Now That This Paper Has Evaluated Aquinas’S Summa Contra
1444 WordsMay 10, 20176 Pages
Now that this paper has evaluated Aquinas’s Summa Contra Gentiles, it will move on to evaluate his next important work. In the years 1265–1274 Aquinas wrote what is considered one of his most prominent works, The Summa Theologiae. In Summa Theologiae (also known as Suma Theologica or simply Summa), Aquinas gave five proofs for the existence of God. This paper will first tell why these proofs are necessary then describe the proofs in themselves. These proofs are necessary because Aquinas believed that the existence of God is not self-evident. A self-evident proposition is one in which the predicate forms part of what is meant by the subject (PUT, 103). Meaning that “God exists” is not self-evident because we cannot grasp divine essence…show more content…
Therefore anything that is in the process of changing cannot change itself so one thing is changed by another which in turn is changed by yet another (Clark, 122). Eventually, this stream of change has to stop somewhere or else there would be no first cause of change and consequently no subsequent causes. So when we come to the first cause that is not changed by anything else, Aquinas believed it is what we understand to be God (Clark, 122-123).
The second proof is derived from the nature of causation. Aquinas thought that in the natural world we find causes in a natural order of succession. We never see something causing itself because if we did then it would be pre-existing and this would be impossible (Clark, 123). Every first cause impacts an intermediate (there can be many intermediates) which then impacts a last. You cannot take out any one cause without getting rid of its effects (Clark, 123). So you cannot take out the first cause without losing the intermediates and last causes that follow. Thus Aquinas thought that we must suppose a first cause, which is God (Clark, 123). The third proof addresses the issue of what is unnecessary and what is unnecessary. Our experience has shown us that in life there are things that are necessary and things that are unnecessary. Things that are