– If cosmological arguments establish the existence of something set apart from the existence of the sensible and finite things that the argument starts from, we should also expect any purported experience of the divine to be different in kind from sensible experience.
-We have a tendency to oppose religious-experience justifications and theistic-proof justification when, in fact, each one leads us to expect that the other must have the character it has.
– Try proving the existence of anything beyond integers or shapes-as-geometric (to say nothing of non-Euclidean ones) to someone with a motivation to deny them. If they grant you things in sensible experience (grant!) then your arguments or appeals to experience are attempts to establish something set apart from the experience that gives rise to them.
-For that matter, what would you do to someone tempted to deny physics? Show him the textbook? You could show him some experiments, but in real life these will be messy, suggestive, and filled with assumptions that your interlocutor will find incredible and will have little trouble finding other logical possibilities for. You could show him i-pods, GPS, and other feats of engineering, but this is the most ambiguous proof of all, since the use-value of anything is a function of the moral goodness of the user.
-To justify by usefulness is implicitly to justify in relation to the moral perfection of the user.
-We often think, like Polus, if both white and black magic justify that magic works then both prove that the magic is true. But this would require some truths to be evil, i.e. repugnant to intellect.
-Mathematics belies the opposition between the concrete and abstract (STA’s “intelligible matter”). Any one shape proves what is true of all.
-For Plato, intellection requires a divine world for its objectivity, for Aristotle it requires that one arise from the fullness of agent intellect. The puzzle arises because of our likeness to God: the logos must both exist from the beginning and arise from another. Eros proves the same thing – the other is given as “the one” and yet love exists as an immanent operation in us.
-Intellect unifies multitude, and so to explain the diffusion of all from intellect – creation – requires something more than the one and its logos.
-Nominalism is equivalent to the claim that all is absolutely unique. This is true, but it needs to be informed by the trinitarian mystery that, in the measure that something is absolutely unique it is capable of being communicated to another.
-Nominalism is either eliminitivism about universals (we can’t even think them : Hume following Berkeley) or a denial that two things share one real essence. Taken in this latter sense, Aristotle struggles with Nominalism and is constantly trying to slip out of it.
-Essence : exists :: goverment : governs. This is true if you just look at how the words were formed.
–Dubarle: “Science is an attempt to present a world acceptable to intellect”. This is true of it so far as it is any investigation or discourse at all.
-Individuality can be taken either homogeneously or heterogeneously. As homogenous, we see the same thing merely repeated and so as undifferentiated. This arises from matter so far as no individual uses up the supply (we can make as many cakes as we have batter for). As heterogeneous, we see all things as unique, unrepeatable, or with personality, narrative, etc. This arises from essence so far as no individual exhausts its fullness.
-Simply by being finite, essence has incompossible perfections. No one car, for example, could have every possible perfection a car can have. Ditto with an island, as Anselm pointed out to Guanilo. This is why finite essence as such communicates itself to diverse individuals with heterogeneous individuality. No Haecceitas is required to account of this, only the axiom that goodness is diffusive.
-The engine of Darwinianism is supposedly the struggle for existence. But we desire existence not qua existence but qua good. This is evident both from the terms and from experience (suicide, sacrifice, martyrdom). But this requires that goodness be ecstatic or stand outside existence, i.e. what we struggle for is not what we have except so far as this is what we ought to be. What we are really struggling for is a good that, to the extent that we are less than all we ought to be, is outside of ourselves.
-“Struggle for existence” is the fallacy of the accident. It’s a struggle to attain to that paradigm in which the goodness of the one who struggles is pre-contained. God could “struggle to exist” since his being is his goodness, and the saints could struggle to exist since no further self-perfection is possible or desired.