Our server costs ~$56 per month to run. Please consider donating or becoming a Patron to help keep the site running. Help us gain new members by following us on Twitter and liking our page on Facebook!
Current time: December 9, 2022, 6:14 pm

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
[Serious] Thomism: Then & Now
#11
RE: Thomism: Then & Now
Quote:I answer that, With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side; the other, on the side of the Church. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death. For it is a much graver matter to corrupt the faith which quickens the soul, than to forge money, which supports temporal life. Wherefore if forgers of money and other evil-doers are forthwith condemned to death by the secular authority, much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death.

On the part of the Church, however, there is mercy which looks to the conversion of the wanderer, wherefore she condemns not at once, but "after the first and second admonition," as the Apostle directs: after that, if he is yet stubborn, the Church no longer hoping for his conversion, looks to the salvation of others, by excommunicating him and separating him from the Church, and furthermore delivers him to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the world by death. For Jerome commenting on Galatians 5:9, "A little leaven," says: "Cut off the decayed flesh, expel the mangy sheep from the fold, lest the whole house, the whole paste, the whole body, the whole flock, burn, perish, rot, die. Arius was but one spark in Alexandria, but as that spark was not at once put out, the whole earth was laid waste by its flame." (Summa Theologiae II II, Q.11)
And without delay Peter went quickly out of the synagogue (assembly) and went unto the house of Marcellus, where Simon lodged: and much people followed him...And Peter turned unto the people that followed him and said: Ye shall now see a great and marvellous wonder. And Peter seeing a great dog bound with a strong chain, went to him and loosed him, and when he was loosed the dog received a man's voice and said unto Peter: What dost thou bid me to do, thou servant of the unspeakable and living God? Peter said unto him: Go in and say unto Simon in the midst of his company: Peter saith unto thee, Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And immediately the dog ran and entered in, and rushed into the midst of them that were with Simon, and lifted up his forefeet and in a loud voice said: Thou Simon, Peter the servant of Christ who standeth at the door saith unto thee: Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou most wicked one and deceiver of simple souls. And when Simon heard it, and beheld the incredible sight, he lost the words wherewith he was deceiving them that stood by, and all of them were amazed. (The Acts of Peter, 9)
Reply
#12
RE: Thomism: Then & Now
(October 8, 2021 at 5:57 pm)DLJ Wrote:
(October 7, 2021 at 9:10 pm)Neo-Scholastic Wrote: ...
IMHO the 3W, Necessary Being, is by far the strongest but it is also the most difficult to understand - which is also to say that I could be way off myself. But it also takes us back to the profound ontological speculations of Heraclitus and Parmenides.
...

I'm far from knowledgeable about Aquinas's original argument (so please be gentle with me) but I have listened to some (e.g. Islamic apologisers) who use the Necessary Being argument.

I've noticed that they equivocate between verb and noun: Being and A Being.

Did Aquinas do that too?  What have I missed?

Cheers.

Three of Aquinas' five ways are "the universe must have had a beginning, therefore god". The other two are "there must be a maximal value of X, therefore god".

Despite the utter paucity and extreme idiocy of these arguments, Woothers has such a hard on for Aquinas that every time he thinks of him he spaffs over all these fora like he's some sort of straw haired clown.
The great appear great because we are on our knees. Let us rise!
Big James
Reply
#13
RE: Thomism: Then & Now
I'm inclined to give Aquinas more credit. Both in response to Jehenne's and Nomad's comments. First, many believe that Aquinas was exhorting the Church to greater mercy in its dealings with heretics. As the theory goes, he didn't want to rock the boat too much, but also pursued a criticism of the "one strike and your out" policy. He was meeting the Church half way. (Supposedly.)

As for Nomad, you have to be forgiving of pre-enlightenment philosophers. They were groping in the dark, without the benefits of modern understanding. This was even before the Renaissance. He was keeping alight the ancient flame of the Greeks and Romans. When speaking of canonical European philosophers Anselm and Aquinas are pretty much it for the entire middle ages. Don't forget that he was offering the ideas up for debate and criticism. He was trying to rationally justify belief in God, which is a damn sight better than simply setting people on fire for not believing.

When a philosopher justifies an error with reasoning, at the very least we can examine that reasoning and learn something about why it is wrong.

