The Objections to the Existence

The Objections to the Existence of God
In (ST I, q2. a3)

An atheist asserts that God is either impossible or unnecessary. If impossible, it is because the evil in the world makes perfect goodness impossible, if unnecessary, it is because the world that man sees does not require anything external to itself. These particular arguments can have variants, but the variants will all turn on denying a first perfect and good principle to the cosmos. The arguments asserting that God is unnecessary deny the principle altogether; the arguments that assert God is impossible deny some perfection or goodness (just, caring, intelligent, powerful, etc).

Either way, the atheist’s meditation on the universe requires asserting some evil as ultimate, for their philosophy consists in the negation of any ultimate perfection. Atheism negates goodness either by negating some intelligent cause of the cosmos (and being cannot be good except by participation in an ultimate goodness- and ultimate goodness is intelligent) or by negating more directly that there is any good being causing the universe. In our own day, the first way of atheism is advocated by those who cultivate ignorance of metaphysics for whatever reason (usually a misunderstanding of empirical science, or religion, or politics, or some other kind of discipline) and the second way of atheism is advocated by a group of people who cultivate a disproportionate meditation on evil, in an attempt to prove the existence of some kind of ultimate evil.

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