First cause and the first mover
I'm sure you've answered this argument before, but humor me anyway,
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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