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The argument in question is based on whether God exists, or the overall relation of the universe’s existence. The focus of this argument will be about if the universe exists then something must have cause it to exist. whether it was by God or another unknown source that made it. There does not necessarily need to be an explanation for people who do not support this argument as the universes’ current state of existence.
I will start with some of the strengths of the argument.
One big one is the argument explains and gives reasoning for why the universe exists rather than just thinking or saying it does. People seem to use God as a sort of relief to how everything was created and gives a purpose to why the universe was made for those people who believe. Another strength was a posteriori argument.
Now what this means is, the experience we get from the universe helps us to understand certain aspects of it.
The universe is quite a mystery to people and exists for specific reasons, which helps make this a strong argument. Another reason is a lot of hard to answer questions are made understandable by the argument.
Such as, “Why is there a Universe?” Simply answered by the argument as God created the universe. The idea that God is the reasoning behind the creation of the universe is simple and that is all that needs to be explained.
Aquinas made three questions and put them out there to answer anyone who doubts God’s existence.
Aquinas had five proofs that he had concluded but his three ways are more so used for arguing the existence of God. The first way was motion. Aquinas’ first way heavily focused on the fact that the universe experiences many changes of motion which he leaded up that fact to an original creator or God. He had shown that lots of motion happens as the world is changing constantly.
Aquinas reiterated something he called the first mover, which was just through the process of change where things would change states. This chain of movers cannot continue forever however, or there would not be a first mover, such as God. He explained that God was the only one to be able to be the first mover as the most logical one. This argument helps to greatly support and explain the universe constantly changing.
Aquinas believed there had to be a first cause for such a thing, so it had to be God, according to him. He focused on there being a cause and effect existing and that all events that happened must have a starting point. He did not believe in a never-ending cause and effect chain, so he assumed there had to be a first cause. Things cannot just be brought into the world by themselves so the fact that they exist heavily supports the existence of a first cause.
The third way Aquinas focuses on God is a necessity. Because the world is seen as being dependent on something else to exist, it had to lead to something unforeseen. What about a God whom not everyone believes in, but could have undoubtedly made the universe we know today?
This can lead to the fact that because the universe was dependent on something in the past, this leads to back then there was a time nothing existed. Meaning, whatever created the universe was an external being, and was necessary or existed to build the universe. Aquinas argued constantly that this necessary being had to be God, there was no mistake. It made the most logical sense to him, without really doubting the existence of God himself.
Although Aquinas had a lot going for his argument and had a lot of promise there was a man who doubted his argument. David Hume made several arguments to Aquinas’ beliefs saying he was incoherent and illogical. He explains that Aquinas’ argument provided no proof to having causes for every event.
He goes on arguing that humans have never really had actual experience with causation. He also criticized Aquinas’ ideas on the first cause explaining it was too confusing. Hume showed that calling God a first cause made him look like he belonged with all other finite beings. Hume also points out that Aquinas’ idea of a first cause was again, no proof, because there no way to show that God was the first cause or if there should even be only one first cause.
Aquinas’ never explains any qualities that God should show as a first cause. Hume saw this, and counter argued that his idea was illogical. Also, simply saying the entire universe was just a cause made no sense to Hume as well. You cannot claim something is a cause, just because you think everything else has a cause Hume goes on to argue.
Today’s experts in science can now accurately infer that the universe could have came into existence randomly going against what Aquinas thought. I believe this argument had beaten down Aquinas’ view and thoughts on a first cause being the reason the universe exists today, and successfully defeating his prior beliefs.?
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