Quinquae viae

The Quinque viae, or Five Ways, are five arguments of the existence of God summarized by St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica. These proofs take the form of philosophical arguments:

  1. The argument of the unmoved mover (ex motu):
    • Some things are moved.
    • Everything that is moving is moved by a mover.
    • An infinite regress of movers is impossible.
    • Therefore, there is an unmoved mover from whom all motion proceeds.
    • This mover is what we call God.
  2. The argument of the first cause (ex causa):
    • Some things are caused.
    • Everything that is caused is caused by something else.
    • An infinite regress of causation is impossible.
    • Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause of all caused things.
    • This causer is what we call God.
  3. The argument from contingency (ex contingentia):
    • Many things in the universe may either exist or not exist. Such things are called contingent beings.
    • It is impossible for everything in the universe to be contingent, as something can't come of nothing, and if traced back eventually there must have been one thing from which all others have occurred.
    • Therefore, there must be a necessary being whose existence is not contingent on any other being or beings.
    • This being is whom we call God.
  4. The argument from degree or gradation (ex gradu):
    • Various perfections may be found in varying degrees throughout the universe.
    • These degrees of perfections assume the existence of the perfections themselves.
    • The pinnacle of perfection, from which lesser degrees of perfection derive, is what we call God.
  5. The teleological argument or argument of "design" (ex fine):
    • All natural bodies in the world act towards ends.
    • These objects are in themselves unintelligent.
    • Acting towards an end is characteristic of intelligence.
    • Therefore, there exists an intelligent being that guides all natural bodies towards their ends.
    • This being is whom we call God.

See also

External links


  • Kreeft, Peter. Summa of the Summa, Ignatius Press, 1990. ISBN 0-89870-300-X

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