The 5 Proofs of Thomas Aquinas for God are logically sound
For those not familiar with the 5 proofs I summarise them below:
The Second Way: Argument from Efficient Causes
The Third Way: Argument from Possibility and Necessity (Reductio argument)
The Fourth Way: Argument from Gradation of Being
The Fifth Way: Argument from Design
1st round for acceptance.
2.No semantic re-interpretation
3.The first 3 can be summarised as the Cosmological argument and 5th as the teleological argument, but the last one is the end result of the first 3, so you must argue against all 5 and not just one.
4.1st round for acceptance only,2nd for opening statements, 3rd for rebuttals, and last round for conclusion.
Failure to abide by the rules will result in an automatic 7 point forfeit.
I think I underestimated the time and number of words an argument of this magnitude would require.I apologize if the arguments seem a little disjoint at times.
For the first 3 ways, aptly summarized as the cosmological argument, I would like to support it using 2 methods:
1.I will show how there is overwhelming scientific evidence that the Universe, and everything in it including time and space came to existence at a specific point in history.
2.I will demonstrate using philosophical arguments why something must have caused it, and why it cannot possibly be nothing then I shall present why the existence of a timeless,changeless, transcendent being is much more rational and likely.
The Big Bang theory and the Theory of relativity gives ample support for the first 3 ways.I understand that this may detract us from the main argument.But I want to be absolutely sure that all the Implications of the Big Bang theory are understood and want to demonstrate why this is most likely to be true.
I will first state the Observed evidence for the Big Bang Theory and will briefly explain only the first piece of evidence and will provide links for the rest:
1.Hubble's law and the expansion of space
Hubble's Law states that
"1.Objects observed in deep space are found to have a Doppler shift interpretable as relative velocity away from the Earth;
2.This Doppler-shift-measured velocity, of various galaxies receding from the Earth, is approximately proportional to their distance from the Earth for galaxies up to a few hundred megaparsecs away. This is normally interpreted as a direct, physical observation of the expansion of the spatial volume of the observable universe"
The quantity by which it expands is given by:
v = HD,
v is the recessional velocity of the galaxy or other distant object,
D is the co moving distance to the object, and
H is Hubble's constant,
We know for sure that the Universe was always expanding, and that the expansion is not a later development due to the following observed phenomena:
2.Cosmic Background Microwave radiation
3.Abundance of primordial elements
4.Galactic Evolution and distribution
5. Primordial Gas Clouds
The theory of relativity says that the only true constant is the velocity of light and that time and space form one continuous 3 dimensional fabric,Once again this is requires a long and detailed explanation that will detract our discussion.I recommend you to see the sources that I have provided.
The important thing to take from this is:
1.Time and space itself are always expanding.It is not merely the distance, but the 'Space-Time continuum' fabric itself.
2. If it is expanding, it means it was smaller yesterday, and even smaller the day before that.This when extended infinitely, enables us to come to a time when it should have been infinitely small, the size of a primordial atom.
3.This space-time continuum came into existence only after the Big Bang.
4.Something must have caused the breaking of the super-symmetry of the primeval atom to cause the Big Bang.
I hope this gives overwhelming scientific proof that the Universe needs a definite cause for existence.
4.This something is outside the realm of Space and time itself, as they both were created only after the Big-Bang
5.The only things that are outside the realm of Space-Time are abstract objective concepts(the perfect circle etc.) and the Mind
6.Abstract objects cannot be efficient causes, but the Mind can.
7.So whatever caused the Big Bang must be similar to the Mind.
8.This something is what is called as 'God' and is personified as a person in many cultures around the globe.
Why 'nothing' cannot cause the universe?
i would reply to this by asking why is it that only universes are caused by nothing?why not Unicorns and ponies and Rabbits.If 'nothing' could do something, then it must really be something.
Nothing is the absence of anything.If something could come out of nothing,it would run contrary to everything we have learnt about thee nature of the Universe so far.This is why it is absolutely necessary for the Universe to have a Cause outside time and Space.
The Fourth Way: Argument from Gradation of Being
This might well be my weakest argument, but when seen as part of 5 arguments, this can argue for the goodness of God.If you want to argue against this, please provide arguments against the other 4 too.
Firstly, I want to explain the true nature of good and evil through an anology. Many people are of the opinion that both light and darkness exist and that both heat and cold exist.This is not true.
