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August 02,

Students walk on campus

On the heels of a busy Thursday night came a pensive Friday morning, as members of the New England High School Summer Program began the day considering Pascal’s famous “Wager.” The opening question was, “What is a wager,” and moved from there to discussions of the finite vs. the infinite, the difference between pleasure and true happiness, the existence of objective truth and morality, and whether we are capable of recognizing them.

More important, is faith reasonable? Can one reason one’s way to the existence of God — or is supernatural revelation necessary? These questions dominated the conversation at Friday’s fish-and-chips lunch in Gould Hall. It was a good preparation for what would follow in the afternoon class,  where students considered two readings: French naturalist J. Henri Fabre’s detailed account of the workings of bees and St. Thomas Aquinas’ fifth proof for the existence of God, the argument from design.

Students eat lunch

Bees, students learned from reading Fabre’s meticulous descriptions of their activities, are expert geometricians because they are moved by a heavenly geometer: Every part of their bodies— from their antennae, to their stomachs, to their cells — has a purpose. The beauty and complexity of this order, the classes found, contradicted the Pre-Socratics’ presumption of a meaningless universe, while lending support to St. Thomas’ argument that the presence of a design requires a designer.

Students walk by chapel

Speaking of the Designer, we were able to secure a brief clip of the student choir singing “Adoramus Te” at yesterday’s Mass:

Pretty good for a group that has only had two practices! The choir should be in great shape in time for Sunday!

Students on  walkway