Aquinas Five Arguments

1. Aquinas first argument is influenced by Aristotle
In Aquinas??™ argument from change (to prove that god exists) is the belief that potentiality can only be moved by an actuality; only an actual motion can change a potential motion into an actual motion. He also goes to say that nothing can be actuality and potentiality at the same; therefore, nothing can move itself and that something in motion has to be moved by something else, and that motion cannot go on to infinity. As a result of this, there must be something, a first mover??”a first cause of change??”to be put in motion by nothing else and ???everyone understands by god??? (Melchert 277).
Aquinas first argument is influenced by Aristotle??™s philosophy on the reality of God. Aristotle has also stated that nothing can on for infinity because no actuality can keep bringing together infinity movements so it has to be that ???something that moves things without being moved??? (Melchert 178) just has Aquinas said that nothing can on to infinity, but something has to be the first mover, which to Aquinas is God.
Aquinas basically took Aristotle??™s idea about actuality and brought it forth for a more Christian attribute to appeal to his Christian audience. Thomas Aquinas was a theologian as Aristotle was a philosopher, and Aquinas wanted to add or rethink the way Aristotle thought of about existence. Both believe that there has to be a first mover, but Aquinas made it a point that it is God, and not merely as an existence as Aristotle put it.
2. Aquinas??™ second argument is influenced by Aristotle
In Aquinas??™ second argument from efficient causality to explain God??™s existence are series of events that happened in order to cause something. If something happens it must be a caused by something outside itself; nothing can happen on its own, and so no effect can happen if you take away the cause. Again, Aquinas says that the series of events cannot go onto infinity because there would be no first cause, which the effect is depended on the first cause, and that is what ???everyone gives the name God??? (Melchert 278).
Aquinas??™ second argument is influenced by Aristotle because in Aristotle??™s way of thinking everything has a premise and what is to be proved is the conclusion, which he calls syllogism. There has to be a starting point and that nothing can start prior to the starting point. Therefore, there has to be a ???proximate mover??? or the answer that starts the beginning, and this is explained in Aristotle??™s third ???because???, which is the efficient cause that causes tend to be conditions, events, or happenings. Also, with Aristotle??™s argument beings/things do not go into infinity because the chains of events must come to an end if we have the knowledge.
In both of these arguments, they agree that in order for something to happen there must be a cause or mover to let the chain of events roll. Nothing can exist before the cause because there will not be an effect; you can??™t have something come out of nothing and so it must first have to start and go to an end.
3. Aquinas third argument is influenced by Aristotle
In Aquinas??™ argument from possibility to necessity he says that things can come to be what they are and can cease being that thing again, and there are two stages to understanding this argument. One: not everything can have merely possible being, or nothing at all would exist because nothing comes from nothing; some beings simply must be. If nothing existed in the past then the world would exist in nothing now. Two: some necessary beings may come from another necessary being, and this too, cannot go on forever because if something is borrowed from another necessary being itself is eternal and necessary. Therefore some being exists of its own necessity, and does not receive its existence from another being, but rather causes them. And this being is ???all men speak of as god??? (Melchert 179)
Aquinas gets this argument from the influence of Aristotle. According to Aristotle for something to exist it must come to end as well, which means it cannot go onto to infinity. I am alive, but not dead because it hasnt happened yet. But Aristotle uses his examples with substances as in the ???form is the substance of things??? (Melchert 177). He says all materials are made up of substances and that these substances all depend on something to exist like matter, compounds, ect. However, if something does not require form or matter than it can be pure form, which is the best thing of all because they cannot fail the perfection of their form for they have no dependency on the substance it is made of. Basically Aristotle??™s ???pure form??? is like that of Aquinas argument of existing on its own.
4. Aquinas fourth argument is influenced by Plato
In Aquinas??™ argument from grades of goodness in things some things are found to better than another thing. Aquinas claims that the very best being relies on its superlative, like fire is to make things hot; it??™s what its best at. He goes on to say that if there wasn??™t something superlative being then anything less would not exist. Since lower things do exist then excellence being must exist, too. The maximum or the most supreme excellence being explains the fact of all the goodness we observe can ???we call god??? (Melchert 279).
Now Aquinas does use some examples of Aristotle in which Aristotle says ???that the truest things are the most fully in being??? (Melchert 279), but he gets this idea from Plato in which Plato says that the ultimate explanation of everything must be in terms of the Form of the Good for it is the starting point. This goodness gives us the intelligence, it is responsible for truth and knowledge, but it so much more than truth and knowledge for the Goodness surpasses all the other forms as well as the visible world in beauty and honor. The goodness is responsible for every existence there is.
Maybe Plato didn??™t recognize this form as God the way that Aquinas recognized him, but the influenced is there that the greatest goodness is what makes everything else in the world less in the world; it what makes people have imperfections or not having the full knowledge as this goodness.
5. Aquinas??™ fifth argument is influenced by Aristotle
All things have an order or arrangement, and work for an end and this order cannot be explained by chance, but only by some design or purpose, which is called ???the argument from design??? (Melchert 279). Intelligent beings act in a way to achieve a goal and everything happens as though it were planned to happen that way. As Melchert uses in the book the way rabbits are so quick they can escape a fox and a fox is so cunning it can catch a rabbit is that everything happens for a reason. And what is controlling these goals is a higher intelligence, which ???we call god??? (Melchert 280).
Aquinas gets this idea from Aristotle as Aristotle explains the way nature is in the world, which is that things that make up the world have principles of intellect within them. In order to explain their nature, existence, and changes that they are made up of primary substances that are ordered and these principle are eternal to them. And those natural things are because that is the way they are. Yet each natural thing can have a purpose and this purpose is set up by a higher intelligence. If some irregularity happens to sprout up we can??™t explain why, then it is here by chance and yet still has a purpose according to Aristotle because the purpose is what this imperfect thing is here for.
Both Aquinas and Aristotle believe that everything here on earth is here for a reason and by some design or purpose is created by a higher intelligence.