The first episode of Catholic Bytes’ crash course on Aquinas summarizes the Ox’s first way.
In the Prima Pars of his Summa Theologica (Question 2, Article 3), Aquinas claimed the existence of God can be proven in five ways, “the first and more manifest [being] the argument from motion.” This first way can be (broadly) summarized as follows:
- Our senses prove that some things are in motion.
- Things move when potential motion becomes actual motion.
- Only an actual motion can convert a potential motion into an actual motion.
- Nothing can be at once both actual and potential in the same respect (i.e., if both actual and potential, it is actual in one respect and potential in another).
- Therefore, nothing can move itself.
- Therefore, each thing in motion is moved by something else.
- The sequence of motion cannot extend ad infinitum.
- Therefore, it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.
The first episode of Catholic Bytes’ crash course on Aquinas summarizes the Ox’s first way in a 2-minute video that, brief as it is, explains these eight arguments in a clear, accessible and indeed fun manner. After all, one doesn’t see Chesterton and Descartes side-to-side with Aquinas on a daily basis.
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