In a way, this is the argument of Aquinas's that still commands the most interest now, since all of modern physics could be seen as continuing to explore the order of the cosmos. The essential concept of this argument is that order cannot spontaneously arise out of disorder; this is now known as the principle of entropy. It continues to intrigue physicists that at each step of discovery, from atoms to subatomic particles to quarks, there seems to be an inherent logic (from logos, meaning reason or, as in John 1:1, the Word) that dictates how the universe must evolve given these starting materials. It is at the very least bemusing that the Big Bang theory, which says that the physical universe began in an immense explosion of pure energy, does not contradict the account in Genesis which says that God began the act of creation by saying, "Let there be light."
The Argument from Motion Considered in Detail
In Book I, Chapter 13, of the Summa Contra Gentiles (in Shapiro, 357-367), Aquinas deals at great length with Aristotle's argument from motion for the existence of God. Aristotle does this in two ways. It will be possible in this essay to deal in detail with only the first of these.
The first way is as follows (Aristotle, Physics, VII, 1; 241b 24). Everything that moves is moved by something else that moves it. This mover is itself either moved or unmoved. If it is not moved, then this unmoved mover is the desired conclusion: that one must posit an unmoved mover. This, says Aquinas, we call God. If it is moved, then it must be moved by another mover. Consequently, the argument must either proceed to an infinite regression of movers or else it must conclude with an unmoved mover. Aquinas, like Aristotle, asserts that it is not possible to proceed to infinity and concludes that there must therefore be an unmoved mover.
In the preceding argument, Aquinas explains, there are two propositions that must themselves be prove...
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