Would Saint Thomas Aquinas liked lo live in the XXI century? One can answer YES he would? And why would this be? Well, because the XX/XXI century is paradise for Natural Theology. Among some other things, Saint Thomas is well-known for his proofs for the existence of God. At the end of the reasoning of each proof he says “and this is what we call God”. His sound reasoning does not resource to faith, but flies only with the wings of reason. That is why it pertains to Natural Theology.
This sort of Theology could also be called Philosophy. It stays in the realm of reason. Some, following Gottfried Leibniz (c1710), call it theodicy with diverse understanding. In any case it covers what can be called Preambula Fidei, that is what is presupposed or facilitates the act of faith. That is the sum of reasons that are explicit or more often implicit in an act.
Certainly, human reason by its own can reach the conclusion that there is a God, if reason proceeds with rightness, and distances itself from pride. This is a vice that, besides other things, is a hindrance for the intellect. The opposite, humbleness is a path that, among other things, helps the intellect to freely work and attain a reasonable knowledge of its objects. Catholic Christianity has never rejected reason. On the contrary, even if it accepts that the intellect and its powers are weakened -some will call this darkened- it also states that reason is still capable of finding its way to truth.
A bit of science fosters unbelief, a deeper and serious knowledge of science turns you to God. Examples abound. Let’s refer just one. In 2004, the great advocate of a philosophy that denies the existence of God -the so-called scientific atheism- came to say, well, really, God certainly exists!
When Antony Flew, through scientific research, reached such conclusion -God exists- many rejoiced, obviously not among them were many fundamentalist unbelievers that followed Flew in his outspoken atheism. Even if he did not yet accept Divine Revelation. In 2004 he began establishing his new position enlighten by DNA discoveries. With the question: ¨Has Science discovered God?” he removed himself from the group of atheists. He restrained himself to a natural rational conclusion, that a transcendent being, a sort of personalized intelligence was behind creation and all of its wonders. He said “the God in whose existence I have belatedly y come to believe… is the God Aristotle would have defined — had Aristotle actually produced a definition of his (and my) God —”. That is called “Deism”.
While Flew, one might say, was on the right path, but with more road to cover, he was called from this life in 2010. God, all mercy, probably will acknowledge his sincerity and his long life scientific search for Him. Can you imagine Saint Thomas engaging in a private debate with Flew the Deist? Well if that had occur God only knows if Anthony Flew with had walked the complete path to find the Creator and Savior.
So, reason can and will reach a certainty that God exists. That He is cause no caused. That He is transcendent and different from His creation. And many more qualities, that through analogy one can apply to this incredibly mighty Being.
As a side note one must say that confusing God with the world, in some sort of pantheism is not reasonable in the XX/XXI century. Scientific evidence draws attention to this. Some new age trends, the Gaia movement, Hinduism, are pantheistic hypothesis, at the most. If they are not ideologies products of ill reasoning. The human being longs for God, and seeks Him. Many hypothesis humanity has established trying to understand where we come from, what is the sense of life, where are we heading. Rational or irrational systems have aroused from the natural seeking of an answer to those inescapable questions. Pantheism is a wrong hypothesis in the wake of answering the fundamental questions.The scientific evidence shows the there is no truth in that line of pantheistic thought or belief. The scientific conclusions points to a “being” that is not of this world or universe. Confusion of God and the world is just not sound thinking.
That is what with Saint Thomas “we can call God”. Revelation of God, through nature itself, His ancient messages also encoded in ancestral myths and legends, as His outspoken word in the Old Testament, to His Incarnation from the Virginal womb of Blessed Mary, and the teachings of the Church, all help to know Him and through Jesus Christ get to love Him and be nearer to Him already in this life.of Faith. Its intellectual basis is that God can be know by the natural light of reason from created things.