Thomas Aquinas Essay examples

Submitted By Connort13
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Thomas Aquinas: The Five Ways Thomas Aquinas was a Dominican monk who lived from 1225-1274, who is mainly known and respected as one of the greatest theologians in religion. In The Five Ways, Aquinas puts forth five valid philosophical arguments to prove the existence of a God or higher being. The first point proposes that because change occurs all the time, there must be an Unmoved Mover that all change or movement originates from. The second argument is similar, and points out that with causation, they must be an original cause that put the universe into motion. The third argument states that there are dependent beings (including humans), so there must be an independent being that the dependents rely on for life. The fourth argument suggests that there are degrees of excellence, and if there are imperfect beings such as humans, then there must be a perfect being that exceeds the rest of us in goodness and excellence. The fifth and final argument for the existence of God is the harmony of all things. Nature is harmonic and planned, so if something was planned than logically there must be someone who planned it. These five arguments are all fundamentally sound a posteriori arguments, and I believe each of these points to be correct for various reasons. The argument from change and the argument from causation both strike me as common sense in their principle. Billions of years ago there was nothing, and after the Big Bang the universe exploded into existence. Scientists have this working theory on the origin of the universe, but as of right now they have no answer to what caused the Big Bang. So if we follow the basic rules of logic, that every effect must have a cause, then the only reasonable cause of the Big Bang is a divine creator. The third way is the argument of contingency, which I find to be the least concise and convincing argument that Aquinas puts forth. It states that because human beings and all beings are dependent, than there must be an independent being that the dependents rely on. This argument is shaky because if we assume that the universe is already in existence without the presence of God, then we are already surviving off the energy from the sun and plants. So the third way depends itself on the acceptance of Aquinas’ first two points that assume the existence of God. The fourth way is the way of excellence, which states that since there are various degrees of excellence, there must be a perfect being that is the pinnacle of excellence. This point makes sense to me, and also falls in line with the notion that humans are built in God’s image. If we are imperfect then there must be something perfect. This is true for all areas of life, every scale or measurement goes from zero to the highest point achievable. The last way is the way of…