Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Restore Point

Ideas in this post were taken from class discussion, Honors 202

We Catholics have this concept of there being levels of sin. Some (which we call venial) only damage your relationship with God; others (mortal) destroy that relationship. (Though not beyond repair.)

Yet, as Anselm says in Cur Deus Homo, to take even the slightest glance which is contrary to God's will is an unspeakably grave sin.

An analogy I came up with is that of deleting files on your computer. You delete something once and it goes to the recycle bin. You delete it from the recycle bin and it's a lot harder to find, but my dad the Computer Genius of the World says that it still exists somewhere on your hard drive. Even after deleting it twice it's still not totally gone.

Sin is like that. You delete God from your life again and again and again and that relationship is still not gone forever. As one of my classmates said, redemption is God's version of the restore point.

1 comment:

Shakespeare's Cobbler said...

Not really. A restore point sets the system back how it was. God's restoration of grace _generally_ does not wipe out concupiscence (because of our lacking, mind you) or fix all the problems caused by our previous sin. Further, original sin comes from the start for an individual other than Adam and Eve -- Baptism would be like a restore point fixing up a computer to better than it started as, like an upgrade rather (more on that in a minute). Unless one was using the analogy to the whole human race, with the restore point being the restoration of human nature (the general redemption of man) and the file recovery being the individual redemption of individual humans. Even then it's a very loose analogy because Christ's not a backup copy of us, He's one of the files Himeself.

On Baptism as upgrade I must answer yes and no. In Baptism our human nature is restored and the divine nature, in grace, is added. In an upgrade the ultimate nature of the computer as a computer remains but the nature of it as whatever particular thing it is is entirely revamped. It'd be like Baptism leaving us animals but making us angelic rather than like fixing us humans and making us divine.

Maybe a better one is corruption of files and/or the system by viruses or by simple mismanagement. Mortal sin would be like getting the system corrupted, venial ones like getting individual files corrupted. It tends to spread (especially if it's a virus or similar problem) or at least disrupt other aspects than the specific corrupted thing, and while it can generally be put back in working order it is hard to undo all the damage. The flaw in this analogy is that it's the user's (i.e. our) imperfection that prevents the decorruption/anti-virus stuff from being %100 effective and the ultimate source of the fixing (God) is in no way lacking in the job He does, which doesn't parallel well or easily to the computer analogy at all.

In short, no, we're just not much like computers as far as salvation goes.