Sunday, November 27, 2016

Epircurean Cosmological Argument for Matter's Necessity


The Ex-apologist makes a kind of cosmological argument that asserts the necessity of matter,this is supposed to crowd out reasons for belief in God, Epircurean Cosmological Arguments for Matter's Necessity:
One can find, through the writings of Lucretius, a powerful yet simple Epicurean argument for matter's (factual or metaphysical) necessity. In simplest terms, the argument is that since matter exists, and since nothing can come from nothing, matter is eternal and uncreated, and is therefore at least a factually necessary being.[1] 
The fallacy here is obvious. If God exists then matter is not coming from nothing it's coming from God. His mistake is in thinking that Creation ex Nihilo means creation by nothing rather than from nothing. In other words God does not use pre existing matter to create matter,m he creates it out of his own being, or energies, "Energies" is a good term here because the Orthodox Church says that God is present in the world though his energies while his essence transcends the world.[2] Be that as it may God is something rather than nothing so matter is not created out of nothing,

Exapologist goes on: "A stronger version of Epicurus' core argument can be developed by adding an appeal to something in the neighborhood of origin essentialism. The basic line of reasoning here is that being uncreated is an essential property of matter, and thus that the matter at the actual world is essentially untreated."[3] Who says matter is uncreated? That is begging the question, and I assume it is predicated upon the mistake about ex nihilo above."Yet stronger versions of the argument could go on from there by appealing to the principle of sufficient reason to argue that whatever plays the role of being eternal and essentially uncreated does not vary from world to world, and thus that matter is a metaphysically necessary being."[4] Of course if matter is uncreated and eternal it would be necessary by virtue of being non contingent. But as we used to say in the 650, "that's a big if."  He is actually reckoning backwards assume necessity. Possible worlds are not real, It;s  ot that being the same in all of them makes it necessary but that if it is necessary it must be the same in all of them if they existed. Matter is still the province of empirical proof. There is no way to prove empirically that matter is un-created in every possible world or that it is un-created this world.

It seems to me that this broadly Epicurean line of reasoning is a cosmological argument of sorts, but one that concludes that matter, and not an immaterial creator, is the uncaused cause of contingent concrete reality. Let us therefore call any argument that deploys the principle ex nihilo nihil fit to infer the factual or metaphysical necessity of matter (or matter's ultimate constituents) an Epicurean Cosmological Argument.  
That is predicated upon the mistake in the first paragraph confusing ex nihilo with something from nothing, Moreover, there is no reason to assume that matter is anything but contingent since it is dependent upon the laws of physics. So that would mean whatever produces the laws of physics would be necessary and matter contingent upon that, This depends upon the understanding of necessity/contingency,I contend that the Atheists have changed the rules  to alter those terms so they they no longer serve their purpose in God arguments, My understanding of those terms is more causal than modern philosophers are willing to admit.

Just being eternal doesn't make matter necessary. An eternal object could be contingent if  it is contingent upon an eternal necessity, Aquinas saw not contradiction in a universe that was both eternal eternal and created. Accordig to william Carroll:.
As I have said, Thomas Aquinas saw no contradiction in the notion of an eternal created universe.(51) For, even if the universe had no temporal beginning, it still would depend upon God for its very being. The radical dependence on God as cause of being is what creation means. The kind of contingency which creatures quacreatures possess extends to necessary beings, that is, those which, although created, do not undergo corruption or change. [5] 
Now I also seem to have implied That god has some kind of energy., The Eastern Orthodox call it energies that doesn't mean it's like electricity. But they do mean some from of acting. This issue opens up a completely new can of worms.

