Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics > Philosophy
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #16  
Old May 30, '12, 6:16 am
Captain America Captain America is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: February 25, 2009
Posts: 1,288
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Aquinus's five reasons that prove god

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanstronian View Post
No, there is no reasoning that proves any god's existence. Aquinas' five ways are repetitious and fundamentally flawed, as are all supposed proofs for gods' existence.
Thanks. This made me smile today.
  #17  
Old May 30, '12, 8:56 am
Gaber Gaber is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: April 8, 2012
Posts: 1,043
Religion: Ronin Catholic
Default Re: Aquinus's five reasons that prove god

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain America View Post
Thanks. This made me smile today.
Yes, me too. I always smile when I see that someone perceives the futility of intellectual "proofs!"
  #18  
Old May 30, '12, 9:48 am
Aelred Minor's Avatar
Aelred Minor Aelred Minor is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: June 2, 2011
Posts: 4,268
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Aquinus's five reasons that prove god

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaber View Post
I think that that is an important distinction. And yet, any such argument has avail only with the already convinced. So it cant really be said that such arguments intrinsically prove anything other than that a believer can have an exegesis of a "spiritual" experience, however genuine, in the realm of discursive thinking.

In my opinion, this is supported by noting that those who have the highest form of revelation, as far as I can see, unanimously declare that words and writings can only point, and are not themselves of any real use except as a sign of possibility.

There is also the question of what is proved. Say that someone accepts a "proof" as valid. And they have not had a direct experience. Ultimately, they are working a hypothesis until they have gone past the fulcrum that tips mysticism into the fulfillment of contemplation. That is to say that even phenomena and visions are yet not the end point of other than a more refined state the has not yet got past itself in the most and final radical transformation in understanding.

So in a way, an intellectual "proof" is just that: a proof to the kind of intellect that would accept that sort of linearity as adequate. In practice, it is not. other than as a possible goad to know beyond the intellect how it is that we can have and use an intellect. In other words, what is it that is behind and supports the discursive mind. That is a question that someone in the realm of considering that a "proof" is possible may not even ask. It is, after all, a tendency of the mind to assume that its stunningly limited concepts have an actual 1/1 correspondence to Reality. Do they? In the case of such arguments as we speak of, they can only end with the admission of using a marker for exploring further possibilities. That is to say the best end of such a "proof" is the detection of a posited need to engage in practice that discovers Substance.

We may be agreeing on this more than I perceive, but I lke a bit more detail in such expositions.
You still haven't provided an explanation of how (or if) your views on this subject are reconciled with Magisterial and Scriptural teachings related to this subject. I'm assuming you are Catholic, though I don't know what the word "Ronin" is supposed to indicate.

Regarding what you have posted, if I'm following you your position seems to hinge on the questioning of the axioms or assumptions that underlie rational thought. What is the value of human reason? What, if anything, is the relationship between my thoughts and objective truth, if there is such a thing? How can I discover the answer to these questions with my own reason, since that is the very faculty the value of which I am questioning? Without an answer to these questions, how can I accept any apparent conclusion reached through this faculty?

So far I've only been able to discover two answers to this kind of fundamental question: the practical argument that without accepting certain assumptions any kind of thought (including skepticism) is impossible, and faith.

This is why I included the last statement of my previous post. I have a private theory that the teachings of the Bible and the Church do not deal with the question of reason and the natural knowledge of God's existence on this ultimate level of consideration, but from the perspective of having accepted with certainty the assumptions underlying rational thought. From the perspective of faith, this attitude on the part of Scripture and the Magisterium constitutes an affirmation of reason's value beyond the merely practical argument and thus leads one to certainty or at least the affirmation of the possibility of certainty regarding the conclusions of human reason.
__________________
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." I will rather boast most gladly of my weakness, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
  #19  
Old May 30, '12, 10:58 am
Gaber Gaber is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: April 8, 2012
Posts: 1,043
Religion: Ronin Catholic
Default Re: Aquinus's five reasons that prove god

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aelred Minor View Post
You still haven't provided an explanation of how (or if) your views on this subject are reconciled with Magisterial and Scriptural teachings related to this subject. I'm assuming you are Catholic, though I don't know what the word "Ronin" is supposed to indicate.

Regarding what you have posted, if I'm following you your position seems to hinge on the questioning of the axioms or assumptions that underlie rational thought. What is the value of human reason? What, if anything, is the relationship between my thoughts and objective truth, if there is such a thing? How can I discover the answer to these questions with my own reason, since that is the very faculty the value of which I am questioning? Without an answer to these questions, how can I accept any apparent conclusion reached through this faculty?

So far I've only been able to discover two answers to this kind of fundamental question: the practical argument that without accepting certain assumptions any kind of thought (including skepticism) is impossible, and faith.

