Discussion 10: Thomas Aquinas

Question: Is it necessary that there is a cause before an effect? Would Thomas Aquinas agree with you?

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Yes, it is necessary that there is a cause before an effect. Everything that occurs in life has a cause, and what we see is just an effect. This is true for desirable circumstances as well as undesirable circumstances. Good or desirable circumstances occur because of a cause, which might be known or unknown. Also, bad or undesirable circumstances occur because of a cause, which might be known or unknown. People complain that their circumstances are bad, but they are not willing to find out the cause. I think that the path to a good life involves finding out the cause of something. For instance, a person may complain about poverty while still harboring thoughts of poverty. As the Bible states, as a man thinketh, so is he. This means that good thoughts produce good results while bad thoughts produce bad results. Therefore, the cause of good results is a good thought. Also, the cause of bad results is a bad thought. To live a good life, therefore, we must understand the law of cause and effect and start thinking about good thoughts; love and kindness.

Thomas Aquinas would agree with me that it is necessary that there is a cause before an effect. In reading 7, “Thomas Aquinas: God’s Existence and Natural Law”, Aquinas uses the efficient cause argument to explain that there is cause and effect. In the efficient argument, Aquinas states that, first, there is an efficient cause for everything. Second, in efficient causes, there is no possibility of regressing to infinity. Third, taking away the cause takes away the effect. Fourth, the absence of the first cause cancels out the occurrence of others. Fifth, there is an existence of a first cause (God) (118). Aquinas used deductive reasoning to move from the premises which support the cause and effect. Since the premises are correct, the conclusion that the first cause is God is also correct.

The law of cause and effect is manifested in everyday life. If something happens, whether bad or good, we should understand that there is a cause. Thomas Aquinas’ argument on the law of cause and effect implies that we should align ourselves with the will of God. Since every occurrence has a cause, then moving backward, from Aquinas’ argument, we can conclude that the cause is God. To get the desired results or good circumstances, we should seek God, who is within us.


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