Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The second of Aquinas five ways

My presentation of Aquinas' first way goes over the starting point of this proof.  Citations can be found here.  Here is the second way:

The second way is very similar to the first. It argues that," In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible." By this he means that any thing, circumstance or event cannot change itself, but can only change something else (concept of efficient cause). Since there is a string of causes in which the string cannot be infinite (see premise #1), then all causes must attribute themselves to a first cause: God.

The second is similar to the first but focuses on causality.  In the world by which our senses can perceive we find that one thing causes another.  This chain of causes cannot extend to infinity.  Hence all things must tie back to a first cause: that which we call God.

No comments: