• BillMcEnaney
    54
    Here's a startling article by Dr. Craig. I say "startling" because he believes the monothelite heresy is plausible when Matthew 26:39 contradicts it. Monothelites believe that Christ's divine will is is only will. But in that verse, he distinguishes between his will and his Father's will. That's why said that Christ would have contradicted himself if he said "Not my wink but mine be done."

    Craig on Monothelitism

    Matthew 26:39 says, "And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt" in the KJV.
  • Gregory
    4.6k


    You're a biased thinker like Aquinas. You've avoided the question about why God can take the substance out of bread and put Jesus inside but cant take the substance of the sun out and replace it with whatever pleases him. Also, how many bilocated bodies are in a host?
  • BillMcEnaney
    54
    Again, "substance" means "essence." So what do you mean by "inside" when I'm not talking bout spatial relationships. I'm doing metaphysics instead of science.
  • Relativist
    2.2k
    Again, "substance" means "essence." So what do you mean by "inside" when I'm not talking bout spatial relationships. I'm doing metaphysics instead of science.BillMcEnaney
    Aren't you treating Thomist metaphysics as dogma? Why accept it? Isn't it to rationalize other dogma (including transsubstantiation)?
  • BillMcEnaney
    54
    No, I'm to treating it as a dogma partly because no pope and no council can turn it into one. But about 62 Popes have endorsed Thomism and transubstantiation seems to presuppose Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics. These reasons probably won't convince you to be a Thomist. Why would you since you've rejected Catholicism?

    I specialized in logic when earned my philosophy degree.
  • Gregory
    4.6k


    You not doing any kind of metaphysics. You havent proven a single thing philosophically
  • Gregory
    4.6k


    So we have a host here and a pineapple there. Jesus in the true essence of the host. What stops a horse from being the substance of the accidents of the pine apple by a miracle of God. If you keep refusing to answer this conversation is over.
  • Gregory
    4.6k
    Thomism leads to skepticism. No longer is what a thing is enough to define what it is. I dont think Aristotle would approve
  • BillMcEnaney
    54
    What kind and of skepticism does it lead to, Phyronism? I have no idea why you think it would do anything like that. From what I can tell, you probably haven't studied Thomism. I begin to study it in about 1994.
  • BillMcEnaney
    54
    Then please criticize my vicious infinite regress argument. Tell us what fallacy or fallacies I committed in in it. What premises false?
  • BillMcEnaney
    54
    First, Jesus is not an essence. Neither is a horse. An essence is a group of properties that causes, say, a dog to be a dog, a tree to be a tree, or Christ to be divine. A nature is not the person. place. or thing that has those properties. Doggyness is not a dog. it makes an animal a dog.

    The difference between a person and his nature is a basic distinction from any Catholic catechism for adults. If you've studied a catechism, that distinction should be familiar to you.

    When you make such obvious mistakes, it's hard to see how you could know whether Thomism leads to skepticism.
  • Gregory
    4.6k


    Nature, essence, and substance are all identical. They may not be for a hairsplitter. Nor are they different from accidents. A things reality is what we perceive it to be. Things are upon for observation. That is all there is. There is no spooky people or things behind them. The world is what there is. What constitues a thing is what is "there". A thing cant be one thing yet another like Thomism tries to argue for. As per my question you didnt answer, why isnt it possible that God clothed your "car" with the accidents of a car and its really a horse. Or maybe thats a fact since Pius X loving people are Catholic Amish. You believe in God, grace, mystical bodies, nature, quiddity, essence substance, accidents, properties, such a load of garbage it should boggle your mind. But your mind has been poisined since 1994!

    See you on a another thread
  • BillMcEnaney
    54
    Since I forgot the difference between a nature and an essence, I'll ask my friend Prof. Alexander Pruss to remind me of it. Then I'll tell you what he said.

    An accident is a property that someone or something might gain or lose. He or it can survive with or without that nonessential property. You're essentially human. But having hair isn't an essential property. Your could shave your head. A sunburn is another inessential property. Your height is, too, because a surgeon could amputate your legs. If you lose an essential property, you'll die.

    The essence of someone or something determines what he or it can do. Since you're human, you can reason. But you can't fly under your. own power. Water can hydrate you, put out some fires, drown, and animal, and more. It can't fuel a gasoline engine, turn into a cheesecake, or explode.

