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when logic meets scripture

Up to this point in his thinking, Aquinas works basically as a philosopher; he feels that everything he has laid out can be justified by reasoning from known facts. But now he makes the delicate transition from philosophy to theology: from pure reason to reason that takes as its input patterns that have already been described, specifically in Scripture (e.g., the Gospels, etc.).

When it comes to Scripture, Aquinas is quite direct about saying that the information about the world we find there is information that we would not necessarily arrive at ourselves. He thinks that it reflects a level of recognition of spiritual reality to which we haven't yet arrived. He also of course thinks that nothing described in Scripture will be inconsistent with what we find out on our own using reason, since truth cannot contradict truth.

He feels that scripture is inherently reasonable, that it doesn't contradict what we otherwise know, but enables us to understand things at a much deeper level. But he doesn't think it's worthwhile to attempt to philosophically prove such truths, as they are "demonstrably undecidable:" on the scale of complexity, such matters are way up there, past the point of provability. On the other hand, we can expect that they will be consistent with what we otherwise know, and if there is an inconsistency, it will be the result of our misunderstanding of either proven knowledge or the spiritual truths themselves. Furthermore, Aquinas thinks that the spiritual truths conveyed in Scripture provide the best way for us to understand the world. They describe the highest context by which we can know things, describe a coherent view of the cause and purpose of life into which all other knowledge can harmoniously fit, and provide a practical guide to the best means of opening ourselves up to seeing the world as it really is.

Case in point: the Trinity.

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"Truth cannot contradict truth."
      - Aquinas

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