William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Summary Against Modern Thought: Our Nature And Possible Intellect

This may be proved in three ways. The first...

This may be proved in three ways. The first…

See the first post in this series for an explanation and guide of our tour of Summa Contra Gentiles. All posts are under the category SAMT.

Previous post.

We’re still on makeup and workings of the intellect and soul. Rough hoeing this week: long and meaty. Put all that turkey and potatoes to work in exercising your little gray cells.

Chapter 60 That man derives his specific nature, not from the passive, but from the possible, intellect (alternate translation) We’re using the alternate translation this week.

1 These arguments are countered by others in keeping with the doctrine considered above. For Averroes says that man differs specifically from the brutes by the intellect which Aristotle calls passive and which is the same as the cogitative power that is proper to man, in place of which the other animals have a certain natural estimative power.

Now, it is the function of this cogitative power to distinguish individual intentions and to compare them with one another, even as the intellect which is separate and unmixed compares and distinguishes universal intentions. And by this cogitative power, together with the imagination and memory, the phantasms are prepared to receive the action of the agent intellect, whereby they are made intelligible in act, just as there are certain arts which prepare the matter for the master artificer. Accordingly, this power is given the name of intellect or reason, which physicians declare to be seated in the middle cell of the head. And according to the disposition of this power, one man differs from another in genius and in other qualities pertaining to understanding. And by the use and exercise of this power a man acquires the habit [habitus] of science. Hence, the habits of the sciences are in this passive intellect as their subject. Moreover, this passive intellect is in the child from the beginning, and through it the child receives its specific nature as a human being, before it actually understands.

Notes Instead, the body’s sensory apparatus serves up phantasms to the intellect, which digests them, if you will. So much, too, for the rumors medieval science was ignorant: [the intellect], which physicians declare to be seated in the middle cell of the head. And there, as before, is inequality: one man differs from another in genius and in other qualities.

2 But it is quite obvious that these notions are false and involve an abuse of terms. For the vital operations are compared to the soul as second acts to the first act, as Aristotle makes clear in De anima II.

Now, in the same thing first act precedes the second in time, just as knowledge precedes reflection, Consequently, in whatever thing we find a vital operation we must place a part of the soul which will be related to that operation as first act to second act. But man has a proper operation higher than the other animals, namely, understanding and reasoning, which is the operation of man as man, as Aristotle says in Ethics I.

Hence, we must attribute to man a principle that properly gives him his specific nature and is related to the act of understanding as first act to second act. Now, this principle cannot be the aforesaid passive intellect, because the principle of man’s proper operation must be impassible and not mixed with the body, as Aristotle proves [De anima III, 4]; whereas, the contrary is clearly true of the passive intellect. Therefore, it is impossible that man’s specific nature, whereby he is distinguished from the other animals, should be given him by the cogitative power, which is called the passive intellect.

3 Furthermore, an affection of the sensitive part of a thing cannot place it in a higher kind of life than the sensitive, just as an affection of the nutritive soul does not place it in a higher kind of life than the nutritive. Now, it is clear that the imagination, and like powers consequent upon it, such as the memory and so on, are affections of the sensitive part, as Aristotle proves in the De memoria [I].

Hence, an animal cannot be placed by these powers or by any one of them in a higher category of life than the sensitive. But man’s life is of a higher kind—a point clearly explained in De anima II, where Aristotle, in distinguishing the kinds of life, places the intellective, which he attributes to man, above the sensitive, which he ascribes to all animals in general. Therefore, it is not by virtue of the aforesaid cogitative power that man is a living being with a life proper to himself.

Notes We should have it by now, but if not, re-read that paragraph until you have it cold.

4 Then, too, every self-mover is composed of mover and moved, as Aristotle proves in Physics VIII. Now, man, in common with the other animals, is a self-mover. Therefore, mover and moved are parts of him. And the first mover in man is the intellect, since the intellect by its intelligible object moves the will.

Nor can it be said that the passive intellect alone is the mover, because the passive intellect has to do with particulars only, whereas, actual movement involves both the universal judgment, which belongs to the possible intellect, and the particular judgment, which can belong to the passive intellect, as Aristotle explains in De anima III, and in Ethics VII. Therefore, the possible intellect is a part of man. And it is the most noble and most formal thing in him. Hence, man derives his specific nature from it, and not from the passive intellect.

5 The possible intellect, moreover, is demonstrably not the act of any body, because it is cognizant of all sensible forms universally. Therefore, no power whose operation can extend to the universals of all sensible forms can be the act of a body. Now, such a power is the will, for our will can reach out to all the things that we can understand, at least our will to know them. And the act of the will is clearly directed to the universal; as Aristotle says in the Rhetoric [II, 4], “we hate robbers in general, but are angry only with individual ones.” Therefore, the will cannot be the act of any part of the body, nor can it follow upon a power that is an act of the body.

Now, every part of the soul is an act of the body, with the single exception of the intellect properly so called. Therefore, the will is in the intellective part; and that is why Aristotle says in De anima in: “Will is in the reason, but the irascible and concupiscible appetite are in the sensitive part.” So it is that acts of concupiscence and irascibility involve passion, but not the act of the will, which involves choice.

Now, man’s will is not outside him, as though it resided in some separate substance, but is within him. Otherwise, man would not be master of his own actions, since he would then be acted upon by the will of a separate substance, and in him there would be only the appetitive powers functioning in association with passion, namely, the irascible and concupiscible powers, which are in the sensitive part, as in other animals that are acted upon rather than act themselves. But this is impossible and would destroy all moral philosophy and sociality. It follows that there must exist in us the possible intellect, so that by it we differ from brute animals, and not only in terms of the passive intellect.

Notes Free will again. And try dropping “concupiscible appetite”, especially among those who have stuffed too much stuffing into themselves.

6 Likewise, just as nothing is able to act except through an active potentiality in it, so nothing can be passive save through an inherent passive potentiality; the combustible is able to be burned not only because there is a thing capable of burning it, but also because it has in itself a potentiality to be burned. Now, understanding is a kind of undergoing, as is stated in De anima III [4]. Therefore, since the child is potentially understanding, even though he is not actually understanding, there must be in him a potentiality whereby he is able to understand. And this potentiality is the possible intellect. Hence, there must already be a union of the possible intellect to the child before he understands actually. Therefore, it is not through the actually understood form that the possible intellect is brought into connection with man; rather, the possible intellect itself is in man from the beginning as part of himself.

7 Averroes, however, has an answer to this argument. For he avers that a child is said to be understanding potentially for two reasons: first, because the phantasms in him are potentially intelligible; second, because the possible intellect is able to come in contact with him, and not because the intellect is already united to him.

8 Now we have to show that neither of these reasons suffices. Thus, the potentiality that enables the agent to act is distinct from the potentiality that enables the patient to receive action; and they differ as opposites. So, just because a thing is able to act, it does not follow that it is capable of receiving action.

But ability to understand is ability to be passive; for as Aristotle remarks, “understanding is a kind of undergoing.” The child, therefore, is not said to be able to understand simply because the phantasms in him can be actually understood; this has to do with the ability to act, since the phantasms move the possible intellect.

9 Moreover, a potentiality derivative from the specific nature of a thing does not belong to it as a result of that which does not confer upon the thing its specific nature. Now, ability to understand is a consequence of the specific nature of man, for understanding is an operation of man as man. But phantasms do not give man his specific nature; rather, they are consequent upon his operation. Therefore, it cannot be said that the child is potentially understanding because of the phantasms.

Notes As above, even animals have sensations.

10 And it is likewise impossible to say that a child is potentially understanding because the possible intellect can be in touch with him. For a person is said to be able to act or to be passive by active or passive potentiality, just as he is said to be white by whiteness. But he is not said to be white before whiteness is united to him. Therefore, neither is a person said to be able to act or to be passive before active or passive potentiality is present in him. Consequently, it cannot be said that a child is able to understand before the possible intellect, which is the power of understanding, is in contact with him.

11 Furthermore, a person is said in one way to be able to act before having the nature by which he acts, and in another way after he already has that nature, but is accidentally prevented from acting; thus, a body is in one sense said to be capable of being lifted upwards before it is light, and in another, after it is made light but is impeded in its movement.

Now, a child is potentially understanding, not as though he has not yet the nature enabling him to understand, but as having an obstacle to understanding, since he is prevented from understanding “because of the multiform movements in him,” as is said in Physics VII [3]. Hence, he is not said to have the power of understanding because the possible intellect, which is the principle of understanding, can be joined to him, but because it is already in contact with him and is prevented from exercising its proper action; so that, upon the removal of the obstacle, he immediately understands…

Notes More science! The mechanisms are even now not fully understood, and may never be fully understood. But that a thing happens is different from understanding why it happens.

15 Then, too, the perfection of a higher substance cannot possibly depend upon a lower substance. Now, the perfection of the possible intellect depends on the operation of man, for it depends on the phantasms, which move the possible intellect. Therefore, the possible intellect is not a higher substance than man. Consequently, it must be part of man as his act and form.

Notes Under the category Decartes was wrong, these next two paragraphs:

16 Again, things separate in being also have separate operations, because things are for the sake of their operations, as first act for the sake of second act; that is why Aristotle says that, if any operation of the soul does not involve the body, then “it is possible for the soul to have a separate existence.” But the operation of the possible intellect requires the body, for Aristotle says in De anima III [4] that the intellect can act by itself, namely, it can understand, when it has been actuated by a species abstracted from phantasms—which have no existence apart from the body. Therefore, the possible intellect is not altogether separate from the body.