This is why I included the last statement of my previous post. I have a private theory that the teachings of the Bible and the Church do not deal with the question of reason and the natural knowledge of God's existence on this ultimate level of consideration, but from the perspective of having accepted with certainty the assumptions underlying rational thought. From the perspective of faith, this attitude on the part of Scripture and the Magisterium constitutes an affirmation of reason's value beyond the merely practical argument and thus leads one to certainty or at least the affirmation of the possibility of certainty regarding the conclusions of human reason.
Thank you for your considered reply. I appreciate the sincerity of your inquiries.

Mine started kind of from the other end, if I might put it that way. I had an experience in my youth of a state that was, for lack of better description, pure awareness of Being, with no qualifications, attributes, or factor of duration. It kind of rocked my world. After seeking an explanation within my Catholic faith, in which by all indications I was very well versed,and finding none such, I went, reluctantly but necessarily, elsewhere. After about ten years I found a spiritual guide of unimpeachable credentials who not ony recognized what I was talking about, but opened a whole new world for me, as if that hadn't happened experiential for me anyway. But now I started to have a mental scaffolding which stemmed from the experience itself, and not as a prop for it. The scaffolding is a way to point to the nature of the invisible structure it explicates, if you will, while not being the structure pointed to.

That is not meant to be facetious or confusing, but it is a rare state, and only within the last year have I found a Catholic contemplative who clearly and exactly sees what seems to most folks a contradiction to the supposed end of religious experience in that it goes beyond the stage of mysticism as ordinarily understood.

So while reason as a tool is superbly suited for the kind of navigation we ordinarily encounter in the allegedly subject/object dimensions of the world, it is no longer a tool of construction after a certain point, but one of exegesis regarding the Ineffable. I think that the Church, as an institution needing to meet certain worldly requirements and those of the ordinary faithful, is just getting around to finding a need to deal with the phase beyond mysticism. As is often the case, certain ones in the group have foraged ahead and found what is more common in humanity than heretofore expected, and a rather different than ordinary explanation for it.

You might say, in a manner of speaking, that for some the world turns inside out, given a particular kind of experience, yet remains completely what it is. The ground of reason is then known, and it is used from..actually with a different handle, if you will. But as it is said, anything that can be said about this state is only a pointer. It cannot in the slightest capture the state itself. Neither reason, nor logics, nor proofs will suffice for the event itself.
But even then it is fun to read about, or argue about, or even contradict, if one hasn't yet seen what I think will be inevitable, eventually, one way or another, for all of us. But none of that matter a whit, even talking about it with someone who knows. You can't gain or attain what in essence you already are.

So I guess the Magesterium is useful in a way and within its scope. But after a point, nothing of that sort is useful. This cartoon kind of says it:

My normal approach is uselss here...
  #20  
Old May 30, '12, 11:02 am
tonyrey tonyrey is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: March 30, 2009
Posts: 17,322
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Aquinus's five reasons that prove god

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aelred Minor View Post
You still haven't provided an explanation of how (or if) your views on this subject are reconciled with Magisterial and Scriptural teachings related to this subject. I'm assuming you are Catholic, though I don't know what the word "Ronin" is supposed to indicate.

Regarding what you have posted, if I'm following you your position seems to hinge on the questioning of the axioms or assumptions that underlie rational thought. What is the value of human reason? What, if anything, is the relationship between my thoughts and objective truth, if there is such a thing? How can I discover the answer to these questions with my own reason, since that is the very faculty the value of which I am questioning? Without an answer to these questions, how can I accept any apparent conclusion reached through this faculty?

So far I've only been able to discover two answers to this kind of fundamental question: the practical argument that without accepting certain assumptions any kind of thought (including skepticism) is impossible, and faith.

This is why I included the last statement of my previous post. I have a private theory that the teachings of the Bible and the Church do not deal with the question of reason and the natural knowledge of God's existence on this ultimate level of consideration, but from the perspective of having accepted with certainty the assumptions underlying rational thought. From the perspective of faith, this attitude on the part of Scripture and the Magisterium constitutes an affirmation of reason's value beyond the merely practical argument and thus leads one to certainty or at least the affirmation of the possibility of certainty regarding the conclusions of human reason.
To question reason is to undermine faith in anything! How can we believe something if none of our propositions correspond in any way whatsoever to reality? Every single word becomes meaningless...
  #21  
Old May 30, '12, 11:56 am
Aelred Minor's Avatar
Aelred Minor Aelred Minor is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: June 2, 2011
Posts: 4,268
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Aquinus's five reasons that prove god

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaber View Post
Thank you for your considered reply. I appreciate the sincerity of your inquiries.

