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Essay%201--Part%201 - Topic: A Proof of the Existence of...

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Topic: A Proof of the Existence of God Based on the Idea of Necessary Beings and Contingent Beings The following proof of the existence of God combines some ideas found in related arguments that different authors have offered, but it is based mainly upon a combination of St. Thomas Aquinas's third proof of the existence of God, and an argument set out by John Duns Scotus. "One way of proving the existence of God turns upon the distinction between necessary beings and contingent beings. Let me begin by explaining, then, that distinction. The objects that one encounters in the world of space and time are such that their existence is not necessary, and one can easily imagine their not existing. But one can also say something stronger - namely, that all of the things that exist in the world of space and time have a tendency to cease to exist, a tendency to break apart, to undergo destruction. Let us define, then, a contingent being as one whose nature is such that it involves a tendency to cease to exist. A necessary being, on the other hand, will be anything that, either because of its own nature, or because of its relation to some other thing, cannot cease to exist. Given this distinction, the first question we need to consider is whether it is possible that absolutely everything is a contingent being, and when we do this, we can see that this is not possible. In the first place, if something involves an inherent tendency not to exist, then at some point it will cease to exist. Assume, then, that everything is a
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course PHIL 3480 taught by Professor Potter during the Winter '08 term at Colorado.

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Essay%201--Part%201 - Topic: A Proof of the Existence of...

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