Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Pulled up short

Periodically Tom at Disputations reminds me of my overwhelming shortcoming in the area of philosophy. His latest, No Middle Ground:

It should be pointed out that, as the Philosopher says, knowledge of complex things is different than knowledge of simple things. For something can be known about complex things in such a way that something else about them remains unknown; thus there can be false knowledge about them. For example, if someone has true knowledge of an animal as to its substance, he might be in error touching the knowledge of one of its accidents, such as whether it is black or white; or of a difference, such as whether it has wings or is four-footed.

But there cannot be false knowledge of simple things: because they are either perfectly known inasmuch as their quiddity is known; or they are not known at all, if one cannot attain to a knowledge of them.

Therefore, since God is absolutely simple, there cannot be false knowledge of Him in the sense that something might be known about Him and something remain unknown, but only in the sense that knowledge of Him is not attained.

Accordingly, anyone who believes that God is something that He is not, for example, a body, or something like that, does not adore God but something else, because he does not know Him, but something else.

Here is the link to the full lecture on the Gospel of John from St. Thomas (in English)

When I became a Catholic it was clear as day to me that I had never worshiped God at all, but something else, per Thomas. Only in faith do I cling to the hope that now I do.

1 comment:

  1. What does this say about the statement in the Catechism [841] that Muslims "together with us ... adore the one, merciful God..."? I mean, if as a protestant Christian you hadn't worshipped God because you can't worship What you don't truly know, how could it be that a Muslim does?