St. Thomas Aquinas
St. Thomas Aquinas, Philosopher, and theologian was born circa 1225 in Roccasecca, Italy. He derived his philosophical principles from his religious beliefs. He is famous for his argument about the existence of God. To support his argument of the existence of God, he gives five proofs. His proofs are based on the rational concept of ordinary objects. The five proofs are as follows:
- Efficient cause
- Be and not be( possible and necessary)
- Degrees of perfection
- Order of universe
He says in the world around us, whatever thing is moved is moved by something else. When anything moves it does not have the potential to move by itself. There is always some other source behind the movement of something.
Motion is the transformation from potentiality to actuality. A thing in the state of rest always has a potential motion in it. For example, a seed has the potential to become a tree or a plant; it has the ability to transform into another thing. Likewise, there is the supreme force and cause that is governing all the movements of this world and that supreme force is God. God does not have any potentiality; He is the only actual being.
He asserts that efficient cause, usually, is the first cause; there are no prior effects of this cause; it is prior to its effect. The chair is the outcome or effect of the thought of efficient cause that is the carpenter.
An efficient cause cannot be the cause on its own self. Efficient cause must require some other efficient cause and this latter efficient cause is God. God is the efficient cause of this world.
Be and Not Be:
He explains that the world is full of different things that are subject to change. These things are known as possible beings. These things come to this world spend their allocated time and disappear. While necessary existence is not a possible being, it is the only eternal being that is immune to any change. This necessary being is God.
Degrees Of perfection:
St. Thomas Aquinas explains that we observe different things which vary from each other by their degrees of perfection. Something is good and other things are bad. We analyze things comparatively. When a comparative degree exists then there must be a superlative degree. Best is the maximum of good. Likewise, if we define God, we would use superlatives, as God is the perfect being.
Order of Universe:
The motions of the universe are by chance. Things in the universe, apart from Human beings, do not have the intellect to direct themselves. According to Aquinas, these things move in their allocated directions. Behind the movement of natural bodies, there is an intellect that directs them. This intellect is God.