Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Some questions on the City of God

It is peculiar that, on the one hand, St. Augustine's demonology justifies itself on the basis of a syllogism in which Christians draw the conclusion, while in other cases, he takes it to be more characteristic of the Christian habit of theological virtue either to resist the conclusion of a syllogism or to defer the scientific pursuit of a middle term. What determines the Christian position with regard to a particular syllogism? Why does the contradiction of divine foreknowledge and human freedom not force something to give by the rules of hypothetical deduction? Why by contrast is the arbitrariness of a beginning of the world in infinite time decisively contradictory to the divine will? Or how can the essence of the divine justice of history, which indubitably exists as the middle term of a syllogism, be withheld for the final judgment?

Evidently, the role of logic in The City of God is not as determinate as might appear from any particular passage.