ÒThe fifth way is taken from the manner in which things are directed or guided. We see some things that lack knowledge, namely natural bodies, working for the sake of a goal or end. This is clear from the fact that they always or often act in the same way to pursue what is best; and this shows that the reach their goal not by chance but from directedness. But things which do not have knowledge do not tend towards a goal unless they are guided by something with knowledge and intelligence, as an arrow is by the archer. Hence there is some intelligent being whom all natural things are directed to their goal or end; and this we call ÔGod.ÕÓ This excerpt, ÒThe Five Proofs of God,Ó was taken from ÒSumma Theologiae,Ó written by Thomas Aquinas. In this excerpt Aquinas sets out five proofs that he believes proves the existence of God. He bases his proofs on Aristotelian principles.
I feel that this proof that Thomas Aquinas presents is the proof that I understand and feel that has the most importance. Aquinas states that things can only act towards an end if they possess knowledge. Inanimate objects obviously do not possess knowledge, therefore they must be governed by an external intellect that directs them to their end. Aquinas says that there can not be purposeness without a guiding intelligence. The objection to his fifth proof is that he says, we see that things which lack knowledge act for an end, and we donÕt see anything directing them to an end, so it does not seem true that Òwhatever lacks knowledge cannot move towards an end unless it be directed.Ó
This fifth proof is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things that lack intelligence act for an end and this is evident from their acting away, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to get the best result. So, it is apparent that not fortuitously, but designedly, do they achieve their end. Now whatever lacks intel