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Thread: Book Plunge: Why Christianity Is Not True: Chapter 1

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    tWebber Rushing Jaws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starlight View Post
    That model of thinking about it strikes me as better than the common 'faith in Jesus' teaching, but it still seems deficient in many respects in terms of matching properly with the biblical evidence.

    I wonder to what extent that's a function of you attending a thomistic educational facility that told you that most everything about Thomas Aquinas and the tradition that follows him was great? Most philosophers today would just roll their eyes at the thomistic ideas and have no interest in taking them seriously.
    Maybe in the US, but my bookshelves say otherwise. If he were thought to be of such negligible importance, there would not be as many editions, translations, biographies, anthologies of philosophical and theological texts, and studies of his thought as there are. And not all those responsible for such things are Catholic. The idea that there is some notion that “everything about [St Thomas] and the tradition that follows him is great” is simply absurd - as one of the editors of the 1963 Blackfriars translation pointed out, he was neither omniscient nor infallible, nor is he the entire Catholic theological tradition.

    ”Most philosophers” are not Thomists, certainly; but neither are “most philosophers” Platonists, or Aristotelians, or Kantians. That doesn’t make any of these these three unimportant or unstudied; it means only that there are far too many philosophers for any one of them to command the interest of most students of philosophy. Someone whose interest is mainly in Wittgenstein and the questions that his work raises, is unlikely to have an all-devouring passion for the works of William James or David Hume - or of St Thomas, or Duns Scotus, John Scotus Eriugena, or St Augustine, or Plotinus. By no manner of means does that make any of these negligible, of no interest or value today, or unread or unstudied. The pre-Socratics are not exactly widely read, and neither are the mediaevals. In neither case is this any reflection on their value or importance; they aren’t as accessible as others, whose works are more generally familiar, may be.

    That some philosophers may “roll their eyes at the [T]homistic ideas” tells one only how they reacted; it tells one nothing about whether that reaction was deserved. A lot of people (likely including some philosophers) think Christianity is garbage - does the fact that people “roll their eyes at [those] ideas” mean that their reaction is deserved ? Contempt is never a good teacher of ideas.

  2. Amen KingsGambit amen'd this post.

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