Mine started kind of from the other end, if I might put it that way. I had an experience in my youth of a state that was, for lack of better description, pure awareness of Being, with no qualifications, attributes, or factor of duration. It kind of rocked my world. After seeking an explanation within my Catholic faith, in which by all indications I was very well versed,and finding none such, I went, reluctantly but necessarily, elsewhere. After about ten years I found a spiritual guide of unimpeachable credentials who not ony recognized what I was talking about, but opened a whole new world for me, as if that hadn't happened experiential for me anyway. But now I started to have a mental scaffolding which stemmed from the experience itself, and not as a prop for it. The scaffolding is a way to point to the nature of the invisible structure it explicates, if you will, while not being the structure pointed to.

That is not meant to be facetious or confusing, but it is a rare state, and only within the last year have I found a Catholic contemplative who clearly and exactly sees what seems to most folks a contradiction to the supposed end of religious experience in that it goes beyond the stage of mysticism as ordinarily understood.

So while reason as a tool is superbly suited for the kind of navigation we ordinarily encounter in the allegedly subject/object dimensions of the world, it is no longer a tool of construction after a certain point, but one of exegesis regarding the Ineffable. I think that the Church, as an institution needing to meet certain worldly requirements and those of the ordinary faithful, is just getting around to finding a need to deal with the phase beyond mysticism. As is often the case, certain ones in the group have foraged ahead and found what is more common in humanity than heretofore expected, and a rather different than ordinary explanation for it.

You might say, in a manner of speaking, that for some the world turns inside out, given a particular kind of experience, yet remains completely what it is. The ground of reason is then known, and it is used from..actually with a different handle, if you will. But as it is said, anything that can be said about this state is only a pointer. It cannot in the slightest capture the state itself. Neither reason, nor logics, nor proofs will suffice for the event itself.
But even then it is fun to read about, or argue about, or even contradict, if one hasn't yet seen what I think will be inevitable, eventually, one way or another, for all of us. But none of that matter a whit, even talking about it with someone who knows. You can't gain or attain what in essence you already are.

So I guess the Magesterium is useful in a way and within its scope. But after a point, nothing of that sort is useful. This cartoon kind of says it:

My normal approach is uselss here...
I assume that by "beyond mysticism" you mean beyond the ordinary, run-of-the-mill mysticism of visions and locutions and into the realm of more or less direct experience of God. The way I use the word "mysticism" would include even the Beatific Vision itself, and so the idea of going "beyond" this would be rejected.

I'll assume your experience was authentic, despite your possibly monist hint about an essence that is what you already are and your implied questioning of subject/object distinction. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding your meaning.

There is such a thing as infused contemplation, and in some respects what you describe resembles descriptions of it. It is important to remember, however, that this experience is extraordinary, beyond the ordinary life of men.

For all of us, we have a different starting point, and for most of us, this starting point will not be reversed by infused contemplation of God before [ordinary] death. This starting point, this "elemental experience" as it has been called, is at its most fundamental starting point the awareness of a finite number of distinct "things." All other conclusions of reason, including the existence of the five senses and of human reason, the existence of the self (as opposed to the existence of individual body parts, I must add), and the existence of God, have their inescapable starting point in this elemental experience.

Working within this ordinary, natural order which was created by God, reason has the noble place of being the faculty by which we perceive truth. Divine faith and, in a way that's difficult to speak about, mysticism (broadly defined as essentially any supernatural experience), can add to that natural faculty of perceiving truth, can free it from assumption, can reorder how we approach any given issue, but reason is the natural starting point for us all and its value is never revoked by faith, just as faith (including acceptance of binding Magisterial teaching) is never revoked by authentic mystical experiences.
__________________
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." I will rather boast most gladly of my weakness, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
  #22  
Old May 31, '12, 6:02 am
Gaber Gaber is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: April 8, 2012
Posts: 1,043
Religion: Ronin Catholic
Default Re: Aquinus's five reasons that prove god

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aelred Minor View Post
I assume that by "beyond mysticism" you mean beyond the ordinary, run-of-the-mill mysticism of visions and locutions and into the realm of more or less direct experience of God. The way I use the word "mysticism" would include even the Beatific Vision itself, and so the idea of going "beyond" this would be rejected.
If by the Beatific Vision, you mean you mean a state in which God is still an object to personal awareness, then yes, I do mean beyond that, as do many who speak of this State. Any experience that has you as a subject and anything as an object is yet phenomenal and not at the root of the matter, literally.

Quote:
I'll assume your experience was authentic, despite your possibly monist hint about an essence that is what you already are and your implied questioning of subject/object distinction. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding your meaning.
I'll assume you don't admit of monism, whatever that means to you. I do not identify as a monist, if that means anything to you.

Quote:
There is such a thing as infused contemplation, and in some respects what you describe resembles descriptions of it. It is important to remember, however, that this experience is extraordinary, beyond the ordinary life of men.
Damn straight! That is why it is regarded with such suspicion, and, necessarily, ignorance. Even learned ignorance. There seems to be some idea that God favors the educated, or the Catholic. Want to make God laugh? Have beliefs.

