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Aquinas, Averroes, Al-Kirmani on God Term Paper

… Aquinas and Islam

Thomas Aquinas offered the classic medieval Christian summation of belief in God, and more particularly offered the "five ways" to prove the existence of God. There are, of course, substantial overlaps between Aquinas and classical Islamic philosophy and theology: Aquinas was compelled to read and take seriously Averroes, for a start. But there is also the common inheritance of classical Greece -- Aquinas has in common with the classical Islamic philosophers a reliance on Aristotle's writings as a basic rational and scientific view of the world. Indeed the purpose of Aquinas' Summa Theologica was to reach a harmonious synthesis between Aristotle's scientific worldview and the Christian theology that had been expounded by the early Church fathers. I propose to examine two of…. [read more]

Aquinas and the Jews Term Paper



Thomas Aquinas was now an established theologian but this conclusion has been the result of extensive work in which he was sometimes categorized as a philosopher and at others as specially a Christian philosopher. But close study of scholarly works on Thomas Aquinas including those produced by Gilson, Chenu, Weisheipl, Pesch, Torrell, and others reveal that Aquinas has never been anything other than a philosopher. As Ulrich Kuhn explains, "One misunderstands Thomas from the ground up if one tries to describe him as a philosopher who, in an ancillary way, also tried his hand at revealed theology."(1) Aquinas thus has a lasting influence on theology and no one appears to have had a more profound impact of Christian theology…. [read more]

Aquinas' Ethics Essay

… Aquinas's Ethics

Aquinas' Ethics

There is much information to be gleaned regarding Thomas Aquinas' conception of ethics in the reading of Rebecca Konyndyk De Young's book entitled Aquinas's Ethics, which is a collage of his ethical observations and philosophy from several of his writings. One of the main ideas for regarding ethics that the reader learn about Aquinas is that he actually advocates a practical purpose for his ethics, which is more than just mere hypothetical thought. Instead, Aquinas believed that the true point of ethics was to directly influence human behavior and present a course of action that, to a certain degree, mandates just what sort of behavior is acceptable and what sort of behavior is not.

Additionally, it was interesting to see the…. [read more]

Aquinas' Natural Law Implies Divine Term Paper

… Human law can be defined as the mundane and specific interpretations of Natural Law. Human law and human reason should therefore be as servants to the Natural Law; when there is a dispute in human law, the dispute may be resolved by returning to the source of that law in Nature.

Part Two: Bowers v. Hardwick and Lawrence v. Texas are two of the most high-profile Supreme Court cases relating to the rights of homosexuals. In Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), the Supreme Court majority decision upheld sodomy laws on the grounds that there was nothing inherently unconstitutional about a ban on sodomy. The dissenting opinion in Bowers v. Hardwick focused on the rights of individual privacy. Lawrence v. Texas (2003) overturned the earlier decision. The…. [read more]

Aquinas and His Five Ways Term Paper

… Would it not also be fair to say that by this proof because there is evil in this world and God created all things and all virtues that God is the most perfect example of evil.

That which is said to be greatest in any kind causes everything of that kind,/as for example fire, which is the hottest thing, is the cause of all hot things, as it says in the same book./Therefore there is something that is the cause of the existence and the goodness and of all perfections in everything: and this, we say, is God. (Martin 171-172)

Lastly, and somewhat simplistically I must add the example of fire within the text as the source of all that is hot has clearly been…. [read more]

Aquinas and Descartes the Discourse Term Paper

… The classical argument for dualism is made by Rene Descartes ... In his Meditations (first published in 1641). Descartes was writing during the very first stirrings of what was later to become the Enlightenment. Natural (experimental) science was beginning to emerge and was differentiating itself from magical and religious ideas. Descartes (though a religious man) wanted to contribute to this. He was aware that his thought, and that of his contemporaries, was hindered by prejudice. He wanted to eliminate this prejudice and establish certain foundations for knowledge. (The Argument for Mind/Body Dualism)

He embarked on his method of radical doubt and denied everything that was not without absolute certainty. This also included perceptions about the world and body. The method of doubt also extended to…. [read more]

Aquinas' 4th Proof Essay

… Thomas Aquinas and the Gradation of Things

Thomas Aquinas and the Gradation to be Found in Things

This paper addresses the fourth proof of the existence of God given by Thomas Aquinas and discuss the efficiency of Aquinas' style. It will answer the question of criticism of Aquinas' proof and will also give a modern-day situation, to which the fourth proof may be applied, while surveying the larger theme of faith in relation to reason.

