ElShamah - Reason & Science: Defending ID and the Christian Worldview
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ElShamah - Reason & Science: Defending ID and the Christian Worldview

Otangelo Grasso: This is my personal virtual library, where i collect information, which leads in my view to the Christian faith, creationism, and Intelligent Design as the best explanation of the origin of the physical Universe, life, biodiversity

# Aquinas first mover five ways argument

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#### Otangelo

Thomas Aquinas’ Unmoved Mover

St. Thomas Aquinas:  Existence of God can be proved in five ways.
http://web.mnstate.edu/gracyk/courses/web%20publishing/aquinasfiveways_argumentanalysis.htm

The First Way: Argument from Motion

Our senses prove that some things are in motion.

Things move when potential motion becomes actual motion.

Only an actual motion can convert a potential motion into an actual motion.

Nothing can be at once in both actuality and potentiality in the same respect (i.e., if both actual and potential, it is actual in one respect and potential in another).

Therefore nothing can move itself.

Therefore each thing in motion is moved by something else.

The sequence of motion cannot extend ad infinitum.

Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God.

The Second Way: Argument from Efficient Causes

We perceive a series of efficient causes of things in the world.

Nothing exists prior to itself.

Therefore nothing [in the world of things we perceive] is the efficient cause of itself.

If a previous efficient cause does not exist, neither does the thing that results (the effect).

Therefore if the first thing in a series does not exist, nothing in the series exists.

If the series of efficient causes extends ad infinitum into the past, for then there would be no things existing now.

That is plainly false (i.e., there are things existing now that came about through efficient causes).

Therefore efficient causes do not extend ad infinitum into the past.

Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.

The Third Way: Argument from Possibility and Necessity (Reductio argument)

We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, that come into being and go out of being i.e., contingent beings.

Assume that every being is a contingent being.

For each contingent being, there is a time it does not exist.

Therefore it is impossible for these always to exist.

Therefore there could have been a time when no things existed.

Therefore at that time there would have been nothing to bring the currently existing contingent beings into existence.

Therefore, nothing would be in existence now.

We have reached an absurd result from assuming that every being is a contingent being.

Therefore not every being is a contingent being.

Therefore some being exists of its own necessity, and does not receive its existence from another being, but rather causes them. This all men speak of as God.

The Fourth Way: Argument from Gradation of Being

There is a gradation to be found in things: some are better or worse than others.

Predications of degree require reference to the “uttermost” case (e.g., a thing is said to be hotter according as it more nearly resembles that which is hottest).

The maximum in any genus is the cause of all in that genus.

Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God.

The Fifth Way: Argument from Design

We see that natural bodies work toward some goal, and do not do so by chance.

Most natural things lack knowledge.

But as an arrow reaches its target because it is directed by an archer, what lacks intelligence achieves goals by being directed by something intelligence.

Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God.

There is motion. Things move when potential motion becomes actual motion. Only when potential motion exists ( the possibility to instantiate actual motion ), actual motion can be instantiated.
Each thing beginning to move is moved by a cause. The sequence of motion cannot extend infinitely. Therefore, there must be a first mover, that puts motion in motion which is God.

Thomas Aquinas’ Unmoved Mover – Debunked (Kreeft and Prager Refuted)

In the interest of keeping this video relevant, I’m going to address Kreeft’s specific
rendition of the Unmoved Mover rather than Aquinas’, because, while the two differ
in the language and references that they use, they are nevertheless fundamentally the same.
And so, here’s Kreeft presenting the argument: “The argument starts with the not very startling
observation that things move.
But nothing moves for no reason – something must cause that movement, and whatever caused
that must be caused by something else, and so on.
But this causal chain cannot go backwards forever.
It must have a beginning.
There must be an unmoved mover to begin all the motion in the universe.
A first domino to start the whole chain moving, since mere matter never moves itself.”
Everything that exists is in motion.
Everything in motion is caused to be in motion by something else.
Something must’ve existed without a cause.
We call this first-cause (or unmoved mover) god.
Therefore, god exists.

Objection:
So, straight from the outset, I want to point out two absolutely devastating flaws.
The first is that even if we accept every premise of Kreeft’s presentation of this
argument, all this would prove is that an Unmoved Mover existed, and that’s it!
Seriously, that’s all it would prove.
It would not prove that this Unmoved Mover still exists, that it’s a being, that it’s
conscious, or that it impregnated a virgin, in order to sacrifice itself to itself so
that it could forgive you for your ancestors’ actions… or in other words, it would not
prove that Kreeft’s very specific interpretation of the Christianity is true.

