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

2546 words - 10 pages

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 mover is what we understand to be God. Summarizing Aquinas' first way, the argument states that objects are in motion, and if something is in motion, then it must be caused to be in motion by something outside of itself. That is, an object in motion is put in motion by some other object or force. There can be no infinite chain of movers or movees so there...

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