Thomas Aquinas set out five proofs for the existence of God, called the quinque viae -- or five ways, in the Summa Theologica. The fourth way in which the existence of God is proven employs the use of gradations found in nature. Aquinas' style and technique is very effective --…. [read more]

Thomas Aquinas and God Essay

… For example, it takes some faith to grope around a room in the dark. The person trusts that the furniture has not moved and that there are no hidden disasters. Yet ultimately, it is reason that informs most thought in the tangible, transient universe. Likewise, the realm of God is best understood with faith but there are times reason can be used to grope around the spiritual darkness that is doubt and uncertainty. Aquinas's logic is remarkably solid, even though there are core assumptions about the universe that are not fully reconcilable with reason in an absolute way. The ways of knowing God are internally valid, even if they are not infallible arguments. God is not, for example, a necessary prime mover. The universe could…. [read more]

Free Will: Comparing Aquinas Term Paper

… (ST: II: 6:3) This of course fairly explains how, for example, rape is different than consensual sex because in a rape the woman is physically incapable of preventing the actions her body is forced to make.

In fact, the Bible recognizes this. In Deuteronomy 22:26-27, the text speaks of rape outside the city walls thus: "unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbor, and slayeth him, even so is this matter: For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her." So Aquinas explains that even if the physical body is forced to do something or physically prevented…. [read more]

Existence of God and Religion Term Paper

… Religion

Anselm, Aquinas, and Hume (Word Count: 1185)

The central argument made by Anselm in his Proslogion is that the ability to conceptualize the existence of God is sufficient to prove God's existence. In his Summa Theologica (written in response to Anselm), Thomas Aquinas also endeavors to prove God's existence. This paper compares the two canonical religious authors, placing them in dialogue with each other (addressing whether they are mutually compatible) and with David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.

Although Anselm's theory is considered to be less scientifically grounded than that of Thomas Aquinas, it is important to acknowledge that Anselm's beliefs were still borne out of an early skepticism toward whether God existed, as well as a need to attempt to prove his existence.…. [read more]

Saint Thomas Aquinas Essay

… But a glance at the actual text of Aquinas' Summa Theologica shows the way his philosophical argumentation and system-building proceed: Aquinas asks a question, then introduces philosophical objections, then resolves the dispute with reference to scripture but also to syllogistic logic, empirical evidence, and common sense. Aquinas proves both by Aristotelian logic but also by scriptural reference that "the fool has said in his heart that there is no God" that it cannot be asserted that God's existence is self-evident ("Summa" Question 2 Article 1). This willingness to combine dogma with clear and obvious logic seems to derive from Aquinas' dual focus as a Dominican on learning and preaching to ordinary persons: the system of Christian doctrine should therefore be justifiable both in terms of…. [read more]

Anselm's Proslogion and Thomas Aquinas Essay

… Anselm's Proslogion And Thomas Aquinas

The purpose of the present paper is to discuss four issues. The first one that we will be addressing refers to a statement that Anselm of Canterbury has made, that is: "For I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand." This has sometimes been interpreted as an endorsement of a leap of faith or blind belief. In the following pages we will try to explain if this is really what he meant. It is obvious that Anselm makes a direct connection between faith and understanding.

