Are Humans Inherently Evil? No: Part 2

One response to my post Are Humans Inherently Evil? No

…got me thinking.

Let’s look at these Bible verses Tom Snyder is talking about.

Romans 3:10 — 12:

10 As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11     there is no one who understands;
    there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
    they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
    not even one.”

John 3:3:

No one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.

According to the book of Romans, chapter 3, no one seeks God.

To that, I say “Not true.” Here is my proof:

We are often not aware of the richness and uniqueness of our cultural heritage — from stories, traditions, rites, designs and tales of the gods. Surrounded by high technology and its flimsy devices, children are more and more losing their roots. We must inform them of the richness of our traditions.
~Hayao Miyazaki, the director of My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
(click here to go to where I found this quote)

“But Miyazaki isn’t talking about the Christian god,” you might be thinking. And my response to that, is to quote these words:

The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as “a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life.”
(The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 834)

My point is:

Miyazaki is seeking God, and desiring that others seek God, too. He just doesn’t know it. And that, I think, is how God likes it.

Movie80
Mei, sleeping with Totoro

Regarding Jesus’ words in John 3:3 — No one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again — I quote this section of the Catechism:

Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience – those too may achieve eternal salvation.
(The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 847)

So:

According to the Catholic Church, as well as my own research:

  1. There are people who are seeking God.
  2. It is possible for a person to see the kingdom of God and not be “born again.”

Thus:

Despite what chapter 3 of Romans and John imply, humans are not inherently evil.

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4 thoughts on “Are Humans Inherently Evil? No: Part 2

  1. So, unlike the Catholic Church, Timothy rejects the Book of Romans and the passages from the Hebrew Scriptures that Paul quotes? The quotes from the Catechism are clearly talking about something else; they say nothing about Romans or the Scriptures Paul quotes. Looking at the main Catechism, I find nothing that contradicts Romans or my view on the evil inherent in man’s heart, apart from God. In fact, the Catechism appears to be silent on the issue, so I guess we’ll have to phone Pope Francis or contact the Council of all the cardinals. Also, you will find that, even in Japanese and many other pagan mythologies, there is evidence of an early belief in one benevolent God who has a set of moral rules all people must obey. And, this is indeed what Adam, Noah, the Hebrew Prophets, Jesus, the Apostles, the Church Fathers, and Augustine teach. Thus, Miyazaki is really without excuse, even though this early belief clearly has been corrupted by Satan and evil men creating pagan superstition and worshipping the Creation rather than the Creator, among other idolatrous heresies. Finally, it is possible that the Catholic teaching on these matters, as represented by the catechism, is aberrant or incomplete, but not necessarily heretical, and that you, Timothy, have strayed even farther away from it, especially since you say Romans and the New Testament are wrong. By the way, Romans and the Scriptures Paul quotes appear to say, apart from God’s call and the desire God places in our hearts for Him, including Jesus, we are indeed totally evil/wicked/sinful. Read Romans 1 thru 3 again, please. See Romans 2:29 again also. I also would think the Bible, the Early Church Fathers, and the Creeds supersede the catechism and perhaps Augustine too.

    1. “So, unlike the Catholic Church, Timothy rejects the Book of Romans and the passages from the Hebrew Scriptures that Paul quotes?”

      My exact words are:

      “According to the Catholic Church, as well as my own research: 1) There are people who are seeking God. 2) It is possible for a person to see the kingdom of God and not be ‘born again.’ Thus: Despite what chapter 3 of Romans and John imply, humans are not inherently evil.”

      I’m just going by what the Catechism — and, by extension, my Catholic faith — says.

      “…I find nothing that contradicts Romans or my view on the evil inherent in man’s heart, apart from God.”

      There is inherent evil in man’s heart, but man is not inherently evil: Sin has corrupted man, but not made man no longer “very good.” (Genesis 1:31)

      The Catechism’s exact words on the inherent goodness or evilness of man are:

      “…human nature has not been totally corrupted…” (CCC 405)

      So: There is still good in man.

      “Also, you will find that, even in Japanese and many other pagan mythologies, there is evidence of an early belief in one benevolent God who has a set of moral rules all people must obey.”

      You say there is evidence, and yet you provide no evidence.

      Regardless of this possibility:

      It is a fact of life that many do not believe in one, benevolent God. And there is still goodness, truth, and beauty, to be found in pagan, polytheistic worldviews.

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