THE NATURAL CONDITION OF MAN
Two Opposing Views
THE VIEW OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Vatican City, Nov 14, 2012 / 10:45 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The practical atheism of those who say they are Christian but live as if God does not exist is a greater threat than actual atheism, Pope Benedict XVI said as he presented three ways for people to more fully discover God. . .
The second way of finding God is through inner contemplation. The Holy Father quoted St. Augustine’s famous saying, “Do not go outside yourself, come back into yourself: truth dwells in the heart of man.” He also observed that the modern world is full of distractions that make it hard “to stop and take a deep look within ourselves and read that thirst for the infinite that we carry within, pushing us to go further and towards that Someone who can satisfy it.” (Underscored emphasis added; As illustrated below, "that Someone" is with absolute Christian certainty not the True God)
While some Christian theologies hold humans to be intrinsically evil due to the sin committed after this creation, Catholics believe that humans are intrinsically good because they were created in the image of the good God.
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Catholics hold that humans have an innate sense of what is right and what is wrong, called natural law, written into the core of their being. Natural law transcends society and culture; social norms help humans understand what is acceptable in a given society, but natural law gives them a clear knowledge of good and evil. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, natural law allows humans to act in a moral manner, prompting them to choose the greater good of obedience to God rather than the lesser good of following their own desires.
The fundamental structure of society and the basic principles of human conduct arise from the eternal law, which is the divine reason as it governs the entire universe (L 6). The eternal law is called natural law or natural right (L 6) in view of man's participation in it, as it has been impressed upon the hearts of all men (Rom. 2:14-15). Natural right is engraved in human nature (PT 63); it contains the dictates of man's reason which command him to do what is by nature good for him and prohibit him from doing what is bad. . (From )
The Bible abounds with statements about the natural condition of man - there is no goodness in him. The following is but a small sampling:
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Romans 5:12
For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. Jer. 4:22
Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD. Jer. 8:7
O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. Jer. 10:23
Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. Jer. 13:23
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings Jer. 17:9-10.
And he [Jesus] said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. Mark 7:20-23
THE TRUTH AS IT IS IN JESUS
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matt. 1:21
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Heb. 7:25
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. 7:18-25 (Emphasis added)
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. John 1:7 (Emphasis added)
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Ps. 119:105
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. John 15:3
Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. Isa. 45:22