June 14, 2006 § Leave a comment
I’ve been slowly working at uploading my library titles online (for what reason other than to go through my books I have no idea), and anyone who pleases can now peruse my library – mind, I haven’t finished – under the tag of “Genna” at the family site.
Otherwise, not much is going on around here except classes.
Fr. Baer’s farewell party on Sunday was very nice; there was hardly a dry eye in the place thanks to several speeches which touched the right sentimental chords. :-P
Hopefully, Danny, you won’t kill me for posting it, but I thought that others may enjoy reading your comments on Anselm’s (and Aquinas’) proofs for the existence of God. They are so interesting:
A comment about Anselm’s proof, as you posted it about it a little while ago. The proof is indeed an enigma, and I’ve known quite a lot of debate as to how it is even supposed to work, putting aside whether it actually does work. But I think it is important to keep two things in mind, two things which together constitute another enigma. Chapter 1 is much longer than chapter 2, the chapter that contains the argument, and it is one continuous prayer. The last line of chapter 1, that which immediately preceedes the proof, runs thus: “For I do not seek to understand so that I may believe; but I believe so that I may understand. For this also I believe, that ‘unless I believe, I shall not understand.'” St. Anselm does not think that the proof can grant understanding, cannot teach one that God exists, unless one has faith, unless one already believes in God. The proof is therefore not meant for an atheist, but for a believer. Nevertheless, after the proof is gone through with faith, Anselm claims that one understands so well that he could not fail to know that God exists even if he did not want to believe in Him: “I give thanks, good Lord, I give thanks to You, since what I believed before through Your free gift I now so understand through Your illumination, that if I did not want to believe that You existed, I should nevertheless be unable not to understand it.”
How a proof can only work because one already believes in its conclusion, and yet grant one invincible knowledge irregardless of one’s faith after it has worked, calls for a lot of thought….