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Essay 2 Religion

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Zach Schade

1-21-19

Essay 2-Religion

Thomas Aquinas was born in Italy in the year 1225, Aquinas was ranked among the most influential thinkers of medieval Scholasticism. Aquinas was known for his five logical arguments regarding the existence of God. Today I will talk about Aquinas “Second Way”, in the Second Way, Aquinas talks about the idea of the efficient cause. Aquinas states, “But we do not find, nor indeed is it possible, that anything is the efficient cause of itself, for in that case it would be prior to itself, which is impossible.” (Text, p. 148) Meaning, every chain must either be circular, infinite, or it has a first cause. If something were the efficient cause of itself, it would be prior to itself. Some things are caused and anything that is caused, has to be caused by something else.There can’t be an infinite regress of causes. So there must have been a first causer, itself uncaused, and that is God. David Hume was a Scottish enlightenment philosopher during this time who criticized Aquinas view of the Second Way. Hume's criticism is brief and to the point, he states, “Let us admit the necessity of a first cause. Shall we then ask for a cause of this cause? If not, then may we not argue a material first cause of this material universe? Where do we fare better with the argument from necessity of a first cause than from the probability of an intelligent designer?” ” (text, p. 168) Hume’s conclusion to the whole business is a plea for skepticism in natural theology. Hume argues that assumptions of cause and effect between two events isn’t necessarily real or true. Hume's criticizes this and argues that there is no reason why the cause and effect chain can not be infinite. Hume argues that whatever exists must have a cause of its existence. Nothing can produce itself . In my opinion I think both Aquinas and Hume have valid reasons for the existence of God. However, I agree with Aquinas view more, I believe everything happens for a certain reason and someone like God was created to create the universe. I also think the initial cause of this was the nailing of Jesus on the cross, and how he died for our sins. This then led to the resurrection of Jesus and the freedom of our sins.

Hume says “The whole earth is cursed and polluted. A perpetual war is kindled among living creatures. Necessity, hunger, want stimulate the strong and courageous; fear, anxiety, terror, agitate the weak and the infirm. The first entrance into life gives anguish to the newborn infant and to parent. Weakness, impotence, distress, attend each stage of many lives which are finished at last in agony and horror.” (text, p.166) Humes compares this to nature, the stronger prey upon the weaker, and keep them in terror and misery. Hume's ideas reflect on two different points, the Problem of Evil and the Problem of design. The Problem of evil is the idea that evil does exist in the world as we know it, and a God who is so good and does such good things wouldn’t allow this to happen, therefore this Go doesn’t exist. The Argument from design however is a little different, it has to do with the truth of the existence of God, with the belief of evidence or purpose in the word. Reflecting back on Hume’s quote, what Hume’s is

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