17 And again, every thing naturally endowed with a certain operation has by nature those attributes without which that operation cannot be carried out. Thus, Aristotle proves in De caelo II [8] that if the movement of the stars were progressive, like that of animals, nature would have given them organs of progressive movement. But the operation of the possible intellect is accomplished by bodily organs, in which there must be phantasms. Therefore, nature has united the possible intellect to bodily organs. Consequently, it has no being separate from the body…

29 Comments

  1. Is there a point to this chapter or is it for historical reflection only?

  2. No point. It is a complete dog’s breakfast.
    It is clumsy deliberately unclear, I believe, and carefully constructed to imply a proof of something which cannot be proved and with language that is so sacred as nobody is allowed or dare properly, in the correct use of that word, translate to a level that would stand proper scrutiny of the theory of the anatomy of the soul.

    It is simply silly to bend over backwards excusing the old understanding of language and physiology to allow for a thing which is then claimed as proved.

    It is not okay just because it is called philosophy or theology to use the poetic technique of uncertain description and then claim a proof. If it’s not okay for a poet it’s not okay for a philosopher or a theologist.

    I say again the arts have this sewn up. Outside of the obvious or well trodden ideas this work is unnecessarily sinuous, unclear and in places it is just wrong.

    I am so suspicious of this text by now I wonder what Jesus wouldhave said about it. I wonder if readers of this text would consider Jesus would have been clever enough to understand it.

    Stop pretending it makes sense. or provide a full correct translation.

    Over and over again there are statements of the obvious and observable woven with parts that are unfounded assertion. The thing proceeds like a motorbus and doesn’t stop for proper analysis. Like a really fast talking salesman would do.

    As for irascible…. Well old men would know about that.
    “blame the dog inside”.

    Those intellects are totally unimpressive parts with nothing left about them but free will. It’s rubbish.

    I won’t read any more of this Thomas Stuff. It’s repetitive and it’s not going anywhere special but in a a spiral.

  3. Poor Joy has spat the dummy.

    If doesn’t seem to mean what she thinks it should mean, or that it is somewhat incomprehensible to modern psychology, then it’s meaningless.

    However, I suggest that all this Thomistic thinking, if you cut through the ponderous particulars, simply means that any effect must have a cause.

    That there is intellect (conception, cognition, understanding and all that) means that there must be something that does all that and that there must be some method to the operations thereof. That Ole Tom’s ponderations don’t immediately appeal to the “modern” simplistic assumptions does not mean that the underlying premises are either wrong or irrelevant. Fact remains that there cannot be any effect without an efficient cause. Just what is understood to be the cause(s) of the effects we universally observe may be liable to some refinement… but such refinement can’t alter the fact that any effect must have a cause.

  4. Old avid,
    It’t not psychology. Why do you pretend that it is.
    “doesn’t seem to mean what she thought it should mean”?

    It is as i’ve said a very bad attempt to use a text that uses arcane language and the understanding of medieval period to justify the modern Catholic ideal of what soul is.

    It isn’t even consistent in it’s dealing with the soul. Since nobody wants to break this down beyond a token one or two lines of ‘notes’ there’s no point relying upon it.

    Dogmatic old sacred cow.

    Thomas himself could not justify the worship of this text if he were alive today and neither should people here. There are good and bad parts.
    The bad parts far outweigh the good in repetition.

    I’m simply saying it how it is.

    …and David I make no apologies for being young.

  5. Good, I am clearly not the only one who considers this chapter incomprehensible.

  6. Ye Olde Statistician

    November 28, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    A difficulty is that the various chapters are being presented piecemeal and thus have an appearance of being self-contained, stand-alone theorems rather than cumulative. In particular, Book II, Ch. LX is part of a single argument that began in Ch. LVI and will continue into Ch. LXXII.* It is all part and parcel of the question of what makes us human. This is something Modern science does not even address other than in a biological sense, so there is no reason to think that it could be tossed off in a few sentences; nor even that some technical language might not be necessary. The skein of the argument includes the exposition of several other arguments — Plato, Averroes, Alexander — with which Aquinas will take issue in part or in whole, often rejecting or modifying some portions of them.

    For example, Aristotle had supposed three intellects in man:
    1. nous poietikos which Aquinas called active [or agent] intellect which transforms the world of sensation into one of intelligibility;
    2. nous dynamikos a/k/a receptive [or possible] intellect which is in potency to actualization by the intelligible forms which the agent intellect has abstracted from the sensible percepts;
    3. nous pathetikos a/k/a pathic [or passive] intellect which is the ability to form sensitive images [not restricted to visual images]. But that would make it in fact one of the sensory powers and not an intellective power at all, since elsewhere Aristotle distinguishes the intellect from the imagination.

    Basically, the agent intellect reflects on the particulars of sensible knowledge and abstracts universals. These impregnate the possible intellect, with then conceives ideas, or “intelligible species.” Notice the resemblance not only to Ockham’s Razor, but to sexual reproduction.

    cf. Brennan, Thomistic Psychology pp. 24 et seq., 40-42, 179-180
    Wallace, The Modeling of Natue. pp. 132-133

    What Aquinas is trying to get across in Ch. LX is that what makes us human is not the imagination [passive intellect], since animals also possess this power. For another, user-friendly translation, see p. 245 at:
    http://www.basilica.org/pages/ebooks/St.%20Thomas%20Aquinas-The%20Summa%20Contra%20Gentiles.pdf
    CHAPTER LX–That Man is not a Member the Human Species by possession of Passive Intellect, but by possession of Potential Intellect
    ____________________________________
    *to wit:
    56. In what way an intellectual substance can be united to the body
    57. The position of Plato concerning the union of the intellectual soul with the body
    58. That in man there are not three souls, nutritive, sensitive, and intellective
    59. That man’s possible intellect is not a separate substance
    60. That man derives his specific nature, not from the passive, but from the possible, intellect
    61. That this theory is contrary to the teaching of Aristotle
    62. Against Alexander’s opinion concerning the possible intellect
    63. That the soul is not a temperament, as Galen maintained
    64. That the soul is not a harmony
    65. That the soul is not a body
    66. Against those who maintain that intellect and sense are the same
    67. Against those who hold that the possible intellect is the imagination
    68. How an intellectual substance can be the form of the body
    69. Solution of the arguments advanced above in order to show that an intellectual substance cannot be united to the body as its form
    70. That according to the words of Aristotle the intellect must be said to be united to the body as its form
    71. That the soul is united to the body without intermediation
    72. That the whole soul is in the whole body and in each of its parts

  7. Come now, Joy.

    Isn’t this an admission that you don’t like what it seems to imply (or mean) so you dismiss the whole thing as merely “to justify the
    modern Catholic ideal of what soul is”.

    Look, what we have is Ole Tom applying his Scholastic Method to examine various hypotheses (propositions) of several proponents and pointing out various inconsistencies or weaknesses then pointing out his proposed “solution” to the problems. I admit that it is ponderous in its particulars but that is no reasonable excuse to blithely chuck out the baby with the bathwater.

    As I said before, intellect at some level or development is an attribute of humanness. What is being tackled here is what can we deduce or induce about what it is, how it works, and how is it so intimately connected with the quality of “humanness”.

    Is it really reasonable to jettison the lot because it might be inconsistent with your (unstated or undescribed) non-“modern Catholic ideal of what soul is”?

    …and, Joy, I make no apologies for not being young.

  8. YOS my lovely perhaps if you were running this weekly game it might be a bit different. I do prefer cricket to dodgeball.

    That you say what it is to be human can’t be ’tossed off’ in such a delicate way really shows you’re as frustrated by this as other people.

    Not everybody’s frustrated for the same reasons. The soul and what it is to be human aren’t the same thing anyway.

    My argument is the same one as with many which try to quantify, slice and dice, call it what you will what can’t be quantified.
    This fragmented argument which is popular only with a certain type of a certain world view is telling. It is in conflict with what Jesus said.
    The bible takes president over any other religious text. It must. This has been a faith destroying exercise for me.
    Not even because of what Thomas writes but witnessing all the shenanigans and trappings that go with this.

    As I’ve said in the past much of what is agreeable about this is just the obvious or the simple strange straw man arguments that Thomas brings up and which are a waste of intellectual time and energy. He makes really small points over and over then flips back bit flip style and says something circular, cryptic and so on. It needed editing back then which would have helped. If that’s shocking and sacrilegious that is regrettable but it’s actually what I think. The previous book was superior. I have no problem with Thomas the man. It’s the men who surrounded him and who have clung to him since. Many don’t do it for honourable reasons.

    The only things proved or I’d rather say internally consistent are the rather obvious points given a theist perspective. I don’t know what atheists make of it and probably they think very different things as individuals.

    I wish that I could have a verbal conversation about this text and then straight responses and answers might be forthcoming. That is not something that could ever happen other than in reality with all the hiding and ducking and diving on here. Should I say ducking and draking.

    If this is a self reassurance fest which I’ve stumbled into then my comments will be misplaced.
    It’s just pointless flattering the thing, reading the obvious and ignoring the rest. That’s the choice offered by intimidation and not f you YOS.
    If a person can’t question a thing and it can’t stand close scrutiny it is weak. “if you’re so smart why are you reading?” and variations on that isn’t a good enough response from anyone let alone someone who calls themselves intellectual. It implies there isn’t an answer and if there is they don’t know what it is.

