Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able ? Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing ? Then he is malevolent.

Is he both willing and able ? Then whence cometh evil ?

Is he neither able nor willing ? Then why call him God ?

Epicurus.

Any thoughts ?

Tags: Epicurus

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From all documents pertaining to Thomas Aquinas's life, Catholic or otherwise.

It was part of his deathbed confession, that these two angels visiting him with a cord and message, enlightened him and they foretold him of his great purity, thus his now sudden sense of grandeur started his career.  

Such visions have been known to make believers of these visions behave strangely, change their entire lives and there are numerous examples in history of people devoting their entire life to superstition and silly beliefs, because of one vision in their life.

I have a client who is considered as a public nuisance because he has devoted his whole life to worshiping the Garabandal visions because of a hallucination he had of the sacred heart of Jesus.  He's of average intelligence, just that his entire life had been misdirected by a single hallucination, similar to Aquinas.

Had Aquinas not had such a vision and message, he may not have thought so highly of himself and put his high intellect to something much more useful than Christian apologetics. .

Here's Thomas Aquinas's tale: 

From: http://www.sspx.ca/EucharisticCrusade/2002February/St_Thomas_Aquina...

"

When Thomas’ two brothers came home from the army, they decided to teach their brother a lesson.  They sent an evil woman into the tower to tempt him towards sin!  But Thomas grabbed a piece of burning wood from the fireplace, and drove the wicked woman from the tower.   He then traced a cross upon the wall with the burning wood and kneeling down, begged God to grant him the gift of Purity until his death. 

Suddenly, Thomas went into ecstasy!  Two Angels appeared and tied a cord tightly around his waist saying, “We have come from God to give you this cord of Chastity and God has heard your prayer God has granted you the gift of Purity until your death!”  This cord, which was worn by St. Thomas until his death, is now kept as a relic, in the Monastery of Chieri in Piedmont, Italy."

Evidently a life changing hallucination, because he clung to it strongly the rest of his life.

Thus it is quite likely the entire basis of his deeds and works.

From all documents pertaining to Thomas Aquinas's life, Catholic or otherwise.

Not all. Here's one from Hampden's biography that gives a different version:

In this version it's a dream, not a hallucination. That's a bit of a difference. In any case these kinds of stories about saints are manifold and hardly constitute a solid basis for your conclusions. It's told of Saint Denis that after his head was cut off he walked into Paris carrying it in his arms and preaching the whole while. (In fact there are a number of cephalophoric saints.)

These kinds of stories about saints—visions, miracles, visitations, etc.—were told to enhance the belief of the faithful and are notoriously suspect. In fact it is so suspect that a word was coined for it: hagiography. We can't to take them seriously.

From all documents pertaining to Thomas Aquinas's life, Catholic or otherwise.

Again, not quite all. Here is a quote from G. K. Chesterton's biography of Aquinas:

After the affair of the firebrand, and the woman who tempted him in the tower, it is said that he had a dream; in which two angels girded him with a cord of fire, a thing of terrible pain and yet giving terrible strength; and he awoke with a great cry in the darkness.

There seem to be multiple versions of this story of his dream as is common in hagiography and Chesterton remarks in another place:

Needless to say, his followers and admirers were as eager to collect these strictly miraculous stories as he was to conceal them; and one or two seem to be preserved with a fairly solid setting of evidence. But there are certainly fewer of them known to the world, than in the case of many saints equally sincere and even equally modest.

Chesterton does give some credence to another story that when other faculty of the Sorbonne questioned Thomas about the mystical change in the elements of the Eucharist, he proceeded to write a careful statement after which, with the other friars watching, the figure of Christ

came down from the cross before their mortal eye; and stood upon the scroll, saying "Thomas, thou hast written well concerning the Sacrament of My Body." It was after this vision that the incident is said to have happened of his being borne up miraculously in mid-air.

Hagiographies are full of wonderful things, but it is a mistake to take them seriously. So together with the Hampden biography that makes two sources that indicate the angels came in a dream, not a hallucination.

slick talking theists try to get around this riddle but it makes sense to me. That's why I`m an atheist.

 

I recommend that everyone read  Epicurean writer Lucretius` "On the Nature of Things." Written it 50 B.C.E., its an attempt to make scientific sense of the universe by naturalistic analysis without the supernatural. Lucretius was a Roman and wrote in Latin but any interested reader can easily find an English translation.

God doesn't exist.  Period.  Nor does Superman or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.  That is the answer to Epicurus.  We can't figure out God's plan because there isn't any. 

Oh! Thank you! This conversation is getting too weird to follow. I can simply say, as you so clearly say, "We can't figure out God's plan because there isn't any."

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