Fight For A Place in the First Efficient Cause Who and what is God? Why do some people adamantly conclude that a God exists? St. Aquinas goes from believing that there must be an efficient first cause to the conclusion that God is that cause. Why must Aquinas make such an extraordinary jump from there being a cause, to assuming that this cause must be God? In a scientific point of view, wouldn't it be just as plausible to make matter the first cause? After all, according to the Law of Conservation of Matter, matter cannot be created nor destroyed. Matter is the substance that any physical object is composed of. Matter is closed and finite, with no beginning nor end. The best explanation to the existence of God through St.
Aquinas's argument is that God does not exist as the first efficient cause. The argument for God, as presented by St. Aquinas, attempts to show that the existence of the world and everything within it can only be explained if there is a God who is the first efficient cause. The argument states that it is impossible for any being to be the efficient cause of itself because then it would have to bring itself into being, and to bring itself into being, it would have to exist before it existed.
If a being exists, it is because some being before it caused it to exist. Therefore, if no first cause exists, neither will any other being exist. Therefore, there must be an efficient first cause -- God. St. Aquinas's argument assumes that a first cause is needed to explain the existence of anything. St.
Aquinas also assumes this first cause to be God. How can anyone rationally conclude that there is a God from the simple statement that a first cause is necessary for the existence of anything? A first cause does not prove God, it only assumes that there is a God, at best. Could one not put matter in the place of God in St. Aquinas's argument and still assume there is a first efficient cause? The theory that matter "is", is just as plausible as the theory that God "is." Matter is closed and finite in extent, with no beginning nor end.
Putting matter in the place of God in the end of the argument given by St. Aquinas is just as plausible. In fact, matter is an easier concept to understand and to believe in than God. Everyone has a different view of what God is and even what he stands for according to their religious association, but many of those same people understand the concepts of matter. Matter is all around us. Even we are matters.
We interact with matter everyday, in every situation, and every second; the knowledge of matter is not trivial. God does not interact with us, he is not around us, and we do not associate with God in the same manner in which we associate with matter. Matter is an understandable concept while God is an abstract idea. The properties of matter make it a suitable conclusion for St. Aquinas's argument in place of God. The explanation of God is then not needed and therefore there is no place for God in the discussion of the origin of matter.
Therefore, the best explanation is that God does not exist as a first efficient cause. It is also a tremendous leap of faith to put anything as the first efficient cause. If one were to conclude that there had to be a first efficient cause, why would one assume that God was that cause? God, of all things, is the most abstract idea that exists. Matter may even be a better concept then that of God because we are comfortable with what matter is.
Why then, do people of so many different cultures and backgrounds, turn to the belief of a God as the first cause. Surely if so many people believe, they must have some reason as to what they are believing. These people only believe in God because it is given as a conclusion to us as a being. Matter is just as suitable of a conclusion to us as a being and it answers the first efficient cause argument. Matter is not nearly as abstract of an idea and in fact, we are matters, so the notion that matter "is" is not nearly as far-fetched as the idea that God "is." The same people who say that God is the first efficient cause also believe in matter. At the same rate, more people believe in the concept of matter and what it is than believing in God.
In fact, they believe in the very same types of matter while their beliefs of God as the first efficient cause remain very different. These people must have a reason for turning to God rather than matter as their first efficient cause. One reason is that they can give God supernatural powers that do not exist within matter. These supernatural powers differ greatly between cultures, so the main reason they turn to God is very different in similar cases.
Many cultures' belief in God consists that they can assign these supernatural powers at free will, while the concept of matter is annotated definition. God is a connotation with different meaning in different points of views, moreover an easy approach to the unsolved mysteries and theories of the universe. How ever, matter is a better, well-defined fit. Overall, St. Aquinas only assumes God's existence; he does not prove it.
Matter "is", just as God "is." The explanation of God is not needed and therefore there is no place for God in the discussion of the first efficient cause. Furthermore, God does not exist as an efficient first cause.