Thomas Aquinas ' Uncaused Cause Argument Essay

Thomas Aquinas ' Uncaused Cause Argument Essay

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Thomas Aquinas’ “Uncaused Cause” argument starts with a premise stating the world has events which cause other events to happen. Because of this series of causes, nothing can exist before itself or else the chain of causes would go in a circle. For example, “if a tree caused a seed which caused an apple which caused event x to cause event y which eventually causes the seed to cause the apple, ultimately the apple would have caused itself to exist since it existed before it existed” (“Uncaused Cause” Atkins, Philip). Therefore, nothing caused itself to exist. If a former cause ceases to exist, then the causes resulting from it cannot possibly exist. In other words, if the first event does not happen, events two, three, etc. will not occur. However, if the chain of causes went on forever, nothing could exist now. This cannot possibly ascertain the solution since current things came from an original source; causes do not extend infinitely into the past. Therefore, a first cause must exist in the natural universe, which Aquinas says “everyone calls God.” However, Aquinas does not say everything has a cause. This being is not a self-caused cause – it is an uncaused cause because nothing brought it into existence.
Aquinas’ argument uses deductive logic. He attempts to give conclusive support to his conclusion, the existence of God. A deductive argument wants to have validity (the logic of the argument follows the sequence of true premises leading to a true conclusion). Deductive arguments seek to assure the truth of the premises thereby confirming the truth of the conclusion. A valid argument cannot have true premises and a false conclusion. For a fallacious conclusion, the critic must sacrifice the truth of one of the...


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...because his deductive attempt to prove overshadows Paley’s inductive attempt to suggest. Paley’s “Design” argument does not dispel the question of more than one designer, or “infinity, uniqueness, and perfection – the traditional attributes given to God” (“Paley’s Design Argument” Atkins, Philip). Aquinas addresses issues Paley leaves open for interpretation; the “uncaused cause” came first, and establishes the infinite nature of the God-like figure. Aquinas also states the relationship between cause and effect is real, “so that the first cause is not a first cause in time but a sustaining cause” (“Teleological Argument/Atheism”). If the first cause is taken away, then all of the resulting effects of it would disappear too. Therefore, the first cause exists now and forever, making Aquinas’ the more compelling, and least faulty, argument for the existence of God.

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