Of course, the argument is not about proving all those added thing

The second game-ending flaw with this argument, is that premise three – the assertion that
“Something must’ve existed without a cause” - is an obvious case of Special Pleading.
A Special Pleading fallacy occurs when a proponent creates an exception to a rule without adequate
justification, and that is precisely what premise three is doing.
It is literally asserting that premise two – the assertion that “Everything in motion
is caused to be in motion by something else”, applies to absolutely everything except for
the cause of the universe, without adequately justifying why.
In fact, by itself, the argument doesn’t even attempt to substantiate this assertion…
it just makes it.
And this brings us perfectly to the crux of Kreeft’s faulty reasoning… in his attempt
to assert that an Unmoved Mover does indeed exist, he offers two additional faulty arguments.
The first is the assertion that “We now know that all matter – that is the whole
universe – came into existence some 13.7 billion years ago, and it’s been expanding
and cooling ever since.”
Now you might be thinking, “Surely, this assertion is true, isn’t it?
After all, I’ve heard many well-respected scientists saying the same, haven’t I?”
Well, the answer is that, it depends; it depends on what definition of the word ‘universe’
is being used … Allow me to explain.
If we are using the scientific definition of the universe – that being “all matter,
space and time”, then yes, it is accurate to say that the Big Bang was the beginning
of the universe; but if we are using the colloquial definition of the universe – that being
“everything that exists, everything that has existed, and everything that will exist”,
then no, it is inaccurate to say that the Big Bang was the beginning of the universe.
Hence, because Kreeft uses the scientific definition of the universe for the conclusion
of this additional argument, but he uses the colloquial definition of the universe for
the conclusion of his main argument, he therefore commits an Equivocation Fallacy, and hence
his argument is invalid.
And the second faulty argument that Kreeft offers is the assertion that, “Because Einstein’s
general theory of relativity says that all time is relative to matter, and since all
matter began 13.7 billion years ago, so did all time.
So there’s no time before the Big Bang.”
Now you might again be thinking, “Surely, this one is correct, isn’t it?”
But again, you’d be wrong.
It’s a false premise.
To quote Sean Carroll, my all-time favourite Theoretical Physicist, “A lot of Cosmologists
will say there was a beginning, and the problem with this is that the prediction that there
was a beginning, or the understanding that there was a beginning, is based on general
relativity, and we know general relativity is not right.
The reason we know it is not right is, for one thing, it is not compatible with quantum
mechanics.
The reason we know it’s not right is because, for one thing, it […] is not compatible
with Quantum Mechanics […] So basically we have a prediction that the universe began
based on a theory that we have no right to trust.”
And hence, to quote Carroll again, “The correct thing to say about the Big Bang is
not that there was no time before it, but rather that our current understanding of the
laws of physics gives out at that moment in time.”
Or to put this in another way; just as Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation functions perfectly
when applied to our everyday lives, but fails when applied to celestial bodies; Einstein's
General Theory of Relativity functions perfectly when applied to our everyday lives and celestial
bodies, but it fails when applied to the Big Bang.
Hence, when it comes the question of “What existed before the Big Bang?”
The real answer is “We don’t know”, and to add “therefore god” to the end
of this would be a classic Argument from Ignorance – which, indeed, is unfortunately exactly
what many proponents of the Unmoved Mover do.
Anyhow, to recap, Kreeft’s rendition of Aquinas’ Unmoved Mover is flawed because;
Even if every premise of the argument is accepted, it would not prove that Kreeft’s specific
god exists, and; Premise three commits a Special Pleading Fallacy.
And the two additional arguments that Kreeft offers are flawed because; The first commits
an Equivocation Fallacy when used as a premise in the Kreeft’s main argument, and; The
second is simply false… it’s a False Premise.
As always, thank you kindly for the view, and I’ll to leave you with yet another wonderful
quote from the amazing Sean Carroll: “We use the phrase ‘The Big Bang’ to refer
to that earliest moment in the history of the universe where we don’t understand what
is going on.
It’s a placeholder for our lack of understanding.”

