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Rational5

# Rational5 - an infinite causal regress is for some special...

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Rationale Almost all versions of the cosmological argument start with the assumption that causation is transitive and asymmetric. That is, if A causes B, and B causes C, then A causes C, and if E causes F, then F cannot cause E. These two properties of causation guarantee that there can be no causal loops or cycles. Consequently, there are only two kinds of series that are possible: those that terminate in a first cause (uncaused cause), and those that regress to infinity, without looping or stopping. There are three reasons for thinking that every series must end in a first cause. First, one might be a finitist. A finitist believes that the real world contains only finitely many things. If there are only finitely many things, there cannot be any infinite series of any kind, so there cannot be any infinite causal regresses. Second, one might take no position on whether there are infinite series, but one might think that
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Unformatted text preview: an infinite causal regress is for some special reason impossible. I'll call this position the anti-regressive position. Finally, one might argue that, even if there are infinite regresses, the infinite regress must itself be caused by something uncaused. This argument is typically carried out by arguing that we can aggregate all of the X's (where the X's could be events and processes, accidental states, or contingent existences), and that the aggregate itself must have a cause that lies outside the aggregate. For example, the aggregate of all contingent things is contingent, and we could argue that the aggregate must have a cause, and this cause must be non-contingent (since it lies outside the aggregate), and so the cause is itself uncaused, a termination point. This position I will call the aggregative view....
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