"everything that can be predicated of God (the divine essence) can be predicated of the relations, and if the relations are NO DIFFERENT than the divine essence, then we can predicate "Father" to the "Son" and vice verse. He even warns against trying to logically prove the Trinity as a fools errand which will likely only solidify non believer's view that we are full of it on this. assistance comes via a divine revelation backed by miracles, and in particular Posters on other sites have complained about the rudeness of the regulars here, but that has not been my experience. How, then, is each person differentiated (PD)? Thus, God is simply relating to Himself. That's why I used the expression "essence/being of God" to begin with, to emphasize and remind you of that.I think you're badly misunderstanding my "three somethings." First of all, I completely agree with you when you say that a logical contradiction can not be solved with an appeal to mistery. It will give exact answer. In material things, form must be conjoined with matter in order to exist. proposition “God exists” differs from this example, in Aquinas’s view, insofar @Scott, you write:Similarly left-ness and right-ness are sui generis concepts with regard to length. So, the relational distinctions are in the divine essence. First, let's recall that an analytic proposition's truth is entirely a function of its meaning -- "all widows were once married" is a simple example; certain claims about mathematical objects also fit here ("a pentagon has five sides.") However, these are not distinctions of parts because each Person fully possess the one and same Divine Essence. Justified by appeal to experience. He must throw away the ladder, so to speak, after he has climbed up. And in order to cling to your a priori conception of God's asseity you are prepared to assert that even if the Son fully possesses the divine nature, He is not God. known only through empirical investigation). Of course even that breaks down because of the essence/existence distinction.The point is, God actually IS something. Naturally, And that extends to each person being but a fraction of the whole, which is the opposite of what you elsewhere affirm (that each person is NOT a fraction of the whole).Well, except for all the times that God asserts the same for Christ and the Holy Spirit as well.Yes, and modalists would reply that since "Christ" is the human manifestation of God (1 Tim. Yet now we can ask, how do we know this? 41:2 (December 1987), pp.255-282. (That's a priori analytic, to get back to Feser's OP. I most certainly disagree with you here. I guess I should have left "somethings" out of my reply because you didn't take it as I meant it. But if you can, let me know if I've gone off the rails anywhere. But this is known (by creatures) only by sense experience. God is a living being, not an "it. Ed's blog has more to do with Natural Theology then Christian revelation based theology anyway. If we have nothing but PC, then A = B, the labels 'A' and 'B' are then nominal, not actual (real) distinctions. The fact that the Jews today do not believe in the Trinity does not imply that the revelation made to the Jews did not reveal the Trinity. There is a real distinction in His acts but He doesn’t “possess” the attributes by participation; He simply IS. You can only claim that my position is indistinguishable from Modalism if you can prove that an infinite substance cannot have real relations with itself while being non-composite.The trinity knot (trefoil knot) is the best (albeit very imperfect) mental image for the concept. If "it's a revelation" is an out for you, it's an out for everybody. Terrific as ever.Of the five arguments you defend in your most recent book on the existence of God, four of them use analytic a posteriori logic (the cosmological arguments). But there is a virtual difference between them: the end of the past is a terminal point and the beggining of the future is a starting point. And I believe I mentioned that if I'm told that God is simple, but the definition of God is composite, or if I'm told that there is one God, but the definition thereof expresses three Gods, or if I'm told that each person is fully God, but the description tells me that they're only fractionally God, I've got to cry foul. But if God is Pure Act then He is Pure Intelligibility and Pure Form. Taking these If a metaphysical being of essence/existence composition exists (e.g. And if it's the latter, the Son is ontologically dependent on the Father for His existence and identity. In order to understand bodies and extension, one would first have to have a clear picture of time and space. I am not stubbornly refusing to accept the terminology as defined by the DT's apologists. That's the doctrine of the Trinity.But the "personal essence/being of the Son" is NO DIFFERENT (to use Aquinas' words) from the divine essence/being! He is not one part love, one part mercy, one part judgment, etc. Ultimately, we should investigate whether or not there are good reasons to accept the Authority if Christ and His Church (based on the historical data) and proceed from there.Pace Christi! This means that part of God's Act is to love and relate to God, hence the idea that the Son is Begotten by the Father and that the Spirit is that love manifest. As I’ve told you repeatedly, what you say is what a modalist theologian would say, and you’ve yet to show me what the difference is.My two cents: What you say isn’t what you think. For that which is above the human