    David,
    It does no good, your guessing. (Not you are guessing, your guessing.)
    This comment of yours was no different from so many of the others.
    You’re wrong. Stop imbuing motives and attributing cause resulting from that assumed motive.

  9. Ye Olde Statistician

    November 29, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    The soul and what it is to be human aren’t the same thing anyway.

    Of course not. Soul (“anima”) is the same thing as what it is to be alive. Not all living things are human. That’s why a couple of chapters ago Briggs gave us Thomas argument why humans did not have three separate souls: vegetative, sensitive, and rational. Plants have only the first; animals have the first and second, but integrated into a single soul. Humans possess all three, but again integrated into a whole. The “I” that senses the marks on the screen is the same “I” that understands the meaning of the marks in the English.

    My argument is the same one as with many which try to quantify

    The objection of the Scientific Revolutionaries was precisely that these arguments were not quantitative.

    This fragmented argument … is in conflict with what Jesus said.

    It may examine the natural philosophy underlying all this, but in what way is it in conflict?

    The bible takes president [sic] over any other religious text.

    I’m told the Nicene Creed has a certain amount of oomph.

    But why “text”? The Eastern Orthodox Church bases itself on the Holy Traditions handed down from the Apostles, such as in the writings of the Church Fathers. [In fact, the Letter of Clement was included in some early compilations of the Bible in the Roman and Alexandrian churches.] The Church existed for a long time before the Bible was assembled; before, in fact, some of the books in it were even written. Those who think the text is self-explanatory are faced with the spectacle of Calvin and Luther disagreeing and both of them pointing and crying out “It’s in the Book!” [And where in the Bible does it say that the Bible is self-explanatory?]

    the simple strange straw man arguments that Thomas brings up

    Often said; never cited. Perhaps Thomas’ refutations were so final that Late Moderns have forgotten the questions were still live questions eight centuries ago.

    says something circular

    Often said; never cited.

  10. I made no proper attempt to shorten it because it’s not clear which part to leave out.

    This is really what I mean YOS, that the problem areas in the text are never the parts addressed. The obvious point about what possesses and how many souls isn’t revealing in itself. Jesus never preached to rocks.

    About the following quote: I might say a four year old would know how many souls they have. Perhaps a five year old. You might say they’ve been told at Sunday school, I’d say yes and that’s just internal consistency. Like I said if you tell me the glass in your hand is half full and then tell me there’s half missing from the glass how can I argue unless I say something untrue or argue about ‘glass’ ‘full’ and so on.

    “That’s why a couple of chapters ago Briggs gave us Thomas argument why humans did not have three separate souls: vegetative, sensitive, and rational. Plants have only the first; animals have the first and second, but integrated into a single soul. Humans possess all three, but again integrated into a whole. The “I” that senses the marks on the screen is the same “I” that understands the meaning of the marks in the English.

    Let’s not get started on viruses and fungi but the argument doesn’t need to change.
    (The soul is the being in the verbal sense.)

    You see this is why Jonny Vagus’s rant is so apt here. ..pointless circles.
    Nobody anywhere and at any time that I know of has argued that someone has more than one soul.
    It isn’t a revelation to describe the capacity of a plant versus an animal. It’s interesting to consider these things but modern people, which is all of us, know about capacity of these things. No need to bring science in because it was science which supplied the knowledge, (men) and so these things are a reality here and now. To have to go back and excuse Thomas all the time for the state of things then is tedious and adds layers of disagreement and mystery that isn’t essentially the point of the text. Forgive me but I do realise that much.

    So reading the text is as much an exercise in deciphering then to realise so what, we knew that and never thought otherwise. Do you see?
    I’ll pick out some bits which got me going. This text has the strangest effect on me. Most of the time one just has to ignore it because there’s never going to be an adequate answer. Like I said, the rest coagulates out of the text in obvious conclusions.

    “The objection of the Scientific Revolutionaries was precisely that these arguments were not quantitative.”

    It can’t be helped that my criticism isn’t the same as them. Mine is a theist view and I’m sure that the false notion of science being in conflict with the existence of God was the reason for this coming up. I’m not surprised there weren’t enough numbers involved for them it’s vague and they weren’t going to like it however it was written, some of them.

    What is bugging me has something to do with the talk about where the soul ‘resides’ which is where I think Thomas contradicts himself. and I thought that was ironed out last time or the time before. It has something to do with talk of ‘intellect’ and the really distasteful notion, to me, that this text is being used to underpin arguments about sin with respect to ’sensory appetites’. Always it’s about sex! forget food and nutrition. To watch Ed in action was really not a pleasant experience and I urge you to watch the man on youtube. Perhaps one has to be female to know where I’m coming from. I’m not casting any aspersion, because it’s my reaction and I’m certain it’s not intended or even realised but it matters pretty much if this matters outside of a self reassuring exercise for the ‘intellectual’.

    Women aren’t like men. This text is for men. Perhaps some men are like women and some women are like men in some cases but I’m generalising.

    Like I was saying the other day, when a man, in this instance, commits a really bad sin of a sexual nature, he is making a choice and who cares where in his body that choice came about by naming the structure? All that matters is that the sum of all the parts resulted in the choice and the action. While he is alive there is no or should be no talk of soul being intellect. It’s that toxic mixture which gets me going. I’m sure this isn’t just me and it’s a common reaction. Some cynics and creeps might say there’s ’something deeper’ but it isn’t true except that the subject itself is as deep as it goes.

    One moment we have the ‘cell in the head’ which we forgive Thomas for and the next we’re supposed to understand as metaphor where other words are literal. The truth is that Thomas didn’t know about anatomy and physiology. So the guessing at the pupil being clear for colours to show to prove something about where the action is taking place. There’s yards and yards of text which is simply quaint and cute in places but hey, I wish I hadn’t started reading it.

    It’s back to my own thoughts after all and there’s nothing new under the sun. The soul is just the summit of the being.
    …………………..
    “It may examine the natural philosophy underlying all this, but in what way is it in conflict?”

    ‘All this?’ = Jesus? … well Jesus said, ‘all your heart and all your mind and all your soul’. In once sense this is to say that there are three different kinds of ‘being’ but i would say that they are not separate ’souls’ because they all refer to the same person or human being. I believe Jesus meant ‘way to be’ and everyone understands what is meant by heart and mind, it’s the soul part people have problems with. ‘with all your being’ or all that you are is what I take from the bible quote. It is clearer and simpler than all the fragmentation of Thomas.

    Jesus doesn’t at any stage say anything about feelings and emotions being a negative thing which is often what is implied by Catholics wanting to moralise, scientists wanting to pretend to be clean, or actually, anybody trying to pretend to be ‘clean’! It’s toxic subliminal stuff in my view. As I’ve said before emotion is left out of text and writing for reasons that are not to do with them being bad. People forget this….and anger is an emotion is the other thing which people forget. It’s not an arguemnt to say it must be left in either.

    Someone without feeling is a sociopath or a psychopath. Conscience involves feelings. The thought being followed by the feeling that example. In so many cases the feeling or sense of a thing is the first thing and the thought works out what’s happening. Sop I dislike the talk of low down sensory versus high up intellectual. NOT because of some fanaticism for animals as has been falsely implied by a certain someone who knows who he is. This is about humans. Talk of animals is deliberate distraction…but Thomas started it for noble reasons. When people tease about it they must expect to be teased back.
    ………………….
    “But why “text”? The Eastern Orthodox Church bases itself on the Holy Traditions handed down from the Apostles, such as in the writings of the Church Fathers. [In fact, the Letter of Clement was included in some early compilations of the Bible in the Roman and Alexandrian churches.] The Church existed for a long time before the Bible was assembled; before, in fact, some of the books in it were even written. Those who think the text is self-explanatory are faced with the spectacle of Calvin and Luther “

    Oh dear, my heart sank! This is going to be like a discussion with a Jehovah’s witness. Where the book is changeable and open ended. I genuinely don’t have the time for that discussion….The King James bible. I’m not going into history this time. What Jesus said in the new testament on this particular subject isn’t disputed by Christians. Rather it’s what he meant by what he said which is discussed. Some might have some special books under their sleeves but the gospels are what counts. Accounts of other gospels are disputed but the ones we’ve got tell us enough. Jesus is the entire point of the Christian faith.

    I watched the very long plodding video the other day about the dead sea scrolls. All just to confirm that it doesn’t reveal anything new but confirms what we know. A sort of reassurance. What a long time to discover that.
    ………………
    “And where in the Bible does it say that the Bible is self-explanatory?]”
    Does a self explanatory thing need to tell that it’s self explanatory? The bible didn’t say it I did.
    The bible does mention what is fated for anyone who adds to or adulterates the book. In Revelations.
    ………………………….
    the simple strange straw man arguments that Thomas brings up
    “Often said; never cited. Perhaps Thomas’ refutations were so final that Late Moderns have forgotten the questions were still live questions eight centuries ago.”

    How about the talk of rocks and what they can do. That’s the sort of thing I mean by straw man. You will call it analogy but it is an obvious thing to say that rocks don’t think and Jesus didn’t preach to them. They never get a look in the bible unless they’re being cast.

    That’s what I mean by straw man. I can’t excuse or explain what other ‘moderns’ ’scientists’ or others say. I’m saying what I think.
    The straw man is part of Thomas’s methodology. It’s part of many people’s argumentation to demonstrate a thing. My point is that it lengthens the text and is not necessary. Calling things proven when the thing is a known thing isn’t a result. It’s a small point. Of course I’m not just referring to points of knowledge in modern science there.
    …………………..
    Circular arguments…often said …..

