5 ways of St. Aquinas Summa Theologiae



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5 ways of St. Aquinas (Summa Theologiae, I,q2,a3)
-The principle of causality is an essential treat or condition. According to this principle, causal relations between things are not external treats but something internal or proper of the things in themselves: a thing, for its nature, can be an agent and can be a patient. The agent gives to the patient something that it has previously. Then the causality is not a mere external o physical relation.

-That happens already in the predicamental order (the order of the things created), so that it demands finally to pass to the transcendental order.


1rst way (motion)
-There is motion in the world.

-Motion is to pass from potentiality to actuality (or act).

-That implies that something cannot be in pot. and act. in the same sense or respect.

-That demands something in actuality, which has the property that is going to actualize that potentiality.

-Then everything in motion is moved by another.

-It’s not possible to go on to infinity.

-It’s needed a first cause not moved, a first mover. Everyone understands it as God.
2nd. way (nature of efficient cause)
-There are causes ordered in series.

-We see that nothing in these series is efficient cause of itself. Otherwise, it would be prior to itself, what is not possible.

-The first cause in a serie is the cause of the ultimate effect, so that the intermediate cause (one or many) is cause due to this first cause.

-Is evident that ultimate effects exist.

-Then it demands a first cause not moved by another. If this cause doesn’t exist, it wouldn’t exist nor the effect (for taken out the cause, taken out the effect).

-This first cause is called God.


3rd. Way (contingency-necessity)
-There are things that are generated and that disappear. They may be or may not be. Are contingent.

-If they can not be, there should have been some moment in which they didn’t exist.

-If everything is contingent, everything didn’t exist in some moment. But now there are things in the world. So they began to exist by the action of another being.

-This being cannot be contingent, because it would need another being, and so until the infinity.

-It’s needed a necessary being, which it’s called God.`

[David L.: Then, if the world –or universe or so- is etern (what is assumed by Aq.), Aquinas would be talking about a continuing creation]


4th way (degrees of perfection)
-There are degrees in the goodnes, nobility, beauty , etc. of the things we see. [David: because of the perfections of the beings: sensitivity, reason, etc.)]

-To talk about degrees implies a maximum (which is the base of the sense of this predication) [David: and the man realizes that he is not this maximum]

-The maximum in true, etc. is the max. in the being.

-There must be something which causes the being and the good and the true of the things. It’s called God.


5th. Way (governance of the world)
-There are natural bodies that act for an end, end which is repeated and sought always.

-This activity requires an intelligence.

-But these bodies have no intell.

-It’s needed a intelligence which orders or guides them. It’s callesd God.



Aparte (buscar fuente y organizar):
Objeciones a demostración de Dios (Summa)

1)No se puede dem. porque es de fe (y fe es sobre cosas invisibles).

Resp.)Es un preámbulo de fe, no artículo de fe; y la fe presupone la razón.

2)No se p porque no podemos conocer la esencia de Dios, y Dios es el término medio de demostrac.

R) No hablamos de la esencia sino de la existencia: y se habla de los efectos (para llegar a causa) que son cognoscibles y son el término medio.

3)Si dem. proviene de efectos, hay desprop. entre efecto y causa.



R) No importa: por el efecto se puede demostrar la causa (su existencia).


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