Thursday, April 14, 2011
But It's Not ...
See if you can guess where this is from:
Traditionally, theology was seen as the "Queen of the Sciences," since it involves the totality and greatest of truths. Philosophy and science, while valuable in their own right, have been understood as "handmaidens" to theology. For theology, philosophy at its best can help the Christian explain and articulate the core truths of the "deposit of faith." This deposit includes the truths described in the Apostles' Creed: that there is a Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all of whom are one God; that the Son was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, was raised from the dead, and so forth. This content of the faith precedes our philosophizing about it.If you guessed from some theological website, you'd be right ... The Discovery [sic] Institute's Evolution News & Views.
What follows is a long discussion by Jay Richards of the sources of Christian philosophy from Plato and Aristotle, through Bonaventure, to Thomas Aquinas and beyond. From what little I know about the subject, Richards could well be right.
What is interesting is some of the statements Richards makes:
I mean none of this to disparage the use of Aristotle for theology. Aristotle is brimming with insights. If I seem to be pushing especially hard against him here, it is because he is a key source of the blind spot that prevents some Thomists from seeing the promise in intelligent design, and in perpetuating the myth that ID is contrary to Catholic belief. ...But ID is science, not religion ...
[I]f we want to know the innate (and God-given) capacities and limits of nature, we need to look at nature itself. ... Rather than merely analyzing various ancient and early modern philosophies of nature to answer our questions, then, we should look at nature. We should not hold a philosophy of nature that effectively dictates what God must have done, but one open to the evidence of what God has done.
"Aye, and if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a wagon!"
-- Lt Cmdr Montgomery Scott
I love the use of the word traditionally! Theology only had this status in Western Europe from about 1200 to 1700 CE and even within this period was challanged by more than one prominent thinker.
And when we look at nature, we see common descent. "Design" in the way that IDists use the term is conspicuously lacking. Unless the designer is Rube Goldberg.