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Thread: God -- really?

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    Default God -- really?

    IMO, quantum physics renders Aquinas' third proof largely specious. General relativity does not really explain away the first proof. I can potentially be sold on a purposefully engineered universe, aka the fifth proof.

    - The Theist Perspective -

    Thomas Aquinas' Five Proofs of God

    Thomas’s first proof is based on the concept of a prime mover, now understood as the result of an inference to the best explanation for celestial dynamics.

    The second proof is from the nature of the effcient cause. From the fact that we can now see directly the effects of causal chains originating in times remote from human experience, we are called upon to make plausible inferences as to how the first effcient cause, got the game started, and this, says Thomas, is that “which all call God.”

    The third proof is taken from the natures of the merely possible and necessary. Given that “nothing can come from nothing” and that there are many things, there must have been something that was the source of the first thing.

    The fourth proof arises from degrees—of goodness, truth, nobility, and the like—that are found in things. There exists therefore something that is the truest, best, and noblest—the greatest being.

    Thomas gives as the fifth proof the natural order itself: “There is something intelligent by which all natural things are arranged in accordance with a plan—and this we call God.”


    - The Atheist Perspective -

    Sigmund Freud regarded God as an illusion, based on the infantile need for a powerful father figure; religion, necessary to help us restrain violent impulses earlier in the development of civilization, can now be set aside in favor of reason and science.

    Steven Hawking: "I think the universe was spontaneously created out of nothing, according to the laws of science. If you accept, as I do, that the laws of nature are fixed, then it doesn't take long to ask: What role is there for God?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    IMO, quantum physics renders Aquinas' third proof quite specious. I can potentially be sold on a purposefully engineered universe, aka the fifth proof.
    The "prime mover" comes from Aristotle, whom St Thomas called, "The Philosopher."

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    Quote Originally Posted by BidenPresident View Post
    The "prime mover" comes from Aristotle, whom St Thomas called, "The Philosopher."
    Correct indeed. Thomas Aquinas helped resurrect Aristotle in the western intellectual tradition, and Aquinas modeled his Christian philosophy on Aristotelian logic.

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    Is "Persona" a result of Evolution?

    or

    Is "Persona" the original wellspring of purpose?

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    Purpose being the goal to meet the original Persona...eventually.

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    'God'. Could be many things.

    The Problem is ... the 'Storyline'.

    Once you get past 'Prime Mover' ... that's when the High Priests engage in the 'Kill the Infidels' campaigns.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    'God'. Could be many things.

    The Problem is ... the 'Storyline'.

    Once you get past 'Prime Mover' ... that's when the High Priests engage in the 'Kill the Infidels' campaigns.
    Christian existentialists like Kierkegaard considered God radically transcendent and beyond human ability to know or rationalise. From that perspective, every religion is just presenting a different face of God. "God" could literally be a human construct for any creative force beyond our comprehension.

    I think Steven Hawking is asking the wrong question. Science is very good at reasoning "how" things happen. But it is not really intended to answer "why" things happen
    Steven Hawking: "I think the universe was spontaneously created out of nothing, according to the laws of science. If you accept, as I do, that the laws of nature are fixed, then it doesn't take long to ask: What role is there for God?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    IMO, quantum physics renders Aquinas' third proof largely specious. General relativity does not really explain away the first proof. I can potentially be sold on a purposefully engineered universe, aka the fifth proof.
    Aquinas tried too hard borrowing from Aristotle to rationalize religious beliefs, part of his scholasticism, should have followed Augustine and relied on Plato, all in the realm of ideas, you either have faith and believe or you don’t, it can’t be, nor needs to be, rationalized

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    'God'. Could be many things.

    The Problem is ... the 'Storyline'.

    Once you get past 'Prime Mover' ... that's when the High Priests engage in the 'Kill the Infidels' campaigns.
    Absolutely, well stated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by archives View Post
    Aquinas tried too hard borrowing from Aristotle to rationalize religious beliefs, part of his scholasticism, should have followed Augustine and relied on Plato, all in the realm of ideas, you either have faith and believe or you don’t, it can’t be, nor needs to be, rationalized
    Plato did not argue for belief. Not sure what you're asserting. In many ways, Plato was more a rationalist than Aristotle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by archives View Post
    Aquinas tried too hard borrowing from Aristotle to rationalize religious beliefs, part of his scholasticism, should have followed Augustine and relied on Plato, all in the realm of ideas, you either have faith and believe or you don’t, it can’t be, nor needs to be, rationalized
    We are on the same page,
    I prefer the transcendence of Plato to Aristotle, at least at an aesthetic level.

    Aquinas had a different objective that Saint Augustine. Aquinas was using the logical methodology developed by Aristotle to develop a rational Christianity. If nothing else, the western intellectual tradition owes a debt to Aquinas for resurrecting Greek logic, skepticism, scholarly inquiry. Though ultimately, Aristotle probably came to western Europe through the Muslim scholars of Al Andalus.

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    " Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God."

    http://web.mnstate.edu/gracyk/course...asFiveWays.htm

    Who is "we?" That is the problem. St Thomas calls it God. We all don't have to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BidenPresident View Post
    " Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God."

    http://web.mnstate.edu/gracyk/course...asFiveWays.htm

    Who is "we?" That is the problem. St Thomas calls it God. We all don't have to.
    Aquinas lived in the 13th century when Christendom was at it's height in Europe. He presumed to speak for the faithful of 13th century Europe. No reason to think he speaks for all people of the 21st century.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    Aquinas lived in the 13th century when Christendom was at it's height in Europe. He presumed to speak for the faithful of 13th century Europe. No reason to think he speaks for all people of the 21st century.
    Even Aristotle called the prime mover, God. But Aristotle did not advocate for religion or the institution of the Church. That is a big difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BidenPresident View Post
    Even Aristotle called the prime mover, God. But Aristotle did not advocate for religion or the institution of the Church. That is a big difference.
    I think the metaphysical speculations of a prime mover go back before Aristotle and Plato, to the pre-Socratic Ionian Greek philosophers.

    Every nation and polis I am aware of before the 18th century had a state religion, so I am not inclined to hold it against Aquinas for participating in a state religion.

    Anyone in the west arguing for a state religion in the 20th and 21st century is obviously a dangerous reactionary.

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