- P1: Nothing which exists can cause something which does not exist to begin existing.
- P2: Given (1), Anything which begins to exist was not caused to do so by something which exists.
- P3: The universe began to exist.
- P4: Given (2) and (3), the universe was not caused to exist by anything which exists.
- P5: God caused the universe to begin to exist.
- C1: Given (4) and (5), God does not exist*
P2 is given as a restatement or immediate conclusion of P1.
Sorry if that degree of absurdity is what he finds the Five Ways of Aquinas to be.
Because, if P1 is true in any sense, it is in the sense that only already existing things can be caused to exist somewhat otherwise.
Whereas P2 is only obverse of it if P1 is taken to mean what it clearly does not mean (and what TBS has denied it means) that it is the non-existent alone which can cause anything to exist.
It boils down to:
- Nothing begins to exist.
- The Universe began to exist.
- The Universe is nothing.
Well, if nothing begins to exist, maybe the universe which is not nothing did not begin to exist but always did.
Or, if the universe began to exist, then something at least began to exist.
But the underlying principle for P1, which TheoreticalBullshit has defended, is that no real existence ever begins, whatever begins is only a modification of things existing far before and maybe very far otherwise than itself.
Like - as is very popular today - of atoms, having gravitation, electro-magnetic force, nuclear force, explaining thereby everything else as by-products.
I have dealt with that in two ways:
a) mind cannot be a by-product of atoms with those forces,
b) gravitation does not explain a steady state universe very well.
a) somewhere else : Atheism Very Shortly Stated - and Refuted
b) Triviū, Quadriviū, 7 cætera : Considering Newton … Gravely
If I would like to add something to the former, it is basically this:
Since mind and matter exist:
either mind is a by-product of matter
or matter the by-product of at least some mind
or matter and mind just coexist.
But if they just coexisted, they would not be influencing each other. And besides the fact that mind obviously is no by-product of matter, the way in which they influence each other even in our experience suggests that mind is more primary.
Therefore material objects in the universe had universally a beginning, not just a beginning for such and such a configuration, and that universal beginning is a mind. OR, if it existed always, that mind has always kept it in existence.
Now, if you would say that I am relying too much on intuition, as some atheists clearly would, so are you on the intuition that beginnings only take place of configurations of pre-existing materials.
Bpi, Georges Pompidou, Paris
St Cecily's Day