How To Remember Aquinas’ Five Proofs For God’s Existence

The five proofs (or ways) for God’s existence put forward by Thomas Aquinas in the first part of the Summa are:

1. The argument from Motion
2. The argument from Causality
3. The argument from Contingency
4. The argument from Degree
5. The argument from Finality

These can be hard to remember, right? Shut your eyes and try and say them in order?

Could you do it? If yes, awesome! If no, keep reading!

Here are a couple of weird ways that might help you remember them.

First, a weird accronym for you:

Martians Can Create Dinosaur Fossils

The reason I’ve made it weird is that weird things shock us and therefore tend to stick in our memories better.

Martians (Motion) Can (Causality) Create (Contingency) Dinosaur (Degree) Fossils (Finality)! Don’t you know! Dinosaurs never existed! All those fossils people have discovered were put there by Martians!

Does that work for you? You might be thinking, ‘well, sort of, but how will I remember which ‘C’ goes first. Well, you could think, ‘Causality goes before Contingency because contingent things need causes.’

Huh? Huh?

Okay, here’s another way if that doesn’t do it for you. The first way is the argument from Motion. The last way is the argument from Finality. So think of the ways as moving towards an end (a final destination).

Once you’ve got that down you only have three other letters to remember (the one’s in between Motion and Finality) and it just so happens that those letters are CCD … as in, “do I have to take CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) classes in order to receive the sacrament of confirmation?”

Huh? Huh?

Alright, if that doesn’t help, you’re on your own.

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