For Aquinas there is a level of knowledge attainable by reason alone;
another attainable by reason for skilled thinkers and by faith for
unskilled thinkers; the highest level, however, is attainable only
by faith. The system Aquinas developed is called "Thomism,"
his followers "Thomists."
The cosmological argument is: an attempt to prove the existence of
God from the empirical fact that things exist. The argument is based
on the view that being contingent the universe requires the existence
of a non-contingent God. Although the argument was savaged by David
Hume, and is generally neglected today, it has been revived by various
philosophers such as Hugo Meynell in his book The Intelligible
Teleological argument is an inductive argument from observations
about the presence of purpose and apparent design in the universe
to a designer or God who created order in the universe. The best known
example of this argument is William Paley's analogy of the watch which
begins by assuming that someone who has never seen a clockwork watch
before accidentally discovers one.
Paley goes on to say that after careful examination of the design
and operation of the watch, any reasonable person would conclude that
the watch was man made, therefore, he reasons, anyone who carefully
observes the universe must ultimately reach the conclusion that it
displays characteristics indicating the presence of a mind behind
its design. Although strongly attacked by David Hume, this form of
argument has been revived recently by a number of statisticians, astrophysicists,
and philosophers like John Leslie.