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Aquinas’ first way is based on motion.


The First Way is based on motion. In the world there are
things that are in motion, and whatever is in motion must
have been moved by something else. According to Aquinas,
this chain of movement cannot go back to infinity. There
' must have been a first, or Prime, Mover, which itself was
unmoved. The Unmoved Mover began the movement in
everything without actually being moved. Aquinas argued
that the Prime Mover is God:
The first and more manifest way is the argument from
motion. It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the
world some things are in motion. Now whatever is moved is
moved by another, for nothing can be moved except it is in
' potentiality to that towards which it is moved; whereas a
thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. For motion is nothing
else than the reduction of something from potentiality to
actually, except by something in a state of actuality.

Thomas Aquinas famously laid out five arguments for the existence of God, but he characterized one of them as "the first and more manifest way." This is the proof from motion, which can be presented simply and schematically as follows. Things move. Since nothing moves itself, everything that is moved must be moved by another. If that which causes the motion is itself being moved, then it must be moved by another. This process cannot go on to infinity. Therefore, there must exist a first unmoved mover, which all people call God.

To begin with, consider Aquinas’ first way, the Argument from Motion.

THOMAS AQUINAS’ FIRST TWO WAYS IN PROVING THE EXISTENCE OF GOD.

Finally, Aquinas’ first two ways seem related to questions about the universe.



Summarizing Aquinas’ first way, the argument states that objects are in motion,

and if something is in motion, then it must be caused to be in motion by something

outside of itself.


In Aquinas' Second Way, he identified a series of causes and
effects in the universe. Aquinas observed that nothing can be
the cause of itself, as this would mean that it would have had
to exist before it existed. This would be a logical
impossibility. Aquinas rejected an infinite series of causes and
believed that there must have been a first, uncaused, cause.
This first cause started the chain of causes that have caused all
events to happen. This first cause was God:

Aquinas’ first way is based on motion.



As with all arguments attempting to prove the existence of God, Aquinas’ first

two ways are subjected to possible criticisms, objections and/or weak points.

New York: Oxford University Press, 1996        PHILOSOPHY 100 ESSAYST.

Rigg (Washington, D.C.: 1996); its essays survey developments in grammar, vocabulary, spelling, pronunciation, style, and literature in areas from philosophy to textiles.

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What are the main ideas in Aquinas’ first two ways?


To begin with, consider Aquinas’ first way, the Argument from Motion.

Thomas Aquinas’ First Two Ways in Proving the Existence of God

It is my view that God exists, and I think that Aquinas’ first two ways presents a

successful argument for the existence of God.

St Thomas Aquinas Five Ways Philosophy Essay

This third way could be argued to be either strong or weak. One strength which the argument holds is that, as with the first two ways, this argument appeals strongly to human reason and logic, leading it to be widely accepted by empiricists. In accordance with human logic, things in existence are indeed caused by other things; we are made by our parents, mountains are made by tectonic plate movement etc. Aquinas draws on this logic when putting forward his third way, meaning that it is a fairly satisfying argument.

Aquinas’ first and second ways - University of Notre Dame

However, it is possible to severely weaken Aquinas’ argument if you argue that it is in fact possible to have an infinite chain of regression. Seeing as the argument is hinged upon the assumption that this is impossible, disregarding this assumption therefore dramatically reduces the strength of the argument. The philosopher David Hume questioned the very notion of cause and effect. He argued that we make assumptions about the relationship between Cause and Effect which are by no means necessarily true. While it is true that, according to human logic, infinite regression does not seem logical, in mathematics, it is possible to have an infinite series of regression; numbers can keep increasing or decreasing in size infinitely, thereby proving that infinite regression is entirely possible. Using a posteriori knowledge, it may seem apparent that every effect has a cause. However, if you use a priori knowledge, you could easily reason that, not everything which exists has a cause. It is impossible to claim that this is analytically true. Hume would argue that the universe is just a ‘brute fact’; it just is and has no cause. This completely undermines Aquinas’ first two ways.

Free thomas aquinas Essays and Papers - 123helpme

The second way makes a very similar point and is an argument for an ‘Uncaused Cause.’ Aquinas starts off by stating that nothing can be an efficient cause of itself; everything is caused by something else. The efficient causes of a thing follow in order meaning that there was a first cause which caused a second cause and so on and so forth. Once again, because Aquinas rejects the possibility of infinite regression, this means that ‘it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause to which everyone gives the name of God.’ Both of these two ways are heavily influenced by Aristotle’s idea of a prime mover. However, Aquinas does not mean to argue that God is merely the being that started off the chain of events which lead to cause the universe and everything in it. He is rather claiming that he must still exist; Coppleston used the example of winding up a pocket watch every night rather than knocking over the first domino in a chain.

Aquinas first way essay - Team10


St Thomas Aquinas developed the most popular version of
the cosmological argument. He developed his Five Ways to
prove the existence of God, which he called '' for
the existence of God. He put these forward in the Summa
Theologica. The first three of his Five Ways form the
cosmological argument as a proof of the existence of God.
The three ways that support the argument are:
• motion or change
• cause
• contingency

Aquinass Five Ways To Prove Existence Of God Philosophy Essay

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It is my view that God exists, and I think that Aquinas’ first two ways presents a

successful argument for the existence of God.

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