Philosophy essay 09/02/2015
a) Explain the cosmological argument (25 marks)
a) St Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican friar and priest who produced a large amount of writing attempted to prove the existence of God. He was most well know for this through his book 'Summa Theologica' which was left unfinished when he died. Within this book he explains the 'five ways', which he used to try and prove the existence of God.
Aquinas though of the 'five ways' in order to try to prove and explain the existence of God. Within this concept it is the first three of the five ways that have been used to form the cosmological argument. Aquinas has said that it may not be possible to prove that the universe came into existence. This is supported in his book ...view middle of the document...
He called this the 'Prime mover', the prime mover he described to be unmoved itself. As everything in existence has to be moved by something else and therefore must be linked back to the prime mover.
The second way Aquinas said identifies a series of causes and effects that occur within the universe. In this part of the argument Aquinas observed that noting was able to cause itself and therefore something would have had to exist before that existed. This become a problem for Aquinas as he rejected the idea that there was a series of infinite causes. He rejected this because he said that there must have been a first uncaused cause. Aquinas used this theory to suggest that the first causers would have then caused the other causes and so on. Aquinas said that the first causer must have been God.
Aquinas said that the third way was about the contingency of the matter that is in the universe. He based this idea on the fact that things come into existence and then later do not exist anymore. Aquinas argued the fact if there was a time when noting existed then nothing would still exist. Therefore he argued that there must have been something that existed that was external to the universe to cause the universe to happen. Aquinas's idea was that there must have been a 'necessary being' that was able to bring everything else into existence. Aquinas argued that this necessary being must have been God because if it was not God then nothing else would exist.
In conclusion to this Aquinas uses the idea of the cosmological argument to help to explain and prove the idea of God. He does this in such a way that mean people are able to look over the different elements of this and be able to explain how the cosmological argument is able to prove the existence of God.