    The text is circular. It loops back constantly to a point of real tedium. It is yet another distraction and layer of mystery which adds to the seemingly necessary complexity of the text. I always dislike a thing which is necessarily complex because unless complexity is necessary it begs the question why? Usually intellectual vanity or boredom craves complexity. Note the word necessary. Intricacy is different.

    A teacher knows to say something seven times before it goes in. I forgive Thomas for that if that’s the reason and I’m not really even criticising Thomas the man but that all this time has passed and nobody’s brought out a text book that does a good job of cutting to the chase. It doesn’t need to supersede the text. If Thomas were alive today he’d edit it. I’m sure it was always a work in progress anyway.

  11. Oldavid,
    The modern Catholic ideal of soul?

    You mean the flibbertigibbet, Willow The Whisp?

    The intellect/will model is is reductionist and convenient for those given to boasting and those who want to say something about the body. In that sense it is transparently loaded.

    enough floccinaucinihilipilification.

  12. Ye Olde Statistician

    November 30, 2016 at 12:49 am

    Nobody anywhere and at any time that I know of has argued that someone has more than one soul.

    Except for some Neoplatonists. Although this seems to have been a mistranslation of the Timaeus. in which nous, thumos, and epithumia were mistaken for separate souls residing in the head, the chest, and the belly, resp., it was widely mooted by commentators on Plato from Late Antiquity at least through the Renaissance. After the Supreme Deity had produced the intellect, inferior deities allocated the two divisions of the “mortal soul” to other parts of the body. Even today there are those who believe that “soul” and “spirit” are two distinct things.

    The same goes for other problems that were live at the time: e.g., do all men share one soul or does each man have an individual soul. Our eyebrows arch largely because Thomas and his colleagues won the debate and we have forgotten the mystics who held otherwise.
    http://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2016/10/22/thomism_is_ready_for_its_close-up_107134.html

    It canâ??t be helped that my criticism isn’??t the same as them.

    You complained that Thomas was too “quantitative” when the general consensus is that the Schoolmen were entirely qualitative.

    Always it’??s about sex! forget food and nutrition.

    It only seems that way because of the Late Modern obsessions with sex. In fact, of the seven deadly sins only one, Lust, deals partly with sex. (There are multiple kinds of lust, not just sexual lust.) Gluttony is another. Since both deal with the vegetative powers of the soul, it is no surprise that an epidemic of obesity is occurring at the same time as an epidemic of single-motherhood.

    Jesus doesn’t at any stage say anything about feelings and emotions being a negative thing

    Why would he? Certainly, neither Thomas, nor the Church in general has done so. Love, for example, often gives rise to feelings. Granted, like anything else, they can be negative — a man may love to torture animals — but that has been known since Antiquity. As the Romans put it, Virtus in media stet.

    (strange straw man arguments that Thomas brings up)
    How about the talk of rocks and what they can do

    I don’t get it. What was the argument?

    The text is circular. It loops back constantly to a point of real tedium.

    That is not what is meant by a circular argument.

    It is yet another distraction and layer of mystery which adds to the seemingly necessary complexity of the text. I always dislike a thing which is necessarily complex because unless complexity is necessary it begs the question why?

    I would have thought that reiterating a point would work to clear up a mystery. I’m not sure if you meant you dislike things which are necessarily complex (as written) or that you meany you dislike things that are unnecessarily complex.

    However, complexity does not “beg the question,” because “begging the question” is what is called a “circular argument.” That is, the conclusion of an argument has been embedded in the premises.

    So, stay away from mathematics texts, which also tend to be complex. Personally, I find analytic philosophy to be somewhat tedious and jargon-stuffed.

    The modern Catholic ideal of soul? … The intellect/will model is is reductionist and convenient for those given to boasting

    Actually, it can be found in Aristotle. Hardly “modern.” Hardly “Catholic,” even.
    It’s not even reductionist: the intellect cannot be reduced to the will, nor can the will be reduced to the intellect. Reductionism seeks to find a single principle by which everything can be explained, and is hardly satisfied with two.

  13. No, y’ dear thing, I don’t mean:
    “Oldavid,
    The modern Catholic ideal of soul?

    You mean the flibbertigibbet, Willow The Whisp?

    The intellect/will model is is reductionist and convenient for those given to boasting and those who want to say something about the body. In that sense it is transparently loaded.

    enough floccinaucinihilipilification.”

    I don’t mean that Pommy, Protestant evasion. I mean that there is a “thing” or “stuff” that makes a live Man different to the pile of chemicals that is a dead Man… and some of that difference is the presence of an intellect no matter how undeveloped, stunted or deprived it may be.

    No, cobber, the idea that one is more or less human according to their cultural development is obvious in the Victorian Pommy, Masonic ethos but it is not shared by the Christian (i.e. Catholic, “Thomistic/Aristotelian” view that a Man is defined by his “manness” which is completely detached from his accidental cultural and “scientific” development.

    The quality of “manness” (i.e. humanity as differentiated from brutes) is what is being considered here… particularly in relation to how the obvious capacity of intellect (the capacity to comprehend and extrapolate) is so intimately connected to the human being(ness).

    Hey! One doesn’t “become more” human by being a sycophant to the group with the whip or the money.

  14. “You complained that Thomas was too “quantitative” when the general consensus is that the Schoolmen were entirely qualitative.”

    I didn’t know the consensus to think otherwise. You point out an irony or perhaps throw up a doubt that It was right to make the observation?

    …Really complain that it’s interpretation is too mechanical. It is reductionist because by it’s reasoning or by reasoning of interpreters it ostensibly strips away the flesh to leave the things which cannot be touched or explained by way of structure. It leaves the mind but nobody’s using that word.

    Emotion is as mysterious as a thought. They are never experienced without a thought and vice versa and the emotion is experienced within the being. Some seem to think it’s all about melodrama but that’s just satire to reject the plainly obvious omission with this intellect/will idea. It was also admitted some while back that the soul is not only intellect and will and now we seem to be back to the original assertion.

    It contains intellect and will would be better.

    I’m sure it’s worse than that because what exists after death is unknown. Too much is unknown to talk mechanically about this.
    As I’ve said other than to agree that the soul is the being. If the soul has no attributes of the life before that was well lived or otherwise then
    to be frank, who cares about it anyway? It contains nothing of interest.
    …..

    “It’s always about sex” It only seems that way?

    Not just “Late Moderns. You are referring to how something is considered theologically I am referring to how people actually are with such a loaded subject. It is used in all sorts of ways and repsonded to in all sorts of ways.
    …..

    Jesus doesn’t at any stage say anything about feelings and emotions being a negative thing

    Why would he?

    Yes, you may well ask as I do but it will get you nowhere. Where the concern always is rule by a rod of iron there is no room for the message which Jesus brought and the example he showed. The tyranny of sin spotting is an essential part of any tyrannical system. Now to be clear, there I’m not talking about just sex but all sins on the list which is greater than just the seven ‘deadly’ ones.

    When a text is written to convey an argument or describe a thing, the audience reading must be considered. When a scholarly paper is written it must be as clear and inarguably precise as possible. As said before, the example of children’s literature might be the opposite example or perhaps some poetry. There is everything else in between. My argument is that when describing the world it isn’t best to forget the actual human when making ‘clean’ philosophical statements. So that the text here and others are faced with the reality of what is actually true about humans. It is not simply knowledge of the eye, for example that has improved with time. The experience or emotion exists with the thought, never separately; no matter how bland. Intellect cannot stand alone, it doesn’t in life, ever. Nobody knows after that. We can only imagine that anything that is only a feature of a body cannot be involved in the soul. If I were to accept the conclusion as stated above I’d never give the soul another thought. (not that I think all day long about it. These things I’ve always let deeply be before. I’m happier with the mystery) Describing heaven is just fantasy.
    …..
    “I don’t get it. What was the argument?”
    All the analogies mentioned including those arguments that are still not held today about numbers of souls, rocks having free will and so forth. You see them as part of the original text I find them to be needless obstacles to knock over to get to the point!

    “The text is circular. It loops back constantly to a point of real tedium.

    That is not what is meant by a circular argument.”

    No but it is what I meant by a circular text. The original description was spiral but now bouclet seems more apt.

    …..

    “unnecessary complexity”

    Yes, it is seemingly necessary but deceptively so. I was being slightly sarcastic about things that contain extra complexity for effect. This can’t be true of Thomas as he wrote of course, but it being left in the translation isn’t helpful for understanding so it’s necessary. That’s why it seems this is more of a reassurance exercise for a specific taste.

    I offer this as the reason why the thing needs editing for a modern audience. Not for someone who wants the ‘thrill’ of seeing the near original translation! Like one might enjoy reading Shakespeare. Let’s not be romantic about Thomas Let’s be realistic was the point.
    …..

    “begging the question” refers to the assertion made about why a text is necessarily complex when it doesn’t need to be. If you understand my point about the lack of clarity which is a fair criticism then I say the question is waiting to be asked as to why. That’s what I mean by begging the question. It is not always a circular argument but it is always a sign of a problem. People use the term a lot and they’re not presenting a ‘classical argument’. It is briefer than saying ‘then in that case it makes one wonder’ why…’

    “So, stay away from mathematics texts, which also tend to be complex. Personally, I find analytic philosophy to be somewhat tedious and jargon-stuffed.”

