Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able ? Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing ? Then he is malevolent.

Is he both willing and able ? Then whence cometh evil ?

Is he neither able nor willing ? Then why call him God ?


Any thoughts ?

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I disagree Sentient, in that it can be shown in many cases of those who become religious martyrs and originators, such as Joan of Ark, Ellen White, Joseph Smith, Aquinas, St. Paul, even likely Moses.

That it was the neurological episode (of whatever cause, schizophrenia, TLE, exposure to hallucinogens, etc..)  that often instigated/initiated their quest and became the basis of their existence.

The rest, intellect, artistic merit, philosophical brilliance just had to fit into the mold already created by this neurological malfunction.


Though the issue here is that the psychotic episodes that portray a malfunction in the temporal cortex made great impacts on their concepts and religiosity.
For Moses, Muhammad, Saul and Aquinas.
Their psychotic based illusions/hallucinations provided drive, validation and indeed direction.
Thus it can be stated that their lives and concepts were somewhat driven by their psychosis and that their religiosity is largely psychosis based.
As for Aquinas, if the hallucinations of the angels with the chord and verbal message had not occurred, we probably would not be discussing him now and the Catholic church would have had to follow somebody else's ideology in place of Aquinas.
As Aquinas stated himself, that angels vision/hallucination gave him the drive to achieve what he has.
The Summa would not exist without that hallucination!
Thus his ideology is largely psychosis driven!

Well Allan, simply deeper, more neurological and psychological analysis of his work, such as "Summa"

Neurological analysis of the Summa Theologica? Really?

I find it unusual that the likes of yourself are making excuses and apologies for Catholic apologists (those who make excuses for Catholic lies).

Of course you would find it unusual—your limited understanding does not permit you to imagine any viewpoint different from your own. Aude alteram partem.

As I stated earlier:
If it wasn't for Aquinas's angel hallucination, the Summa would not exist.
It was his hallucination that gave him the drive and direction to produce all his works.

Though a case well studied is Joan of Ark, who we know full well that she would not have even started her quest without her visions/hallucinations.
Same can be stated for St. Paul with his hallucination concerning Jesus.

These people were driven by their hallucinations.
Their entire life became based on these malfunctions of their brain.
It doesn't make them stupid, just misdirected!
Had Aquinas put his great efforts into psychology, physics or astronomy, instead of trying to rationalize the hallucinations of his like predecessors (also driven by hallucinations) the world would be much better off for it.

It's actually simple M8! :-D~
Non latinam inquisita

If it wasn't for Aquinas's angel hallucination, the Summa would not exist. It was his hallucination that gave him the drive and direction to produce all his works.

Of course it is quite easy to make assertions without evidence. Tell us what evidence you have that Aquinas had an angel hallucination? Explain why that evidence should be considered factual.

An attitude about how one lives his or her life. One has to take responsibility for oneself and how one relates to other people.
A.C. Grayling, The philosopher shares his book, "The God Argument: The Case Against Religion and for Humanism."

I didn't realize I had only part of Sapolsky's lectures on religion. Here are the six videos that complete his topic:

Sapolsky Religion Lecture playlist

True Allan, Christianity is based almost entirely on anecdotal evidence and could not logically stand up as evidence in any court of law.
Nobody who met Jesus actually wrote about him.
All those books chosen by Constantine's mob were anecdotal.
The only book believed to have been written by an actual apostle (called 'Q') cannot be found, though they believe that the gospels of Mark and Matthew were loosely based on or plagiarized from 'Q'.

When I was studying the Old Testament I found much of it written from a third person perspective (Moses on the mountain) which added to my disbelief in it. It was supposedly to have come from Moses, but nobody of that era would write about themselves from a partially disinterested third person perspective.
This is one of the reasons I left school at night to visit the public library originally for science, but later to delve into religious history in the religion/philosophy section I discovered Voltaire, whose books the school library would not even consider stocking, his criticisms of religion mirrored some of my own doubts.

Of course it is quite easy to make assertions without evidence. Tell us what evidence you have that Aquinas had an angel hallucination? Explain why that evidence should be considered factual.

Dr. Clark:

This is only a question asked out of curiosity, and I mean no offense. What is your interest in defending Thomas Aquinas ? Are you a firm atheist, a struggling and wavering atheist, or a theist ? Again, no offense intended. Just curious.

I have beena firm atheist since I was twelve. My interest is historical accuracy and correct understanding of the history of ideas. In the case of Aquinas the story is actually quite an interesting one. Simply writing off Aquinas as insane does not furnish an accurate view of how modern ideas developed.

After the fall of the Roman empire, Greek ceased to be a language in common usage and as a result the works of Greek philosophers and scientists—in particular Plato and Aristotle—were not well known or studied in Christendom. Following increased contact with Islamic culture these works began to be translated into Latin and used in the universities developing in Europe. In the early part of the thirteenth century Aristotle was recovered in Latin translations and began to influence philosophy and theology. The church was naturally suspicious of the writings of Aristotle since they opened a pathway to knowledge not revealed by scripture and over which the church had little control. Attempts were made to ban these works or to expurgate them in the early thirteenth century.

 St. Thomas Aquinas was a thorough Aristotelian in his philosophy—he refers to Aristotle as "the philosopher"— and successfully reconciled the notions of revealed truth and truth acquired through reason in his Summa Theologica. He did it through a clever argument still in use today. He argued that there could only be one truth and consequently conflicts arising between the two means of acquiring knowledge could only be apparent and never real—further investigation would necessarily resolve them. Further he argued that God did not bother to reveal truths which man could acquire on his own without divine revelation, but only revealed those things which could not be known otherwise, such as the triune nature of God and the scheme of redemption. In this way Aquinas helped legitimize the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake.

 The church was not happy with Aquinas’s view and in 1270 Etienne Tempier, Bishop of Paris, issued a list of thirteen propositions concerning Aristotle’s notions being taught at the University of Paris that were considered false and which would automatically lead to excommunication. After the death of Aquinas the list was expanded to 219 items, but it was badly written, self-contradictory, and eventually in 1325, it was revoked precisely because it conflicted with the writings of Aquinas. The principal objections were statements that appeared to limit the power of God. Aquinas had argued that God could not change the fundamentals of science and mathematics and could not change the past since these kinds of changes would result in contradictions.

 Aquinas is responsible for elevating the status of reason in theology and for opening a path within Catholicism for rational investigation of nature. His authority allowed scientists and philosophers to carry forward a program of seeking truth through reason alone just as long as they held their views tentatively and not dogmatically. 

The results of this development later came to be called natural theology—the study of what could be learned about God from nature—and natural philosophy—the name given to the physical sciences.

Don't get me wrong Allan,  I too appreciated Aquinas keeping Aristotelian philosophy sort of alive, though somewhat twisted by his misguided conceptualism. 

Yet, Islam and other cultures around Christendom also helped to preserve such philosophy and logic.  Eastern cultures had also developed similar philosophies and in some ways superior philosophies.

I still believe that Jesus Christ was influenced by Buddhist philosophies which he encountered through the many travellers and traders that passed through the trade crossroads where he inhabited.

Thus, essentially Christianity was the beginning of an Easternization or softening (humanism) of Western, harsh Judaism.

Regardless of the existence of Socrates, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Aquinas or whoever, the human mind and social philosophies were evolving and such concepts, philosophies and knowledge of physics would have evolved regardless of the existence of those philosophers.

It's simply evolution!




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