Quote:
For all of us, we have a different starting point, and for most of us, this starting point will not be reversed by infused contemplation of God before [ordinary] death. This starting point, this "elemental experience" as it has been called, is at its most fundamental starting point the awareness of a finite number of distinct "things." All other conclusions of reason, including the existence of the five senses and of human reason, the existence of the self (as opposed to the existence of individual body parts, I must add), and the existence of God, have their inescapable starting point in this elemental experience.
Perhaps it seems that way on incomplete analysis. I would propose that the "seed" is the awareness, in and of itself, using its reflexive nature to discover what is at the root of the perceptions that constitute its "contents," if you will. As soon as you say "of" you already postulate a separation that does not pertain to the nature of the awareness itself, other than its ability to use a thought of "me" as a marker in relative existence. And while to an individual, it is of no small consequence that the world and objects appear, and that the [U]sense of identity[/u] is restricted to a locus relative to what are taken as objects, upon examination this is not ultimately the case.

Quote:
Working within this ordinary, natural order which was created by God, reason has the noble place of being the faculty by which we perceive truth. Divine faith and, in a way that's difficult to speak about, mysticism (broadly defined as essentially any supernatural experience), can add to that natural faculty of perceiving truth, can free it from assumption, can reorder how we approach any given issue, but reason is the natural starting point for us all and its value is never revoked by faith, just as faith (including acceptance of binding Magisterial teaching) is never revoked by authentic mystical experiences.
Yes, reason is a means by which we arrive at relative truth. As to the rest, there is an insoluble contradiction for you. You are using the instrument which you don't know the source or nature of relative to your ability to use it, and thus use it in a construct-ive way to legitimize the premise of the Magesterium, if I read you correctly. The Magesterium is pertiinent to the scaffolding one might use, but not necessarily. to practice getting the mind out of the way so that the awareness can see itself and its Source. If you can accomplish that, you can make your own assement as to the importance of the Magesterium from that point onward, For you, personally, it might be very important to do that. Andthat is well and good. But its relative significance would, on accomplishment, even for you, change significantly.
  #23  
Old May 31, '12, 11:34 am
Aelred Minor's Avatar
Aelred Minor Aelred Minor is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: June 2, 2011
Posts: 4,268
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Aquinus's five reasons that prove god

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaber View Post
If by the Beatific Vision, you mean you mean a state in which God is still an object to personal awareness, then yes, I do mean beyond that, as do many who speak of this State. Any experience that has you as a subject and anything as an object is yet phenomenal and not at the root of the matter, literally.
I said before that if you proposed something which went beyond the Beatific Vision I would reject that proposition, and so now I do reject it. The Beatific Vision, as the vision of God and participation in the Divine Nature to the fullest extent possible for a human person, is the fullness of what we are supernaturally called to, and the greatest gift God can give us. To eliminate all subject/object distinction in this experience of Pure Being would be to eliminate the very image of God in us, the ability to "conceive" an idea- even the Idea by the grace of God.

Quote:
I'll assume you don't admit of monism, whatever that means to you. I do not identify as a monist, if that means anything to you.
It means a great deal, though it means less than if you simply said "I am not a monist" or even better "I reject monism."

Quote:
Perhaps it seems that way on incomplete analysis. I would propose that the "seed" is the awareness, in and of itself, using its reflexive nature to discover what is at the root of the perceptions that constitute its "contents," if you will. As soon as you say "of" you already postulate a separation that does not pertain to the nature of the awareness itself, other than its ability to use a thought of "me" as a marker in relative existence. And while to an individual, it is of no small consequence that the world and objects appear, and that the [U]sense of identity[/u] is restricted to a locus relative to what are taken as objects, upon examination this is not ultimately the case.
It seems that way on existential inquiry. I am aware of things before I am ever simply "aware."

For simplicity's sake let's use an example of a very young child, playing with a stuffed animal in his crib. The child is aware of the toy. He is aware of his hands as he plays with the toy. He is also aware of, though likely less attentive to, the crib. He is not, however, likely to be at all aware of himself, much less experience an "awareness" which is not of anything.

Remember that the word "of", in this sense, essentially means "from." The starting point of awareness is not in the subject that is aware, but in the object he is aware of. The object reveals itself to the subject. The child's awareness of the toy is from the toy, not from himself.

Now, this does not mean that upon further reflection a person, once he has gained fuller use of reason, will not find that he can identify both himself and two faculties within himself that make such awareness possible- sense and intellect. Once this connection has been made the thought may occur to him to question one or both faculties, and therefore to question his elemental experience of awareness of (from) objects. This is where the intellectual suicide of truly complete doubt, the prudential argument for assumption, or divine faith come in, or some combination of those in succession.