    Haha! Bless you YOS, there’s no danger of that and I think you know this. I did like maths it was my favourite subject because it required no work and high marks were easy. A-level which I foolishly never took in the end, on a whim, would be my limit. Like so many things in life that are fun. Once you take them up seriously they cease being fun and become a bind. For all the talk of uncertainty being the reality I used to crave objective, certain, black and white because in my ignorance I thought this must be possible in all things and the way to go. I found, for a time, patients weren’t like computers! which can be annoying. I’m joking of course but once one lets go and realises that this is what makes people interesting and unlike cars, life is happier. I used to envy the tea lady at work as a junior. On balance this was all part of the process but people teach certainty in a subject and reality is never like this.

    “The modern Catholic ideal of soul? … The intellect/will model is reductionist and convenient for those given to boasting”

    Here YOS I’m referring (sideways) to the Catholic handling of sin as it appears to someone who is part of the church of England. It is utterly wrongheaded and silly to say that protestants stopped caring about sin. It is a cynical untruthful statement. So I gave my opinion of how Catholics set themselves up. You aren’t to know this, of course.

    The interpretation that we see from readers of text like this and from taking the bible and running somewhat into the distance with the ideas found within it. Only one of which is the soul. Without God there is no reason to be concerned about sin. None whatsoever. Without some form of authority which would need to be a worldly concern and which would never work. The freedom from sin is something which is the most important message which is called the ‘Good News.” Fire and brimstone no more. A man is free to choose the path of righteousness. Forgiveness with repentance is something which only God can give. No authority can interfere with this or control this in any way. They may seem to but it is illusion. “Modern Catholics”, are like new atheists in my view. The one probably set the other off. It is a symptom of the times and is completely unnecessary. It will continue to drive people away. Not because they are more sinful at all but because nobody likes a bully.

    Some people don’t want others to be free. It’s envy that takes hold which drives the anger which causes the bitterness and hatred of others and so on. Sin and crime are not the same thing and another person’s sin rests with them. Just as another’s unkindness is something nobody can alter. It’s not the message from the bible but the method of delivery and the mode of worship that differs. No point pretending to be a boxer if a preacher preaches the gospel boxing shouldn’t feature at all. come into it.
    …..
    “It’s not even reductionist: “I addressed that further up. It is reductionist enough for me. Two things is still not enough in the basket. To break the soul into two when people don’t know what it is strikes me as a necessary process for analysis but it oughtn’t be confused with what it actually is in the end. Then to say that’s ‘all’ the soul is goes another step further.

    My exasperation is a long time comming.

  15. Ye Olde Statistician

    December 1, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    …Really complain that it’s interpretation is too mechanical.

    That’s called “logic and reason.” Your complaint is simply that a series of logical arguments is not an impassioned tract. That may be because the Modern Age rejected logic and reason in favor of snark and commitment, so we just aren’t used to it anymore. Nothing wrong with impassioned tracts, but we ought not complain that A is not B. Neither is B, A. By approaching things from more than one perspective, one might get a more ‘three-dimensional’ understanding. There’s room for both Thomas Aquinas and Thomas a Kempis.

    Emotion is as mysterious as a thought. They are never experienced without a thought and vice versa

    So say the Thomists. But that’s that old Catholic thinking. In fact. since every act of intellection is accompanied by an act of imagination, then every thought will be accompanied by neural patterns in the brain. That makes it easy to confuse the thought with the neural patterns, just as one may confuse the idea of ‘cat’ with the letters c-a-t.

    It was also admitted some while back that the soul is not only intellect and will

    If by ‘a while back,’ you mean back in the day of Aristotle or the day of Aquinas, ja doch. Though it would be more correct to say these were powers of the soul, rather than components. This diagram does not include the vegetative and inanimate powers, but certainly locates the emotions in the entire process of stimulus and response:
    https://web.archive.org/web/20050320234520/http://home.comcast.net/~icuweb/WAW0010.GIF

    Where the concern always is rule by a rod of iron there is no room for the message which Jesus brought

    There would be, however, a great deal of emotion: fear, anguish, pain, etc. commensurate with iron rods.

    all sins on the list which is greater than just the seven ‘deadly’ ones.

    And there are more directions than simply the ‘cardinal’ directions typically found on the compass card. However, the seven ‘cardinal’ sins are called so because all others are detailed off of these. They are categories rather than specific lackings.

    All the analogies mentioned including those arguments that are still not held today about numbers of souls, rocks having free will and so forth.

    You claimed Thomas brought up all sorts of straw man arguments. I asked for an example. You replied, “How about the talk of rocks and what they can do.” But this did not specify an actual argument. So far as I know, he never wrote that rocks have free will.

    No but it is what I meant by a circular text.
    That’s what I mean by begging the question
    It is reductionist enough for me.

    Well, when someone declares that words mean what they want them to mean and not what they mean for everyone else, it might be well to wonder what they are saying in any of their sentences. Perhaps when they say “complex,” they mean a “teapot.”

    Some people don’t want others to be free.

    What does ‘free’ mean to you?

    If you were dangling from the roof and I were holding onto your wrist, should I let go and let you be ‘free’? Free fall can be painful in the end.

    It is utterly wrongheaded and silly to say that protestants stopped caring about sin.

    Indeed, there are those who say that they have cared far too much. Usually locating the sin in other people.

    Mainstream Protestants tend to locate sin in the moral malfeasance of others—slaveholders, colonialists, capitalists, settlers, oil barons, and the Bush administration. Evangelicals look inward. The sins are theirs, personally owned and operated and, in a perverse way, cherished. After all, the bigger the sin, the bigger the salvation.
    — Zev Chafets

    “Modern Catholics”, are like new atheists in my view.

    Surely not because they believe in God! I don’t think new atheists do that.

    Oddly enough, I once read an article by an Eastern Orthodox theologian saying the same thing about Protestants: viz., they were one step away from atheism. The difference was that the Orthodox writer went on to make his case and didn’t stop with just the unsupported assertion.

  16. What a joyful exchange!

    Now, Life, Intellect and Will are not “parts” of a conglomerate… they are essential attributes or qualities of the thing itself.

    Sin is something that Protestants can’t deal with at all. The quintessential Protestant (Luther) had a kind of maxim “sin valiantly but believe more valiantly” (Calvin’s maxim was only slightly different; “there is no avoiding sin but if you’re chosen “predestined” it doesn’t matter anyway… you’re “saved” by your “election”).

    Now then, Joy, for us Catholicky types there’s only one way to do a sin; that is to do, say, think or omit something that you know (or reasonably should know) is wrong i.e. against natural, Divine or Church laws. Any such sins can be forgiven with appropriate contrition… most usually to accuse yourself of your error in the presence of a duly sacramentalised priest and with a firm purpose of amendment and restitution (if appropriate).

    Though it irks me to admit it, I have to agree with YOS and his Eastern Orthodox chum… but I reckon that Protestantism is only a smidgin from atheism.

  17. Did you just want to pretend I don’t get the points or understand?

    It is suspiciously fanatical defence against a perfectly reasonable criticism of the text after a year of reading. Intimidation by implying I’m dumb yet again is not okay. That’s not okay at all. If I Criticise Catholics as well it’s simply responding in kind. When it’s turned back look how you respond. The criticism of Catholics of a certain bent is well represented on this site by certainpeople and is an old cliché which I had been ambivalent about before. There’s nothing like being on the receiving end to finally understand why people say the things they do. This is just the written words, goodness, the mind boggles what my catholic college friends went through.
    ……………….
    “Not an impassioned tract….”and That’s called logic! All this time…wow.

    So you want me to believe that In your world I am expecting an impassioned tract from Thomas A! I’ve been reading the thing for months now and yet you think I’m expecting an impassioned tract? Why on earth do you think I’d be reading it beyond just the once if that were true? Was it more sarcasm? You don’t have a right to know what is sacred to other people but you have the right to ask. There’s no room for assumption.

    First you say, that my complaints aren’t similar enough to ones you’ve expected, or that the scholarly people make. Then you imply that you understand by redressing my argument as you like it. It’s complacency. It’s also a form of appeal to authority of a consensus kind.

    The opinion I hold on the subject of some Catholics and their method is now quite easily demonstrated.
    Deliberate antagonism and a healthy does of Intimidation which aren’t classical arguments either. My opinion may or may not be an accurate assessment of a majority but it is based upon truthful observation and reasoning. That you don’t understand how this can be is evident. It doesn’t matter any more. I’m not expecting anything at all. It’s tumbleweed most of the time when the Catholics are making a pigs ear of their faith and misrepresenting the truth.

    Classical or not, accepted classical or modern word use or not, using metaphor, using figurative language and any other type of descriptive language to describe something is just something you have to like or lump. I suggest the latter.

    why should I alter just to suit you? I’m writing from a place called honesty. I’m neither a theologist or a philosopher, certainly not more than in the sense that any normal person is a philosopher. I was quite interested about a year ago to consider some of this but I lost interest after the ‘good Dr’ made a series of unexplained and unnecessary personal attacks. If you don’t know what I’m referring to you must remain confused about that as I am. He’s gone to ground.

    If you’re having a lovely time going through this text every week nobody’s saying you shouldn’t or saying anything about your own world view with respect to the soul. Thomas A’s writing and the weekly outing if it from the cupboard’ for people to “read” it in the naughty corner. That’s what we’re discussing. It’s not your soul being torn apart. Yours is already detatched, evidently.
    ………….

