« Chapter XIV. Man | Main | Ch. XIV. Q. 83. Unity and Antiquity »

August 12, 2005

Ch. XIV. Q. 82. Human Nature

MAN1 is a rational animal, personal, self-conscious, free and moral. He has an organic constitution, consisting of body and soul with their respective functions.2

2. The rationality, freedom and moral nature of man are closely related and mutually determinative.3 It is clear that (a) he is not free to act either irrationally or regardless of moral principle;4 (b) his reason is to a degree under his own control and subject to moral conditions;5 (c) his moral sense6 is conditioned by freedom and rational reflection. When men ignore these truths in conduct, errors and futilities result.

3. The lower animals seem to possess elementary reasoning powers, but differ from men in being neither self-conscious, capable of abstract thought, moral nor religious. Their voluntary actions are determined by instinct and unreflecting impulse rather than by deliberate choice.7

4. Human functions are threefold: (a) bodily, both active and passive; (b) physical, of intellect, feeling. and will; (c) spiritual, or moral and religious. But human nature is so constituted that they are all closely interdependent.8

5. Certain Christian writers, trichotomists, infer from this threefoldness of functioning that the body, soul and spirit constitute three distinct and substantial parts of human nature.9 But the contrary view, dichotomist, that the soul and spirit are one in substance. and signify relative and functional distinctions only, to-day holds the field.10

6. Whichever view is taken, the following truths are to be acknowledged: (a) The substantial parts of our nature are so vitally related that when they are separated the man is dead; (b) All functions of living men are organically related and mutually conditoned. The whole man is affected by, and acts in each;11 (c) Part of man's nature is spiritual and indivisible. 12

1 On the Doctrine of man at large. Creation, chh. vi-x: St. Thomas. I. Ixxv-cii. cxvii; Treatises on the Articles of Religion, ix-xi. by A.P. Forbes, and E.C.S. Gibson; Darwell Stone, Outlines, chh. iv-v: T.B. Strong, Manual of Theol., chh. v-vi: Wilhelm and Scannell, Cath. Theol., Bks. III-IV; H.W. Robinson, Christ. Doctr. of Man; John Laidlaw, Bible Doctr. of Man, new ed.

2 On human nature, in addition to the above, P.G. Medd, One Mediator, §§55-57; H.P. Liddon, Some Elements, Lec. iii; J.O. Dykes. Divine Worker, chh. vii-viii; Cath. Encyc., s. v. ''Man".

3 Introd., ch. ix. 4-5; R.C. Moberly, Reason and Religion, pp. 91-93; J.R. Illingworth, Reason and Revel. pp. 44-54.

4 On human freedom, Creation, pp. 241-242: St. Thomas. I. lxxxii-lxxxiii; ,Michael Maher, Psychology, ch. xviii; A. Alexander, Theories of the Will; Cath Encyc., s. v. "Determinism".

5 On man's reason, St. Thomas, I. Iviii. 3; Rich. Hooker, Eccles. Polity, I. viii. 5; J.H. Newman, Grammar of Assent; Cath. Encyc., s. v. "Reason"; modern psychologies. Cf. note 3, above.

6 On man's moral nature, St. Thomas, I. Ixxix. 12-13.

7 Evolution, pp. 190-192; M. Maher, pp.546-558; Henry Calderwood, Evolution, chh. vii-viii, xii, Sir O. Lodge, Life and Matter, pp. 103 et. seq.

8 Creation, pp. 190-192.

9 They cite 1 Thess. v. 23; Heb. iv. 12. Cf. 1 Cor. xv. 44 (Greek); Ephes. iv. 23. For the argument see J.B. Heard, Tripartite Nature of Man; A.J. Mason, Faith of the Gospel, ch. iv. 2.

10 Creation, pp. 194-196; J. Laidlaw, ch. iii-v; H.P. Liddon, p. 91, note; J.O. Dykes, pp. 150-157.

11 St. Thomas, I. Ixxv. 4: Ixxvi. Ixxvii. 5, 8; cxiv. 3-4; H.P. Liddon, pp. 114-116. Cf. refs. in note 3, above.

12 Creation, pp. 196-197; St. Thomas, I. Ixxv; M. Maher, pp. 361-393, 443-467; Jas. Ward, Naturalism and Agnost., Lecs. xi-xiii; H. Calderwood, chh. x-xi.

Posted by AKMA at August 12, 2005 02:21 AM