Author Topic: The Five Ways or Quinque Viae of the Angelic Doctor.  (Read 61 times)

Offline Xavier

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The Five Ways or Quinque Viae of the Angelic Doctor.
« on: January 11, 2019, 01:19:31 AM »
We have discussed this in sacred sciences, but let's consider it here for the benefit of non-Catholics. It would be very good for Catholics also to be immersed in and internalize these Five Solid Proofs, so as to be able to help non-theists come to God. http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1002.htm

"I answer that, The existence of God can be proved in five ways.

The first and more manifest way is the argument from motion. It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion; whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality. But nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality, except by something in a state of actuality. Thus that which is actually hot, as fire, makes wood, which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it. Now it is not possible that the same thing should be at once in actuality and potentiality in the same respect, but only in different respects. For what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot; but it is simultaneously potentially cold. It is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved, i.e. that it should move itself. Therefore, whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another. If that by which it is put in motion be itself put in motion, then this also must needs be put in motion by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover; seeing that subsequent movers move only inasmuch as they are put in motion by the first mover; as the staff moves only because it is put in motion by the hand. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.

The second way is from the nature of the efficient cause. In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go on to infinity, because in all efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate cause, and the intermediate is the cause of the ultimate cause, whether the intermediate cause be several, or only one. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect. Therefore, if there be no first cause among efficient causes, there will be no ultimate, nor any intermediate cause. But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes; all of which is plainly false. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.

The third way is taken from possibility and necessity, and runs thus. We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are found to be generated, and to corrupt, and consequently, they are possible to be and not to be. But it is impossible for these always to exist, for that which is possible not to be at some time is not. Therefore, if everything is possible not to be, then at one time there could have been nothing in existence. Now if this were true, even now there would be nothing in existence, because that which does not exist only begins to exist by something already existing. Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus even now nothing would be in existence which is absurd. Therefore, not all beings are merely possible, but there must exist something the existence of which is necessary. But every necessary thing either has its necessity caused by another, or not. Now it is impossible to go on to infinity in necessary things which have their necessity caused by another, as has been already proved in regard to efficient causes. Therefore we cannot but postulate the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity. This all men speak of as God.

The fourth way is taken from the gradation to be found in things. Among beings there are some more and some less good, true, noble and the like. But "more" and "less" are predicated of different things, according as they resemble in their different ways something which is the maximum, as a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest; so that there is something which is truest, something best, something noblest and, consequently, something which is uttermost being; for those things that are greatest in truth are greatest in being, as it is written in Metaph. ii. Now the maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus; as fire, which is the maximum heat, is the cause of all hot things. Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God.

The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that not fortuitously, but designedly, do they achieve their end. Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is shot to its mark by the archer. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God."
Mary, our Heavenly Mother, implores those who receive Holy Communion Daily, or at least Weekly, to Offer their Lives. TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING: "My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby Offer my whole Life to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with my life, I place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices, and the suffering of my entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father and Priests, for good Priestly vocations, and for all souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept my life Sacrifice and my offerings and give me Your grace that I may persevere obediently until my death." Amen. https://www.avemariamaternostra.com/life-offering-promises.html It is recommended that you make this Life Offering as soon as you feel ready, and to renew it from time to time.

Please read the Blessed Mother's promises in the link: those who make it seriously will face no Purgatory (promise 5) since they would have completed it here, will have all their loved ones released from Purgatory the day they offer their life with intent to persevere (promise 4), and can save the souls of all their family members in due time by their life offering (promise 3). It will benefit all souls who have ever lived until time's end (promise 2) A simple effective way for thousands of us to save millions of souls. Inflamed in Large Letters of Love, you will have your name written in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary forever (promise 1).
 
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Offline Xavier

  • Glory to God in the Highest Heaven, and Peace to His people on Earth of good will.
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Re: The Five Ways or Quinque Viae of the Angelic Doctor.
« Reply #1 on: Today at 12:40:24 AM »
Syllogistic Summaries of the Five Ways:

I: The First Way (also known as the argument from motion, or alternately the argument from Potentiality)

1. All that is moved (or that has had some potency actualized) has been put in motion (or has been actualized) by another.
2. If every thing set in motion (or actualized) were moved (i.e. in a state of potency needing to be actualized), there would be an infinite regress.
3. Therefore, there is a Mover that is Unmoved. (or, a Being that is Pure Actuality, in Whom there is no potentiality)

This Being terminates the chain of motion and is Who we call God. It is He Who, lacking potentiality (there is nothing that He can become that He is already not), set all other things in motion - He actualizes the potential other beings have by moving them from one state to another.

