Calling all atheists

Status
Closed
Jul 2017
421
Memphis
#1
What is your explanation in simple terms why there is something rather than nothing?

I think the fact that a first cause is needed came in with the big bang. Which God did.

Before that God existed because He didn't need a first cause.

You might say he "grandfathered" himself in.

I would have done things different, but.......
 
Nov 2016
687
Germany
#3
The attempt to think Greek philosophy together with theological-Christian dogmas began in the early Middle Ages and found its most theologically effective expression in Albertus Magnus and later Thomas von Aquin. Until then Plato had been the most important point of reference for theological philosophy attempts, with the two scholastic scholars it then became Aristotle, especially with his theorem of the First Immovable Mover, which he published in Met. XII 7, 1072b23 equates with ´God´. This god has nothing to do on the surface with the traditionally revered gods of ancient polytheism, but of course he emerged as a basic idea from such concepts. For Aristotle, to be convinced of the reality of such a god was not a religious act, but a logical-intellectual, i.e. philosophical act.

Plato had thought of the world creator as an uncreated demiurge, who created the world not ex nihilo, but by forming a pre-existent chaos matter. In Aristotle's work, this instance becomes more abstract and absolute, but, as in Plato's work, the First Immovable Mover does not stand at a temporal beginning of the world, but is a temporally unchangeable causer of a temporally unlimited world of change. In order to prove the existence of this FIM, Aristotle starts from the following considerations:

(1) God is the absolute and completely real (later in Thomas: "Deus est actus purus, non habens aliquid de potentialitate" = God is pure reality, he has nothing in possibility)

( 2) There are two principles of being, the act and the potency (the real and the possible). The question is: What is whose cause? Since the possible does not presuppose the real, but the real the possible, the possible seems to be the cause of the real. On the basis of his premise (1) A. must refute this, otherwise God would be caused by the possible. So the possible cannot precede the real, because, according to A., it cannot be a sufficient reason for the real. Only the real can be the cause of changes that bring forth a new real out of the possible. But now this causing reality is again only a real possibility. We are facing here the egg or chicken dilemma. A. solves it by claiming that the further one goes back in the causal chain, the lower the proportion of possible and the higher the proportion of reality. Consistently thought through to the end, one could conclude from this to a first state that grasps no possibility and all reality in itself - the First Immovable Mover, the absolute reality.

For Aristotle, however, the concept of causality is not to be understood in terms of the cause of action, but rather as the cause of purpose, i.e. teleologically. As the highest reality, this God ("like a lover", Met. 1072b3) acts causally on things through his perfection, which is the motive of all accidental change to strive for. It is an ideal state that the moving accidental states are approaching.

This abstract concept of God is the basis of the scholastic dogma of the compatibility of reason and faith, for it seems logically and reasonably conceived and at the same time, of course with appropriate modifications, compatible with the Christian concept of God.

Counter-arguments:

In order to invalidate this construct, the basic premise of the Aristotelian reasoning must be questioned: The assertion that causal chains must have a first cause (whether temporal or supratemporal). From a logical point of view, this is what is called a "special pleading", the assertion of the existence of a special exception to the rule, or in other words: the reference to a special case without sufficient justification as to why this exception is necessary. In this case, the causelessness of the First Mover is the exception to the general rule of causality. Aristotle tries to deduce this Mover logically by means of the concepts of act and potency, which can only be convincing, however, if one already presupposes the existence of a God and merely looks for arguments to support this assumption.

This argument appears even more artificial in the Christian variant, which, in accordance with the biblical dogma of creation, postulates a causation of the world on a linear time axis, while Aristotle´s world creation happens beyond time and is incompatible with Christian theology under this aspect.
 
Last edited:

GogLais

Ad Honorem
Sep 2013
5,219
Wirral
#4
What is your explanation in simple terms why there is something rather than nothing?

I think the fact that a first cause is needed came in with the big bang. Which God did.

Before that God existed because He didn't need a first cause.

You might say he "grandfathered" himself in.

I would have done things different, but.......
I’m an agnostic, not an atheist and certainly not a philosopher. However I don’t feel the need to believe in god to explain something that I don’t understand or don’t have an answer to.
 
Status
Closed

Similar History Discussions