#### Otangelo

Since we exist, something has always been. If there ever had been an ontological state of absolutely nothing, then that state would never change, because nothing can not cause something. Change is never simply a brute fact. It is true that an infinite regress is not possible. If the past is infinite without a beginning, then arriving at the present would be like attempting to climb to the surface of the earth from an infinitely deep, bottomless pit. Furthermore, Hilbert's hotel demonstrates that infinities in the real world lead to absurdities. The infinite can exist as a concept in our minds but does not exist in a temporal reality. The natural world cannot exist in and through itself. It is dependent on something else. That something must be necessary, unchanging, without a beginning, and everlasting. Change without preconditions can only be instantiated by a mind, which wills something into existence without depending on something else. Mass in the physical world seems to be miraculous. God created energy/mass, space, and time through his eternal power, and he stretched out the universe. The universe is a manifestation of his power. God is the ultimate necessary eternal self-existing creator, which instantiated creation and sustains it, and which depends on him. Dependent beings cannot exist independently. Since the universe had a beginning, it is dependent on an external necessary cause. I have shown that the attributes of a true God are logically deduced. Following are the properties of the first cause: Supernatural in nature, (As it exists outside and beyond the natural physical universe).  In Acts 17:24-25, it says The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. God is uncaused, beginningless, and eternal (self-existent, as he exists without a cause, outside of time and space. 1 Timothy 1:17 describes the God of the Bible as eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, to which be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. He is Omnipresent and all-knowing. He created space and is not limited by it.  Jeremiah 23:24 says: Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?”. God is Changeless ( Change depends on physical being ) Malachi 3:6 says:  I the LORD do not change. Furthermore, God has existed in a timeless dimension beyond the physical universe: ( Without physical events, there can be no time, and time began with the Big Bang ) God is an  immaterial spirit, as written in John 4:24: God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” God is personal: In Isaiah 63:7 it says:  I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us—yes, the many good things the has done for Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses. He is Spaceless ( Since it created space), Personal (The impersonal can’t create personality, and only a personal, free agent can cause a change from a changeless state ) God is unfathomably  Powerful ( Since he brought the entire universe, space-time, and matter into existence ) Necessary (As everything else depends on Him),  Absolutely independent and self-existent ( He does not depend on a higher causal agency to exist otherwise there would be infinite regress which is impossible )It is written in Isaiah 46:9: Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, and what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ God is supremely Intelligent to create everything, as Jeremiah 32:17 says: “O Sovereign LORD! You made the heavens and earth with your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you! And, finally, God is purposeful (As it deliberately created everything with goals in mind) The reason and purpose, why he created us is  is simple and elegant: To love God, love others, and be loved by Him.

Some might insist, and say, that invoking God is special pleading. If the universe cannot be eternal, why can God?  If logic does not account for justifiable special pleading then such logic is clearly flawed. Of course, an Infinite Creator who created everything would involve a justifiable special pleading. Such a Creator would not be like the rest of us. It is as simple as seeing the difference between an Infinite Being and billions of "finite beings." The One Infinite Being is clearly different. The One Infinite Being Who created all existence is quite different than those finite beings who are created by such Being. You might want to invoke a multiverse, which replaces God. Among an ensemble of many different universes, ours was the one having the right parameters to permit the evolution of advanced life. The Multiverse should be shaved with my Occam's razor. We don't need it to explain reality, it's only advanced to avoid invoking God, and adds unnecessary complexity. No more things should be presumed to exist than are absolutely necessary. God makes a multiverse unnecessary. Furthermore, a multiverse does not remove the first cause argument. ANY universe proposal that existed prior to ours, being a multiverse, bubble universe, or cyclic universe, has to be physical, in time, changing, and must have had a starting point. This means the cause is just pushed further back, without solving the issue of the cause. Not only has there to be an agency to instantiate and cause the universe into existence, but the forces must also be secured, in order for there not to be chaos. We know that the fundamental forces do not change across the universe. That permits the coupling constants to be just right, which holds atoms together. God is the ground on which all existence is rooted. Once God is removed, what is left? Nothing. How has nothing causal powers?

