Unsharing Poster

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Think of “sharing” as a form of efficient causality that brings the potentiality of a posted article on one’s social media page into the actual shared article. Intuitively, we know that a proper explanation of an article is always going to include an author and/or original poster, who did not share the article from someone else’s page. That is, the existence of the article cannot be explained by some endless chain of sharing. Likewise, our contingent universe cannot be explained by an endless chain of efficient causers that “share” their actuality so as to change potential effects into actual effects. There must be an original author, an uncaused causer, and an unsharing poster. And when it comes to the universe, everyone calls this “God”.

Posted on August 17, 2014, in Fun and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. The universe being created out of absolutely nothing like Christianity believes is just as empirically and logically implausible as an infinite regress so you have no basis for preferring one over the other.

    Second problem is that even if you accept a first cause that is not what everybody calls god. All that rationally can be said is that it is the first cause and it must have some mechanism of interacting with the natural (which needs explanation if you claim the cause is supernatural as this means the cause must be able to causally interact with something it has nothing in common which seems impossible). Any further attributes must be demonstrated individually. Personhood for example is not demonstrated so calling it god or God is not rational assuming you are not a pantheist. Omniscience is also not demonstrated. Omnipotence is also not demonstrated as the first cause could cause things while missing powers not needed for universe creation and creation of the existing universe cannot be shown to require maximal power as it seems logically possible for universes to be created which require more power to forge.

    Third problem is that God is just a name, a label. Naming something does not explain anything. Real explanations can meaningfully predict things which could have been different and preferably are unlikely without said explanation. God does not satisfy those criteria as any observation seems to be compatible with a god.
    First cause argument in my opinion are just naive apologetics.

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    • Hi again killer4hire,

      “The universe being created out of absolutely nothing like Christianity believes is just as empirically and logically implausible as an infinite regress so you have no basis for preferring one over the other.”

      I am not sure what logically implausible means, but I would agree that creation ex nihilo has not been directly observed. I don’t see how the concept is in any way incoherent, though. It is merely the claim that God created without the use of pre-existing stuff. A Berkeleyan might turn your objection on its head and say that mind-independent matter has never been empirically observed (which is tautologically true), and if mind is more fundamental than the things perceived, then God, being an immaterial mind, could have created by a sheer act of His will and intellect.

      “Second problem is that even if you accept a first cause that is not what everybody calls god. All that rationally can be said is that it is the first cause and it must have some mechanism of interacting with the natural (which needs explanation if you claim the cause is supernatural as this means the cause must be able to causally interact with something it has nothing in common which seems impossible). Any further attributes must be demonstrated individually. Personhood for example is not demonstrated so calling it god or God is not rational assuming you are not a pantheist. Omniscience is also not demonstrated. Omnipotence is also not demonstrated as the first cause could cause things while missing powers not needed for universe creation and creation of the existing universe cannot be shown to require maximal power as it seems logically possible for universes to be created which require more power to forge.”

      I was alluding, of course, to Aquinas’s expression at the end of each of the five ways: et hoc omnes intelligunt Deum. Aquinas spends the bulk of Book I of the Summa Theologiae not proving the first cause, but showing that the first cause must have divine attributes. My little meme is not meant to draw out all of those implications in itself, but I would direct you to Aquinas’s arguments in both the Summa Theologiae and the Summa Contra Gentiles to see why “God” is the appropriate name for the first cause. Put simply, the first cause must be pure actuality, and so have the ability to actualize any potential (omnipotent), it will be simple (not a composite of actuality and potentiality), it will be timeless and immaterial, and it will be an intellect in virtue of the fact that the universe it has actualized is ordered, orderly, and intelligible (see the fifth way).

      “Third problem is that God is just a name, a label. Naming something does not explain anything. Real explanations can meaningfully predict things which could have been different and preferably are unlikely without said explanation. God does not satisfy those criteria as any observation seems to be compatible with a god.
      First cause argument in my opinion are just naive apologetics.”

      Again, the name is applied to God in light of the attributes Aquinas deduces from the nature of the first cause. For more information, I recommend Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide by Edward Feser. The book has a chapter on the five ways and why they imply what they imply. Lastly, although Aquinas’s arguments are succinct in the Summa Theologiae, do not confuse brevity for naivety. The argument are based on complex metaphysical suppositions, and are unpacked throughout the rest of the Summa. But at the end of the day, we should not forget that the Summa Theologiae was Aquinas’s introductory textbook for seminary students. The ways are more deeply developed in the Summa Contra Gentiles, and elsewhere.

      Cheers.

      Like

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