Wednesday, September 29, 2010

An Intro To St. Thomas Aquinas' Five Ways Which Prove God's Existence

Tonight at "holy" hour we watched a movie titled: "Why Be Catholic." In it the speaker focused a lot on St. Thomas Aquinas' five ways which prove that there is indeed a God.

St. Thomas Aquinas' famous five ways that prove God's existence through philosophy
  • 1. The "unmoved mover" argument. We know that there is motion in the world; whatever is in motion is moved by another thing; this other thing also must be moved by something; to avoid an infinite regression, we must posit a "first mover," which is God.
  • 2. The "nothing is caused by itself" argument. For example, a table is brought into being by a carpenter, who is caused by his parents. Again, we cannot go on to infinity, so there must be a first cause, which is God.
  • 3. The cosmological argument. All physical things, even mountains, boulders, and rivers, come into being and go out of existence, no matter how long they last. Therefore, since time is infinite, there must be some time at which none of these things existed. But if there were nothing at that point in time, how could there be anything at all now, since nothing cannot cause anything? Thus, there must always have been at least one necessary thing that is eternal, which is God.
  • 4. Objects in the world have differing degrees of qualities such as goodness. But speaking of more or less goodness makes sense only by comparison with what is the maximum goodness, which is God.
  • 5. The teleological argument (argument from design). Things in the world move toward goals, just as the arrow does not move toward its goal except by the archer's directing it. Thus, there must be an intelligent designer who directs all things to their goals, and this is God.

I want to go more in depth to each of these in a couple different posts... Seeing as how it is getting pretty late and I have a busy day ahead of me tomorrow, I will have to do this later. It is nice to have this type of knowledge just in case a person crosses my path who wants to challenge me on this, which living in a college town I know the likelihood of this happening is pretty high up there.

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