St. Thomas Aquinas – a great mind.
His attempt to reconcile Averroes’s “theory of the double truth” – faith (theology) and reason (philosophy), two bodies of knowledge; put him at the forefront of medieval thought.
He contended that the two bodies of knowledge are from God hence cannot work in opposition but, in collaboration with each other.
Reason (the outcome of the use of our minds and senses in the observation of the natural phenomena around us) will clarify and demystify faith (which comes through revelation) which in turn would guide reason away from mistakes and errors.
He further contended that there are five ways to prove the existence of God : observation of movements in the world and described God as the “Immovable Motor”; cause and effect; the impermanent nature of human beings points to the existence of a necessary being who exists of himself; the varying levels of human perfections pointing to the existence of a supreme being; finally, that natural beings could not have intelligence unless given to them by God himself.
He identified three types of laws which made his work timeless :
– Natural law governs man’s sense of right and wrong;
– Positive law is the law of the state or government and should always be the manifestation of the natural law;
– Eternal law, in the case of rational beings, depends on reason and is put into action through free will, which also works toward the accomplishment of man’s spiritual goals.
– St. Thomas Aquinas, c. 1225 – March 7 1274; priest, philosopher and theologian. (The Universal Teacher and the Christian Apostle canonized 1323 by Pope John XXII).
St. Thomas Aquinas’s treatise on faith and reason; highly recommended.