Monday, August 03, 2020

Moon and Tides

Now a cause is the higher the more superior its effect. And so those who wish to investigate certain effects in terms of causes that are inferior are deceived. For example, if one were to consider the movement of water in terms of the power of water, he would not be able to know the cause of the tides of the sea; to do this he would have to consider water in terms of the power of the moon. Thus, those people are even more deceived who consider the proper effects of God in terms of the elements of the world. But this is the reason for the seeming plausibility of what they say.

[Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Colossians, Fabian Larcher, tr. (Sapientia Press: 2006) p. 52 (section 92). I have modified parts of the translation.]