Chapter 4 is about Anselm and Aquinas, two saints of the Catholic Church. Both thinkers write about the Christian God. Anselm attempts to prove God’s existence by making an ontological argument. An ontological argument seeks to prove God’s existence by asserting that his perfection implies his existence in reality. By the end of the twelfth century, Latin translations of the Greek philosopher Aristotle had become available in Europe. In his Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas draws heavily from Aristotle’s writing partly to present comprehensive arguments about God’s existence. Aquinas finds Anselm’s argument unconvincing; instead, Aquinas seeks to prove God’s existence through “five ways.” The first of Aquinas’ five ways is the argument from change. Pierre d’Ailly, a Catholic Church cardinal, raises objections to Aquinas’ proof that show the limitations of Aristotle’s philosophy, and thereby of natural human reason, to prove the existence of God.
Reflection Paper 3
Write a 1-page reflection of a minimum of 250 words (Times New Roman, font 12, double spaced).
Briefly summarize Aquinas’ argument from change, the first of his five ways. Apply one of d’Ailly’s objections to the argument. Do you agree with d’Ailly that human reason is limited regarding proofs of the existence of God? Explain your answer.
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