Thomas Aquinas Like Maimonides, Aquinas wanted to combine Aristotelian philosophy with the biblical idea of the creation of the world in time. He very explicitly sets up the dilemma (pp. 31-32): either the world began to exist at some point in the past, or it is eternal. If the world began to exist, then it is obvious that there must be an eternal first cause that brought it into existence. If the world is eternal, then we can turn to Aristotle's arguments and still demonstrate that an uncaused first cause must exist. Aquinas has three versions of the cosmological argument: from motion, from efficient cause (which seems to be the argument from the actualization of potential), and from contingent existence. These arguments follow closely the patterns set by Aristotle and al-Farabi. In particular, Aquinas relies heavily on the rejection of infinite regresses, and his reasons for this rejection are simply those of Plato and Aristotle. Closure
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