Word from the Pastor
The last two of St. Thomas Aquinas Proofs
Argument from Gradation of Beings
1)There is a gradation to be found in the existence of all existence; some things are deemed better than others and some things are deemed worse than others.
2)Predications of degree require reference to the “utmost” case (i.e., an existence is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles to that which is the hottest).
3)The maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus.
4)Therefore, there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, such as goodness, and every other kind of perfection; and this we call God.
Argument from Design
1)We see the natural bodies work toward some goal and they do not do so by chance. There is an order or discipline to all existence which no human can control, only influence.
2)Most natural things lack knowledge.
3)But as an arrow reaches its target because it is directed by an archer, what lacks in the arrow, which is no intelligence, achieves its goal by being directed by intelligence.
4)Therefore, some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God.
St. Thomas was greatly influence by Aristotle’s “Four Causes” in order to explain natural phenomenon. Modern science dropped Aristotle’s “Four Causes” because they were too strict for the observation and conclusions for biological and social sciences. So, modern science adopted the “Efficient Factor” alone. In doing so, science could readily explain cause and effect in manageable and sterile situations given proven answers on a very specific basis. In essence, modern science could not fulfill the standard explanation required by Aristotle which linked natural philosophy to logic.
Modern science was relegated to the experimentation and observation of existing situations and results. In doing so, the scientist could reach real observable conclusions that could easily be attested by other scientists in the same field of endeavor or in many cases by even by the intelligent non-trained eye. Modern science is invested only in the observable data of results. Now, modern science has come to a complete halt with the origins of the “Big Bang Theory.” You might ask, “From where did this explosion of such energy, heat, and matter obtain its force, movement, and existence?” Aristotle would seek to philosophize about the orientation and origins of the “Big Bang”. Modern science has put such a question on the shelf because there are no origins to explain God. Next week will present the “Four Causes” as outline by Aristotle.