The First Eleven Questions of Summa, Derived from the First Way

Givens from First Way:

God is unmoved mover.

God is in no way potential.


1.) God is spirit/ Non bodily

No body is an unmoved mover.

2.) God is not a force, physical quantity, or soul in bodies

All these move with the bodies they move,, or are identified with the motion.

3.) God is not any part of some larger whole

Parts are potential to the whole.

3.) God is all good.

If God and the universe were better than God, then God would be a part of a whole.

4.) God is perfect, and containing all perfection in an unlimited way.

If not, then God and the universe would be better than God, and God would be a part.

5.) God is infinite.

Limited things are made better by their complements, and so are parts of a larger whole.

6.) God is eternal.

What exists in time is either potential to its future (if passage is real), or the existence it has now is only a part of its whole existence (in a block universe).

7.) God cannot be multiplied.

What can be multiplied is a part of a larger whole.

Multiplication requires some indefinite stuff, God does not arise from indefinite stuff.

N.B. It’s amazing how much one gets out of divine simplicity considered so far as it means God is not a part.

Note also the tremendous fertility of the First Way. It is a truly sublime idea, like supply and demand or natural selection or the mathematization of nature.  See also TOF on “The Cascades of the First Way


1 Comment

  1. thenyssan said,

    November 3, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Agreed. I just wrapped my run through natural theology with the kids a week or two ago. God is X because God is pure act. Copy and Paste. It’s pretty amazing.

    I also like pointing out to them how long it takes Aquinas to get around to omnipotence, and how most of his time is spent on Intellect and Will as the really hard parts. Those early attributes are a piece of cake thanks to the First Way.

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