Quote:
Yes, reason is a means by which we arrive at relative truth.
Here again we part ways. Reason is a means by which we arrive at objective, universal truth. Indeed I would define reason as that by which we naturally, intellectually perceive objective, universally valid truth. Of course, the intellect may also fail to follow authentic reason, leading to the intellectual acceptance of propositions which are objectively false.

Quote:
As to the rest, there is an insoluble contradiction for you. You are using the instrument which you don't know the source or nature of relative to your ability to use it, and thus use it in a construct-ive way to legitimize the premise of the Magesterium, if I read you correctly.
There is no insoluble contradiction, because you've left out the key component: supernatural faith. Without this there is nothing which could justify complete acceptance of the teaching of the Magisterium and reasonable confidence in correctly interpreting the essentials of that that teaching.

Quote:
The Magesterium is pertiinent to the scaffolding one might use, but not necessarily. to practice getting the mind out of the way so that the awareness can see itself and its Source. If you can accomplish that, you can make your own assement as to the importance of the Magesterium from that point onward, For you, personally, it might be very important to do that. Andthat is well and good. But its relative significance would, on accomplishment, even for you, change significantly.
The proposition, if you mean to make it, that one might accept the Magisterium but as something non-essential is self-defeating, since the Extraordinary Magisterium itself teaches the necessity of accepting its binding decrees, never mind the claims of the Ordinary Magisterium to religious assent.
__________________
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." I will rather boast most gladly of my weakness, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Last edited by Aelred Minor; May 31, '12 at 11:49 am.
  #24  
Old May 31, '12, 11:46 am
ivebeenshown's Avatar
ivebeenshown ivebeenshown is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: December 16, 2010
Posts: 520
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Aquinus's five reasons that prove god

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanstronian View Post
No, there is no reasoning that proves any god's existence. Aquinas' five ways are repetitious and fundamentally flawed, as are all supposed proofs for gods' existence.
The 'unmoved mover' argument is not fundamentally flawed. Infinite regression is a logical absurdity, and any time it is broken down for digestion, those who do not want to acknowledge the truth resort to lines such as 'what is infinity', 'it is too abstract', or 'that's just wrong'.
  #25  
Old Jun 1, '12, 6:15 am
Gaber Gaber is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: April 8, 2012
Posts: 1,043
Religion: Ronin Catholic
Default Re: Aquinus's five reasons that prove god

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aelred Minor View Post
I said before that if you proposed something which went beyond the Beatific Vision I would reject that proposition, and so now I do reject it. ... To eliminate all subject/object distinction in this experience of Pure Being would be to eliminate the very image of God in us, the ability to "conceive" an idea- even the Idea by the grace of God.
That stand is to be expected, as you proceed from inculcation and not experience. There's much more to be said about that, but not now.
Quote:
It means a great deal, though it means less than if you simply said "I am not a monist" or even better "I reject monism."
I still don't know what precisely you mean by "monism." It's not a term I ordinarily use, or am familiar with. And then there is the common phenomenon of folks defining words to their own purposes, as well as spellings, lol!
Quote:
It seems that way on existential inquiry. I am aware of things before I am ever simply "aware."

