Thursday, October 08, 2009

New God argument: Eternal necessity


God: theological definitions defined operationally, that means theology is the field of study for concepts of God. One should use Theological sources to document definitions of God. But just to show atheists how unreasonable they are to disparage theology, I will quote from Webster's online:

Webster online

Main Entry: 1god
Pronunciation: \ˈgäd also ˈgȯd\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German got god
Date: before 12th century

1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe b Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind
2 : a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality
3 : a person or thing of supreme value4 : a powerful ruler

Take the first definition, supreme ultimate reality. They define God as the basis of reality or ultimate reality, that's how I define God.

Attributes of God:

A. Ground of Being
B. Eternal
C. Ontologically necessary
D. Final cause or ultimate prior condition.

note: I don't include consciousness because it's not a primary attribute of God. Not to say I think God is not conscoius, but other things are conscious so this is not a quality that uniquely makes God God.

Necessity or Necessary being: That which cannot cease or fail to be. Based upon Felws definition of logical necessity Philosophical Dictionary p 242 paraphrase: a proposition the denial of which would result in a logical self contradiction. Applied ontologically we have that which cannot cease or fail to exist. This is so because the proposition of the non existence such an entity or thing or aspect of reality would be a contradiction. Thus since it would be a contradiction if X didn't exist then it can't cease or fail to exist.

Contingency: Flew (same page) defines logical contingency as that which if the proposition was denied would not cause a contradiction. So in ontological terms something which could fail or cease to be without a contradiction.

That means I will argue that it means explicitly that if the circumstances that made X possible had been different X would not have existed. Thus to be non contingent X must be such that it does not depend upon prior conditions at all.

Prior condition: Ontologically prior not necessary temporally prior. that is hierarchically necessary not necessarily temporally so.


(1) Goal is to argue for rational warrant for belief

(2) God is not "a being" But the eternal necessary aspect of being, or "being itself" (aka "primordial being).

God transcends the neat understood categories of finite temporal existence.

(3) Attributes of God are mutually exclusive

in other words there can't be two grounds of being;

any aseity is all asiety, in other words there can't be two eternal necessary aspects of being, if there were they would both just be eternal necessary being. This is so for the reason from no 2.


P(1) All the attributes of God are indexed by God's eternal aspect

In other words, all the attributes stem from this one: being eternal God would be ontologically necessary since it's logical that the one eternal existing aspect of reality would give rise to the temporal aspects. Being necessary and eternal God would naturally be the ground of being, and being the ground of being God could naturally be the final cause or ultimate prior condition: Assumption: that change in a timeless void is impossible and temporal beings can't just spring from nothing for no reason.

p(2) Temporal existence is contingent upon eternal being to bring it about (from assumption in P1).

I argue it is reasonable to assume that since there is no changeless void the temporal aspects must be somehow dependent upon the eternal aspects of Being.

P(3)The Natural Realm is marked by the Temporal


Nature: in the sense of "natural world"

Webster online

Main Entry: na·ture
Pronunciation: \ˈnā-chər\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin natura, from natus, past participle of nasci to be born — more at nation
Date: 14th century

1 a : the inherent character or basic constitution of a person or thing : essence b : disposition, temperament
2 a : a creative and controlling force in the universe b : an inner force or the sum of such forces in an individual

nine entries no 2 implies cause in terms of "controlling force."


Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. ...

The term nature comes from the Latin Natura, which is equivalent to the Greek "physis" meaning Life from life. We this reflected in the Wiki definition where it refers to life in general. The point is that the basic assumption of life from life is causality, so the basic concept of causal connection in embedded in the word itself in it's basic definition.

(for docs on natural see Mathias Joseph Scheeben Nature and Grace 1856).

Brainy Quote

The existing system of things; the world of matter, or of matter and mind; the creation; the universe.The personified sum and order of causes and effects; the powers which produce existing phenomena, whether in the total or in detail; the agencies which carry on the processes of creation or of being; -- ..., embodying the total of all finite agencies and forces as disconnected from a creating or ordering intelligence.The established or regular course of things; usual order of events; connection of cause and effect. Not the whole quote, see the link.


5 nature
a causal agent creating and controlling things in the universe; "the laws of nature"; "nature has seen to it that men are stronger than women"
Category Tree:

Even the concept of Materialism is based upon cause and effect.

a. Materailism based upon cause and effect

Dictonary of Philosphy Anthony Flew, article on "Materialism"

"...the belief that everything that exists is ether matter or entirely dependent upon matter for its existence."

dependence = C/E

Center For Theology and the Natural Sciences Contributed by: Dr. Christopher Southgate: God, Humanity and the Cosmos (T&T Clark, 1999) Is the Big Bang a Moment of Creation?(this source is already linked above)

"...Beyond the Christian community there was even greater unease. One of the fundamental assumptions of modern science is that every physical event can be sufficiently explained solely in terms of preceding physical causes. Quite apart from its possible status as the moment of creation, the Big Bang singularity is an offense to this basic assumption. Thus some philosophers of science have opposed the very idea of the Big Bang as irrational and untestable."

b) Something from nothing contradicts materialism

Science and The Modern World, Alfred North Whitehead.
NY: free Press, 1925, (1953) p.76

"We are content with superficial orderings form diverse arbitrary starting points. ... science which is employed in their development [modern thought] is based upon a philosophy which asserts that physical causation is supreme, and which disjoints the physical cause from the final end. It is not popular to dwell upon the absolute contradiction here involved."[Whitehead was an atheist]

P(4) It follows that an eternal aspect of being must be

from 2-4, since it would be illogical to assume that temporal agencies just spring up by themselves for no reason with no connection to anything eternal, being must be eternal, otherwise either nothing would have ever been or it would have ceased to be, unless one is willing to believe that all things that exist are only a few billion years old and before that there was absolute nothing. But that would still leave without an explanation as to how something came form nothing.

P(5) Since Being must have an eternal aspect, and since it is logical to assume that this aspect gives rise to temporal being, and since it is logical to assume that nature is only temporal and not eternal it is logical to assume that a trans temporal trans-natural aspect eternal necessary being is also the ground of being nd the final cause of all that is.

P(6) Since an eternal necessary Ground of all being that functions as final cause must exist, then there must be in existence an aspect of Being that is identical to what we call "God," Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that God exists.


P(7) Should atheists try to argue that nature could exhibit these aspects they have to prove a distinction between such aspects when used of God and when used of "nature." They are merely trying to barrow divine attributes to lend to nature, any example of these attributes is merely an example of the divine.

Proof: Of this final corollary proof is that the juxtaposition of finite or temporal and eternal in the human mind has always produced the sense of the numinous that stands behind all religious experience, the creation of religion itself. When we find these attributes, supposedly in nature, they evoke in us a sense of worship and subjection and the sublime. This is demonstrate by study after study about the trigger effects of mystical experience.

This is the reason for the stray sky at night effect. It resonates with the God pod.

1 comment:

tinythinker said...

You double posted.