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Final Exam Question 4 Faith Reason Aquinas worked out a highly articulated theory of theological reasoning St Bonaventure an immediate precursor to Aquinas had argued that no one could attain to truth unless he philosophizes in the light of faith Aquinas held that our faith in eternal salvation shows that we have theological truths that exceed human reason But he also claimed that one could attain truths about religious claims without faith though such truths are incomplete Aquinas claimed that the act of faith consists essentially in knowledge Faith is an intellectual act whose object is truth Thus it has both a subjective and objective aspect From the side of the subject it is the minds assent to what is not seen Moreover this assent as an act of will can be meritorious for the believer even though it also involves the assistance of Gods grace Moreover Faith can be a virtue since it is a good habit productive of good works Aquinas elucidates the relationship between faith and reason on the basis of a distinction between higher and lower orders of creation We know that every ordered pattern of nature has two factors that concur in its full development One on the basis of its own operation the other on the basis of the operation of a higher nature A great example is water In a lower pattern it naturally flows towards the center but in a higher pattern such as the pull of the moon it flows around the center Aquinass two-folded theory of truth develops a strong compatibilism between faith and reason But it can be argued that after his time what was intended as a mutual autonomy soon became an expanding separation Ockham Ockham first restricts the scope of Aquinass rational theology by refuting its ability to provide arguments that stop infinite regresses In fact he is wary of the attempts of the natural theology to prove
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