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Aquinas And Edwards Essay

1510 words - 7 pages

Aquinas believes that is it reasonable to believe that something that we cannot demonstrate, but not anything only certain things. Aquinas’ arguments rely heavily on Aristotle, and unlike Anselm another philosopher who argued for the existence of God; Aquinas’ arguments are based on experience. Aquinas put together five different ways that are five separate arguments. This essay is going to go in depth about the second way (argument) that is the argument from efficient causality (cosmological argument) and Paul Edward’s objection against it.
The second way is from the nature of the efficient cause. Due to the fact that the world relies on sense, Aquinas believed that there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case that is possible where a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself, so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. As for efficient causes, it is not possible to go on to infinity because in all efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate cause, and the intermediate cause is the cause of the ultimate case. This is whether the intermediate cause is several or only one, it does not change. If you were to take away the cause it is the same as taking away the effect. If there was no first cause among the efficient causes, there will be no ultimate nor any intermediate cause. Although if it were the case that if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes. Thus, recognizing that all of which is false. Therefore it is in fact necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which Aquinas believes that everyone gives the name of God.
Aquinas argues for the existence of God through his premises and conclusions in The Second Way. He argues that everything natural has an efficient cause, the universe is something natural, that nothing can be the efficient cause of itself, that no part of a thing can be the efficient cause of the thing and that we call such thing a God. The conclusions for this are that the universe has an efficient cause, the cause of the universe cannot be the universe itself nor anything in the universe and finally that something exists, which is the cause of the universe but is not the universe of part of it. Thus, from all of this, Aquinas concludes that therefore, God exists. His meaning behind cause is an explanation and that the efficient cause is identifying the thing through which something came to be. For Aquinas to say that the universe is something natural, only an atheist would deny this, because the universe as told by Aquinas is the sum of all natural things and events and since everything in it is natural so is the sum, therefore, by denying the atheist would say that the universe is supernatural. Efficient causes cannot go on to infinity, so Aquinas thinks that we cannot rule out by reason that the universe is eternal....

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