For simplicity's sake let's use an example of a very young child, playing with a stuffed animal in his crib. The child is aware of the toy. He is aware of his hands as he plays with the toy. He is also aware of, though likely less attentive to, the crib. He is not, however, likely to be at all aware of himself, much less experience an "awareness" which is not of anything.
OK. But if there is no one there, where does the "of" come from? Someone has to be "home" first, yes? Are you not already there to see yourslef wake up in the morning?
Quote:
Remember that the word "of", in this sense, essentially means "from." The starting point of awareness is not in the subject that is aware, but in the object he is aware of. The object reveals itself to the subject. The child's awareness of the toy is from the toy, not from himself.
Well, apparently to you, to get the meaning you want, it does. (see above) But that is not how I used it. I'm sure that you are not trying to put words in my mouth,
Quote:
Now, this does not mean that upon further reflection a person, once he has gained fuller use of reason, will not find that he can identify both himself and two faculties within himself that make such awareness possible- sense and intellect. Once this connection has been made the thought may occur to him to question one or both faculties, and therefore to question his elemental experience of awareness of (from) objects. This is where the intellectual suicide of truly complete doubt, the prudential argument for assumption, or divine faith come in, or some combination of those in succession.
Sense and intellect are objects of awareness. You see that you have them. Who is the seer"
Quote:
Here again we part ways. Reason is a means by which we arrive at objective, universal truth. Indeed I would define reason as that by which we naturally, intellectually perceive objective, universally valid truth. Of course, the intellect may also fail to follow authentic reason, leading to the intellectual acceptance of propositions which are objectively false.
Who perceives "objective truth?" Is it not the subject who perceives it? Is it not a surmise of relativity that there is an "object?" Relative to that which you superficially identify with, yes there are objects separate from the body/mind that you define in your awareness as an ad hoc "self." But in reality it is like one finger sensing another on the same hand.
Quote:
There is no insoluble contradiction, because you've left out the key component: supernatural faith. Without this there is nothing which could justify complete acceptance of the teaching of the Magisterium and reasonable confidence in correctly interpreting the essentials of that that teaching.
Yes, "supernatural faith" is useful to hold your attention until you actually get curious about what you are, or about what "God" is. Until a particular point, the idea "God" serves as a placeholder. Certainly you understand that the word is not its referent, and just because you have use of a word, you may not have an experiential referent of its meaning, right? But Faith is useful up to the point of knowledge. It is unfortunate that so many mistake f for k. Having that admission changes ones perspective an allows a different view.
Quote:
The proposition, if you mean to make it, that one might accept the Magisterium but as something non-essential is self-defeating, since the Extraordinary Magisterium itself teaches the necessity of accepting its binding decrees, never mind the claims of the Ordinary Magisterium to religious assent.
Of course something like the Magesterium is necessarily self verifying and self authoritative. Pity the poor people who never heard of the thing, and yet managed to live their lives to the end! What in God's name were thy thinking? Better, how were they supposed to think it? Humanity has been around for a minimum od 200K years, some put it at much more that that, and some fringe folks as far back as 50 million, claiming cycles of rise and fall in human competency. Some even claim we are the fifth race of humans. Am I on board with any of that? only the first, I'm pretty sure, as an intellectual assertion. But in any case, that is a lot of people who got along without the Magesterium.

So maybe what you are saying is that in your structured model for coping with reality, whatever that is, somehow, because of accident of birth and inculcation, you came to accept by thought or by rote, and live as if there is over you a sole authority to which you must bend your mind, and admit nothing which that superimposed paradigm allows, and experimentation and inquiry on your own is either not allowed or too dangerous due to real or imagined consequences. Is that sort of it?
  #26  
Old Jun 1, '12, 10:08 am
Aelred Minor's Avatar
Aelred Minor Aelred Minor is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: June 2, 2011
Posts: 4,268
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Aquinus's five reasons that prove god

I wrote a full response to your reply, but it ended up being excessively long. I'll post the first part of it here, but I don't want to violate forum rules by posting something extremely long, just artificially divided into two posts. Therefore, I'll wait a bit and post the second half later, hopefully after some other posts have been made in between.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaber View Post
That stand is to be expected, as you proceed from inculcation and not experience. There's much more to be said about that, but not now.
Not inculcation, but faith and reason.

Quote:
I still don't know what precisely you mean by "monism." It's not a term I ordinarily use, or am familiar with. And then there is the common phenomenon of folks defining words to their own purposes, as well as spellings, lol!
I haven't made up the word "monism" or its spelling. Its basic meaning is a philosophy of complete unity of the universe and God, a philosophy that denies real, substantial distinctions between creatures and between creature and Creator. Of course there are many different expressions and interpretations of monism.


Quote:
OK. But if there is no one there, where does the "of" come from? Someone has to be "home" first, yes? Are you not already there to see yourslef wake up in the morning?
Certainly there needs to be a subject first (at least logically speaking, if not chronologically) in order for the subject to be aware. However, my point is that this awareness always takes the form of awareness of. Something outside the subject is revealed to the subject, and so he is made aware of it.

Quote:
Well, apparently to you, to get the meaning you want, it does. (see above) But that is not how I used it. I'm sure that you are not trying to put words in my mouth,
Well, obviously "of" can be used in the sense of "for"- no one who knows the English language can deny that. For example, St. Hildegard of Bingen is so called because she was from Bingen. On the other hand the word is sometimes used otherwise, for instance when we talk about something "a mile north of here" or "a book of theology" . The question is, in what sense is awareness "of" something. For instance, to go back to my old example, a child is aware of a toy. Does the "of" indicate that the awareness belongs to the toy? Of course not- it is the child that is aware, not the toy (we assume). Does the awareness situate the child in relation to the toy in some specific way, like a city that is north of another city? No. Is the awareness something the child is doing to the toy, or otherwise something starting in the child and being directed at the toy? No, otherwise we would say the child is aware "to" the toy or "at" the toy or even "with" the toy, not "of" the toy.

Is awareness something about the toy, like a book of theology is about theology? This seems to have more plausibility at first, but upon examination it doesn’t correspond to the actual experience of awareness of something. The child doesn’t chose to be aware, and specifically to be aware about a certain thing, the way a man decides to read or write a book, and specifically a book about theology. The child was, presumably, unaware at one point that the toy was in his crib, and then the objective reality of the toy's presence imposed itself on his mind, to his surprise and delight.

