An overview of the history of morality.Preview This Lesson
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In the last lesson we learned what morality is: a guide that helps us know whether an act moves us closer to God or farther away from Him. This guide comes from God and is a part of our human nature. But because morality comes from God, it is as unchanging and eternal as God is. Morality exists outside of time because it is a characteristic of the Holy Trinity and therefore eternal; He is as All-Moral as He is All-Good, All-Beautiful, and All-Truth.
Time is a created thing. Time has a distinct beginning and a distinct end. The end of time is a mystery to us, but there are a few things we know about the beginning of time. God created all things, and found them to be good. Every living thing has a positive value, right from the start. Before Original Sin, Adam and Eve had no reason to consider the existence of anything other than “good.” Original sin made man aware of two different ways of being: being “good,” and being “not good.” Knowing that this difference exists is the beginning of man’s understanding of morality.
Original sin broke man’s union with God. It also broke our human nature. With the introduction of sin, we could no longer fully grasp the meaning and purpose of our nature. Our God-given nature was still there, but it was much more difficult to stay away from evil. This difficulty is called concupiscence. Concupiscence is the stain of Original Sin that every human person—save one—is conceived with.
in the Tuileries Gardens, Paris
by Henri Vidal (1896)
Cain’s wrath led to him murdering his brother. Cain’s descendant, Lamech, killed a man who “struck” him—what we call a punch. Lamech understood the wrongness of his action, and he also understood the wrongness of any action that someone may take against him in retaliation. It is important to note that Lamech understood these things despite not knowing God. The children of Seth, who lived far a way from Cain’s descendants, were the ones who began to learn of the Lord.
Lamech’s God-less understanding of right and wrong is Scripture’s earliest example of what we call natural law. Natural law is the knowledge of truth based on reason alone. This law doesn’t come from nature, but it’s called “natural” law because we use our nature to learn them. For instance, a person does not need to know about God to know that a mother should never hurt her child. Answers to &ldquo... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
7th Grade: Morality: Lesson 2: History of Morality is part of the following course(s):