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Friday, September 09, 2011

The Mother of Error

"Another benefit that comes from the revelation to men of truths that exceed the reason is the curbing of presumption, which is the mother of error. For there are some who have such a presumptuous opinion of their own ability that they deem themselves able to measure the nature of everything; I mean to say that, in their estimation, everything is true that seems to them so, and everything is false that does not. So that the human mind, therefore, might be freed from this presumption and come to a humble inquiry after truth, it was necessary that some things should be proposed to man by God that would completely surpass his intellect." -- Aquinas, Contra Gentiles

3 comments:

  1. Aquinas is partly correct. Partly, because he neglects to understand the biggest presumption of all: thinking that your beliefs and moral stances are correct because you have privileged access to the omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent creator of the Universe.

    If presumption is the mother of error, then gullibility is its guardian.

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  2. I know, how stupid of Aquinas. It is as though he thought that people who, say, live among trees and study trees would know more about trees than do people who live in the middle of the Arctic.

    What a dope!

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  3. Well the fairer anology would be its as if someone sold Aquinas a photo of a tree but he had no way of knowing if it was actually a real tree or not (as he had never seen one before) and studied it really hard (it might be a rock), and therefore claimed he knew more about trees than someone without the mysterious photo.

    But in any case Aquinas doesn't seem to think he has any privileged access to the creator of the Universe in the original quote so Watoosh is just saying things for the sake of saying them.

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