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Aquinas' Five Ways

2 nothing can be the cause of itself nothing can

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2) Nothing can be the cause of itself (nothing can create itself.) 3) There can not be an endless string of objects causing other objects to exist. 4) Therefore, ther must be an uncaused first cause called God. Third Way: Contingent and Neccessary Objects This Way defines two types of objects in the universe: contingent beings and necessary beings. A contingent being is an object that can not exist without a necessary being causing its existence. Aquinas believed that the existence of contingent beings would ultimately neccesitate a being which must exist for all of the contingent beings to exist. This being, called a necessary being, is what we call God. Follow the argument this way: 1) Contingent beings are caused. 2) Not every being can be contingent. 3) There must exist a being which is necessary to cause contingent beings. 4) This necessary being is God. Fourth Way: The Agrument From Degrees And Perfection St. Thomas formulated this Way from a very interesting observation about the qualities of things. For example one may say that of two marble scultures one is more beautiful than the other. So for these two objects, one has a greater degree of beauty than the next. This is referred to as degrees or gradation of a quality. From this fact Aquinas concluded that for any given quality (e.g. goodness, beauty, knowledge) there must be an perfect standard by which all such qualities are measured. These perfections are contained in God. Fifth Way: The Agrument From Intelligent Design The final Way that St. Thomas Aquinas speaks of has to do with the observable universe and the order of nature. Aquinas states that common sense tells us that the universe works in such a way, that one can conclude that is was designed by an intelligent designer, God. In other words, all physical laws and the order of nature and life were designed and ordered by God, the intellgent designer.
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