We could begin by analyzing the construction of the two phrases. The first one actually means that understanding would lead to believing. The second one states…. [read more]

Philosophy and the Existence of God Does Term Paper

… Aquinas and Kant

Thomas Aquinas and Immanuel Kant were born nearly half a millennium apart and, on the surface, both their styles of argumentation and their general approaches to philosophy appear equally distanced from each other. However, both doubtlessly aimed their reasoning at establishing some level of fundamental truth. Kant's metaphysics was a legitimate attempt at developing a kind of ultimate science that would guarantee the truth of our knowledge. "Kant put forward what he called 'critical philosophy.' This undertook a profound analysis of epistemology -- a study of the very basis on which our knowledge rests. According to Kant, we make certain judgments that are indispensable to all knowledge." Similarly, Aquinas attempted to assert that some of mankind's most centrally held beliefs can be…. [read more]

Plotinus, Augustine, Aquinas the School Essay

… In Augustine's writings, he bounded the idea of wisdom and provided the link between God's inner essence and the essence of human life.

St. Thomas Aquinas takes to the Neoplatonist ideas as well, further expanding and clarifying the works provided by both Plotinus and St. Augustine. Aquinas believed in the "Divina Potentia," the "power of God" (Schall, 1997). He believed that God's existence was "neither obvious nor unprovable," though he gave five reasons for his existence: God is simple, God is perfect, God is infinite, God is immutable, and God is one. "God has an internal life that seems itself social or containing within it an otherness" (Schall, 1997). As far as the creation of nature and humankind went, Aquinas believed -- just like Augustine…. [read more]

Plato, Thomas Aquinas and Jeremy Term Paper

… My own personal philosophy incorporates much of Thomas Aquinas's concept of a virtuous life. Whether or not one is Catholic like Thomas, I believe that in order for society to run as a smooth organism, individuals must choose to lead virtuous lives.

Though moral choices will always be in gray areas, I believe that people should be able to codify standards of moral behavior, as reflected in our laws. Many of our current laws reflect such moral dilemmas and compromises. For example, laws against murder reflect our society's belief in what Thomas Aquinas would call a "divine" law and are therefore considered just.

However, a person may kill in certain circumstances - during war, to execute a criminal or in self-defense. This reflects a recognition…. [read more]

Aquinas Russell Term Paper

… Aquines, Russell

Efficient causes come in series.

Nothing exists which is its own efficient cause (or at least we have no knowledge of such a thing), because that would make it prior to himself, which is impossible.

"The series of efficient causes cannot possibly go back to infinity."

Following the statement presented here above, there is one initial thing, producing a series of intermediary actions that in turn produce the final thing.

As one must admit that the intermediary causes and the final effect exist, there must be one initial cause.

This cause is known as God.

"If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause."

However, Thomas Aquinas's argumentation relies exactly on the idea that the series of causes must have…. [read more]

Anselm Aquinas Augustine and the Existence of God Term Paper

… ¶ … Anselm, Aquinas, Augustine and the Existence of God

Does God Exist?

This is a reaction paper to the text, "Anselm, Aquinas, Augustine and the Existence of God." The purpose of the text includes analyzing three philosophers' proofs for the existence or non-existence of God. Because three separate philosophers present three differing viewpoints, this reaction paper will address each philosopher independently. The author of the selection concludes that these three opinions has an important relationship to Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy, a treatise in which Descartes' meditates on the philosophical system and its ability to prove all things which are certain, and discard any belief in things (like God) that may not be proven (Descartes 24).

Of the three selections reviewed, I agree Augustine's…. [read more]

Existence of God the Philosophical Essay

… It may be argued that if an all-good God designed the world, he surely would not have allowed evil. The problem of evil is generally regarded as the most important argument against theism. (Mavrodes, 1995)

The argument from morality, like the cosmological argument, is really a family of arguments (Hick, 26-27). First, there is the argument from the existence of objective moral laws to a divine lawgiver. Second, there is the argument from the existence of objective moral laws to a transcendental Ground of Values. Third, there is the argument from the fact of human conscience to a divine "voice of conscience." Finally, there is the argument from the acceptance of moral obligation to the postulation of a transcendental Ground of Values. Religion and morality…. [read more]

Anselm Argumentation Term Paper

… Additionally, there must be an initial principle that provides for its own necessity and a primary factor that is the initial creator.

