Explain how Aquinas uses the three Cs to prove the existence of God

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Megan Williams

Religious Studies


September 22nd 2012

The Cosmological argument

Explain how Aquinas uses the three C’s to prove the existence of God (30 marks)

Cosmological is from the Greek word Cosmos meaning the universe. The Cosmological Argument is a posteriori argument and uses evidence around us to prove that God exists, the main evidence used is that the universe exists but doesn’t need to therefore something/one must have created it.

St Thomas Aquinas wrote a book the Summa Theologica which explains his proof that God exists using change, cause and contingency, it is heavily influenced by Aristotle.

The Cosmological Argument seeks to establish the prime mover and argues there has to be an ultimate explanation for the world’s beginning otherwise nothing can be accounted for.

The physical rules of the universe only work inside the universe therefore anything outside of the universe the rules don’t apply. The thing that started the universe must exist outside of the universe. God is not seen as a man with a lot of power, God in these circumstances is just seen as something that created the universe and can be given any name but the chosen name was God.  

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The first C, Change

Aristotle’s idea was that everything in the universe is in motion therefore everything has the ability to change or become different in some way. Everything has the potential to be different in some way but needs something to act upon it so that it can change. This is known as an efficient cause and must be in a state of actuality otherwise it cannot fulfil the potential of other things.  For example a baker has to be a baker to make a cake and can’t be a builder trying to make a cake otherwise it wouldn’t ...

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