A.Suarez's Treatment on a Pope's Formulation for Original Sin's Transmission!

Sorry, but you are misrepresenting what I say.

I absolutely agree that it would be ridiculous to bring the Bible into the discussion of terms like DNA, chromosomes, genes, radioactivity, special relativity, etc.

I am rather bringing the Bible into the discussion of the biblical term “humankind in the image of God” (that obviously “is assigned by criteria” that have very much to do with the Bible), and try to ascertain how the community of beings referred to by this term relates to the biological species Homo sapiens. This seems to me a totally legitimate endeavor.

In particular, I stress that the word “humanity”, “is considerable more than just a genetic and biological criterion”, i.e.: more than what the term Homo sapiens is all about (as @mitchellmckain rightly states).

So, what I do is to accept that “the current situation” of “humanity” cannot be separated from “called”.

And this is very much what you do too:

“The current situation” begins at the moment when “God’s initiates a special relationship with humans”, and calls Homo sapiens to be “humankind in the image of God”. Today, each Homo sapiens individual is “called”. However, there was a time in history when the ancestors of today’s Homo sapiens were NOT “called”.

On the other hand, the distinction between Homo sapiens and other species depends on the time in history we consider. Today we can sharply distinguish them from each other. But there is a time when we cannot distinctly establish the species that best fits as the ancestor of today’s Homo sapiens.

In the “current situation” the sharply distinction between Homo sapiens and other species allow us to establish the prohibition of murder. If we take this distinction “in the current situation” as the standard for defining Homo sapiens, then we are defining Homo sapiens as a distinct biological species referring to “the current situation” and therefore, according to your statement above, by means of “called”.

Then don’t conflate “humanity” with Homo sapiens, which is a taxonomic term or early humans or modern humans or anatomically modern humans which are anthropological/paleontological terms.

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Thanks for this helpful remark. I will try to formulate things taking account of it.

As said, I am interested in establishing how the ensemble of beings referred to in Genesis as “humankind in the image of God” relates to the ensemble of beings referred to by the taxonomic term Homo sapiens.
I think this is a legitimate query. If you think otherwise, please explain.

My position is that this relationship can be described in the three main following points:

  1. Today, each Homo sapiens individual is a human being in the image of God, called to share God’s love and reach eternal life. This situation, where “humankind in the image of God” matches Homo sapiens, I call it “the current situation” (using your wording).

  2. If we go back in time, then we reach a moment when the situation is not “the current situation”, and the biblical “humankind in the image of God” does not apply to the species which today’s Homo sapiens is evolved from.

  3. On the other hand, before the end of the Pleistocene (around 12,000 BP) the “ancestors of today’s Homo sapiens” involve an ensemble of subdivided populations across Africa, so that it is taxonomically not clear when and where to set the beginning of today’s Homo sapiens (see this article).

On the basis of the preceding points 1-3, I propose to set the beginning of “the current situation” (in point 1) at a time when Homo sapiens is a well-defined taxonomic term.

Thanks in advance for your comments.

So they’re wrong? And somehow accountable for that? Or worse, they’re not, but they’ve not been chosen? Is that because there’s no point? And all the unchoosable people, from before conception, are gathered in the same double damned global ghettos? Or what?

Feelings are feelings and do not necessarily reflect reality, and yes, they can be wrong. You have heard of paranoia, I suspect.

How does being paranoid affect one’s salvation?

Who said it did? If you think I did, then you inferred mistakenly.

So why mention it? Again, are devout Muslims and Hindus unsaved? Damned?

The point was merely that feelings are not determinative, contrary to what you directly implied.
 

Their feelings are irrelevant. If you are wondering, maybe you should start a new thread.

I am not interested in this, and I do not think it is legitimate to conflate biological and spiritual categories or read evolutionary history into or onto the biblical account and I feel like I have already explained my concerns about this in detail numerous times. I don’t believe I have anything different to contribute, so I’ll spare everyone tedious repetitions.

I am not conflating biological and spiritual categories, but trying to understand how they relate to each other, very much in the sense of Point 10 of Biologos-What We Believe after all:

We believe that God created humans in biological continuity with all life on earth, but also as spiritual beings. God established a unique relationship with humanity by endowing us with his image and calling us to an elevated position within the created order.

