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St. Thomas Aquinas & Dante

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St. Thomas Aquinas,

A Dominican monk, who generally one of the greatest Scholastic writers of all times. He used ancient philosophy to prove religious propositions. One of the ancient philosophers that St. Thomas Aquinas used to prove religious facts was Aristotle. One of Aquinas's most influential writings is the Summa Theologica One of the greatest works that Aristotle did was to prove that god really exists. St. Thomas Aquinas used the forms that Aristotle and Plato used to prove the same philosophical question, does god really exist?

St. Thomas Aquinas, first started by stating, is the existence of God self-evident.

Here he states that God because he is self-evident, he ahs his own existence. But since we don't know the true essence of God, this proposition is not self-evident to us. For us to see that God is self- evident we need to be demonstrated through things that we know more about. Aquinas, also say that, we know God exists but because is implemented to us by nature. Anything that is naturally desired by man: Page 235 Ð'- Things which can be proved by demonstration are reckoned among the articles of faith, not because they are believed simply by all, but because they are necessary presupposition to matters of faith, so that those who do not know them by demonstration must know them firs of all by faith. Whoa Ð'- I got kind of lost in that. But you're heading in the right direction about this. Aquinas wants to ensure that Aristotle's works of science are ok for Aquinas' contemporaries to build on, so he needs to find out what Aristotle think about God. Aristotle, of course, didn't believe in the God of the Judeo-Christian tradition Ð'- he was a Greek polytheist. Fortunately, though, Aristotle reasoned that there needed to have been some force to set the world in motion, so he posited a First Cause. Aquinas 1500 years later leaps on that to make Aristotle ok.

Dante Alighieri

Between the years of 1308 and 1321, Dante wrote the epic poem, "The Divine Comedy," which described a journey through the afterlife. It takes place during the three days of Good Friday, when Jesus died, and on Easter Sunday when he rose body and soul to heaven. It is a moral comedy, and was written to make readers evaluate their own morals. The journey was to show readers what could happen if they live a sinful life, or if they live a godlike life. goodDante often used his knowledge of the present to predict future events. Dante's dead love Beatrice asks the Virgin Mary to help him see the error of his ways. Mary accepts and Dante is sent to hell for 3 days. Next he goes up Mount Purgatory on the other side of the world, then to Heaven in the sky. Dante is lost at



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