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Argument from Degree

Many critics cite the presence of bad people in the church as a reason to reject the existence of God. After all, if God really exists, why would He permit less than perfect examples of His church? One of the good arguments to use is that known as the Argument from Degree. The fact that we have an understanding of greater or lesser goodness, nobility, morality, etc., actually points to the existence of God.
Thomas Aquinas used this argument, and in his form looked like this:


1. There exist greater and lesser degrees of goodness, truth, nobility, etc.
2. Greater or lesser are terms speak of things as they approach in various ways the greatest. For example, as hot advances toward the greatest heat.
3. There exists, therefore, something that is the greatest goodness, truth, nobility, etc.
4. What is the greatest of any of these is the cause of its own kind. For example, fire, the greatest heat, is the cause of all that is hot.
5. Therefore, there exists an absolute (or greatest) goodnes…

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