    Emotion is as mysterious as a thought. They are never experienced without a thought and vice versa

    “So say the Thomists. But that’s that old Catholic thinking.”

    So what? This is a reason for sarcasm? That I conclude the same thing without requiring the text? How dare I? Well then it’s either really simple observation or I’m really clever, which? “make a choice!”

    On “begging the question.”:
    It’s more akin to the question begging to be asked rather than what you described as the circular argument. This is how it is used in conversation. Not my special meaning as you tried to imply.

    It’s just wasting time again with the Alice references because as Alice discovered where there is no truth there is nonsense in the end. This also includes the pretence at misunderstanding the simplest thing in order to continue to hold a thing as good.

    Instead of fermenting conflict why not understand what is intended and go from there? Particularly when it comes to drawing out a disagreement with all sorts of necessary distraction. In any event at no stage was I saying that I have a special meaning of a ‘word’. That’s afalse claim on your part in all three examples. The important point is to remember that the person making the claim, in this case is responsible for defending the points. So it’s clear enough. Answers, come there none.

    If This text is supposed to make sense and be absolute truth then words must be precisely understood by way of definition, if it is to be of general interest. If you want me to simply accept, never mind others get it go figure. Well then that begs my original remarks on the topic. Get it?
    ………….
    Here we go!
    “that is not what is meant by a circular argument”
    Being fair about this you misquoted and mistook what was written.
    “that’s not what is meant by a circular argument” Bingo!
    I actually said,
    “the text is spiral. Then I described it as circular because it loops back. Then you claimed
    “that is not what is meant by a circular argument”
    Then I said,
    “No but it’s what I meant by a circular text.”
    Then I said,
    ‘I would describe it as boucle.”
    …but you want me to have meant something else. It’s not the same as saying
    “A circular argument means something else to me”! Which is not remotely what I said.

    In fact boucle is a good description. Snakes and ladders if you’re not careful. I don’t believe I ever claimed that Thomas A’s argument was circular. You can correct me if I’m wrong there. It is contained within the premises though and the definitions, many of which we are not allowed to know because ’there aren’t enough modern words to cope with it’s meaning” (I paraphrase but you remember the exchange)

    You didn’t understand what I was saying. It’s no good saying I’ve got special meanings. You have to try and understand too YOS. Don’t pick someone up because they didn’t say what you expected! That would be jumping the gun.
    …………………
    It was also admitted some while back that the soul is not only intellect and will. Did you not? In a previous post comments I thought. Am I mistaken?

    Ja doch? what does that mean? Another urban dictionary reference?
    ………………………..
    There would be, however, a great deal of emotion: fear, anguish, pain, etc. commensurate with iron rods. Yes, if one were being silly one might call it Persiflagelation? You understood the meaning.
    ………………….
    “All sins on the list which is greater than just the seven ‘deadly’ ones.”
    You know I nearly gave you a list myself and nearly described which were similar, which wold be grouped in which ways and I thought better of it! None of it is really news. It’s not a healthy way to spend your time.
    …………………..
    “You claimed Thomas brought up all sorts of straw man arguments. I asked for an example. You replied, “How about the talk of rocks and what they can do.” But this did not specify an actual argument. So far as I know, he never wrote that rocks have free will.”

    What I meant is what I said. It was explained twice. No good pretending again that I must mean what you want me to have meant. You may as well have an argument with yourself on paper. You’d win every time. Frankly YOS you’d win most of the time if you’d just play a straight bat. While you write obtuse and sly statements you’re not winning. All you need to do is represent the truth and stop making assumptions about 1. the person 2. their level of cognition ability, 3. What is intended and meant by the person. You appear to be making all three of these errors. Perhaps you’ve been ‘fed’ some false information?

    I didn’t say that Thomas said rocks have free will! He was making the argument that they didn’t!
    Here you are again pretending something that was never intended or even said.
    Do you think that I or anyone needs to have it explained that rocks don’t have any mental capacity?

    Now then, Had anyone been really interested through the months about what people think there might have been time at the moment to have drawn attention to these things. Since it’s tumble weed most Sundays and nobody female is really allowed to have genuine observations or questions now you want me to trawl back and find each point. They run into the tens or a hundred. The text is riddled with, as I pointed out, little strange analogies to make the point. The analogies which I’m calling straw men are points which nobody anywhere is wondering about or considering. That is what I mean by strange straw men. Sorry if you don’t like it’s use. It’s perfectly appropriate description. The biggest query for me is how logical the text might be where it is impenetrable.
    I trusted without question before, I now have some doubts.

    If this was written in plain English as it ought to be now some hundreds of years later, these little things wouldn’t matter much because skimming over such things would be easy and there wouldn’t be so much gymnastics and holding of the one thought while the idiotically obvious is stated and so on. What is hard about this is not the abstract thoughts or concepts but all the excess information that goes along with it. Since the conclusion is ‘intellect and will’ there’s little point in any further reading on my part. I would only be a disruption. “don’t complain,, just swallow.”
    ………………..
    No but it is what I meant by a circular text.
    That’s what I mean by begging the question

    “Well, when someone declares that words mean what they want them to mean and not what they mean for everyone else, it might be well to wonder what they are saying in any of their sentences. Perhaps when they say “complex,” they mean a “teapot.””

    What sort of old ham dodge is this?

    It is you who says that I have my own special meaning. That isn’t true though. Meaning and description are not the same. If a thing is described it may be that the description isn’t to your liking.
    If you want a discussion about this and you yourself want to be sensible which judging by your anger I’d say you do take this hard, as I did, you just need to understand what I’m saying rather than giving a running commentary which isn’t even accurate. It’s not you under personal attack here after all.

    It would certainly speed things up and cut to the chase. This is why I’m suspicious that you don’t want to cut to the chase. It’a a half hearted attempt.
    ……………
    “It is reductionist enough for me.”
    I say it again. Not only is it reductionist it’s quite ridiculous, that particular conclusion of certainty about the soul, however it’s arrived at.
    You also admitted some time back that certainty about this wasn’t being claimed and yet you continue to argue vociferously as if you’d never made the admission. It is ridiculous to say that what cannot be known is known. No need to resort to talk of internal consistency. It’s the conclusions which matter isn’t it? There’s something wrong with it. I’ll leave it to others to endeavour to figure it out and show it for what it is. It has it’s uses but the part on the soul has been used and abused.
    ……………….
    Some people don’t want others to be free.
    “What does ‘free’ mean to you?”

    This is just sarcasm, one can’t reason with an angry man pretending to be reasonable. I explained the point but you’ve picked out the phrase as if it rested all on it’s own. I’m not about to be taking a lesson about Jesus, at this time of year! By someone who ignores the central message in favour of a separate piece of writing. It’s particularly out of line at this time of year).

    “If you were dangling from the roof and I were holding onto your wrist, should I let go and let you be ‘free’? Free fall can be painful in the…”

    What do I actually think you would do in reality? You would let go without a blink, hide the evidence and then go and confess later.
    You did ask. Am I calling you a murderer? No! did you just threaten to kill me?
    …………..
    “It is utterly wrongheaded and silly to say that protestants stopped caring about sin.
    “Indeed,” Say it fifty times.

    “Modern Catholics”, are like new atheists in my view.

    “Surely not because they believe in God! I don’t think new atheists do that.”

    They are as reactionary as any fanatic. What I said was that the one sets the other off. Out comes Dawkins so out come all the opposite numbers who aren’t any better examples. There’s more than one way to swing a cat.
    ………
    “Oddly enough, I once read an article by an Eastern Orthodox theologian” It isn’t odd at all. You’ve just offered an entirely separate opinion on a completely different tack. Opinions are always informed. It’s the information that informs the opinion which you’re calling into question but frankly YOA I don’t much care.

    I have very good reasons for making the statements. That they don’t satisfy your taste or fit with your belief about some Catholics will just have to be left hanging.

    If a person’s not allowed to be exasperated about the holy catholic bible’s primary book without being served a lot of false argument and insult by inference then I say perhaps the enthusiasm is overtaking the purpose of the text itself. If I had known this book was considered by the vociferous company to supersede the bible I’d never have touched it.

    Like I said. This text suits men and particularly ones who already aren’t looking at it critically. It’s not going to convert anyone.

    I’m still wondering why you changed the subject when I mentioned serious sins of a sexual nature committed by men. Somehow you switched to animal cruelty. Probably you assumed I was referring to some particular cases. I was not. I was making a point about the conscience. So much defensiveness and paranoia about things and so much bad feeling on both sides. Why would people want to have the sectarian wars again? Other than that they think they’re not over, I mean? You know? the real reason? Catholics will have to wage it. Protestants aren’t interested. They are content enough. It doesn’t mean they’re any more sinful than anyone else. Atheists aren’t more sinful either, strictly speaking, outside of the considered sin of not believing in God but if you don’t believe in God there’s no case to answer to humans anyway. Humans are not God. Some things must be left to him.

  18. This springs to mind:
    “Long lay the world in sin and error pining
    Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth
    A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
    For yonder breaks a new glorious morn”
    “Holy wisdom love most bright
    “Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring
    Soar to uncreated light

    Word of God, our flesh that fashioned
    With the fire of life impassioned

    Striving still to truth unknown
    Soaring, dying ‘round thy throne”

    Then there’s this piece which is exquisitely beautiful.
    This is what is meant by freedom. It’s captured in his voice, the musical composition and the last line.

