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Natural Knowledge of God in the Philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquina

• enoe ot

• enoe ot God tro. motion, tra. etticient cuaaality, trom oontingenoe, tra. 5 gradations ot perteotion in things, and trom tinal oausalit7. MOtion in .... oreated being implie. the existenoe ot a First Kover, trom etticient oausallt7 we oonolude the existenoe ot an Unc~used Itteotive Cause; oontingent being demands the existenoe ot necessary being, the l •• s perteot and the more pert.ot being furnish evidenoe ot the existenoe ot an all-perteot being) the aotion or movement ot thing. to anpd requires the direotion ot an intelligent cause. !his immutable, neceasary, all-pertect and intelligent First Cause to whoee exietence all .eneible thing. give evidence, we oall God. Eaoh ot the tive proot. is a convinCing philo.ophic demonstration ot the erlstence ot God. St. Thomas himselt gave preterence to the proot trom motion or beooming, in which every kind ot ohange or motion,--qualltative, looal or intelleotual, i8 inoluded. Sinoe the detailed explanation ot all the proots would be t.praotical tor our present purp08e8, oonsideration ~ will be re8trioted to St. ThOlll&s" proot trom .otion. By JIlOtion, St. Tho .. s would han us understand the tranai tion trom potentiality to aot, in anything in which suoh transition, ohange or beoOlling, ooour8.5 5St. Tho .. s, 'Su..a Theologioa, I a, q. 2, art. 3, oor.t For aotion 1& nothing else than the reduotion ot .omething trom potentialit,y to aotuality.

• Experience turnishes manitold instanoe. ot change or becOMing. !be amoeba 8&y lose it. individu.l existence to become part ot a multicellular organism. !he Inow-capped Rookie. pre lent an ever-changing scene ot splendor .s they reflect the Iml ti tudinous r.y. of the SUll. !he leed becOM. 1- ... the tree; the ltucco house acquire. a surtace ot brick; the unle.rned pupil become •• Greek schol.r; 10e beooaes water; it may then be he.ted until, in • g.seous .t.te. it passe. into the ai~ The ingredients ot • mingle and are changed trOJl. • mixture of tlour. sug.r, milk, etc., to • golden brown, light-.I-.-fe.ther l.yer oake. From the beginning ot lite to it. olole, wherever we go, we witne,8 the luooeslion ot change. constantly going on .bout us. EYery time our .en.el enable U8 to .deolare a thing ~~. we inter itl ebange or beoomiJ1g. ETery time we .re •• Iured by senlory evidence that. thing is, we imply itl p .... g. trom •• tate ot po.sibl. or pot.noy to that ot exist.noe or .ctu.l EY.ry tt.e we predioat. ot any oreature wh.tsoever, we oan .ignify it. pa ••• getrom non-being to being. !hi. chang. mUlt have be.n etfected through .~ .otu.lizing influeno. of .ome being other than itselt, tor a th~ ean not be in potentiality and in actu.lity .t one and the .... e t~"cl in one and the .ame re.peot. 6 While a oake b.tter is batter, it 18 onl, SSt. tho_s, SUBllJ8, !heologio., I a, q. 2, art. S, 001'.':: •. , Ilow it is not po.dble that the .... thing should be a_paoe in aotuality and potentiality in the .ame respeot, but only in 1:"' .... I'ent re .. For what is .otually hot oan not .imultaneously be potent! "." hot, but is 81multane.ouly potentially oold. It i. theretore impo.a4,·le that in ..... way • thing should be both mOTel' and lIlOved, i.e •• th&t~lt 8hould itself.

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