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the mind game

By w872117 Dec 09, 2013 1141 Words

The argument on whether god does or does not exist has been the topic of a lot of heated debates in these recent years. With the growing number of independent thinkers in todays society, the question still remains “Does God really exist”? Philosophers have contemplated and presented different arguments attempting to explain the question, “Does God Exist?” for hundreds of years there hasn’t been any rock solid proof that God does or does not exist. It is my opinion that the strongest argument for his existence is Saint Thomas Aquinas “The Existence of God” argument when compared to Saint Anslem “The Ontological Argument” and William Paley’s “Natural Theology” design argument. In my paper, I will argue for the existence of god based on Saint Thomas Aquinas’s “The Existence of God”, Saint Anslems’s “The Ontological Argument”, and William Paley’s “Natural Theology” argument. St. Thomas Aquinas was a Dominican priest and philosopher. He was also known as the Doctor Angelicus or the Angelic Doctor. Aquinas is considered one of the greatest Christian philosophers to have ever lived. His two most famous works are “The Summa Theologiae” and “The Summa Contra Gentiles”. They are the finest examples of his work on Christian philosophy. Of all the philosophical arguments that attempt to provide proof that God exists, the cosmological argument is one of my favorites. The cosmological argument states “something we call the universe exists, regardless of how we might choose to characterize what it is we refer to as the universe”. If the universe exists, something had to bring it into existence. Furthermore, if the universe exists, and something therefore had to cause the universe to exist, then that first cause must exist. The only thing that could qualify as this first cause is God. Therefore, God exists. And of the different versions of the cosmological argument, it is St. Thomas Aquinos argument that provides the strength. Studying the works of Greek philosopher Aristole, St. Thomas Aquinas concluded from common observation that an object that is in motion is put in motion by some other object or force. Aquinas believes that ultimately there must have been an unmoved mover (GOD) who first put things in motion. Aquinas starts from a posteriori position. For Aquinas, motion includes any kind of change or growth. Aquinas argues that the natural condition is for things to be at rest. Something that is moving is therefore unnatural and must have been put into that state by some external supernatural power. Aquinas goes on to explain that nothing can be the cause of itself or nothing can create itself. This leads us to the causation of existence. One of St. Thomas Aquinas arguments is known as Efficient cause. Everything has a cause and nothing could happen with out one. Aquinas explains that it is impossible for anything to have its own cause. If something were to have its own cause it would have had to already exist, which would be impossible. Even if you were to believe in the Big Bang theory there has to be a first efficient cause. Aquinas gives the first efficient cause the name God. This Way deals with the issue of existence. Common sense observation tells us that no object creates itself. In other words, some previous object had to create it. Aquinas believed that there must have been an uncaused first cause (GOD) who began the existence for all things. This leads us to our third way of existence, contingent and necessary objects. This is another argument that furthers my case that God does exist. Aquinas states there are two types of objects in the universe; contigent beings and nessecary beings. A contingent being is an object that cannot exist without a necessary being causing its existence. Aquinas believed that contingent beings would ultimately necessitate a being which must exist for all of the contingent beings to exist. This being, called a necessary being, is what we call God. The fourth of five ways Aquinas uses to in his argument of the existence of god is The Argument from Degrees and Perfection. St. Thomas formed this from an interesting observation about the qualities of things. For example, one may say that of two young ladies one is more beautiful than the other. So for these two women, one has a greater degree of beauty than the next. Aquinas referred to this as degrees or gradation of a quality. From this Aquinas concluded that for any given quality there must be a perfect standard by which qualities are measured. These perfections are contained in God. The last of the five arguments from Aquinas deals with intelligent design. What St. Thomas Aquinas speaks of has to do with the observation of the universe and the order of nature. Aquinas states that common sense tells us that the universe works in such a way, that one can assume that is was designed by an intelligent designer, God. In other words, all physical laws and the order of nature and life were designed and ordered by God, the intelligent designer. This also ties into William Paley’s “Natural Theology”. He states that everything has been designed to fulfill some function. In “Natural Theology” Paley uses a stone and a watch as an analogy for the design theory. “In crossing a heath, suppose I pitched my foot against a stone, and were asked how the stone came to be there; I might possibly answer, that, for anything I knew to the contrary , it had lain there forever: not would it perhaps be very easy to show the absurdity of this answer. But suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place; I should hardly think of the answer which I had before given, that, for anything I knew, the watch might have alwas been there…For this reason, and for no other we perceive that its several parts are framed and put together for a purpose. That they are so formed and adjusted as to produce motion, and that motion is regulated as to point out the hour of the day; that if the different parts had been differently shaped from what they are, of a different size from what they are, or placed after any other manner, or in any other order, than that in which they are placed, either no motion at all would have answered the use that is now served by it”. In essence the watch could not have came into existence by accident. There has to be something responsible for the creation or design of the watch. The same goes for the universe and its intricate design. the universe could not come about by accident. The universe itself is proof of an intelligent designer.

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