Author Topic: Can pre-homo sapien hominids be saved?  (Read 704 times)

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Offline Rhinosaur

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Can pre-homo sapien hominids be saved?
« on: March 25, 2016, 06:07:35 PM »
This is for people who believe that human biological evolution is a fact.  Do you think that pre-homo sapien humans share the same ability as us to perceive God, and will thus be in Paradise (or hell)?  Some of them, like neanderthals and denisovans, intermarried with modern humans, had comparable human intellect, and quite possibly had some sort of spiritual awareness.  For earlier hominids, it's more debatable.  Where do you think the line between man and beast is drawn in the human line?

Offline Rohzek

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Re: Can pre-homo sapien hominids be saved?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2016, 06:29:57 PM »
It is difficult to answer because we don't even know if humans had suffered the Fall yet at that time, when they were around and we weren't. If not, then they were already in union with God and had no need of redemption.
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Can pre-homo sapien hominids be saved?
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2016, 06:42:57 PM »
Even if you believe human evolution, you must assume that a creature either is or is not the image of God (as we are). You would have to stick a pin at some stage of the progression of the species and say "the breath of life got into our nostrils... here". Though science and philosophy of mind may draw nuanced lines between our mind and that of the beasts, classic psychology and Patristics can be pretty black-and-white about it. I think a Christian evolutionist would have to assume that, at one specific point, the hominids' soul was just like that of other beasts, and then it simply became fully human over a generation. Otherwise, we would need some transitional hominids to be "kinda immortal", "kinda capable of participating in synergy", and, therefore, "kinda destined either to heaven or to hell".
« Last Edit: March 25, 2016, 06:53:39 PM by RaphaCam »
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Offline truthseeker32

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Re: Can pre-homo sapien hominids be saved?
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2016, 06:57:36 PM »
There are underlying questions one must answer to determine whether pre-homo sapien hominids can be saved.

First, what does it mean to be saved?

In Orthodoxy we believe that salvation, for humans, involves overcoming death and experiencing the presence of God as joy. How we experience God will depend on our disposition, which in turn depends on how we have conditioned ourselves in this life. This all entails some semblance of free will. Additionally, In order to have experiences a creature must be conscious and self-aware; otherwise "experience" is as much of a misnomer as saying that a computer "experiences" the information it processes. That said, I suppose that it is possible for God to restore existence to a creature that isn't self-aware, but the creature wouldn't know or understand that it had been restored, and will not have ended up in God's presence by any of their own volition, since free will requires self-awareness.

I would say that if pre-homo sapien hominids were self-aware and could act in a rational, self-determining manner, then they can be saved.