Thomas Aquinas on Being - can a vacuum exist?

I tried to post this before, but it vanished into a vacuum! Here goes again...if a vacuum is a space devoid of matter how can it exist? If this is our definition of a vacuum, in Thomism it would be equal to saying that a vacuum was a non-being, that existed (since I can perceive and measure it). Outer space is supposed to be a vacuum, with things in it. But how can a non-being have beings in it? In Thomism non-being is just a negation of being, and so does not exist. If outer space was a void then it just wouldn't be there. According to Thomas, then, non-being does not exist, hence since a vacuum exists, it cannot be a non-being - it must be a being of some sort. So outer space cannot be a vacuum. Am I understanding Thomas correctly - and is this right?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Vacuum is an event of equalization and balance where matter shifts its placement in space. At least thats my 2 cents.

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  • Philo
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    That's pretty much right. A vacuum is MOSTLY devoid of matter. According to quantum theory, even a perfect vacuum has energy that manifests as virtual particles that come into being (in complementary pairs) and then annihilate themselves (turning back into energy) in very tiny fractions of a second. Do a search on virtual particles and see what you find.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Well the definition of vacuum is not the one that most people use. The definition most use, as is the case with outerspace a vacuum is without air.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Thomas Aquinas was an idiot and Thomism is an ignorant philosophical viewpoint. Have you ever read "Summa Theologiae?" What a load of crap that thing is...

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