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Intellect refers to thought processes on which man relies. The intellect apprehends things which are concrete and can be determined by prior knowledge. This is why science is associated with intellect because it…
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Catholic The human soul is essentially made up of the will and intellect. Intellect refers to thought processes on which man relies. The intellect apprehends things which are concrete and can be determined by prior knowledge. This is why science is associated with intellect because it finds reasons and rationale by determining principles of processes. When man finds these principles acceptable he recognizes them as determinants for his moral duties and actions. That is, his will actuates his actions and sets moral standards (Berkhof 1996, p. 106).
However, sometimes, the intellect and will contradict each other – for example when man seeks salvation in rewards for good deeds; holds on to blind faith in an omnipresent being; or establishes belief in the afterlife. That is why religion has mass appeal because it organizes these abstract principles, which are intangible, irrational and yet expresses the feelings which he feels. Religion therefore denotes the personal subject of the soul and justifies mans actions as he feels right. Religion and inevitably the belief in god is central to mans existence, because it has the power to make him believe in things beyond his intellectual grasp - such as concepts of hell and heaven, incarnation or resurrection etc. - and that God has created man and the universe (Berkhof 1996, p. 106).
In this context, the Christian worldview offers the rationale that man’s understanding of the world is inherent in the beliefs grounded by belief in God (Albl 2009). Since God has created man and everything therein, then He has also established reasoning, faith and rationale for the order of nature. He has "fixed the foundations of the earth" (Albl 2009, p.31). Based on this understanding, one can explain the concept of sin in human anthropology. As God has created everything according to His reason, then man also understands and accepts His logos (rational order) like all other beings. It is the natural order of the universe that man must follow these laws or principles established by God. These principles are reflective of the natural order of creations of the universe. Anyone who goes against this order will break the laws and inevitably creates chaos. For example a man who commits murder will create extreme resentment within his community; a liar will create misunderstanding among people; and a greedy individual will create imbalance in the economic status of the society. Since God has created man in His own image, it is understandable also that God expect man to behave as He wants. Any action taken by man, which is out of order, is against Gods logos. To prevent, man from doing this, God has established the concept of sin.
Sin is a derivative of grace. In Christianity, the concept of grace as a gift of God is fundamental. Man is inclined towards goodness, the truth, and transcendent of good deeds. God offers His grace to mankind for such goodness. Man has the choice to accept or reject this gift. On the other hand, when man is oriented against these elements and goes against Gods logos, then he is committing a sin against God. Sin can therefore be said to be the negative reward or grace for mans actions which God bestows on him for going against His logos.
Albl, M. C. (2009). Reason, Faith, and Tradition: Explorations in Catholic Theology. Saint Marys Press
Berkhof, L. (1996). Systematic Theology. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. Read More
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