April 21, 2014

I’m sure I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating.  I do not understand how anyone has ever read Aquinas as a rationalist.

I mean, he’s not an empiricist either if we going to play the retroactively reading philosophy through debates in the 17th and 18th century game. But when he says at the beginning of the Summa that language cannot capture God in himself, so it best that we use analogies of humble things for God, so no one will think that his intellect has reached to God’s glory (paraphrase of part of  I.Q.I.A.9), and says that reason serves faith by making clear what is already accepted by faith- not by proving it in any normal sense. 

I’m not sure when scholasticism became super-rationalistic, but it was not with Aquinas.  I’ve heard arguments for both Duns Scotus and Suarez being the turning points, but I do not have any Latin, and they’re works are not completely translated into English- so I cannot really evaluate that claim.

April 21, 2014



like this post if you’re thirsty but in the Christian sense of the word

reblog if you’re just regular thirsty

Why not both? Telling us there’s wine in heaven is one of the few things Jesus cared to mention about it.

April 21, 2014
"We should make Easter a forty-day celebration. If Lent is that long, Easter should be at least that long, all the way to Ascension. We should meet regularly for Easter parties. We should drink champagne at breakfast. We should renew baptismal vows with splashing water all over the place. And we should sing and dance and blow trumpets and put out banners in the streets. And we should invite the homeless people to parties and we should go around town doing random acts of generosity and celebration. We should be doing things which would make our sober and serious neighbors say, ‘What is the meaning of this outrageous party?’"

— N.T. Wright (via gospelofthekingdom)

(via highchristology)

April 19, 2014
An outline of Theodicy

The following remarks are formal in structure.  Someday (never„ given my past track-record on this site), I may fill them out.

Read More

12:22pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZxHzSv1DVkZ_d
Filed under: Theology Soteriology 
April 12, 2014


I don’t really have an issue with Aquinas per say, but my main thing is I’ve seen many people both on here and irl as calling themselves Thomist as an excuse to discount any strand of Christian thought since then. Especially 20th-21st Christian thought. 

Most of the Thomists I’ve read (Maritain, Finnis, Pieper, a little bit of Lonergan) agree that it is not faithful to Thomism to dogmatically ignore everything that has happened since the 13th century. 

Given that Aquinas denies the possibility of absolute human knowledge of anything (since to know the essence of a fly, we would need to understand God), Thomism can be interpreted to be pretty open to further discussion and development.

(Source: cuteanimalsandliberationtheology)

April 12, 2014


Art’s great nudes have gone skinny

Italian artist Anna Utopia Giordano has created a visual re-imagination of historic nude paintings, had the subjects conformed their bodies to what the 21st century considers an ideal of beauty. The results are revealing—and quite shocking in what they say about the modern attitude toward women’s bodies.

This is fascinating. 

(Source: symmetrism)

9:05pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZxHzSv1CtL47h
Filed under: nudity nsfw 
April 12, 2014
If St. Thomas Aquinas ever met Aristotle




He’d probably be like…


I haven’t read much (of at all) of St. Thomas Aquinas but I have a feeling I will not like him because Aristotle is trash.


April 11, 2014



I think one of the best arguments for universal reconciliation is the total moral arbitrariness of suddenly being beyond saving the moment you die

Like, the idea that God is infinitely forgiving and patient with people who are alive but not with people who are dead seems…

You didn’t answer the objection. I don’t mean: ‘You didn’t answer the objection well’. You didn’t actually answer it. You just reiterated what he had a problem with in a slightly more verbose way.

To say:

To be human in this world is to be an embodied being with an indeterminate relationship with God

is a shit way to encapsulate human life because it misses out, well, almost absolutely everything.

Of course it isn’t a complete encapsulation of human life. 

It is purely formal sketch of human existence, which is what I am interested in at the moment.  The form of present human existence differs in important ways from the form of human existence after death, thereby rendering it non-arbitrary that God’s patience and mercy do not extend after death. I no doubt failed to be explicit enough, so I will try again.

