TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE: PHILOSOPHY AND THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
and the its Quest for Knowledge
for the Existence of God
Against the Existence of God References
CHAPTER TWO: A
PHILOSOPHICAL INVESTIGATION OF THE PROBLEM OF EVIL
2.1 The Logical Challenge
2.2 The Evidential Challenge
2.3 The Skeptical Challenge
2.4 Theological Challenge
ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
3.1 Historical Background of Thomas Aquinas Philosophy
3.2 Argument from Motion 34-35
3.3 Argument from Efficient Causes 35-36
3.4 Argument from Possibility and Necessity 36-37
3.5 Argument from Design 37-39 References
CHAPTER FOUR: EVALUATION
OF AQUINAS ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
on Fallacy of Equivocation
Implication of Aquinas Argument
1.1 PHILOSOPHY AND ITS QUEST FOR KNOWLEDGE
Philosophy was created from man's quest for
knowledge.lt is a reasoned pursuit of fundamental truths, a quest for
understanding, and a study of principles of conduct. Philosophy seeks to
establish standard of evidence, to provide rational methods of resolving
conflicts, and to create techniques for evaluating ideas and arguments. It
gives one the ability to see the world from the perspective of other inch the
perspective of other inch vandals (Plato, Aristotle, Thales, Anaximander,
Socrates ect) and other groups and cultures. It enhances our ability to
perceive the relationships among the various fields of study, and it deepens
one's sense of the meaning and varieties of human experience philosophy is an
endless search for knowledge.
Philosophy is the only discipline that
pursues question in every dimension of human life, and its technique apply to
problem in any field of study or endeavor. Other disciplines like religion,
psychology, sociology, law, machine, education and other fields of study hold
philosophy very important.
Philosophy is the mother of all disciplines,
it is very unique unlike other field. It has no universally acceptable
definition, it is a unique berth in its methods, nature and its application.
However, the knowledge of man's existence is
not as tasking as that of God but yet, its serves as the topmost miracles in
the world. This factual injunction is supported in one of completion's
statement that miracles in the world are many and that there is no greater
miracles than man1. The search for the true nature of man has
generated a lot of philosophical discussion, conflicting views and hypothesis.
Xenophanes was the Greek pre-Socratic
philosopher who woke the metaphysicians and Theologian from their dogmatic
slumber, when he criticize the anthropomorphism of God, even since then, there
has been an attempt to understand the nature of God.
Various religions thinkers have held that God
is different from finite beings that he must be considered essentially a
mystery beyond the power of human conception, the philosopher to the God of
In Judaism, Christianity and Islam God is
conceived primarily in term of transcendence, personality Hebrew Scriptures, in
which God is presented as creator. In the beginning God created the Heaven and
the Earth1. This God is anthropomorphic. He has finite intelligent
and has epistemic unit this is made manifest in his regret over the creation of
This God is tribalistic as secure in his
astounding support for the Jewish race above any other reace. View of malinky
keener. He writes:
understands of God is frankly authromorphics. He promised and threatened. He
could be angry and Attributes were righteousness, justice, mercy truth and Faithfulness.
He binds himself by covenant to his people And thus limit himself3
Suffice to note that the idea of God in the New
Testament and that of the Old Testament varies. They are not exact synonyms.
The God of the New Testament popularly called the Christian God is a universal
God and all loving God that is essentially omniscience. In as much as this idea
is subject to different interpretation, this God is cast in the form of trinity
of God the son, God the father and God the Holy Spirit. Christians teach that
God is almighty and is in dominion over all that is in heaven and earth,
righteous in judgment over good and evil beyond time and space and change, but
over all they teach that "God is love"4 . He is love
personified. The creation of the world out of nothing and the creation of the
human race were expression of that love and so was the coming of Christ5.
This God is a miracle working God. He is invisible or incorporeal.
In Islam, God is seen as one, prefect,
uncreated, eternal, omnipotent and creator of the most gracious, the most
merciful, the only owner and the only ruling judge of the day of recompense6
monotheistic religions, the charge has often been made that the Christian
notion of trinity in particular is at variance with the oneness of God in
monotheism. God is seen as the cause and creator of everything, he knows everything
and foreseen everything. He is an embouchement of justice. In the words of
Gerald Hawting "this God is one, there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is
the messenger of God"7
In the African Traditional religion
especially in the Yoruba socio-cultural Millie, the idea of God is different.
God (olodumare) is more akin to the Old Testament. Yahweh in his requirement of
honesty and uprightness. God is the creator, He creates both good and the evil.
