Aquinas said Science overrides Religion?


My dad gives talks around our city. He is very “Spirit of Vatican 2”, pro-contraception and anti-hierarchy.

We got into a philosophy of religion discussion and he stated that Thomas Aquinas believed that if your observations of your world disagree with your religion you must change your religion. I asked him for the quote and context but he couldn’t give it but he has apparently been stating this as part of one of his talks.

Does anyone know where this might come from and where I could find what ever my dad might be referring to?


It was Sherlock Holmes and Spock who said:

" that if you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the solution.”

Since much of religious belief seems or is indeed impossible, logic and science must always come first.


Actually, I think the Dalai Lama said that (he was asked about Buddhism and science…)


Can you prove that using just the 5 senses?

Many atheists maintain that much of philosophy - logic as you put it - is impossible, so are they right?

This is not helpful and not in anyway an answer to what I asked.


Citation would be helpful.


I believe Aquinas also said there can be no contradiction between faith and reason.


That I know. I’ve done a master’s class in philosophy (so now I know that I really REALLY don’t know anything) in which we read Faith and Reason the Pope Leo encyclical that the title escapes me…


Hi poorknight, does this help?


Great thank you. This will forward the discussion.

Still looking for something on Aquinas if anyone knows of anything.


St. Thomas Aquinas says “religion is the same as sanctity.” (STh II-II, q. 81, a.8, sc.) He also says (sanctity) “In one way it denotes purity; and this signification fits in with the Greek, for hagios means unsoiled. In another way it denotes firmness, wherefore in olden times the term sancta was applied to such things as were upheld by law and were not to be violated. Hence a thing is said to be sacred (sancitum) when it is ratified by law.” (ibid., c.)

It is common sense to note that the laws observed in the profane sciences do not give this effect.


He is probably referring to this:

“In discussing questions of this kind two rules are to be observed, as Augustine teaches. The first is, to hold to the truth of Scripture without wavering. The second is that since Holy Scripture can be explained in a multiplicity of senses, one should adhere to a particular explanation only in such measure as to be ready to abandon it if it be proved with certainty to be false, lest Holy Scripture be exposed to the ridicule of unbelievers, and obstacles be placed to their believing.”

Unfortunately, the only reference I have is Summa Theologica, which does not help a great deal.




Properly speaking religion is the act of worship. He says that sanctity differs from religion logically but not essentially. The firmness of sanctity is the provision of God to meditate on the righteousness of God all throughout the entire life of which one is sanctified. It cannot be overridden in its full measure by a true good.

Yet he says religion is a moral virtue such of which there is a mean between excess and defect. Superstition denotes the excess of religion. “Accordingly superstition is a vice contrary to religion by excess, not that it offers more to the divine worship than true religion, but because it offers divine worship either to whom it ought not, or in a manner it ought not.” (STh II-II, q. 92, a.1 c.)


Didn’t he say that faith and reason are like shoes on your feet; that both are necessary?


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