analytic a posteriori

Sock puppets? I am not a troll who either criticizes something he doesn't understand or deliberately twists an argument in order to more easily knock it down (like the actual trolls here).Whether or not an argument can be constructed to adequately rebut the objections of non-trinitarians remains to be seen. You and I can be happy about that because we now exist.You didn't actually answer my question though. Analytic a posteriori claims are generally considered something of a paradox. I'm not saying we have no grasp of reason, but I do believe there are limits. I'll be able to give a better response that way. on what basis we can believe a claim) while analytic and synthetic claims are about language. So I am not implying that God is material. I point you back to the words of Saint Thomas[4] Another benefit that comes from the revelation to men of truths that exceed the reason is the curbing of presumption, which is the mother of error. The Kantian drunkard says:‘I would, but I have the most elegant proof that there are no such things as pockets.’, PSA: New paper on PSR and skepticism from Pruss/Koonshttps://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11098-020-01482-3. Building algebraic geometry without prime ideals. Your "it has no material cause" is gratuitously appended to make room for some immaterial cause and it contradicts your first statement. conclusions. Consider Kant's own example of a synthetic proposition: "all bodies are heavy." That means you are saying that the PC = PD, what makes the persons identical with what makes them non-identical, and that is a straight contradiction (I = ~I).I get lost in your abbreviations. @David McPike, you write:And yet the because the processions are real, the relations are real, and they are really relationally distinct. Therefore the "Son" is not eternal in the sense in which God is eternal. Thanks in advance Those distinctions were used by Kant to ask one of the most important questions in the history of epistemology—namely, whether a priori synthetic judgments are possible ( see below Modern philosophy: Immanuel Kant ). For that which is above the human reason we believe only because God has revealed it.If we can prove from scripture that scripture does in fact hold a trinitarian view, then Bill would have two choices: reject scripture or accept that what he views as a contradiction is only apparent. diverge in subtle ways from those of Kant. Note, they are not nominally distinct (as in love, justice, mercy and judgment); they are really distinct. But the Father generates the Son necessarily and eternally from the nature of his own being/essence and the Son necessarily receives fully and eternally the divine nature as his own being/essence.If the Son "receives" the divine nature by something other than Himself, then He is not God by definition. So, as I've stated many times now, if that is all you're saying with respect to the persons of the Trinity, that there is a logical or conceptual distinction, then there's nothing particularly "trinitarian" about it. That is not to say that God is proposing something contrary to reason. I’m saying that love is real and mercy is real and that they have different definitions and different functions. It’s a “mystery,” and since Jewish elders have the final say on matters of controversy, you’re not in a position to question them. Is one consciousness communicating with another consciousness? Conceiving/understanding one does not entail conceiving/understanding the other, so coming to understand the equality is synthetic knowledge (and its a priori: its justification is essentially grounded in the structure of concepts, not in the data of sense experience). a. the mind conforms to objects b. objects conform to the mind c. objects are identical to the mind d. the mind cannot conform to objects. Then in that case "pure form" is incoherent because nothing cannot be coherently said to have any form at all.If the form in "pure form" is of something, then "pure form" is incoherent because then the form is not pure, rather, of that something. Your argument rests on gratuitously asserting that your a priori sense of aseity is necessarily the only one that can apply to God; in other words, that God necessarily has nothing to teach you, via revelation, about the correct understanding of His own aseity; in other words, you are making an idol of your own a priori concepts instead of allowing them to be shaped by divine revelation. The wrathful aspect of God "determined" to destroy Sodom, but God's mercy "stepped in" and said, "Let me save Lot." For, according to its manner of knowing in the present life, the intellect depends on the sense for the origin of knowledge; and so those things that do not fall under the senses cannot be grasped by the human intellect except in so far as the knowledge of them is gathered from sensible things. Do you have direct experience of what this is like? You see a real PERSON of the Son loving and communicating with OTHER PERSONS (Father & Holy Spirit). Export citation . Maybe you understand that too, abstractly, sometimes; but if so, I think it might help if you stopped putting the doctrine in an