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Feser's conversion from atheism

zmikecuber
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11/17/2013 9:11:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
So I recently read an account of philosopher Edward Feser's conversion from atheism... Since most of you guys are atheists, I was wondering what your opinion of this is? Any sympathizers, or is the guy completely off the wall? I know it's long, but it interested me...

I also find his contempt for, using his terminology, "theistic personalism" to resemble the general criticisms atheists have for theism. Which made me wonder if "classical theists," and atheists are perhaps more similar than they thought.

"It is this classical tradition -- the tradition of Aristotelians, Neo-Platonists, and Thomists and other Scholastics -- that I had little knowledge of then. To be sure, I had read the usual selections from Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas and Anselm that pretty much every philosophy student reads -- several of Plato"s dialogues, the Five Ways, chapter 2 of the Proslogium, and so forth. Indeed, I read a lot more than that. I"d read the entire Proslogium of Anselm, as well as the Monologium, the Cur Deus Homo, and the exchange with Gaunilo, early in my undergraduate years. I"d read Aquinas"s De Ente et Essentia and De Principiis Naturae, big chunks of Plotinus"s Enneads, Athanasius"s On the Incarnation, Augustine"s Concerning the Teacher, and Bonaventure"s The Mind"s Road to God. I"d read Russell"s History of Western Philosophy -- hardly an unbiased source, to be sure -- but also a bit of Gilson. All while becoming an atheist during my undergrad years. And I still didn"t understand the classical tradition." [1]

[1] http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com...
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
SovereignDream
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11/20/2013 2:22:43 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/17/2013 9:11:21 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
So I recently read an account of philosopher Edward Feser's conversion from atheism... Since most of you guys are atheists, I was wondering what your opinion of this is? Any sympathizers, or is the guy completely off the wall? I know it's long, but it interested me...

I also find his contempt for, using his terminology, "theistic personalism" to resemble the general criticisms atheists have for theism. Which made me wonder if "classical theists," and atheists are perhaps more similar than they thought.

"It is this classical tradition -- the tradition of Aristotelians, Neo-Platonists, and Thomists and other Scholastics -- that I had little knowledge of then. To be sure, I had read the usual selections from Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas and Anselm that pretty much every philosophy student reads -- several of Plato"s dialogues, the Five Ways, chapter 2 of the Proslogium, and so forth. Indeed, I read a lot more than that. I"d read the entire Proslogium of Anselm, as well as the Monologium, the Cur Deus Homo, and the exchange with Gaunilo, early in my undergraduate years. I"d read Aquinas"s De Ente et Essentia and De Principiis Naturae, big chunks of Plotinus"s Enneads, Athanasius"s On the Incarnation, Augustine"s Concerning the Teacher, and Bonaventure"s The Mind"s Road to God. I"d read Russell"s History of Western Philosophy -- hardly an unbiased source, to be sure -- but also a bit of Gilson. All while becoming an atheist during my undergrad years. And I still didn"t understand the classical tradition." [1]

[1] http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com...

I'm a huge fan of Feser. Unfortunately, you'll find that most atheists and "freethinkers" and "skeptics" will dismiss Thomistic arguments for the existence of God with something to the effect of: "lolwhat? haha religious tard trying to use big words to prove skydaddy exists lol."
zmikecuber
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11/20/2013 9:31:19 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/20/2013 2:22:43 AM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/17/2013 9:11:21 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
So I recently read an account of philosopher Edward Feser's conversion from atheism... Since most of you guys are atheists, I was wondering what your opinion of this is? Any sympathizers, or is the guy completely off the wall? I know it's long, but it interested me...

I also find his contempt for, using his terminology, "theistic personalism" to resemble the general criticisms atheists have for theism. Which made me wonder if "classical theists," and atheists are perhaps more similar than they thought.

"It is this classical tradition -- the tradition of Aristotelians, Neo-Platonists, and Thomists and other Scholastics -- that I had little knowledge of then. To be sure, I had read the usual selections from Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas and Anselm that pretty much every philosophy student reads -- several of Plato"s dialogues, the Five Ways, chapter 2 of the Proslogium, and so forth. Indeed, I read a lot more than that. I"d read the entire Proslogium of Anselm, as well as the Monologium, the Cur Deus Homo, and the exchange with Gaunilo, early in my undergraduate years. I"d read Aquinas"s De Ente et Essentia and De Principiis Naturae, big chunks of Plotinus"s Enneads, Athanasius"s On the Incarnation, Augustine"s Concerning the Teacher, and Bonaventure"s The Mind"s Road to God. I"d read Russell"s History of Western Philosophy -- hardly an unbiased source, to be sure -- but also a bit of Gilson. All while becoming an atheist during my undergrad years. And I still didn"t understand the classical tradition." [1]

[1] http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com...

