Saturday, November 28, 2015

Aquinas

I am reading Ed Feser's Aquinas book. It is interesting. It gets very involved and deep into abstract thinking. What strikes me about it that is where Catholicism goes. He makes assumptions. He argues for them so they are not strictly assumptions but it is well known that many modern thinkers simply don't accept his argument. Yet it typically seems that Catholics should accept them. 

For example, the idea that the intellect is immaterial. That it exists apart from the body. Now I know that it is trendy to deny this. Modern science has shown some strong connections between what physically happens in the brain and our consciousness. People have have put 2 and 2 together and gotten 473. That is they have boldly claimed that this proves the entire human person can be reduced to a series of chemical reactions.  It does not prove that but it does make it more plausible to believe that. Yet as Catholics we don't believe that. We believe the dead continue to have intellect, emotion and will even apart from their bodies. That is why we pray to saints. 

Anyway, what you see in Aquinas is so different from what you see in the modern mind. Modern philosophy is dominated by scepticism. Scepticism is very good at tearing down and destroying ideas. It is not very good at building up anything that would lead to morality or meaning. We deal with it all the time. It is just very strange to read somebody who actually builds up something positive and dares to go deep and follow things to their logical conclusions.

I am reminded that Bl. John Henry Newman said that only Catholicism and Atheism stand up to scrutiny. Really I am thinking he should have said only Catholicism and nihilism because most atheists don't follow their reasoning to its hard conclusions. Catholicism comes to some pretty hard conclusions as well. Are we willing to go there? 

It makes me wonder because the battle lines in debates is very much between moderate scepticism and extreme scepticism. Mostly you run into atheists who claim they can be good while denying the very existence of goodness. Then you run into liberal Christians who are not that different. Very few defend traditional protestantism any more. There are many that believe it but not many that defend it. What it means is that when you encounter people where they are at your mind is often far from the real depth and beauty of the Catholic faith. 

I often find myself arguing that something, somewhere somehow has some meaning. What Catholicism really says is everything means everything. That is that everything that exists is kept in existence every moment by God. That means that everything that exists has the potential to connect us with God. It is such an awesome thought. Wrestling with it is such a different experience. 

You wonder where we should spend our time. Should we be out on the street meeting people where they are at like Pope Francis says or should we be unveiling Catholicism in all its depth and beauty like Pope Benedict did. 

1 comment:


  1. Latin Mass Societies' Mass is heretical
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2015/12/latin-mass-societies-mass-is-heretical.html


    The present traditional Latin Mass is modernist
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.it/2015/12/the-present-traditional-latin-mass-is.html

    ReplyDelete