obviously obfuscated way....if the relations are NO DIFFERENT than the divine essence...But obviously they are different, qua relations and qua essence, because they refer to different aspects/modes of intelligibility of the being of the Godhead (personal vs. essential).If the Son "receives" the divine nature by something other than Himself, then He is not God by definition.If the Son fully receives and thus fully possesses the divine nature, then He is indeed God, by definition! Their tradition is far older than yours and “mystery” covers every blemish your finite, fallible eyes might see.With respect to Ge. No need to respond, but just thought I would put that out there. There are plenty of saved Christians who do not have a classical understanding and who in fact unknowingly affirm heresies. Theories of cognitive judgment both prior to and after Kant tend todivide dichotomously into the psychologistic andplatonisticcamps, according to which, on the one hand,cognitive judgments are nothing but mental representations ofrelations of ideas, as, e.g., in the Port Royal Logic (Arnaud &Nicole 1996), or mentalistic ordered combinings of real individuals,universals, and logical constants, as, e.g., in Russell’s earlytheory of judgment (Russell 1966), or on the other hand, cognitivejudgments are nothing b… What if you had a brilliant math teacher who, among other things, could rise from the dead who told you that you were wrong? But that fact seems to have little to do with the fact that in each instance "on" continues to have a sort of analytically derivable fitness to the situation. Thanks,Daniel, And so we come round to my original argument. Right, but what exactly does that mean? It is identical to its existence. And if it is but a mental construct, then there is no real distinction in God; it’s only as we perceive Him.Thank you for affirming the law of non-contradiction. Thus, "left" and "right" is a subjective observation---a logical construct, if you will. Perhaps they've already been made, but so far I've yet to see them. That can only mean that there is something in the essence of the Father that is not in the essence of the Son, which equivocates on what it is to be God or it affirms composition. Lots of persons are "generated" by God's existence; they're called creatures. We are talking about a reality so far above our comprehension that to affirm anything beyond the existence of God from human knowledge seems folly. At the end of the day, we don't know much, except that any caracteristic of Our Lord is unlike anything we know anyway. For if there is an aspect of the essence unique to each person, where the Father "ends" and the Son "begins," then you must affirm composition. If you understand "four ones", you also understand "two and another two", even if you don't yet express that under the more abstracted terms of addition. In this way, the concept of "2+2" is connected inseparably to the concept "4". @DanielNobody argues that we understand everything about God. Relations do not exist in God's substance but are identical with the divine substance (just like His attributes---God does not have justice, He is justice). Now, the a priori/a posteriori distinction is about whether we know something from experience. There is only one, undivided Godhead devoid of any real composition. Dunno, but the modalist also believes that he can't actually explain God nature, so...I mean, what do we mean by "God is relating to Himself" and how exactly this is diferent from the trinitarian belief? Back to square one. The formal cause is what actualizes the matter. Unfortunately, it seems to me that I am late for this debate concerning the apparent antinomy between Divine Simplicity and the Trinitarian Relations. The a priori/a posteriori distinction, used by Kant, plays no role in mathematics. For the angel knows God on the basis of a more noble effect than does man; and this by as much as the substance of an angel, through which the angel in his natural knowledge is led to the knowledge of God, is nobler than sensible things and even than the soul itself, through which the human intellect mounts to the knowledge of God. If we knew essences of substances well enough, we would be able to elaborate, on the basis of internal principles of the gold (and laws of physics that make gold to be what it is) a large range of determinations about it: the density of a certain isotope, the electrical conductance, the melting point, etc. "Receiving" divinity would be laughable if you weren't so serious. He must then somehow make an act of faith based on authority, despite his misgivings. My apologies for any confusion.Even in lumps of pure gold, properties like density and electrical conductance will very very slightly between different lumps, due to how densely packed the molecules are and how they are arranged. Or perhaps no person at all? A better analogy yet is the universal mathematical concept of a trefoil knot. And in so far as our minds can understand it, that distinction rests in the concept of relations or relative properties. As the CCC states in paragraph 42: 42 God transcends all creatures. I originally made those comments in the context of saying