Therefore I still propose we say "of" because the direction of the process of becoming aware is from the object to the subject.

Quote:
Sense and intellect are objects of awareness. You see that you have them. Who is the seer"
Certainly, it is the subject who sees, who thinks, who is aware, and who furthermore becomes aware that he sees and thinks and is aware.

However, I do not see that I have sight in the sense that I see the computer screen before me. I've never seen my sight itself. I've concluded through reason that I have a sense of sight because I have seen individual things. The awareness of things comes first; awareness of awareness and awareness of the faculties through which we have become aware come after.

Quote:
Who perceives "objective truth?" Is it not the subject who perceives it? Is it not a surmise of relativity that there is an "object?" Relative to that which you superficially identify with, yes there are objects separate from the body/mind that you define in your awareness as an ad hoc "self." But in reality it is like one finger sensing another on the same hand.
I admit I don't fully follow this. Sure, the subject is a subject relative to an object. That doesn't change the objective truth about the object or the fact that the human subject is able through reason to come to an authentic knowledge of that objective truth.
__________________
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." I will rather boast most gladly of my weakness, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
  #27  
Old Jun 1, '12, 11:57 am
cc42 cc42 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: April 1, 2012
Posts: 144
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Aquinus's five reasons that prove god

Wantstronian is incorrect. Aquinas' proofs have never been dispoven. They are valid.

Essenatially these are the proofs that Aquinas put forward

1 All things exist in either a state of potential change or actualized change. But a being in a potential state has to be caused in order to reach an actualized state by something outside of itself in order to reach an actualized state, except if everything is in some potential state all change must ultimately lead back to something already in a fully actualized state. This changeless and fully actualized being we call God.

2.All effects have an efficient cause. Not all things can be the result of an efficient cause because then the number of efficient causes would go on forever and nothing could be caused. So there must be something that is not the result of an efficient cause but is instead the cause of efficient causes. This we call God.

3.All existing things have a form or nature that allows them to potentially exist (which is their essence) along with actual present existence. Something could go out of existence but in order for it to come back into existence its essence must still exist. An essence isn’t actual existence though so there must be something that eternally exists as pure existence to allow other things to come to exist. This we call God.

4.All things have a certain level of value. This can be seen as one thing is recognized as better than another or as one person is more moral than another. So there must be an ultimately perfect being from which this level of value is derived from. This being we call God.

5.All things are directed towards an end which can be seen throughout nature. For example a zygote in the womb is directed towards growing into a fully developed human being. Something intelligent must direct all of these processes. This we call God.

Overall the being must also be consciously aware or otherwise He wouldn’t be able to will anything and willing is logically required in order for the causations described to take place. This can also only be one being because to postulate more than one being would be arguing for another identical being as the one that has already been proven and that would be unnecessary and illogical.
  #28  
Old Jun 1, '12, 1:18 pm
Gaber Gaber is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: April 8, 2012
Posts: 1,043
Religion: Ronin Catholic
Default Re: Aquinus's five reasons that prove god

Quote:
Originally Posted by cc42 View Post
Wantstronian is incorrect. Aquinas' proofs have never been dispoven. They are valid.

Essenatially these are the proofs that Aquinas put forward

1 All things exist in either a state of potential change or actualized change. But a being in a potential state has to be caused in order to reach an actualized state by something outside of itself in order to reach an actualized state, except if everything is in some potential state all change must ultimately lead back to something already in a fully actualized state. This changeless and fully actualized being we call God.

2.All effects have an efficient cause. Not all things can be the result of an efficient cause because then the number of efficient causes would go on forever and nothing could be caused. So there must be something that is not the result of an efficient cause but is instead the cause of efficient causes. This we call God.

3.All existing things have a form or nature that allows them to potentially exist (which is their essence) along with actual present existence. Something could go out of existence but in order for it to come back into existence its essence must still exist. An essence isn’t actual existence though so there must be something that eternally exists as pure existence to allow other things to come to exist. This we call God.

4.All things have a certain level of value. This can be seen as one thing is recognized as better than another or as one person is more moral than another. So there must be an ultimately perfect being from which this level of value is derived from. This being we call God.

5.All things are directed towards an end which can be seen throughout nature. For example a zygote in the womb is directed towards growing into a fully developed human being. Something intelligent must direct all of these processes. This we call God.

Overall the being must also be consciously aware or otherwise He wouldn’t be able to will anything and willing is logically required in order for the causations described to take place. This can also only be one being because to postulate more than one being would be arguing for another identical being as the one that has already been proven and that would be unnecessary and illogical.
QED: no "proof" can do other than demonstrate the futile need of the "prover" to "prove." There is no logic that includes or demonstrates the transcendent, or even its existence. There can only be encouragement to seek.
  #29  
Old Jun 1, '12, 5:17 pm
Aelred Minor's Avatar
Aelred Minor Aelred Minor is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: June 2, 2011
Posts: 4,268
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Aquinus's five reasons that prove god

Well, here's the rest of my reply, Gaber. Of course all this is slightly off topic, but it does ultimately go back to our disagreement about reason, which is more on topic.

