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Aquinas First Way Essay

St. Thomas Aquinas' First Two Ways In Proving The Existence Of God

It is my view that God exists, and I think that Aquinas' first two ways presents a successful argument for the existence of God. No doubt, the arguments have weak points, which are subjected to criticism but nonetheless, in my opinion, these propositions by Aquinas do indeed accomplish their purpose in establishing the existence of a Greatest Conceivable Being that is the unmoved mover and uncaused cause. I believe that this ultimate Being is unchanging and started the universe, time and all matter and concepts of existence. In my view, this Being is what we understand to be God.

St. Thomas Aquinas recognized that there were some people who doubted the existence of God because, to them, logic did not allow for or explain God's existence. His first two ways are two proofs based on logic and observation of nature in proving God's existence to those who could not accept or believe God on faith alone. Aquinas' first way is based on motion. He calls it the most obvious way.

This first argument, the Argument from Motion, tries to prove the existence of God as the first mover, which is unmoved. Now, it is certain as a matter of sense-observation that some things in this world are in motion. Whatever is in motion, Aquinas states, is moved by something else. Aquinas then defines one type of motion as the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality, and says that nothing can make this movement except by something that is already in actuality in the same respect as the first object is in potentiality. For example, something that is actually hot, like fire, makes something that is potentially hot, like wood, to be actually hot. In this way the fire moves and alters the wood. Now, it is not possible for the same thing to be, at the same time and same respect, in actuality and in potentiality. For instance, what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot, though it may simultaneously be potentially cold. So, it is impossible that in the same respect and same manner anything should be both mover and moved. In this, Aquinas means that nothing can move itself. Therefore, if something is in motion, it must have been put in motion by something else, which must have been put in motion by yet another thing, and so on. However, this cannot go on to infinity because there would never have been a first mover and, consequently, no subsequent movers. After all, second movers do not move except when moved by a first mover, just as a stick does not move anything except when moved by a hand. Thus, this leads to the conclusion that there is a first mover, which is not moved by anything, and this first...

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Thomas Aquinas Work to Prove the Existence of God Essays

1013 Words5 Pages

Being a devout Christian, Thomas Aquinas naturally believed in God, but he wanted to prove God's existence to those who could not accept things on faith alone. As a result he made five proofs, which he claims, prove the existence of God. With each proof there is always a beginning, a starting point, Aquinas claims it must be God that is the beginning of each. The first proof does not do complete justice to Aquinas’s claim that God exist, while the fifth proof could be used alone to prove Gods existence.
One of Aquinas’s proofs is based on the idea of a first mover and another is based on the idea that intelligence is necessary to direct non-intelligent objects. St. Thomas Aquinas' first argument tries to prove that there must be a…show more content…

We also see that non-intelligent things cannot move toward their end unless directed by an intelligent being. As an example, St. Thomas Aquinas uses an arrow. An arrow will not achieve its purpose (that of reaching its mark) unless directed to do so by an archer. Obviously, humans are the intelligent beings that direct the small objects of our world, but there must be a greater intelligence that directs the larger bodies of the universe, such as the stars and the planets, since we obviously have no control over them. This higher intelligence is what we call God.
These two arguments approach the problem of proving God's existence in two completely different ways. One goes the route of saying there must be something that started everything, and the other says there must be something that controls the things that are here, even if "it" did not create them. Both of these arguments seem, at first, to be good and valid in their separate approaches. However, the first does have one major flaw. St. Thomas Aquinas says that the line of movers cannot go on to infinity, which common sense would tell you to be true. He thus establishes the arbitrary endpoint of God. The problem is that this argument could always be tested to be false by asking the question, "What Moved God?" St. Thomas Aquinas would probably answer that nothing moved God because God has always existed. I personally believe this to be true, but, to prove his first argument, St. Thomas

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