This post is in a series building a conceptual model of Satan and his warfare with God to bring all human individuals to annihilation. It follows Why Does Satan Want Us to Go to Hell?
How might this type of animal which Satan wants to bring to hell have arisen in the evolutionary process? Suppose a species of the genus homo had evolved far enough to do the type of thinking and feeling we now call moral thinking about the rightness and wrongness of particular acts. They are homo sapiens but innocent homo sapiens because they never think of themselves as good or bad people. They are aware of moral rules for what they ought not do and what they ought to do. Innocent homo sapiens are not conscious of a potential for being what they ought to be. They have moral concepts of ought-to-to but lack a concept of moral ought-to-be. Put another way: They have the concepts of right and wrong acts but do not have the concept of moral character formation.
For instance, they might have rules expressing moral inhibitions against killing, lying and stealing. Of course, they may not always follow these rules. But they lack the moral concept of the role of being someone who follows these rules. To say that the concept of this role is a moral concept is to say that it is thought everyone has an obligation to play this role.
A message comes from God to a breeding pair of innocent humans. The message takes the form of the imperative: Become the kind of beings who have as their highest priority obeying these moral rules regardless of any inclination to do otherwise. Put another way: The new moral thought is the thought of a command that all plans for satisfying their inclinations, all maxims for how to get things done, need to be restricted to plans that do not violate these general moral rules. Having as one’s highest principle or maxim choosing to satisfy inclinations in conformity with what is morally right simply because it is right to do so is having a good will. A good will is a moral good because it is something to be chosen and it ought to be chosen. This thought of this moral good is a great gift because it brings with it the thought of having a purpose for life. The purpose of life is to become a morally good person.
For those familiar with Kant’s moral theory, it will be apparent that I am adapting Kant’s Categorical Imperative as the thought which makes animals capable of having general moral rules into human beings. But I am not interpreting Kant’s moral theory. If there is anything worthwhile in what I present and it comes from Kant, give Kant credit for it. Do not blame Kant for foolishness in what I write.
However, I am proposing that having the thought of a good will as a good is what gave a human soul to beings in the evolutionary process. A good will is having the character of always choosing to satisfy inclinations for non-moral goods restricted by moral rules. Non-moral goods are the satisfactions of the numerous inclinations humans can have. Since I am not here trying to present a secular account,I will interpret moral rules as God’s commands and thus interpret a good will as always obeying God what commands.
So we have this couple with knowledge of right and wrong plus the additional thought of making themselves into people who always do what is right because they is the way they ought to be. They have the new and overriding good or goal of always choosing what is right when they choose lesser goods. Now comes a temptation. This is a new temptation different from temptations to violate a moral rule. They have always had temptations to violate the moral rules. The new temptation is to set aside the imperative to have a good will as a good for the sake of a lesser good. Put another way: The temptation is to set aside a policy of always doing what God commands simply because God commands it. This is exactly the temptation to which Satan or Lucifer succumbed as we saw What is Satan’s Sin?. They succumbed to this temptation by attempting to justify some violation of a moral rule – some violation of a command of God. So the man and the woman have the policy or maxim of reserving to themselves the right of setting aside a moral law of God- if they so choose. Adopting this maxim is their original sin. Their original sin is not the choice of the act they try to rationalize. The original sin – the sin which is original in the pursuit of moral character- is choice of the policy of on occasion placing inclination satisfaction over obedience to the will or God which we are here identifying with the moral law.
In the next post in this series on Satan and original sin, I speculate on how this original sin is inherited.
Readers my be interested in my book on sexual morality. The central thesis of my book can be interpreted as a temptation from Satan to believe that in principle any pursuit of sexual satisfaction is morally permissible.
My book Confronting Sexual Nihilism: Traditional Sexual Morality as an Antidote to Nihilism was released by Tate Publishing on March 11, 2014. See Book Web Page for information about the book. The publisher’s listed price is $26.99. Printed copies can be purchased here by credit card for $3.99, plus $3.71 for shipping and handling.
To purchase the printed book by check, send check of $3.99 plus $3.71 for shipping and handling per copy. Send to:
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