Political Idea Essay

This essay has a total of 1771 words and 6 pages.

Political Idea



Throughout time there have always been some philosophers who present theories, which have
philosophical themes in religious thinking that, are in connection to current social and
political ideas. Thinkers like St. Anselm, St. Thomas Aquinas, and John Hick all express
their views and feelings on the existence of God, as well as the human race. Their
theories are based off asking questions like why are we here and how do we prove God's
existence? Is there really life after death and where does the soul go? They also explore
the ideas and theories behind the nature of man and what relationship that has with the
existence of God. With one goal in mind, at three different times in history each have
resulted in the same conclusion, that God does exist and his existence is a result of
knowing and understanding why he exists. They all prove their theories in different ways,
but their outcome is one in the same.

St. Anselm takes the Ontological argument to explain to existence of God. An ontological
argument is simply an analysis of the nature or being of something, where we would attempt
to define the object, to understand its nature and to be able to list all its qualities
and attributes. However, it is important to keep in mind the difference between appearance
and reality when using the ontological argument to define God's existence. There are
things that appear to be real in the presence of God, but are indeed only an image of the
mind. Anselm begins first with the meaning of the word God. According to most Jews and
Christians, the term God means one that is greatest in power, in knowledge, in goodness
and in reality; which then can be translated to be God is conceived as the most perfect
being. Since this view of God that accords with the faith commitments of most believers,
Anselm uses it in his ontological analysis. His definition becomes "that being than which
none greater can be conceived", making God not only the greatest being, but yet the
greatest conceivable being.

Based on Anselm's definition he makes the argument that for a being that exists both in
understanding and in reality, which would be greater than a being existing in
understanding alone. Therefore, as Anselm stated "even a fool is convinced that something
exists in the understanding, at least, than which nothing greater can be conceived. For,
when he hears of this, he understands it. And whatever is understood exists in the
understanding." This theory proves that God is the highest being on heaven and earth, and
is above anyone else as being the greatest. If this is true, than it can be stated that
God does exist. So that God is the greatest conceivable being known to man, and to know
God exists, we must know what he is and how to explain his presence. When we can sense and
explain God's existence wthen we begin to understand the concept of God, and to know that
such an almighty being exists is the greatest truth and knowledge man could ever know.
Anselm most certainly brought a clear view on the presence of God, and from that
knowledge, St. Thomas Aquinas expanded those ideas to the next level.

St. Thomas Aquinas lived in a critical juncture of western culture when the arrival of the
Aristotelian corpus in Latin translation reopened the question of the relation between
faith and reason. Many contemporary philosophers are unsure how to read St. Thomas
Aquinas. Nonetheless, among his writings, were found works that anyone would recognize as
philosophical and commentaries on Aristotle increasing intrest of Aristotelian scholars.
For Aquinas his best known work is the Summa Theologiae. In his writing he makes his
arugment of God's existance from natural stand point, which is a way of using what we know
about nature to discover truths about God. This is based on knowledge we first gain from
the senses. Aquinas doesn't agree with the ontological argument. He instead uses the
disputed question format to prove his theory. Two important objections he makes are one,
to any argument for God is the presence of evil in the world. For if there is exists an
all-powerful, all-good God, then there shouldn't be evil in the world. Two we can account
for the world on its own without appealing to God as its creator. Aquinas makes these
objections to help prove his theory.

In the Summa Theologiae, Aquinas proves God's existence in five ways; one through motion,
two the relates to motion theory, three possibilty and necessity, four gradition of things
and five governance. Each of these ways helps to establish understanding and meaning to
God's life. However, it is the third way that needs to be looked at closely. According to
Aquinas "The third way is taken from possibility and necessity, and runs thus. We find in
nature things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are found to be generated
and to be corrupted, and consequently, it is possible for them to be and not to be. But is
impossible for these always to exist, for that which can not-be at some time is not.
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