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Thomas Aquinas’ weakest argument is, without a doubt, the argument from gradation. In Aquinas’ 4th method, God is specified as the Outright Being which, in a sense, is utilized as a yardstick for the measurement of all qualities. There is a belief that some things are much better than others, which can be used to all things, however can it truly be applied to everything? Is one increased better than another if equal in age and care? Who identifies which one is much better? If there were 2 identical twins, is one much better than the other? Aquinas believed that things are good only in proportion to how carefully they look like that which he considers perfect.
Therefore, if there is nothing that is ideal, there can be nothing that is excellent. But this is not necessarily real. Who specifies perfection? Isn’t the concept of perfection based upon the qualities and standard set by the beholder? Is God deemed best through the eyes of a Satanists? What if a Satanist’s view of perfection is directly opposite? Aquinas’ goes on to state that if anything is excellent, there should be something that is ideal, and with this in mind, Thomas Aquinas stated, “For that reason there need to also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God.
” Once again, this is not necessarily real. Perfection remains in the eye of the beholder. Aquinas thought that all things in our experience should have some degree of perfection in order to exist, however this is not real.
Put simply, if there is a God that is absolutely 100% perfect, then one should accept that there is something else that is absolutely 100% imperfect. If this is true, then it has absolutely no degree of perfection which negates Aquinas’ belief. In addition, who determines the perfection of God?
And if one agrees that the perfection of God cannot be measured, then one must accept that God does not exist. Aquinas believed that all things that exist display gradations from greater to lesser perfection, but this is not true. Can fire have a gradation from greater to lesser perfection? Once again, who determines or defines what is great and what is not? And if Aquinas uses this to prove the existence of God, he is simultaneously proving the existence of something that is completely opposite of God, something completely not good, completely evil; Satan.
There is a gradation that we find among things from more to less and vice versa. Just as Aquinas believes that everything that exists possesses some degree of perfection, there must be a being that is the cause of the death, destruction, chaos, evil, and any other imperfection of creatures; Satan. Simply put, this is the weakest argument of Thomas Aquinas’ Five Ways to prove the existence of God. It leaves to many openings for criticism and skepticism.
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