Critically evaluate the ‘Five Ways’ of Aquinas to prove the existence of God.
Thomas Aquinas’s five methods of demonstrating God’s presence, including motion, cause, contingency, excellence, and order, begin with some of the measurable world’s phenomena.
Motion is indeed a very straightforward occurrence, observed in the real world by physical perception. If objects can induce movement of their own, that means they live independently, so nobody has to move them. It is not out of necessity that situations exist, but because of contingency.
The Prime Mover triggers all action, and God is the Prime Mover. The use of the Aquinas way of motion could lead one to doubt God’s existence. However, when sickness or long diseases inflict us or natural calamities such as hurricanes, tornadoes, landslides and so on also strike the planet, one might ask oneself, “the prime mover is responsible for all these devastations and traumatic events.’
The goal and wisdom of the Prime Mover behind all of these are somewhat difficult to fathom. If natural calamities do not exist or have induced them to happen, will we miss anything? The response is yes, and we will miss a lot of material. Thus, there are kinds of calamities in which one feels, sympathizes, and empathizes with the other being.
Many living things experience a desire to offer a helping hand, and if it were not for the natural calamities, both of these might not be. One would definitely agree with Gottfried Wilhelm Von Leibniz’s notion of the ideal possible universe, considering the complexities of motion and natural calamities and their effects on human beings.
The Way of Causation says that all new products and events consist of the principle of a cause, and for this sequence of production and events, there must be a first cause. For example, a bus cannot run by itself but by petrol, diesel, or mobile.
Yes technically, it would not travel without power. There are other elements that must also work together to make the bus work. However, it is primarily the fuel that makes the bus driver or run. The result is the acceleration of the bus, and it is the fuel that induces this effect.
The wider and much larger facts of humanity, the world, and the cosmos itself can be clarified using this comparison. The above things are only the influence of the cause of greater or supreme force.
The Supreme Being induces these effects by an order instilled in the essence of all that can be attributed to all the effects. Therefore, this is not a prerequisite for him to create any result all by himself when he/she has the ability.
The first cause is not induced and independently exists, which means that it is contingency rather than need. One may assume that the first cause, which is not caused, is due to all the consequences. The universe is very enigmatic and tends to amaze human minds. At times, things appear to be in breach of common law, which is difficult to describe scientifically.
The way of contingency notes that for its life, everything relies on everything. Anything that depends for life on an external source is dependent. Contingent entities may only be brought into being by a being of necessity.
Contingent things are coming to life-changing and eventually composing them. The basic question is who gives life to such contingents. It is possible to make anything about a contingent being. Nevertheless, that does not suggest that a dependent being is a being of necessity. For instance, giving birth, though it seems like a contingent being will bring about life, it is actually only by the Necessity’s made, planned or programmed means that perhaps the contingent is capable of making something.
The maximum of a particular thing, as per the way of goodness, is the origin of that particular thing, be it smaller or greater and essential or negligible. It suggests that the snapshot of the limit is anything such as heat, water, and goodness, and every real action is fully determined by the maximum.
Existence on earth and elsewhere, if any, is born from the very root, or maximum, of life that we call Heaven. Nevertheless, as long as we work with positive aspects, following the rule of goodness process, we feel perfect. The very existence of God, it does render one doubt.
Why does God, who is infinitely good and great, allow evil to occur? Perhaps the creature will never be able to grasp the maker. Our notion is that goodness is simply the lack of bad, but God still has the ability to turn good into evil. Goodness will well up from the spot and individuals who are least expected, which really looks very disconcerting and inappropriate.
The way of nature often referred to as teleology, says that from the source, which none other is then God comes to order and wisdom or intellect. All that travels and has to be has a meaning, and an external cause, who is Heaven, confers this purpose. To follow a natural path, any natural occurrence is planned.
Any phenomena, though often deviate from the natural direction. Even such deviating events could be purposeful, but it can be difficult for the human mind to understand it. It is true that plans will often alter the normal course and follow an odd course, but the unusual course can even be part of the plan, but it seems weird and inappropriate to the human mind.
Thus, we can evaluate the existence of God in the five ways that Aquinas describes.