« America First | Main | What I Believe About Free Will »

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I see no mention of analogical terms here. Do you think it helps us in this situation to say that when we talk of God as a person or being personal, we only mean this in an analogical sense of when talking about persons? God is not literally a person, but is a person or is personal, as we are, but in an analogical sense. Does this get us around the apparent contradiction between 'God is a person' and 'God is simple'?

Thanks - to avoid confusion, the passage you quote is taken from a draft of a section of the book, where I am simply laying out the positions (and attempting a very brief history of divine simplicity and its connection with negative theology). The last part ‘Then he is obviously not simple’ should understood as ‘Then [according to Plantinga and others] he is obviously not simple’.

No position, at this point, was intended.

I think you rather do seem to be nailed to the cross of your triad.

>>For if God is not dependent on anything else for his existence, nature, and value, then God is not a whole of parts, for a whole of parts depends on its parts to be and to be what it is.

What if the whole is identical with its parts? Then it false to argue that it depends on its parts, except as it depends on itself. The logic is flawed.

Thomas writes,

>>Do you think it helps us in this situation to say that when we talk of God as a person or being personal, we only mean this in an analogical sense of when talking about persons? <<

It would if we could make good sense of analogical talk the analogia entis. Much of what has been written about this is very murky. Pryzwara's *Analogia Entis* for example is a total mess when it comes to clarity of exposition, although the book contains brilliant insights.

One paragraph of this book would suffice for the Noble Opponent to consign it to the flames.

>>God is not literally a person, but is a person or is personal, as we are, but in an analogical sense.<<

I believe you are making a mistake here. According to the doctrine of analogy, God is LITERALLY, though analogically, a person. When a Thomist says that God is a person, he doesn't mean that in a figurative sense.

>>One paragraph of this book would suffice for the Noble Opponent to consign it to the flames.

I have changed my name accordingly.

>>When a Thomist says that God is a person, he doesn't mean that in a figurative sense.

But doesn't he use the name 'person' in a different, more philosophical sense? Not an expert.

BTW I emailed a passage from Scotus that may interest you.

All the stuff about persons is here.

Opponent,

But of course you do reject the divine simplicity, right? Given the way your mind works, you would have to.

I see you simply ignored my mysterian suggestion.

>>What if the whole is identical with its parts?<<

In that case you have simply admitted DS.

Here is one set of distinctions: univocal-equivocal-analogical.

Here is another: literal-figurative.

My cat's feces are healthy. That's an analogical use of 'healthy.' But also a literal use.

When we say that God is wise we are not speaking figuratively, but literally, either univocally or analogically.

>>I see you simply ignored my mysterian suggestion.

Well of course. Argumentation is like a game of chess with fixed rules (logic) where we pit our logical wits against one another. If someone announces as we approach checkmate that the King is invulnerable, or changes the fixed rules to their advantage, then the game is over, isn’t it?

>> I myself am inclined to adopt a mysterian 'solution' according to which we accept all three propositions while confessing that we cannot understand how they could all be true.

OK perhaps I will comment via Richard Cartwright:

But a mystery is not supposed to be refutable by human reason, as if a truth of reason could somehow contradict a revealed truth; on the contrary, putative refutations are supposed themselves to be refutable. Nor is a mystery supposed to be unintelligible, in the sense that the words in which it is expressed simply cannot be understood. After all, we are asked to believe the propositions expressed by the words, not simply that the words express some true propositions or other, we know not which.

No logical mystery here. Just a mistaken understanding of divine thought. God thinks Himself, unlike other minds whose thoughts are effects of other things (say, natures in substances). The latter have thoughts, the Former is His thinking. Nor does God think in Time, so His thoughts are not successive. Now I'll readily concede that there is a HUGE mystery here as to how such Being is possible; exacerbated, of course, by our own mental fragmentation. But it is not the logical one of how a blatant contradiction can be true. A side note: 'That is us which thinks is the brain.' You mean to say 'That IN us which thinks is the brain.' But do we really believe that? Is not Aquinas' argument for the immateriality of thought sufficient to refute Materialistic Reductionism/The Identity Theory? Have a good day and go Trump!. RFGA, Ph.D.

Opponent,

Trinity is a revealed truth, but is the simplicity doctrine? Is everything put forth as dogma by the Catholic Church supposed to have the status of divine revelation?

One can believe that some man satisfies the predicate 'is faithful to his wife' without believing of any particular man that he is faithful to his wife. Similarly, one can believe that some true proposition is expressed by 'God is simple' without believing of any particular proposition that it is true and expressed by 'God is simple.'

It might be that every proposition I can get before my type of mind that is a reasonable candidate for the sense of 'God is simple' is unintelligible while it is also the case that there is some proposition beyond our ken that is intelligible in itself and true and expressed by 'God is simple.'

I think we agree that every proposition we can get before our discursive, ectypal, type of mind that is a reasonable candidate for the sense of 'God is simple' is unintelligible to us. Here is a reason. The sentence has a subject-predicate structure. So we cannot help but think of the proposition as having the same structure. But 'simple' implies that God IS his attributes, and does not HAVE them. (Or he has has them by being them.) So the proposition *God is simple* is necessarily false by its very sense-structure.

Where we disagree is that you think nothing is real except what satifies the exigencies of the discursive intellect.

>> one can believe that some true proposition is expressed by 'God is simple' without believing of any particular proposition that it is true and expressed by 'God is simple.'
I had a hard time getting my head around this. It seems to require the apparatus of Russellian propositions.

Aquinas says something similar, although holding to the Aristotelian view of the proposition, and in a different context. He says a proposition can be self-evident in two ways: in itself, although not to us, or in itself and to us as well. It is self-evident when the predicate is included in (or is the same as) the subject, and so if predicate and subject are signified for what they are (‘are known to all’), then the truth of the proposition will be evident. But if not, he says the proposition will be self-evident in itself, although not to those ‘who have no knowledge of (qui ignorant) the predicate and subject of the proposition’

However this argument depends on the slippery 'essence'.

>> The Opponent ends up with the view that God is a personal non-absolute.
Not true in fact. Only true if we accept the realist view that what is signified by the predicate is numerically different from what is signified by the subject. We nominalists hold that 'God is good' is true when what is signified by 'God' and what is signified by 'good' are numerically one and the same thing.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Google Search Engine

My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 10/2008

Categories

Categories

December 2017

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31            
Blog powered by Typepad