|← Morally Good Actions||Teaching Philosophy →|
This article is basically a detailed presentation on the matter of existence of God by the renowned philosopher Aristotle. The article tries to relate how Aristotle thinks he has proven the Existence of God. The only concern of the article is to demonstrate in detail the line of reasoning that leads to the conclusion that there is God.
This debate of proof emanates from a reflection of the existence and order of the universe. This popular debate for the existence of God is most commonly referred to as the cosmological argument. Aristotle, much like an ordinary scientist, supposed that we could have knowledge about our world and the very core of things in our world by way of observation. As a marine biologist might scrutinize and catalog particular marine life in an effort to gain insight into that exact thing's survival, so too did Aristotle scrutinize the physical world around him so as to gain insight his world. The very word cosmological is a reflection of Aristotle's relying on sense data and scrutiny. The word logos imply a study of something while the noun cosmos refers to order or the manner in which things are. Thus, a cosmological debate for the existence of God will scrutinize the order of events or study why things are the way they are to show the existence of god.
For Aristotle, the existence of the creation requires a clarification, as it could not have come from nowhere. The notion that god must exists in for the planet and universe to here, right away sets up a difference between contingent and essential things. Contingent things are those that may or may not be present. For instance, I am a dependent being since there was no assurance that my parents would meet and give birth to me in the manner they did. I am also a dependent being because my presence in the world and the cosmos is not needed, in order for anything else to exist, except for my children I might sire. I also have no cause to think that when I pass on, that the creation and the universe will end without me in it.
On the other side, essential things are those things that have to be there in order for you, me, the creation, and the universe to survive. For instance, according to particular scientists, without the right environment being there in the era of the 'big bang', not anything could have developed in this universe as it is. Hence, so as for us to exist, it was essential for things to exist as they were at that period. In terms of cosmological debates, God has essential existence since everything else being contingent, is reliant on something that essentially exists, which could be God. Unless God essentially existed, nothing else would present!
Aristotle alleged to have established the existence of God, but he did so based on a way of logic that handles characteristics of objects, a move, h argued, that is less than fulfilling considering that God's characteristics cannot be apparent. Aristotle maintained that there must be a first mover, namely God, to evade the logical discrepancies of an endless retreat of causes for the world (Gerson 96).
Aristotle's philosophy of the unmoved-mover, has for a long time been really powerful in the history of cosmological arguments. The main idea is precisely what it articulates, an unmoved-mover! But, Aristotle concludes this by first bearing in mind the notion of time. If something is alleged to be in motion, then for time must have been able to move. One cannot set in motion an immovable thing! However, to set in motion an object from one point to another is in fact a time-based activity. Aristotle argues that there cannot be any 'before' and 'after' without the presence of time. In addition, there cannot be time without the reality of motion.
Now we could debate that all things are at rest, or may by no means have had a starting position, but this would not be acceptable for Aristotle. This is since he would want to discern why they were at rest, or what made them to rest. In addition, to be at rest means a stopping point, which then leads to the question begging as to what made the thing to begin moving, prior to coming to rest. Therefore, tend to believe that the series must begin with something, as nothing can originate from nothing. In any case, all this guides Aristotle to the conclusion, that time and movement are everlasting.
Therefore, how is all these related to the cosmological debates, and an unmoved mover? From scrutinizing all the things around us, we know that something only is in motion, since something else caused it to move. Yet what caused all the motion is a time-related action that obligates us to forever look for a cause. An incident leads back to a cause, and a different cause, and a different, and so on. Therefore, Aristotle reasons that there requires to be an outside causer of origins, or movement, in the world. If motion is a basic, or essential, feature of our universe, we are made to believe the survival of something outside of the creation, or transcendent to it, which is not restricted by time, and movement. In other sense, we are seeking an everlasting uncaused-causer of everything.
Drawing from the arguments, Aristotle now recognizes God as the unmoved mover. He only recognize one thing which only moves without being moved, and actually existing. According to Aristotle, God exists as necessary, and consequently is good. There is an unspecified supposition that what is essential is good. The first cause is also a first rule, for the first cause explains everything else since it causes all motion. Heaven and nature influence such principle. In addition, the first mover everlastingly performs one thing, but this is not self-motion, which is the excellent thing, thinks.
Therefore, if the unmoved mover (God) thinks, it implies that He thinks about the best thing. This is considered that thinking is the best of acts, so that thought and its subject are the same, that is to say God is thinking about his own thoughts. This also shows that Aristotle is also depicting that cannot think about other thoughts apart from his own thought. If not that way He will not be unmoved mover, He will not be moved by other thoughts. Since God thinks, he must be alive according to Aristotle. This life also belong to God, since authenticity of notion is life, and God is that authenticity. These God's life which does not depend on anything because it cannot be moved, most essential, and eternal. This is because it necessary and dependent.
What Aristotle implies by life as the actuality of notion is that simply living things can think, therefore, if He actually thinks, God must be living. In reality, God's living is not compared to the life of other living things. This is because God has no matter, according Aristotle, and therefore does not perish. Aristotle concludes that God is eternal and most good because he is essential and necessary. In God's life, it is eternal and duration carries on and it belongs to God; for this God in itself. God's life is eternal because it cannot be moved or influenced by anything or can it be moved. God's life is also contingent because it is very good and necessary for itself to live.
Aristotle refers to God as the unmoved mover, a thing, but distinguishes this from all other living substances. This is because it is eternal, unmovable, and different from sensible things. God is different from sensible things since God has no magnitude, meaning that He is without a body or a spatial survival. The explanation that God can have no extent is that he creates motion through endless time, which implies that He must be infinite, since an endless effect necessitates an infinite cause; but a thing like infinitude extent does not exist. As being a matter with no magnitude, God is with no parts and, therefore, inseparable. Consider that magnitudes are divisible (The Unmoved Mover in Metaphysics).
In conclusion, Aristotle tries to justify God existence through his philosophy of unmoved mover. He argues along the line of widely known philosophy of Contingent and necessary things. According to Aristotle, God's life is eternal because it is contingent and is necessary to itself and other living substances. God is the unmoved mover first cause of principle and this principle depends on heaven and nature. God is living because of the nature of thought, and according to Aristotle, every living substance has thoughts. However, God's thought are different and cannot be moved because He thinks of his own thought. Finally, God's life is eternal because He is the unmoved mover. He has no magnitude, and therefore He must be infinite. Aristotle maintained that there must be a first mover, namely God, to evade the logical discrepancies of an endless retreat of causes for the world.