    I'm still waiting for you to criticize my infinite regress argument against Dr. Craig's God concept.
  • Relativist
    2.2k
    Let me sum up my point about a vicious infinite regress. In a YouTube video, Dr. Craig says that without creation, God is timeless and temporal after it. On the other and, classical theists believe that God is absolutely simple with no parts of any kind. And potentials are metaphysical parts.BillMcEnaney
    I'm pretty sure Craig would disagree that "potentials are...parts".

    So, if God is purely actual, there's no potential in him. But Dr. Craig implies that God is metaphysical parts when he, Craig, says that God went from being possibly in time to being actually in it.
    I doubt Craig believe God is "purely actual". Craig's view is that God is timeless "sans creation", and temporal with creation, but this temporal/timeless characteristic is a relational property, not an intrinsic property.

    Any object with potential is a composed object. And each composed object needs cause to put the parts together.
    Craig embraces divine simplicity; he does not embrace Thomist metaphysics. So what if he's inconsistent with a metaphysical system he does not embrace? If you are committed to Thomist metaphysics, then you can certainly reject Craig's philosophy. But perhaps you should reconsider Thomism.
  • BillMcEnaney
    54
    Relativist, Dr. Craig believes that God is simple. But he rejects the absolute divine simplicity that Catholics must believe in. For us, the doctrine about absolute divine simplicity is a dogma. So, by Catholic standards, any baptized person is at least a material heretic if he denies that doctrine, That's because a material heretic believes a heresy when he doesn't know it's heretical.

    For Catholics, Dr. Craig would still be at least a material heretic, even if he believed the dogma about absolute divine simplicity. That's because he still believes Monothelitism when he knows that the Third Council of Constantinople condemned it between 680 and 681 A.D.

    An article about Monothelitism

    In my opinion, if Monothelitism were true, Christ's human nature would be partial. That's because Catholics believe that a human nature includes a human will.But Dr. Craig thinks that Christ is fully human and fully divine. That suggests that the professor's Christology is logically inconsistent if being fully divine and fully human implies having a divine will and a human one.

    Dr. Craig is a brilliant Christian scholar and a fine debater who knows more than I'll ever know. But no one can be an orthodox Catholic and believe Monothelitism. Catholics believe some doctrines that we need to deduce from the Bible because they follow from some Bible passages. Still, I suggest that Sacred Scripture flatly contradicts Craig's monthelitism in Matthew 26:39, the verse where Our Savior prays, '9 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt." in the KJV.

    How can Christ have only one will, his divine one, when he distinguishes between his will and God the Father's will? After all, God the Son is the only divine person with a human nature. Dr. Craig contradicts himself if he says that though Christ is full divine and fully human, his human nature is only partial.

    Dr. Craig rejects Nestorianism, the heresy Council of Ephesus condemned in 431 A.D. Catholics believe that Christ, God's only-begotten Son, is a divine person with two natures. He's not one person composed of two persons. Nestorius believed that two persons, a divine person and a human one, shared Jesus's body. On the other hand, if Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, has only the divine will, who spoke to God the Father in Matthew 26:39? If the speaker had only a human will, it's hard to see how he could have been God the Son. After all, a mere human being can't save us from sin when he's a sinner.

    The Historical Introduction to the Council of Ephesus that confirms the Catholic Church's belief that a council can teach infallibly
  • Leontiskos
    1.5k
    Relativist, Dr. Craig believes that God is simple. But he rejects the absolute divine simplicity that Catholics must believe in. For us, the doctrine about absolute divine simplicity is a dogma.BillMcEnaney

    Arguing from Catholic dogma does not work against non-Catholics, and it does not work on a philosophy forum. Instead of appealing to Catholic dogma, what you need to do is address Craig's arguments:

    See the discussion between Bishop Robert Barron and William Lane Craig on divine simplicity. In his response Craig explicitly targets the Thomistic view: Symposium Part 1 - Divine Simplicity. Craig's rejection of divine simplicity is apparently well-known.Leontiskos
  • BillMcEnaney
    54
    No Catholic expects the Catholic dogma about God's absolute simplicity to convince non-Catholics merely because it's a dogma. But suppose that dogma is true. Then Dr. Craig's belief in relative divine simplicity is still false. That's because it implies that God has parts. Since any composed object needs a cause, Dr. Craig's "God" concept still produces a vicious infinite regress of causes but no composed effects.
  • Leontiskos
    1.5k
    But suppose that dogma is true.BillMcEnaney

