Aquinas’ First Way

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10 thoughts on “Aquinas’ First Way

  1. Since time is not absolute, but depends entirely on the motion of matter to define it (just as space requires a gap between matter to define it), it is meaningless to ascribe a time before the matter began to move and call that “potential”. The universe itself can be traced back to a pure actuality and no further. God then represents a superfluous addition that is neatly sliced out of the equation with Occam’s Razor.

  2. Thank you for posting this! Quite a lovely and simple representation of Aquinas’ argument!
    That said, I think the argument suffers quite a bit from Aquinas’ ignorance of math and physics advances. This is by no means an insult, as he would have had no possible way to be aware of such matters, since they would not develop until long after his time. Still, his understanding of Infinities seems quite lacking, as does his understanding of Time and Causality.
    Still, one of the most glaring issues in this summary isn’t from Aquinas’ pen, but rather from the summary’s creator: “Energy cannot be it, as energy is dependent on other members of the chain, such as force carriers.” This is simply not the case, and betrays a lack of understanding of just what energy actually is.
    Still, this is quite a lovely summary of a classical Prime Mover argument. Thanks, again, for posting!

  3. The unmoved mover is a metaphysical creation that held sway until Galileo put it bed once and for all with his inclined plane experiment.

  4. There is a misunderstanding here but it is not Aquinas’. His word ‘move’ is a metaphysical description that includes and encompasses all physical descriptions of the universe. If there is change at all, anywhere, at any time, it can be described in Aquinas’ metaphysical terms. Therefore, he can be wrong about the specific description of a particular thing, like the movement of the sun, but still be right about what is metaphysically going on. A refutation of Aquinas’ physics is not a refutation of his metaphysics.

    1. Yes, metaphysics is well known to be immune from reality’s correction of it. That’s why it never produces knowledge. Ever. About anything. It only produces justifications for itself.

      1. I get lots of knowledge from it. You shouldn’t reject an entire academic discipline just because you don’t like its conclusions. But, saying it never produces knowledge is a lie.

      2. No. That’s not knowledge; that’s a ‘hypothetical’. That’s like saying it’s knowledge that you’re name is Dan AND it’s possible that it’s Dwayne. That’s not a knowledge claim.

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