In responding to an objection about whether truth is more in thing or in the mind, St. Thomas argues:

The ancient philosophers held that the species of natural things did not proceed from any intellect, but were produced by chance. But as they saw that truth implies relation to intellect, they were compelled to base the truth of things on their relation to our intellect. >From this, conclusions result that are inadmissible, and which the Philosopher refutes (Metaph. iv). Such, however, do not follow, if we say that the truth of things consists in their relation to the divine intellect.

The argument has three elements:

1.) Truth involves some relation to intellect.

2.) Things proceed from the divine mind.

3.) Truth is caused by the human intellect.

 Given (1), then (2) or (3) are as contradictories. But one is true, and the third is false.

A similar argument is possible with goodness, but it is trickier to make.


  1. Netrok said,

    March 30, 2008 at 2:07 am

    I realize the following question is not germane to your blog posting here…as impressed as I am by your many postings, and as obviously a very strong expositor of the Catholic faith, I’m wondering if you can answer for me a question that has long nagged me, one which would seem to call into question the “infallibility” or credulity of the Catholic religion: According to Catholic historian Paul Johnson, roughly 50% of the men who served in the Waffen SS were confessing Catholics…and yet not one of them were ever excommunicated for having served in such an iniquitous organization? And why is it that Adolf Hitler, himself a born/baptized Catholic was never excommunicated (indeed, prayers were given for him on his birthday, every year, throughout Second World War on orders from the Vatican)? And indeed, what are we to make of the fact that they did manage to excommunicate Joseph Goebbels…for marrying a Protestant?
    Please, BY NO MEANS am I saying that the Catholic Church was fully, wittingly, avowedly behind the Nazi movement or that it wished to see it succeed. It don’t believe it did.
    The point is, I’ve heard these questions asked and I’ve never found them to answered satisfactorily by any Catholic. I’m not saying there’s not a good reason for the Church’s activities in these matters — there may well have been. But I’m wondering if you can please offer what they might be.
    Thank you.

  2. a thomist said,

    March 30, 2008 at 2:44 am

    See the above post (I can’t get the link to work on this comment thing)

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