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Critique of Aquinas's Cosmological Argument Essay

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Critique of Aquinas's Cosmological Argument

Aquinas's 3rd way suggests that the world consists of contingent
beings. As all contingent beings have a cause, namely another
contingent being, there must have been a time when nothing existed,
(unless contingent beings exist as a brute fact). Therefore,
contingent beings could not have come into existence unless there is a
necessary being which is non- contingent that caused them. Aquinas
named this being God. The problem with Aquinas's view is that as
physicians have suggested matter is eternal and therefore a necessary
being is not required to cause contingent beings.

The basis of Aquinas's argument depends on the fact that contingent
beings require a cause which is in turn contingent. "Contingent beings
require contingent causes", as stated by Stephen Evans in Philosophy
Of Religion(55). This basis leads one to believe that an infinite
series of contingent beings exists, but Aquinas claims this to be
"illogical", thus the need for a necessary being. The objections occur
due to the nature of contingency and the recently suggested, eternal
nature of matter.

Contingency was defined as "beings that are generated and perish" by
Aquinas in Peter Cole's Philosophy of religion(21). Therefore, by
definition, the necessary being must be eternal and have existed
through all time. But is it not possible that the necessary being's
contingency will be shown in the future through its perishing? This is
suggested in Philosophy of religion by Peter Cole. Thus the necessary
being will be proved to be contingent and further prove that an
infinite series of contingent beings is possible and that a ...


... middle of paper ...


...ency within the universe is
very doubtful in light of matter being eternal. It seems that if a
necessary being does exist then it is within the universe and can be
defined as matter which is a brute fact and thus implies the universes
eternality. This undermines Aquinas because he stated that the
necessary being was separate from the universe and also that the
universe was finite. Thus, this argument has cast doubt over Aquinas's
argument and leads to a belief in the infinite oscillation theory as
well as pantheism.

Bibliography

Cole, Peter. Philosophy Of Religion. Great Britain: Hodder & Stoughton
1999

Evans, C.Stephen. Philosophy of Religion: Thinking about faith.
Illinois: InterVarsity Press 1982

Peterson, Michael. Philosophy of Religion. Trans. J.L. Mackie. New
York: Oxford University press 1996


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