methodius - “[M]an was made with a free-will, not as if there were already evil in existence, which he had the power of choosing if he wished, but on account of his capacity of obeying or disobeying God.” (Concerning Free Will)

350 A.D. - St. Cyril of Jerusalem - “[Sin is] of a man's own choosing, an offspring of the will. For that we sin of our own free will the Prophet says plainly in a certain place: ‘Yet I planted you a fruitful vine, wholly true: how are you turned to bitterness, [and become] the strange vine?’ (Jeremiah 2:21)” (Catechetical Lecture 2 Paragraph 1)

~ 402 A.D. - St. John Chrysostom - “[St. Paul] has guarded against that error of the unbelievers which takes away free will, by adding, with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. Thus much only, he says, did we contribute. We have believed that He is able to save us.” (Homily 3 on First Timothy 1:14)

~381 A.D. - St. Gregory Nazianzen - “[God] placed [Adam] in Paradise, whatever the Paradise may have been, having honoured him with the gift of Free Will...in order that God might belong to him as the result of his choice, no less than to Him who had implanted the seeds of it... Also He gave him a Law, as a material for his Free Will to act upon.” (Oration 38 Paragraph 12)

And: 381 A.D. - “Why wait for a fever to bring you this blessing [of getting baptized], and refuse it from God? Why will you have it through lapse of time, and not through reason? Why will you owe it to a plotting friend, and not to a saving desire? Why will you receive it of force and not of free will; of necessity rather than of liberty?” (Oration 40 Paragraph 12)

Before 378 A.D. - St. Ephraim the Syrian - “Not of compulsion is the doctrine; of free-will is the word of life. Whoso is willing to hear the doctrine, let him cleanse the field of his will that the good seed fall not among the thorns of vain enquirings.” (Homily on Admonition and Repentance Paragraph 1)

418 A.D. - St. Augustine - “[God] has revealed to us, through His Holy Scriptures, that there is in a man a free choice of will. But how He has revealed this I do not recount in human language, but in divine. There is, to begin with, the fact that God's precepts themselves would be of no use to a man unless he had free choice of will, so that by performing them he might obtain the promised rewards.” (On Grace and Free Will Chapter 2)

Before 461 A.D. - Pope St. Leo the Great - “[ S]ecure a peace with God that nothing can destroy, by accepting His gracious service, in order that we may not only surrender ourselves in obedience to our King but also be united to Him by our free-will.” (Sermon 26 Paragraph 4)

400 A.D. - Apostolic Constitutions - “For they that give gifts do not of their own head give them to the widows, but barely bring them in, calling them free-will offerings, that so you who know those that are in affliction may as a good steward give them their portion of the gift.” (Section 1)

221 A.D. - Clementine Homilies - “But, you say, God ought to have made us at first so that we should not have thought at all of [ sin]. You who say this do not know what is free-will, and how it is possible to be really good; that he who is good by his own choice is really good; but he who is made good by another under necessity is not really good, because he is not what he is by his own choice. Since therefore every one's freedom constitutes the true good, and shows the true evil, God has contrived that friendship or hostility should be in each man by occasions.” (Homily 11 Chapter 8)

Before 395 A.D. - Gregory of Nyssa - “Thus, then, man was created in the image of God. He could not therefore be without the gifts of freedom, independence, self-determination; and his participation in the Divine gifts was consequently made dependent on his virtue. Owing to this freedom he could decide in favour of evil, which cannot have its origin in the Divine will, but only in our inner selves, where it arises in the form of a deviation from good, and so a privation of it.” (The Great Catechism Chapters 5-6)

419 A.D. - African Code - “[N]or shall any Christian be compelled to witness [theatrical] spectacles, especially because in the performance of things contrary to the precepts of God there should be no persecution made by anyone, but (as is right) a man should exercise the free will given him by God.” (Canon 61)

~429 A.D. - John Cassian - “[In Scripture] there is a declaration of the grace of God and the freedom of our will, because even of his own motion a man can be led to the quest of virtue, but always stands in need of the help of the Lord.” (Conference 13 Chapter 9)

415 A.D. - St. Jerome - “It is in vain that you misrepresent me and try to convince the ignorant that I condemn free will. Let him who condemns it be himself condemned. We have been created endowed with free will; still it is not this which distinguishes us from the brutes. For human free will, as I have said before, depends upon the help of God and needs His aid moment by moment, a thing which you and yours do not choose to admit.” (Letter 133 Paragraph 10)

712 A.D. - St. John Damascene - “[The fact] that volition is implanted in man by nature is manifest from [the following.] Excluding the divine life, there are three forms of life: the vegetative, the sentient, and the intellectual. The properties of the vegetative life are the functions of nourishment, and growth, and production: that of the sentient life is impulse: and that of the rational and intellectual life is freedom of will. If, then, nourishment belongs by nature to the vegetative life and impulse to the sentient, freedom of will by nature belongs to the rational and intellectual life. But freedom of will is nothing else than volition.” (Exposition of the Orthodox Faith Book 3 Chapter 14)
« Last Edit: January 19, 2019, 02:24:31 AM by Non Nobis »
[Matthew 8:26]  And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm.

[Job  38:1-5]  Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: [2] Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words? [3] Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me. [4] Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding. [5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee! Save souls!
 
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Offline awkwardcustomer

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #40 on: January 19, 2019, 01:44:52 PM »
Vatican II and its aftermath destroyed once and for all any pretense of infallibility.

This is complete nonsense.  But I think you want it to be so, which probably means that no matter how many well-put counter-arguments are presented to you, you will go on saying it.
And formerly the heretics were manifest; but now the Church is filled with heretics in disguise.  
St Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture 15, para 9.

