Russell’s Criticism of Aquinas

Russell’s criticism of Aquinas:

“The appeal to reason is, in a sense, insincere, since the conclusion to be reached is fixed in advance…Or take again the arguments professing to prove the existence of God. All of these, except the one from teleology in lifeless things, depend upon the supposed impossibility of a series having no first term. Every mathematician knows that there is no such impossibility; the series of negative integers ending with minus one is an instance to the contrary…

“The contentions that God’s essence and existence are one and the same, that God is His own goodness, His own power, and so on, suggest a confusion, found in Plato, but supposed to have been avoided by Aristotle, between the manner of being of particulars and the manner of being of universals. God’s essence is, one must suppose, of the nature of universals, while his existence is not.

A History of Western Philosophy, p. 462.

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