Videmus enim quod aliqua quæ cognitione carent, scilicet corpora naturalia, operantur propter finem (We see that things which lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act for an end).
~Thomas Aquinas

In order to move things along, I have decided to forgo explanations and arguments for Aquinas' Third and Fourth Ways, the Arguments from Contingency and Degree, respectively, and skip to the Fifth Way. There are a number of reasons for this decision. First, this series has already been going on for almost ten weeks and there are so many other interesting topics sbout which I would like to write. I would prefer to complete this series sooner, rather than later. Second, out of the five main arguments put forth by Aquinas, his Third and Fourth Ways are the ones which I personally find the least convincing. This does not mean that they are not ultimately correct and sound, but simply that if I were an atheist I would likely not be convinced by those arguments (whereas I find the Arguments from Motion, Efficient Causality and Final Causality to be very persuasive, indeed). The last reason, which is likely tied to the second, is that my understanding of these arguments is not as full as the others; they would be the hardest for me to explain and defend. So, in brief, this will be my last post for a while in this series on Aquinas. It should be noted again, that much of this post (as with previous posts) is taken directly from Edward Feser's work in Aquinas and The Last Superstition. Without further adieu, let's get to work!

"A flabby mind is no badge of spiritual honor." ~David Hazard

Many circles in Christianity have been accused of anti-intellectualism. In many cases, rightly so. There is often an intellectual laziness that affects the minds of some Christians. In terms of defending the faith, it most often shows itself as an underlying assumption that any argument that concludes God exists or that Christianity is true must be sound. This results in nothing but embarrassment for those genuinely seeking to carefully evaluate or defend their faith.

In this post I hope to cover a few truly terrible defenses of theism, in the hopes that readers will both see the errors in the arguments and avoid such arguments. Like terrible objections to theism, they only serve to obstruct meaningful dialogue. In a later post I hope to outline why it is so important for Christians to think carefully and defend the faith in an intellectually responsible and gentle way.

After a short break, we will now continue along in our series on Thomas Aquinas, focusing today on the first two of his arguments for the existence of a First Cause, or God. These first two "ways of knowing God," can broadly be categorized as cosmological arguments. According to the philosopher Alexander Pruss, "a cosmological argument takes some cosmic feature of the universe -- such as the existence of contingent things or the fact of motion -- that calls out for an explanation and argues that this feature is to be explained in terms of the activity of a First Cause, which [is God.]"1 Aquinas' first two arguments attempt to do just that-- the first with respect to motion or change, and the second with respect to causation itself. Most of this post will focus on the first way, the so-called Argument from Motion, because the second way is very similar to the first. I apologize in advance because it will be quite impossible to do these arguments justice in a single blog post, and I encourage readers to check out Aquinas themselves along with some modern commentary for a better understanding.

"The philosophical case against Christianity is rather easily dealt with.  There is no philosophical case against Christianity." ~G.K. Chesterton

There are many objections to the existence of an all-powerful creator God, and even more to Christianity.  They range from the powerful  -  even compelling - to the truly embarrassing.  This blog will tend towards examining some of the more interesting objections.  But some of the truly terrible objections are so pervasive today that they must be dealt with even in passing.  Otherwise, they only serve to provide a roadblock to meaningful dialogue between atheists and theists.  This post will tackle only a few.  My next post will deal with a few really bad defenses of Christianity.

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