St. Thomas Aquinas

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St. Thomas Aquinas

Proponent of Scholasticism which attempted to reconcile ancient philosophy with Christian theology
Reason can prove the existence of God, but not the Trinity or Incarnation.

Theory of Universals:

-Universals have a being only in material objects
-Universals do not exist apart from material objects because we know of them only through sensory impressions of material objects

Aquinas's Five Ways—arguments demonstrating the existence of God
1: The Argument from Motion

Objects are in motion.
If something is in motion, then it must be caused to be in motion by something outside of itself.
There can be no infinite chain of movers/movees.
So, there is a first, unmoved mover.
So, God exists.

Aquinas's Five Ways—arguments demonstrating the existence of God
2:Second Way: The Arg. from Causality

Some events cause other events.
If an event happens, then it must be caused by something outside of itself.
There can be no infinite cause/effect chains.
So, there is a first, uncaused cause.
So, God exists.

Aquinas's Five Ways—arguments demonstrating the existence of God
3: Third Way: The Argument from Contingent and Necessary Objects

Contingent things exist.
Each contingent thing has a time at which it fails to exist.
So, if everything were contingent, there would be a time at which nothing exists.
If the world were empty at one time, it would be empty forever after.
So, if everything were contingent, nothing would exist now.
But clearly, the world is not empty.
So, there exists a being who is not contingent.
So, God exists.

Aquinas's Five Ways—arguments demonstrating the existence of God
4: The Arg. from Degrees

Objects have properties to greater or lesser extents.
If an object has a property to a lesser extent, then there exists some other object that has the property to the maximum degree.
So, there is an entity that has all properties to the maximum degree.
So, God exists.

Aquinas's Five Ways—arguments demonstrating the existence of God
5: The Argument from Design

Among objects that act for an end, some have minds, whereas others do not.
An object that acts for an end, but does not itself have a mind, must have been created by a being that has a mind.
So, there exists a being with a mind who designed all mindless objects that act for an end.
So, God exists.

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