God is Metaphysic


#1

What is the purpose of a developed metaphysics when God himself is the author of all being and the sustainer of all being, even secondary causes and laws.

Why is it not true that ultimately causal autonomy and autonomous being are illusory given Gods direct sustaining of every being and every part of every composite being?


#2

What is the purpose of a developed metaphysics when God himself is the author of all being and the sustainer of all being, even secondary causes and laws.

Because such study gives insight into the Nature of God and attempting the work gives insight into Creation…

https://goo.gl/images/eEbJau

Why is it not true that ultimately causal autonomy and autonomous being are illusory given Gods direct sustaining of every being and every part of every composite being?

Even if such are ultimately illusory, observation suggests that God chooses to sustain Creation in such a way that Effect follows Cause as mediated by His Creature’s free will as well as the insensate parts of Creation such as falling rocks and suchlike.

That might change in the next moment, but until it does, it is convenient and productive to act as if that illusion were real.


#3

Why is God’s revelation to us in the sources of revelation, such as scripture, insufficient of itself to come to a knowledge of his character and attributes? Indeed, in scripture we see God in act, but through speculative philosophy we posit things of God quite apart from any real acts (at least an agnostic metaphysician would). So why join metaphysics to faith, especially when metaphysics cannot substitute for faith and is not faith?

Why then is metaphysics necessary to know God when I can simply read about what he has done and what he is like?


#4

Hey, if that works for you, go with it


#5

Theoretically, salvation doesn’t even require the faculty of speech, let alone metaphysics. We need to hear (in some manner, although not literally) and we need to believe what we hear, take it to heart and live it. There is also a danger in talking too much and being silent too little, yes. That doesn’t mean we don’t learn about what we think and how we think and the hidden inconsistencies in our thoughts through thoughtful conversations.

Actually, reading is no substitute for prayer, fasting and almsgiving, if we want to get technical about it.
There aren’t any accounts of the Final Judgment that fault souls for not reading enough.


#6

I understand the requirements of salvation, I myself have backed realist metaphysics in the past. But when of late I consider that God is the sustainer of being, not just generally and distantly, but every part of every whole of every scale, including the being of causation I must ask-

What is the significance of metaphysics other than “Deus vult.” “God wills it.”

Certainly we can go deeper and parse that out, but consider hylemorphic reality- every substance being a unity of matter and form…

God creates the matter, holds it in existence, forms it according to the exemplars in his mind and wills it to be at every level of existence and every quality of being- that the scale of the fish is rough, that the reactions between neurons are what they are, that the very unity of body and soul continue, that the powers of the soul and even the ability to reflect on him continue to exist-

What else is there beyond the revelation that God is the ground of being?


#7

There may not be any.

Metaphysics is worthwhile precisely as much as it has, in the big picture, the effect of bringing you closer to God. I really believe that.

It reminds me of another section from The Screwtape Letters (XIX) --to follow


#8

You complain that my last letter does not make it clear whether I regard being in love as a desirable state for a human or not. But really, Wormwood, that is the sort of question one expects them to ask! Leave them to discuss whether “Love”, or patriotism, or celibacy, or candles on altars, or teetotalism, or education, are “good” or “bad”. Can’t you see there’s no answer? Nothing matters at all except the tendency of a given state of mind, in given circumstances, to move a particular patient at particular moment nearer to the Enemy or nearer to us. Thus it would be quite a good thing to make the patient decide that “love” is “good” or “bad”. If he is an arrogant man with a contempt for the body really based on delicacy but mistaken by him for purity—and one who takes pleasure in flouting what most if his fellows approve—by all means let him decide against love. Instil into him an over-weening asceticism and then, when you have separated his sexuality from all that might humanise it, weigh in on him with it in some much more brutal and cynical form. If, on the other hand, he is an emotional, gullible man, feed him on minor poets and fifth-rate novelists of the old school until you have made him believe that “Love” is both irresistible and somehow intrinsically meritorious. This belief is not much help, I grant you, in producing casual unchastity; but it is an incomparable recipe for prolonged, “noble”, romantic, tragic adulteries, ending, if all goes well, in murders and suicides. Failing that, it can be used to steer the patient into a useful marriage. For marriage, though the Enemy’s invention, has its uses. There must be several young women in your patient’s neighbourhood who would render the Christian life intensely difficult to him if only you could persuade him to marry one of them. Please send me a report on this when you next write. In the meantime, get it quite clear in your own mind that this state of falling in love is not, in itself, necessarily favourable either to us or to the other side. It is simply an occasion which we and the Enemy are both trying to exploit. Like most of the other things which humans are excited about, such as health and sickness, age and youth, or war and peace, it is, from the point of view of the spiritual life, mainly raw material,

Your affectionate uncle

SCREWTAPE


#9

#10

Chop wood, carry water?


#11

There you have the huge difference between Roman Catholicism and Judaism. In Judaism, a Jew will respond to God daily through prayer both public and private, through study, and through the performance of other mitzvot, sacred obligations to God and to other human beings. Jews are called by Torah to lifelong study in the home, in the synagogue and in every place where Jews gather to learn and teach.
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/reform-judaism-modern-statement-of-principles-1999
Jews are are obligated to study Torah throughout their lives. To emphasize this point, some rabbis require a bar mitzvah student to sign an agreement promising to continue Jewish education after the bar mitzvah.
https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/bar-bat-mitzvah-and-confirmation


#12

homework? is this?


#13

I do not think there is another faith or ethnic group that can match the legendary dedication that Jewish people have had for literacy and scholarship. I would go so far as to say it is indisputable. They are not called the People of the Book for nothing.

Having said that, yes, I understated the relative importance of study in the Catholic faith. Catholic bishops highly encourage the faithful to study the faith and to study the Bible. That doesn’t translate, however, into encouraging an ardent interest in metaphysics among all of the faithful as an unfailing means of developing virtue. There is definitely a keep-your-eye-on-the-ball attitude about scholarship. It is not considered an end in itself, but an activity meant to serve higher priorities. It will be the life’s work of one–and rightly so–and yet will only touch another in a far lower degree.

As an example, the study of metaphysics is among the works of St. Thomas Aquinas that are considered a great contribution to the Church and well worth studying. Saints who were far from scholars, however, are not automatically held in lower esteem. It is the degree to which one is dedicated to love of God and neighbor that is held to be important, and it is recognized that this will manifest itself in many different ways.


closed #14

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