Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Measure of Truth

So, the conversation around the water cooler these days is whether, to borrow a line from a Disney movie, all dogs go to heaven. Actually, it's not really about dogs, but about all of creation. Here's the question: are only human beings redeemed, or is all of creation redeemed?

A certain rather famous Dominican, drawing from Aristotelian biology, reflected that, although all animals have souls, only the human animal has a rational soul, and only rational souls can subsist without bodies. Ergo, sorry Fido.

But, some of us have argued, what about the lion lying down with the lamb? Isn't there something about this famous eschatological image that seems to promise that animals are part of the restoration? Isn't all creation groaning, yearning for its healing?

No, the Thomists have answered. Those are metaphors. What are you, a fundamentalist?

Well, I think that if it comes down to Thomas or the Bible, I will take the Bible. But I have to say that I like to image that they are more sympatico than not.

It's also more than a little disconcerting--and I've witnessed it twice now--to watch a Thomist completely dismiss the Bible insofar as it may seem to be different from Thomas. It's clear what the measure of truth is around here.