Faith and Science

Ok, finished the I-II, on with the II-II and the virtues! Faith first, of which Thomas has this very interesting thing to say: Q 2,4.

It is necessary for man to accept by faith not only things which are above reason, but also those which can be known by reason: and this for three motives. First, in order that man may arrive more quickly at the knowledge of Divine truth. Because the science to whose province it belongs to prove the existence of God, is the last of all to offer itself to human research, since it presupposes many other sciences: so that it would not by until late in life that man would arrive at the knowledge of God.

How far is this not from some kind of natural theology foundationalism? Yes, Thomas seems to think, we can get to some truth about God through reasoning, but only by knowing more or less everything there is to know. Put differently, it is when we try to grasp human knowledge on a grand scale, combining the knowledge of all different sciences that some pattern starts to emerge that points us towards God. Faith is essentially a shortcut to this knowledge, since that kind of pursuit of knowledge is not something many of us can undertake.

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