#### Otangelo

Since we exist, something has always been. If there ever had been an ontological state of absolutely nothing, then that state would never change, because nothing can not cause something. Change is never simply a brute fact. It is true that an infinite regress is not possible. If the past is infinite without a beginning, then arriving at the present would be like attempting to climb to the surface of the earth from an infinitely deep, bottomless pit. Furthermore, Hilbert's hotel demonstrates that infinities in the real world lead to absurdities. The infinite can exist as a concept in our minds but does not exist in temporal reality. The natural world cannot exist in and through itself. It is dependent on something else. That something must be necessary, unchanging, without a beginning, and everlasting. Change without preconditions can only be instantiated by a mind, which wills something into existence without depending on something else. Mass in the physical world seems to be miraculous. God created energy and mass, space, and time through his eternal power, and he stretched out the universe. The universe is a manifestation of his power. God is the ultimate necessary eternal self-existing creator, which instantiated creation and sustains it, and which depends on him. Dependent beings cannot exist independently. Since the universe had a beginning, it is dependent on an external necessary cause. I have shown that the attributes of a true God are logically deduced. Following are the properties of the first cause: Supernatural in nature, (As it exists outside and beyond the natural physical universe).  In Acts 17:24-25, it says The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. God is uncaused, beginningless, and eternal (self-existent, as he exists without a cause, outside of time and space. 1 Timothy 1:17 describes the God of the Bible as eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, to which be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. He is Omnipresent and all-knowing. He created space and is not limited by it.  Jeremiah 23:24 says: Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?”. God is Changeless ( Change depends on physical being ) Malachi 3:6 says:  I the LORD do not change. Furthermore, God has existed in a timeless dimension beyond the physical universe: ( Without physical events, there can be no time, and time began with the Big Bang ) God is an  immaterial spirit, as written in John 4:24: God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” God is personal: In Isaiah 63:7 it says:  I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us—yes, the many good things the has done for Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses. He is Spaceless ( Since it created space), Personal (The impersonal can’t create personality, and only a personal, free agent can cause a change from a changeless state. After all, how is it that matter-created minds that started to comprehend math and calculus, and language, using the laws of logic, abstract thought, and beauty, able to start thinking? How is it, that thought became independent from proteins, chemicals, and neurons? Math, calculus, and the laws of logic do not change, but neurons do all the time. ) God is unfathomably  Powerful ( Since he brought the entire universe, space-time, and matter into existence ) Necessary (As everything else depends on Him),  Absolutely independent and self-existent ( He does not depend on a higher causal agency to exist otherwise there would be infinite regress which is impossible )It is written in Isaiah 46:9: Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, and what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ God is supremely Intelligent to create everything, as Jeremiah 32:17 says: “O Sovereign LORD! You made the heavens and earth with your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you! And, finally, God is purposeful (As it deliberately created everything with goals in mind) The reason and purpose, why he created us is simple and elegant: To love God, love others, and be loved by Him.

Some might insist, and say, that invoking God is special pleading. If the universe cannot be eternal, why can God?  If logic does not account for justifiable special pleading then such logic is clearly flawed. Of course, an Infinite Creator who created everything would involve a justifiable special pleading. Such a Creator would not be like the rest of us. It is as simple as seeing the difference between an Infinite Being and billions of "finite beings." The One Infinite Being is clearly different. The One Infinite Being Who created all existence is quite different than those finite beings who are created by such Being. You might want to invoke a multiverse, which replaces God. Among an ensemble of many different universes, ours was the one having the right parameters to permit the evolution of advanced life. The Multiverse should be shaved with my Occam's razor. We don't need it to explain reality, it's only advanced to avoid invoking God, and adds unnecessary complexity. No more things should be presumed to exist than are absolutely necessary. God makes a multiverse unnecessary. Furthermore, a multiverse does not remove the first cause argument. ANY universe proposal that existed prior to ours, being a multiverse, bubble universe, or cyclic universe, has to be physical, in time, changing, and must have had a starting point. This means the cause is just pushed further back, without solving the issue of the cause. Not only has there to be an agency to instantiate and cause the universe into existence, but the forces must also be secured, in order for there not to be chaos. We know that the fundamental forces do not change across the universe. That permits the coupling constants to be just right, which holds atoms together. God is the ground on which all existence is rooted. Once God is removed, what is left? Nothing. How has nothing causal powers?

Descartes:
By 'God', I understand, a substance which is infinite, independent, supremely intelligent, supremely powerful, and which created both myself and everything else [...] that exists.
"I could not possibly be of such a nature as I am, and yet have in my mind the idea of a God, if God did not in reality exist." I have concluded the evident existence of God, and that my existence depends entirely on God in all the moments of my life, that I do not think that the human spirit may know anything with greater evidence and certitude.