Presentation on theme: "God Leaves Us Room To Be Human The Genesis stories of creation teach us two important factors about being human: We are made in the image of God We are."— Presentation transcript:
God Leaves Us Room To Be Human The Genesis stories of creation teach us two important factors about being human: We are made in the image of God We are free to make our own choices
God Leaves Us Room To Be Human Why is the plural used in the creation story? (ie. Let us make Man in our image.) Reminds us that God made animals first and that the creation of humans was part of a process of all creation. Shows the deep connection between creation and God.
God Leaves Us Room To Be Human Why are animals created before humans? Shows that humans are something more. Humans are made as a combination of animal and God (divine).
God Leaves Us Room To Be Human In the second story of creation, Adam and Eve are placed in the Garden of Eden and told not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil….but they give in to temptation and eat from it anyway. There are four consequences: 1. They must leave the Garden of Eden and learn that they will not be immortal. 2. Eve will experience pain during child-bearing. 3. Adam will now have to work for food. 4. There will be sexual tension between men and women.
God Leaves Us Room To Be Human Consequences Re-Examined: Sexual Tension While animals can mate, only humans can express love and emotion. Child Birth Birth will be painful, but in comparison to raising the child, it will be considered simple! Working for Food While animals have their instincts to guide them to food, humans must worry about choosing a career and keeping a job so that they will be able to provide. This involves making moral decisions on how to make $. Death All living creatures will die but only humans possess the knowledge to know it; therefore we must live our lives knowing that we will leave an imprint on the world.
God Leaves Us Room To Be Human How does this story teach us the difference between humans and animals? HumansAnimals live in a world of good and evil painful and complicated moral beings can control instincts Live in a word of good and evil Simple act based on instinct instincts are innate, no control
God Leaves Us Room To Be Human Adam and Eve entered a moral world once they chose to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Being made in the image of God means being able to make choices, good or bad, but knowing the difference. Making good decisions can be difficult because we are all faced with temptation.
God Leaves Us Room To Be Human Having moral freedom means if we choose evil over good, God will not stop us. God will guide us and help us to understand the consequences of our actions, but ultimately each choice is our own. Why do bad things happen to good people? Being human leaves us with the ability to hurt each other; if God stepped in, our freedom of choice would be compromised. There are various degrees of good and bad (helping your neighbour/Mother Teresa; cheating/murder)
Human Freedom Exercising freedom results in a change in the world and at the core of a person. Being free means in some ways that we are incomplete; we always have unrealized possibilities. These possibilities are what make us free; we can reach into the future by giving our word today and keeping it. It is not easy to live freely; the gift of freedom sometimes feels like a burden.
Human Freedom Freedom = Responsibility Our freedom has the capacity to turn us away from God, ourselves and others (sin). Freedom involves the core of human existence. Freedoms reach is infinite; it can go contrary to its own source and destroy itself.
Theories of Human Action
Naturalism Understands the material universe as a unified system; everything is shaped completely by physical, biological, psychological, social and environmental processes. As part of the evolutionary process, humans are no more than a part of the material universe. Science reigns supreme – everything must be explained by scientific experimentation. Everything is part of a chain of being connected by cause and effect.
Naturalism The theory of naturalism assumes that freedom is an illusion. Naturalism denies human freedom – it maintains that your promises or commitments do not come from intention but from a genetic disposition. Naturalism denies the possibility of ethics and morality – can you be responsible for your actions if what you do is a natural, physical process over which you have no control? This theory challenges the notion of self because there is no human spirit or culture; all human activity is the result of natural selection.
Religious Determinism The concept predestination – the idea that Gods knowledge and will have predetermined the course of the world as well as the action of every human - was historically taught by many Christian churches. The Puritan tradition has taught that humans are depraved by sin and therefore deserve eternal damnation; God, and God alone, determines who receives salvation. If salvation or damnation is predetermined, is there any recognition or respect for human freedom?
Religious Determinism The Catholic tradition has been to believe in providence; a notion most other Christian churches today follow. Providence asserts that God is always present in our actions but maintains that humans are free; salvation is Gods to grant but Gods love requires and makes possible our cooperation.
Social Determinism The theory that actions are explained by what a person has undergone at the hands of others; human behaviour is determined by social factors, not decision. These factors include: Parents or culture Psychological state – including traumatic history History Social background (socio-economic status, race, gender, religion, education) If our actions are determined by our past, how can we be responsible for them?
The Right to Choose Each person has a choice to LOVE or not to LOVE (sin). To love is essential to a Christian lifestyle: Love God with all your heart, soul, mind…love your neighbour as yourself. (Mk 12:19-31) God is Love. (1 John 4:16-20) All good deeds must be done with love. (1 Cor 13:1-3)
The Right to Choose Not to love is to sin. It results in harming others, even if the decision is not conscious or deliberate. Sin can take two forms: sins of commission (a deliberate action) sins of omission (avoiding doing the right thing)
What is Love? Jesus teaches us that the most important life decision we will ever make is the choice to love. For Jesus, love IS being truly concerned about the welfare and dignity of others, caring deeply and acting accordingly. We are called to love even those whom we may not like. Not the same as attraction or being nice Tough love – giving people a moral nudge or telling it like it is Opposite of love = apathy (to be without feeling; indifference)
Freedom to Choose Making responsible decisions requires two kinds of freedom: external freedom and internal freedom. External Freedom Enables us to act without undue restraint or control of another; physical freedom Freedom from the outside: parents, society, school Internal Freedom Comes from within; the state of mind and spirit which enables us to achieve our full human potential A state of fulfilled being rather than a state of acting
Scenario #1 Your father and mother have gone out of town on a business trip. Your brothers and sisters are staying with relatives. You will remain alone in the house. Your parents have instructed you not to have any friends over. What would you do?
Scenario #2 You work as a waitress in an ice cream shop. The store policy is that employees are allowed one sundae or its equivalent every night they work. They may not give free ice cream treats to friends. However, it is impossible for the owner to monitor this since he is often not around. Would you keep this policy if your friends came in?
Scenario #3 The night before an important game against a rival school, your best friend asks you to go to a concert. Your coach told you to be in bed by 9pm so youd have plenty of rest for the game. You cant possibly be home from the concert until after midnight and you still have homework to do. But its an amazing opportunity. What would you do?
Christian Moral Virtues Virtues: attitude or habit that make us likely to do what is good the tools which help us live the Beatitudes model the life of Jesus
Theological Virtues Those virtues that are from God (theos) as gifts and lead us to God 1. Faith – enables us to trust in Gods power to bestow new life and understand Gods truth 2. Hope – helps us take responsibility for the future in the expectation that good will triumph over evil 3. Love – the heart of all virtues; charity/agape; allows us to live in faith and hope…the more we love, the more we become like God!
Cardinal Virtues Those virtues that our morality is hinged (cardo) on 1. Prudence (Wise Judgement) – having the knowledge of what is right, practical 2. Justice – striving to ensure the well-being of all people 3. Fortitude (Courage) – having the strength and ability to DO what is right 4. Temperance (Wholeness) – understanding he importance of balance and good choices
Other Virtues Other virtues that are recognized as important to the formation of the moral person include: Honesty Respect Compassion Respect for Creation Reverence for human life Peacemaking …and more!