The Third Way

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. This is where we dive into the ocean of truth.

I apologize for last night. I was out later than I thought I would be on some apologetics business and by the time I got home, there was no time to do a blog. Also, there won’t be another blog after tonight until Monday night. I am going to be out of town all this weekend. I do invite you to go through past blogs however and enjoy those.

I ask for your prayers of course. First off, in my growing Christlikeness as I see more deficiencies that I want to work on and definitely have those listed as a priority. Second, I ask for prayers in my financial situation. Finally, I ask for prayers in a third related area of my life.

We’ve been going through the doctrine of God and using the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas as our guide. Right now, we are on the existence of God and the ways that Thomas Aquinas is using philosophy to demonstrate the existence of God. All who want to read the Summa can do so at newadvent.org.

For this, we will need to define two terms. Something is contingent basically if it could have been otherwise. I am sitting as I do this blog. That is contingent. I could have been standing or I could have been lying on a bed using a laptop. However, that I would be I is a necessary truth based on the Law of Identity. Necessary things are things that could not be otherwise than they are.

Aquinas states that there are things in the universe that are contingent, that is, they could have been otherwise. One could deny this by saying that the universe is a brute fact, but then that would mean that all things in the universe bear the relation they do so beautifully to all other things by brute fact. It is a brute fact that all protons just happen to have something in common. I find this takes much blind faith.

The other way is to argue from the universe itself being necessary, but that would mean that everything in it would be as well. It could not be otherwise than it is, which would also mean that your believing what you believe could not have been other than it is right now. It was a necessary truth that you’d be nodding your head in agreement to what I say or it was a necessary truth you’d be screaming at your computer that I don’t know what I’m talking about.

The other option then is that everything in the universe is contingent. That is, it was possible for everything in the universe to not be. If that is the case, then it was possible for there to be nothing. Aquinas has already said we must avoid the problem of an infinite regress and it comes back again at this point. If something is contingent, it begins to exist because of something outside of itself. If it is necessary, then it either has it received from another or from its own nature. After all, Aquinas had no problem with an eternal universe.

To avoid an infinite regress then, Aquinas says that there must be a being whose existence has the reason lying within itself. The universe, though possibly eternal, does not have the reason for its existence in itself but would rather have it in God. Aquinas then concludes that the ground for existence in this case is once again, the being everyone knows as God.

Monday, we shall see the fourth way.

One Response to “The Third Way”

  1. The Apostle’s Creed: In God | Deeper Waters Says:

    […] had five ways to demonstrate that God exists. The first can be found here, followed by the second, third, fourth, and fifth. In fact, you can also listen to a debate I did on the Razor Swift podcast on […]

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