that your defense is indistinct from what a modalist would say. You agree that God needs no external cause but He nonetheless "needs" and internal one. Philosophers of science have developed competing accounts of what scientific theories should be. I understand the teaching of the church that there are three distinct persons and one Godhead. To be clear, Thomas holds the following (as do I): Truth has one source in God, so that truths known by reason and truths known by faith cannot contradict one another.Yes. ; He just simply IS. I think one could argue that the statement "All bodies are extended" is both analytic and only known a posteriori. Stack Exchange network consists of 176 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. Finally, although there are two distinct relations (left opposed to right and right opposed to left), there is only one line.In the same way the predicates of the Athanasian Creed are formulated, we have the following:1. There is the left side of the line (insofar as we can pick any point of the line and consider what is to the left of it), and there is the right side of the line. In no case is trinitarianism advanced.In fact, I’m not the only one that’s noticed this. How can one understand what a body without experiencing the world? From what I remember, at one point almost 80% of bishops were for Arianism. God does not have a relation but is the relation. are not so easily understood. We deduce that the ground of all composition is Pure Act whose essence is to exist. For if there is any aspect of the essence unique to a person, then the whole is dependent on the parts. @Bill:I think you're badly misunderstanding my "three somethings." Talmid,"...God(as thomism understand) is impossible because the idea of a omnipotent mind(or even any mind) that is absolutely simple is a incoherent idea. Instead, the relation is a different one. Now, for the minds of mortal men to assent to these things is the greatest of miracles, just as it is a manifest work of divine inspiration that, spurning visible things, men should seek only what is invisible. It leaves room for the question, “What is that something?” The doctrine of the Trinity is the answer.Finally, if you DID perform a math problem and received the answer 1 = 0, is it not possible that you simply wrote down the wrong number in the beginning and made a calculation mistake? Thanks for your congeniality and efforts. I find your question here odd. I would only be "begging the question" in that regard if I were articulating a defense of modalism. While his original distinction was primarily drawn in terms of conceptual c… I explained a bit of how a modalist views relation elsewhere in this thread. Anyway I know you don't have infinite time, so I understand if you can't respond. Let me try again to lay out my discomfort, this time with the "synthetic" idea. The council resolved the issue, adding authority and credibility to Paul, lest he be running in vain. Also, there are reasons that might motivate one to believe in an apparent contradiction. I am sure you are familiar with the Athanasian Shield. Second, the person adds to the nature the features that give it its singularity, its individuality. So what is the point? I took your "three somethings" to refer to the three persons or subsistent relations of the Trinity. Since god, by your words, is something then god is some thing, a thing, an object or a substance, or a thing of some sort. Since the doctrine of divine simplicity (DDS) abjures divine composition (for very good reasons), a composite Godhead is impossible.You are assuming Himself here. Since, indeed, the principle of all knowledge that the reason perceives about some thing is the understanding of the very substance of that being (for according to Aristotle “what a thing is” is the principle of demonstration) [ Posterior Analytics II, 3], it is necessary that the way in which we understand the substance of a thing determines the way in which we know what belongs to it. What is an example or proof of one or why one can't exist? Per my argument above, the PC ≠ PD, but if the PC is the divine essence, then the relation must be “outside” God’s essence, hence, creatures… Given that we need to speak analogically, I think the very important thing to do is work out what exactly it is in the way we use terms such as “is” and “is not” which lead to the PD/PC contradiction. The relation is one and the same, no different than God Himself. Formal causality is clearly a 'cause' in one of the classical senses of 'cause.' However, you're pursuing this to justify God the Son's eternal generation, that the Son's being is dependent on the intrinsic causal activity of the one, simple and undivided essence of God, and that's a different kind of causality. Similarly left-ness and right-ness are sui generis concepts with regard to length. Any attempt to refute competing doctrines is undermined because their proponents can also appeal to a realm beyond the reach of finite reason. Again, many people have attempted to explain to Bill using Thomistic terms how what he sees as a contradiction is in fact not a contradiction, but he simply affirms the contrary. And "add" is certainly