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Thomas Aquinas Part 1

watsup

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Thomas Aquinas was a Christian “apologist” who spent much of his life trying to reconcile faith with reason. Below is a quick rehash of his arguments for God. As I have said before , they are both complex and yet quite simplistic at the same time. Complex because theologians and others have spent literally centuries trying to resolve them. Simplistic because when properly parsed they become, for the most part, circular reasoning that a smart child could unravel.
So the question is: have they stood the rest of time:

“Saint Thomas Aquinas believed that the existence of God could be proven in five ways, mainly by: 1) observing movement in the world as proof of God, the "Immovable Mover"; 2) observing cause and effect and identifying God as the cause of everything; 3) concluding that the impermanent nature of beings proves the existence of a necessary being, God, who originates only from within himself; 4) noticing varying levels of human perfection and determining that a supreme, perfect being must therefore exist; and 5) knowing that natural beings could not have intelligence without it being granted to them it by God. Subsequent to defending people's ability to naturally perceive proof of God, Thomas also tackled the challenge of protecting God's image as an all-powerful being.”

 

swing_voter

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"knowing that natural beings could not have intelligence without it being granted to them it by God"


I've watch a few youtube videos about the nature of consciousness. Science still can't explain it. It's fascinating stuff.


.
 

Rumpel

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Did that guy not also say that women were only half human - or other spiteful nonsense?
 

tosca1

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Thomas Aquinas was a Christian “apologist” who spent much of his life trying to reconcile faith with reason. Below is a quick rehash of his arguments for God. As I have said before , they are both complex and yet quite simplistic at the same time. Complex because theologians and others have spent literally centuries trying to resolve them. Simplistic because when properly parsed they become, for the most part, circular reasoning that a smart child could unravel.
So the question is: have they stood the rest of time:

“Saint Thomas Aquinas believed that the existence of God could be proven in five ways, mainly by: 1) observing movement in the world as proof of God, the "Immovable Mover"; 2) observing cause and effect and identifying God as the cause of everything; 3) concluding that the impermanent nature of beings proves the existence of a necessary being, God, who originates only from within himself; 4) noticing varying levels of human perfection and determining that a supreme, perfect being must therefore exist; and 5) knowing that natural beings could not have intelligence without it being granted to them it by God. Subsequent to defending people's ability to naturally perceive proof of God, Thomas also tackled the challenge of protecting God's image as an all-powerful being.”

Part 1.
I suppose a part 2 is in the offing. Okay, before we get to part 2 - we need some clarification here.
See that large fonted statement above?

Can you explain how something becomes, "circular reasoning?" Give an example.


Re: Thomas Aquinas, I don't know much about him. I have to google.
 
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Overitall

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Thomas Aquinas was a Christian “apologist” who spent much of his life trying to reconcile faith with reason. Below is a quick rehash of his arguments for God. As I have said before , they are both complex and yet quite simplistic at the same time. Complex because theologians and others have spent literally centuries trying to resolve them. Simplistic because when properly parsed they become, for the most part, circular reasoning that a smart child could unravel.
So the question is: have they stood the rest of time:

“Saint Thomas Aquinas believed that the existence of God could be proven in five ways, mainly by: 1) observing movement in the world as proof of God, the "Immovable Mover"; 2) observing cause and effect and identifying God as the cause of everything; 3) concluding that the impermanent nature of beings proves the existence of a necessary being, God, who originates only from within himself; 4) noticing varying levels of human perfection and determining that a supreme, perfect being must therefore exist; and 5) knowing that natural beings could not have intelligence without it being granted to them it by God. Subsequent to defending people's ability to naturally perceive proof of God, Thomas also tackled the challenge of protecting God's image as an all-powerful being.”

I assume you meant “test of time”. I can’t, however, assume what you meant by that. Do you agree with Aquinas’ five arguments? 1&2 seem sound. 3-5 a bit more challenging.
 

watsup

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Part 1.
I suppose a part 2 is in the offing. Okay, before we get to part 2 - we need some clarification here.
See that large fonted statement above?

Can you explain how something becomes, "circular reasoning?" Give an example.


