An Explanation Of The 1st Three Ways Of Aquinas And There Failings - Sixth Form Philosophy - Essay

860 words - 4 pages

S.t. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) was an Italian Dominican friar, Catholic priest, 
and Doctor of the Church. He was an immensely influential philosopher both now in 
the modern day and when he was alive. The first 4 ways are the cosmological 
arguments with the fifth being teleological. In which he tries to prove the existence 
of God through observation of what he could see in the world and using this as 
evidence to his existence.  
The first way: 
way:One way in which the argument of motion fails is that not all motion needs a 
mover. Aquinas states that everything in motion must be put in motion by 
something else as there can’t be an infinite regress of movers,so there must be a 
first mover, itself unmoved, and that is God. Aquinas used the example of a piece of 
wood to explain this. He said that a piece of wood has the potential to change state 
from being cold to being hot. However, this can only happen if something hot 
touches it. This argument was based off of Aristotles believe that all motion needed 
a mover, and therefore this is based on Aristotles law of motion, which stated that 
Force = mass x velocity.. However, Newton showed that this was mistaken: only a 
change in motion needs a force. So Newton’s law was force = mass x acceleration. 
At once the first way fails because it begins by claiming that all movement needs a 
mover (a force). Another thing, Aquinas based his theory on the theology of Aristotle 
who argued that infinite regress could not exist in the actual world. However, this is 
incorrect and thus fails as mathematicians , such as Cantor and Hilbert, proves that 
the theory of actual infinite is possible.  
The second way: 
The argument for causation fails due to the fact that some things in the world are 
not caused. The second way states that everything that exists has a cause, and each 
cause in turn has a cause. But there is a first cause and this first cause is God. This 
means there is either an infinite regress of causes or there must be a first cause. 
However, infinite regress is impossible and so there must be a first causer. This is 
because, If there was no first cause nothing would exist now. The first cause is God 
as Aquinas states “it is necessary to admit a first efficient causer, to which everyone 
gives the name of God.” However, this is undermined by Copenhagen interpretation 
of Quantum mechanics. The Copenhagen interpretation was first posed by physicist 
Niels Bohr in 1920. It says tha...

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