The human relationship with God here is not decided, because as embodied intellects who lack direct knowledge of God or any universal truths, we have greater room for indecision and repentance.  Josef Pieper argues in one of his books (I can look up the reference if you are interested) that since in human thought and action in this world, our will is never perfectly in control, we never irrevocably commit ourselves to something, because there is always an aspect beyond us in all our decisions.   So, as embodied intellects, we cannot irrevocably commit ourselves to rebellion against God.  

However, after death, we are not embodied intellects (we might become re-embodied in the resurrection)- so there is not room for repentance anymore- what we think is simply what we are.

Finally, it seems like in the resurrected bodies, the disjunction between the mental and the physical vanishes to some degree, what we think is what we are in a stronger sense.  In which case, the freedom offered by underdecision would not be present in the resurrected body either.  

So, I am not sure how this account is simply a re-statement of the problem, it is a sketch of what difference between the pre-death and post-death states I think relevant to the discussion of universalism. 

Now, as to your second criticism, I freely admit that in my haste to discuss this topic, I accidentally stated in an inadequate definition. Fallen Humans should probably be called something like a contingent dependent rational social animal (embodied animate being) whose final end and completion rests in God, but in this life can have no final satisfaction of this end nor the final resolution of the relationship with God.  Insofar as I wished to get one with the argument, I forgot to properly state all of this.  But, adding all of this does not seem to impact any of the claims in my argument, so I am not sure why it seems so important to you that I forgot this clarification (unless you simply seek to save me from error, in which case I am grateful).  Surely, Human beings as a rule have an indeterminate relationship with God, without any absolute resolution being likely in this life?  If even Christ was liable to be tempted, I am rather dubious that I or anyone else can have an absolutely firm relation to God here in this world.

If you are instead making a general point about formal definitions, I agree with you that they necessarily fail to fully capture the content of what they define, or even the importance of what they define.  No definition of God will capture why he is worthy of worship, even when said definition provides some sort of intellectual framework for defending or explaining that claim.  Nonetheless, there is value in the intellectual framework, because it provides some positive direction for further seeking, and it provides some negative direction for blocking certain kinds of claims from contentful experience.

But, I have rambled long enough, so I propose this.  Either you ask me questions about my definition of humanity, and I defend or modify my definition according to your questions, or I do the same for yours.  Simply making assertions and counter-assertions back and forth is unlikely to be helpful.

April 11, 2014



Hegel’s philosophy can actually be broken down according to analytical logic and multiple analytical philosophers have actually demonstrated this (esp. Michael Forster) but sure keep using as the prime example of how THE CONTINENTALS MAKE NO SENSE

A bunch of the cool analytics are doing stuff with Hegel now. Brandom and Sellars consider him a major influence.  I believe Pippin (also at Chicago like Forster) has done some work on showing how Hegel is not anywhere near as metaphysically extravagant as some analytic philosophers claim.  I haven’t read Hegel (not disciplined enough), but he’s on my list. 

April 11, 2014


I think one of the best arguments for universal reconciliation is the total moral arbitrariness of suddenly being beyond saving the moment you die

Like, the idea that God is infinitely forgiving and patient with people who are alive but not with people who are dead seems almost indefensible to me

I disagree.

To be human in this world is to be an embodied being with an indeterminate relationship with God (there is space to accept or reject him).  After death everyone has a determinate relationship with him- and it seems unclear on what basis that determinate relationship could change.  

God is patient and forgiving with us because there is a point in so being, he is not patient and forgiving with the fallen Angels because their nature makes repentance impossible. (The only way for an Angel to make a decision is to change its being, and because Angels exist transtemporally, they cannot have multiple transformations on the same topic).

I see no space within the presently disclosed revelation for salvation of those in hell. I hardly plan on claiming that God cannot or will not have such a plan, I just do not see a place for it in what has been revealed thus far. 


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