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Thomas Aquinas was a theologian and philosopher who wrote Summa Theologica, which contains “The Five Ways”. In his second of the five ways, Aquinas uses two terms that the average individual may not be familiar with. The first term is efficient cause, which is the thing whose activity brings an object into being, or produces the event in question. The second term is first cause, which refers to something that causes other things to exist but was not caused to exist itself (an uncaused cause). In this paper, I will argue that Aquinas’ “second way” is an unsound argument for the existenceof God. In Aquinas’ argument, he first states that everything has an efficient cause and that nothing can be the efficient cause of itself. If something …show more content…
Judging from the direction that the conclusion seems to be coming from, it seems like it would have been more natural to conclude that there is a first member of the chain, a first cause. If an individual examines the other premises in this argument, it will become clear that this potential conclusion is inconsistent and the argument with this conclusion does not make sense. This is because for something to be the first member, there cannot be any events that come before it. But in order for an event to be caused, it has to have events that come before it (that cause it). There is a contradiction because the first premise states that every event has a cause, yet the first member cannot have a cause or event preceding it. In addition to this, it is important to question Aquinas’ suggestion that infinite causal chains do not exist. When Aquinas states that nothing can be the efficient cause of itself, it is implied that something had to have caused that thing to come into existence. Aquinas contradicts himself when he says this because he implies the concept of an infinite causal chain, yet he explicitly denies it in one of his premises by stating, “Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go on to infinity” (12). This issue of infinite causal chains is something to be concerned about because it is not unreasonable to believe that time may be infinite in both directions. Aquinas makes a questionable claim when

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