He is the most powerful being. His ways are in comprehensible. J.S MBITI assert
the Yoruba consider God to be judge over all. J.A.I BEWAJI says this about
There is no doubt
that God is the most powerful being Being and he has all the supernatural
attribute one can Consider but the Yoruba does not think such a being Cannot do
evil or cause evil. It is part of the attribute Of the supreme being to be able
to utilize all things.8
In a similar vein E.B Idowu Maintains that:
He is the most
powerful being the creator, the wise
impartial judge who exercises inexorable control over the universe.
J.A.I. Bewaji is also of the opinion that:
The source of evil
are God devised and help to maintain High moral standard the Christian God is
ever merciful, Slow to anger but quick to forgive. In fact, he does not Desire
the death of the sinners but that he repent and Be saved. Whereas the Yoruba Olodumare is morally Upright God who metes out justice
here on earth and not necessarily in
the hereafter where we are not sure anybody will witness and learn from it10.
The Nicholas and Cusha see God as an amalgam
of good and evil. Process theologian like whitehead conceived and the world as
sharing the same process and being dependent on each other for growth and
development. God is also considered as dipolar, having one aspect of his being
which is dependent of his world and another, which is completely immersed into the
world process and suffers with it. A process of theology
as implied he explains the
exercise of evil and suffering
by extending to every level of creation the freedom to respond or
failure to respond to the persuasive law of God.
The conception of God from the process
philosophy selves two major problems being faced by the Christian philosophers.
These problems are; how can an immaterial being or spiritual be the source of
matter? To this, the process philosophy explained by trying to remove the
duality between God and matter, an integral part of the divine being. The
second solution which the concept of God by the process philosophy solved is
that of the problem of evil. To this school of thought, God just means that he
is not the creator of evil.
Sigmund Freud conceive God as a product of
illusion. God is an illusion devised to plug the 100pholes of security left by
maturity above parental care. These various conceptions show that God is
subject to different interpretation.
1.3 ARGUMENTS FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD.
Immanuel cant maintained that the existence
of God cannot at all be demonstrated, yet
neither can his existence be
disproved. To kant, God was considered to be an objective issue, one that is
irrefutably a matter of interpretation. He says that the idea of God grounds
moral beliefs, therefore we can make the practical assumption that God exists
to ensure the connection between virtue and happiness.
Frederick Nietzsche rejected belief in God as
weak and unreliable. Philosophers like Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud tried to
explain the personal motives of believes and their origins, pointing out that
this is not enough to prove the existence of God. We have different argument
for the existence of God propounded by different philosopher’s right from the
time of Aristotle to Spinoza, and from one philosophical age to the other.
We also have the theistic concept of God. The
theists see God to be unlimited with regard to knowledge that is omniscience.
Power, he is regarded to be omnipotent, and omnipresent. God is also regarded
to be sexless but he is been traditionally referred to with the masculine
Augustine, Dunscotus, St. Thomas Aquinas
sought to find more concrete and solid evidences for the existence of God. To
Plato, God is transcendence; that is the highest and most perfect being, and on
who uses eternal forms or archetypes,
to fashion a universe that is eternal and uncreated. Different philosophers
right from the early philosophic thoughts to the modern have tried in a lot of
ways to give rational proofs to God's existence. They have tried to explain
god's nature in the scheme of things. We shall discuss the following argument
to prove the existence of God
1. Cosmological Argument: This argument is usually associated with
Thomas Aquinas, he argues that the things which we see around us now are the
products of a series of previous causes. Thus, there must be some first cause
which was not itself caused by anything else. And that first uncaused caused by
God. It could be referred to as the causal argument or first causes. The
argument in its simplest from states that:
All that exists is caused by something other than Itself,
and the universe exists. So the universe is caused by something other than
itself, whatever caused the
universe is greater than the universe So God caused the universe11.
There are also the experiential argument, in which people widen personal
religions experiences of God argue in support of his existence we have
argument by reason and moral MgvffiaerA.
2. Argument from Design: This argument states that animals, plants and
planets show clear signs of being designed for specific ends, therefore there
must have been a designer. The argument from designer can also be called the
theological argument for the existence of God. Proponents claim that the design
or order found in the universe provides evidence for the existence of an
intelligent designer usually identified as God.
parley here compared the complexity of living things to the inferior complexity
of a watch that we know to be designed by an intelligent being. Just
as a watch could not exist without a watchmaker. Parley argued that living
things could not exist without an intelligent designer.
