Using theist arguments to 'prove' God does not exist
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01-06-2014, 03:29 PM
RE: Using theist arguments to 'prove' God does not exist
Every claim made by a theist that doesn't stand up to evidence proves that religious gods don't exist.

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27-09-2016, 11:01 AM
RE: Using theist arguments to 'prove' God does not exist
Thanks to theBorg for reminding me to get my arse into gear and improve the five so called 'proofs' of Thomas Aquinas.

As before, I tried to stick as close to the original as possible until the last step when the theist makes a huge leap of logic in the hope that people are so used to nodding in agreement that they just accept whatever they say. Yet with these ones, even the very first premise is either completely wrong or relying on equivocation.

I have taken the inane ramblings from here: St. Thomas Aquinas' attempts to prove the Existence of God in five ways.

The First Way: Argument from Motion
  • Our senses prove that some things are in motion.
  • Things move when potential motion becomes actual motion.
    Only an actual motion can convert a potential motion into an actual motion.
  • Nothing can be at once in both actuality and potentiality in the same respect (i.e., if both actual and potential, it is actual in one respect and potential in another).
  • Therefore nothing can move itself.
  • Therefore each thing in motion is moved by something else.
  • The sequence of motion extends ad infinitum because things change over time, actual motion stops and can increase in potential motion. Motion is performed by energy and energy cannot be created nor destroyed.
  • Therefore there cannot be a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands would be God.
  • Therefore God cannot exist.



The Second Way: Argument from Efficient Causes
  • We perceive a series of efficient causes of things in the world.
  • Nothing exists prior to itself.
  • Therefore nothing [in the world of things we perceive] is the efficient cause of itself.
  • If a previous efficient cause does not exist, neither does the thing that results (the effect).
  • Therefore if the first thing in a series does not exist, nothing in the series exists.
  • If the series of efficient causes extends ad infinitum into the past, for then there would be no things existing now.
  • That is plainly false (i.e., there are things existing now that came about through efficient causes)
  • This shows that the concept of efficient cause is flawed and relies on equivocation. Instead matter and energy has just been rearranged in different forms.
  • Therefore there cannot have been a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.



The Third Way: Argument from Possibility and Necessity (Reductio argument)
  • We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, that come into being and go out of being i.e., contingent beings.
  • Assume that every being is a contingent being.
  • For each contingent being, there is a time it does not exist.
  • Therefore it is impossible for these always to exist.
  • Therefore there could have been a time when no things existed.
  • Therefore at that time there would have been nothing to bring the currently existing contingent beings into existence.
  • Therefore, nothing would be in existence now.
  • We have reached an absurd result from assuming that every being is a contingent being.
  • Yet to argue that only one being is not contingent is special pleading.
  • Therefore there cannot have been an initial being caused by something else. This all men speak of as God, which cannot exist.



The Fourth Way: Argument from Gradation of Being
  • There is a gradation to be found in things: some are better or worse than others.
  • Predications of degree require reference to the “uttermost” case (e.g., a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest).
  • The maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus.
  • A maximum is a limit of a particular value.
  • Therefore something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection which we call God cannot exist because it would be limited by having a maximum.



The Fifth Way: Argument from Design
  • We see that natural bodies work toward some goal, and do not do so by chance.
  • Most natural things lack knowledge.
  • But as an arrow reaches its target because it is directed by an archer, what lacks intelligence achieves goals by being directed by something intelligence.
  • But some natural bodies such as humans and animals, have intelligence and are directing other natural bodies that lack natural intelligence.
  • This means that there cannot exist a single intelligent being, which we call God, that directs everything.
  • Therefore if anything is directing natural bodies that lack intelligence, it is merely another being and not God.
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