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St. Thomas Aquinas

This guy is awesome. I'm reading about him in my Philosophy class and I didn't realize that the way I got to a logical conclusion in the belief in God is basically how he states. Perhaps I read this somewhere else - but I don't know.

So here is the part in my text about St. Thomas Aquinas. Enjoy.

About a century and a half after Anselm died, St. Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225 –1274), whom we have discussed in earlier chapters, interpreted Aristotelian philosophy from a Christian perspective. Aristotle, as we have had occasion to mention, emphasized the importance to philosophy of direct observation of nature. In keeping with his empiricist, Aristotelian leanings, Aquinas regarded the ontological argument as invalid. You cannot prove that God exists, he said, merely by considering the word God, as the ontological argument in effect supposes. For that strategy to work, you would have to presume to know God’s essence. The proposition “God exists,” he said, unlike “A square has four sides,” is not self-evident to us mere mortals. Although you can prove God’s existence in several ways, he asserted, you cannot do it just by examining the concept of God. You have to consider what it is about nature that makes it manifest that it requires God as its original cause.

The ways in which the existence of God can be proved are in fact five, according to Aquinas. Although Aquinas’ theological and philosophical writings fill many volumes and cover a vast range of topics, he is most famous for his Five Ways (but some philosophers—discussed later—do not regard Aquinas’ proofs of God as his best philosophy). It would be surprising if you were not already familiarwith one or another of Aquinas’ Five Ways in some version. In any case, they are included as a reading selection at the end of the chapter.

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