Since watches are the products of intelligent design,
and living things are like watches in having complicated me chansons which
serve a purpose, living things are probably the products of intelligent design
Argument: This argument is
called an ontological argument because it points to the existence of God
through the type of being. The perfect being conceivable, and anything that is
the greatest or most perfect being is something that exists (otherwise it would
lack something and fail to be the greatest or most perfect thing conceived ) so
God exists because of the notion that God is a perfect being, that he is all
knowing, all powerful, and all good. This argument states that everyone except
the fool believes in his mind that there is a being greater and prefect, which
is God. Therefore, for man to have been able to conceive the idea of a being
greater than it, point to the fact that God exists in reality.
And certainly that man which nothing greater Than
Can be conceived cannot exist merely in The understanding. For instance it
exist merely In the understanding, then it can be conceived To exist in reality
which is greater.13
Anselm was the proponent of this theory, he argues that for something to have
been conceive in our understanding affirms existence in reality.
1.4 ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE EXISTENCE OF GOD.
Different philosophers at one point or the
other have objected to various argument for the existence of God. These
argument are given in form of an objection to the various arguments in support
of God existence. The school thought or philosophers that argued against the
existence of God can be regarded as atheist. We shall explain this from the
perspective of pains and evil in the world.
1. PAIN: In the words of Frederic Nietzsche "God is dead". Nietzsche's
state went here does not mean that God once existed and now is dead. He made
this statement in order to make it clear or to stamp on the minds of the
religions that with the presence of pain natural disasters, disharmony and
anarchy present in the universe shows that there is nothing as the existence of
God. Nietzsche's maintains that:
All people with an ounce of intelligence would hove
perceive that there is
no Intelligent plan to the universe or rational Order unit: they would now understand
Happen one way and not another and that
the harmony and order we imagine to exists in the universe is merely pasted by
the human mind.14
The argument proposes that
because God allows pain, disease and natural
disaster to exist he cannot be all powerful and also loving and good in the
human sense of these words. Nietzsche sees religions people as pathetic
governed by the view inculcated by religion, science and philosophy, a view
that make s them feeble losers. They view the world as national law governed
place and they stick to this slave mentality or morality that praises the man
who serve his follows with meekness and self-sacrifice. He proposed an morality
which is based on the development of a hard kind of human being. Such a being
will accept life in all its face is, including pain and thus being will made
living an art.
Blase Pascal comments that
disharmony and pain in the universe is a major pointer to the non-existence of a divine being:
I would remain peacefully in faith. But seeing Too
much to deny and too little to be sure, I am in a state to be pitied: wherefore
J have a Hundred times wished that if God maintains Nature, he should testify
to him unequivocally.15
from injustices all state that God
is partial in the allocation of
destines if he ever did. The argument from multiplicity states that from the on
conflicting reports of various
religions about God, affirms that the only one or even none can be right
Sigmund Freud is of the
opinion that religion or belief in God is an exercise in mass decision and
serves mainly to keep people in a state of psychological infantilism. Because
of the pain and challenges in life. Man created in his mind the figure of an
exalted father, who reassures like our own father did that all will soon come
to an end. The fact remains that if he is as powerful as professed things ought
to have been solved by now. Freud concludes that human beings would be happier
if they retained a modicum of reality in the thinking and cultivated their own
Frederick Copleston, A
History of Philosophy vol.1. (New
York: image books 1960) p. 102.
The Holy Bible
Genesis Chapter Ivsl
Malinky Kerner, God
in Philosophical Analysis (New
Delhi: Alhied publishes 1990) p. 54-57.
The Holy Bible, John
chapter 3 vsl 6.
Ibid, John Chapter 3
The Noble Quran,
Surat Alfatihah Chapter Ivsl -5.
Gerald Hawting, Islam (London: Oxford
university press 2002) p. 15
J.A.I.Bewaji, African Religions and Philosophy (London: Heinemann 1969) p.
God in Yoruba Belief (London: Longman 1962) p. 76.
Akinyemi Onigbinde, What is Philosophy? (Ibandan: front line Resource Limited 1999) p.49.
Dale Jacquette, Philosophical
Entrees (Columbus: Mc Graw Hill 2001) p. 385-397.
Brooke Noel and
Kenneth Bruder, Philosophy: The Power of Ideas (Columbus: Mc Graw Hill
2001) p. 342.
Brooke Noel and
Kenneth Bruder, Philosophy: The
Power of Ideas (Columbus: Me Graw Hill 2001) p. 363.
Philosophical Entrees (Columbus:
Mc Graw Hill 2001) p. 427