And Neo seldom brings up Aquinas. Just here and there. Don't forget he was prodded into bringing up the subject by another forum user.
Reply
#14
RE: Thomism: Then & Now
(October 9, 2021 at 10:49 am)vulcanlogician Wrote: I'm inclined to give Aquinas more credit. Both in response to Jehenne's and Nomad's comments. First, many believe that Aquinas was exhorting the Church to greater mercy in its dealings with heretics. As the theory goes, he didn't want to rock the boat too much, but also pursued a criticism of the "one strike and your out" policy. He was meeting the Church half way. (Supposedly.)

As for Nomad, you have to be forgiving of pre-enlightenment philosophers. They were groping in the dark, without the benefits of modern understanding. This was even before the Renaissance. He was keeping alight the ancient flame of the Greeks and Romans. When speaking of canonical European philosophers Anselm and Aquinas are pretty much it for the entire middle ages. Don't forget that he was offering the ideas up for debate and criticism. He was trying to rationally justify belief in God, which is a damn sight better than simply setting people on fire for not believing.

When a philosopher justifies an error with reasoning, at the very least we can examine that reasoning and learn something about why it is wrong.

And Neo seldom brings up Aquinas. Just here and there. Don't forget he was prodded into bringing up the subject by another forum user.

On giving Aquinas the benefit of the doubt, a) older philosophers than him got things more right. His whole philosophy was based on proving his god real when he knew he didn't have evidence. Even in his own day his five ways received some very scathing rebuttals.
B) Even giving him the benefit of doubt that doesn't mean we should take his views seriously today when we know so much more. That'd be like saying the theory of the humours is authoritative medicine.
The great appear great because we are on our knees. Let us rise!
Big James
Reply
#15
RE: Thomism: Then & Now
(October 9, 2021 at 11:00 am)Nomad Wrote: On giving Aquinas the benefit of the doubt, a) older philosophers than him got things more right.  His whole philosophy was based on proving his god real when he knew he didn't have evidence.  Even in his own day his five ways received some very scathing rebuttals.
B) Even giving him the benefit of doubt that doesn't mean we should take his views seriously today when we know so much more.  That'd be like saying the theory of the humours is authoritative medicine.

Oddly enough "getting stuff right" isn't what makes someone a great philosopher. Asking the right questions, furthering the understanding of mankind (even when you're demonstrably wrong)... that kinda stuff will get you into history of philosophy textbooks. I do have to grant you one thing: I find it easier to appreciate philosophers of the Greco-Roman era than I do Anselm or Aquinas.

Anselm and Aquinas are so derivative of Aristotle, you make a good point to say "Aristotle got more right." But... inasmuch as they agreed with Aristotle, they got right what Aristotle got right. But, again, "getting stuff right," isn't all that great of a metric.

I like Plato better than Aristotle, Anselm, or Aquinas (the three As). For one thing, Plato is enjoyable to read. Reading the three As is like eating a cinder block for lunch. It's displeasurable to consume their work and even harder to digest. Reading Plato, on the other hand, is like eating a nymph's pussy. It's delightful. The three A's could really use style lessons. (Although, to be fair, all we have left from Aristotle are his lecture notes. Maybe his books-- lost to history-- were more stylistically inclined. We'll never know. We'll never know what are possibly his greatest ideas. But we DO know he was more correct than Plato on a lot of things.

I don't think the three As are authoritative on anything. The thing about your humors example is that bodily humors are a claim about nature, and that claim has been debunked. It's harder to debunk a philosopher. Care to debunk Nietzsche? Care to prove Nietzsche correct? We can do neither.

The big bang doesn't debunk Aquinas. If anything, it makes some of his points more salient. We don't know what caused the big bang. And even if the "free lunch" speculations of some physicists are correct, we still don't know what established those "free lunch" conditions in the first place, so Aquinas's inquiry is still valid on many fronts.

I guess (in summary) I'll say: I don't agree with Aquinas, but he's still intellectually enriching to contemplate and discuss.
Reply
#16
RE: Thomism: Then & Now
(October 8, 2021 at 5:59 pm)HappySkeptic Wrote: I see this as an argument from ignorance. Natural "law" is simply order, not something purposefully directed. Order does not necessarily require intelligence.

Isn’t that what order is: being disposed towards a definite end?

(October 8, 2021 at 5:59 pm)HappySkeptic Wrote: As for 1-3, they are about logical contingency, though I doubt Aquinas would think this any different than linear time (not knowing modern Physics).

