Christians and anyone else, familiarise yourself with the works of Thomas Aquinas!

Techne

Executive Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
9,573
#1
Why you may ask? Well he is, some would say, the greatest Christian philosopher and by anyone's standard one of the all time greatest philosophers.

There are plenty of good introductory books e.g.:
Aquinas: A New Introduction
Thomas Aquinas: A Very Short Introduction
Aquinas' Summa Theologiae
Aquinas: A Guide for the Perplexed
The Oxford Handbook of Aquinas (For the seasoned reader)
Aquinas: A Beginner's Guide (Very good)
If you are looking for a polemical refutation of New Atheism from a Thomistic point of view that is about the same tone as the God Delusion "The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism" is fun to read.

So why is Aquinas important? For one, he synthesized the modest realist views of Aristotle and religious doctrine of Christianity into a coherent, common sense realist philosophical position that supports the notion of an objective moral natural law theory.
Not only is it compatible with science, the Scholasticism of the Thomists (and other scholastics) gave rise to the scientific method, empiricism and the modern scientific assumption of methodological naturalism.

More interesting books on the Aristotelian view can be found here:
1) Introduction to Philosophy
2) Principles of logic
3) Ontology, or, The theory of being; an introduction to general metaphysics
4) A manual of modern scholastic philosophy
5) Principles of natural theology
6) Real Essentialism

As mentioned, not only is it fully compatible with whatever science discovers, in fact it provides a basis for doing meaningful science, it also provides a basis to develop a coherent natural law theory. More and more modern philosophers wake up to the importance of Aquinas. For example Oderberg's article:
The Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Law

Christians, and theists in general, I would say need to familiarise themselves with the classical proofs (Strict logical and metaphysical proofs) for the existence of God (Aquinas' Five Ways) and the underlying metaphysics that these proofs are built on.

While it is important for Christians to understand Christianity, I think it is also important to support it with a robust philosophical and metaphysical framework that is not only compatible with the discoveries of science (and supports science as a meaningful enterprise), but also logical, realist and coherent through and through.

I hope at least some Christians (and others) familiarise themselves with Aristotelian-Scholasticism (especially the Thomists) because it is quite frankly painful to see theists trying to defend theism while falling for the most fallacious and straw man objections.

Have fun :)
 
Last edited:

Techne

Executive Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
9,573
#3
Anyone interested in the issues surrounding abortion and how "pro-life" arguments can be rationally supported from a Thmoistic point of view should have a look at Christopher Kaczor's book:
The Ethics of Abortion: Women's Rights, Human Life, and the Question of Justice (Routledge Annals of Bioethics)

“This is one of the very best book-length defenses of the claim that abortion is morally impermissible. It is clear, thorough, thoughtful and carefully argued. I would strongly encourage anyone who is interested in the subject to read it and to study it.”
-David Boonin, author of A Defense of Abortion (2003), University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
"An accessible and philosophically reliable guide to the abortion debates is sorely needed, and this is it. Kaczor is not one of those who think calm, rational argument is useless. Engaging abortion advocates at their strongest points, he replies to the most difficult objections to the pro-life position, many of which have not been adequately addressed by previous authors. Throughout, he navigates the storms of argument with such calm, charity, and balance that not even the most committed opponent could become angry with him."
-J. Budziszewski, University of Texas at Austin, USA
Product Description
Appealing to reason rather than religious belief, this book is the most comprehensive case against the choice of abortion yet published. The Ethics of Abortion critically evaluates all the major grounds for denying fetal personhood, including the views of those who defend not only abortion but also infanticide. It also provides several (non-theological) justifications for the conclusion that all human beings, including those in utero, should be respected as persons. This book also critiques the view that abortion is not wrong even if the human fetus is a person. The Ethics of Abortion examines hard cases for those who are prolife, such as abortion in cases of rape or in order to save the mother’s life, as well as hard cases for defenders of abortion, such as sex selection abortion and the rationale for being “personally opposed” but publically supportive of abortion. It concludes with a discussion of whether artificial wombs might end the abortion debate. Answering the arguments of defenders of abortion, this book provides reasoned justification for the view that all intentional abortions are morally wrong and that doctors and nurses who object to abortion should not be forced to act against their consciences
 

evilstebunny

Honorary Master
Joined
Dec 20, 2007
Messages
18,062
#9
Hey leave us atheists out of your skydaddy fantasies, we are not a group like you we never subscribed to anything or joined a church like you just leave us the bloody hell out of your imaginary being circle-jerks..
 

Spizz

Goat Botherer
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
21,385
#10
Word soup.. 'this everyone understands to be god'

Well, no, they don't. Is this nonsense really still relevant today?
 

Techne

Executive Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
9,573
#11
Finality Revived: Powers and Intentionality', Synthese 194 (2017)
Proponents of physical intentionality argue that the classic hallmarks of intentionality highlighted by Brentano are also found in purely physical powers. Critics worrythatthisideaismetaphysicallyobscureatbest,andatworstleadstopanpsychism or animism. I examine the debate in detail, finding both confusion and illumination in the physical intentionalist thesis. Analysing a number of the canonical features of intentionality, I show that they all point to one overarching phenomenon of which both the mental and the physical are kinds, namely finality. This is the finality of ‘final causes’, the long-discarded idea of universal action for an end to which recent proponents of physical intentionality are in fact pointing whether or not they realise it. I explain finality in terms of the concept of specific indifference, arguing that in the case of the mental, specific indifference is realised by the process of abstraction, which has no correlate in the case of physical powers. This analysis, I conclude, reveals both the strength and weakness of rational creatures such as us, as well as demystifying (albeit only partly) the way in which powers work.
A good thing to see.
 

Techne

Executive Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
9,573
#15
Two directions for teleology: naturalism and idealism


Andrew Cooper
Synthese 195 (7):3097-3119 (2018)
Philosophers of biology claim that function talk is consistent with naturalism. Yet recent work in biology places new pressure on this claim. An increasing number of biologists propose that the existence of functions depends on the organisation of systems. While systems are part of the domain studied by physics, they are capable of interacting with this domain through organising principles. This is to say that a full account of biological function requires teleology. Does naturalism preclude reference to teleological causes? Or are organised systems precisely a naturalised form of teleology? In this paper I suggest that the biology of organised systems reveals several contradictions in the main philosophical conceptions of naturalism. To integrate organised systems with naturalism’s basic assumptions—that there is no theory-independent view for metaphysics, and that nature is intelligible—I propose an idealist solution.
Interesting paper on the topic of teleology.
 
Top