1/31/2006

My feeble attempt at rewriting Thomas Aquinas' Five Proofs of God.

The existence of God can be proven in five ways. The first example of this can be found in motion. Obviously we can see that the world is in motion, things around us move all the time. Everything is in a potential state, meaning that they have the ability to become, actual, meaning that it has reached its full potential (whatever potential that may be), and is now actual. But nothing can be moved from the state of having potential into being actual, except by something that is already actually. This essentially means that, say wood for example, wood has the potential to be hot, but does not actually become hot until it is actually made hot. Thus anything with potentiality will not become actual unless acted upon by something actual. Also, something can not be potential and actual at the same time in the same respect. An example is the wood, the wood once hot is no longer potentially hot, but is now potentially cold. Anyway, the point being that something can not be both the in the state of being potential and actual. Thus something in actuality can not be its own mover. Thus this mover must be God.
The second way is in the nature of the efficient cause. Efficient cause is an agent which can produce existence. It is impossible that something can produce itself, because it would not exist before it could produce itself. The cause can not go on forever, because without the first cause there would be no second and without the second there would be no last cause. So to take away the cause is to take away the effect. Therefore there is a first efficient cause and that cause is God.
The third way that we know there is a God is through the fact that things can exist and cease to exist also. Because that which exists only exists because of that which brought it into existence it must have been formed by something already in existence. Therefore, if at one time nothing existed then nothing would currently exist. So there must be something that exists to have created the existence. It is impossible for something to go on existing forever, thus there must have been something that does not have its own necessity. This thing must have not received necessity from another, but rather is the cause of necessity. Therefore this necessity is God.
The fourth way to prove that there is a God is taken from the gradation to be found in things. Which basically means that there are something's that exist that have more value than others that exist. Meaning that say for example man has more value than a rock or even an ape. Everything gets that exists is the effect of something that exists that is purer than it. Take for example that fire is hot but it is not the hottest, it is actually a lesser form of a maximum that exists. Therefore there must be something that all is the cause of all things goodness, and hotness and must embody the very essence of these things, this thing is God.
The last and final proof for God's existence is taken from the Governance of the World. Things that lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, that is something without intelligence, act towards an end, and they nearly always act towards that end, in the same way every time, so as they do it the best way that they can. Because we see this it is obvious that are designed to work towards this end. Whatever lacks intelligence can not work towards and end unless it is being guided by something that is that has knowledge and intelligence. Just like a clock was made to perform and to tell time, just as this clock must have had a creator, so a tree has been created to produce fruit and to reproduce. This then gives the impression that there is some sort of an intelligent being that has dictated and created this tree to perform the actions that it has genetically been made to do. Thus the author of the tree and all other life with a purpose is created by God.

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