Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. I’m looking forward to tonight as we start a new topic on the life of God and even then, it seems like I cannot even begin to tell you what that means. What does it mean for something to be alive? Well we’ll find out. Our guide for this study has been the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas. You can read it online at newadvent.org. Tonight we begin the new topic by asking if life belongs to all natural things.
It would be a mistake to say that the medieval time period had no interest in science. Indeed, science had been a huge help to them as it was through such work that they came to improve the agriculture system giving them more leisure time in which to pursue other interests and in these interests came the idea of learning more about the natural world. They reasoned that a rational God had made the world and made it to be understood so they could learn more about God if they studied that world.
This would include the scientific realm and while they were not as advanced as we are, we cannot fault them for that. The discoveries that we have made today were made because we were standing on their shoulders. For us, our question today does in fact deal with the scientific world for let us keep in mind that Aristotle was quite the scientist.
Today, we want to know if it belongs to all natural things to live. Some for instance thought there was something to the planets for they were called wanderers. Aristotle had postulated creatures like angels that moved the planets. What is the criteria by which something is said to be alive? Is it simply movement?
Not for Aquinas. For Aquinas, all things are alive if they are somehow capable of moving by their own power. The lowest form of such life is plant life and while it is limited, it is still alive. Plants can respond to stimuli. They do not do this with free-will however, but they are in some way capable of movement. They grow when they receive the proper nutrients and die when they do not, which is something that non-living things do not do.
Of course, we’re also included as are animals. We are more capable of moving by self-will. As I type this out, I am doing so of my own free-will. I have the freedom if I so desired to delete this whole thing and not type any more. However, it is because I have a greater desire to teach and spread some truth that I am continuing the blog.
As we conclude, it seems that we are not far from the science of today if not in total agreement. Would that we had more Christians in the field of science today working to bring glory to God just as the medievals did by looking at the things that he has made.
We shall continue tomorrow.