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29

No, Hawking did not just prove God's existence. Here's why: Even if your argument is true (it's not), it would only imply the existence of something that is capable of causing universes. This "universe-causer" need not even be sentient, and certainly wouldn't have to be a God. The problem with invoking God as the cause through arguing that "nothing is ...


28

No There are several problems with your assumption How did God come into existence if things do not come into existence? You would need to alter the first statement to "Created things do not come into existence uncaused" This argument can be expanded indefinetely and is known as Turtles all the way down. The Cosmological argument exaplains other ...


11

Aquinas claims that "Things do not come into existence uncaused", but how does he know this to be true? Is there any rigorous way he can eliminate the possibility that every once in a very great while (perhaps just once, in fact), something did arise uncaused? Second: if he is willing to accept an uncaused God, is there any reason not to accept an uncaused ...


10

I think Dawkins is a little sloppy in explanation here, but his counter-argument, once understood, is devastating. Firstly, he notes in passing that these arguments assume that there must be a "first cause". This is not readily apparent. We could live in a universe that has existed forever, or a universe that exists within some greater structure which ...


9

I'm a medievalist. I don't know of any discussion of angels dancing on pinheads, probably because literally every medieval theologian (at least in the Christian tradition) would have regarded angels as immaterial beings. So they don't occupy space (or at the very least, not in the same way bodies do). Aquinas argues in Summa Theologica I q. 52 a. 3 ("...


8

Thomists affirm theism, but God would be a counterexample to your proposition as stated: God is something "that exists" in Himself; He does not "exist by something [else]". Thomists' principle of sufficient reason (PSR) A more accurate statement of Thomists' version of PSR is (Philosophical Axiom 7.1): Everything has sufficient reason of being either in ...


7

The key to understanding what is meant by Aquinas' use of the term potential with the matter and form of Angels is to go back to Artistotle's use of the terms: energeia or entelecheia, and dynamis. But let me back up. In the Articles and Questions preceding the Response to Objection 3 he's already established the grounds for which he'll state that the ...


7

On the 7th of the 24 Thomistic Theses, Creatura spiritualis est in sua essentia omnino simplex. Sed remanet in ea compositio duplex: essentiae cum esse et substantiae cum accidentibus. The spiritual creature is as to its essence altogether simple. Yet there remains a twofold composition in it: that, namely, of essence with existence and that of ...


7

The efficient cause is not numerically identical with the effect because the "things" involved into the "production process" are different individials : the father of John generates John but he is a different individual : the father is not numerically identical with the son. But the father, in order to produce a man must be himself a man, i.e. he must ...


6

What you say reminds me of Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy book 5, "Freewill & God's Foreknowledge," where he argues, through the lips of Lady Philosophy, that "nor, indeed, can any creature be rational, unless he be endowed with free will." Boethius discusses this within the context of necessity/determinism and divine foreknowledge, resolving the ...


6

Not only is the answer an obvious "no" because the premises don't restrict the solution to an entity that would conventionally be called God (e.g. the universe is a forgotten and unattended simulation on a computer in another universe with vastly more computational power than ours), there are other possibilities that haven't even been considered. For ...


4

It is important in reading Dawkins to understand that the only evidence that is admissible are essentially material: Things we detect directly with our senses Things we can detect by having our senses enhanced (e.g., via telescope, magnifying glass) Models that can be created as a result from data collected in 1 or 2. Since Thomas's argument does not use ...


4

Just because the Universe has a beginning does not mean that there had to be a god to create it. There could have been a cause that was not God. Perhaps there was a Universe that Predated our that no longer exists but was the roots of the creation of our universe. As we have no data upon which to evaluate this universe or any other competing or ...


4

It's not a counter-argument to Aquinas, but others have already adressed it. I just want to say that Hawking's actual stance on the subject has changed. He argues that the Hawking-Hartle no boundary proposal (which is a way to compute the wavefunction of the universe) can be interpreted to mean that the universe had a beginning and still was not created. ...


4

St. Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica question "Of the Accidents Which Remain in This Sacrament" should help. Relevant to your question "Is transubstantiation faithful to Aristotle's categories?," its article "Whether the accidents remain in this sacrament without a subject?" contains an objection that cites Aristotle: [N]ot even by miracle can the ...


4

Think of some examples. Here's a classic Thomist "analogical" term: "healthy". Properly speaking it is only bodies that are healthy, and for a body to be healthy is for it to be in good working order. For medicine to be healthy isn't for the medicine to be in good working order, it is for the medicine to have the power to put bodies into good working order. ...


