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12/14/2018 4:38 am  #11

Re: Alternative Solutions to Thomastic Cosmological Argumets

RomanJoe wrote:

IgnorantSeeker wrote:

RomanJoe wrote:

It doesn't matter if one puts forth the laws of physics as a temporal genesis of the universe. The Aristotelian-Thomist isn't beholden to a temporal prime mover, rather he tries to reason towards an ontologically fundamental prime mover--one that grounds the existence of the universe here and now at every moment. Even if the universe began via some secular notion of scientific laws, the universe itself would still contain essentially-ordered causal series of essence and existence, act and potency. One could also invoke an argument from contingency by the fact that the universe consists of composite beings and is itself metaphysically composite.

Besides, according to a Artsitotelian-Thomistic account of physical laws, such laws can't exist in a vacuum--they are contingent on real beings because they are abstractions of how real beings operate given their nature. Therefore, to argue that phsycial laws are responsible for the genesis of the universe would be to get things backwards because, according to the AT proponent, those physical laws only exist in virtue of there being real phsycial natures to describe.

You've successfully sold me on the Aristotelian-Thomistic account of physical laws, but I'm still lost as to why there cannot exist a multiplicity of unactualized actualizers that might govern different parts of the universe in the here and now. For example, one unactualized actualizer might actualize gravity; another would actualize electromagnetism; a third would actualize the strong force; and a final would actualize the weak force. These four would together actualize the whole of the universe, without one being supreme over the others. This multiplicity of unactualized actualizers could not properly be called God, since they only govern a particular domain of the universe. I know that such a philosophy is unprovable, but I don't see how it is impossible.

Aquinas writes that God cannot be constituted of multiple parts because to say that would be to say that some parts are only potential while other parts are actual. The unactualized actualizer cannot be actualized in any way, so it cannot be a composite of parts. That being said, I think my theoretical solution resolves this by postulating multiple uncaused causes which are not the same because they only have influence over a particular domain.

Why is god A actually that which governs law X and not law Y? Why is god B actually that which governs law Y and not law X? Your demigods are distinct from each other because each of them is actually operating within one role and potentially within another--in short, they are metaphysically composite, a division of act and potency.

Analagously, four numerically distinct plastic spheres can be delineated from each other because each sphere instatiates certain actualities and stands in potency to the actualities that the other spheres have. If you have two spheres that actualize the same potentials then they would be the same thing. So if there are numerically distinct things the AT proponent would argue that each member stands in potency to the actualities of the other members.

​Aristotle seems to add an extra argument concerning the proliferation of unmoved movers (there seems no reason to limit the number to four, you could have millions of them for every type of motion), that there is no reason to posit their existence when a single unmoved mover can cause the same effect.


12/14/2018 4:49 am  #12

Re: Alternative Solutions to Thomastic Cosmological Argumets

IgnorantSeeker wrote:

Thank you for your reply, but I find that a lot of atheists and scientists treat the laws of physics as if they prescriptive rather than descriptive. Dr. Lawrence Krauss' theory "a universe from nothing" is really "a universe from the law of gravity." It might be annoying to listen to Krauss reassuring everyone that no matter, energy, space, or time is nothing, but I still find his theory disturbing since it does credit the origin of the universe to something immaterial which is not God. 

​I thought Krauss was talking about a universe emerging from a quantum vacuum, something like that. A quantum vacuum is not nothing in the sense of 'absence of being', but is definitely something. Different critics have suggested his idea was just based on equivocation over the meaning of the term nothing.



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