Ever since they were formulated in the Middle Ages, St. Thomas Aquinas' famous Five Ways to demonstrate the existence of God have been frequently debated. During this process there have been several misconceptions of what Aquinas actually meant, especially when discussing his cosmological arguments. While previous researchers have managed to tease out why Aquinas accepts some infinite regresses and rejects others, I attempt to add on to this by demonstrating the centrality of his metaphysics in his argument from motion. Aquinas cannot be properly understood or debated with a contemporary view of causality, but rather must wrestle with the concepts he actually employs in the arguments. To demonstrate this, I will compare the Thomistic argument from motion to the contemporary Kalām cosmological argument of William Lane Craig. Although some may consider it beneficial to base theistic arguments on more modern principles, this analysis shows that the metaphysical framework used by Aquinas is much less vulnerable to the rebuttals that otherwise challenge the Kalām argument, and that their differences in strength rest on their differences in metaphysics.
Zargar, Cyrus Ali
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Sánchez, Derwin Jr., "Rethinking Causality: Thomas Aquinas' Argument From Motion & the Kalām Cosmological Argument" (2020). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 858.