According to thermodynamics, there is only heat in the universe and it is the vibration energy of molecules.Cold is merely the absence of heat.Cooling devices absorb the heat in one location and dissipate it elsewhere, but they cannot actively spread 'coldness' like heating devices.
Likewise, light is the existence of photons, and darkness is merely the absence of photons. There is no particle of darkness(Dark matter and anti-matter are different and are explained in the sources.)this is why we can have a torch that spreads light, but cannot have a device that dissipates darkness.
In this manner, an objective 'Good' exists in the minds of all men and is called conscience.This objective good is independent of one's cultural and religious background, but adults get de-sensitized to it as time goes by.Only God's mind has the quality of this perfect goodness.Evil is merely those places in which there is an absence of this Good.
Nature is morally neutral.Animals merely do what is needed for them to collectively procreate and survive.Only humans are capable of understanding abstract concepts of an objective good and evil.Only Humans can perceive that something is intrinsically good and evil.Only humans can actively make informed choices about how they react when a particular stimulus is given.For example,Only we can consciously make a choice to be Vegan .Only we can choose to remain celibate and go completely against our base desires.
This is why only we who have the knowledge of good and evil can make informed conscious decisions to do evil.
The 'devil' is once again a personification of the various forces that hide this 'good' from us and evil in the world is the result of our not following this conscience properly.
The source of Objective moral values must be something that is outside of Nature.There are several animals like ants and bees that sacrifice their lives for the good of their colonies, but Humans can remain true and objectively good even when they do not have any colonies to defend.They can make life altering deceisions for good for purely personal reasons.Only humans can meditate and actively find the reasons their minds work in a certain way.
All religions are attempts by men to find and purify the source of this in our minds.The source of good must be something that is changeless, space-less , Timeless and everlasting.
From argument 1,2,3 we see that this must be God.
I know this is not an exact interpretation of the 4th argument per se, but still is a valid way to interpret it.
The Last argument,the argument from intelligent design.
I know that the way this was interpreted by St.Thomas Aquinas is different from the way it is understood today,but still the postulates remain.I seem to be running out of space and so will keep this brief.
We know when something is designed or not when it fulfils two criterion:the event to be explained is extraordinarily improbable and, secondly, the event corresponds to an independently given pattern.
In order for us to fully understand the diversity of life forms on earth from a scientific perspective.Firstly, the existence of a common primordial ancestor for all species and the fact that this ancestor has undergone a process of change and diversification due to environmental pressure for survival over time.
This was a widely prevalent Idea well before Darwin.St.Augustine of Hippo made similar arguments in the 4th century itself when he spoke of 'potencies'.But Darwin's unique contribution to this theory lay in the fact that he claimed that the mechanism behind evolutionary change is natural selection operating on random variations in living things. It is this mechanism which Darwin used to explain the adaptedness of organisms to their environment without the necessity of a designing intelligence.
But modern research shows that this may not be the case.Our experience with Malaria and HIV shows that these Viruses are really adaptive to evolutionary pressure and have an astounding mutation rate.They have successfully managed to develop resistance to every drug we have managed to throw at them so far.But even they, with such a huge number of organisms(over a trillion in a single infected Human) and an incredible number of life cycles over the many years have never displayed multiple simultaneous mutations or a sequence of blind mutations that are necessary for the formation of different species,even when there was evolutionary pressure for them to do so.
Malaria has developed resistance to various drugs as it requires only a simple,single-point mutation.But it has never managed to infect people with sickle cell anemia.Even HIV has never been able to display any change in the basic biochemical mechanisms it has.
all this points to the differentiation of species as an extraordinarily improbable event that definitely fits into an independent pattern, showing that intelligent design is also probable.
Hope to have an interesting debate.I wish you will narrow down the debate so we can focus better and stay within the word limit.
Michael Behe, The Edge of Evolution
I think I underestimated the time and number of words an argument of this magnitude would require.
Don’t feel bad the whole site does that.
That is a contradiction in terms, time cannot begin at a specific point in time. I am sorry if it seems like I am ignoring a lot of what you’ve said but I can’t take any argument that relies on the idea of time being created or space having a point of origin or anything of that nature seriously.
It doesn’t, if there was a super symmetry to be broken that means something existed to be broken beforehand. There are those who say the universe has no definite size. Infinity divided by infinity is undefined. You cannot then say it was any specific size much less the size of whatever a primordial atom is.
Again the concept of creation relies on the concept of time. You cannot measure how long time has existed any more you could measure the length of distance.