That’s fair. If asked to give an example, Thomas would likely have chosen a chronological sequence. For the 2W, the most common example is father-son relationships which obviously unfolds over time. At the same time a thinker as brilliant as Thomas Aquinas, were he asked today to give an example probably would have used a different example. That’s because, strictly speaking, an efficient cause is not temporally prior to its effect; but rather, the efficient cause is the thing that sustains the effect. For example, if a baseball shatters a window, the baseball is the efficient cause that is present as reason for the shattering of the window. This is in stark contrast to Hume’s notion of causality, which requires two temporally adjacent states.

(October 8, 2021 at 5:59 pm)HappySkeptic Wrote: Movement happens even without cause - though symmetries in spacetime do result in conservation laws. Conservation of energy allows the entire energy of the universe to be zero (negative gravitational energy, and positive mass-energy).

<emphasis mine> Just a reminder that movement, in this context, means “change”. So you are saying that changes happen for without causes, i.e. for no reason at all?

(October 8, 2021 at 5:59 pm)HappySkeptic Wrote: 2) Causation as we know it breaks down when time breaks down.

This is a serious thread, which to me, means more than just not joking around, it means respecting the other participants by actually reading the posts you respond to. I have said, repeatedly that the 5W are not about time, and yet your objection is that causation breaks down with time. Sorry, but I am disappointed in you. ☹

(October 8, 2021 at 5:59 pm)HappySkeptic Wrote: 3) The universe doesn't just go around creating "things". Things just change form. As far as Aquinas' argument is concerned, he has never seen a single thing "beginning to exist". Even anti-particle pairs "coming into existence" are associated with negative energy dip in the background. It adds up to nothing, and nothing caused it (beyond the structure of the universe itself).

The ontology of the 3W is moderate realism. https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11090c.htm Your objection suggests to me that you are a mereological nihilist. Personally, I find that a bit like radical skepticism, self-induced helpless resignation after a failure to find warranty for strongly intuitive beliefs…such believing there are things.





(October 8, 2021 at 5:59 pm)HappySkeptic Wrote: 4) This one doesn't need refutation. It is just silly.

Actually, I found it quite profound. The 4W is about value and reason. Reason requires being able to distinguishes between different kinds of things and evaluate degrees of perfection. The 4W proposes that the Unity and Perfection of God is the basis for unities and perfections in the world. Now, it doesn’t say all that in the 4W but that’s implicit in the argument and fairly easy to draw out.
<insert profound quote here>
Reply
#17
RE: Thomism: Then & Now
(October 9, 2021 at 1:38 pm)vulcanlogician Wrote:
(October 9, 2021 at 11:00 am)Nomad Wrote: On giving Aquinas the benefit of the doubt, a) older philosophers than him got things more right.  His whole philosophy was based on proving his god real when he knew he didn't have evidence.  Even in his own day his five ways received some very scathing rebuttals.
B) Even giving him the benefit of doubt that doesn't mean we should take his views seriously today when we know so much more.  That'd be like saying the theory of the humours is authoritative medicine.

Oddly enough "getting stuff right" isn't what makes someone a great philosopher. Asking the right questions, furthering the understanding of mankind (even when you're demonstrably wrong)... that kinda stuff will get you into history of philosophy textbooks. I do have to grant you one thing: I find it easier to appreciate philosophers of the Greco-Roman era than I do Anselm or Aquinas.

Anselm and Aquinas are so derivative of Aristotle, you make a good point to say "Aristotle got more right." But... inasmuch as they agreed with Aristotle, they got right what Aristotle got right. But, again, "getting stuff right," isn't all that great of a metric.

I like Plato better than Aristotle, Anselm, or Aquinas (the three As). For one thing, Plato is enjoyable to read. Reading the three As is like eating a cinder block for lunch. It's displeasurable to consume their work and even harder to digest. Reading Plato, on the other hand, is like eating a nymph's pussy. It's delightful. The three A's could really use style lessons. (Although, to be fair, all we have left from Aristotle are his lecture notes. Maybe his books-- lost to history-- were more stylistically inclined. We'll never know. We'll never know what are possibly his greatest ideas. But we DO know he was more correct than Plato on a lot of things.

I don't think the three As are authoritative on anything. The thing about your humors example is that bodily humors are a claim about nature, and that claim has been debunked. It's harder to debunk a philosopher. Care to debunk Nietzsche? Care to prove Nietzsche correct? We can do neither.

