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Analysis of Thomas Aquinas’ Quote Onthe Existence of God

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St. Thomas Aquinas was catholic preacher within the Dominican order and one of the significant medieval truth seekers and theologians. According to St. Thomas, “God is an intellect and with that it can be said the universe is structured into truth”.

Explanation of the quote

In this quote, he mentions that we can build the concept of God from our senses that give us the ability to distinguish and realize things. What he says, in-essence, is that we can start knowing Him using our natural knowledge of observable things and see Him as a distinct substance that is independent in itself or unmoveable mover (Aquinas par. 2). It goes on to explain that He is the cause of everything that is good and perfect. All that is bad, or negative is said not to be from God and is, as a result, considered evil.

The existence of God supersedes human understanding – anything we illustrate of him is falls within the finite boundaries of human comprehension. His actuality goes beyond our power of expression. The most accurate way of describing Him is through negation – showing what He wouldn’t be rather than what He actually is.

They possess intrinsic knowledge of things, but humans do not take part of in the transcendent world as our senses are the foremost important point of our knowledge (Aquinas par.24). This, however, does not limit us from being in contact with the divine as our souls are the centre through which the divine connects with the physical. According to St. Thomas Aquinas the are two basic intellectual functions of human beings, these are connected to two primary essentials of creatures – essence and existence. Furthermore, truth can be explained as the of judgement of existing objects, creating an example judgement about acts to be performed or thing to be created.

St. Thomas agrees that knowledge is possible as an effect of Illumination, telling that angels take part in the divine presence.

Our knowledge of God

Our knowledge of God, according St. Thomas God is seen as the initial mover one of the characters that he possesses which he is immovable and immutable. This means nothing can change God and the essence of his nature. Among other emphasised and important negative qualities of God demonstrated by St. Thomas is the divine simplicity that is to explain non-existence of God. This shows the fact that the set up of God is made of numerous elements. One of which is completely potential and other is actual. Giving more explanation that is seen that God is genuine and uncaused, which draw the element that God is not an element of being. Moreover, the transcendent being is not repressed of matter and form or substance and accident. Hence elaborating on his simplicity God identical with his essence.

For example, men may possess some intrinsic character like being kind e.g. a man is not kind, he carries kindness as his essence. However, he bears other traits owned by him as an individual. This draws conclusion that is unsimilar to God – He is a compounded substance. Therefore, if transcendent essence was other than its mortal existence there would be parts of actuality and being in God. We can elaborate that His substance would be potentiality to His being. As God is complete act, He should be a complete being and His essence should be existence itself. The pattern of his ideas draws as the belief of God as mover of existence or being. He attaches a significant conclusion clarified by a holy scripture as revealed by Moses by God himself telling that I am who am (Exodus 3:4).


In conclusion St. Thomas gives sense that we see a pattern of efficient causes of things in the world and nothing live before itself and only the genuine motion can change a potential motion in the genuine motion.

Reference List

  1. Maurer, A.A., 1982. Medieval philosophy (Vol. 4). PIMS.
  2. Van der Walt, B.J., 2017. Thomas Aquinas and the neo-Thomist tradition: a Christian-philosophical assessment. Institute for Contemporary Christianity in Africa.

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