Describe the nature and utility of St. Thomas Aquinas' "proofs." Do you feel they hold value today; why or why not?
Aquinas' proofs of the existence of God are cosmological proofs - they rely for their support on observable physics and "real life" phenomena. In this respect they differ from ontological proofs - which rely for their support on logic rather than physics (e.g., "God must exist, because it is inherent in the conception of God that we have that He must exist", "God's existence is self-evident", "God's existence is established by our faith in Him", etc.)
<br>Thus, in order for Aquinas' proofs to have relevance, we must agree that his understanding of the nature of physical reality must have the interpretation he gives it.
<br>The five proofs are, quickly, as follows:
<br> * The "first mover" argument - We observe movement in nature,
<br> movement proceeds in a chain (A causes B to move, B causes
<br> C to move, etc.), there must have been a first mover, that
<br> first mover is God;
<br> * The "first cause" arguemnt - We observe end states (caused
<br> things) in nature, causation proceeds from cause to caused
<br> (A causes B to be as it is, B causes C to be as it is, etc.),
<br> the first causer is God;
<br> * The "necessary being" argument - We ...