    This is the question that you continue to beg.
  • BillMcEnaney
    54
    I don't beg the question by merely inviting you to entertain something to see what follows from it. So, after work, I'll argue against Dr. Craig's notion of divine simplicity after rereading what St. Themas wrote about divine simplicity in my copy of the Summa Theologiae and read what he says about it in Summa Contra Gentiles.
  • BillMcEnaney
    54
    Now that I've heard Dr. Craig reply to Bishop Barron, I'm confused. Dr. Craig reminds us that councils teach that God is absolutely simple. But they don't teach what St. Thomas tells us about God's simplicity. On the other hand, Dr. Craig never explains what it means to say that an absolutely simple God can have inseparable parts.

    An absolutely simple God has no parts of any kind. That's why "an absolutely simple God with inseparable parts" is self-contradictory. It implies that God is absolutely simple and not absolutely simple.

    From a Thomistic perspective, theistic personalism is absurd because theistic personalists treat God as someone like Superman. They reflect on their human power, human, knowledge human goodness, etc., and think God has much more power, much more knowledge, and much more goodness than any human person does.

    The theistic personalist's God is too creaturely. If theistic personalism is true, its God isn't the Biblical one. If the absolutely simple God and the theistic personalist's God exist, the theistic personalist's God is a creature. But then he's like Zeus if that Ancient Greek god exists. After all, Zeus has human-like parents.
  • Walter
    52
    An absolutely simple God has no properties of any kind. He can't be 'father' ,son' and 'holy spirit'.
  • Wayfarer
    21k
    From a Thomistic perspective, theistic personalism is absurd because theistic personalists treat God as something Superman.BillMcEnaney

    A key concept in Scholastic philosophy, emphasised in Aquinas, is the "analogical way of knowing." He says that we only know something of God by analogy. While we cannot know God's essence directly (since it is beyond our finite human intellect), we can know God indirectly through His works. We can understand aspects of God analogically, by considering the goodness, truth, and being that we observe in creation and reasoning back to their ultimate source in God. However it is not strictly true to say that God is actually goodness or truth. In Aquinas' philosophy, when we say that God is good, true, or beautiful, we do not mean these in the same way as when we describe a human being or a thing in the world as good, true, or beautiful. This distinction arises from Aquinas' emphasis on the infinite and transcendent nature of God, which is fundamentally different from the finite and contingent nature of creatures.

    Aquinas employs the analogy of being to navigate between two extremes: univocity (where words mean the same thing when applied to God and creatures) and equivocity (where words have entirely different meanings, making communication about God and creatures incommensurable). The analogical use of language allows for a middle path: words can be applied to both God and creatures, but their meanings are related not by identity but by analogy.

    For Aquinas, when we say God is good, we mean that God is the cause of goodness in all things and that God's goodness is superabundant and incomparable to any goodness found in creation. The goodness in creatures participates in or reflects the divine goodness, but it does not exhaust or fully represent it. Thus, the analogical mode of knowing acknowledges that we know something true about God based on the effects we see in the world (such as goodness, being, or beauty), but we also recognize that the divine reality of these attributes is infinitely beyond our finite understanding. Perchance the same principle might apply to the divine simplicity.

    (It is in this respect that Duns Scotus argued for the univocity of being, which means that being is understood in the same way of both God and creatures. This does not imply that God and creatures are identical or that there is no qualitative difference between them; Scotus acknowledged the infinite difference in degree. However, it does mean that the concept of "being" itself can be applied in the same sense to both God and creation, facilitating a more direct discussion about God based on natural reason. By asserting a common metaphysical ground between God and creatures, Scotus univocity of being is seen as diminishing the transcendental gap between Creator and creation. This, in turn, is argued to have led to a disenchanted world, where God becomes just another being among beings, albeit the greatest one. I think this is where theistic personalism of the Craig variety originated. ChatGPT helped with drafting this post.)
  • BillMcEnaney
    54
    I agree with you, Wayfarer. Maybe you've read some blogposts where Prof. Edward Feser answers Dr. Craig's objections to divine simplicity. Feser argues in God there's something like what we call knowledge along with something like what we call goodness, something like what we call power. . . But each of those words stands for God. Since we need to reason analytically, we must use those words as though they signified distinct properties that God has.

