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Peter, not surprisingly, calls him out on this, saying: "Tell me, how do you know these words ever were? You use as proof and nothing more, what still needs to be proved." (103-105)
To this, the best argument that Dante offers is that the fact that Christianity spread so fast, without further miracles or proof of miracles, is the greatest miracle of all. (106-111) Despite the fact that this is an awful argument, and begs the question scarcely less than his first statement, the 'Te Deum' sounds, and Dante has passed the test.
Remembering that is is, in essence, Dante asking himself this question, why? Why ask it when he can only give so poor an answer? Why not have the pilgrim confess he has no better answer? After all, he has never demurred to admit his own failings thus far, and told us that he does not understand, words fail him, or he fears, and so on. Better yet, why not have the Pilgrim claim that it is faith (upon which he is being tested) that assures him of the truth?
I find this exchange puzzling. Is Dante the Poet trying to make us ponder the answer ourselves? Is this something with which he struggles? Or is this argument simply a default response in his time (if so, I am unaware of it)? At any rate, Dante, as such an ardent student of Aquinas, should be able to do better!
What are your thoughts here?
Let's remember that Dante started, some years ago, his otherworldly trip approximately on this night.
I think that, considering the number of members, this group could merge with the "Dantisti". one.
A fascinating question indeed!