I'm a huge fan of Feser. Unfortunately, you'll find that most atheists and "freethinkers" and "skeptics" will dismiss Thomistic arguments for the existence of God with something to the effect of: "lolwhat? haha religious tard trying to use big words to prove skydaddy exists lol."

Indeed, I've found that is the case. I'm not saying the arguments aren't a bit complex, which they are, they're just not usually given serious thought. Ironically, the Thomist understanding of God seems to be alot different than the caricatures atheists make of God...
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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11/20/2013 11:50:53 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/20/2013 2:22:43 AM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/17/2013 9:11:21 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
So I recently read an account of philosopher Edward Feser's conversion from atheism... Since most of you guys are atheists, I was wondering what your opinion of this is? Any sympathizers, or is the guy completely off the wall? I know it's long, but it interested me...

I also find his contempt for, using his terminology, "theistic personalism" to resemble the general criticisms atheists have for theism. Which made me wonder if "classical theists," and atheists are perhaps more similar than they thought.

"It is this classical tradition -- the tradition of Aristotelians, Neo-Platonists, and Thomists and other Scholastics -- that I had little knowledge of then. To be sure, I had read the usual selections from Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas and Anselm that pretty much every philosophy student reads -- several of Plato"s dialogues, the Five Ways, chapter 2 of the Proslogium, and so forth. Indeed, I read a lot more than that. I"d read the entire Proslogium of Anselm, as well as the Monologium, the Cur Deus Homo, and the exchange with Gaunilo, early in my undergraduate years. I"d read Aquinas"s De Ente et Essentia and De Principiis Naturae, big chunks of Plotinus"s Enneads, Athanasius"s On the Incarnation, Augustine"s Concerning the Teacher, and Bonaventure"s The Mind"s Road to God. I"d read Russell"s History of Western Philosophy -- hardly an unbiased source, to be sure -- but also a bit of Gilson. All while becoming an atheist during my undergrad years. And I still didn"t understand the classical tradition." [1]

[1] http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com...

I'm a huge fan of Feser. Unfortunately, you'll find that most atheists and "freethinkers" and "skeptics" will dismiss Thomistic arguments for the existence of God with something to the effect of: "lolwhat? haha religious tard trying to use big words to prove skydaddy exists lol."

Most Atheists? I don't think so....Maybe some of the ignorant you-tube "new" Athesitic types, but how is that most Atheists? That's like saying most theists believe the universe is only 6,000 years old. That's hardly giving credit where its due, right?
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,057
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11/20/2013 4:05:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/20/2013 11:50:53 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/20/2013 2:22:43 AM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/17/2013 9:11:21 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
So I recently read an account of philosopher Edward Feser's conversion from atheism... Since most of you guys are atheists, I was wondering what your opinion of this is? Any sympathizers, or is the guy completely off the wall? I know it's long, but it interested me...

I also find his contempt for, using his terminology, "theistic personalism" to resemble the general criticisms atheists have for theism. Which made me wonder if "classical theists," and atheists are perhaps more similar than they thought.

"It is this classical tradition -- the tradition of Aristotelians, Neo-Platonists, and Thomists and other Scholastics -- that I had little knowledge of then. To be sure, I had read the usual selections from Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas and Anselm that pretty much every philosophy student reads -- several of Plato"s dialogues, the Five Ways, chapter 2 of the Proslogium, and so forth. Indeed, I read a lot more than that. I"d read the entire Proslogium of Anselm, as well as the Monologium, the Cur Deus Homo, and the exchange with Gaunilo, early in my undergraduate years. I"d read Aquinas"s De Ente et Essentia and De Principiis Naturae, big chunks of Plotinus"s Enneads, Athanasius"s On the Incarnation, Augustine"s Concerning the Teacher, and Bonaventure"s The Mind"s Road to God. I"d read Russell"s History of Western Philosophy -- hardly an unbiased source, to be sure -- but also a bit of Gilson. All while becoming an atheist during my undergrad years. And I still didn"t understand the classical tradition." [1]

[1] http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com...

I'm a huge fan of Feser. Unfortunately, you'll find that most atheists and "freethinkers" and "skeptics" will dismiss Thomistic arguments for the existence of God with something to the effect of: "lolwhat? haha religious tard trying to use big words to prove skydaddy exists lol."

Most Atheists? I don't think so....Maybe some of the ignorant you-tube "new" Athesitic types, but how is that most Atheists? That's like saying most theists believe the universe is only 6,000 years old. That's hardly giving credit where its due, right?

Well I can't answer for SovereignDream, but from my experience, most of the unintelligent new atheists do in fact say that, and the intelligent atheists don't usually understand the arguments, so they straw man them. George MacDonald, and (I believe) JL Mackie do have some excellent philosophical refutations to the arguments (particularly the first way), however, they seem largely due to the disagreement between the metaphysical worldviews (Aristotelian) upon which the arguments are founded... which is far more difficult to establish than the arguments themselves. Lol...

