Aquinas Cosmological argument essay

  • Created by: chituwa
  • Created on: 23-12-19 22:48

A cosmological argument is an inductive "a posteriori" argument. It is an argument that is based on evidence and experience and posits to prove the existence of the God of classical theism due to the existence and evidence from the universe. St Thomas Aquinas was a medieval Christian theologian that put forward his cosmological argument in his writing the "Summa Theologica". The first three ways comprise of the cosmological argument.

The first argument is from motion and change. Aquinas noted everything in the universe is in a constant state of motion. He defines motion as anything that is changing state, for example, water changing state from being solid (ice) to a liquid. If things are not in motion they are moved by another, but according to Aquinas a sequence of these movements can be traced back to the first mover that initiated the first movement. For Aquinas, it was not possible to have a series of events that go back to infinity. Instead, there must be a being that is possibly outside the universe that is itself unmoved that is the source of all other movements. Aquinas termed it as "that which all men call God". This idea was similar to Aristotle's idea of a prime mover. However, the prime mover even though the cause of all creation is unconcerned about the universe. Building on his point further, Aquinas describes how things move from potentiality to actuality. Using Aristotle's example, marble is described as a potentiality. meaning, it has the potential to change into something else. The sculptor is the efficient cause that initiates the change from potentiality to actuality. a sculpture is then the actualised state of the marble. It would not have been possible for the marble to change into a sculpture without the efficient cause which is itself unmoving and unaffected, which also expands on Aquinas idea of God as the  "unmoved mover". Another example of wood and fire is given. The fire must have an…


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