If we look at Aquinas's argumentation, this generally relies on the argument that there is a beginning for everything, from necessity to causality and to movement. Humanity feels the need to give an identity to that primary factor and they have called him God. In this sense, Aquinas's argumentation is not necessarily philosophical, but practical. We all see movement and motion around us, we all intuitively feel that there must be something at the beginning of everything, that First Cause form which everything else derives.

On the other hand, Anselm resumes to a philosophically contradictory argument in order to prove his point. It…. [read more]

Augustine and Aquinas: The Influence of Platonic Essay

… ¶ … Augustine and Aquinas: The Influence of Platonic and Aristotelian Thought

According to St. Augustine, one of the greatest sins of his early life was his love of classical, pagan philosophy. Augustine traces his early sinfulness not simply to his crimes of fornication and stealing pears as a young boy, but also to his belief in the superiority of Latin classical rhetorical works over the Christian words of the Bible. However, he did acknowledge the pagan neo-Platonists who had influenced his thought. In fact, in his Confessions, Augustine writes that it was studying the neo-Platonists that enabled him to break away from the erroneous, heretical teachings of the erroneous, heretical teachings of the Manicheans. It was the neo-Platonists "that first made it possible for…. [read more]

St. Thomas Aquinas and Four Marks of the Church Term Paper

… Thomas Aquinas

Within the writings and the thinking of Thomas Aquinas - with reference to the four Medieval senses of Scripture (moral, literal, allegorical and anagogical or mystical interpretation) - there is an abundance of original and worthy ideas that have more than stood the test of time. This paper explores and reviews Aquinas' theories and philosophies and presents relationships between the four senses. The papers attempts to answer the question, do the four senses prepare the way for the Reformation?

Ernest Rhys edited the book Everyman's Library, circa 1939, which contains selected writings from Aquinas. Rhys suggests in his Preface that while other philosophers have made "great contributions" to the "stock of human wisdom," Aquinas - "with a quiet originality" - gathered up...the wisdom…. [read more]

Existence of God for Years Essay

… Existence of God for years has been the most debated topic. Many philosophers, scientists and theologians have presented their views about the existence of God and provided proofs to validate their theories and beliefs in this regard (Existence of God, 2004). Without the evidences all arguments and theories shall be rendered useless due to lack of generalization. It would be more of a subjective argument, pertaining to one's own concepts and beliefs, rather than an objective one. Knowledge about the God's existence according to epistemology differs from a mere belief about it, by justifications and verifiable evidences that help in the identification of truth and reality. However, if no conclusions can be derived from scientific or non-scientific approaches and no proofs or evidences are found…. [read more]

Fideism vs. Rationalism Research Paper

… In his Summa Theologica, he wrote:

We have a more perfect knowledge of God by grace than by natural reason. Which is proved thus. The knowledge which we have by natural reason contains two things: images derived from the sensible objects; and the natural intelligible light, enabling us to abstract from them intelligible conceptions. Now in both of these, human knowledge is assisted by the revelation of grace. For the intellect's natural light is strengthened by the infusion of gratuitous light (12).

Many great religious thinkers, such as Aquinas, help us to appreciate the underlying rationality of fideism. All human knowledge and reason is seen as dependent on faith. This is because we have faith in our senses, reasoning, experiences, memories, and information gained from…. [read more]

Saint Thomas Aquinas Term Paper

… And in view of the fact that supplementarity is fundamental to his social, as well as, his political philosophy, structuring a democratic Thomism would need considerable amendments in Aquinas's pose. Still, this paper argues that the only substitute is to preserve the supplementarity observation at the same time as attempting to keep away from its unsound repercussion. The effort to do this needs making assertions that Aquinas would have found it difficult to protect in view of contemporary political circumstances.

