Sunday, December 16, 2007

'Let Him Reply, If He Dares'

John Farrell:

One expects this kind of depressing swill from murmurantes like Bethell and Gilder. (I couldn't resist that one, I've also just rediscovered one of St. Thomas's gems: "There is no contradiction in affirming that a thing was created and also that it was never non-existent" from De aeternitate mundi contra murmurantes. You gotta love St. Thomas: "Hey you. Yeah, you, murmurante, what the hell are you talking about?")

That reminds me of one of my favorite passages in Thomas's works, from the end of De unitate intellectus:

This then is what we have written to destroy the error mentioned, not by the documents of the Faith, but by the reasons and statements of the philosophers themselves. If anyone glorying in the name of false knowledge wants to say anything in reply to what we have written, let him not speak in corners nor before boys who do not know enough of such difficulties to judge them; but let him reply to this in writing, if he dares. He will find that not only I, who am the least, but many others zealous for the truth, will resist his error and correct his ignorance.

That's a trumpet-blast.