not actually intrinsic to "1." I'm certainly confident it's (b), not (a). Bill, the questions you raise are very subtle and complex and I always prefer to talk about such issues in my own language. (i.e., the actual DT). Derived by or designating the process of reasoning from facts or particulars to general principles or from effects to causes; inductive; empirical. I am still learning. Bill seems like a smart, sincere, diligent seeker of truth from what I've read. So this is a clear "logical inversion" (i.e., you mean contradiction? Per my argument above, the PC ≠ PD, but if the PC is the divine essence, then the relation must be “outside” God’s essence, hence, creatures. (This section appears in Chapter Four.). Concepts don't come to be (they aren't discovered) apart from activity of the senses, but they do have an independent structure whereby inference from judgment to judgment is possible apart from any need for confirmation from anything "empirical" (the senses). Yes there are real distinctions in the Godhead, but we already know before investigating revelation (from natural theology) that any category that we predicate of God (being, relation, etc.) If not, then the Father has something the Son and Spirit do not have. @David McPikeI appreciate the dialog, but I don't think much progress is being made. I think I'm understanding quite well that you said I said something that I didn't say. It's the prime example of his famous synthetic a priori. The a posteriori analytic. These would follow from it as "contained within" the (complete) idea of gold. Logical or virtual distinctions involve the mental apprehension of two definitions which cannot be realized outside the mind, like concavity and convexity—as any concave line would be a convex line from another perspective. For one thing, it is unclear that when a child grasps the basic numbers, that his mind is going through a process that effectively "does" what the Peano's axioms describe. You're only getting it half right, namely: "believe that you may understand." Hubris? Whatever He is as it turns out, is a self-relational yet simple entity. Or perhaps no person at all? Once I know the meaning of the words, the concepts, etc., I am able to learn new truths simply by "rational insight". Obviously the Father is God and He obviously has something the Son doesn't have (Fatherhood, Paternity), just has the Son has Sonhood, but these are relational distinctions of the persons fully possessing the divine essence, not distinct aspects of the divine essence considered in itself as essence. Doesn't Saul Kripke argue for analytic a posteriori truths also? The "relations" are the "somethings" I'm referring to. The sole way to overcome an adversary of divine truth is from the authority of Scripture—an authority divinely confirmed by miracles. However, you do want to be cautious, as I said. Welcome to modalism.If you wish, you can indeed say to the Trinitarian: "the one who is the Father is also the son; therefore modalism." Synthetic a priori, 2. Justified by appeal to experience. So analogy is required, right? No difference.Back to square one. Hey David,So in your estimation, does your interpretation of St Thomas seem true, and so you assume it is true? The quote I used from Feser, above, was looking at the a priori versus a posteriori distinction. We don't have a univocal understanding of person here, such that person as described in human beings is the same as person understood in God. @ScottCan you spell out what PC and PD stand for in this context? @LuizThanks for your reply and allow me to say that your English is very good indeed. (Or something else?). 589–614. I see 'aseity' autocorrected to 'assets' above. However, the left-ness and right-ness of the line are really opposed to each other and stand in a real relation to each other. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby." You have to be infinite. I see no reason why there could not be a being with three selves. This is purely a matter of understanding the meaning of terms as they are standardly used. There is, however, an analogy. That's the a priori. And how does he know that only one person is sufficient to express the divine essences' existence?If you want to know what I think, why don't you ask me? First of all, I completely agree with you when you say that a logical contradiction can not be solved with an appeal to mistery. What makes them the same is not what makes them different. There is nothing unintelligible about logical inversions and I'm confused about the way you keep using this term. "@Bill:FYI, here's what Aquinas says (ST I.28.2): Et sic manifestum est quod relatio realiter existens in Deo, est idem essentiae secundum rem [And thus it is manifest that the relation really existing in God is the same as the essence according to the thing]; et non differt nisi secundum intelligentiae rationem, prout in relatione importatur respectus ad suum oppositum, qui non importatur in nomine essentiae. You write:I never said that the essence causes three somethings. This of course yields a straight contradiction: The divine essence cannot be identical with the relations (per above) and the essence is identical with