Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Q98 A2: Whether in the state of innocence there would have been generation by coition?

Yes. Generation by coition is natural to man by reason of his animal life, which he possessed even before sin (just as it is natural to other perfect animals, as the corporeal members make it clear), so we cannot allow that these members would not have had a natural use, as other members had, before sin, because what is natural to man was neither acquired nor forfeited by sin.

Homini, secundum animalem vitam, quam etiam ante peccatum habebat, naturale est generare per coitum (sicut et ceteris animalibus perfectis, et hoc declarant naturalia membra ad hunc usum deputata), et ideo non est dicendum quod usus horum membrorum naturalium non fuisset ante peccatum, sicut et ceterorum membrorum, quia ea quae sunt naturalia homini, neque subtrahuntur neque dantur homini per peccatum.

In paradise man would have been like an angel in his spirituality of mind, yet with an animal life in his body. After the resurrection man will be like an angel, spiritualized in soul and body.

Homo in Paradiso fuisset sicut Angelus per spiritualem mentem, cum tamen haberet, vitam animalem quantum ad corpus. Sed post resurrectionem erit homo similis Angelo, spiritualis effectus et secundum animam et secundum corpus.

Beasts are without reason. In this way man becomes, as it were, like them in coition, because he cannot moderate concupiscence.

Bestiae carent ratione. Unde secundum hoc homo in coitu bestialis efficitur, quod delectationem coitus et fervorem concupiscentiae ratione moderari non potest.

In the state of innocence nothing of this kind would have happened that was not regulated by reason, not because delight of sense was less, as some say (rather indeed would sensible delight have been the greater in proportion to the greater purity of nature and the greater sensibility of the body), but because the force of concupiscence would not have so inordinately thrown itself into such pleasure, being curbed by reason, whose place it is not to lessen sensual pleasure, but to prevent the force of concupiscence from cleaving to it immoderately.

Sed in statu innocentiae nihil huiusmodi fuisset quod ratione non moderaretur, non quia esset minor delectatio secundum sensum, ut quidam dicunt (fuisset enim tanto maior delectatio sensibilis, quanto esset purior natura, et corpus magis sensibile); sed quia vis concupiscibilis non ita inordinate se effudisset super huiusmodi delectatione, regulata per rationem, ad quam non pertinet ut sit minor delectatio in sensu, sed ut vis concupiscibilis non immoderate delectationi inhaereat.

By "immoderately" I mean going beyond the bounds of reason, as a sober person does not take less pleasure in food taken in moderation than the glutton, but his concupiscence lingers less in such pleasures.

Et dico immoderate, praeter mensuram rationis. Sicut sobrius in cibo moderate assumpto non minorem habet delectationem quam gulosus; sed minus eius concupiscibilis super huiusmodi delectatione requiescit.

Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 26): "We must be far from supposing that offspring could not be begotten without concupiscence. All the bodily members would have been equally moved by the will, without ardent or wanton incentive, with calmness of soul and body."

Augustinus dicit, in XIV de Civ. Dei, "absit ut suspicemur non potuisse prolem seri sine libidinis morbo. Sed eo voluntatis nutu moverentur illa membra quo cetera, et sine ardore et illecebroso stimulo, cum tranquillitate animi et corporis."

The words quoted do not exclude intensity of pleasure from the state of innocence, but ardor of desire and restlessness of the mind. Therefore continence would not have been praiseworthy in the state of innocence, whereas it is praiseworthy in our present state, not because it removes fecundity, but because it excludes inordinate desire. In that state fecundity would have been without lust:

Et hoc sonant verba Augustini, quae a statu innocentiae non excludunt magnitudinem delectationis, sed ardorem libidinis et inquietudinem animi. Et ideo continentia in statu innocentiae non fuisset laudabilis, quae in tempore isto laudatur non propter defectum fecunditatis, sed propter remotionem inordinatae libidinis. Tunc autem fuisset fecunditas absque libidine:

as Augustine says (De Civ. Dei xiv, 26), "not of lustful desire, but of deliberate action."

sicut Augustinus dicit XIV de Civ. Dei, "non libidinis appetitus, sed voluntarius usus".