The distinction between energy and matter is antiquated, In saying we have q physical world we are saying we have world that is made out of energy and much of that energy is in the from of matter, Energy and matter have an exchange; the are the  same things in different forms. A material universe does not have to be made out of solid objects. Why should there be a strict dichotomy between spirit and matter? We assume they must be vastly alien to each other, atheists refuse to consider the possibility of spirit merely because we do not have an clearly definable and detectable physical assistance that can be labeled as such. It stands to reason that if  some form of spirit does exist it might be a form  of energy,

There is ample reasom to think of spirit as mind. or one thing the Greek term penuma means Mind as well as breath. I wont go into that now but when I do critique Bede Rundell's book either Wednesday or next Monday I will show that he opens the door to the possibility of destroying the sharp dichotomy between spirit and matter,

Another problem for the atheist is that science does not think of energy in the big bang as eternal .It thinks of it as being created in the big bang, conservation of energy does not apply there because it's a quantum state.[6] Energy is not eternal, and atheist philosopher Quentin Smith wrote an article in which he argued that matter could not be eternal having to do with life of background radiation, He argues that the universe is un-caused yet finite.[7]

The Epicurean Cosmological Argument fails to put a dent in belief in God. God and eternal matter are compatible and God's status as creator is not diminished. Yet scientific evidence argues against such as notion as eternal matter. God is still a viable alternative e to matter and explanatory of it's cause. The reasons offered by this argument for preferring  matter as an exclusive alternative are ideological don't up.

Sources [1]ex aoologist, :"Epicurean Cosmological Arguments for Matter's Necessity," ex-apologist blog, (Nov 10,2016) on line resources URL:

[2] Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church, New York Pemguime books, 1964, 65.

[3] ex-apologiostk op ciot

[4] ibid, all quotes by this ex-aopologiost from this source,
[5] William carroll, "Thomas Aquinas and Big Bang Cosmology."  Jacques Maritain Center: Thomistic Institute,no date given, online  resource, URL:  accessed 11/27/'16

he cites (fn 52) "Aquinas distinguishes the necessary from the contingent by noting (following Aristotle) that to be necessary means "cannot be otherwise." In fact, Aquinas generally distinguishes between necessary and contingent beings in the created order: "Among the parts of the whole universe, the first distinction to be observed is between the contingent and the necessary. For the highest beings are necessary, incorruptible, and immobile." Summa contra Gentiles III, c. 94 and (n 53) "Aquinas, following Aristotelian cosmology, thought that the heavenly bodies were necessary beings: they are neither generated nor destroyed, although they are created."

[6] Physics of the Universe, "Main
Therefore, to those who claim that the very idea of a Big Bang violates the First Law of Thermodynamics (also known as the Law of Conservation of Energy) that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed, proponents respond that the Big Bang does not address the creation of the universe, only its evolution, and that, as the laws of science break down anyway as we approach the creation of the universe, there is no reason to believe that the First Law of Thermodynamics would apply.
[7] Quentin Smith, “The Un-cuased Beginning of the Universe.” The British Journal of the Philosophy of Science, (1988, Vol., 55, no. 1), 39-57.


Eric Sotnak said...

"The Epicurean Cosmological Argument fails to put a dent in belief in God. God and eternal matter are compatible"

Actually, this is a dent. Some cosmological arguments take as a premise that matter could not be eternal, and that something that is eternal must exist, which is then identified as God. If eternal matter is possible, then any cosmological argument that includes the denial of the possibility of eternal matter as a premise is defeated.

Since, as you correctly point out, there are also cosmological arguments that need not deny the possibility of eternal matter, they would not, of course, be defeated -- at least not by this consideration.

Joe Hinman said...

I think the most troubling and promising issue is the blurred distinction between energy and matter, But we will see if I can using it well in the next argument that;s the Rundle book.

Ryan M said...

To be fair to Dr. Leon (or, Ex-Apologist if that's what you want to call him), he did not advance any argument in that post. All Dr. Leon did was give a brief overview of a class of arguments. Saying the Epicurean Cosmological argument fails is a bit presumptuous since no Epicurean Cosmological argument was really presented.

There are other issues with your response. For instance, you started your post by mentioning that "If God exists then matter is not coming from nothing it's coming from God". But this was a mistake. As. Dr Leon clarified in the comment section, he was referring to material causation rather than efficient causation, so he was not claiming that Lucretius or others argued that nothing comes without an efficient cause.

Joe Hinman said...

erxapologist argues, and Rundle too,that apart from matter the only other origin would be nothing,