Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) and Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) both use logical reasoning to get their argument for why it is logical (or necessary) to believe in God's existence heard. Aquinas uses five different examples to explain the reasoning of beliefs. His five examples are: The argument from change, the argument from causation, the argument from contingency, the argument from degrees of excellence, and the final, argument from harmony. Pascal uses the logic of probability. He states that what is the worst that can happen if you believe God exists and he does exist or whats the worst that can happen if you believe he exist and he doesn't exist and vice versa. In this essay I will be writing about each philosophers argument and comparing their arguments.
Thomas Aquinas states in his first argument, the argument from change, that everything in motion is moved by something else. That if there is a effect there needs to be a cause, there is no infinite regress of causes and effects. He uses the example of a piece of wood on fire. He states that the wood is originally cold and the the hot (fire) is the secondary effect of the wood and something needs to cause the wood to get hot. He also uses another example of a stick. The stick can not move itself it needs something to move it such as a hand. I fully understand and agree with what he is trying to argue. He is saying that we don't need to look past God because we would just be wasting our time, that there is nothing beyond Him.
In his second argument, the argument from causation, he states that where there is an effect there is a cause. He says that among worldly things there is a regular order. That with everything, and I mean everything there needs to be a cause for some material object to act. I use the word act for the reason of when something moves it develops a personality. The reason I say this is that includes human beings. God is our cause, we move because of him. We are the effect of his creation. He caused us to move, so we do.
In his third argument, the argument from contingency, he states that everything that exist is capable of not existing. If there is nothing on this earth that can not exist forever than there is the possibility that at one point in time absolutely nothing existed. Now if nothing existed than we would not be today because than nothing would have existed to create us. In other words, we were need something that exists unending, and has a “necessary” existence, that is, it does not depend on anything (or anyone) else for its existence or sustainment. And this “something” we call God. (text pg 52).
In his fourth Argument, the argument from degrees of excellence, he states that everything worldly has something more perfect than the other, or better than the other. Such as when we say something is hot there is something hotter, or if we say someone is a loyal servant there is always a more loyal servant. Not one thing has a limit, there is always better. For example, if we look at human beings, there has to be some being that is like us, only far greater and more perfect, something perfect, and that being is God.
In his fifth argument, the argument from harmony, he states us humans strive for a goal of existence, that we strive for excellence and the best possible result. He also states that things without knowledge don't move towards a goal unless directed with something knowledge. For instance a horse can not do tricks or look pretty without a human teaching them to do so. Otherwise they just stand in the stall or maybe run around. As the same for humans, if God did not put thoughts in our head to act than we would be no better than a horse. God is the one who directs all things. We need some sort of higher power directing our existence, because if we didn't, we would be brain dead.
Aquinas has very strong and compelling arguments, and I agree with everything that he says. Now we are going to see what