mod7-s19Cosmolgical - Module VII Session 20 The...

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Unformatted text preview: Module VII Session 20 The Cosmological Argument Read Stewart: 136-144 The First Way: The Argument From Change • a/ There is change in the world (observation). • b/ Whatever is changing cannot be origin of its own change, but changes on account of another, as nothing simply changes by itself. • c/ But if there is infinite regress of changing agents, there would be no change in the world. • d/ Hence the first agent or source of change must itself be unchanging and unchanged (ultimate explanation seeking sufficient reason). • e/ This Unchanging Source of all Change we call “God.” • Comment: All motion is a reduction of potency to actuality, and only act can affect such reduction. Thus the first reduction must originate from unmoved mover, unchanged changer. The Second Way: The Argument From Causation • a/ We observe succession of various effects (events) in the world. • b/ Whatever comes to be neither pre-exists itself nor causes itself to become. • c/ The succession of posited causes must thus have an origin. • d/ Hence there is the First or Uncaused Cause (ultimate explanation seeking sufficient reason). • e/ This Uncaused Cause we call “God.” • Comment: Aquinas after Aristotle showed that it is impossible to proceed to infinity (infinite regress) in the order of efficient causes unless we assume the first uncaused causation. The Third Way: The Argument From Contingency • a/ We observe the coming and going of things and events. • b/ If all were unnecessary now, then there would be nothing now. • c/ Out of nothing, nothing comes. • d/ But things do exist, and we should reject infinite regress as sufficient reason for our explanation. • e/ Why is there something, rather than nothing? To answer “now,” we must admit the existence of Necessary Being as our ultimate explanation. • f/ This Necessary Being (aseity) we call “God.” Comments On the Three Ways (Cosmological Arguments) • Infinite series – It should not be conceived really as horizontal in time since we cannot philosophically prove whether or not the world was created or is eternal. The “process God” provides the same ultimate explanation even for a continuously re-created world. – It is not a mathematical infinity. – We must speak of infinite vertical series (how does the entire set of infinite contingent series have an explanation?) in the ontological order of dependence. • Contingency (the core argument is the Way 3) – It is essentially applied to all 5 Ways of Aquinas as all require the sufficient reason for finite existence “now.” Illustration Imagine an infinitely long train • The second way: we can imagine an infinite causal link leading to the first locomotive as the source of motion in all train cars. • The third way: we have to imagine that each train car in the chain requires explanation at all times because of its contingency. The argument from contingency does not rely on a causal link in time (genealogy) but on the type of beings train carriages are at all times. We are dependent on the source of our being at all times, not just in a causal link. The contingent world could still be without a beginning in time and yet be radically dependent on the worldtranscending, ultimate source of creativity. Aquinas’s 3rd way explains this fact better than the Ways 1 and 2, and this very fact allows for a rapprochement of the “classical God” with the “process God” as both transcendent (in classical attributes or in process of view of God’s primordial nature) and immanent (in the process view of God’s consequent nature), and the world as eternal (only in the process view or some Eastern religions) and yet dependent (even an eternal world is contingent and so dependent on the creator). ...
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