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St. Thomas Aquinas: Proving God's Existence

2055 words - 8 pages

Thomas Aquinas inherently affirmed in the teachings of the Catholic Church. Born in Italy in 1225 to a noble family, Thomas was one of at least nine children. He was a highly educated man, beginning his education at the Abbey of Monte Cassino, moving on to the University of Naples. Thomas had a strong belief in God and aspired to prove God’s actuality. During his life, Aquinas produced numerous works on the subject the most notable being the Summa contra Gentiles and the Summa Theologica . He leaves us a legacy as a great theologian and philosopher, often compared to Aristotle. “Much of Thomas’s personal studies went into ‘exposition’, as he usually called it, of works of Aristotle. Having embarked on what would become the Summa Theological, he clearly found Aristotle’s De Anima very helpful in his own theological accounts of the soul.” (Kerr 27)
His life spanned forty-nine years and produced over an astonishing sixty works within that time. “Aquinas wrote tirelessly during most of his life, producing works that the faithful call inspired: De Principiis Naturae (On the Principle of Nature), De Ente et Essentia (On Being and Essence), and his commentaries on Aristotle’s Physics, Metaphysics, De Anima, and Nicomachean Ethics. His Summa contra Gentiles is a work of apologetics, and his greatest work, Summa Theologica, presents reasoned argument in favor of faith; within Roman Catholicism it is considered a near sacred text.” (Porter 62)
The Summa Contra Gentiles states “Accordingly we must first show that every agent, by its action, intends an end. “ (Pegis 429) Aquinas reaffirms what Aristotle had stated about the beginning of Metaphysic. Aquinas claims, truth is the end or purpose of the universe because the end of the universe is an intellect, and the truth is the good of the intellect. “Thomas says at the beginning, nevertheless the truth that human reason is naturally endowed to know cannot be opposed to the truth of the Christian faith.” (Kerr 29) God, is the end of the universe, therefore is his own goodness. Goodness itself, truth itself, and intellect itself. “According to Aquinas Goodness truth or intelligence are not attributes of God but, they are understood by us. Accordingly we must first show that every agent, by its action, intends an end. For in those things which clearly act for an end, we declare the end to be that towards which the movement of the agent tends; for when this is reached, the end is said to be reached, and to fail in this is to fail in the end intended.” (Pegis 429)
“In Summa contra Gentiles Aquinas writes, “Nothing tends to something as its end, except insofar as this is good… that which is the supreme good is supremely the end of all… Therefore all things are directed to the Supreme good, namely God, as their end.” Echoing Aristotle, he states that this ultimate good cannot be wealth, because wealth is “not sought except for the sake of something else”; it cannot be power, because power is...

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