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RATIONAL2 - RATIONALE Al-Farabi's rationale is clearly of...

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RATIONALE Al-Farabi's rationale is clearly of the anti-regressive type. That is, he asserts that an infinite causal regress is impossible. Unfortunately, he is not very explicit about why this is so. TEMPORALITY Al-Farabi clearly adopts a synchronic view of causation. He says that contingent beings (beings whose essence and existence are distinct) remain contingent, even after they come into existence. What he seems to mean by this is that there remains a need to find a causal explanation of the continued existence of contingent beings. Some first cause must explain what preserves the world in being at every moment. CLOSURE Al-Farabi's starting-point is that of simplicity. The first cause must be a very strange kind of being -- one for which there is no distinction between its essence and its existence. The first cause is the only being for which this is the case. It is wholly other from anything we have contact with in sense experience -- there are no analogies that will help us to understand how God's essence could be the very same thing as its existence. The argument forces us to this
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