Did Adam have passions before the Fall?

It would seem that the first man’s soul had no passions.

* * *

On the contrary, Augustine says that “in our first parents there was undisturbed love of God,” and other passions of the soul.

I answer that, The passions of the soul are in the sensual appetite, the object of which is good and evil. Wherefore some passions of the soul are directed to what is good, as love and joy; others to what is evil, as fear and sorrow. And since in the primitive state, evil was neither present nor imminent, nor was any good wanting which a good-will could desire to have then, as Augustine says, therefore Adam had no passion with evil as its object; such as fear, sorrow, and the like; neither had he passions in respect of good not possessed, but to be possessed then, as burning concupiscence. But those passions which regard present good, as joy and love; or which regard future good to be had at the proper time, as desire and hope that casteth not down, existed in the state of innocence; otherwise, however, than as they exist in ourselves. For our sensual appetite, wherein the passions reside, is not entirely subject to reason; hence at times our passions forestall and hinder reason’s judgment; at other times they follow reason’s judgment, accordingly as the sensual appetite obeys reason to some extent. But in the state of innocence the inferior appetite was wholly subject to reason: so that in that state the passions of the soul existed only as consequent upon the judgment of reason.

Summa Theologiae, I.I, Q. 95, A. 2.

Thus, if the Christian ideal is to recover the state of innocence before the Fall, it doesn’t follow that we seek a passionless, i.e. disembodied, existence. Our problem is not our passions per se, but passions that refuse to be subject to reason. (Which is why they are sometimes called “animal passions”; animals lack reason.)

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