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notes2 - Aquinas was an Aristotelian incorporates...

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Aquinas was an Aristotelian, incorporates terminology and arguments in own philosophy Grand synthesis, brought a lot of different strands together, familiar with writings of church father Denies possibility of an infinite regress, need to cut it off. Point at which we cut it off is god Begins by entertaining doubts, calls attention to problems, specifically the problem of evil, the problem of naturalistic explanation TEST everything that happens can be explained in reference to this world, don’t need to go to a supernatural definition (then what is the relevance) Says that “I answer that,” doesn’t think these things can’t be overcome For Aquinas, if these arguments work then we have knowledge of god In regards to god’s attributes, all you need is reason God: omnipotence, omniscience, Creator ex nihilo, infinitely good, these things hard to reconcile with existence of evil Two versions of problem of evil, secular version and theological version. First one is essentially, why do bad things happen to good people, why do the just suffer and evil prosper? Problem arises whether or not you believe in god Can say he’s not omnipotent (process theologians) “Imagine a creator who is omnipotent and omniscient, but he’s not all good. He gets his jollies by sticking it to us.” Problem of naturalistic explanation: if we can explain everything that can be explained through natural causes, we can rest content with these, no need to go to supernatural causes, wouldn’t prove non existence, would only make god irrelevant, would have practical ramifications Hume insists on adequacy of natural explanation, Aquinas insists on supernatural In order for something to be moved, it needs to be moved by something else Infinite regress : to move back either chronologically or conceptually, there is no prior some things are in motion, nothing moves itself First three are cosmological cosmos : the orderly universe. Begin in sense experience, all involve blocking the infinite regress, when you come to the conclusion you come to god as the first cause fifth way is the teleological argument, doesn’t involve an infinite regress Aquinas is calling attention to Aristotle’s four causes. Consider a sculpture o Formal: the shape, form, thing that it ultimately is to become o Final: purpose of the thing (maybe aesthetic if it’s a sculpture) o Material: something to work on, with o Efficient: agent that brought the thing into being Look around in nature, a lot of things exists but they do not have to exist Aquinas wants us to understand the cosmological argument hierarchically, not chronologically
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Augustine: 1) Deny existence of evil, evil is a whole in the fabric of being, evil is a negation of the positive 2) Free will defense 3) “end of the day” solution, what we observe now is necessary for god to accomplish his purposes A couple of devastating criticisms of the “end of the day argument” no reason to
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