St. Thomas Aquinas’s first cosmological argument, the prime mover, defines things in the world as being either in a state of potentiality or in a state of actuality. Those things that are in potentiality are things that have the capability of being reduced to another form. Such as a boy is potentially a man, or tree is potentially a house. Things that are in a state of actuality are things that are currently reaching their potential; such as that boy becoming a man, or that tree becoming that house. Aquinas observed that all things in a state of actuality had to have been put into that state by something that was already in actuality. In thinking about this he concluded that there would have to be an infinite regress of actual things making potential things actual. He concluded that this would be impossible because given that, there would be no first mover. He instead, postulated that there must be a first mover. A being that never had potential but only has existed in a state of infinite actuality. That what we call God.
Aquinas’ argument is contradicted by a previously learned concept called Ockham’s Razor, which focuses on the simplest reasoning without any assumptions. The text from Summa Theologica contradicts this by creating the idea of an eternal God to explain the universe. The simplest idea would be to believe that the universe is eternal itself, rather than creating an exterior being. The idea behind Ockham’s Razor is that the simplest answer is the most easily testable and most likely. Where did the idea of God creating the universe even begin? This concept is far more complex than simply the universe created itself.
Aquinas argued the existence of God with five main points. Aquinas began by saying that nothing can be a cause of itself; rather every event was caused by some prior event. Therefore event A causes event B that leads to event C and so forth. He believed in this cause and effect relationship but believed that there must be a first cause as a starting point. When contemplating this starting point Aquinas rejected the possibility of an infinite series of events. This means that the universe has not existed forever and there must have been something from which every single event stems. There must be an uncaused first cause, which Aquinas concluded to be God. The first cause is called the unmoved mover. The unmoved mover is what set all other events and beings in motion.
The series also can not have a cause from within because no one being within the series is necessary. An example of this would be the set of real numbers we use today. Taking one number away from the set would not cause the set to cease in existence. There is no beginning to the number set and no end as well. If we view the Universe with the same concept then Aquinas’ theory can be seen to have a major flaw.
Scientific reasoning has brought humanity to incredibly high levels of sophistication in all realms of knowledge. For Saint Thomas Aquinas, his passion involved the scientific reasoning of God. The existence, simplicity and will of God are simply a few topics which Aquinas explores in the Summa Theologica. Through arguments entailing these particular topics, Aquinas forms an argument that God has the ability of knowing and willing this particular world of contingent beings. The contrasting nature of necessary beings and contingent beings is at the heart of this debate.
As discussed in class, modern scientific research provides alternatives to Aquinas’s presumed necessities. An infinite series of causes no longer seems impossible. This research disproves Aquinas 's third premise (P3), and his argument for God as the first cause is consequently unnecessary. Furthermore, the fourth premise still has a logical gap between the first cause and God. Aquinas offers no explanation as to why the first cause must be God or a supernatural being at all. The first cause may just as easily be a spontaneous event, or a first cause may not exist at all in an infinite universal cycle.
Thomas Aquinas’ five ways are his arguments of the five proofs that God exists in some form, these five ways have standard abjections. The arguments are named as follows: argument from motion, arguments from causation, arguments from contingency, argument from gradations of goodness, and the argument of governance. These are Aquinas’ theories of why things change, whatever is changing is being changed by something else.
In The Five Ways, from Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas gives the five ways in which an individual can prove that there is a God. In his arguments, Aquinas uses a posteriori and inductive arguments to help prove the existence of God. An a posteriori argument is an argument that uses statements that you cannot know through pure reason like the statement dogs are descendants of wolves. In contrast, an a priori argument is an argument that consist of statements you can know through pure reason like 2 is the square root of 4. Likewise, an inductive argument is an argument that is an attempt to provide premises that make likely the truth of the conclusion, which is used in Aquinas argument. In contrast, a deductive argument is an argument that attempts to provide premises that guarantee the truth of the conclusion.
