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Written Word > Articles & Commentaries > August 2009 > America Needs You, Thomas Aquinas
Current rating: 4.4 (16 ratings)
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Craig Bernthal
I've just finished reading W. Norris Clarke's "The One and the Many," a wonderful intro to Thomas thought, with some modern modifications. I'm hooked. Any suggestions for good books about Thomas's thought?
8/22/2009 5:51:45 PM
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Mark Iwinski
GK Chesterton (author), The Dumb Ox ... a book written in biographical fashion on Aquinas
8/23/2009 6:58:18 PM
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Luke
St. Thomas Aquinas is also one of my inspirations, as is Fr. Barron. ;)

I took the Confirmation name "Thomas" because I found so many inspirational men of the namesake - Thomas the Apostle (my patron saint), Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Becket, Thomas More, Thomas Merton. (http://emergingcatholic.blogspot.com/2009/02/whats-in-name.html)
8/24/2009 10:22:20 PM
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patzerdog
America does need Thomas Aquinas because it cannot think straight about metaphysics. For instance, it opposes science to metaphysics instead of asking what the metaphysical basis for science is and arguing that out first. I'm a university professor, and I see this kind of confusion all the time among my colleagues, because people (me included) have not been educated from the metaphysical ground up. So most of us, finally, are faced with a do it yourself job of remedial education. (The philosophy dept. at my university has no medieval philosophy.) So we need to get a hold of the right books and do the job ourselves, and more help we can get from the Church on this, through on-line education, the better. Thank you Fr. Barron for providing some. I hope there is a lot more. Is anyone from Fordham or Catholic U. out there? On-line philosophy for the masses?
8/28/2009 6:54:40 PM
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Patricia Leishman
Bravo Father Barron. I keep enjoying everything you write and say. Thank God for priests like you!
9/1/2009 7:06:13 AM
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JosephU
Part of the article says:
"Biblical literalism...produces a variety of views repugnant to physics, evolutionary biology, cosmology, etc."

However:
"Natural science offers no evidence that would contradict the plain and obvious sense of Genesis 1-11, the consensus of the Fathers of the Church, or the magisterial teaching of the Catholic Church on creation and the origins of man and the universe."

A few examples include:

- Genesis does not contain purified myths. (Pontifical Biblical Commission 1909)

- Genesis contains real history—it gives an account of things that really happened.(Pius XII)
. . .
- All the Fathers who wrote on the subject believed that the Creation days were no longer than 24-hour-days. (Consensus of the Fathers of the Church)

- St. Peter and Christ Himself in the New Testament confirmed the global Flood of Noah. It covered all the then high mountains and destroyed all land dwelling creatures except eight human beings and all kinds of non-human creatures aboard the Ark (Unam Sanctam, 1302)
. . .
- Evolution must not be taught as fact, but instead the pros and cons of evolution must be taught. (Pius XII, Humani Generis)
. . .
- Molecules-to-man evolutionism violates the Law of Biogenesis: Life does not come from non-life.

- The specific complexity of genetic information in the genome does not increase spontaneously. Therefore, there is no natural process whereby reptiles can turn into birds, land mammals into whales, or chimpanzees into human beings.

- Many worldwide natural processes indicate an age for the earth of 10,000 years or less. These include population kinetics, influx of radiocarbon into earth’s atmosphere, absence of meteorites from the geologic column, and decay of earth’s magnetic field.

- There is no gradualism in the fossil record, no intermediate types.

Partial quote from:
What does the Catholic Church Teach about Origins?
What Does Cutting-Edge Science Teach about Origins?
http://www.kolbecenter.org/church_teaches.htm

See also:

Genesis 1-11
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis1-11&version=NIV

The global Flood of Noah
Genesis 6-11
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis6-11&version=NIV
9/28/2009 1:52:10 AM
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Luke
You missed this one:

Investigation into human “evolution” was allowed in 1950, but Pope Pius XII feared that an acceptance of evolutionism might adversely affect doctrinal beliefs.

Augustine judged the creation story was composed of six 24-hour days, but in the same essay he goes on to assert that the exact timing of creation is really of no consequence theologically. The importance of the event is rather that God created from nothing.