The big bang doesn't debunk Aquinas. If anything, it makes some of his points more salient. We don't know what caused the big bang. And even if the "free lunch" speculations of some physicists are correct, we still don't know what established those "free lunch" conditions in the first place, so Aquinas's inquiry is still valid on many fronts.

I guess (in summary) I'll say: I don't agree with Aquinas, but he's still intellectually enriching to contemplate and discuss.

If philosophy isn't about getting things right then what use is it? I can get more entertaining nonsense down at the local.
The great appear great because we are on our knees. Let us rise!
Big James
Reply
#18
RE: Thomism: Then & Now
(October 9, 2021 at 9:48 am)Nomad Wrote: Three of Aquinas' five ways are "the universe must have had a beginning, therefore god".  The other two are "there must be a maximal value of X, therefore god".

“It is better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.” – Abraham Lincoln.

(October 10, 2021 at 4:19 am)Nomad Wrote: If philosophy isn't about getting things right then what use is it? I can get more entertaining nonsense down at the local.

Philosophy is more about learning to ask better questions and not accepting easy answers.

Sure, too many apologists think the 5W are easy answers, but its pretty clear on this thread that the "debunkers" also just want easy answers to confirm their prior beliefs.
<insert profound quote here>
Reply
#19
RE: Thomism: Then & Now
(October 10, 2021 at 12:09 am)Neo-Scholastic Wrote:
(October 8, 2021 at 5:59 pm)HappySkeptic Wrote: I see this as an argument from ignorance.  Natural "law" is simply order, not something purposefully directed.  Order does not necessarily require intelligence.

Isn’t that what order is: being disposed towards a definite end?

Hell no.  There is no definite end.  The universe isn't deterministic.  If started identically 1000 times, it would evolve with subtle difference each time.

Order is simply a set of relationships.  If there is no order, there cannot be structure to existence, as complexity requires relationships to form.  With no relationships, there is no mathematics, no physics, no information, and no intelligence.

I would argue that without relationships, there is no way to even describe existence itself, or distinguish it from non-existence.

(October 10, 2021 at 12:09 am)Neo-Scholastic Wrote:
(October 8, 2021 at 5:59 pm)HappySkeptic Wrote: Movement happens even without cause - though symmetries in spacetime do result in conservation laws.  Conservation of energy allows the entire energy of the universe to be zero (negative gravitational energy, and positive mass-energy).

<emphasis mine> Just a reminder that movement, in this context, means “change”. So you are saying that changes happen for without causes, i.e. for no reason at all?

As far as we know, yes, specific quantum events are uncaused.  Their probability can be calculated from previous states, but probability implies setting up the same system many times and doing many measurements.  The individual case cannot be attributed to anything.

In our macroscopic world, the averaging of these probabilities usually lead to a high degree of predictive certainty, but individual random quantum events can have huge consequences (as in Shroedinger's cat).

We honestly don't understand causality.  We have statistical forward causality, but there appears to be a type of retro-causality as well, where there present causes us to re-interpret past history.  One way of looking at things is that all possible pasts have occurred, but that current measurements close off the timelines that don't correspond to our reality.  Another interpretation is that those timelines continue in some part of the multiverse (I hate Everett's many-worlds interpretation). 

So, when we talk about "efficient causes", I have no idea what they are at the quantum realm, and if we include things like time loops, or time forming during the big-bang, I have no idea how we even talk about contingency.  You say Aquinas doesn't talk about time?  Well, contingency is what defines time.
Reply
#20
RE: Thomism: Then & Now
(October 11, 2021 at 12:13 pm)HappySkeptic Wrote: Order is simply a set of relationships.  If there is no order, there cannot be structure to existence, as complexity requires relationships to form.  With no relationships, there is no mathematics, no physics, no information, and no intelligence.

Is it fair to rephrase that as follows? The existence of physical reality supervenes on some kind of logically prior and necessary fundamental order?

(October 11, 2021 at 12:13 pm)HappySkeptic Wrote: As far as we know, yes, specific quantum events are uncaused.
 

So would be fair to say that the potential in the quantum vacuum remains unactualized until it does so for some reason?
<insert profound quote here>
Reply



Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Negative thinking is better then positive thinking Gooders1002 6 1726 May 7, 2013 at 5:26 am
Last Post: KichigaiNeko
  What Can We Believe, Then? QuestingHound08 15 3000 September 7, 2011 at 6:32 pm
Last Post: Rhizomorph13



Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)