Exam-Short answers.docx

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Published on 19 Apr 2013
School
UTSG
Department
Philosophy
Course
PHL206H1
Professor
Whether the existence of God is self evident?
According to Aquinas some thing can be self evident in two ways:
1. self evident in itself but not to us
2. self evident itself and to us
In a sentence if both the predicate and the subject is know to us completely it is both self
evident to us and in itself, but if we only the predicate or the subject alone it is self
evident in itself but not to us. Let take the example of a proposition that the “Universe is
expanding” I know what expansion mean based on my daily experience; but I don’t really
know Universe in its essence, or what it mean that the universe is expanding. Hence this
proposition is self evident in itself but is not self evident to me because I don’t know it
completely. Furthermore a cosmologist may know it completely and this proposition is
self evident to a cosmologist and in itself. This would mean that if we know some thing
completely then that thing is self evident in itself and to us but if we don’t know it
completely it is only self evident in itself .For example in this sentence “Man is an animal
we know the subject “Man” in its essence, and its predicate is also know to us, therefore
this proposition is self evident in itself and to us. Now the proposition that “God exists” is
self evident in itself but not to us, because we as human beings don’t know the subject
God completely in its essence hence it is not self evident to us but is in itself. We
therefore need demonstration for the existence of God by the things that are more
known to us, namely by effects.
Whether it can be demonstrated that God exists?
According to Aquinas the existence of God is self evident in itself but not to us; we
therefore need demonstration for the existence of God through things that are known to
us, namely effects.
Aquinas argues that the existence of God can be demonstrated in two ways:
1. Through cause, which is called “prior”
2. Through effect which is called “posterior”
There are two ways of reasoning a thing out. First, we may so perfectly know a cause
that we can reason out what its effect must be; this is a priori reasoning. Secondly, we
may know an effect better than we know its cause, and by studying the effect we can
work back to know the cause that produced it; this is a posteriori reasoning. In proving
the existence of God we use a posteriori reasoning.
We know that every thing that we sense is an effect of a cause, and the effect of a cause
is always after its cause. For example if I get an “A” on the test, this is the effect and the
cause is that I have studied well. A cause always preexists than its effect, as from the
previous example it is impossible that I get an “A” first then I study well. Hence a cause
is “prior” means before and its effect is “posterior” means after. From every effect the
existence of its cause can be demonstrated clearly, hence from the effects of God we
can demonstrate the existence of God.
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Document Summary

According to aquinas some thing can be self evident in two ways: self evident in itself but not to us, self evident itself and to us. Hence this proposition is self evident in itself but is not self evident to me because i don"t know it completely. Furthermore a cosmologist may know it completely and this proposition is self evident to a cosmologist and in itself. Now the proposition that god exists is self evident in itself but not to us, because we as human beings don"t know the subject. God completely in its essence hence it is not self evident to us but is in itself. We therefore need demonstration for the existence of god by the things that are more known to us, namely by effects.

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