Re: Thomas Aquinas, I don't know much about him. I have to google.
Well, let’s take #5 as an example: knowing that natural beings could not have intelligence without it being granted to them by God.
This is basically a nice little tautology which, when examined, makes the following two statements: God granted intelligence to humans; and therefore intelligence in humans proves that there is a God.
It’s circular in that it depends only on itself for “proof” rather than on any outside evidence. Thomas Aquinas and subsequent apologists have, of course, spent a lot of time and effort and words in expanding the explanation, but it all comes down to the basic circular argument in the end.
All of the other points are basically the same in structure, two statements saying the same in reverse.
What science has now shown is that intelligence is the eventual outcome of evolution in the “top of the pyramid” fauna at this point, namely Homo sapiens.
 

watsup

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I assume you meant “test of time”. I can’t, however, assume what you meant by that. Do you agree with Aquinas’ five arguments? 1&2 seem sound. 3-5 a bit more challenging.
Thank you for that correction, Of course, “test” is the correct word. I am not always good in “proofing” my inputs.
And no, as an atheist, I do not agree with any of them. See my previous post explaining to Tosca how they are basically circular arguments.
Here’s they key: Let’s take the “cause of everything” argument. Here’s the proper answer: WE DON’T KNOW what the basic cause of everything is, but we keep searching, primarily through science. We don’t just throw up our hands and say “God did it!” That’s what primitive humans did. Hopefully we have moved beyond that.
 

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Thank you for that correction, Of course, “test” is the correct word. I am not always good in “proofing” my inputs.
And no, as an atheist, I do not agree with any of them. See my previous post explaining to Tosca how they are basically circular arguments.
Here’s they key: Let’s take the “cause of everything” argument. Here’s the proper answer: WE DON’T KNOW what the basic cause of everything is, but we keep searching, primarily through science. We don’t just throw up our hands and say “God did it!” That’s what primitive humans did. Hopefully we have moved beyond that.
I’d like to address your post to Tosca but I’ll let her have first dibs on it. I’ll address the point you made to me and see where it might lead.

When we speak of “cause of everything” we’re primarily speaking of origins. There are scientific explanations for the origins of what we observe. But proof? No. In place of postulating a god, science offers instead a Big Bang theory. The cause of our existence therefore is due to that with evolution tossed into the mix. Instead of calling it the Big Bang why not just call it god? We don’t know, scientifically, if there was another cause for the Big Bang.
 

watsup

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I’d like to address your post to Tosca but I’ll let her have first dibs on it. I’ll address the point you made to me and see where it might lead.

When we speak of “cause of everything” we’re primarily speaking of origins. There are scientific explanations for the origins of what we observe. But proof? No. In place of postulating a god, science offers instead a Big Bang theory. The cause of our existence therefore is due to that with evolution tossed into the mix. Instead of calling it the Big Bang why not just call it god? We don’t know, scientifically, if there was another cause for the Big Bang.
Rosea won't be in for another day or so. Go for it.
 

watsup

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I’d like to address your post to Tosca but I’ll let her have first dibs on it. I’ll address the point you made to me and see where it might lead.

When we speak of “cause of everything” we’re primarily speaking of origins. There are scientific explanations for the origins of what we observe. But proof? No. In place of postulating a god, science offers instead a Big Bang theory. The cause of our existence therefore is due to that with evolution tossed into the mix. Instead of calling it the Big Bang why not just call it god? We don’t know, scientifically, if there was another cause for the Big Bang.
For an atheist, it's we don't know, period, end of story, except that science will keep tryng to find out. If you would like to speculate beyond that as to a God, that is your perfect right, but it is then outside of the realm of science.
 

digitusmedius

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I’d like to address your post to Tosca but I’ll let her have first dibs on it. I’ll address the point you made to me and see where it might lead.

When we speak of “cause of everything” we’re primarily speaking of origins. There are scientific explanations for the origins of what we observe. But proof? No. In place of postulating a god, science offers instead a Big Bang theory. The cause of our existence therefore is due to that with evolution tossed into the mix. Instead of calling it the Big Bang why not just call it god? We don’t know, scientifically, if there was another cause for the Big Bang.
I'll butt in here to agree that if you want to call the laws of physics "God" that's okay with me.
 
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digitusmedius

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For an atheist, it's we don't know, period, end of story, except that science will keep tryng to find out. If you would like to speculate beyond that as to a God, that is your perfect right, but it is then outside of the realm of science.
As a native and former Kansas Citian, I'm guessing it's a bit of a lonely experience to be a rationalist in Springfield.
 

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I'll butt in here to agree that if you want to call the laws of physics "God" that's okay with me.
:) Thanks for your stamp of approval. Now if you can just convince scientists to accept it we can say scientists have proven the existence of god.
 

tosca1

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I’d like to address your post to Tosca but I’ll let her have first dibs on it. I’ll address the point you made to me and see where it might lead.