Your position amounts to claim that this Point 10 is ridiculous.

Klax, I think you are raising here a very interesting question!

In my view, the prohibition of homicide God proclaims in Genesis 9:3,5-6 can be considered revealed to all peoples on earth (and the rainbow in Genesis 9:13 a sign of this universality!): It is the law that God writes on the heart of each human being coming into existence, according to:

Jeremiah 31:33 (also quoted in Hebrews 8:10 )

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Romans 2:14-16

14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

As Romans 2:15-16 states, all people who act respecting the law God puts within them “writing it on their hearts”, will be saved, no matter which race, nationality, capabilities, or religious belief they have.

An important point seems to me the following:

If Genesis 9:3, 5-6 is the law God writes on the heart of each human being coming into existence, then God’s reason for the prohibition of homicide (“for in the image of God has God made mankind”) is written on the human heart as well: And this means that God’s incarnation is somewhat imbedded in the law God puts within all humans. Any religion or legal system which truly acknowledges the dignity of humanity and the prohibition of murder, implicitly acknowledges that “God made humankind in the image of God”, and “became human flesh”.

These two ideas are certainly principles of the Bible and Christianity. But they are more: They are likely the strongest defense of humanity and, in this sense, part of a universal revelation, a content of divine origin hidden in the philosophical truth about humankind.

To protect the law God has concealed within the heart of all humans from any misrepresentation, God has provided to reveal it through inspired witnesses, and mainly through his Son Jesus-Christ. And God inspired also writers to record it in a visible and permanent form, the Bible.

By way of evolution we all are today Homo sapiens. Today Homo sapiens is taxonomically well-defined and refers to a distinct biological species.

On the other hand, from the perspective of the Bible we all are today in the image of God, that is, called to eternal life, and therefore ordered to respect each other. From this ordering the prohibition of murder in Genesis 9:3,5-6, follows

So, in “the current situation”, being Homo sapiens and being “in the image of God” are aspects of one’s humanity, as you rightly claim. In particular, the prohibition of murder requires that Homo sapiens is taxonomically well-defined, so that we can clearly establish which creature we ought not to kill, and which we are allowed to kill for food.

Nonetheless, if you go back in time, you reach a moment when the “ancestors of today’s Homo sapiens ” involve an ensemble of subdivided populations across Africa, so that it is taxonomically not clear when and where to set the beginning of today’s Homo sapiens .

At this time, it is not fitting to claim that these “ancestors” were in the image of God, called and ordered to eternal life.

In my view, the crucial characteristic of “our humanity” is that “from each human being, too, I [God] will demand an accounting for the life of another human being” (Genesis 9:5). The prohibition of murder cannot coherently and firmly be established without reference to God and eternal life.

Being taxonomically Homo sapiens is undeniable. There is also something we describe as our humanity for which there will likely be broad agreement. But I would classify bearing the image of God and being drawn to eternal life as a particular form our humanity can take. Not the only one but a perfectly good one. Nonetheless there are other rationales for respecting one another. I know there is a conflict for those who heartedly embracing a particular system in acknowledging the adequacy of other systems but I think that is the challenge all of us confront today.

I have no problem for “acknowledging the adequacy of other systems” and am ready “to confront the challenge”!

Could you please refer to another rationale for respecting one another more in detail so that we can discuss it fittingly?

So are they toast or not?

Romans 2:14-16

14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

Life has gotten rather busy. Sorry for dropping this ball. Basically I have in mind any and every other religion and possibly whatever it is which lead some people to call them selves “spiritual”. Then there are those like myself who don’t identify with any established system and yet feel the presence of something more which adds value to life, sufficient to take life’s preservation seriously. I can’t break that down in detail because I don’t take any established details on faith. I regard it as a mystery and am satisfied with the relationship on its own terms.

So they could be toast? By some perfect moral calculus? Against an ostrich feather of Ma’at?

I don’t suppose you could allow for the possibility that is a deception or that you are deceiving yourself. Psalm 73 and Matthew 13:22 again spring to mind.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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