Domestic Supplementarity

It may be considered that Aquinas's political philosophy is perceptibly undemocratic and that presenting the supplementarity observation of political relationship needlessly obscures what ought to be a clear-cut disagreement. Consequently, it might be quarreled that Aquinas cannot support a democratic idea of political…. [read more]

Medieval Christian World-View of St Term Paper

… The essence of God is unknown to us, so must be "demonstrated by things that are more known to us... namely, by effects" [Pt. I, Q. 2, Art. 1]. To reach conclusions on the existence of God by studying the world around us will, Aquinas argues, lead inevitably to a knowledge of God, for the world cannot be explained without recourse to God. Thus once again human reason is in harmony with revelation and faith in bringing human beings to a fuller knowledge of the Godhead and of salvation.

The important role of human intellect in apprehending divine purpose reflects Aquinas's view of the human soul itself. For Aquinas the soul is "called the intellect or the mind" and is "something incorporeal and subsistent" [Pt.…. [read more]

Atheist in on Being Essay

… However, one of the puzzling things about McCloskey's argument is the issue of how to even define evil if one ignores the existence of God. Morality may not be wholly dependent upon the existence of God; atheists can and do exhibit morally upright behavior. However, where have they received their moral guidance? It is only with the existence of a perfect God, and that good that one can label any behavior as evil. Otherwise, even the most seemingly depraved behavior would simply be a human being's independent choice to exercise human free will outside of a moral and ethical system developed and applied by that human's equals. It is only with the existence of a greater power that the idea of evil becomes something that…. [read more]

Socrates Plato Thomas Aquinas and Descartes Term Paper

… ¶ … Philosophical Canon and Feminism

The traditional canon of philosophy as advocated by Socrates, Plato, Thomas Aquinas and Descartes tends to focus on the superiority of the male side of the human population. This is to a large extent due to the culture and the general view of the role of women in culture during the time in which these philosophers were alive. It is thus not surprising that current feminists have begun to object and to even rewrite the ideals advocated by the canon. The premise behind this is that human culture has evolved to recognize men and women as different, but equal in terms of ability and value. It is however interesting to note that the basic philosophies within the works of…. [read more]

Omnipotence and the Existence of God Essay

… Aquinas on Omnipotence

One of the most common objections which arises in regards to the question of the omnipotence of God is why God does not manifest his power to prevent evil from occurring. The Medieval philosopher Thomas Aquinas redefines the concept of omnipotence in more precise terms: omnipotence is not a synonym for goodness, merely for the power to do all things. In short, God has the power to do all things, including to create the world and to create humanity. The fact that God does not prevent human beings from doing evil and allows them to exercise free will may lie in the fact that there is no power to prevent all evil. The fact that an omnipotent God allows certain things…. [read more]

Thomas Aquinas Term Paper

… His ideas are timeless, and much modern religious thought is based on his comprehensive views of Aristotle and his writings. Thus, Thomas showed that religion could be intensely spiritual, but also philosophical and open to scientific thought and reason.

Thomas' writings came at a time when there was great discord between the ideas of faith and reason. Many scholars felt the two could not coexist, and they renounced the works of Greek philosophers such as Aristotle. Thomas' work proved the two ideas could coexist and even foster each other, and he had the ability to write and share his ideas with others, so they did not disappear. He influenced both philosophical and theological thought so greatly that his ideas translated into schools, doctrine, and curricula…. [read more]

Law for Aquinas Is God Term Paper

… Plato held that the body and the soul were separate and of a very different constitution, while Aristotle saw the soul as form of the body, a view accepted by St. Thomas Aquinas. Thomas was a Christian thinker and accepted the immortality of the soul, but he had to answer the question of whether this made sense given that the closeness of the union of body and soul might mean that the possible subsistence of the soul apart from the body could be ruled out. For Thomas, the soul informed the body but was not exhausted by the process. The soul, he argues, must be a spiritual and subsistent form because it is capable of knowing the nature of all bodies. It cannot be itself…. [read more]

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