Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Obviousness of the Fifth Way

I just can't imagine why anyone would reject Thomas Aquinas's fifth way, a fairly benign teleological argument.

"Contrary and discordant things cannot, always or for the most part, be parts of one order except under someone’s government, which enables all and each to tend to a definite end. But in the world we find that things of diverse natures come together under one order, and this not rarely or by chance, but always or for the most part. There must therefore be some being by whose providence the world is governed. This we call God."  (Summa Contra Gentiles: Book One, ch. 13)
In summary:

1. Everything that exhibits regularity is the result of providence. (Premise)

2. Nature exhibits regularity. (Premise)

3. Therefore, the regularity of nature is the result of providence. (From 1 and 2)

4. Providence is what we call God. (Definition) 

5. Therefore, God exists. (From 3 and 4)

There are laws of nature, after all, e.g. gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak atomic forces.  Since whatever happens over and over again (regularity) is not the result of chance alone, it follows that nature is the result of someone's or something's providence, e.g. God.

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