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From the Notebooks

Averroes (1126-1198): Islamic Aristotelian. His relentless pursuit of natural reason in the name of Aristotle would have squashed many of the revealed truths of God. If Aristotle said it, it was true, regardless of what revealed "truths" said. The simple people should follow religion; the philosophers follow reason: it's a good arrangement because (i) it brings social order and (ii) the truths revealed by religion and philosophy are generally similar. But when they disagree, philosophy is superior. St. Thomas tempered Averroes' "philosophy is absolute king" teachings, but the Averroes scare and subsequent mistrust of reason/philosophy was felt after St. Thomas' synthesis.

Averroes taught that religion prompts people to live civilly; it gives social order to those who are not intelligent to know the highest truths (e.g. men should subdue the passions). This appears to be a Marxist "opiate of the masses" view of religion, but Averroes also accepted the truth of revelation (except in the few areas it disagreed with Aristotle).

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