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Critical Analysis of Thomas Aquinas’ Arguments on The Existence of God

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Aquinas said that everything in existence is moving and to enter an object into motion, it would need something to do enter it. Consequently, everything that is moving must have been set into motion by something else that was moving. Therefore, something must have started the motion. He explained that this principle could be applied to time and events, so a certain event couldn’t occur without something else or some other event making it occur. He disagreed with the term ‘Infinite Regress’, an Infinite Regress implies that any event began with nothing starting it (or pushing it into motion) and it theoretically could have been going on forever. Aquinas believed in that the world must have had a beginning as it would have meant the world (or universe) never had something start it but it was always there forever, for and from eternity. Aquinas then said that the being that started the motion had to be a deity, God. This was his first argument: ‘The Argument from Motion’.

His second argument was ‘The Argument from Causation’, this one varied slightly from ‘The Argument from Motion’ as it talked about the reason for cause. Aquinas said that many things are caused and that whatever is caused had to be caused by something else as something cannot cause himself (there cannot be an infinite regress of causes). He then said that there should be a first causer, something/someone that caused everything and that it was God.

Thomas Aquinas believed that many things could be contingent however not everything. The meaning of contingent is where something could easily have not existed and having everything be contingent would be merely impossible. Aquinas said that an infinite regress of contingency (the possibility that nothing at all would have existed) would be impossible. A contingent being is a being that could not have existed, the opposite of that is a necessary being and the only necessary being that could come from this argument is God.

He also believed in the right form of comparison by degree. What someone might perceive as good could be distinguished as bad by someone else. Aquinas believed that assets came in degrees and that for there to be a perception of perfection, there should be something for it to be measured against to judge, God is therefore the only viable perfection. This should be possible as all comparisons between articles and objects are deemed due to a comparison between the article and a pinnacle, the judgement of how good or bad something is would then be made by making (in this case) God, the article that cannot be improved (a grade A), and the article being compared upon in comparison to see how it levels out when compared to God.

The teleological argument states that any object, organism or thing should have a designer. It was first put forward by Italian philosopher, St. Thomas Aquinas, who argued that the self-evident complexity and order of the universe is proof of their being a higher designer and that designer was God.

English philosopher and clergymen, William Paley, further added to this point and argument and included a famous analogy describing how Paley found a watch on the ground while taking a walk, he admired the complexity of the watch; due to the complexity and detail of the watch, he assumed that it must have had a designer and couldn’t have come into existence by chance. This principle could be used to describe the existence of the Earth, humans, galaxies etc. These creations could not be here by chance, they needed to have a “designer” and the attainable answer would be that the “designer” is God.

I feel like none of Aquinas’ arguments prove the existence of the type of God humans worship and follow. Theists believe in a personal and loving god which is not what is necessarily portrayed in his arguments, the image painted by his arguments have little in common with a God that supposedly answers prayers, cares about his creations, prevents the unwanted and unconditionally loves everyone.

In my opinion, due to the vast contrast in Aquinas’ version of God (or what his version has come across to us) it doesn’t make such a noticeable difference in the question proving or disproving God’s existence.

In recent years, scientific realisations and proven evidence have pushed orthodox religious followers to the to the tip of the iceberg, there have been many instances where science has blatantly proved religion falsely concocted. There has been intensifying evidence that further proves the theory of evolution and the process of natural selection. There are many modest Christians that also support and conclude their belief in the Big Bang Theory and that also occupy their life with the profession of being scientists. They are often met with confusion and criticism due to the contrast between the two and how they could meet a sensible and feasible conclusion of beliefs. I feel like Christians use extra scientific evidence as something that God created and that therefore God would be responsible any advancements in science including the Big Bang Theory.

Non-religious people may feel like Science is much more ‘trustworthy’ or ‘reliable’ than Religion however an atheist probably would feel why theists have the mindset that they do.

Controversial ethologist, biologist and author, Richard Dawkins, has an argument that I feel would sum up the perspective of an atheist. Dawkins has very publicly spoken about his support for atheism and his belief for why theists believe the way they do. He said that he feels that religious people use religion as a type of safety blanket to comfort them away from the unknown or hurt and pain, he gave an example of a grieving mother who had lost her son, the mother would pray that her son would get sent to heaven; this clearly shows the mother using her belief in God and her influence in religion to comfort and guard herself due to the recent loss of her son. I strongly agree with Dawkins with this point.

In my opinion, I feel like Science and Religion have an ongoing conflict between morals and beliefs that will not be solved any time soon. Personally, I believe that Science have many more theories and arguments for it than religion as Science is based upon certainty and facts however I feel like Religion is moral and belief system built up around the credit of century-old myths that don’t have any creditable information that could be taken as proof or fact. Religion has many uses, comfort, safeguarding, giving answers to unknown questions along with filling in the blanks. Until, we search and eventually figure out all of the answers, Religion will continue to be the safety blanket and Science will continue to be full of ‘theories’, theists will rely on this safeguarding mentality and technique to live a mentally sound and answered life where all of their blanks are filled.     

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Critical Analysis Of Thomas Aquinas’ Arguments On The Existence Of God. (2022, April 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 8, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/critical-analysis-of-thomas-aquinas-arguments-on-the-existence-of-god/
“Critical Analysis Of Thomas Aquinas’ Arguments On The Existence Of God.” GradesFixer, 11 Apr. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/critical-analysis-of-thomas-aquinas-arguments-on-the-existence-of-god/
Critical Analysis Of Thomas Aquinas’ Arguments On The Existence Of God. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/critical-analysis-of-thomas-aquinas-arguments-on-the-existence-of-god/> [Accessed 8 Dec. 2022].
Critical Analysis Of Thomas Aquinas’ Arguments On The Existence Of God [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Apr 11 [cited 2022 Dec 8]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/critical-analysis-of-thomas-aquinas-arguments-on-the-existence-of-god/
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