And what rough beast, it's hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
WB Yeats, 'The Second Coming'.
 

Offline Davis Blank - EG

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2019, 01:43:00 AM »
Quote
God's absolute sovereignty and freedom. Either that, or He is simply an impotent sky-god that is determined by His creatures, unable to accomplish that which He has determined that should come to pass. Not the God of Scripture. Or the God that became incarnate in Christ.

Sola scriptura and your personal reasoning led to this belief.  I choose to come to God and learn of Him through the means He intended, which is through His Church.  I welcome you to do so as well.

I'm afraid the Church is no more an infallible teacher on these things than you and me, Davis.

If she were, no such thing as Traditional Catholicism would even exist, would it? Vatican II and its aftermath destroyed once and for all any pretense of infallibility. Or the quarrel between Thomism and Molinism would have been decided centuries ago, instead of being embarrassingly postponed ad infinitum. Or the she wouldn't have made Geocentrism a matter of faith as she did when the Galileo affair erupted, only to quietly drop it later on. Or she wouldn't have flip-flopped on usury when the Modern European market economy started to boom from the Renaissance onwards, making easy access to credit a vital mechanism of growth. Etc.

It's clear the Church makes educated guesses as much as we do. Apparently, a lot of stuff isn't divinely revealed, nor there seems to be any divine guarantees preventing the educated guesses of popes, councils and theologians from being wrong every now and then. There's no need to point fingers at anyone, though. Only God knows all the answers. With a healthy dose of self-criticism, we can only hope to make better educated guesses with the data available to us as time goes by.

Understood.  I note that the path you are on will most likely end where the gentleman whom has thanked your post is at, which I will call "thoughtful deism" - although PDR is welcome to correct me if I misunderstand his beliefs.

I find no reason to believe a lick of Scripture if the Church is not as she claims to be.  Its all or nothing with regards to Christianity.  Falling back to Scripture in absence of the Church baffles me.  If I am going to apply my own reasoning to the Faith and reject the Church then the only sensible place is to end up like PDR.  Going halfway with Protestantism is just a stepping stone to apostasy.  If you are fine with apostasy then continue as thus.  If apostasy scares the living daylights out of you then please reconsider.

I believe that the Church is the Body of Christ and that to be saved I must be within His Body.  I will remain as such no matter what bumps, small or cavernous, the Church has along the way.  After all, before I rejoined the Church as an adult, I had already accepted her history, what with Arianism, Pope Honorius, geocentrism, and what have you.  So that Pope Francis and other clerics speak errors does not break my Faith.
 
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Offline Pon de Replay

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #42 on: January 20, 2019, 01:30:37 PM »
I note that the path you are on will most likely end where the gentleman whom has thanked your post is at, which I will call "thoughtful deism" - although PDR is welcome to correct me if I misunderstand his beliefs.

Davis, I think you're correct.  I suppose I am a deist, even though that appellation has an 18th-century powdered wig tinge to it.  I'm inclined to say I'm whatever Plato was (and "pagan" is a better word than "deist"), but Plato had the audacity to ascribe goodness to the One, and I'm not sure how he arrived at that notion.  I think the nature of God is unknowable absent faith in a revelation, but at the same time I don't see a refutation to Aquinas' first way.  The only other option would be pantheism: that the universe itself is uncaused and uncreated.  I recently read a very interesting short story called Nethescurial, by Thomas Ligotti, about a pantheistic cult in which the universal god was believed to be evil.

I would disagree with you, though, on your hunch that Vetus Ordo is on a sola scriptura journey towards apostasy.  I have been interacting with him on and off for almost ten years now, since Fish Eaters, and I would wager that he is one of the least likely people to lose the Christian faith.  The difference between the two of you seems epistemological.  Where you proceed from "I believe that the Catholic Church is the infallible guide and dispenser of truth," he proceeds from an unshakeable conviction that Jesus Christ is God.  I don't think this necessitates a weakness of faith, but merely marks a difference in what a person puts their faith in.  The strength of conviction could vary, but I would rate Vetus Ordo's conviction level as "very high."  Not that he needs my testimony.  I do, of course, agree with him on the paradox of traditional Catholicism.
"The sneakiness of prigs, the conventicle secrecy, gloomy concepts like hell, like sacrifice of the guiltless, like unio mystica in drinking blood; above all, the slowly fanned fire of revenge, of chandala revenge—all that is what became master over Rome."

Rome sank to whoredom and became a stew
The Caesars became beasts, and God—a Jew!
 
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Offline Matto

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #43 on: January 20, 2019, 07:37:10 PM »
The one thing I cannot conceive of is that there is no God. I have tried, but it is beyond my ability and the idea that there is no God is inconceivable to me. It is just absurd to me. I could imagine a world where Christianity was false and Jesus was not God, but there was another God. I could imagine a good God. I could imagine an evil God and that this world was a nightmare and the meaning of life was to seek out our own annihilation. I can imagine a world where everything was determined and free-will was a mirage. But I cannot imagine a world without God and I cannot understand why so many people believe in such a world.

Hooray, this is my three-hundredth post.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 07:47:32 PM by Matto »
I Love Watching Butterflies . . ..
 

Offline MilesChristi

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Re: Why not hedonism?
« Reply #44 on: January 20, 2019, 09:46:37 PM »
As I understand it, the Church condemns hedonism on the grounds that hedonism does not lead to salvation.

But what about those of us who probably won't be saved anyway? Seeing as there is no road to salvation for us (the reprobate), and seeing as our damnation--if God wills it--is inevitable, why should we not spend our short lives doing whatever we want?

Should there not be a double standard?

Because it's gay
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
    And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
    And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
    There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
    World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.