<ethics, moral philosophy> an attempt to prove the existence of god by appeal to presence of moral value in the universe. The fourth of Aquinas's five ways concludes that god must exist as the most perfect cause of all lesser goods. Kant argued that postulation of god's existence is a necessary condition for our capacity to apply the moral law. Recommended Reading: Thomas St. Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles: God, tr. by Anton C. Pegis (Notre Dame, 1997); Immanuel Kant, The One Possible Basis for a Demonstration of the Existence of God, tr. by Gordon Treash (Nebraska, 1994); Joseph Owens, St. Thomas Aquinas on the Existence of God (SUNY, 1980); and Gordon E. Michalson, Kant and the Problem of God (Blackwell, 1999).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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