Empirical Arguments by St. Thomas Aquinas on Existence of God

There has been much debate, blubbering not forgetting gibberish comments on the establishment of an atheist society in Kenya who have coined a very infamous slogan "Without God" The slogan takes me back to my first year philosophy class where we were expected to write a term paper on the existence of God. There exist a wide variety of arguments on the existence of God. This arguments which can be categorized as metaphysical, logical, empirical, or subjective. The existence of God is subject to lively debate in the philosophy of religion, popular culture, and philosophy. I will offer insights to this arguments and theories starting with those by Thomas Aquinas.

St. Thomas of Aquinas tried to explain God’s existence using five empirical arguments, also referred to as Aquinas’ Five Ways. In the first part of his Summa Theologica , Thomas Aquinas developed his five arguments for God’s existence. These arguments are grounded in an Aristotelian ontology and make use of the infinite regression argument .

Aquinas did not intend to fully prove the existence of God as he is orthodoxly conceived (with all of his traditional attributes), but proposed his Five Ways as a first stage, which he built upon later in his work. Aquinas’ Five Ways argued from the unmoved mover, first cause, necessary being, argument from degree , and the teleological argument.

The unmoved mover argument asserts that, from our experience of motion in the universe (motion being the transition from potentiality to actuality) we can see that there must have been an initial mover. Aquinas argued that whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another thing, so there must be an unmoved mover.

Aquinas’ argument from first cause started with the premise that it is impossible for a being to cause itself, because it would have to exist before it caused itself, and that it is impossible for there to be an infinite chain of causes, which would result in infinite regress. Therefore, there must be a first cause, itself uncaused.

The argument from necessary being asserts that all beings are contingent, meaning that it is possible for them not to exist. Aquinas argued that if everything can possibly not exist, there must have been a time when nothing existed; as things exist now, there must exist a being with necessary existence, regarded as God.

Aquinas argued from degree, considering the occurrence of degrees of goodness. He believed that things which are called good, must be called good in relation to a standard of good—a maximum. There must be a maximum goodness that which causes all goodness.

The teleological argument asserts the view that things without intelligence are ordered towards a purpose. Aquinas argued that unintelligent objects cannot be ordered unless they are done so by an intelligent being, which means that there must be an intelligent being to move objects to their ends: God

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