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St. Thomas Aquinas' Cosmological Argument

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The “Summa Theologiae” by Thomas Aquinas is composed of a series of arguments to prove the existence of God by pure reasoning, concepts and experience. Aquinas’s first three arguments from motion/change, efficient causes and necessity are the cosmological argument. The “Summa Theologica” is a strong argument that helps to prove the existence of a being “God”. According to the famous philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas, he put together the basis of faith along with the ethics of logic; does God exist? Is a question that many seek the answer to. To prove to each objective, one must understand the genesis of such theories, and how it affects that individual and the significance. This means proving the argument of the change in motion, the argument of first cause and lastly the argument for possibility and necessity.

The argument from the change in motion can be understood in the sense that, All natural things are in motion, hence it needs another object to cause its motion. In the world around us it is clear the objects do not put themselves in motion, thus, resulting in all things, being in motion, therefore these objects cannot be the cause of their own motion. Meaning, a first mover must exist that is not moved by others and that being is called God. The philosopher believes that if one takes a deeper look into the world, it appears that things are always moving. Just like a lion cub, it starts from being a baby to a sub-adult, with months of growth it later becomes an adult. In relation to this, people agree that for all changes in life to

occur, there has to be another factor that causes change. Also, there have been claims that, according to Newton’s law of motion, not everything needs to be in motion. In Physics the third law of motion is the law of inertia this means that the argument, that objects have to be in motion, for them to be moved by an additional force is not completely valid. The argument also ascertains, the use of potentiality to actuality, because if not for the first occurence there would not be second occurrence.

Secondly, according to Steven Cahn, Aquinas stated that “In the world of sensible things we find there is an order of efficient cause” (289). This implies that every physical thing cannot cause itself, there has to be a first cause. If there was no initial cause then, there would be no first effect. Bertrand Russell said that “There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our imagination”. Therefore if there is an infinite regress of creators, then there is no first creator or cause which ultimately results in there being no God. To disprove this take for example, the Big Bang theory is mostly accepted as the explanation of the creation of the universe. However Aquinas argues that the universe does have an absolute beginning, The Big Bang was the first physical event to occur and it would not be logical to say that this event has no explanation and was only brought about to existence by chance. In other words “Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God” (Aquinas 289).

Lastly, the argument of possibility and necessity stems from the fact that things that do exist have ended. To further expatiate, could it be obtained for an object not to exist, again there has to come a certain time when it will cease to exist. The ideology talks about the finite number of objects in the entire universe because they are uncountable. It also goes

on to depict the meaning of possibility by using real-life circumstances. For instance, the possibility of an elephant drowning . The genesis of things being necessary comes from the belief that all the things that are to happen or have happened is necessary. On the contrary, some individuals would claim that something is not a logical necessity. This is because, some things are just the way the are. Aquinas states “Therefore, not all beings are merely possible, but there must exist something the existence of which is necessary” (Aquinas’ Third Way Modalized). This is God.

In conclusion, the three arguments to prove God’s existence, Aquinas Cosmological Argument is successful. The cosmological argument is provided with enough support to prove empirical evidence and facts in both scientific and historical aspects. Skeptics of God’s existence argue how an endlessly good being can allow evil to overtake the world he created. In agreement with Aquinas “we can trace evil back to God in the way we can track all worldly design…for the overall good of the world”. Reason only cannot truly be a way to know God. Divine experiences and revelation, which is known through the church and the scriptures.

Works Cited

  1. Cahn, Steven M. Exploring Philosophy: an Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press, 2018.
  2. “Saint Thomas Aquinas.” Philosophy Index,
  3. Thomas Aquinas, “The Argument from Motion” of Religion
  4. (2019). Thomas Aquinas, ‘The Argument from Motion’., last updated 29 August 12.Licensed under the GFDL.
  6. Russell, Bertrand. Why I Am Not a Christian: and Other Essays on Religion and Related Topics. Routledge, 1975.
  7. Maydole, Robert E. “Aquinas’ Third Way Modalized.” Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) | Human Resources,

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