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Quinque Viae


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The five ‘ways’ or arguments by which St Thomas Aquinas sought to prove the existence of God from the effects of His Being which are known to us, namely (1) that change implies an unchanging changer;(2) that a sequence of efficient causes, and their effects, such as we find in the world, implies an uncaused first cause;(3) that the existence of things able to be generated and to perish implies the existence of what is not generable and perishable (i.e. ‘necessary’) and that the existence of what is necessary ultimately implies the existence of something whose existence derives from nothing but itself;(4) that the comparisons we make (more or less ‘true’, ‘noble’, etc.) imply a standard of comparison which is in itself perfect in all these qualities;(5) that the fulfilment by inanimate or unintelligible objects of an end to which they invariably tend implies a purpose or intelligence operative in nature.

(1) that change implies an unchanging changer;

(2) that a sequence of efficient causes, and their effects, such as we find in the world, implies an uncaused first cause;

(3) that the existence of things able to be generated and to perish implies the existence of what is not generable and perishable (i.e. ‘necessary’) and that the existence of what is necessary ultimately implies the existence of something whose existence derives from nothing but itself;

(4) that the comparisons we make (more or less ‘true’, ‘noble’, etc.) imply a standard of comparison which is in itself perfect in all these qualities;

(5) that the fulfilment by inanimate or unintelligible objects of an end to which they invariably tend implies a purpose or intelligence operative in nature.

Subjects: Christianity.


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