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Aquinas And Augustine

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1. In what ways did Plato and Aristotle influence Augustine and Aquinas?

a. St. Augustine was taught philosophy by Bishop Ambrose who studied Platonism. St. Augustine was one of the first to bring together faith and reason. He revolutionized Plato's two world view and divided line. In the divided line he changed the good to god, said the forms are in gods mind, and that god is the only one who can make sensible objects possible. In the two world view St. Augustine said that not all activity is physical, there is also spiritual activity.

b. Aquinas was taught by Albert the Great. Albertus Magnus was the man that translated Aristotle's teachings into Latin. Aquinas sat out to prove the existence of god using his five proofs. Aquinas five proofs are: the proof of motion, proof of efficient cause, proof of contingency, proof from perfection, and proof from order. These proofs come from Aristotle's four causes of: material cause, formal cause, efficient cause, and final cause.

Aristotle's Four Causes Aquinas's Five Causes

Material Cause Proof of Perfection

Formal Cause Proof from Order

Efficient Cause Proof of Motion

Proof of Efficient Cause

Final Cause Proof of Contingency

2. Pick any two of Aquinas' proofs for the existence of god, and show how he intended them to work, as well as how they fall short

a. Aquinas's proof of motion states two thing. First there is potential motion, this is where an object is at rest but has the possibility to move. Second, there is something that is moving. Aquinas says that if you look back infinitely, something had to make everything begin moving. Much like a set of dominoes waiting to knocked down. Until something forces the dominoes to fall they are at rest. Thus concluded, god must be the first cause. The only problem with this how do we know there is not eternal motion? We do in fact move ourselves without the help of supernatural forces.

b. Aquinas's proof of order states that there is universal order or classifications that act in predictable ways. Aquinas believes that this cannot be an accident because things are to perfect. The only way he concludes, is that god must have built the universe. The problem with his conclusion is that there are other theories that can explain these phenomenon's like: Adaptation, Evolution, and Chance.

3. Explain of the problem of evil is a problem for the existence of god. Include the response to the problem and any objections to the responses.

a. Part I of the problem of evil states that god is omniscient, omni benevolent, and omnipotent. Yet, evil exists. How is it that evil can exist and god is all good?

b. Part II of the problem of evil states that if an all good being exists he would end suffering (if he knew about it and was able to stop it). God is omniscient, omni benevolent, and omnipotent. If an all good god existed he would end suffering. Yet, suffering still exists therefore god is non-existent.

c. Some responses to this problem would be that evil must be an implication of free will or it's is part of the eschatological scheme. This scheme states that god has a plan and it is a good plan. Because gods plan is good there must be a good reason why he allows evil to exist (like suffering may bring about more good).

d. Part III of the problem of evil states that if an all good being exists he would end pointless suffering (if he knew about it and was able to stop it). God is omniscient, omni benevolent, and omnipotent. If an all good god existed he would end pointless suffering.

e. The only problem with this is who can define pointless suffering?

4. Explain Pascal's goal as well as how he attempted to reach that goal through proof. Include the main objections against that proof.

a. Pascal wanted to prove that it doesn't matter if there really even is a god, your better off just believing.

b. In order to prove his theory he came up with the pragmatic proof of the existence of god. He bases his theory on straight facts saying there is a 50/50 chance of god's existence.





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