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Sunday, July 31, 2022


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Faith and reason together was the Middle Ages approach. And that each informs the other. They are not separate evaluations. But when there is conflict then there are different approaches as to which one to go after.

The issue here is not the infirmity but the intrinsic limits of reason regarding the knowlegde of God and of His designs for us. It is just impossible to know, by using only the natural light of reason, the Christian doctrines of the Trinity and the divinization (theosis) of man.

We can see that the only valid option is D by starting from the definition of faith by the Ecumenical Council Vatican I in its Dogmatic Constitution "Dei Filius", ch. 3 "On faith":

"The Catholic Church professes that this faith, which is the beginning of human salvation, is a supernatural virtue, by means of which, with the inspiration and assistance of the grace of God, we believe that the things revealed by Him are true, not because the intrinsic truth of the things has been perceived by the natural light of reason, but because of the authority of God Himself who reveals them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived."

In order to believe the things revealed by God you must first know what those things are, and for that you must first know the medium through which God has revealed. But the above definition of faith (which can be more precisely named "explicit propositional faith") cannot apply to the identification of the medium of divine Revelation lest the epistemic position be circular, as a person should have to identify M as the medium through which God revealed by assenting to the truth that "God revealed through M" based on the authority of God who revealed (through M) said truth (i.e. that He revealed through M)! Therefore, we must identify rationally the medium of divine Revelation, based on rationally apprehensible motives of credibility.

Even less could the above definition of faith apply to the belief in the existence and attributes of God, to which we must arrive by using reason, on the basis of rationally apprehensible praeambula fidei.

FWIW, I have an article on the 4 steps (3 epistemic and 1 vital) to explicit propositional faith and another examining in greater detail one of the epistemic steps, the identification of the medium of divine Revelation:

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