What religious order did he join? When? What is their mission?
1242 - religious order of Medicanz (dominicans) - take vow of poverty (become like "beggars") - emphasis on teaching
At what university and when did he teach?
1256 - University of Paris
What did he write in 1258?
What did he write from 1266-1273? What was it?
Summa Theologie (3 books) - relationship between faith and philosophy - compilation of all the main theological teachings of the time (reasoning for almost all points of Christian theology)
What happens in 1273 just before his death?
nervous breakdown OR beatific vision (encountered by God) - stops working and says that all he has written is straw
Who are the differing inspirations for Aquinas and Augustine's work? What main idea do the two share?
Aquinas - Christianized Aristotist Augustine - Christianized Platonist * combination of philosophy and theology - share the idea of faith first *
What does Aquinas say about seeking reason in religion?
He thinks we are simply seeking precision in a discipline that does not allow it. He suggests that there are some things we can/cannot known with absolute certainty about religion but that we will always believe. He says that the things we cannot know, we assent with faith alone.
Does faith = belief?
NO. Belief is in something stable but not necessarily eternal; one can have more or less evidence. One who has faith believes in truths and does not abandon them. Faith shares the conviction of knowledge and the lack of evidence of belief. [Example: One can prove the existence of God, but cannot prove that he is 3 in 1 - one must have faith in that.]
Are their articles of faith that can be proven by reason/intellect?
any revealed truths - divine revelation
2 Ways of getting information
natural light & divine light
human rational activity [can prove that God exists]
denotes certain truths of faith that can't be demonstrated by reason [the trinity, the immaculate conception of Jesus]
Realism (define - influence)
What you see is the way things are. Truths can transcend it, but there are not 2 separate worlds. Philosophical position (not the same as being a realist, although Aristotle acknowledges human limits which sort of makes him a realist) - Aristotle's influence
Humans only know anything through their 5 senses (even the existence of God) BUT these senses can be mistaken * there are gradations of intellect in the world *
Gradation of Intellect
Why we need divine revelation even though we can prove certain things about God [God - (6) - Angels - (3) - Aristotle - (2) - Us - (1) - Animals]
1st reason why Sacra Doctrina/Divine Revelation is necessary
1. God gives us this because he doesn't want to discriminate [few would have knowledge of God without it: a. some don't have the mental gift to reason the (i.e.) the existence of God, b. the smart must work instead of thinking about God (practical necessities), c. some of us are just lazy (indolence)
2nd & 3rd reasons why Sacra Doctrina/Divine Revelation is necessary
2. Even for those who have the ability to come to the truth need a large amount of time to do so. 3. Even the smartest among us will make mistakes - the human mind is limited (inevitability of error)
What is Sacra Doctrina/Divine Revelation absolutely essential for? Where do we get this information from?
It is essential for salvation (the act of mercy). We get this information from Christ, but also from the prophets and apostles.
Importance of the non-believer
We must be able to offer an explanation that will convince the non-believer. * To explain, start with natural light.
A priori (independent of experience - needs no sensory experience) - Analytic truth (subject defined in the predicate - A bachelor is an unmarried man)
Cosmological proof (Aquinas)
A posteriori - following from experience - synthetic (built up over time - [5 + 7 = 12]
Look at causes and effects to prove God's existence. 1. Everything is moved by another, so there must be a first mover (God). God puts us into action and then leaves us alone. We are always potentially non-existent. If there is no first mover, then we wouldn't see motion [staff & hand example]. --- Efficient Causality.
What is the state's role?
Facilitating human happiness (disagreement with Augustine). Every creature has a natural end (human purpose goes beyond mere instincts) - society helps with this and leaves more time for devotion to God (or contemplation according to Aristotle). With a state, our basic needs will be met.
Where is happiness?
Not in the human world (agrees with Augustine), though some earthly happiness is possible
Is the state natural?
Yes. God created humans as political/social animals and willed society.
Relationship between church and state
Church creates ends for the state - if the church dictates to the state, the law will make people good. When their relationship is strained and the state exerts power over the church (encouraging the pursuance of earthly goods), human souls will corrupt
Aristotle's view of happiness
We are all rational animals. The highest form of happiness is contemplation. Happiness is in your control and can be had in human life. * Teleology.