Quote:
Yes, "supernatural faith" is useful to hold your attention until you actually get curious about what you are, or about what "God" is.
If supernatural faith exists at all (which it does), it is useful to accept the things which God Himself has revealed to us and for us, and generally comes after, not before, you become curious about what you are and what God is.

Quote:
Until a particular point, the idea "God" serves as a placeholder. Certainly you understand that the word is not its referent, and just because you have use of a word, you may not have an experiential referent of its meaning, right?
Sounds like you are getting into apophatic theology here, and there's great validity to that. I know that God is good, but His Goodness is not like any goodness I know. I know that God is Love, but His Love is unlike any love I know. I know that God has Existence, but His Existence is beyond any kind of existence I know. And yet listing such attributes is still useful, to prevent us from falling into the error of thinking that God is not good, that He is not loving, that He does not exist, and so on. The mental image of God which is reached through human imagination, even for one who believes through divine faith, is only an icon of the true God. This is why we hope for the Beatific Vision. True awareness (intellectual "sight") of God cannot come from anything within our natural selves, but must come from God.

Quote:
But Faith is useful up to the point of knowledge. It is unfortunate that so many mistake f for k. Having that admission changes ones perspective an allows a different view.
Divine faith brings absolutely certain knowledge, though of course experience can make faith unnecessary, since one is no longer relying on the word of another (even God). On a human level, I must have faith that India exists since I have never seen it, but I don't need to have faith that Russia exists, since I have seen it (all this assuming one knows that the "experience" is authentic- something which may still require some kind of faith, though perhaps not in the case of the Beatific Vision).

Quote:
Of course something like the Magesterium is necessarily self verifying and self authoritative.
This is not a given. I grew up in the United Methodist Church, and its bishops, its Conferences, its Book of Discipline, never claimed the same kind of authority for themselves that the Magisterium claims. Some Methodist pastors I had clearly did not even grant the Bible the kind of authority we acknowledge in the Magisterium, much less the kind of authority we acknowledge in the Bible. Anyway, you've missed or ignored my point. If the Magisterium teaches that it has a certain authority, one cannot both accept the Magisterium's teachings but reject the authority that it claims.

Quote:
Pity the poor people who never heard of the thing, and yet managed to live their lives to the end! What in God's name were thy thinking? Better, how were they supposed to think it? Humanity has been around for a minimum od 200K years, some put it at much more that that, and some fringe folks as far back as 50 million, claiming cycles of rise and fall in human competency. Some even claim we are the fifth race of humans. Am I on board with any of that? only the first, I'm pretty sure, as an intellectual assertion. But in any case, that is a lot of people who got along without the Magesterium.
The Magisterium has never taught that those in invincible ignorance of the Catholic Faith are necessarily damned to hell, nor do I personally believe such a thing.

Quote:
So maybe what you are saying is that in your structured model for coping with reality, whatever that is, somehow, because of accident of birth and inculcation, you came to accept by thought or by rote, and live as if there is over you a sole authority to which you must bend your mind, and admit nothing which that superimposed paradigm allows, and experimentation and inquiry on your own is either not allowed or too dangerous due to real or imagined consequences. Is that sort of it?
Not at all. I think I've dropped a few hints regarding my own personal journey- existential inquiry, flirtation with complete, consciously and despairingly self-contradicting skepticism, faith which I believe to be supernatural in origin, etc. And in any event I've asserted that not only does faith bring us to certainty of objective truth but reason can do so as well. I am not handicapped by this faith, but feel the freedom to intellectually strike out in any direction, because I, today, by the grace of God have a firm and immovable center.
__________________
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." I will rather boast most gladly of my weakness, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Last edited by Aelred Minor; Jun 1, '12 at 5:28 pm.
  #30  
Old Jun 1, '12, 5:28 pm
cc42 cc42 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: April 1, 2012
Posts: 144
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Aquinus's five reasons that prove god

Gaber,

The Church teaches that God can be rationally proven. I think that Aquinas' arguments work. It may not be that interesting or important to you but that doesn't destroy the validity of the arguments.
Closed Thread

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics > Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8479Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: Weejee
5153CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: Vim71
4429Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: daughterstm
4037OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: eschator83
3864SOLITUDE
Last by: Prairie Rose
3763Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: RJB
3332Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: Amiciel
3288Poems and Reflections
Last by: tonyg
3225Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: 4elise
3116For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: Weejee



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 1:06 pm.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.