Near the bottom of another current discussion, Ben Kissling raises some interesting and important questions which deserve a discussion of their own. I’m copying Ben’s remarks and questions here.
Hey Eddie, sorry for the late entry into the convo, but you are exactly the sort of person I was hoping I’d find here. You stated this parenthetical earlier:
Yes, there was some resistance regarding the earth’s location and motion, but it was more the non-Biblical authority of Aristotle than the Bible which shaped medieval and early modern Christian views there, and it’s now almost universally conceded that nothing central to Christian faith was lost in accepting the new view of the solar system.
I’ve actually been thinking a lot of about this myself the past few years and was surprised to see experts on the subject agree. I have some questions for you.
- What do you think of the neo-Thomist critique of ID as put forth by Ed Feser and others?
- Do you think Aristotelian teleology is compatible with ID, as Michael Egnor has argued, or is it incompatible as Feser does?
I used to be more inclined to agree with Egnor but I don’t think I do anymore. I think Feser is correct and ID is incompatible with Aristotelian teleology. The teleological view suggests that purpose is mystically internal to natural objects, while ID argues that purpose was imposed externally, otherwise the very idea of natural objects as information carriers is incoherent with the obvious problems that poses for ID. What do you think?
- Does Feser still hold to his critique of ID? I haven’t followed him for some years.
- If ID and Aristotelian teleology are incompatible, what does that mean for Catholics? Are Catholics required to accept Aristotelian teleology as part of their theology? If so are they required as Feser argues to choose one or the other?
- Do you think that Feser’s critique of ID is so general an indictment of modern scientific understanding that it must also logically apply to many, many other areas of modern science that Feser doesn’t comment on?
That’s what Ben wrote. The floor is now open.