The Existence of God: Theories of Thomas Aquinas, St. Anselm, and William Paley


The three readings that form the basis of this essay all deal with the existence
of a God, something that which nothing greater can be conceived and cannot be
conceived not to exist. The three readings include: Thomas Aquinas, St. Anselm,
and William Paley.

First let us start with Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican Monk (1225-1274) who
is considered by many to be the greatest theologian in Western religion.
Aquanis writes of two opposite theories with reasons for the non-
existence of God and then for the existence of God. He starts off with his
views for the non-existence of God relating this through two objections. In the
first of the two he defines God as infinite goodness and goes on the say that
if God truly existed, there would be no evil. Since evil does exist in the
world, there must therefore be no God.
I agree with this reasoning, for how could God, a being of infinite
goodness create and care for a world of non-perfection and corruption. I have
always questioned, as I am sure we all have, how, if there is a God, he could
allow such terrible things to occur as they do in today\'s world: The starving in
Third World Countries, the destructiveness of war, and especially the anguish of
losing a loved one.
In the Bible, a book meant to be the word of God, condemns such things
as murder, adultery and theft. I find it hard to believe that an all-powerful,
all-knowing, infinitely-good being that “created” this world and everything in
it would allow any of these things to occur. He would not only condemn them in
an ancient book, but abolish them altogether along with any other things evil.
If God is supposed to be the “heavenly father” wouldn\'t he want and impose onto
his children his goodness and weed out all evil?
Aquinas also shows this non-existence through Objective 2 where he
writes how it is expecting too much for something that can be accounted for be a
few principles has been produced by many. There are other principles that can
account for everything we see in our world supposing God did not exist. All
things can be reduced to one principle, that of nature and therefore there is no
need to suppose God\'s existence.
Once more I agree with his rationale of this subject, for it is logical
to believe in a simple, visible, measurable concept such as the principle of
nature, instead of something so complex it is near in-conceivable, and not able
to be seen or measured. Nature could have accounted for the gradual development
of mankind and scientific theories have given us explanations for the existence
of nature and proof of this gradual development. Our planet\'s creation has
been explained as a result of “The Big Bang” and man\'s development from a
single-cellular organism to the multi-cellular, intelligent man of today by
evolution. I agree with both of Thomas Aquinas\' Objectives and it is mainly
because of these two arguments that I, myself do not believe in the existence of
God, something that which nothing greater can be conceived and cannot be
conceived not to exist.
Aquinas, in the next section of his writings takes the opposite side and
gives five arguments for the existence of God.

First: The Argument From Change

In his first argument Aquinas attempts to prove through theories of
motion, the existence of God. He writes that since motion exists in the world,
and motion is caused by something else, then in order for there to be any motion
(life) now, there must have been an original thing, God to cause this motion.
For it is impossible for something with potentiality for motion, to advance
itself to actuality of motion.
I agree with this theory because I have studied Physics and have read of
the teachings of Sir Isaac Newton, but as Science explains, there are perfectly
logical explanations as to the formulation of today\'s motion, Big Bang Gasses,
and the evolution of man. In agreeing with this theory I, in no way have
contradicted myself, for I believe there always has been motion of some kind it
is through millions upon millions of years occurrences, building up and evolving
that the current conditions (life) has occurred.

The Second Way: The Argument From Causation

In his second explanation for the existence of God Aquinas bases it (his
argument) on the theory of Causation. He writes, since we know that something
causes another thing, and it is impossible for something to cause itself, then
in order