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Analysis of Thomas Aquinas’ Claims on God

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Throughout the book Summa Contra Gentiles, there are numerous philosophical explanations made by Thomas Aquinas pertaining to God. One of these explanations revolves around God’s perfection. For this subject, Aquinas claims that God is the most perfect being by using information about God to support it. From this information, this allows him to show dissenters of God’s perfection to understand how He is perfect. This is shown in his explanations regarding his claims that God (1) is a “universally perfect being;” (2) is not in any way imperfect; and (3) is a form that allows creation to resemble Him.

In regard to Aquinas’ claim that God is a “universally perfect being,” this derives from the similarities creation shares with Him found in what he calls the chain of being. In it, everything holds a form of existence that is set to what they are. This, as a result, causes them to be set at different levels of being because what they are limits their level of excellence. For example, inanimate objects like rocks merely have existence because they are inanimate objects. From these levels of existence, this leads to God having the highest level because His being is different from everything else. Unlike everything else, God holds all of the best attributes for existence, such as life and immateriality. This, as a result, causes Him to be a “universally perfect being” because He is of his own essence and therefore cannot lack anything.

With this explanation, this leads into Aquinas’ claim that God is not in any way imperfect because He is The Unmoved Mover. For this claim, Aquinas notes that everything that is imperfect comes from something that is perfect. However, in order for something to be considered perfect, that thing must be the first, most perfect thing in the universe. From this statement, Aquinas reasons that this first, most perfect thing must be, in fact, God. As The Unmoved Mover, God is eternal since He is the cause of all motion. This, as a result, would make him be not in any way imperfect because he would be the first, most perfect thing in the universe. In addition to this, Aquinas also reasons that God is not in any way imperfect because of the fact that He is Pure Actuality. As imperfect things are imperfect because they have unfulfilled potential, God would be perfect because He is Pure Actuality.

From this reasoning, this results in Aquinas’ claim that because God is a form, this allows creation to resemble Him. For this claim, Aquinas notes that although effects do not resemble their causes completely, there is at least some form of likeness between them. This relationship, according to Aquinas, is the same for creation and God. Although creation will always fall short to God, it does however bear a resemblance to Him. This, as a result, leads Aquinas to conclude that God’s form plays a role in this likeness as this allows creation to share in His image. Despite this resemblance however, Aquinas also notes that although creation resembles God, the vice-verse between them cannot be said because God is a perfect being. This, as a result, leads to the further conclusion that although God is a form whom creation resembles, this resemblance between them only exists to a certain extent.

In the end, Aquinas explains God’s perfection through his claims that God is (1) a “universally perfect being;” (2) not in any imperfect; and (3) a form that allows creation to resemble Him. For the claim that God is a “universally perfect being,” Aquinas notes that there is a chain of being extending between God and creation that shows Him to be perfect since He has the highest existence. As for the claim that God is not in any imperfect, Aquinas bases this on God being The Unmoved Mover, which notes His eternality and makes Him the first, most perfect thing. Lastly, in regard to how God’s form plays a role in the likeness between Him and creation, Aquinas explains that everything bears a slight resemblance to their causes. This, as a result, causes creation to bear a likeness to God in His image. From all of these explanations, Aquinas demonstrates how God is the most perfect being.  

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Analysis Of Thomas Aquinas’ Claims On God. (2022, April 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 17, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-thomas-aquinas-claims-on-god/
“Analysis Of Thomas Aquinas’ Claims On God.” GradesFixer, 11 Apr. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-thomas-aquinas-claims-on-god/
Analysis Of Thomas Aquinas’ Claims On God. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-thomas-aquinas-claims-on-god/> [Accessed 17 May 2022].
Analysis Of Thomas Aquinas’ Claims On God [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Apr 11 [cited 2022 May 17]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/analysis-of-thomas-aquinas-claims-on-god/
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