Disproval of proof of God from Aquinas' Meditations

Essay by blackdog_9University, Bachelor'sA+, May 2004

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Looking at Aquinas' Arguments for the Existence of God

In Summa Theologica, Question 2, Article 3, Aquinas attempts to prove the existence of God. He begins with two objections, which will not be addressed here, and continues on to state five arguments for the existence of God. I intend to show that Aquinas' first three arguments are unsound from a scientific standpoint, through support of the Big Bang theory of the creation of the universe.

In the first and second arguments Aquinas begins by stating that some things change and that the changes to these things are caused by things other than themselves. He says that a thing can change only if it has a potentiality for being that into what it changes. Aquinas' change is defined as taking a characteristic of an object out of potentiality into actuality. This can only be accomplished by something that is already in reality.

He also states that an object's property cannot be in reality and potentiality at the same time. A pot can be actually hot and potentially cold, but it cannot be both actually hot and potentially hot. Because of this necessity of the object changing to be in reality while the change occurring to be in potentiality that an object cannot change itself. He continues by saying that for any change to occur there must have been a previous cause that existed in reality and if one was to trace this line of causes and effects all the way back there must be a first cause that began the chain. But there cannot be anything worldly like that because anything natural must have an impetus already in reality to transform it from potentiality to reality. The only explanation, in Aquinas' eyes, for the first object would be that it had...