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Does God Exist?
Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica presents the Quinque Viae (Five Ways) better
known as the five proofs for the existence of God. Summarised together, these are the arguments
from motion, efficient cause, necessary being, gradation of goodness and design respectively.
This paper argues that Thomas Aquinas’ logic for the existence of God is valid and can explain
whether we have free will among us or not, however, his arguments are flawed because they lack
The question of the existence of God is as old as civilization itself. Every civilization has
believed in some form of deity and the existence of the afterlife yet there is still no irrefutable
evidence that god in whatever form or nature exists. Science and faith are in constant battle over
the origin of the universe. For example, Christians believe in divine creation as the beginning of
the universe while science presents The Big Bang Theory.
Thomas Aquinas, a catholic priest, wrote compelling arguments for the existence of God
that have stood the test of time thanks to the impressive logic. In the argument for motion (36),
he argues that God is the unmoved mover, the first mover of everything in motion because
logically, nothing can move itself. Secondly, he argues that God is the uncaused first cause
because nothing can be the cause of itself, and logically, there must be a beginning, something
that causes other objects to exist (37). He follows with the third argument where he introduces
the concept of contingent and necessary objects. Contingent beings depend on necessary beings
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to exist. Therefore, it follows that if contingent beings exist, then there must be a necessary being
who brought them to existence, in this case, God (40). The fourth argument for the existence of
God presents assumptions on degrees and perfection. Aquinas (48) argues that for any quality
such as beauty, goodness or knowledge, there must be a perfect standard of measurement, which
in his opinion is personified in God. The fifth argument is for intelligent design of the observable
universe. Aquinas (49), further states that using common sense to appreciate the order of nature
and life, one should conclude that there is an intelligent designer, hence, God.
At first glance, Aquinas’ arguments seem rational and very convincing. However, on
scrutiny, a number of inconsistencies and logical loopholes emerge. First, his arguments follow a
natural progression from a simple, almost innocent, introduction to a massive conclusion all
without any empirical evidence. For example, in the first argument from motion, he begins with
the common Aristotelian observation that an object is motion is caused to move by another force
or object. He then proceeds to the next logical step, which is to name this unknown force or
object as a mover. However, how A Mover becomes The Mover and ultimately The Unmoved
Mover, or God for that matter, is creative at best and wildly unfounded at worst. Science offers
an almost identical argument for motion through the Big Bang Theory. The theory holds that we
can trace back all energy, matter, space and motion to a singularity state at the beginning of the
universe. Unlike Aquinas’ argument, the scientific theory is supported by numerous observable,
measurable, and verifiable parameters such as the universe’s rate of expansion, microwave
background radiation in the cosmos and the measured distance between galaxies (Thiselton 215).
The empirical evidence that supports the existence of a beginning or singularity for the
universe also supports the faith-based belief of the existence of God. In essence, Thomas
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Aquinas offers a logical argument for the question of who created the universe while science
provides the empirical evidence for how the universe came into being.
Unfortunately, faith alone cannot suffice as evidence for the existence of God. At best,
Aquinas arguments provide the will for a scientific inquiry into the existence of beings within the
forces of creation and hopefully, the answer to the ultimate question, who created god, since after
all; nothing can cause itself to exist.
Thomas Aquinas’ classical cosmological argument does not prove the existence of God.
Instead, it provides a logical Christian based basis for the Big Bang Theory, a scientific and
logical argument for the existence of the fist cause.
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Aquinas, St T. Summa Theologica Gentiles. Ed: Joseph Rickaby. The Catholic Primers, 2005.
Thiselton, Anthony C. A Concise Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Religion. Grand
Rapids, Mich: Baker Academic, 2005. Print.