I'm actually looking for a knowledgeable Thomist to debate on Aquinas' arguments... I understand the arguments pretty well, but I still have some reservations.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Magic8000
Posts: 975
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11/20/2013 6:59:42 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/20/2013 4:05:21 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/20/2013 11:50:53 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/20/2013 2:22:43 AM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/17/2013 9:11:21 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I'm actually looking for a knowledgeable Thomist to debate on Aquinas' arguments... I understand the arguments pretty well, but I still have some reservations.

Nur-Ab-Sal is the best on here for defending the Thomist arguments. But, I don't know if he's still active.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.

"So Magic8000 believes Einstein was a proctologist who was persuaded by the Government and Hitler to fabricate the Theory of Relativity"- GWL-CPA
zmikecuber
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11/20/2013 7:04:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/20/2013 6:59:42 PM, Magic8000 wrote:
At 11/20/2013 4:05:21 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/20/2013 11:50:53 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/20/2013 2:22:43 AM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/17/2013 9:11:21 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I'm actually looking for a knowledgeable Thomist to debate on Aquinas' arguments... I understand the arguments pretty well, but I still have some reservations.

Nur-Ab-Sal is the best on here for defending the Thomist arguments. But, I don't know if he's still active.

Thanks. I added him as a friend, but never got anything back... Doesn't seem his profile is closed or anything, just that he's not responding to anything.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
SovereignDream
Posts: 1,119
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11/20/2013 10:47:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/20/2013 7:04:46 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/20/2013 6:59:42 PM, Magic8000 wrote:
At 11/20/2013 4:05:21 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/20/2013 11:50:53 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/20/2013 2:22:43 AM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/17/2013 9:11:21 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I'm actually looking for a knowledgeable Thomist to debate on Aquinas' arguments... I understand the arguments pretty well, but I still have some reservations.

Nur-Ab-Sal is the best on here for defending the Thomist arguments. But, I don't know if he's still active.

Thanks. I added him as a friend, but never got anything back... Doesn't seem his profile is closed or anything, just that he's not responding to anything.

He no longer frequents this site due to the, um, quality of discourse it has to offer (or lack thereof).
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,057
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11/20/2013 10:59:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/20/2013 10:47:17 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/20/2013 7:04:46 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/20/2013 6:59:42 PM, Magic8000 wrote:
At 11/20/2013 4:05:21 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/20/2013 11:50:53 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/20/2013 2:22:43 AM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/17/2013 9:11:21 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I'm actually looking for a knowledgeable Thomist to debate on Aquinas' arguments... I understand the arguments pretty well, but I still have some reservations.

Nur-Ab-Sal is the best on here for defending the Thomist arguments. But, I don't know if he's still active.

Thanks. I added him as a friend, but never got anything back... Doesn't seem his profile is closed or anything, just that he's not responding to anything.

He no longer frequents this site due to the, um, quality of discourse it has to offer (or lack thereof).

Ah that stinks... If you're in contact with him or anything, I'd appreciate it if you'd let him know that I'd love to debate him on "Aquinas' first way is sound."
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Grapes42
Posts: 2
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1/9/2014 9:09:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/20/2013 10:59:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/20/2013 10:47:17 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/20/2013 7:04:46 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/20/2013 6:59:42 PM, Magic8000 wrote:
At 11/20/2013 4:05:21 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/20/2013 11:50:53 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/20/2013 2:22:43 AM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/17/2013 9:11:21 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I'm actually looking for a knowledgeable Thomist to debate on Aquinas' arguments... I understand the arguments pretty well, but I still have some reservations.

Nur-Ab-Sal is the best on here for defending the Thomist arguments. But, I don't know if he's still active.

Thanks. I added him as a friend, but never got anything back... Doesn't seem his profile is closed or anything, just that he's not responding to anything.

He no longer frequents this site due to the, um, quality of discourse it has to offer (or lack thereof).

Ah that stinks... If you're in contact with him or anything, I'd appreciate it if you'd let him know that I'd love to debate him on "Aquinas' first way is sound."

I'll debate Aquinas' first way with you, I know the argument fairly well.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,057
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1/9/2014 9:26:00 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/9/2014 9:09:31 PM, Grapes42 wrote:
At 11/20/2013 10:59:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/20/2013 10:47:17 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/20/2013 7:04:46 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/20/2013 6:59:42 PM, Magic8000 wrote:
At 11/20/2013 4:05:21 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/20/2013 11:50:53 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/20/2013 2:22:43 AM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/17/2013 9:11:21 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I'm actually looking for a knowledgeable Thomist to debate on Aquinas' arguments... I understand the arguments pretty well, but I still have some reservations.

Nur-Ab-Sal is the best on here for defending the Thomist arguments. But, I don't know if he's still active.

Thanks. I added him as a friend, but never got anything back... Doesn't seem his profile is closed or anything, just that he's not responding to anything.

He no longer frequents this site due to the, um, quality of discourse it has to offer (or lack thereof).

Ah that stinks... If you're in contact with him or anything, I'd appreciate it if you'd let him know that I'd love to debate him on "Aquinas' first way is sound."

I'll debate Aquinas' first way with you, I know the argument fairly well.

You mean that with a topic of "Aquinas' first way is sound" you would take the Pro position, and argue that it is sound, and I would take the Con position, and argue that it's not, correct? If that's the case, I'm game.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Grapes42
Posts: 2
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1/9/2014 9:41:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/9/2014 9:26:00 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/9/2014 9:09:31 PM, Grapes42 wrote:
At 11/20/2013 10:59:06 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/20/2013 10:47:17 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/20/2013 7:04:46 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/20/2013 6:59:42 PM, Magic8000 wrote:
At 11/20/2013 4:05:21 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/20/2013 11:50:53 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/20/2013 2:22:43 AM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/17/2013 9:11:21 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
I'm actually looking for a knowledgeable Thomist to debate on Aquinas' arguments... I understand the arguments pretty well, but I still have some reservations.

Nur-Ab-Sal is the best on here for defending the Thomist arguments. But, I don't know if he's still active.

Thanks. I added him as a friend, but never got anything back... Doesn't seem his profile is closed or anything, just that he's not responding to anything.

He no longer frequents this site due to the, um, quality of discourse it has to offer (or lack thereof).

Ah that stinks... If you're in contact with him or anything, I'd appreciate it if you'd let him know that I'd love to debate him on "Aquinas' first way is sound."

I'll debate Aquinas' first way with you, I know the argument fairly well.

You mean that with a topic of "Aquinas' first way is sound" you would take the Pro position, and argue that it is sound, and I would take the Con position, and argue that it's not, correct? If that's the case, I'm game.

Ok let's do it. Do you want to start a different debate forum? I'm new to this site.
bsh1
Posts: 27,503
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1/9/2014 9:48:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I sympathize. I used to be atheist, not I believe in the existence of some deity or deities, I just don't like to ID with a specific faith.
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slo1
Posts: 4,308
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1/10/2014 1:10:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 11/17/2013 9:11:21 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
So I recently read an account of philosopher Edward Feser's conversion from atheism... Since most of you guys are atheists, I was wondering what your opinion of this is? Any sympathizers, or is the guy completely off the wall? I know it's long, but it interested me...

I also find his contempt for, using his terminology, "theistic personalism" to resemble the general criticisms atheists have for theism. Which made me wonder if "classical theists," and atheists are perhaps more similar than they thought.

"It is this classical tradition -- the tradition of Aristotelians, Neo-Platonists, and Thomists and other Scholastics -- that I had little knowledge of then. To be sure, I had read the usual selections from Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas and Anselm that pretty much every philosophy student reads -- several of Plato"s dialogues, the Five Ways, chapter 2 of the Proslogium, and so forth. Indeed, I read a lot more than that. I"d read the entire Proslogium of Anselm, as well as the Monologium, the Cur Deus Homo, and the exchange with Gaunilo, early in my undergraduate years. I"d read Aquinas"s De Ente et Essentia and De Principiis Naturae, big chunks of Plotinus"s Enneads, Athanasius"s On the Incarnation, Augustine"s Concerning the Teacher, and Bonaventure"s The Mind"s Road to God. I"d read Russell"s History of Western Philosophy -- hardly an unbiased source, to be sure -- but also a bit of Gilson. All while becoming an atheist during my undergrad years. And I still didn"t understand the classical tradition." [1]

[1] http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com...

Best I can figure his return to theism is based upon a growing acceptance to the cosmological argument that he can't quite explain. Unfortunately, philosophical types don't like to write in bullet points, so I skimmed his writing about his conversion.

Without the definite logic he used to justify returning to the Catholic fold it is hard to form an opinion. I think his experience is common though. People who are indoctrinated with a religion at a young age often return to it after taking a different position in the teens and early twenties.

There maybe in deed a propensity for us as we age to take on old beliefs/behaviors. I shunned gardening and food independence for many years just to find that I have come back to the way I was raised. I might be able to justify it as logical reasoning and coming back to my senses, or it may just be a return because the reasoning I used to shun it lessened over time due to brain function and how it works.
zmikecuber
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1/11/2014 5:33:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/10/2014 1:10:10 PM, slo1 wrote:
At 11/17/2013 9:11:21 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
So I recently read an account of philosopher Edward Feser's conversion from atheism... Since most of you guys are atheists, I was wondering what your opinion of this is? Any sympathizers, or is the guy completely off the wall? I know it's long, but it interested me...

I also find his contempt for, using his terminology, "theistic personalism" to resemble the general criticisms atheists have for theism. Which made me wonder if "classical theists," and atheists are perhaps more similar than they thought.

"It is this classical tradition -- the tradition of Aristotelians, Neo-Platonists, and Thomists and other Scholastics -- that I had little knowledge of then. To be sure, I had read the usual selections from Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas and Anselm that pretty much every philosophy student reads -- several of Plato"s dialogues, the Five Ways, chapter 2 of the Proslogium, and so forth. Indeed, I read a lot more than that. I"d read the entire Proslogium of Anselm, as well as the Monologium, the Cur Deus Homo, and the exchange with Gaunilo, early in my undergraduate years. I"d read Aquinas"s De Ente et Essentia and De Principiis Naturae, big chunks of Plotinus"s Enneads, Athanasius"s On the Incarnation, Augustine"s Concerning the Teacher, and Bonaventure"s The Mind"s Road to God. I"d read Russell"s History of Western Philosophy -- hardly an unbiased source, to be sure -- but also a bit of Gilson. All while becoming an atheist during my undergrad years. And I still didn"t understand the classical tradition." [1]

[1] http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com...

Best I can figure his return to theism is based upon a growing acceptance to the cosmological argument that he can't quite explain. Unfortunately, philosophical types don't like to write in bullet points, so I skimmed his writing about his conversion.


Yeah, and his rejection of naturalism. He's written extensively on the cosmological arguments of Aquinas elsewhere, as well as Scholastic metaphysics in general.

Without the definite logic he used to justify returning to the Catholic fold it is hard to form an opinion. I think his experience is common though. People who are indoctrinated with a religion at a young age often return to it after taking a different position in the teens and early twenties.


That's actually very true. I remember reading elsewhere that he thought God can be established, which narrows it down to monotheistic religions. Then he thinks that once you have the correct worldview that allows supernatural phenomena, the Resurrection can be used to argue for Christianity, although why he chose Catholicism isn't quite clear.

There maybe in deed a propensity for us as we age to take on old beliefs/behaviors. I shunned gardening and food independence for many years just to find that I have come back to the way I was raised. I might be able to justify it as logical reasoning and coming back to my senses, or it may just be a return because the reasoning I used to shun it lessened over time due to brain function and how it works.

I mostly agree with this.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Wocambs
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1/11/2014 6:09:53 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Am I wrong in saying that Aquinas' first three arguments are essentially the same? They fail to convince me, mostly because I don't understand how a first cause would necessarily have to be God, but also because it seems very unclear how exactly God would create a Universe. He could not act upon nothing to create the Universe, as an action which has an effect on nothing has no effect - so is the Universe just an extension of him? Did he divide himself into little pieces? Furthermore, why does he not have a cause? If he is atemporal, then how does he act, having no time in which to act? Seems very bizarre to me.

Regarding 'degree'... do we not compare things to an imaginary concept, rather than some kind of objective, existent, ultimate standard? Similarly, purpose is a concept that makes sense only as the subjective idea of a conscious being, in my opinion.
zmikecuber
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1/13/2014 8:47:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/11/2014 6:09:53 PM, Wocambs wrote:
Am I wrong in saying that Aquinas' first three arguments are essentially the same? They fail to convince me, mostly because I don't understand how a first cause would necessarily have to be God, but also because it seems very unclear how exactly God would create a Universe. He could not act upon nothing to create the Universe, as an action which has an effect on nothing has no effect - so is the Universe just an extension of him? Did he divide himself into little pieces? Furthermore, why does he not have a cause? If he is atemporal, then how does he act, having no time in which to act? Seems very bizarre to me.


No, they're all different. The structure of the first two is almost identical though, and the first two do share their similarities with the third, namely that an essentially ordered causal series cannot regress infinitely

Aquinas isn't arguing for the beginning of the universe. When he says "first mover" or "first cause" he doesn't mean first in a temporal sense, but rather, first in a hierarchical sense. He argued that it was a matter of faith whether or not the world began to exist... In other words, he would have hated the Kalam argument, and held it unsound.

In the argument from motion (first way), only moving things have a cause of their motion, or change as is meant. Since God is the "unmoved mover" he doesn't need a cause.

In the argument from efficient cause (second way) only things whose essence is distinct from their existence require a cause. God, is the "uncaused cause" because his essence and existence are the exact same thing.

According to Aquinas, God doesn't "act" in the way we do, that is as a change.

Aquinas argues extensively that the "unmoved mover" and "uncaused cause" are God.

Summa Contra Gentiles: http://dhspriory.org...
Summa Theologica: http://www.newadvent.org...
Questionas Disputates de Potentia Dei: (an entire treatise on God's power) http://dhspriory.org...

The amount he wrote is ridiculous.

Regarding 'degree'... do we not compare things to an imaginary concept, rather than some kind of objective, existent, ultimate standard? Similarly, purpose is a concept that makes sense only as the subjective idea of a conscious being, in my opinion.

I've not done much research into the fourth way.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Wocambs
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1/14/2014 2:47:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/13/2014 8:47:08 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/11/2014 6:09:53 PM, Wocambs wrote:
Am I wrong in saying that Aquinas' first three arguments are essentially the same? They fail to convince me, mostly because I don't understand how a first cause would necessarily have to be God, but also because it seems very unclear how exactly God would create a Universe. He could not act upon nothing to create the Universe, as an action which has an effect on nothing has no effect - so is the Universe just an extension of him? Did he divide himself into little pieces? Furthermore, why does he not have a cause? If he is atemporal, then how does he act, having no time in which to act? Seems very bizarre to me.


No, they're all different. The structure of the first two is almost identical though, and the first two do share their similarities with the third, namely that an essentially ordered causal series cannot regress infinitely

Aquinas isn't arguing for the beginning of the universe. When he says "first mover" or "first cause" he doesn't mean first in a temporal sense, but rather, first in a hierarchical sense. He argued that it was a matter of faith whether or not the world began to exist... In other words, he would have hated the Kalam argument, and held it unsound.

In the argument from motion (first way), only moving things have a cause of their motion, or change as is meant. Since God is the "unmoved mover" he doesn't need a cause.

In the argument from efficient cause (second way) only things whose essence is distinct from their existence require a cause. God, is the "uncaused cause" because his essence and existence are the exact same thing.

According to Aquinas, God doesn't "act" in the way we do, that is as a change.

Aquinas argues extensively that the "unmoved mover" and "uncaused cause" are God.

Summa Contra Gentiles: http://dhspriory.org...
Summa Theologica: http://www.newadvent.org...
Questionas Disputates de Potentia Dei: (an entire treatise on God's power) http://dhspriory.org...

The amount he wrote is ridiculous.

Regarding 'degree'... do we not compare things to an imaginary concept, rather than some kind of objective, existent, ultimate standard? Similarly, purpose is a concept that makes sense only as the subjective idea of a conscious being, in my opinion.

I've not done much research into the fourth way.

Woah, come on, you can't expect me to read Aquinas at length. I have a books I paid for to read!

Now since I have notes to write, just a short question: How would our dear saint respond to:

'That which does not 'move' cannot initiate movement'

and

'1. That which exerts power exerts some proportion of its available power
2. God's power is infinite
3. Any proportion of God's available power is therefore always infinite in magnitude
4. God has exerted his power to create the Universe
Therefore, God exerted an infinite amount of power to create the Universe
Therefore, the creation of the Universe was an infinitely difficult task
Therefore, an infinitely difficult task was completed - a paradox, no?'

I'm almost certain that they're both specious, but whatever. It's fun, right?
zmikecuber
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1/14/2014 4:06:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago

Woah, come on, you can't expect me to read Aquinas at length. I have a books I paid for to read!


Lol. Sometimes it's nice to read first hand though, because interpretations of Aquinas vary greatly. What books are you reading?

Now since I have notes to write, just a short question: How would our dear saint respond to:

'That which does not 'move' cannot initiate movement'


I think he would say this is false. If it's the case that everything which moves another is also in motion, and whatever is in motion is moved by another, then there would be an infinite regress ordered essentially, which he says is impossible.

It's also due to the misconception as viewing God as an object. God, for Aquinas, isn't anything near an object; rather, He is pure subsistent being itself, cannot be acted upon, immutable, etc. So to say "whatever moves another is also itself moved" because of our experience doesn't work. Everything in our experience has potentials. God, on the other hand, for Aquinas at least, doesn't have any potentials. So to compare objects of our experience to God is like comparing apples to oranges.

Aquinas also held that the only positive knowledge we have about God is knowledge gained analogously. Meaning when we say God is "all powerful" that he's not powerful in the exact same sense we think of power, but rather that there's something like what we view as power in God. But then again, talking about x y and z parts of God is also wrongheaded, since for Aquinas God is entirely simple; his existence, his essence, his power, his knowledge, etc. in reality, are just one and the same thing.

and

'1. That which exerts power exerts some proportion of its available power
2. God's power is infinite
3. Any proportion of God's available power is therefore always infinite in magnitude

Non sequitur. If you have infinite power, or an infinite number, we can take a finite part of that. If I have an infinitely long line, you can just take a little snippet out of that, and the little snippet is finite.

But I'm pretty sure this is the wrong way of viewing God's omnipotence in the first place.

4. God has exerted his power to create the Universe
Therefore, God exerted an infinite amount of power to create the Universe
Therefore, the creation of the Universe was an infinitely difficult task
Therefore, an infinitely difficult task was completed - a paradox, no?'

I'm almost certain that they're both specious, but whatever. It's fun, right?

Aquinas seems to answer an objection like this...

"Objection 2. Further, every power is made known by its effect; otherwise it would be ineffectual. If, then, the power of God were infinite, it could produce an infinite effect, but this is impossible.

Reply to Objection 2. The power of a univocal agent is wholly manifested in its effect. The generative power of man, for example, is not able to do more than beget man. But the power of a non-univocal agent does not wholly manifest itself in the production of its effect: as, for example, the power of the sun does not wholly manifest itself in the production of an animal generated from putrefaction. Now it is clear that God is not a univocal agent. For nothing agrees with Him either in species or in genus, as was shown above (3, 5; 4, 3). Whence it follows that His effect is always less than His power. It is not necessary, therefore, that the infinite power of God should be manifested so as to produce an infinite effect."

You can try to make sense of that...

Also, you might check out the debate I'm having with Grapes42 regarding Aquinas' first way. I'm arguing against it, or that it doesn't succeed, and Grapes is arguing that it does. Grapes seems to have pretty good knowledge of Aquinas, since (if I do say so myself) I'm presenting pretty serious objections.. at least alot more serious objections than are commonly given.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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1/14/2014 4:13:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/14/2014 2:47:08 PM, Wocambs wrote:
At 1/13/2014 8:47:08 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/11/2014 6:09:53 PM, Wocambs wrote:
Am I wrong in saying that Aquinas' first three arguments are essentially the same? They fail to convince me, mostly because I don't understand how a first cause would necessarily have to be God, but also because it seems very unclear how exactly God would create a Universe. He could not act upon nothing to create the Universe, as an action which has an effect on nothing has no effect - so is the Universe just an extension of him? Did he divide himself into little pieces? Furthermore, why does he not have a cause? If he is atemporal, then how does he act, having no time in which to act? Seems very bizarre to me.


No, they're all different. The structure of the first two is almost identical though, and the first two do share their similarities with the third, namely that an essentially ordered causal series cannot regress infinitely

Aquinas isn't arguing for the beginning of the universe. When he says "first mover" or "first cause" he doesn't mean first in a temporal sense, but rather, first in a hierarchical sense. He argued that it was a matter of faith whether or not the world began to exist... In other words, he would have hated the Kalam argument, and held it unsound.

In the argument from motion (first way), only moving things have a cause of their motion, or change as is meant. Since God is the "unmoved mover" he doesn't need a cause.

In the argument from efficient cause (second way) only things whose essence is distinct from their existence require a cause. God, is the "uncaused cause" because his essence and existence are the exact same thing.

According to Aquinas, God doesn't "act" in the way we do, that is as a change.

Aquinas argues extensively that the "unmoved mover" and "uncaused cause" are God.

Summa Contra Gentiles: http://dhspriory.org...
Summa Theologica: http://www.newadvent.org...
Questionas Disputates de Potentia Dei: (an entire treatise on God's power) http://dhspriory.org...

The amount he wrote is ridiculous.

Regarding 'degree'... do we not compare things to an imaginary concept, rather than some kind of objective, existent, ultimate standard? Similarly, purpose is a concept that makes sense only as the subjective idea of a conscious being, in my opinion.

I've not done much research into the fourth way.

Woah, come on, you can't expect me to read Aquinas at length. I have a books I paid for to read!

Now since I have notes to write, just a short question: How would our dear saint respond to:

'That which does not 'move' cannot initiate movement'

and

'1. That which exerts power exerts some proportion of its available power
2. God's power is infinite
3. Any proportion of God's available power is therefore always infinite in magnitude
4. God has exerted his power to create the Universe
Therefore, God exerted an infinite amount of power to create the Universe
Therefore, the creation of the Universe was an infinitely difficult task
Therefore, an infinitely difficult task was completed - a paradox, no?'

I'm almost certain that they're both specious, but whatever. It's fun, right?

Also, if the unmoved mover is purely actual, without any potentials whatsoever, it's pretty easy to get something similar to God very quickly.

Purely actual means omnipotent, since to be omnipotent means to be able to do something. Now doing something consists of making some potential become actual, or real. But God as purely actual, can actualize any potential, and in fact does.

Also, must be immaterial. Whatever is physical has potentials. Matter can always be potentially in a different state, or whatever. But if the unmoved mover is purely actual, and has no potentials, then it cannot be material.