Consequently, if there had elapsed since the creation of man, I do not say five or six, but even sixty or six hundred thousands years, or sixty times as many, or six hundred or six hundred thousand times as many, or this sum multiplied or this sum multiplied until it could no longer be expressed in numbers, the same question could still be put: Why was he not made before? For the past and boundless eternity during which God abstained from creating man is so great, that, compare it with what vast and untold number of ages you please, so long as there is a definite conclusion of this term of time, it is not even as if you compared the minutest drop of water with the ocean that everywhere flows around the globe. …
And no matter at what earlier or later period he had been created, this controversy about the commencement of this world’s history would have had precisely the same difficulties as it has now.
City of God, Book 12, Chapter 10-12
9/30/2009 9:18:44 AM
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Jim
I made a note by asking Fr. Barron in his youtube commentary under Aquinas to refer to the NY Times columnist David Brooks opinion article (10/6/09)"Bentham vs. Hume". Brooks framed the American political debate between those two English philosophers. Father Barron, please read Brooks for you comment how Aquinas might relate? Thank you
10/7/2009 1:03:47 PM
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Fr. Thomas J. Hennigan
A couple of suggestions for Craig Bernthal on Thomas Aquinas: Etienne Gilson, The Christian Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas; M.D. Chenu, Towards understanding St. Thomas.
The bibliography is enormous, but these two seem to me to be some of the best.
10/22/2009 9:48:39 AM
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Leo Carton Mollica
A small (fraternal) correction: the Averroists did not hold a "double-truth theory;" rather, they held that, though they could deduce several conclusions (the eternity of the world, the unity of all intellects, etc.) in a logically valid manner from indubitable premises, those conclusions, which conflicted with the faith, were nevertheless erroneous.

All of that is, of course, sheer drivel, and Aquinas rightly condemned it all as such.
8/14/2010 7:13:03 PM
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James
The Sapientis Institue has some good online classes.
2/12/2011 11:59:27 AM
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Rafal
"A few examples include:

- All the Fathers who wrote on the subject believed that the Creation days were no longer than 24-hour-days. (Consensus of the Fathers of the Church)"

People those days believed also that flu is demonic possession. Consider time and right context, they had no proper knowledge.


"
- Molecules-to-man evolutionism violates the Law of Biogenesis: Life does not come from non-life."

Evolution is NOT interested in origins of life itself. Evolution is a theory interested in species differentiation, nothing else.



"- The specific complexity of genetic information in the genome does not increase spontaneously. Therefore, there is no natural process whereby reptiles can turn into birds, land mammals into whales, or chimpanzees into human beings. "

Evolution is about mutations and time, not spontaneous increase of informations in genome. Random mutation (or not, if you believe God is steering it) occurs all the time, and with a given time they actually can change like that. You have to remember, WE call them birds, mammals etc, but they are just one, long string of life, with differences evolved through evolutionary mechanisms. From your comments in 2009, biologists collected thousands of examples for evolution, and more to come.




"- Many worldwide natural processes indicate an age for the earth of 10,000 years or less. These include population kinetics, influx of radiocarbon into earth’s atmosphere, absence of meteorites from the geologic column, and decay of earth’s magnetic field. "

Fringe science, nothing indicated those claims.



"- There is no gradualism in the fossil record, no intermediate types."

Of course there are, ever been to any natural history museum? Young earth creationists don't understand simple facts. First of all, to pin down evolutionary changes, you would have to collect skeletons from EVERY generation of one species, from AT LEAST few thousands of years. It's impossible, because forming fossil is not always possible. People can't ignore FACT that we can EASILY reconstruct evolutionary way of species looking at fossils of it from different stages.


Young earth creationists reminds me of doubting Thomas, they just can't go without putting fingers :) You can't take Bible literally because Genesis is, more or less, primitive (not for it's time, but today's theological standards) theological treatise.
11/25/2012 12:39:27 PM
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Rafal
Btw. I can't see ANY logic in creationism really. Think about it for a seccond. God creates universe, God creates natural laws just to break them ALL THE TIME creating new species out of the blue? And yeah, species are dying and getting born daily. Or would you just use satan, saying "bones were buried in the ground by devil to try our faith". I can't agree with such a mockery of christianity as "intelligent design"'ers promoting, because it is nothing else than mockery.

Evolution directed by God, it is some form of creationism too, but not counter logical.
11/25/2012 1:09:35 PM
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