Tuesday, July 16, 2013

An update of my summary of the fifth way

Here's how I now choose to summarize Thomas Aquinas's fifth way:

1. Whatever lacks intelligence and exhibits regularity always or for the most part is the result of providence. (Premise)

2. The laws of nature lack intelligence and exhibit regularity always or for the most part. (Premise)

3. Therefore, the laws of nature are the result of providence. (From 1 and 2)

Lest someone charge that I've committed a reification fallacy in premise (2) by treating the "laws" of nature as things that exist, I'm simply referring to the behavior of things that these laws describe.  And once again, "providence" should be understood as either necessity or design.  If one is uncomfortable using this term, he or she is free to choose another.

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