reason we believe only because God has revealed it.If we can prove from scripture that scripture does in fact hold a trinitarian view, then Bill would have two choices: reject scripture or accept that what he views as a contradiction is only apparent. Neither the Son nor the Spirit can truly be God if they were not a se. That of course can be resolved if the difference is merely logical. The essence and being of God are one. [1] Those who place their faith in this truth, however, “for which the human reason offers no experimental evidence,” do not believe foolishly, as though “following artificial fables” (2 Peter 2:16). Affirming a contradiction is affirming a falsehood. Summa contra gentiles book 1 chapter 3[3] That there are certain truths about God that totally surpass man’s ability appears with the greatest evidence. Bill June 12, 2020 at 7:53 AM“God is not an abstract; He is a living being, or Being Itself.”The term “being itself” is incoherent. He would be the sufficient explanation of Himself. The proposition Hesperus is Phosphorus (the evening star is the morning star, both being what we call Venus) is one of them. For, according to its manner of knowing in the present life, the intellect depends on the sense for the origin of knowledge; and so those things that do not fall under the senses cannot be grasped by the human intellect except in so far as the knowledge of them is gathered from sensible things. When meanings change on experience, you can have analytic a posteriori when the definition allows proof reasoning to be self-evident. Explaining this relation is what Kant considers to be the general problem of transcendental philosophy.For example, as you point out, Kant considers 2 + 2 = 4 to be synthetic. For the human intellect is not able to reach a comprehension of the divine substance through its natural power. Moreover, to state that the distinction is only in its mode of intelligibility and that they do not really differ from each other means that the core of trinitarian doctrine is a mental construct. In addition, you are also ignoring all the councils of the church. I assume you don't wanna collapse the distinctions between reasoning in mathematics and logic and reasoning in empirical sciences, right? Hey David,So in your estimation, does your interpretation of St Thomas seem true, and so you assume it is true? If you are treating God like a simple math problem with easily understood finite terms, you are clearly misunderstanding something.As for “being itself”, really that means the fullness of being. Yes if you put it like that there is no way to convince a Pyrrhic skeptic. If the latter, you have what you say you don’t have.All Modalists deny REAL distinctions in the Godhead. And to say that Pure Act needs to be actualized is to deny the existence of Pure Act. And to rebut what you misunderstood, you appealed to the very analogy modalists use to illustrate God's m ode of revelation. However, right-handed and left-handed limits and really distinct: they stand in a relation of opposition to each other. But I have no idea how to relate to them as a unity, from the experiential standpoint. It is fundamentally about what God is not, not what God is (God's essence)..Any creature is a created being, physical or metaphysical because every creature is a composite of act and potency. of two ways: on the one hand, self-evident in itself, though not to us; on the @Daniel, you write:Your argument is: Aquinas says PC and PD are different. Hence they are distinguished from each other. "Yet the OP states" But we know this only because we’ve reasoned from the existence of the things of our experience to an ultimate cause having this essence. Apologies if I have added nothing new to the discussion, but speaking like this is a good exercise for me in stretching my theological chops, so I figured I'd give it a shot. In fact, I would see such a submission of his intellect to the data of faith as a movement of grace in his life. Thus, the explanation or reason (since it is "in" God) is real, but not really distinct from God (no real difference in His essence). If you apply the same language to the persons of the Trinity (F, S & HS), then you have modalism. Arianism has similar problems. That's no different than saying the essence is real, so the essence is real. You thus have no basis for claiming that any contrary assertion about the essence of God is false. If it (the Son) has that intrinsic quality, He would not need generation from another. What makes an immaterial essence common with another cannot be the very thing that makes it distinct. What are examples of analytic a posteriori knowledge? separated from each other ... site design / logo © 2020 Stack Exchange Inc; user contributions licensed under cc by-sa. @David McPike, you write:And yet the because the processions are real, the relations are real, and they are really relationally distinct. These judgments that you make with reference to ‘something’ external. God's attributes being all one in Him is mind-boggling but not contradictory. Now, you can tell me to hold your beer as you give it a shot with Bill, but I'm concerned that because he appears to have already rejected the Trinitarian article of faith, he will not have the ears to hear it. When you argue that the Son has an "origin" or is "caused" or "begotten" by the Father, you deny His divinity. doing an experiment to discover the temperature at which water boils Daniel, I'm still confident you're misunderstanding St Thomas. 