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Comment on the first and second way by Aquinas

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Introduction

Aquinas has five proofs for God's existence, as presented by Aquinas Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica (1265-74). But I was asked to comment o the first and second way. Summary of the First Way- St Thomas Aquinas This is the argument from the motion summa Thelogica to a prime mover, Where everything in the universe is either stationary or in motion. So therefore for a stationary object to move it has to come into contact with something already moving, as it cannot move on its self. The thing that is already moving must have been moved by something previously moving. Therefore there is a chain of movement, stretching back into history. This is called the regression of movement. This regression must go backwards forever or there must have been a first thing that moved. ...read more.

Middle

Summary of the Second Way- St Thomas Aquinas This is the argument from Causation to a First Cause. Everything in our universe has a cause. Nothing just happens there always needs to be a cause and the result of a cause is an effect. Nothing in the universe is capable of causing itself. So a cause of an effect must have excited before the cause existed itself. This is a continuing chain and is known as a chain of causes, which is named Regression of Causation. Regression of causation must go backwards forever (infinite regression) or if not that then there must have been a first cause. An infinite regression goes against all experiences of the universes. So there must be a first cause. This first causes cannot have been caused by something else as then it would have been a second cause and therefore not a first cause. ...read more.

Conclusion

But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes; all of which is plainly false. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God The notion of cause and effect, means you cannot have the latter (effect) without the former (cause - here called an efficient cause, because it is the means of bringing another thing into existence, or causing something to change). For Aquinas (and Aristotle) there cannot be an endless regression of cause and effect, and as such there must be a first cause, which is God. The phrase in bold (above) suggests that there would be nothing here, if there was not an original cause of everything. As such, this means that the world and the universe cannot be infinite (i.e. have always existed). ...read more.

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