A discussion on why god does not exist as a first efficient cause

But His effects are not proportionate to Him, since He is infinite and His effects are finite; and between the finite and infinite there is no proportion.

Four causes

If A is not first, then we return to 2. It seems that God does not exist ; because if one of two contraries be infinitethe other would be altogether destroyed. Since it is possible for such things not to exist, there must be some time at which these things did not in fact exist.

Aquinas: Philosophical Theology

Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God. The four questions are on functionwhat an adaptation does that is selected for in evolution ; phylogenythe evolutionary history of an organismrevealing its relationships to other species; mechanismnamely the proximate cause of a behaviour, such as the role of testosterone in aggression ; and ontogenythe development of an organism from egg to embryo to adult.

In TimaeusPlato posited a "demiurge" of supreme wisdom and intelligence as the creator of the Cosmos. For man naturally desires happinessand what is naturally desired by man must be naturally known to him. If, therefore the essence of the predicate and subject be known to all, the proposition will be self-evident to all; as is clear with regard to the first principles of demonstration, the terms of which are common things that no one is ignorant of, such as being and non-being, whole and part, and such like.

Nor can it be argued that it actually existsunless it be admitted that there actually exists something than which nothing greater can be thought; and this precisely is not admitted by those who hold that God does not exist.

Teleology in biology Explanations in terms of final causes remain common in evolutionary biology. It rains because of material processes which can be specified as follows: Versions of the argument[ edit ] Argument from contingency[ edit ] In the scholastic era, Aquinas formulated the "argument from contingency ", following Aristotle in claiming that there must be something to explain why the Universe exists.

The existence of truth in general is self-evident but the existence of a Primal Truth is not self-evident to us. For Aristotle, the ultimate moving principle responsible for the generation of a man is a fully developed living creature of the same kind; that is, a man who is formally the same as the end of generation.

Question The existence of God

For whoever denies the existence of truth grants that truth does not exist: Therefore at that time there would have been nothing to bring the currently existing contingent beings into existence. Therefore we cannot demonstrate that God exists.

But it seems that everything we see in the world can be accounted for by other principles, supposing God did not exist. Moreover, a teleological explanation of the type sketched above does not crucially depend upon the application of psychological concepts such as desires, beliefs and intentions.

However, the Physics does not provide all the explanatory resources for all natural investigations. Here Aristotle recognizes four types of things that can be given in answer to a why-question: Something does have these attributes: 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.

Cosmological argument

By insisting on the art of bronze-casting as the most accurate efficient cause of the production of the statue, Aristotle does not mean to preclude an appeal to the beliefs and desires of the individual artisan. Clearly, the statue enters in the explanation of each step of the artistic production as the final cause or that for the sake of which everything in the production process is done.

Therefore efficient causes do not extend ad infinitum into the past. This explains why Aristotle cannot be content with saying that formal and final causes often coincide, but he also has to defend his thesis against an opponent who denies that final causality is a genuine mode of causality.

Creation ex nihilo At a certain point in his discussion Suarez makes adjustments that are conceptually required in order for creation ex nihilo to count as an instance of efficient causality.

Aquinas observed that, in nature, there were things with contingent existences. In the first case, something is good for the animal because the animal cannot survive without it; in the second case, something is good for the animal because the animal is better off with it.

When an effect is better known to us than its causefrom the effect we proceed to the knowledge of the cause. If a previous efficient cause does not exist, neither does the thing that results (the effect).

Therefore if the first thing in a series does not exist, nothing in the series exists. If the series of efficient causes extends ad infinitum into the past, for then there would be no things existing now.

For example, the efficient cause of a table is a carpenter, or a person working as one, and according to Aristotle the efficient cause of a boy is a father. End or purpose: a change or movement's final cause, is that for the sake of which a thing is what it is.

Aquinas says everything must have a cause (nothing can cause itself), but then concludes that something must exist that can be the cause of itself, namely God. A defender of the argument of efficient cause would say that there has to be at least one exception to the rule 'everything must have a cause'.

- It is not possible for efficient causes to go back to infinity because if there is no efficient first cause, there will not be any following causes - Conclusion: 'It is necessary to admit a first efficient cause to which everyone gives the name of God.'.

The formal cause can also be divided into two: formal cause and exemplary cause. An exemplary cause is the plan in someone’-s mind that gave rise to a computer.

Things have either a formal cause or an exemplary cause –- not both. 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.

A discussion on why god does not exist as a first efficient cause
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SUMMA THEOLOGIAE: The existence of God (Prima Pars, Q. 2)