2 + 2 = 4 is the result of how we define "2" and how we define "4".However, I understand that for those who think of quantities as universals, that sort of thinking does not appeal. Obviously, no one who insists on telling God to His face that He is lying about His own nature will get into heaven, but surely that's more a matter of them refusing to see reason and insisting on having reality bow to their own wishes than a matter of a misunderstanding somehow keeping them from heaven. Likewise, the right side of the line is the same as the line itself. You can read Palmquist's whole book here. All a posteriori judgments are synthetic. That was much harder. If “Father” cannot be predicated of the Son, and if the Son is really different from the Father, how do you avoid genus/species composition? Analytic a posterior exists iff. The essence is not something distinct which causes the three Persons. But, given a traditional Trinitarian understanding, isn’t it possible that there is some possible description of “being” (from which of course, the verb “to be/is”) is derived which, when combined with a proper analogical understanding of “relationship,” isn’t it possible that there is an understanding which would allow for a PD which did in some way (call it kweekwalz or something) PC? Saint Thomas answers this objection twice - in the Summa Theologiae and in De Potentia. I just think that he is in the category of Adversary, not of in the category of the faithful. "I don't buy that. Kant proposes that _____. @ScottI addressed your objection above. This is what I mean by borrowing modalist terms to defend simplicity while folding in a real PERSONAL difference between the persons of the Godhead.What makes each “person” God? had to do with the implications of Hume’s empiricism. . Is this on target? Concepts don't come to be (they aren't discovered) apart from activity of the senses, but they do have an independent structure whereby inference from judgment to judgment is possible apart from any need for confirmation from anything "empirical" (the senses). @BillAlthough that is true, the terms we use cannot assert an inversion else we argue unintelligibly. What are examples of analytic a posteriori knowledge? [Therefore it is clear that in God the being/existence of the relation and the being/existence of the essence are not other (they don't differ from one another), but are one and the same (being/existence). Again, that's not true. This is the result of the combination of essence and existence. God's attributes being all one in Him is mind-boggling but not contradictory. But it isn't the essence considered as essence, that makes the distinctness intelligible to us, it is the essence considered as cause...If the cause is not the essence, then what is the cause? And especially in this matter, the assent of faith is necessary. A priori that might seem to exclude the Trinity of persons. The reason this isn't analytic is that the predicate ("heavy") isn't 'contained' in the subject ("body"), as it would be for the claim, e.g., that a square is four-sided. For things which are identified with the same, are identified with each other. And how does he know that only one person is sufficient to express the divine essences' existence? His being is continually being generated, thus His existence is dependent on this eternal begetting else He would not exist.But the Son has that intrinsic causality because he has it from another; and remember that he (necessarily! So no contradiction required. By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy. But wait again! @David McPikeWithin the Aristotelian tradition, 'cause' means 'what is required to understand/explain a thing.' @David McPikeRight: "same thing" in one respect; "something else" in another respect.And this "same thing" and "something else" is the simple, undivided essence of God.God the Father has a relationship with Himself; he knows and loves himself as God and as principle of generation within the Godhead.But since "God the Father" is the simple, undivided essence of God, the "principle of generation" applies to the entire Godhead.This entails that He likewise has a relationship with the Son, as God like unto himself and as His only begotten Son.But since "God the Son" is the simple, undivided essence of God, and since, per Aquinas, the relation is the simple, undivided essence of God, then God is still having the relationship with Himself.Why is Sabellius clapping?Because modalists and Arians won't object to the fact that the undivided essence of God knows Himself and loves Himself and relates to Himself. Sounds like composition to me. Much becomes clearer.The modern epistemologist is in the position of that other drunkard looking for his keys; not the one from the famous joke, but his drinking buddy, it would seem. To say that God is a se is to deny of God an imperfection that pertains to all creatures. He thus exists necessarily, like the Father, and not in dependence on the free will of the Father (which he naturally fully shares with the Father).If it (the Son) has that intrinsic quality, He would not need generation from another. [20] Notwithstanding Kant's lack of concern for this class of knowledge, I shall argue in IV.3 that certain aspects of his philosophy can best be understood by reinterpreting them in terms of the analytic a posteriori. Very simple and easy to understand. ; He just simply IS. And this:I never said that they "have the same sense." I thought you were following my interaction with others here. If