the relations. separated from each other ... He is not one part love, one part mercy, one part judgment, etc. Most notably, the American philosopher W. V. O. Quine (1951) argued that the analytic-synthetic distinction is illegitimate (see Quine's rejection of the analytic-synthetic distinction). A Priori Knowledge of God? From my perspective as a Catholic, this just smacks of .... not sure how to say this politely... pride? Simply by the way we have defined the words "body" and "extension". But you have provided no argument to reject the Christian revelation. @Bill,I certainly don't believe that you are a troll! Analytic a posteriori judgments cannot arise, since there is never any need to appeal to experience in support of a purely explicative assertion. (Is Sabellius still clapping? Only by multiplication can we have a common essence and individual instantiations of the essence, but since God cannot be multiplied, there cannot be multiple persons or instantiations of God. Then I read “Being and Some Philosophers”. God doesn't manifest (reveal Himself) as Trinity because He is only Unity. On that standard, the DT is no more persuasive than Arianism or modalism. Daniel, I'm still confident you're misunderstanding St Thomas. Certainly Peano's theory does not describe a child's (or anyone else's) simple apprehensions of concepts like "2." You can say that "God" -- i.e., deity, God-ness, the divine nature -- manifests itself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but that's (only) because the inner life of the deity exists and subsists in the real being/relations of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And if we're discussing three persons of the divine essence, we have three Gods. It is all one in God. (353-354). And especially in this matter, the assent of faith is necessary. the same thing, they are identical in every possible world, and truths (Last note: I hope I didn't 'chastise' Daniel, I just tried to point out some problems with his argument. It is fundamentally about what God is not, not what God is (God's essence). the other early moderns frame these issues, much less with their It seems you are assuming that what Thomas says should rather serve as a warning to your interlocutors; but why not rather as a warning to yourself?I do. But of course within the domain of logic, the term is a term of art with a more specific meaning, so it is misleading/confusing if you ignore that specific meaning when (apparently) using the term within that specific domain. I take it that "synthetic" propositions, properly, related to propositions that might be true or might be not true, because they are contingent: you can't know whether X or not-X is true except by factual verification, because X could have happened or not-X could have happened. Aquinas lists a few here in chapter 6. God's existence and His Divine act are clearly the same, so it seems like Modalism is in the same boat as trinitarianism, in danger of sliding into describing God in terms of distinctions. E.g. You appear to reject both in favor of intrinsic Xeroxing, that within God there can be the generation of another God, but this "another" cannot really be another else there is clear composition in the Godhead. Created essence is a kind of cause due to potency actualization and multiplication. Anayltic a-priori is a myth, because a person's premise lies directly within the problem, and as soon as the premise is realized - the conclusion becomes based on posteri knowledge. The PC cannot be the PD (PC ≠ PD), for that forces us to assert that the thing which makes A & B common is the very thing that makes them different (C = ~C), which of course is a straight contradiction. Thank you for your very kind words and for your counterarguments. synthetic a posteriori in one context might be analytic a priori in There is thus no cause whatsoever in Pure Act. If F and S are fully and completely “the same, perfectly simple, and totally actualized act of being (God),” and if they really differ in some way, then what makes them the same cannot be what makes them different (else we assert that S = ~S, which is of course a contradiction). I as a human have one nature and one self. And again, "6+6" is not actually intrinsic to "12"; therefore "6+6=12" is a synthetic proposition. So, correct me if I'm misunderstanding this, but the is that given that the three members of the Most Holy Trinity share the same perfectly simple, and totally actualized act of being, then any distinction between them would be impossible. But I would say you should be Catholic. Some have argued that definitions don't change the meaning in existing statements (you are instead defining something new), but those kinds of arguments cannot be brought all the way to primitives without assuming infallible classification. So I am not implying that God is material. And if there isn't a difference to begin with, then the relations indicate self-interaction. "The LORD, he is God, and there is none else." Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent. I'm using inversion in the sense of opposite, meaning that the logical extension of some of his arguments are the opposite of what he intended....the being of the essence and the being of the relation are one and the same.Of course.I think it might allay your confusion if you amended this to say: "The very thing that 'makes' (in the same respect (ITSR)) them 'alike' (ITSR) cannot be the thing that 'makes' (ITSR) them 'different' (ITSR). I am arguing that I can't make heads or tails out of what you are saying unless we consider what many Protestants argue on par with genus/species composition. "Pure Act is a cause of other being, but there is no cause of something uncaused, by definition. It can only be actualized by something other than itself, and that is God (all perfections being eminently in Him). Though there are an infinite number of blue books, they are not the whole bookcase. You must know the answer already, surely? The meaning, that is, the definition and concept of God and the property of existence has to be acquired by observation. It looks like a contradiction, I don't understand it, I can't explain it, I just believe it because I think God wants me to." @David McPikeRight: "same thing" in one respect; "something else" in another respect.And this "same thing" and "something else" is the simple, undivided essence of God.God the Father has a relationship with Himself; he knows and loves himself as God and as principle of generation within the Godhead.But since "God the Father" is the simple, undivided essence of God, the "principle of generation" applies to the entire Godhead.This entails that He likewise has a relationship with the Son, as God like unto himself and as His only begotten Son.But since "God the Son" is the simple, undivided essence of God, and since, per Aquinas, the relation is the simple, undivided essence of God, then God is still having the relationship with Himself.Why is Sabellius clapping?Because modalists and Arians won't object to the fact that the undivided essence of God knows Himself and loves Himself and relates to Himself. It has no material cause. @David McPikeTraditionally there are taken to be four causes needed to full explain a thing.And I already acknowledged more than once that "explanation" of God is His essence to exist. Perhaps you can do so, but it is very easy that, being a non-expert, you are making a subtle mistake in your thinking, which seems to be evident.I am not saying that to shut down the discussion. Based on my (incredibly limited and subpar) understanding of Fitch's paradox, it seems like you have to assume the nonexistence of God in order for it to work, given that in God you have the Essence of To Be Itself, where existence just IS the same thing as its knowing. persons in one human essence, and depending on the number of persons discussed (let's say 3), we have three humans. They are merely logically distinct. So personhood in the trinity is treated as a kind of integration point of some sort. The essence and being of God are one. I have seen things that make my writings like straw.I don't think these statements necessarily lead to voluntarism and the will to power, because I don't believe that the human intellect has within it that capacity to be the measure of all things. @ScottI'm not interested in refuting Christianity, especially since I am one. As another aside, upon reexamining my “love question,” I have decided to do something that is rare beyond all measure on an interest forum: I admit that the way I formulated that was, in fact question begging (though I still think there’s something to salvage in there). So again: sure, Pure Form needs no cause, but so what? From the CCC paragraph 251:251 In order to articulate the dogma of the Trinity, the Church had to develop her own terminology with the help of certain notions of philosophical origin: "substance", "person" or "hypostasis", "relation" and so on. Some analytic propositions are a priori, and most synthetic propositions are a posteriori. All your verbiage serves to accomplish is not that there is a real difference in the essence of God; it merely shows on Aquinas's terms the single personhood of God.If you like [God generating another God]; except that that generated essence is the divine essence, which is identical to the divine being, so that the one generated fully shares the being/essence of the one generating and is only differentiated relationally, through the truly, divinely eternal act of generation intrinsic to the divine life.So the one generated isn't the being/essence; he merely shares it, correct? (And this advice should of course be taken to have general application.). Brilliant people also make mistakes so I do not take the opinion of brilliant people at face value. Let me propose an analogy that makes similar claims.Suppose you have a straight line of infinite length going from left to right. Can you expand them please? God is merely having relations with Himself to fulfill whatever purpose pleases Him. But is that the only thing we can know about God's essence? You are saying that there is a REAL distinction in God's essence (because the relations ARE God's essence). Creatures need a cause of being; that's why God is the uncaused cause. God’s judgment and mercy “worked together” to save Lot, but there is not one person of judgment