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ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: The five proofs of the existence of God

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Krystelle Baldeo

on 16 December 2014

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Transcript of ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: The five proofs of the existence of God

ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: Summa Theologica
Question #1: DO You BELIEVE gOD EXISTS?
Whether The existence of God is self evident?
Whether it can be demonstrated that God exists?
Question#3: Whether God exists
Objection #1: Word "God" means infinite goodness,if, therefore, God existed, there would be no evil discoverable, but there is evil in the world, therefore god does not exist.

Objection #2: For all natural things can be reduced to one principle which is nature, and all voluntary things can be reduced to one principle which is human reason or will.
-Nature takes care of itself, so there is no need for a god.
The five proofs of the Existence of god:

Objection #1:
- The existence of God cannot be demonstrated. Because It is an article of faith. (Faith is mental not physical)

Objection #1:
The things that are self evident to us are things of knowledge which is naturally implanted in us.
The knowledge of god is naturally implanted in us
Therefore the existence of god is self evident

Objection #2:
Things that are said to self evident are known as soon as the terms are known.

Significance of the word "God" is understood, at once is seen that God exists

That which exists actually and mentally is greater than that which exists only mentally.(Ontological)

Reply to Objection#2:

Not everyone who hears the word" God" understands its significance
Objection #2:
The essence is the middle term for demonstration. But we do not know what is in Gods essence.

Objection #3: The existence of God can only be demonstrated through his effects (us).
- He is infinite and his effects are finite, therefore the effect and the cause are disproportionate.
Reply #1:

- Truths about God can be told through natural reason, which are not articles of faith but preambles.

-"Nevertheless, there is nothing to stop a man, who cannot grasp a proof, accepting it as a matter of faith, something which in itself is capable of being scientifically known and demonstrated. "
Reply #2:
When the existence of a cause is demonstrated through the effect, the effect becomes the definition of the cause in proof of the cause’s existence.

In order to prove the existence of anything, it is essential that you know the meaning of the word rather than its essence. Since the question of essence follows on the questions of its existence. -The names of God come from the effects (us).

When demonstrating the existence of God from his effects, we may take the middle term the meaning of the word “god”.
Reply #1:
-Even though the effects are not proportionate to the cause, through every effect the existence of the cause can be demonstrated.
On the Contrary:
1) Motion (The first mover)

2)The first efficient cause (cause & effect)

3) Necessity & Possibility (Necessary being)

4) The most perfect and ideal being

5) Natural Law (Intelligent Designer)
Reply to Objection#1: To know that God exists in a general and confused manner is implanted in us by nature, but we don't know the knowledge of god specifically
Reply to Objection #3:
The existence of Truth in general is self-evident but the existence of Primal Truth is not self-evident to us
Objection #3:
The existence of truth is self-evident
Whoever denies the existence of truth grants that truth does not exist.
Then the proposition "truth does not exist" has to be true
If there is anything true, there must be truth"I am the way, the truth, and the life"(John14:6)
The first efficient Cause
Necessity & Possibility
The most perfect & ideal being
Natural Law
Reply to objection #1:
God allows evil to exist to produce goodness out of it, that is why there is evil in the world.

Reply to objection #2:
Whatever is done by nature is traced back to God (since he is the first cause)

Also, what is voluntarily done by humanity is also traced back to God.

All things are changeable and have defects.
On Earth there are things that are in motion and there is a thing that causes that motion, bc something cant move itself.
Therefore, there has to be the first unmoved mover, that caused the first move. (This unmoved mover is God)
Something cannot come out of nothing
Everything has the ability to exist or not to exist.
Everything has a beginning, when they did not exists.
There was a time, where there was nothing in existence.
Therefore there must be a being that created things that always existed. (This being is God)
Governance of natural law.
Therefore there must be an intelligent being that direct all natural things to their end. (This is God)
Whatever lacks intelligence (natural bodies) cannot move toward an end unless it is being directed to by something of great intelligence.
Everything is headed to a final cause but not by their own will.


After learning about both Anselms & Aquinas ideas which in your opinion was more convincing of Gods existence?
In the world there is an order of effective causes, something cannot be the cause of self
Efficient causes cannot go on to infinity
Intermediate cause
Ultimate cause
1) Take away the cause there is no effect
2) If there is no first cause, among efficient causes, there is no ultimate or intermediate cause.
3)If the efficient cause was to go on into infinity there would be no first efficient cause

Chicken or the egg?
are predicates of different things, as they resemble in their different ways, something which is maximum
The maximum in any genus is the case of all in that genus
History of Thomas Aquinas
Born in Roccasecca, Italy in 1225 AD

Put into a benedictine Monetary from the age of 5-13.

Studied at the university of Naples

Became a Dominican Monk

Influential Philosopher and Theologian

He combined faith and reason

Prominent in natural theology, natural law, ethnics, metaphysics, political theory

Looked up greatly to Aristotle quoting him as the "philosopher" in many of his works

On the contrary
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