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Unformatted text preview: Thomas Aquinas: Cosmological/Teleological Arguments January 30, 2009 A posteriori arguments for the existence of God o Recap o Aquinas (Summa Theologica) tries to prove the existence of God with a posteriori arguments o The first way involves our observation of motion in the world o The third way will involve observation of the modal properties of the entities in the world o The fifth way will involve observation and the apparent harmony of the world o Third Way: Modality o Modality involves notions of possibility and necessity Take ‘q’ If q possibly exists, then there is some possible world in which it is true that q exists Take ‘r’ If r necessarily exists, then r exists in every possible world o Aquinas wants to prove that a necessary being exists (by referring to experience) o Because the third way is complicated, we can divide the argument into two steps Ugh! • A proof that there is a necessary being God is necessary • Once we’ve proven that there is a necessary being, we will prove that it must be God The Third Way: Prove That Something Necessarily Exists Reader Page 61 1. Some things possibly do and don’t exist (observation) 2. If something possibly does and doesn’t exist, then at some time it does not exist (intuition) 3. There is a time when some things do not exist (1, 2) 4. If everything possibly exists, then it is possible that there was a time when nothing...
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- Spring '08