Saturday, August 13, 2011

Philosophical Bloviations: Of the Relation Between Faith and Reason Pt. 1

  Yes, it has been a while since I posted on this blog but there has not been a like absence of philosophizing on my part. Today I want to write about the relation between faith (supernatural theology) and reason (natural theology) from the point of view of St. Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica.
   Now let me establish some necessary premises about Philosophy (science) and its relations with reason and about Supernatural Theology, before I analyze them later. First, all men shouldn't know what is above the knowable ("what is above reason"). To be unknowable is to be irrational -not approachable by ratiocination. Now nothing irrational is in philosophy. Further, nothing is known but what is true, that is, if something is known then it is true for other wise it would be possible for some known thing to be outside the set of true things, which contradicts the idea that nothing is known accept what is true. And again, knowledge is only concerned with being so that if it is knowledge then it is about being (and being=truth). That being equals truth may be seen later when Aquinas writes that all that is, is true. However all that is, is treated of in philosophy. Now because all knowledge is justified, and all justification is ratiocination, then clearly all knowledge is rational. Here is where the difficulty ensues, for if all knowledge is contained in philosophy (and by modus ponens, all philosophy is rational), then it looks as if philosophy will suffice for, and supernatural theology is useless for, all human needs.  And yet, any Catholic believes that supernatural theology is of utmost importance. How does one solve this problem?
   Sacred Science (or S.S. or supernatural theology) is the study of things above reason and accepted on faith. Sacred Science is science because sacred science proceeds by means of faith, and all sciences are differentiated according to the means by which the science's conclusions are made.
   So S.S. is not rational and is based on faith. Now faith= -(ratiocination) and yet S.S. is also true. So clearly, by a fourth figure syllogism, some irrational things are true. Problem number two now ensues:  If philosophy contains nothing irrational, then it must contain something rational by disjunct subtraction. So it is possible at least, that philosophy contains all knowables. But as plato observed, knowledge is true, so nothing known is false. So if philosophy has all knowledge and if all knowledge is true, then philosophy would contain all truth. But again, some truth is irrational, so some philosophy would be irrational which contradicts the fact that philosophy is only rational. So clearly philosophy doesn't contain all knowledge but if that is true, then that would contradict the idea that everything that is, is treated of in philosophy. Deep are the depths that one must plumb, to resolve a weak mind's contradictions. But I realize that this post is lengthy so I'm going to put the left-overs of tonight's mental meal in the fridge and return to the subject tomorrow.

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