Catholics and intelligent design: Making too much depend on that pagan, Aristotle
|April 14, 2011||Posted by News under Christian Darwinism, Philosophy|
Just up at ENV is Jay Richards’ “Catholics and Intelligent Design, Part 2” (April 14, 2011):
it’s easy to underestimate Aristotle’s influence in Roman Catholicism, due to his influence on the “Angelic Doctor” Thomas Aquinas. The Greek philosopher’s contributions are invaluable.iv Partially for this reason, however, we’ve sometimes failed to keep critical distance between the pagan philosopher and the faith itself. Traditional Catholics are much more likely to have an Aristotelian blind spot than, say, an Epicurean blind spot.Probably the most unaccommodating element of Aristotle’s thought to Christian theology is the idea that the universe is eternal rather than created as the free act of a transcendent God. The implications of this belief in an eternal universe permeate not just Aristotle’s physics but his metaphysics as well.
This is one of the reasons that when Aristotle’s major writings were first introduced to the Christian West in the thirteenth century, they were not received with universal warmth. St. Bonaventure, Thomas’s contemporary in Paris, identified a key danger with Aristotle. …
For more, go here.
Richards, a Catholic, seems to have aimed his piece at the sort of current “Thomism” that argues that if design can be observed in nature, God is diminished thereby.