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Evidence for Belief

As we’ve seen in previous posts, we need divine revelation because our End is God, and we cannot attain to that End by our own powers. We receive the truths of that revelation with the assent of faith because they

Posted in Apologetics, Aquinas - Philosophy, Fides et Ratio, Summa Contra Gentiles

Reason: Thus far, and no farther

Reason has its limits. Recently I wrote about intellectual modesty, and this post is certainly related to that. In Summa Contra Gentiles I:5, St Thomas writes that it is fitting for truths beyond the powers of reason to be proposed

Posted in Aquinas - Philosophy, Fides et Ratio, Summa Contra Gentiles, Summa Theologiae

Why We Need Revelation

In a recent post we saw that we need revelation. In SCG I:4 St Thomas goes into a bit more detail as to why we need it if we are going to know God. He assumes here of course that

Posted in Aquinas - Philosophy, Fides et Ratio, Revelation, Summa Contra Gentiles

Genesis 1: More Scattered Thoughts

Folks who say that Genesis 1 must be interpreted as presenting a literal chronology of seven literal days often assert that this viewpoint was never challenged before 19th century (or some other recent century). Once scientists began to think that

Posted in Aquinas - Philosophy, Aquinas - Theology, Augustine, Creation, Fides et Ratio, Summa Theologiae

Intellectual Modesty

Some things can be known with greater confidence than others. For example, I can’t know for sure why my brother hit me with a tennis racket 30 years ago, although it’s reasonable to assume that I must have provoked his

Posted in Aquinas - Philosophy, Fides et Ratio, Summa Contra Gentiles

We Need Revelation

Reason is not omnicompetent. It cannot solve all problems. One problem it cannot solve for us has to do with helping us attain to our end. It was necessary for man’s salvation that there should be a knowledge revealed by

Posted in Aquinas - Philosophy, Aquinas - Theology, Epistemology, Fides et Ratio, Revelation, Summa Contra Gentiles, Summa Theologiae

Preambles

The praeambula fidei or preambles of faith are those rationally discerned truths that serve as a foundation for faith. See here for a representative brief overview. The idea is that our philosophical views—whether self-consciously held or not—can make it easier

Posted in Aquinas - Philosophy, Fides et Ratio

Necessity of Grace

In my last post I pointed out the blindingly obvious fact that the Catholic Church affirms that we are saved by Christ alone. Aside from this being a divinely revealed truth, even on the basis of mere reason it is

Posted in Aquinas - Philosophy, Sola Gratia

On Analogy

In a previous post we discussed the fact that our knowledge of God is analogical. In this post I want to present remarks made by Maritain in Appendix II of The Degrees of Knowledge: “On Analogy” (pages 442-45). I think that this

Posted in Aquinas - Philosophy, Epistemology, Thomistic Theses

Analogical Knowledge of God

In order to understand why and in what ways St Thomas says that our knowledge of God is analogical, there are some prior considerations that must be understood first. The Summa Theologiae is nothing if not spectacularly orderly, such that

Posted in Aquinas - Philosophy, Epistemology, Thomistic Theses
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