Pierson Laughlin? Thomas Aquinas’s Five Ways In the beginning of the 13th century, philosopher Thomas Aquinas demonstrated five famous proofs for the existence of God. The first of these proofs is the argument from motion. Aquinas explains that everything is moving, both though time and space, and that each and everything that is moving must be set into motion by a mover. Therefore Aquinas concludes that in the beginning, there must have been an original unmoved mover that has set our world into motion.
Aquinas’s second proof is the cosmological argument, which in some ways is similar to his first proof. The cosmological argument tackles the question of existence. Aquinas shows that one object or souls being can not be the source of its own existence. Therefore, at some point in time there would have to have been a source that was in fact responsible for its own being and subsequently also responsible for the being of everything else. This source is, of course, God.
Aquinas’s third proof is the argument from necessity. This proof explains that there are two kinds of existences, possible and necessary. Aquinas explains that if nothing had ever existed then through time, nothing would always exist. From this statement he concludes that somethings existence is necessary while the possible existence is only contingent. Aquinas’s fourth proof is the argument from gradation. This argument is based around “the great chain of being” which states that there are different classes of being.
It suggests that the lowest forms of beings are inanimate objects and then class rises for increasingly complex animate beings all the way up to angels and an eventual God. Thomas Aquinas’s fifth and final proof is the teleological argument. This argument explains that each and every thing whether it be water, fire, people, or dirt, has its own specific function or own specific way of acting all of the time. Aquinas says that there must be some force keeping these parameters in place or keeping the order. Otherwise, why would water keep lowing the way it does and why would people die or live the way they do? In my opinion, Aquinas’s weakest argument is the argument of necessity. I do not believe that there are both necessary and possible existences. If this were the case, then the even the possible existences would become necessary as long as there is some form of interaction or contact between possible and necessary existences. This is because if a possible existence makes any sort of impact upon a necessary existence then it becomes a small part of the necessary existence and is therefore also necessary in the grand scheme.
I believe that Aquinas’s strongest argument is the teleological argument. Although we have scientific proofs for nearly everything, no one can argue that there is no definite source of the universe. Also, we have knowledge of what things are and what things do, but we have no idea why things act in the manner that they do. The only logical explanation is that there is something that holds the order of the universe and keeps the balance.