Aquinas' Arguments for the Existence of God

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Aquinas' Arguments for the Existence of God

In Summa Theologica, Question 2, Article 3, Aquinas attempts to prove

the existence of God. He begins with two objections, which will not be

addressed here, and continues on to state five arguments for the

existence of God. I intend to show that Aquinas' first three arguments

are unsound from a scientific standpoint, through support of the Big

Bang theory of the creation of the universe.

In the first and second arguments Aquinas begins by stating that some

things change and that the changes to these things are caused by

things other than themselves. He says that a thing can change only if

it has a potentiality for being that into what it changes. Aquinas'

change is defined as taking a characteristic of an object out of

potentiality into actuality. This can only be accomplished by

something that is already in reality. He also states that an object's

property cannot be in reality and potentiality at the same time. A pot

can be actually hot and potentially cold, but it cannot be both

actually hot and potentially hot. Because of this necessity of the

object changing to be in reality while the change occurring to be in

potentiality that an object cannot change itself. He continues by

saying that for any change to occur there must have been a previous

cause that existed in reality and if one was to trace this line of

causes and effects all the way back there must be a first cause that

began the chain. But there cannot be anything worldly like that

because anything natural must have an impetus already in reality to

transform it from potentiality to reality. The only explanation, in

Aquinas' e...

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...s a cause except God. Secondly, the first and second

arguments are invalid because the way the Big Bang happened and the

universe was created was left to a good deal of chance and it would

have been illogical for God to have created it that way. If God did

create it in this form then it would be contradictory to Aquinas' idea

of a completely rational, benevolent, and omnipotent God. Aquinas'

third argument is unsound because he states that not every entity can

fail to exist, but during singularity all of the matter in the

universe is suspended in one lawless and unlocatable point. The lack

of governing laws and any way to tell where that point would have been

is proof that it may not have existed. The scientific proof of the

beginning of the universe renders Aquinas' first three arguments from

Summa Theologica unsound.
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