For an analogy, if you could observe balls being set in motion, by one ball striking the next and moving it, you could deduce that the line of balls (even if you could not see the first mover) does not go on indefinitely, but will have to terminate in some mover - of a nature other than a moved ball (e.g. a human hand).

The difference between the First Way and the Second Way is the first deals with motion/potentiality while the second deals with cause/being itself. Some non-theists may admit only one or the other, hence the Angelic Doctor takes the trouble to prove the same Truth in different ways, so many people can be led to acknowledge it.

While there is some overlap between the different ways, they only approach the question from different angles, to deduce properties of the Unmoved Mover/First Cause.

II: The Second Way (also known as the argument of efficient causes leading up to a first Cause)

1. In the world we see that nothing can be the cause of itself, otherwise it would exist prior to itself
2. Therefore, every thing that begins to exist has a cause of its existence.
3. It cannot be that every being is caused by another being, otherwise there will be no end.
4. Therefore, a first being exists, without beginning, and as first cause of all beings.

III: The argument from Contingency/Necessity (also known as the argument of the possible and the necessary)

1. Beings are said to exist contingently when their non-existence is possible (i.e. for instance, they can cease to exist, they at one time did not exist etc)
2. Every contingent being depends on another being for its existence.
3. Therefore, if every being in existence existed contingently, the series would never end, and no existence would be possible.
4. Therefore, it is necessary that some Being exists not contingently, but necessarily, i.e. without beginning and end.

IV: Demonstrations of God's Attributes - the Supreme Being possesses every perfection in its highest possible plenitude

In the Fourth Way, St. Thomas proves God is infinite Goodness and infinite Perfection. This follows from the gradation we observe in created things. We see that some are more or less good, more or less beautiful and so on. But what is Goodness that is differently participated in by different beings? What is the origin of the moral law we discern on our conscience, that reason and the natural law inform us is eternal and immutable? Each of these predications suggest an infinite source of all these attributes which they display in a limited way. Just as we saw that being and motion must be caused, so now we see that goodness and beauty and each particular attribute has its source in God.

1. We not only observe different modes of being that require causes, but we also observe grades of being e.g. beings more or less good, and other such participations in which creatures share in different degrees.

2. As we saw beings require a cause, the gradations of being also require a specific cause, e.g. gradations of temperature caused by heat.

3. Therefore, there exists some Being that is uttermost Goodness, uttermost Beauty, uttermost Wisdom and uttermost Love.

4. As for the areas where these are absent, which non-Christians sometimes wonder about, it is because we creatures have not yet fulfilled our end, which is union with this Goodness, which we therefore have to work toward. Evil arises from the absence of Good.

V: Demonstrations drawn from Intelligent Design and the Physical Laws of the Universe:

In the Fifth, God's Intelligence and Wisdom is deduced from the laws of the created universe and the design inherent in nature. The universe like a programmed algorithm behaves in ordered ways, manifesting an Intelligence working behind the scenes that governs all things.

 ID is based on the same principle. When British cryptographers saw signs of design in apparently random signals, they deduced the enemy was trying to send a code. Design detection is clearly possible and is a scientific endeavor. DNA exhibits clear signs of Design, as Dr. Meyer has shown. St. Thomas argues from physical laws.

1. We see unintelligent things move toward an end, e.g. orbiting planets.
2. Things which lack intelligence are not capable of doing so, unless guided to do so by a Being that has Intelligence.
3. Therefore, the laws of Nature, like arrows directed by an archer, work toward a fixed end because of the Intelligence that guides them.
4. In other words, God constantly guides created things by His laws.

Hope this is helpful for inquirers into Christianity. God bless.
« Last Edit: Today at 01:09:12 AM by Xavier »
Mary, our Heavenly Mother, implores those who receive Holy Communion Daily, or at least Weekly, to Offer their Lives. TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING: "My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby Offer my whole Life to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with my life, I place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices, and the suffering of my entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father and Priests, for good Priestly vocations, and for all souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept my life Sacrifice and my offerings and give me Your grace that I may persevere obediently until my death." Amen. https://www.avemariamaternostra.com/life-offering-promises.html It is recommended that you make this Life Offering as soon as you feel ready, and to renew it from time to time.

Please read the Blessed Mother's promises in the link: those who make it seriously will face no Purgatory (promise 5) since they would have completed it here, will have all their loved ones released from Purgatory the day they offer their life with intent to persevere (promise 4), and can save the souls of all their family members in due time by their life offering (promise 3). It will benefit all souls who have ever lived until time's end (promise 2) A simple effective way for thousands of us to save millions of souls. Inflamed in Large Letters of Love, you will have your name written in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary forever (promise 1).