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The Fourth Way

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Introduction


If you remember any of these proofs, let it be the fourth. It is not the "most evident" as the first, or popular in the common mind as the fifth, but it is a rich compendium of mystic contemplation and the foundation for much of St. Thomas's theology on natural intelligence, beatitude, creation, law, and forms the foundation for deducing the remainder of the attributes.


I cannot stress enough how important the fourth way is. Yet, its importance is matched by its difficulty. First, the difficulty that is found in the statement of the argument by St. Thomas. Sadly, he is short and does not elaborate on the process of reasoning or many of the terms of the argument. Why does he do this? I have no idea.


Second, the difficulty that is intrinsic in the argument itself. While, we can imagine becoming, being, and contingency with (relative) ease, to contemplate participation and transcendental perfections are quite difficult.

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