The Arguments for Gods Existence in SCG 113

What he actually provides there are five arguments presumably intended to fill that bill, introducing them in this way: 'having shown that it is not pointless to try to demonstrate that God exists, let us proceed to put forward arguments by means of which philosophers as well as Catholic teachers have proved that God exists' (13.81). The first four arguments are ascribed to Aristotle, the fifth to John Damascene and Averroes.

The fact that there are five arguments here is likely to make people think of Aquinas's much better-known cluster of a posteriori arguments for the existence of God, the Five Ways of ST la.2.3; and a comparison of the two groups is instructive. The Five Ways are based on considerations of various aspects of sense-perceptible reality: first, motion; second, efficient causality; third, contingency and necessity; fourth, degrees of perfection; fifth, purpose and directedness. The fourth and fifth SCG arguments clearly parallel ST's Fourth and Fifth Ways, and the third SCG argument parallels the Second Way. In none of those three pairings is the SCG member of the pair fuller than, or superior in any other respect to, its ST counterpart, and for present purposes I have no more to say about them.

end p.60

Kretzmann, Norman , (deceased) formerly Susan Linn Sage Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Cornell University, New York

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