Atheists, have you heard of Aquinas?

I am genuinely curious whether many atheists have heard of Aqunas' proofs for God. If you have heard of them, what did you think? If not here is a link. Tell me your thoughts.

http://web.mnstate.edu/gracyk/courses/web%20publis...

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  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yep.

    He's a tool, and his arguments are all just tautologies.

  • 7 years ago

    The third way (at least, in the way presented) is a fallacy. He makes the modal fallacy of importing "there *is* ..." from "there *could* be ...." (specifically in relation to the possibility of nothing existing).

    The others are more or less valid (except for the conclusions; I'll get to that later), but there are several questionable assumptions. The first two are essentially two variations on First Cause arguments. He makes the questionable assumption of there not being an infinite chain of motions or causes; something which is difficult to justify.

    The fourth way has the remarkable property of every assumption/step being false. The fifth way is almost as bad (assumption 2 is OK).

    As for the problem with the conclusions, he uses 5 different definitions for God, and does not justify their equivalence. How do I know that the first movement was caused by the first cause, which is the only being to exist necessarily (no argument was provided to uniqueness here either!), which is maximally good, and which directs all things to their end? Why can these not be separate entities? For that matter, why is it his god, and not someone else's? Why would the Bible be accurate, over any other religious text?

    It's for reasons like these that I consider these kinds of arguments to be begging the question: if you don't already accept the conclusion, you're not going to ever be convinced by them.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    were you attempting to refer to St. Thomas Aquinas

    I am antiquated with his claims...

    Aquinas aka "Dumb Ox"

    His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy was conceived in development or refutation of his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law, metaphysics, and political theory.

    Bertrand Russell criticized Aquinas' philosophy on the ground that

    He does not, like the Platonic Socrates, set out to follow wherever the argument may lead. He is not engaged in an inquiry, the result of which it is impossible to know in advance. Before he begins to philosophize, he already knows the truth; it is declared in the Catholic faith. If he can find apparently rational arguments for some parts of the faith, so much the better; if he cannot, he need only fall back on revelation. The finding of arguments for a conclusion given in advance is not philosophy, but special pleading. I cannot, therefore, feel that he deserves to be put on a level with the best philosophers either of Greece or of modern times.

    This critique is illustrated on the following examples: According to Russell, Aquinas advocates the indissolubility of marriage "on the ground that the father is useful in the education of the children, (a) because he is more rational than the mother, (b) because, being stronger, he is better able to inflict physical punishment." Even though modern approaches to education do not support these views, "no follower of Saint Thomas would, on that account, cease to believe in lifelong monogamy, because the real grounds of belief are not those which are alleged." It may be countered that the treatment of matrimony in the Summa Theologica is in the Supplements volume, which was not written by Aquinas. Moreover, as noted above, Aquinas's introduction of arguments and concepts from the pagan Aristotle and Muslim Averroes was not uncontroversial within the Catholic church.

    Aquinas' views of God as first cause, cf. quinque viae, "depend upon the supposed impossibility of a series having no first term. Every mathematician knows that there is no such impossibility; the series of negative integers ending with minus one is an instance to the contrary." Moreover, according to Russell, statements regarding God's essence and existence that are reached within the Aristotelian logic are based on "some kind of syntactical confusion, without which much of the argumentation about God would lose its plausibility."

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Sure, he's part of 1st year logic (as well as any decent survey course of western civilization).

    As for his proof...they share the exact same fault as all other logical proofs for God -- they are simply a way of preaching to the choir. He makes a sequence of assertions that seem to make sense for a person in the dark ages, but they have absolutely no bearing on any actual scientific discoveries.

    For example, the final assertion...WHY would I understand that to be God? He gives no reason. If you basically assume there is a God, then something like this triggers an, "Oh yeah, totally!" response, but if you don't have a basic sense of God -- and for that matter, the monotheistic God of Aquinas -- then the assertion is meaningless.

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  • 4 years ago

    The "top mover" argument does not set up a definition of god nor does it help any specific faith. the 2d section "each thing that strikes is placed into action by some thing else" is surely an assumption that doesn't inevitably have something to do with the scientific findings bearing directly to the inspiration of the universe in short Thomas Aquinas and his top mover argument are often handed over in the present day by serious researchers

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    He was able to convince stupid people...

    "I've been cruising this planet for over 60 years.

    IF God existed he would know what sort of evidence would convince me of his existence… if he wanted me to know it ;)

    So far?

    Nothing; nada; zilch."

    I suppose HE either doesn't care about ME in any way whatsoever…

    OR

    God is imaginary... I'm going with the latter.

    I’m 100% certain god is imaginary.

    If he really existed he would have found a way to convince me he exists.

    Obviously he hasn't cos just as obviously he doesn't.

    If you wanted to convince someone you existed, what lengths would you go to?

    Would you drop a few seriously ambiguous ‘clues’... OR, introduce yourself.

    Seriously - this has SCAM written all over it.

    And-Or

    Pretend you were some place and you were invisible – let’s say 50% of the inhabitants “knew” and “loved” you – let’s say you wanted the other 50% of the inhabitants to “know” and “love” you too… cos you really do love them all soooo unconditionally…

    What lengths would you go to convince them?

    Seriously - this has BOOLSHYT written all over it.

    And-OR

    “If you have "substantial" evidence supporting your god, lay it out - but be aware that the way you feel when you look at puppies or sunsets, or conversations you had with yourself, or your inability to explain something any other way do not constitute evidence.”

    “Understand that:

    Dreams are not evidence.

    Wishful thinking is not evidence.

    Logical fallacies are not evidence.

    Personal revelation is not evidence.

    Illogical conclusions are not evidence.

    Disproved statements are not evidence.

    Unsubstantiated claims are not evidence.

    Hallucinations/delusions are not evidence.

    Information that is ambiguous is not evidence.

    The Universe doesn't care what you believe in.

    Data that requires a certain belief is not evidence.

    Information that cannot be verified is not evidence.

    Information that cannot be falsified is not evidence.

    Experiments with inconclusive results are not evidence.

    Information that is only knowable by a privileged few is not evidence.

    Experiments that are not and cannot be duplicated by others are not evidence.

    The wonderful thing about science is that it doesn't ask for your faith, only your eyes.”

    ~

  • Growl
    Lv 6
    7 years ago

    Yes, but obviously you haven't.

    Aquinas' "proof" reduces to: "I want god to exist therefore god must exist to satisfy my whim." All other proofs for or against the existence of god are the same.

  • 7 years ago

    Yes, I've read versions of his arguments on wikipedia and other sites. They seem full of holes and questionable assumptions. As I recall his arguments are not presented in a straightforward way, which obscures his real assumptions.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Yes, I was young and stupid once and wasted my time in college taking philosophy electives. Then realized I'd rather not spend my adult life thinking deep thoughts about being unemployed.

  • 7 years ago

    I have and it's one sided. He only looks for evidence of this "God" instead of seeing is there any evidence of it.

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