Aquinas Second Way Analysis

718 Words 3 Pages
In the Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas claims that there must be a first efficient cause to existence and that therefore a chain of causes cannot infinitely continue. This is also known as Aquinas’ second way. An efficient cause is an agent that brings about a change or an effect. Aquinas uses the term to argue that a first efficient cause is needed in order for there to be existence. I will argue that there can be more than one first cause, since Aquinas never explicitly stated that there is only one first efficient cause. Thomas Aquinas’ second way argues that there must be a first efficient cause which causes other things to exist. This first cause cannot have come into existence by itself. Something must come into existence by a first …show more content…
However, Aquinas does not say that there must be only one efficient first cause, he just simply argues that there must be a first cause, in which it could not have caused itself into existence, and that a chain of causes cannot be infinite. Aquinas’ argument claims that there must be at least one efficient first cause, meaning that there could be more than one. In this situation, each first cause is responsible for a certain part of the outcome, being the effect. These multiple first causes are similar to the division of labor. Division of labor is the assignment of different tasks within a system to improve efficiency. It is like a chain of dominos, but with two starting points that lead into one trail. If both of the starting points are knocked over at the same time, the domino effect will continue at the same rate of time until they both reach the single strand that they are connecting to, thus merging and having two first causes to the dominos collapsing. Simply saying that because there is an uncaused first cause does not mean or prove that there can only be one, rather there could be …show more content…
If there is then no order, it appears to be impossible for things to come together at once to create an effect. For example, if a human were to be created, how would the multiple first causes create this effect of a human? One first cause could be in charge of the skin, another the bones, the heart, the ribs, etc. but these developments would have to have some kind of order or process in order to create the effect of a human. Hence, the first causes have no way of ordering themselves to create something as complex as a human. Even compared to the domino effect of two strands leading into one, this certainly works in terms of motion, but with a complex process of first causes leading to a single effect, it does not work. Aquinas would agree with this because the idea of having multiple first causes does not work. His argument seems to be better than this objection because having a singular first cause in charge of everything appears to work more efficiently and makes more sense than to have multiple first causes leading to one effect. Having a singular first cause would mean that it has complete control of creating the

Related Documents