The Five Ways Essay

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PHL 11 | The Five Ways | How does Thomas Aquinas 'prove' the existence of God? | | Rebeca Martinez 5/6/2013 | | Can we know anything about God? Of course, through the gift of faith we know that God exists. But is that merely a blind faith unsupported by reason? Obviously, our reason cannot of itself provide us with complete knowledge of God, if it could we would ourselves would be God. Nevertheless, through our reason we are able to gain some certain knowledge of God. Thomas Aquinas theorized five different logical arguments to prove the existence of God utilizing scientific hypotheses and basic assumptions of nature called "The Five Ways". The First Way is Motion. Our senses prove that some things are in motion. What is in motion must be put in motion by another and that by another again. This cannot go on to infinity. Therefore, there must be at the head of the series of movers, a being that is itself unmoved and that is the source of all movement. This prime mover is God. The Second Way is Cause. We perceive a series of efficient causes of things in the world. This proof depends on the self-evident principles that nothing can exist without a sufficient reason for its existence and that every effect must have a cause. Therefore nothing is the efficient cause of itself. Since every effect must have a cause, that cause in turn must be the effect of another cause, and so on. If a previous efficient cause does not exist, neither does the thing that results. But the process cannot go on to infinity. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God. The Third way is Necessity. This proof, too, depends on the self-evident principle of sufficient reason, that is, that whatever exists must have a sufficient reason for its existence. If there was ever a time when there was nothing, there could never
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