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Arguments For or Against the Existence of God - Essay Example

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Arguments against Thomas Aquinas’ Cosmological Proof of God’s Existence Name Subject Teacher Date               Arguments against Thomas Aquinas’ Cosmological Proof of God’s Existence The 13th century saint and philosopher Thomas Aquinas has laid the foundation of the cosmological proof of God’s existence, or the existence of God as the First Uncaused Cause in a series of causes…
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Arguments For or Against the Existence of God

Mainly, the argument is based on induction. It begins with Aquinas believing that there is an order of “efficient causes” in this world (Reichenbach, 2012). This means that causality exists in this world and that this causality has a particular order, where one thing causes another and this caused thing also causes another thing. Aquinas then proceeds by assuming that nothing can cause itself because it would be impossible for it to be prior to itself. This then leads Aquinas to think that everything is caused by another thing other than itself (Reichenbach, 2012). This part of the argument is rather self-explanatory but Aquinas makes it clear to his audience that causality works and that the law of causality exempts nothing. He also makes it clear that in this series of causes, it is impossible for one event to cause itself, or for one thing to cause its own existence. Aquinas is doing this while at the same time leading his reader to believe that there must be one cause that first caused all these series of causes but that this cause itself was not caused by any other cause. He does this while somehow postulating that only God can cause Itself to exist. Moreover, the significance of this particular assumption is that if one thing can cause itself, then there would not be any first cause, for if one thing could cause itself, then there would not be any need for this first cause to cause the event next to it. In short, if a cause could cause itself, then each cause could be independent of each other and there would be no series. Aquinas then assumes and states that in matters of efficient cause, it is not possible to go to infinity (Reichenbach, 2012). The purpose of this part of the argument is to convince the reader that there must have been a definite beginning to this series of causes. Otherwise, if this series of causes went on to infinity, then there would not be any first cause but only an endless series of causes. However, without giving any proof or any other insight, Aquinas somehow just considers this assumption on the absence of infinity a priori, and expects his audience to simply just accept this. What Aquinas has presented instead in order to prove his statement that it is possible to go to infinity with matters of efficient cause is rather an ontological proof. This proof is that, if there were an infinite number of causes, then there would neither be a “first efficient cause” nor an “ultimate effect” (Reichenbach, 2012). However, since these two things exist in nature and in reality, then there must not be an infinite series of causes. The last part of the argument is when Aquinas states that it is therefore necessary to admit a “first efficient cause,” which Aquinas believes everyone would call God. In summary, therefore, the argument of Aquinas, therefore, is that causality exists and that one thing causes another but cannot cause itself. This is to discount the possibility that an event is dependent on its own cause and is therefore independent of adjacent causes. Moreover, Aquinas assumes that it would not be possible for a series of causes to go on infinity, and he does this for the same reason that he assumes that one thing cannot cause itself. He then also proves ontologically that if there were an ... Read More
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