It seems my little spat with Dan Peterson got picked up by someone of the Eastern Orthodox perspective with a Mormon background. I was glad to see they also took issue with Aristotelian/Thomistic/Classical Theism getting shafted to make a poor point. I am by no means a philosophical ally of the previously mentioned philosophies, but to disregard them is to do so at one’s own peril. Some of the best metaphysics done in all of Western history were done by the scholastics, and every student of philosophy and theology should make use of them. Here are the relevant bits:
It seems that I was not the only person who took issue with Peterson and Hamblin’s last Deseret News piece. Peterson just posted a response to a critic of the piece, whom Peterson describes as a member of a primarily atheistic message board where he is regularly defamed. Now I don’t know the nature of this critic’s arguments, but Peterson sent his piece to a friend who is an expert in Aristotle just to see what the expert would say. The expert confirmed that Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover only contemplates itself and does not “love” its creation or the rest of the universe.
Now I did admit that Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover was like this, but my objection to the article (which I tried to post on Peterson’s blog, but my comment hasn’t gone up yet – perhaps Peterson just lumped my criticism in with his harsh atheistic critics, or perhaps he doesn’t allow critical comments on his site at all, or perhaps he simply overlooked it) was not that his portrayal of Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover was incorrect, but that he was mis-portraying the role of the Unmoved Mover in the larger classical theistic tradition. Aristotle, of course, had no need to reconcile his Unmoved Mover with the Biblical God, but later Christian thinkers did.