4

Agent intellect is the faculty that mediates between concrete things and abstract concepts. Avicenna and Aquinas represented opposite positions on its nature, and we do not know which position is closer to the truth even today, although the issues are phrased very differently of course. The notion of agent intellect goes back to Aristotle who distinguished ...


4

What seems to be omitted is that Aristotle was a realist about forms. He does call them secondary substances whose existence depends on the existence of primary substances (particulars, e.g. material things), but he does say that both exist in re, see Aristotle's Theory of Abstraction by Bäck, Ch.2. Furthermore, the "structure" is not a mere epiphenomenon of ...


4

One view is that Ockham invented his Nominalism in order to justify his being against the papacy. The Thomist semiotician John Deely, in his Four Ages of Understanding pp. 394 ff., shows how the Great Western "Schism" lead to the adoption of Ockham's nominalism, despite its weaknesses. Ockham, a Franciscan, wrote—"at the end of his letter to the General ...


4

St. Thomas follows Aristotle in his solution of the regress problem: There must be an indemonstrable first principle because if everything were demonstrable, there would be an infinite regress; cf. his Expositio Posteriorum lib. 1 l. 7. Also, St. Thomas discusses in ibid. l.8 that circular demonstration ultimately leads to saying "if A is, A must be—a simple ...


4

See the first of the 24 Thomistic Theses: Potentia et actus ita dividunt ens, ut quidquid est, vel sit actus purus, vel ex potentia et actu tamquam primis atque intrinsecis principiis necessario coalescat. Potency and Act so divide being that whatsoever exists either is a Pure Act, or is necessarily composed of Potency and Act, as to its primordial ...


4

See J. Lukasiewicz, E. Anscombe and K. Popper, Symposium: The Principle of Individuation (1953), page 93-on (Anscombe) : The statement that matter is the principle of individuation does not mean that the identity of an individual consists in the identity of its matter. Thus it is not an objection against it that the matter of a man's body changes in the ...


4

There isn't really a ubiquitous reading of the principle of sufficient reason (PSR), so I think it's worth going over some distinctions and different formulations. There are at least two major formulations of the PSR, and several sub-formulations of each of the two major formulations (my six below are by no means exhaustive). The first major formulation is ...


3

I can't say I've read Aquinas extensively to say anything authoritative, but it doesn't seem like he would say that free-will requires randomness. Consider this passage from Summa Theologica: Man has free-will: otherwise counsels, exhortations, commands, prohibitions, rewards, and punishments would be in vain. In order to make this evident, we must ...


3

Probably the best quote, Posteriora Analytica l. 13 n. 7: …quia formæ essentiales non sunt nobis per se notæ, oportet quod manifestentur per aliqua accidentia, quæ sunt signa illius formæ, ut patet in VIII Metaphys. Non autem oportet accipere accidentia propria illius speciei, quia talia oportet per definitionem speciei demonstrari; sed oportet notificari ...


3

Aquinas doesn't have anything to say about the liar's paradox, to my knowledge (informed, but finite) knowledge. However, a slightly later medieval philosopher named John Buridan certainly does. Take a look at Gyula Klima's paper on the topic to get a sense of his solution here. In essence what Buridan does is say that the Liar sentence is false, but then ...


3

Dawkins' counter arguments to the arguments you list is written right in the paragraph you provide (it seems a lot of people are offering extraneous reasons). They are: Either infinite regresses exist or they do not (either they can be terminated [ended/no longer infinite] by things, or they cannot). If you believe in an infinite regress, and you invoke ...


3

You can refute or weaken an argument by pointing out an exception to the rule. If someone says: "Material animals are always denser than air, so animals can never fly", you can point to a bird and say: "See ? While your assumption is correct, there is also dynamic lift (wings) which are able to give birds flight. Your conclusion is wrong". If your exception (...


3

One could argue for essences along the following line: Consider a well-designed hammer and screwdriver. Each of them is perfectly fit for its own respective job. Next, join the two tools into one: a hammer-screwdriver. This new "tool" is a kind of misfit. It does not perfectly fit any job. What is the essence of the hammer-screwdriver? Is it a hammer? A ...


3

Your analysis seems to me quite correct. The talk about the "analogical" predication of being may hint at the analogies among the four distinct modes of being that are distinguished in Aristotle's Metaphysics: essential being, accidental being, potential being, and being-true (logical being). It is probably worth pointing out that "being is not a genus" was ...


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