    Ashley Riches, from the heart.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwBRLJt432U

    effortless perfection:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIedUioo_Jk
    My intellect is like my faith, small as a mustardseed.

  19. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaqG8m_8brM

    In listening to carols I found this from last Christmas Eve. It’s on every year.
    Hark at 4:30. At the end of the first carol.

  20. Ye Olde Statistician

    December 3, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    So you want me to believe that In your world I am expecting an impassioned tract from Thomas A! I’ve been reading the thing for months now and yet you think I’m expecting an impassioned tract?

    No, but you appear to be complaining that it isn’t; i.e., that the use of logic and reason is out of place in considering religious matters. But see Summa theologica Part I, Q. 1, Art. 1.
    http://dhspriory.org/thomas/summa/FP/FP001.html#FPQ1A1THEP1
    #
    “begging the question” is more akin to the ‘question begging to be asked’ rather than what you described as the circular argument. This is how it is used in conversation. Not my special meaning as you tried to imply.

    When the Modern Ages turned its back on logic and reason, many of the technical terms of logic were discarded or distorted. You are correct that I have heard innumerable Late Moderns say “This begs the question whether…” when they really meant to say, “This raises the question whether…” However, when using technical terms in a technical discussion it’s usually common sense to use them in the original technical meaning. Otherwise, as in this case and others noted, it’s too easy to be misunderstood.

    One rather wishes that the Summa theologica, the Contra gentiles, and their like were written in modern English save for a couple of stumbling blocks. For one thing, it may be no more understandable to Spanish or German speakers than the Latin is. But also, many of the terms Thomas uses have no equivalent in modern English. As we’ve observed already, the Latin “anima” does not mean quite what English-speakers mean by “soul,” esp. after Descartes’ confusions. And the metaphysical basis for the reasoning is not one that Moderns are familiar with. The closest I can find is this:
    http://readingthesumma.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/question-75-essence-of-human-soul.html
    This is the beginning of the treatise on man in the Summa theologica, which is organized differently than the Summa contra gentiles.
    #
    It was also admitted some while back that the soul is not only intellect and will.
    Not “admitted,” but proclaimed! The soul is the principle of life in living things and as such is the source of all vital operations, like breathing, digestion, cell growth and differentiation, reproduction, sensation, perception, emotion, motion, etc. These are powers rather than components. They are things the soul does, not things the soul is assembled from. There is more a focus on the intellective powers — intellect and will — because those are unique to man and because they are the seating of moral acts.
    #
    Ja doch? what does that mean? Another urban dictionary reference?

    Aber nein. Es ist deutsch. “Ja” means “Yes” or “Yeah” and “doch” is the emphatic particle sort of like “sure,” “very,” “you said it.” It is an expression of emphatic agreement. Sometime one says simply, “doch,” from which we get the AmerEnglish “okey-doke.” I sometimes use such expressions without considering, much as another person might use Britishisms or Spanishisms.
    #
    The analogies which I’m calling straw men are points which nobody anywhere is wondering about or considering. That is what I mean by strange straw men. Sorry if you don’t like it’s use.

    It’s not a matter of liking. It’s a matter of confusing. Just as you are confused by Aristo-Thomist reasoning, I get confused when you use well-known logical terms in these idiosyncratic ways. Where does this issue about rocks and free will come up. The only usage that comes to mind is where Thomas uses it specifically as a well-known fact to illustrate a larger point. That is, it’s not something that anyone but a pagan would doubt.
    #
    judging by your anger

    That’s often hard to judge in printed text.
    #
    Not only is it reductionist [sic] it’s quite ridiculous, that particular conclusion of certainty about the soul, however it’s arrived at.

    Are you certain about that?
    #
    You also admitted some time back that certainty about this wasn’t being claimed and yet you continue to argue vociferously as if you’d never made the admission. It is ridiculous to say that what cannot be known is known.

    But not so ridiculous to say that what cannot be entirely known might be partly known. When you reach a conclusion by means of a valid syllogism from accepted premises, that conclusion is about as certain as anything can be, this side of mathematics.
    #
    Joy: Some people don’t want others to be free.
    YOS: “What does ‘free’ mean to you?”
    Joy: This is just sarcasm, one can’t reason with an angry man pretending to be reasonable.

    No, it’s a serious question. I have already learned that for you “straw man,” “reductionist,” “begging the question,” et al. do not mean what they usually mean in philosophy. Since the meaning of “free” is vital in the Late Modern denial of free will, it would be useful to understand what you mean by this term: the original meaning or the modernist meaning.
    #
    “If you were dangling from the roof and I were holding onto your wrist, should I let go and let you be ‘free’? Free fall can be painful in the…”
    What do I actually think you would do in reality? You would let go without a blink, hide the evidence and then go and confess later.

    My goodness! Not that old canard. And a sin against charity in the bargain.

    Am I calling you a murderer? No! did you just threaten to kill me?

    No. I illustrated that granting someone “freedom” may not always be a good thing. Free fall is one example where being free could be fatal. But for many today, it is only a “yay!”-word.
    #
    I’m not about to be taking a lesson about Jesus, at this time of year! By someone who ignores the central message in favour of a separate piece of writing.

    A lesson about Jesus? What are you talking about?
    #
    Opinions are always informed.

    Indeed, but the reminder that there are other parties, such as the Eastern Orthodox, with their own points of view is never amiss.
    #
    If I had known this book was considered by the vociferous company to supersede the bible I’d never have touched it.

    That explains all the references to and citations of the Bible throughout Thomas’ text. But who — and where — did someone say Saint Thomas superseded the Bible? (And when exactly did the Bible come to supersede Christian doctrine? http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1202.htm)
    #
    I’m still wondering why you changed the subject when I mentioned serious sins of a sexual nature

    As I recollect you had asserted that “it’s always about sex!” (complete with exclamation point). I simply pointed out that it is not. It is only the modern secular obsession with sex that makes it seem so.
    #
    Why would people want to have the sectarian wars again?

    Because nationalistic wars and racial wars and ideological wars were so much nicer? Or wars about tuppence difference in the tariff on lace? Or maybe the Opium Wars waged against China to force them to grow opium?

    However, I know of no wars fought over religion (which is why I suppose you used “sectarian” instead). When examined more closely, you find them to be, as most such are, political in nature, obscured by the fact that various polities had established various churches, either by nationalizing the Church within the kingdom (England, Sweden), sponsoring a heretic (Saxony, Geneva, Scotland), or by straightforward extortion (Spain, France).

  21. Curious!
    I thought that these quibbles had been done and dusted in the C16 at the latest.

    Anyhow, I’m still not convinced that an emotional convenience represents, in any way, anything that can be regarded as an immutable truth.

  22. YOS, Oldavid,
    I’m thankful that you responded to my brief comment! I’ve been feeling guilty about it all day. I was a bit harsh.
    I would like you to know that if I haven’t responded I did read but haven’t even read yet and since it’s late I won’t respond until tomorrow.

    I’m watching carols instead. Better for a Sunday evening.

  23. Ah! Y’ dear girl. I don’t mind if you vent your spleen on me, but I’m most happy if you think about it afterward.

    Trouble is, I’m most envious of YOS who seems to be the focus of your ire.

    Let’s just see what comes out in the wash, eh?

  24. Oldavid,

    As a man who says he is proud to be unkind and is a pervert spotter quite literally, I find I’m not inclined to respond to you.
    I was being kind. The harshness was only ever at YOS.
    …..
    YOS,,
    “Not “admitted,” but proclaimed!”
    The soul is the principle of life….
    ~like I said, the life force. The soul is the being and the life force which is what people are referring to, not just Catholics. I also referred to it as the summit of the being. You are saying ‘of the doing’.
    “… in living things and as such is the source of all vital operations, like breathing, digestion, cell growth and differentiation, reproduction, sensation, perception, emotion, motion, etc. These are powers rather than components. They are things the soul does, not things the soul is …”
    ~Finally we have it. That the soul, as I’ve been banging on about IS not only intellect and will!
    “…. assembled from. There is more a focus on the intellective powers — intellect and will — because those are unique to man and because they are the seating of moral acts.”
    ~They are not the ‘seating’ of ONLY moral acts. This is the crux of my complaint about the argument.
    Just as the argument is based on a partial knowledge of man, the conclusion cannot be complete.
    The above was buried in your comment and has been a long time coming. You could have, as I suspected, cleared this up a long time ago. That the point I’ve been making and you’ve been ignoring that the soul “is not only intellect and will”
    They are not more importantly so. I’m leaving the animal argument since this was a perfect distraction before and was never my point at all.