And if it's not material, then it's not in time. Furthermore, to be in time typically means to be able to change. But since the unmoved mover is purely actual, it can't, in principle, change at all. Since to be able to change, means you have a possible state to change to.

Also, the unmoved mover is perfect. To be imperfect means there is something you might possibly gain. Such as, a dog with three legs is an imperfect dog, because it might possibly have another leg. But since pure actuality, doesn't have any "potentials" it can't be said to lack anything.

So, all powerful, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, perfect something, which is the source of all change.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Wocambs
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1/14/2014 4:44:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/14/2014 4:13:13 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/14/2014 2:47:08 PM, Wocambs wrote:
At 1/13/2014 8:47:08 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 1/11/2014 6:09:53 PM, Wocambs wrote:
Am I wrong in saying that Aquinas' first three arguments are essentially the same? They fail to convince me, mostly because I don't understand how a first cause would necessarily have to be God, but also because it seems very unclear how exactly God would create a Universe. He could not act upon nothing to create the Universe, as an action which has an effect on nothing has no effect - so is the Universe just an extension of him? Did he divide himself into little pieces? Furthermore, why does he not have a cause? If he is atemporal, then how does he act, having no time in which to act? Seems very bizarre to me.


No, they're all different. The structure of the first two is almost identical though, and the first two do share their similarities with the third, namely that an essentially ordered causal series cannot regress infinitely

Aquinas isn't arguing for the beginning of the universe. When he says "first mover" or "first cause" he doesn't mean first in a temporal sense, but rather, first in a hierarchical sense. He argued that it was a matter of faith whether or not the world began to exist... In other words, he would have hated the Kalam argument, and held it unsound.

In the argument from motion (first way), only moving things have a cause of their motion, or change as is meant. Since God is the "unmoved mover" he doesn't need a cause.

In the argument from efficient cause (second way) only things whose essence is distinct from their existence require a cause. God, is the "uncaused cause" because his essence and existence are the exact same thing.

According to Aquinas, God doesn't "act" in the way we do, that is as a change.

Aquinas argues extensively that the "unmoved mover" and "uncaused cause" are God.

Summa Contra Gentiles: http://dhspriory.org...
Summa Theologica: http://www.newadvent.org...
Questionas Disputates de Potentia Dei: (an entire treatise on God's power) http://dhspriory.org...

The amount he wrote is ridiculous.

Regarding 'degree'... do we not compare things to an imaginary concept, rather than some kind of objective, existent, ultimate standard? Similarly, purpose is a concept that makes sense only as the subjective idea of a conscious being, in my opinion.

I've not done much research into the fourth way.

Woah, come on, you can't expect me to read Aquinas at length. I have a books I paid for to read!

Now since I have notes to write, just a short question: How would our dear saint respond to:

'That which does not 'move' cannot initiate movement'

and

'1. That which exerts power exerts some proportion of its available power
2. God's power is infinite
3. Any proportion of God's available power is therefore always infinite in magnitude
4. God has exerted his power to create the Universe
Therefore, God exerted an infinite amount of power to create the Universe
Therefore, the creation of the Universe was an infinitely difficult task
Therefore, an infinitely difficult task was completed - a paradox, no?'

I'm almost certain that they're both specious, but whatever. It's fun, right?

Also, if the unmoved mover is purely actual, without any potentials whatsoever, it's pretty easy to get something similar to God very quickly.

Purely actual means omnipotent, since to be omnipotent means to be able to do something. Now doing something consists of making some potential become actual, or real. But God as purely actual, can actualize any potential, and in fact does.

Also, must be immaterial. Whatever is physical has potentials. Matter can always be potentially in a different state, or whatever. But if the unmoved mover is purely actual, and has no potentials, then it cannot be material.

And if it's not material, then it's not in time. Furthermore, to be in time typically means to be able to change. But since the unmoved mover is purely actual, it can't, in principle, change at all. Since to be able to change, means you have a possible state to change to.

Also, the unmoved mover is perfect. To be imperfect means there is something you might possibly gain. Such as, a dog with three legs is an imperfect dog, because it might possibly have another leg. But since pure actuality, doesn't have any "potentials" it can't be said to lack anything.

So, all powerful, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, perfect something, which is the source of all change.

Well, that 'reply' by Aquinas doesn't seem to make particular sense, at all. 'Some of infinity' = 'infinity' - seeing as he uses the Sun creating a maggot as an example, he seems to be missing the point entirely.

"So, all powerful, immaterial, timeless, unchanging, perfect something, which is the source of all change" - Do you know what this sounds like? A logical concept, actually.

Also, how about this, seeing as we're talking about his perfection:

1. That which is perfect may not be improved
2. God is perfect
3. Rationality dictates that what is most perfect is most desirable
4. God created the Universe
5. The Universe is less than perfect
Therefore, God acted irrationally to create the Universe