someone is willing to give up empirical knowledge just to avoid the PSR (and, presumably, theism), I'd take that as an indication that they're not worth taking seriously.We can always respond with Thomas Reid, though: why should we trust our rational faculties but not our perceptual faculties? To be clear, Thomas holds the following (as do I): Truth has one source in God, so that truths known by reason and truths known by faith cannot contradict one another.Yes. Finally, let's consider the problematic hybrid you have asked after. The verses you cite cannot override the singular personhood of God because the “apparent contradiction” or “inconsistency” is resolved in a higher dimension of existence. Thus, the person's conclusion relies on posteri knowledge. Maybe you understand that too, abstractly, sometimes; but if so, I think it might help if you stopped putting the doctrine in an obviously obfuscated way....if the relations are NO DIFFERENT than the divine essence...But obviously they are different, qua relations and qua essence, because they refer to different aspects/modes of intelligibility of the being of the Godhead (personal vs. essential).If the Son "receives" the divine nature by something other than Himself, then He is not God by definition.If the Son fully receives and thus fully possesses the divine nature, then He is indeed God, by definition! But I accept that they are somehow united, based on the authoritative teachings of the church and the words of Christ. And if there's nothing to actualize, there is nothing to cause. 开一个生日会 explanation as to why 开 is used here? I as a human have one nature and one self. In in this case, in the reality of the relations between the persons of the trinity. I suppose one can call it a "cause" of sorts because it is the "blueprint" that particularizes the act of existence conjoined to it.Since the essence of God is to exist, there being no difference between the two (essence and existence), there is no cause, full stop. God bless,Daniel. Most notably, the American philosopher W. V. O. Quine (1951) argued that the analytic-synthetic distinction is illegitimate (see Quine's rejection of the analytic-synthetic distinction). Being a universal, it is immaterial. article from which I just quoted, Aquinas cites the proposition “that ).I have a lot of respect for Aquinas, but I obviously don't buy everything that he argued. @Bill: But since you agree that the essence itself is not what makes the relations distinct, what then makes them distinct?If it wasn't the essence/being of God that made the relations distinct, there certainly couldn't be anything else making them distinct, so they wouldn't be distinct. Your thesis on the Eucharist was amazing. Can the Father proceed from the divine essence? This of course yields a straight contradiction: The divine essence cannot be identical with the relations (per above) and the essence is identical with the relations. But no one will come to believe in the Trinity via these arguments! But every relation in God is really the same as the divine essence. Everybody can cry, "Mystery!" Philosophers of science have developed competing accounts of what scientific theories should be. So now let's switch over to knowing gold. They are infinite length (that is they are not something different from the line), but they are relationally opposed, and this distinct from each other. And as I've been saying many times now, that's nothing "trinitarian. The ES IS the MS considered from a different perspective. How, then, is what you believe different from modalism?If you argue for modalism and call it the Trinity, there's nothing to "rebut." ), 100% agreed! @David McPikeTraditionally there are taken to be four causes needed to full explain a thing.And I already acknowledged more than once that "explanation" of God is His essence to exist. Thus, Thomism solves nothing.We start out realizing that the nobody understands the ultimate explanation for all that exists in our sense experience, then we apply Thomism, only to arrive at the conclusion that nobody understands the ultimate explanation for all that exists.Why do Thomists seem to think they have solved a problem when all they have done is stated that the "solution" to the unknown is unknowable? @David McPike, you write:...when you talk about the essence as if it were (according to anything that I've said or anything contained in DT) an entity in itself, which apart from/prior to the being of any of the persons could from itself (from its own being) cause the being of the three persons.I've always understood the essence of God to be the being of God, and I've argued from the first that the PC is the essence. That means God can create as many Gods as He likes. @David McPikeThank you for your posts and for your charitable analysis of my posts. (Or something else?). I explained in detail why your "defense" of the Trinity is something no modalist or Arian would object to. Therefore the "Son" is not God. Analytic a posteriori example? But the Doctrine of the Trinity (DT) denies that the persons of the Godhead are logical or notional distinctions, and that's where the wheels come off. The a priori/a posteriori distinction, used by Kant, plays no role in mathematics. What are the more complex/interesting examples of synthetic a priori statements? I agree that it matters not where the point is. Does the 4-way breakdown of categories just plain ignore the question of how we get concepts? "However, there is no incoherence in