and another person of mercy.So, in the example I provided, judgment and mercy had what we would say is analogous to a relationship. Logical contradictions don't clear anything up. I think your continuing to advert to that absurd thought is just muddying the waters. @David McPikeWithin the Aristotelian tradition, 'cause' means 'what is required to understand/explain a thing.' Further it is only by experience with the idiom that I would associate the picture on the wall with the cup that is "on" my desk or the athlete who is "on" her game. IV]. What is the use of analytic propositions? Thanks for contributing an answer to Philosophy Stack Exchange! @Bill,You're definitely into a lot of straight question-begging here. Rejecting that would mean that it is possible for A to be really distinct from B without differing in any way.According to Aquinas, “In whatever multitude of things is to be found something common to all, it is necessary to seek out the principle of distinction” (ST 1.40.2). In order for an analytic a posteriori statement to exist, it would have to be something that is true logically or linguistically without requiring a relationship to the world itself in order to be true, but also require experience and therefore is contingent on something occurring in the world. Synthetic & Practice Activities 3) Necessary vs. If not, did you have a definition? How is the Q and Q' determined the first time in JK flip flop? Likewise, although paternity, just as filiation, is really the same as the divine essence; nevertheless these two in their own proper idea and definitions import opposite respects. But being a “thing”, He is not a mere abstraction (even if He is not material). They are relations that subsist. God is HE.So you can't say: "the divine nature causes processions to take place," unless you understand it concretely to mean "the divine nature fully possessed by the Father generates the divine nature fully possessed by the Son," etc. Affirming a contradiction is affirming a falsehood. These real relations (not merely logical relations) of the one essence to itself are the impetus for the three distinct Persons. If a metaphysical being of essence/existence composition exists (e.g. And it really doesn't have anything to do with temporal priority of sense inputs, but the causal relation of the mind's grasp as justifiably resting in the truth as "known". So now let's switch over to knowing gold. What about that revelation? Consider the case of two persons of whom one has a more penetrating grasp of a thing by his intellect than, does the other. So, what then is caused? Patet ergo quod in Deo non est aliud esse relationis et esse essentiae, sed unum et idem. Thank you. These are all authority based arguments primarily. Fair enough. Can the Father be caused? Sorry, but you're firing blanks.Only an apparent contradiction. We can't be *confident* in their salvation, since we don't know how they will react, but I don't see any problem with affirming that it is *possible,* assuming, again, a postmortem change in position. “The PC cannot be the PD on pain of contradiction, but that appears to be what you are arguing.”Can you spell out what PC and PD stand for in this context? The PD is the relation of each person to each other. You can make the real distinction work in that instance (God is one essence and the persons are instantiations thereof) but at the expense of monotheism.Again, you are wrong that mercy and love in God are really distinct. I would read Boethius’ De Trinitate. I can see the truth of the principle of non-contradiction a priori, but only insofar as I know the meaning of the words, and I didn't learn the meaning of the words by a priori reasoning or i sight, but by my extended experiences in a community of speakers, etc. Although the essence and relations (qua relations) are distinct, each relation (qua subsistent (personal) being) is really identical to the essence. Reginald Garrigou Lagrange explicitly denies a multiplicity of consciousnesses in God because that would imply a multiplicity of intellect and will. or (b) completely surpass the ability of his unaided reason to positively ascertain apart from the assistance of grace and revelation? Welcome to begging the question! That's the doctrine of the Trinity. Yea, thanks Luke. Synthetic a priori. Why does Palpatine believe protection will be disruptive for Padmé? Or Palamas for that matter. It is a single self-relational structural entity. Tony,Somehow my reply on the essence of gold was cut off. Interestingly enough, I had a similar conversation on another thread a few months ago, but this appeal is substantively no different than what we've been arguing here. Are you identifying the entire "being" of God with the Father, or does the being of God become Father, logically speaking, when He begets the Son? What is this "somebody else"? If you can appeal to revelation, so can they. If the former, you have modalism or Arianism; if the latter, you have a straight contradiction.For me, modalism is clearly superior because it affirms strict monotheism and the full deity of Jesus without any contradiction. )This one I think I can agree with, at least with regard to the