    "In" sounds strange when people use it to talk about God's "properties" since that word suggests composition.
  • BillMcEnaney
    54
    I forgot to make an important point about Dr. Craig's Monothelitism. So I'll summarize it with a question. "Dr. Craig, how can Christ have a complete human nature if he has no human will? Every other human being has a human will. Does that suggest that in that respect, Our divine Lord is inferior to his human creatures?"

    Dr. Craig says he takes theological disputes to the "bar of Scripture." But it seems that the "judge" hasn't ruled on Monothelitism. If the judge, the Bible, did rule on it, the good professor may have misinterpreted the decision. No offense. But now you know partly why Catholics reject sola scriptura in each sense of that vague phrase.

    I've watched many videos with Prof. Craig in them, though I haven't heard him list the properties that each human nature must include to be a human nature. He hasn't filled in the blank in "For any x, x is a human nature if an only if x has these properties____."
  • Relativist
    2.2k
    No Catholic expects the Catholic dogma about God's absolute simplicity to convince non-Catholics merely because it's a dogma. But suppose that dogma is true...BillMcEnaney
    Suppose that dogma is false.

    The Catholic Church regards the great Protestant Reformers as heretics. I don't think Craig would mine being grouped with them. So I don't know why you obsess on the fact that Craig does not embrace Catholic dogma.

    I'm an atheist (and former Catholic). I've examined Craig's theistic arguments and found their weaknesses. Why don't you do likewise: examine Craig's theology and find its weaknesses? It seems pointless to just dwell on his differences with Catholic dogma unless you can show thid dogma is more likely to be true.
  • Leontiskos
    1.5k
    - :up: I think it's a fair thesis to say that theistic personalism derives from the univocity of Scotism. There is a rather good philosopher who leverages the analogy of being more broadly, Erich Przywara. You might be interested in him. John Betz and David Hart recently translated his Analogia Entis into English, but Betz also has a number of articles overviewing Przywara's position.

    For Przywara the analogy of being was encapsulated at Lateran Council IV:

    The doctrine of analogia entis was given classic and authoritative formula-
    tion by the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 (cap. 2): Inter creatorem et crea-
    turam non potest tanta similitudo notari, quin inter eos major sit dissimili-
    tudo notanda
    .
    Przywara's Analogia Entis, by James Collins

    • "between the Creator and the creature so great a likeness cannot be noted without the necessity of noting a greater dissimilarity between them" (Denzinger 432)
    • "One cannot note any similarity between Creator and creature, however great, without being compelled to note an even greater dissimilarity between them." (Stephen Webb)
  • BillMcEnaney
    54
    I'm not obsessed with anything. But I began this discussion because I believe that I've found some flaws in his theology.

    What about heresy? For a Catholic, a heretic is any baptized person who denies a dogma or doubts it stubbornly. We believe that each Protestant is a heretic. So is every Eastern Orthodox Christian and any baptized Messianic Jew.

    But we distinguish among three kinds of heretic. A material heretic believes a heresy when he doesn't know it's heretical. A formal heretic knows that he believes a heresy. A subjective formal heretic believes a heresy and deserves blame because he believes. It can be mortally sinful to be a subjective formal heretic. Martin Luther was a formal heretic excommunicated for his heresy. But since the Catholic Church won't judge the dead, she doesn't know whether he went to hell. Neither do I.
  • Leontiskos
    1.5k
    So I don't know why you obsess on the fact that Craig does not embrace Catholic dogma.Relativist

    Me neither. This thread began without an OP and continued lackluster.
  • BillMcEnaney
    54
    Maybe I'm biased. But you've just used "substance" in another sense. In the relevant Thomistic sense, "substance" means "essence." Since an essence isn't a container. you can't put anything into it.

    When someone bilocates, he's somehow how in two places at once. So, Our Lord doesn't bilobate when to every Catholic Church in my neighborhood, let alone to each Catholic Church in the world.

    Eucharistic miracle in Lanciano, Italy, PART 1

    Eucharistic miracle in Lanciano, Italy, Part 2
  • BillMcEnaney
    54
    Gregory, St. Thomas was an Aristotelian. So please tell us what Thomistic metaphysical theories he would revise or reject.
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