    This most important response amongst remarks that imply I argue without logic or reason or appeal to non logic and non reason. This has been truly soul sucking. Nor am I pagan, nor am I sinning against charity, nor am I being unclear in description since I cleared up the ambiguity after the first response. It wasn’t necessary to keep speaking about why what I wrote was not clear to you beyond that first occasion. My first comment was provocative, I think, I was certainly harsh in a couple of places but as I’ve said, this is a long time being drawn out. I am baffled as to why. I sill maintain the text is used to justify poor moral teaching. Not to be confused with poor morals. That oughtn’t but clearly does need to be said.
    ~The intellect and the will are not only the seating of moral acts but also of immoral and evil acts.
    ~ ’seating’ is a very useful word. because it’s vague. I say it’s vague for a reason and you know what that reason is. That some want to say something about bodies and for only certain reasons they use this in their manipulative preaching. During the unnecessary process they produce guilt ridden people who have problems with emotions. It is not necessary when a person can simply be taught morals without any of the need to throw out emotion with the baby and the bathwater.
    This is absolutely how some Catholics AND probably many protestants use this material. All of which is based on a partial knowledge, not of what is moral but of what is known about the body and the soul. Many have not even the basic idea about the actual human body itself and don’t seem to mind this a bit.
    Conscience requires emotion to function. Emotions that are unhindered by unnecessary impossibly over burdensome guilt. Empathy and compassion are also emotions which influence thought and belief. Acts are informed by these. beliefs and thoughts govern acts unless they are entirely automatic or autonomic.
    This should not be confused as some, many are, with an excuse for no morals or less morals. It is always the first accusation that is levelled at this point. It’s cheap and shows a lack of reasoning ability and deep thinking. Simply more sin spotting.
    Then there’s what is moral and what is not which must come from the bible. The derivation must be the bible.
    The ten commandments and what Jesus taught.
    There is also the moral behaviour of what ‘though should do.’
    An over emphasis on the faulty notion that emotion is bad vs thought is goodness and purity.
    Which is a paraphrase of what I’ve heard said but in more pretentious language, is not a recipe for happiness or health.
    It’s also true that happiness isn’t achieved only by moral behaviour. i.e. avoiding sin. So often, doing the right thing in life is the thing which makes you less happy. When you have people who are undeserving of accusations of morality because of sin spotting it is certainly a recipe to drive people away from the faith. Without a doubt.
    The soul does intellect and will, amongst other things.”
    “… which include, importantly, emotion which is also what it is to experience anything, including thought.”
    Hallelujah!
    I’m done.

  25. Ye Olde Statistician

    December 5, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    Finally we have it. That the soul, as I’ve been banging on about IS not only intellect and will!

    I said that way back at the beginning. It’s only that the rational powers — intellect and will — are unique to humans.

    ’seating’ is a very useful word. because it’s vague. I say it’s vague for a reason and you know what that reason is.

    No, I don’t. Nor is ‘seating’ the only way to express the way the moral life is centered in the intellective powers. You seem to think that there is too much emphasis on the intellect in these passages, and ascribe that to masculine thinking rather than feminine. But that is because these portions of Contra gentiles are focused on what-makes-us-human, and that is precisely the rational faculties. Of the other powers mentioned:
    — Digestion, cell growth and differentiation, breathing, and reproduction are shared by all vegetative life.
    — Sensation, perception, emotion, and motion are shared by all sentient life.
    — Only intellection and volition are unique to humans.

    That some want to say something about bodies and for only certain reasons they use this in their manipulative preaching.

    I have no idea what you mean by this. Who are “they”? What has it to do with the body? Neoplatonism and its body-hatred was not a good fit with Christianity. We only see it today in such extremes as Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, by which the Cartesian idea of the soul is used to justify a crypto-Gnostic attitude toward the body as something to be manipulated in the service of the “real” person. See Plotinus for details.

    During the unnecessary process they produce guilt ridden people who have problems with emotions.

    Guilt is simply the consequence of a) man’s fallen nature plus b) conscience [or synderesis, as Paul called it. See Romans 2 for details]. In fact, it was only Christianity [and to some extent Late Antiquity] that recognized synderesis and hence ‘guilt.’ Men were held to be capable of moral reasoning, of reaching correct moral conclusions (as well as correct conclusions about the natural world). Nearly every other civilization instead relied on shame and a lengthy list of detailed rulings to be learned and followed. Hence, guilt cultures emphasize repentance and reconciliation while shame cultures emphasize face and suicide.

    It is not necessary when a person can simply be taught morals without any of the need to throw out emotion with the baby and the bathwater.

    Who has thrown out emotion? But that first part sounds suspiciously like the Confucian approach. Here is the list of things to do or not do. Do them; or not.

    All of which is based on a partial knowledge, not of what is moral but of what is known about the body and the soul.

    I’ve heard it said that we cannot know anything certain about the soul. (Except, presumably, that this knowledge about the soul is apparently certain.) Therefore, all knowledge about the soul must be partial.

    Conscience requires emotion to function.

    Actually, not so. It requires knowledge of what is good and what is evil.
    Romans 2: 12-16. All who sin outside the law will also perish without reference to it, and all who sin under the law will be judged in accordance with it. For it is not those who hear the law who are just in the sight of God; rather, those who observe the law will be justified. For when the Gentiles who do not have the law by nature observe the prescriptions of the law, they are a law for themselves even though they do not have the law. They show that the demands of the law are written in their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness* and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even defend them on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge people’s hidden works through Christ Jesus.

    *Wisdom 17:11-12. For wickedness, of its nature cowardly, testifies in its own condemnation, and because of a distressed conscience, always magnifies misfortunes. For fear is nought but the surrender of the helps that come from reason…

    Emotions that are unhindered by unnecessary impossibly over burdensome guilt.

    That almost sounds like the definition of a sociopath.
    On the other hand, we have this:

    Feelings are difficult to describe, except to say that they are acts of our sensitive appetites. In their broadest characteristics, they are referred to as pleasant or unpleasant. Feelings are associated with the operations of all our cognitive powers, demanding knowledge as their basis and point of departure. … Their ubiquity is clearly recognized by Aristotle, as when he says that pleasure supervenes on all our acts…” Aquinas, too, proclaims the wide incidence of feeling states. Thus, any cognitive act, in so far as it is perfect and well rounded, tends to produce feelings of a pleasant nature. On the other hand, any cognitive act that is shortened and truncated or impeded by some kind of obstacle results in feelings of an unpleasant character. “There is pleasure not only in touch and taste, but also in the exercise of every sense; … also in the functioning of intellect, as when our rational speculations bring us certitude about various matters. Among the operations of sense and intellect, those yield us most pleasure that are most perfect in their results…” [Robert Brennan, Thomistic Psychology, p.153]

    .

    A passion of low intensity is identified as a feeling. A passion of high intensity is known as an emotion. Both are acts of our sensitive appetites. Both are determined by knowledge of some sort. Both are a complex of psychic [soul] and somatic [body] elements. But whereas the body changes of feeling are scarcely discernible, those of emotions are marked and strong. Aquinas frequently speaks of the physiology of orectic experience. Sometimes there is acceleration of the activities of the body, causing increase in glandular secretions, speeding of heartbeat, quickened respiration, and so forth. Sometimes there is a retarding of organic functions, including a state of temporary paralysis in the muscular system, delayed peristalsis in the alimentary tract, and so on. The point about these body changes is that, for Aquinas, they are an essential part of the emotional procedure.
    [Robert Brennan, Thomistic Psychology, p.155]

    https://books.google.com/books?id=AIkYAAAAMAAJ&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=emotion
    #

    Empathy and compassion are also emotions which influence thought and belief.

    As are indifference and hostility. But yes, sensation and perception, which produce emotion, are part of the mix. A man perceives a wolf, esteems it an enemy to his sheep and himself, and experiences the irascible appetite of fear, perhaps also of anger. But unlike the sheep themselves, he may not immediately flee. Rather his intellect and will must give consent. Perhaps he will stand his ground and drive the wolf off with his sling. (Irascible appetite is a desire for a good requiring a struggle to obtain.) His emotions obviously inform his decision, even though his rational powers supervene.

  26. Someone very wise once said to me, quoting someone else, naturally,
    “People don’t change their minds, they just die.”
    The wisest people change their minds and alter often to accommodate what is known even if that knowledge is based on a contingent truth.
    Some of us who are still interested in the world rather than blaming the world do change their minds and discover all the time how mankind might be better served with approaching matters of religion with kindness .

    Ideas are not better because they are old nor because they are new.
    Old notions survive for a reason and mostly because they are true or useful in some way. Outside of any other knowledge picking and old notion over a new one would be a national thing to do for that reason. However we do know more about how the world works and how philosophies put into practice have consequences. This very discussion is a good demonstration.
    I suggest the methodology of some religious fanatics find a certain aspect of ‘doctrine’ rather more useful than truthful.
    It matters not that you think differently. What is strange is you think you are going to change my mind by implying all sorts of meaning which isn’t there in my remark. It is a kind of sin of ‘ratification! by reification. ”
    The famous Talstoy quote is apt,
    “I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”

  27. This time with the ‘typos’ corrected. Hmm,

    Someone very wise once said to me, quoting someone else, naturally,
    “People don’t change their minds, they just die.”
    The wisest people change their minds and alter often to accommodate what is known even if that knowledge is based on a contingent truth.
    Some of us who are still interested in the world rather than blaming the world do change their minds and discover all the time how mankind might be better served with approaching matters of religion with kindness .

    Ideas are not better because they are old nor because they are new.
    Old notions survive for a reason and mostly because they are true or useful in some way. Outside of any other knowledge picking an old notion over a new one would be a Rational thing to do for that reason. However we do know more about how the world works and how philosophies put into practice have consequences. This very discussion is a good demonstration.
    I suggest the methodology of some religious fanatics find a certain aspect of ‘doctrine’ rather more useful than truthful.
    It matters not that you think differently. What is strange is you think you are going to change my mind by implying all sorts of meaning which isn’t there in my remark. It is a kind of sin of ‘ratification! by reification. ”
    The famous Talstoy quote is apt,
    “I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”

  28. You seem to be advocating a very simplistic kind of relativism.

    “Sola Scriptura”! which will be interpreted to mean whatever your feelings or convenience desire. Logic, method and the rules of non-contradiction do not apply.

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