He believed in natural theology and thought that man could not understand God without God's assistance and guidance. The foundations of his proofs of God’s existence were based on his five basic beliefs about God. Aquinas wrote that God was: 1) simple as in having no parts, 2) perfect therefore lacking nothing, 3) infinite having no beginning and no end, 4) immutable as in never changing, and 5) one in essence and existence.
The Third Article within the writings entitled The Existence of God opens up with two strong cases saying that God does not exist. The first states that if God’s name means infinite goodness, evil would not be present in the world. However, since there is evil in the world then God does not exist. The second proposes that things that can be accounted for by use of principles do not need God. For example, all natural things can be reduced to one principle which is nature.
Thomas Aquinas theorized five different logical arguments to prove the existence of God utilizing scientific hypotheses and basic assumptions of nature. In the fifth of his famous “Five Ways”, Aquinas sets forth the assumption that all natural bodies move toward an end. Since bodies are constantly moving in the best way possible to achieve that end, the path must be designed. God, of course, is the ultimate designer of the universe.
The final crucial proof of the existence of God is Aquinas fourth proof. This proof looks at qualities of humans; all humans possess many different attributes which we consider unique to each individual. This is when standards are formed humans began to have a certain criteria for how or what someone with a given attribute should act or how they should portray themselves. The only way this standard could come into existence is to believe that there is a perfect creation possessing all qualities and expressing them in the most precise and perfect way. This perfect creation is God, the person in which humans get the laws at which the obeyed by. Aquinas five proofs of the existence of God are much more extensive but just looking at the proof of motion and the proof of perfection it becomes unquestionable that there is an almighty creation. This superior creation creates laws at which
Here Aquinas argues that everything that happens is the cause of something, but nothing can cause itself. If we trace back a cause all the way back to the beginning of the world, it could not have caused itself. Therefore, God must have been the first cause. Aquinas’ third proof is the Argument from Contingency. We see that everything here on earth is finite. People die, empires fall. All things must come to an end. That means things had to have a beginning where nothing was in existence yet. How did things come into existence? God. Aquinas’s 4th argument is the Argument of Degrees. Here we judge things to be a certain degree of good or bad. But what are we comparing that to? If they have a certain degree of good and bad, then what is the greatest degree of good? And that must be God. Aquinas’s final argument is his Argument from Design. Perhaps one of his strongest arguments Aquinas says that there must be an intelligent designer behind everything. Random objects don’t have any brains to act the way they do. But they are directed in the way they act by God.
When St. Thomas wrote this section of his ground breaking essay what he ultimately was claiming, was that through philosophy and observation, there is a way to see how the natural world points to there in fact being a God. Although to some it may seem absurd, modern day science based upon observation and experimentation, does not completely discredit or debunk the first, second, third, and fifth arguments from St. Thomas Aquinas’s Five Ways, but rather it suggests substantial evidential credibility, in regards to his theories on God’s existence.Concepts, theories, and laws drawn from the
St. Thomas Aquinas is a famous philosopher from the medieval period who believed there was a god. One of Aquinas significant works in philosophy was his argument that God exists. In Aquinas' argument, or also known as Summa Theologica, he uses five arguments to support the claim that God exist and four of them are cosmological argument. Cosmological arguments are arguments that try to reason that god exists because of the universe or cosmos leads to the conclusion that god exists. His first argument is the Argument From Motion. In the argument of motion Aquinas observed that we live in a world and universe that things are continuously moving, and he also noticed that to make something move something has to move or start it moving. To Aquinas this means that everything that is moving must have been moved by something or someone and there had to be a time when the thing wasn't moving. The mover for the beginning of everything in Aquinas' argument is God. The second argument is the Argument From Causation which is very similar to the Argument From Motion. Aquinas thoughts were that everything that is caused had to be caused by something else. Nothing can cause it's self so there must be an thing that is uncaused and to Aquinas that thing is God because it can't go back forever. The Third argument is The Argument From Contingency. Contingency is a future or thing that could have not existed and Aquinas believe that the world can't always be contingent because then it could have