Quote of the Day: St Athanasius

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This Easter Sunday’s Quote of the Day comes from the fourth century A.D.

“It was unworthy of the goodness of God that creatures made by Him should be brought to nothing through the deceit wrought upon man by the devil; and it was supremely unfitting that the work of God in mankind should disappear, either through their own negligence or through the deceit of evil spirits…. It was impossible, therefore, that God should leave man to be carried off by corruption, because it would be unfitting and unworthy of Himself.”

~St Athanasius, “On the Incarnation”

It’s your XYZ.

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David has studied history and political science at Melbourne University. His thesis was written on how the utilisation of Missile Defence can help to achieve nuclear disarmament. His interest in history was piqued by playing a flight simulator computer game about the Battle of Britain, and he hopes to one day siphon the earnings from his political writings into funding the greatest prog-rock concept album the world has ever seen.
  • Warty2

    The fact is that people are carried off by corruption, and by this he is talking of the corruption of the soul. This cannot be put onto God, but has more to do with what individuals have ‘practised’ throughout their lives. In a sense it’s a choice, though family environment, the people one mixes with all put their ‘stamp’ on that individual, to the point they prefer the ‘corruption’ to living honestly, or cleanly.
    There is another interpretation to ‘we are what we eat’, as it includes ‘food for the mind’, i.e. the thoughts and feelings that often drive us.
    That which is ‘worthy of God’ is the glory of the whole creation: the extraordinary fresh green of a blade of grass that first appears after a devastating bush fire has scorched the earth; the crystal clear sound of a Bell Bird in a state forest, first thing in the morning, or the incongruously beautiful range of notes of the dowdy looking Butcher Bird; or two lovers who first touch hands; the juvenile delinquent who turns his life around and the darkness leaves his face.
    Warty.

    • Addelad

      I suggest that we believe we have choice, but it is an illusion. We are the unwitting slaves to our genes – it is they who determine our behaviour, all the rest is window-dressing.

      • Warty2

        Perhaps you’d then like to argue that both ‘correction’ and ‘deterrence’ (intrinsic to our prison system) is a sheer waste of time.
        Our perpetrators of crime are in fact victims, because of their genes. Our genetic make up determines our behaviour, so those who are assaulted, raped, murdered, mutilated, stolen from or kidnapped are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. In other words tough luck.
        Those things you practise become further entrenched in your ‘makeup’. Current correctional psychology suggests that correction and deterrence can make a difference. The left believes it is a waste of time because of our genomes!!!
        I don’t buy it mate.
        Warty.

        • Addelad

          I guess I am guilty as charged re being esoteric. I was not trying to say that people are not able to make decisions at one level. I was just making the point that our DNA is the ultimate determinant of our behaviour – same for any DNA in any creature.

          • Warty2

            OK.
            Now, there is a study called ‘epigenetics’. Apparently genes can respond to the ‘environment’ (in its broadest sense) and various things can ‘trigger’ a genetic response, for instance, but if there are not those triggers it may remain entirely dormant. On the other hand other measures can cause a gene to entirely ‘switch off’ so that it never responds. This of course has significant outcomes in terms of human behaviour e.g. intergenerational alcoholism.
            Warty.

          • Addelad

            I have heard of it, but that is as much as I know. From what you say, it explains most, if not all, so-called instinctive behaviour. Not just in humans.

      • Richoz

        Interesting point but it is a bit esoteric.
        On a more practical note it is important to understand that criminal behavior is not linked to poverty, as is constantly argued by the left. There are actually millions of poor but honest people in the world, particularly in ethnically-homogeneous, high-trust societies such as Japan or Norway.
        Proper scientific studies clearly reveal that criminal behavior is closely linked to IQ. I leave you to draw your own conclusions and maybe ponder why crime rates amongst US blacks are virtually identical to those in Africa