Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Proximate causes are not always secondary

St Thomas Aquinas and a few more (let's not name drop) divided causes into two categories: secondary causes and primary cause. The prima causa (first cause, but not as in "earlist cause" like someone winding up a pianola, rather as in primary as someone playing a piano while it sounds, hence my translation "primary cause") is God.

The secondary causes are created causes.

The proximate causes are usually secondary causes. When the proximate cause of an event that is visible and down to earth is the primary cause itself, that is what is referred to as a miracle. But they do happen and there are other cases when God is proximate cause for something. Like when being cause for the secondary cause that is least proximate to us in space or time.

The one instance of that is turning heaven around us each day - if we believe our eyes' witness for Geocentrism (and our inner ears' witness too, that's where the organ is which tells you if the floor is a house on the ground without earthquake or a deck of a ship in a storm). That is where God is proximate cause for least proximate secondary cause in space. And the other is creation - of heaven and earth, of all there is in them, of angels and of each human soul. Except for the last that is where God is proximate cause for least proximate secondary cause (like Adam for human bodies) in time (or like a fish or bird on day five for those of its kind living now, for that matter).

Creation of a human soul whenever a baby is made is God being proximate cause here and now, but the reason why this is not a miracle is that it is invisible.

Now, sciences are concerned mostly with secondary causes. But traditionally speaking by admitting them to be secondary, they point up to the primary cause, to God. Unfortunately sciences have been cut off from theology last centuries. This gives them a non-scientific tendency, as to what scientific properly means, but a clear scientific communal tendency or scientific cultural tendency to not just ignore but even deny the primary cause. Solutions are "proven" by assuming secondary causes are the only ones - that is as if they are otherwise than secondary, as if the universe itself were primary.

And some benighted wannabee Thomists - people who want to brag about reading and understanding St Thomas Aquinas - reinterpret both Joshua and Genesis and sometimes even more. Because science - the study of secondary causes so to speak - has proven Heliocentrism or Evolution or (saying this with Kent Hovind accent:) milllllllllions of year.

Obviously they are not very good students of St Thomas Aquinas, and obviously they are not very good students of Holy Bible either. At least not of Joshua X or Genesis I and II. Sometimes not even of Genesis III. Usually not of anything before Genesis XII.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Library of
Mouffetard Street
St Eulalia and St Julia

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