May 2007

What do you think about Aquinas’ 5 vias (in order to prove God’s existence)?

Now there’s a big question in a small sentence!

In a nutshell:

First argument: Anything that is moved is moved by something. Since some things are in motion and we don’t allow infinite regress, there must have been a prime mover.

My response: Physics allows both motion without cause (at least on the quantum level) and a non-deity prime mover (the big bang).

Second argument: Some things are caused. Anything that is caused was itself caused by something else and we don’t allow infinite regress, so there must be something uncaused.

My response: Quantum physics (again) allows creation without cause. It is possible that the big bang was a random, uncaused quantum fluctuation. And while we’re at it, I don’t see why we have to rule out infinite regressions (of universes, say) since something out there has to be infinite.

Third argument: A “contingent” thing is something that may or may not exist. It’s impossible for everything to be contingent because you can’t get something from nothing, so there has to be at least one thing that is not contingent but necessary. That something is God.

My response: Again, many of the “givens” in this statement are invalidated by physics. You can get something from nothing, and an infinite regression of universes (among other theories) would fit the shoes of a contingent being.

Fourth argument: Things are more or less perfect. Being able to assign a degree of perfection assumes the existence of perfection. That perfection is God.

My response: This, at most, proves that perfection must exist as a concept. It doesn’t prove that God exists in reality.

Fifth argument: Anything that is designed has a designer, and since the universe is designed it must have a designer. That designer is God.

My response: The universe isn’t designed.

Posted on May 28, 2007 at 11:07 pm by ideclare · Permalink
In: Evidence

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