By Averroes, Simon Van Den Bergh
The Incoherence of the Incoherence, Volumes I and II, translated from the Arabic.
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Additional info for Averroes' Tahafut Al-Tahafut (The Incoherence of the Incoherence) Volumes I and II
But you, reader of this book, you have already heard the arguments of the philosophers to establish the eternity of the world and the refutation of the Ash'arites. Now hear the proofs of the Ash'arites for their refutation and hear the arguments of the philosophers to refute those proofs in the wording of Ghazaliif I say. This is in brief that, if you imagine two circular movements in one and the same finite time and imagine then a limited part of these movements in one and the same finite time, the proportion between I he parts of these two circular movements and between their wholes will be the same.
And his adversaries insist on these two very points: (1) that the act of the agent necessarily implies a change 4 and that each change has •1 principle which causes it; (2) that the Eternal cannot change in any way. But all this is difficult to prove. 5 T h e Ash'arites are forced to assume either a first agent or a first act of this agent, for they cannot admit that the disposition of the agent, relative to the effect, when he acts is the same as his disposition, when he does not act. 6 This implies therefore a new disposition or a new relation, and this necessarily either in the agent, or in the clfect, or in both.
Both the philosophers and theologians apply to God the theory that His will and knowledge differ from human will and knowledge in that they are creative principles and essentially beyond understanding; both admit that (he Divine cannot be measured by the standards of man. But this, in fact, implies an avowal of our complete ignorance in face of the Mystery of God. Still, for both parties God is the supreme Artifex who in His wisdom has chosen the best of all possible worlds; for although the philosophers affirm also that God acts only by natural necessity, their system, like that of their predecessors, the Platonists, Peripatetics, and Stoics, is essentially teleological.
Averroes' Tahafut Al-Tahafut (The Incoherence of the Incoherence) Volumes I and II by Averroes, Simon Van Den Bergh