When we speak of “cause of everything” we’re primarily speaking of origins. There are scientific explanations for the origins of what we observe. But proof? No. In place of postulating a god, science offers instead a Big Bang theory. The cause of our existence therefore is due to that with evolution tossed into the mix. Instead of calling it the Big Bang why not just call it god? We don’t know, scientifically, if there was another cause for the Big Bang.

Go ahead Overitall. I'm not familiar with Thomas Aquinas. I'll kinda sit this one out.
 

digitusmedius

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:) Thanks for your stamp of approval. Now if you can just convince scientists to accept it we can say scientists have proven the existence of god.
Sure, as long as the definition of the word "god" is either Science but more specifically Physics (as the explanation for the existence of the universe, therefore everything that follows from that).
 

Overitall

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For an atheist, it's we don't know, period, end of story, except that science will keep tryng to find out. If you would like to speculate beyond that as to a God, that is your perfect right, but it is then outside of the realm of science.
I appreciate your response. I didn’t see it earlier and was working on responding to your answer to Tosca (which I’ll hold off on for now).

I confess that it’s been ages since I’ve participated in discussions of this nature so pardon my missteps if I misunderstand your position. Over the course of those years I learned more about the arguments for and against the existence of a god from my atheist friends than from believers. Perhaps it’s because atheists are more open to questioning beliefs. I don’t mean to broad brush believers, however. I’ve learned a lot from many of them as well. Anyways, I’m straying afar off the path.

Reading your response here I can’t help thinking how much faith you have. Science has indeed brought us far in discovering the nature of many things. But it has its limitations. You admit that we don’t know the cause of the cause (or even if there is one - touching upon one of Aquinas arguments) for our existence but believe that science “will keep trying to find out”. Whereas that is true, it’s implication that they will discover the how is driven by faith. They may never come to a solid and undebatable answer. Perhaps, this might be one reason why there are scientists that are believers in a god. They (those that are believers) know they lack satisfactory answers for our existence in science. And some of those scientists are neither atheists nor theists. There’s another choice - agnosticism. They just don’t have enough information to say one way or another.

Now I know I probably didn’t touch upon the points you wish I had but allow me to warm up to it. One thing with regards to what you said to Tosca was about Aquinas fifth way argument. I wasn’t sure if what you spoke about accurately reflected his argument. Am I mistaken?
 

Overitall

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Well, let’s take #5 as an example: knowing that natural beings could not have intelligence without it being granted to them by God.
This is basically a nice little tautology which, when examined, makes the following two statements: God granted intelligence to humans; and therefore intelligence in humans proves that there is a God.
It’s circular in that it depends only on itself for “proof” rather than on any outside evidence. Thomas Aquinas and subsequent apologists have, of course, spent a lot of time and effort and words in expanding the explanation, but it all comes down to the basic circular argument in the end.
All of the other points are basically the same in structure, two statements saying the same in reverse.
What science has now shown is that intelligence is the eventual outcome of evolution in the “top of the pyramid” fauna at this point, namely Homo sapiens.
I think I’ll go ahead and respond to this (highlighted) now. Maybe I understood your argument, maybe I didn’t.

Why is intelligence the eventual outcome of evolution? Evolution is a mindless force. What evolved could have been just as easily unintelligent. I’m unaware of any scientific evidence that draws the conclusion you have here.
  1. What is intelligence? Science is probably still in its infancy as to fully understanding intelligence. Is it hereditary or environmentally derived? AI is growing in possibility. But it requires an initial programming from an intelligence such as a homo sapien. With its arrival we may have to rethink our views on intelligence. Which brings me to my next question.
  2. Why is homo sapiens the top of the pyramid? Seeing as how evolution is mindless, you seem to be suggesting that it had a purpose. Us being the end result. That assumes evolution is finished. We don’t know that and thus to draw that conclusion is untenable. I’m going to go out on a limb here and rephrase your point.
Evolution gave rise to intelligence. Therefore intelligence proves evolution.

I look forward to your responses.
 

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As a native and former Kansas Citian, I'm guessing it's a bit of a lonely experience to be a rationalist in Springfield.
Me too. Hence my "former"hood. I have a sis still lives there.
 

NWRatCon

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I'll butt in here to agree that if you want to call the laws of physics "God" that's okay with me.
I've often used the formulation that science provides the "how" and theology the "Why". They are not mutually exclusive, but neither are they mutually reinforcing.
 
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