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Letters by a modern St. Ferdinand III about cults

Gab@StFerdinandIII - Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands.  Cults everywhere:  Corona, 'The Science' or Scientism, Islam, the State, the cult of Gender Fascism, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion....a nice variety for the human-hater, amoral, anti-rationalist to choose from.  It is so much fun mocking them isn't it ?

Tempus Fugit Memento Mori - Time Flies Remember Death 

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Reason and faith. Faith and Reason. No conflict.

Only in medieval Europe is there is a discussion of these 2 principles.

by StFerdIII

 The two Peter's Abelard [11th c] and Lombard [12th c] prove the seminal fact that reason imbues faith, and that faith can lead to reason. There is no conflict. In fact, in the memorable words of the Catholic Copernicus, it is not the men of reason who oppose change, but men corrupted by secular interests about power and relevancy such as the academics who howled against heliocentricity, slandering Copernicus and later Kepler. Contrary to atheist and protestant propaganda, the Church had no issues with Copernicus or Kepler, the man who proved with math, that elliptical orbits existed.

 

In this vein, we see the two Peters shoving European philosophy and thought into the right direction in the 11th and 12th centuries. Both were attacked during their lifetimes, both were calumnied by special interests, both were mocked, yet both had large bodies of support, and both were men of faith as well as reason.

 

Abelard was a devout Catholic with some heterodox ideas around the Trinity. He was a star at the University of Paris, and his meteor crashed as abruptly as its ascent. He is famous for an illicit romance with Heloise which essentially assured his own downfall. Chivalric love aside, the main importance of Abelard resides in the usage of the main principles which underlay Christianity and its philosophies, namely: "Reason aids Faith" and "Faith aids Reason". These articles inspired medieval scholasticism, which reached an apogee in the 13th and 14th centuries. Abelard tended emphasize Reason aids Faith, and did not much stress unlike Augustinians and the mystics, on Faith aids Reason.

 

Abelard was always at odds with more orthodox Catholics because, as with Galileo, he possessed the diplomatic skills and charms of a charging elephant. Abelard always adopted an uncompromising, shrill tone, and employed a phraseology, especially and purposefully, when speaking of sacred subjects, which gave, like Galileo great offense. As with Galileo the content of the message was oftentimes lost in the irascible, condescending and absurd declamations including mocking ad hominems.

 

Abelard used like many of those who were interested in reforming aspects of Church doctrine, the logic of the dialectic, to better comprehend the mysteries of faith. By the thirteenth century, the golden age of scholasticism had adopted Abelard's methodology giving full scope to reason to apprehend and modify faith and thereby defend Christianity using logic and rationale, not just scripture and mysticism.

 

Abelard's main philosophical genius is expressed in his work “Sic et Non” which consisted of of scriptural and patristic passages contrived in a system where there would be arguments for and against various theological opinions. This approach would also be used by his student Lombard and later in the 13th century by St. Thomas Aquinas. Sic et Non was a textbook for students and it simply places before the reader the reasons, for and against, surrounding key issues, or interpretations, around Church doctrine. He does not provide what he believes is an answer. He expects the students to make up their own minds through the use of dialectical reasoning.

 

Abelard leads directly to Lombard, and through Lombard to Aquinas. Lombard was a student of, and heavily influenced by Abelard. In fact he is Abelard's main 'heir', and it is through Lombard, that the scholasticism of the 13th century, which becomes suffused with reason, owes its debt.

 

Lombard [source] also believed reason lead to faith. He approached reason and faith from a different perspective in some ways, than his more flawed teacher. He was certainly a 'scholastic' in the sense that he merged older even ancient concepts with the Christian. For Lombard, knowledge was the slow accumulation of previous experiences, including the secular alongside the theological. He was not an innovative thinker, but a compiler and his importance lies in putting together extant material from the Church and other sources, into encyclopedias of knowledge. Along with Bede and Alcuin, he was interested in preserving, and than building upon, existing ideas and observations.

 

He was a presbyter or abbot in France for many years, and archbishop of Paris for a short while in 1159, dying shortly after. He is justly famous for his work, “The Sentences" ["Quatuor libri Sententiarum"]. It is this theological work which gives him a special place in the history of theology in the Middle Ages.

 

The Sentences is divided into four books. It is Socratic in structure with a long series of questions and answers, covering the whole body of theological doctrine uniting Church concepts into a systematized whole. Oftentimes two answers based on existing doctrines or treatises would be supplied to answer one question, imitating Abelard. This lack of originality and clarity, however, provoked vicious attacks against Lombard from within the Church, during and after his lifetime. This also imitated some of the animus experienced by Abelard. However, over the long term, Lombard's ideas or methods prevailed, and are routinely used by Church theologians as a means to better understand their faith, and to help clarify doctrines.

 

The two Peters are just some examples of faith leading to reason, and reason being employed to support and better understand faith. There is no inherent conflict between the two.

 


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