the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity nor is it incompatible with Divine Simplicity. The idea is the following: f(x) will get nearer and nearer to 4 as x gets nearer and nearer to 1.However, values near 1 can be greater than or less than 1. According to Kant, nothing can be called “good” without qualification except _____. Stephen Palmquist) treat it as valid. We can elaborate theorems in geometry about, for example, circles inscribed inside of squares. The right-ness of the line is the line.3. The whole self is related to the whole self via the eternal Divine Activity.In order to say that is a contradiction, you would have to have a fully worked out definition of being, relation, etc. proof of a first cause in, In the same Cheers,Daniel, But I don't want to appear to be taking the easy route out, so I was hoping to delve a little bit further: When we speak of a human person, the word person does not signify only the human nature, but the singular, concrete, and distinct individual who exists. Granted the essence of gold, it is not contingent whether its density is Y and its electrical conductance is Z. Tony,I read you post on numbers, and it was interesting and thought-provoking. At the same time I would not wish to be personally uncivil toward you or any of the good folks here.“If you are treating God like a simple math problem with easily understood finite terms, you are clearly misunderstanding something.”The OP asserts that one can reason from sense experience to the Thomistic assertion of god, including the notion of “being itself” variously stated as “existence itself”, “pure being”, and “pure existence”. contingent and a priori would best fit into Kant's epistemological She sometimes says, “I am asking you as my pastor, not as my husband.” So, though I’m still holding her hand and walking with her, I am also counseling her as her pastor—fulfilling two roles simultaneously. (Is Sabellius still clapping? another. E.g. God is not an abstract; He is a living being, or Being Itself. Tony,What you're getting at is just Spinozism: Knowledge is of what is necessary, perfect knowledge is knowledge of all things (e.g., gold) as necessary, insofar as they are necessary (i.e., relative to perfect (divine) knowledge of them). A thing can be self-evident in either @JaredYour post implicitly acknowledges the "contradictions" but mitigates them by appealing to a possible upper-level dimension beyond our current ability to experience. If the sun were eternal, then the rays emanating from the sun would be eternal as well, but that doesn't change the ontological dependence of the rays on the sustaining power of the sun. Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers. Synthetic a posteriori is the "standard" empirical knowledge; the peculiar Kantian contribution is with synthetic a priori, that is the foundation for arithmetic and geometry. How can a relation exist unless the persons having the relationship are already distinct? You can say that "God" -- i.e., deity, God-ness, the divine nature -- manifests itself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but that's (only) because the inner life of the deity exists and subsists in the real being/relations of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The specific sense to be assigned to 'aseity,' then, follows from the mode of argument from which it is derived. I have always found the Incarnation to be a far more perplexing doctrine than the Trinity. I claimed that a real distinction in the essence is composition defined. IV]. What they have in common (the divine essence) is what produces/grounds/gives rise to the real distinction (among the divine persons).Now, this CAN work in genus/species composites. :)But I do believe that other's have done an adequate job at trying to explain this to him. The distinction between a priori and a posteriori is closely related to the distinctions between analytic/synthetic and necessary/contingent. . Moreover, a being's dependence on another for its existence means that it DOES NOT have in itself this "intrinsic causality" which suffices to explain itself. the proposition that water is H2O (if it is true). I'll be able to give a better response that way. That is, a priori and a posteriori claims are about epistemology (i.e. There are, consequently, some intelligible truths about God that are open to the human reason; but there are others that absolutely surpass its power. Now everybody can say "apparent contradiction" and resolve all difficulties. Because analytic judgements, entail a tautology, or a concept that is defined to be a certain thing, but alone have no basis beyond this imposed limitation. But then the "Son" is also not God relating to Himself, as you want to maintain. Thus, "left" and "right" is a subjective observation---a logical construct, if you will. I took your "three somethings" to refer to the three persons or subsistent relations of the Trinity. In practise, someone might not be able to, in which case he should practise the virtue of honesty and just admit it and keep working at it until he can. 1) Explain A Priori vs A Posteriori & Practice Activities. Can the Father be caused? There are just as many blue books in A as there are white books in B, even though there’s only half as many blue books in A. However, for an infinite substance, if we are able to talk of distinction at all, then the Principle of Distinction must be identical to the Principle of Commonality.

analytic a posteriori

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