By Joseph A Burns
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2. George, “Early Church Fathers,” page 2 of author’s manuscript. 3. Thomas O’Meara, “Christian Theology and Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life,” Theological Studies 60 (1999): 3– 30, at 8. 15 from augustine to the fifteenth century 16 antiquity to newton ages before our own, and that there will be others after it. 5 The most influential church father was Augustine (354–430), Bishop of Hippo and author of The City of God, which many scholars regard as the most outstanding treatise composed by any of the church fathers.
Following the former, Thomas suggests that the oneness of God makes it appropriate for God to create only one world, which would mirror his perfection. Similarly, following Aristotle, Thomas argues that it would be more appropriate for God to create one world because perfection is associated with order and with unity rather than diversity. In his reply to the third objection, Thomas draws on Aristotle’s argument in terms of natural place. ” 14. , XI, 10 (1076a 4). 15. Cf. St. Thomas, In De Caelo, I, lect.
1290–1349), John Buridan (d. 1358), and Nicole Oresme. What is most striking in the discussions by these three authors is that although they show themselves to be open to the possibility that God could have created a plurality of worlds and although they marshal an array of powerful rebuttals to Aristotle’s arguments against this doctrine, they all ultimately conclude against the pluralist position. The most highly regarded fourteenth-century discussion of this issue is that by Oresme, who served as tutor to 16.