content of revelation. But however one attempts to define it, it seems to me to be one of those analytic a posteriori problems the moderns thought we could do without . I CAN say, "That which is the ES rises in the morning, and we call it the MS." Similarly, we can say that the one who is the Father is also the Son, considered from a different perspective. Right: "same thing" in one respect; "something else" in another respect.For you, that "something else" is the Father, but the Father is the one, undivided, simple essence of God. So, what then is caused? So, I would sy we could predict these properties from the essence of gold as a whole.On the other hand, if you want to say every lump of gold has a distinct essence, and we could use the essence of each lump to predict the properties of that lump, that's possible. Aquinas (and I) affirms real distinctions in the way described above. As you are pointing out in your posts, the church has language it uses to cash this out. The point is, Thomists do not admit distinctions in the essence, although they do admit distinctions in the Persons/Relations.I would be careful not to put too much emphasis on the psychological analogy. Three Gods is an impossibility, and the essence of God cannot be multiplied. I want to make sure I am not misunderstanding you.I did so HERE.The Persons are not three distinct parts of the One Divine Essence. However, each relation (person) is wholly and completely God. Which of the four inner planets has the strongest magnetic field, Mars, Mercury, Venus, or Earth? In this pair of But as my interaction with Daniel demonstrates, the "Gospel of John" clearly refutes that because the Father and Son talk to one another and the Son even prays to the Father. It is logically deduced from a posteriori arguments for God's existence.Excellent observation. I am using the word “thing” as a transcendental concept. As he goes on to say in that same lecture, wanting a demonstration for everything leads to an infinite regress. According to Kant, nothing can be called “good” without qualification except _____. We must therefore continually purify our language of everything in it that is limited, image-bound or imperfect, if we are not to confuse our image of God -- "the inexpressible, the incomprehensible, the invisible, the ungraspable" -- with our human representations. This seems to provide a sort of self satisfaction for the Thomist at having arrived at an answer by virtue of his learned reasoning process that is not generally available to the great many who are so unfortunate as to be unlearned enough to reject incoherent answers as indicators of faulty reasoning.The term “being itself” is similar to the statement “I always lie”. something we know about only, Aristotle’s Revenge: The Metaphysical Foundations of Physical and Biological Science, By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed: A Catholic Defense of Capital Punishment (with Joseph M. Bessette), Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction, The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism, Maritain Center online archive of Thomistic and Neo-Scholastic works, Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, Reality: A Synthesis of Thomistic Thought, Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange: A Biographical Sketch, St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, Thomas Aquinas in English: A Bibliography, What “the science” is saying this week (Updated). Thus, the person's conclusion relies on posteri knowledge. Hence, it is impossible for there to be another existence with the same essence. There is not one “part” of the Divine Essence different from the other, because there are no parts. God cannot be reasoned from sense experience or god can be reasoned from sense experience?Thomism only concludes that by reasoning from sense experience there must be a real existence of some sort that is impossible for us to understand. ).I have a lot of respect for Aquinas, but I obviously don't buy everything that he argued. We're back to the three centers of consciousness in God which gives you a composite Godhead. Pure Act is a cause of other being, but there is no cause of something uncaused, by definition.You're insisting that Pure Form is caused because contingent form is caused. The formal cause is what actualizes the matter. However, for an infinite substance, if we are able to talk of distinction at all, then the Principle of Distinction must be identical to the Principle of Commonality. But even Aquinas acknowledged that the distinction is in the mode of intelligibility, not that there is any actual difference between the relation and the essence.God is real. Certainly the ancients would have laughed at the notion of not calling geometry "a science". "That paragraph is, as a whole, incoherent. On the other hand, if you insist that the generated has a personal identity akin to an alter ego (something I think you'll vehemently deny), then all you're saying is that God has multiple modes of revelation which again is modalism.Only if you begin by assuming that in the Trinity there is only one controlling person.

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