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Aristotle believed that everything has a cause. He saw four different explanations for thing being the way they are:1. The material cause-the material or matter than the thing is made of-the bronze of the statue.2. The efficient cause

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Introduction

Aristotle believed that everything has a cause. He saw four different explanations for thing being the way they are: 1. The material cause-the material or matter than the thing is made of-the bronze of the statue. 2. The efficient cause- the agent that brings the thing about- the sculptor of the statue 3. The formal cause-the model or idea that the statue conforms to-the pattern that the sculptor followed. 4. The final cause-the reason for the thing- its purpose-the reason the sculptor carved the statue. Aristotle therefore defines an object not just in terms of the stuff that it is made of. In particular, he defines an object in terms of its purpose. Telos means 'end' or 'goal'. Aristotle shared a belief with many other Greek philosophers. He believed that everything was subject to change. A near contemporary had said "you never step into the same river twice" called Heraclitus. Aristotle agreed with this, that everything is subject to change. This change is caused by something. Aristotle thought that everything is 'on the move' and move through the stages of quality of position and of condition. Things are getting darker, lighter, wetter, drier, hotter, cooler, here there and so on. Aristotle believed that something causes this motion. Aristotle thought that there was a chain of 'causers' stretching back to something that caused motion, but remains unmoved itself. ...read more.

Middle

The soul is the person's identity-the body is more like the dwelling of the soul. Aristotle took a more materiality view of the soul and the body. He believed that the body was the 'stuff' that a person was made of. The soul is the person's 'form'. The soul is more than just an animating spirit. It is more than simply the mind. The "soul" is the pattern of humanity that the person conforms to. Each "soul" includes the unique form of each unique person. For Aristotle, the soul is the complete package of a human being, not simply the spark that makes it go. It the sum total of a thing, including its function and purpose. Considering a set of carpenter's tools, the thing that makes the axe different to the hammer. Both are made from a wooden handle and a metal head attached. If the axe were a living thing, then its "body" is the wood and metal that it is made of. The "soul" of the axe is its ability to chop through wood. The soul is not separate from the body. It is a basic part of it, and does not live on after death. However, Aristotle believed that reason is associated with the pure thought of the Prime Mover. The prime Mover is eternal and infinite. ...read more.

Conclusion

Sigmund freud argued that our perception of order and purpose in the universe is simply 'wishful thinking' by humanity who want to feel the important and purposeful. French author, Albert Camus described the universe as 'absurd'. Aristotle's concept of the Prime Mover is problematic. For Christians this is not their idea of "God"! The Prime Mover does not do anything! He is completely separate from the world, has no interest in the world of the people in it. The Prime Mover cannot answer prayers or act in the world. There is no way this "God" can have a relationship with individuals. The Prime Mover's nature as "Pure thought" seems to contradict Aristotle's empirical view of the world, where he asserts that true knowledge is gained from studying the material world. How can study of the world around us provide knowledge of the Prime Mover? Aristotle's theory of the Prime Mover is impossible for Christians to accept by it has influenced their ideas about the 'Christian God', particularly the idea that God is unchanging and exists eternally beyond space and time. In my opinion Aristotle uses the idea of the Prime Mover as an explanation for purpose in the universe. It also allows him to 'elevate' (thinking) to a divine status, this is what the Prime Mover does! The Prime Mover and the Final Cause (everything has an ultimate purpose) are the areas of Aristotle's theory that provoke the most criticism. ...read more.

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