First cause and the first mover

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First cause and the first mover

YOU RESPOND:

Quote:

I'm sure you've answered this argument before, but humor me anyway,
please.
Peter Kreeft wrote: "Every being that exists either exists by itself, by
its own essence or nature, or it does not exist by itself. If it exists by
its own essence, then it exists necessarily and eternally, and explains
itself. It cannot not exist, as a triangle cannot not have three sides.
If, on the other hand, a being exists but not by its own essence, then it
needs a cause, a reason outside itself for its existence. Because it does
not explain itself, something else must explain it. Beings whose essence
does not contain the reason for their existence, beings that need causes,
are called contingent, or dependent, beings. A being whose essence is to
exist is called a necessary being. The universe contains only contingent
beings. God would be the only necessary being—if God existed. Does he?
Does a necessary being exist? Here is the proof that it does. Dependent
beings cannot cause themselves. They are dependent on their causes. If
there is no independent being, then the whole chain of dependent beings is
dependent on nothing and could not exist. But they do exist. Therefore
there is an independent being."
Also, Thomas Aquinas argued that the chain of movers must have a first
mover because nothing can move itself. (Moving here refers to any kind of
change, not just change of place.) If the whole chain of moving things had
no first mover, it could not now be moving, as it is. If there were an
infinite regress of movers with no first mover, no motion could ever
begin, and if it never began, it could not go on and exist now. But it
does go on, it does exist now. Therefore it began, and therefore there is
a first mover.
Thanks for your time.

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Krehlic
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This is a question that has

This is a question that has always bothered me. So, I would just like to add to the problem, not to answer. Forgive me if the answer is obvious, but it isn't to me.

How can any being be an indepentent being? If God does not need a cause, why does the universe? Could it be that it just is? Perhaps time is a human concept and an infinite regress is just simply not within our reach. I just don't understand how this 'first mover' could exist without a mover itself. If you just omit this problem then you must also omit the 'first mover.'

I guess one could argue that time was a creation of God, but that just seems like an easy way out and an answer that I cannot be satisfied with.

Of course, my logic may be flawed here. I don't claim to be well versed on the problem or concept at all.

Flying Spaghetti Monster -- Great Almighty God? Or GREATEST Almighty God?


Chaoslord2004
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RationalResponseSquad

RationalResponseSquad wrote:
YOU RESPOND:
Quote:
I'm sure you've answered this argument before, but humor me anyway, please. Peter Kreeft wrote: "Every being that exists either exists by itself, by its own essence or nature, or it does not exist by itself. If it exists by its own essence, then it exists necessarily and eternally, and explains itself. It cannot not exist, as a triangle cannot not have three sides. If, on the other hand, a being exists but not by its own essence, then it needs a cause, a reason outside itself for its existence. Because it does not explain itself, something else must explain it. Beings whose essence does not contain the reason for their existence, beings that need causes, are called contingent, or dependent, beings. A being whose essence is to exist is called a necessary being. The universe contains only contingent beings. God would be the only necessary being—if God existed. Does he? Does a necessary being exist? Here is the proof that it does. Dependent beings cannot cause themselves. They are dependent on their causes. If there is no independent being, then the whole chain of dependent beings is dependent on nothing and could not exist. But they do exist. Therefore there is an independent being." Also, Thomas Aquinas argued that the chain of movers must have a first mover because nothing can move itself. (Moving here refers to any kind of change, not just change of place.) If the whole chain of moving things had no first mover, it could not now be moving, as it is. If there were an infinite regress of movers with no first mover, no motion could ever begin, and if it never began, it could not go on and exist now. But it does go on, it does exist now. Therefore it began, and therefore there is a first mover. Thanks for your time.

The best way to respond to the Cosmological argument, is to use the same line of reasoning Kant used to refute it in the 1800's.  As this person already noticed, in order for the Cosmological argument to work, must rely on the idea that there can exist a "necessary being."  David Hume tried to refute this idea by claiming that anything that can be imagined to not exist, cannot be a necessary being.  This is fallacious for several reasons, but this is not the point.  Now, lets think about what it would mean for something to be necessary.  If a proposition is necessarily true, that means it obtains in all possible worlds (jargon of modal logic).  But, what does THAT mean?  Well, it means that assuming the opposite will lead to a contradiction.  If God was a necessary being, this would mean that assuming his not existence would lead to a contradiction.  How does a necessary proposition lead to a contradiction?  The same way assuming that not all bacholors are unmarried men does.  The concept "umarried man" is contained within the subject "bacholor."  Hence, if God necessarily exists, "existence" must be a sort of property the same way "umarried man" is a property of being a bacholor.  Thus, God being a necessary being hinges upon whether existence is a predicate.  Is it?  No.  Existence is a precondition for which properties take place.  Existence doesn't add anything to a given concept.  Moreover, Modal Ontological arguments are simply question begging.  For it asserts "its possible that a necessary being exists" which, in modal logic, is equivolant to simply saying "a necessary being exists."

Ergo, since the ontological argument fails, so does the Cosmological argument.  Bertrand Russell has another line of reasoning in which he claims the ontological argument simply begs the question.  I disagree with his reasoning, but agree with his conclusion.  I won't get into it here, for it would require me to explain his theory of denotation and definite descriptions.

How this helps Smiling 

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