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Universality, Sublimity, and Order of the 5 Ways

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The five ways of St. Thomas truly and adaquately present the entirety of natural theology's availible tools in relation to the existence of God.


First, in the universality of their scope. All other metaphysically certain arguments that may be presented in natural theology reduce to one of these five ways. As Lagrange writes, "the other traditional proofs are easily reduced to these five, particularly the proof based on the contingency of mind, which refers back to the third way; and to the fourth way are referred the proof based on the eternal verities leading up to the maximum in truth, and the proof based on the natural desire for the sovereign good leading up to the maximum in good. Also the proof based on moral obligation that leads to the admission of a supreme Ordainer and Lawgiver refers back to the fifth way."

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