The Historical Development of Religious Philosophy

Post your response to the following question: Considering the historical development of religious philosophy, whose philosophies do you think most advanced Western religious thought? Explain your answer.

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I would have to say that I believe St. Thomas Aquinas advanced western religious thought the most. He had some very interesting proofs of the existence of God. Of the five proofs that St. Aquinas formulated the most convincing for me would be his first three; of which the third is the climax. Apparently, these first three arguments are all cosmological arguments. For me, these arguments point to some very convincing philosophical evidence that there has to be the first cause. My final paper is going to be on the topic of whether God exists and I have learned some very useful information in this chapter.

Specifically this third proof of St. Aquinas’s is, I believe, the most convincing. It is like Aquinas is following a trail of dominoes back to the first domino. What St. Aquinas basically states, in these three proofs, is that someone had to push the first domino over. Even if there were some way to prove that everything exists eternally and did not necessarily have to be constructed out of nothing, we still have to account for why things are the way they are and not some other way. Surely we could postulate that it is possible for everything not to exist. Why does the universe have to exist? The answer is it doesn’t, but there must be something that necessarily exists. We could say it was the universe or us or time or matter itself, but something must necessarily exist or we came from nothingness.

I say that St. Aquinas advances religious philosophy the most because his proofs are apparently the beginnings of the current Intelligent Design movement, of which I ascribe to.

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Bruder, K., & Moore, B. N. (2002). Philosophy: The power of ideas (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

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