Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Terminology Tuesday: The Five Ways

The Five Ways: The five rational arguments that Thomas Aquinas saw as pointing to the existence of God. The five arguments are (1) the argument from motion (all things in motion need a mover, but there must be something unmoved that begins other things in motion; God is this Unmoved Mover); (2) the cosmological argument (all effects must have causes, but there cannot be an infinite series of causes into the past; thus God is the first or Uncaused Cause); (3) the argument from contingency (all things exist in dependence on something else, that is, contingent; therefore there must be something that is absolutely independent, that is, necessary; this necessary being is God); (4) the argument from perfection (there appears to be an increasing degree of perfection among things; therefore there must be a being who is the height of perfection; this Being is God); and (5) the teleological argument (the observable design in the world suggests that there must be an intelligent designer – God).1

1. Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), p. 52.