Friday, March 28, 2008

Natural Reason and Theology

Reportatio IA Prologus q.2 a.2-3 n.221 ff.:

Some random quotes...

I argue against that and make a threefold major. All our natural cognition which we have of God is caused in us by an equivocal effect. Also, all our natural cognition of God is indistinct. Also, it is obscure, which is clear because it is not of an object evident to the intellect according to intellectual existence.

From the first proposition I argue so: all our cognition of God which we have naturally is caused in us by an equivocal effect and is imperfect. But some other cognition, intuitive, which is of him as he exists presently, is possible for us. Therefore from purely natural powers we are not able to arrive at all possible cognition about God.


Again, from the third proposition it is argued so: what is of perfection in an inferior power is not repugnant to a superior power of the same genus. But it is of perfection in the lower power, sensitive apprehension, to know its object clearly and intuitively in its existence, just as is clear about sight. Therefore this is not repugnant to the intellect with respect to its per se object. God is of this sort, as was shown. Therefore the obscure cognition of him is not the most perfect possible about him.


From what has been said, the response to the question is clear, namely that some truths can be known about God naturally and some not. For whatever from those things which are nown about God in effects can be known by us by a demonstration "quia" and a posteriori, namley by effect. But many are such which can be known about God from effects, as is clear from the sciences of the philosophers. Many truths are knowable about God which we are not able to know about God by natural reason. Because whatever in a cause cannot be known from those things which are known in effect, cannot be known by us by natural reason. There are many truths knowable about God which are of this sort, as the Trinity of persons and unity of essence and the articles of this sort pertaining to deity, therefore etc. Nevertheless, we can known them supernaturally, as was shown.


If it is asked further whether theology is maximally one, it is clear that it is because its subject is maximally one. For the subject of the sciences of the philosophers is only one according to reason and apprehension of the intellect, but the subject of this science is maximally singular, indeed it is singularity itself as this deity as this, or this essence as this.

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