Summary states that God is proven dueSummary states that God is proven due



St. Thomas Aquinas
devised five ways in which God is proven to be real; the first of which states
that God is proven due to the motion of objects and bodies. Aquinas describes
motion as “the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality”, giving
the example that something like fire, which is actually hot, can change and
move that which is cold but “potentially” hot (like a piece of wood), but that
it itself cannot be “potentially” hot. This argument relies on three basic
claims: First, he claims that, because every action results from another, if
followed back to infinity, something had to move first. Secondly, it is
impossible for something to move on its own accord. Third, the “first mover” starting
the chain reaction of other movement in the universe had to have been what man
calls “God”, claims Aquinas.

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Looking at his three main
premises for the argument, Aquinas assumes many things. His first premise that
something had to be the first body/object to move is generally assumed to be
true. However, it is not certain that there was a “beginning” at all. No
thought experiment can prove the existence of a time that was not witnessed or
recorded, nor can it prove or describe events or the behavior of bodies in such
vast distances of time. For the premise that it is impossible for an object to
move itself, one has to look no further than life itself to see people,
animals, and microorganisms moving on their own free will without being pushed
along by outside forces. On a more basic level, a knowledge of basic physics
reveals the concept of temperature, which is the measure of the movement and
vibrations of subatomic particles. They move due to energy transference, even
in the coldest of conditions (except absolute zero, but that is impossible to
achieve) and even without outside influence. Third, Aquinas lets his unwavering
belief in God define the entity or object that is the “first mover”. Assuming
there was a “beginning” in time and movement that does not depend on nature,
why would Aquinas’s definition of the God deity be the correct answer?

Finally, there is a
technical flaw with Aquinas’s argument that something actually hot cannot be “potentially
hot”. In his example of a piece of wood catching on fire, the word “cold” is
highly subjective. Two pieces of wood, one that is sitting outside on a warm
day that reaches a hundred degrees and another that has been placed in a
freezer that reaches zero degrees will both catch fire. Therefore, “hot” and
“cold” are subjective. A fire that is 800 degrees can become hotter, and thus
can also be “potentially hot” even though it is already hot itself.