The current essay discusses the cosmological argument presented by Thomas Aquinas in order to prove the existence of God. The existence of God is an eternal philosophical question (Russell 240). A close look at the data indicates that cosmological argument is not a simple argument because it “uses a general pattern of argumentation (logos) that makes an inference from certain alleged facts about the world (cosmos) to the existence of a unique being, generally identified with or referred to as God” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1). Aquinas provided five basic arguments for the existence of God, such as the argument from motion, the argument from efficient causes, the argument from possibility and necessity, the argument from gradation of being, and the argument from design (Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1). In the current paper it is possible to discuss the argument from motion.
The argument from motion is based on eight basic premises. First, it seems obvious that human senses prove that the things are in motion. We could observe the change of the place of various objects around us. With the help of the movement, it is possible for individuals to reach some destination. The science even states that the smallest parts of the matter are also constantly moving. Thus, there is always some endless movement.
Second, Aquinas argues that things move when motion-in-potential becomes actual motion. It means that any object has some potential of movement inside. The movement is possible only in case if this potential exists. The third step of the developing of this thought is that only an actual motion could convert a motion-in-potential into an actual motion. Thus, the object could not start moving itself. There is always the necessity for some external force to force the object to move.
Forth, Aquinas states that any object could be both in the state of motion-in-potential and the state of actual motion. Any object could be only in one state. It is rational because it is impossible for the individual to both stay and run. Consequently, the fifth conclusion of the philosopher is that the object could not force itself to move. This argument is very clear because the existence of the eternal engine has never been proved.
At the other step, the philosopher points out that each moving thing is moved by some external object. This is an understandable conclusion from the previous steps. Finally, Aquinas states that the sequence of the object’s motion could not extend to infinity and, therefore, it is essential for the primary mover to exist. This primary mover is God.
The arguments of Thomas Aquinas are very simple and deep, especially in the aspect of the observation of cosmos, where everything is interconnected. There is not doubt that each object is influenced by others. Thus, according to Aquinas, the start of the Universe was made by the God, who was the first power to force the objects to move.
The primary mistake of the argument from motion is that there is the question regarding the freedom of human’s will. In case if there is no possibility to make the motion without some external force than the human beings are forced to behave in accordance with the primary influence of God. Consequently, there is no free will, just the general plan of the God or just the occasional influence of objects on us. We do not make decisions. However, it is more rational to suggest that we consciously decide how to move and behave. Therefore, the argument of Aquinas is not as good as some theologians consider it to be.
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Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2016. “God, arguments for the existence of”. Web. February 18, 2016.<https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/god-arguments-for-the-existence-of/>
Russell, Bertrand. 2014. The Problems of Philosophy. London: Sage Publications. Print.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2016. “Cosmological Argument”. Web. February 18, 2016.<http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cosmological-argument/>