I believe I recently commented in a thread in the philosophy forums about how I don’t believe that the idea of an atemporal mind is coherent, nor by the way is the idea of a circle without space.
Without time a mind can’t make a decision, that is a state change from one time to another. Therefore this proposed mind could never make the decision to create anything.
Causation is a time dependent concept. One state affects the next state in the linear advancement of time. Without time, without linear advancement there is no state changes.
Even given everything else this appears to be a clear fallacy. X could do it so whatever did it must be similar to X. If you find a tree knocked over an alien tractor beam could have done it so whatever did it must be similar to an alien tractor beam?
I would ask why it is that only Gods are caused by nothing.
Only Humans can perceive that something is intrinsically good and evil.
Do you know what it means to be intrinsically good or evil? It means something is good and evil in its own nature not depending on any other context. I can only think of one example and that is life, and only because life is the axiom of good and evil, the source of its definition.
If that is the case then good must be in a timeless void. What is good in a timeless void? Its potential to become something with time, space, and life?
That does not follow. If the event is extraordinarily improbable it probably didn’t happen. What you mean is the explanation, the proposed mechanism by which the event occurred is improbable. In which case you have ruled out the explanation. That does not support any others. We have no independently given pattern, all we know of life or ideal life is given or inferred from life as we know it.
Your own statements contradict this claim. Viruses reproduce asexually, essentially cloning. The definitions of the word ‘species’ is surprisingly vague but the best one floating around is a group of organisms capable of interbreeding.
Viruses don’t breed, every single one is progenitor of a new ‘race’ of viruses if it changes from its parent.
The very fact that a virus has adapted to something means that the old ‘species’ died and what you are looking at is a new ‘species’ different only in its ability to handle whatever drug you were using.
If in two sealed chambers you applied the drug to one chamber until they virus became immune that would not mean the drug will now work in the other chamber. You now have two variants of the same source population. You have isolated and established diversity.
Heh I saw that coming from your examples. I am probably one of the very few people who would debate this with you, and yet has read that book.
Most of our misunderstandings seem to stem from your belief that time itself cannot have a point of origin.Hence many of your conclusions about the nature of the mind and the nature of objective good seems to come from that.
I am an engineering student who took an advanced physics courses in college,But I admit that I have only a high-school level understanding of evolution.I am glad you seem to have a better understanding about this, and am excited at the prospect of learning about this from you.
Rather than providing a point to point rebuttal(like you), I will address the root of our disagreement and will first give arguments to show that time can have a point of origin, and then give reasons to show why Intelligent design is possible.
To understand the reasons why time must have a definite point of origin, I will demonstrate that time and space are not independent of each other,but are in fact part of one 3-D fabric.Time and space can be 'bent' and 'stretched'.
I will then show why the universe and everything in it including time itself must have a point of origin.
Firstly, the universe can never remain in a fixed position because of gravity.This means that if there ever was a time when the all the celestial bodies were at rest, then gravity would have acted to ensure that the bodies will move together and converged.Once the bodies have begun to converge at a point, then there is no way to get them to start diverging again.
However, the bodies are moving away from each other and the rate of divergence is directly proportional to the distance ,so they must have always been diverging.The other 4 points given support this.I have a very limited word limit, I am sorry I am not able to elaborate.
I understand that it can be really hard to imagine time as something that can be stretched.But it has actually been proven.Astronauts regularly find that atomic clocks subjected to different amounts of acceleration show difference in time.
I am giving a video that explains this better in the sources.
Since Time is within the realm of Cause and effect, but the mind is not we can deduce that the mind as outside space-time.
The processes of the mind have not changed much due to the nature of the frame of reference like time. The processes of the mind may be within the realm of cause and effect, but the mind itself need not be.
A simpler way of explaining this is if we see the mind as the software that runs on the hardware of the brain.The software exists only at the conceptual level, but it's effect can be felt in the real world.All the effects of the software may be felt in the real world, if it is programmed that way, but the software itself will remain in the conceptual level alone.Likewise,Mind can make changes in space-time run all it's processes in space-time, but it can do it without being in space-time itself.
We can perceive that the space itself is expanding, so we can deduce that it was in a contracted state yesterday.Thus using this and the other logic for an ever expanding universe we can deduce that it was in a really contracted state at the beginning of the Universe.Thus, when this is coupled with the first 5 reasons given in my opening statement, I hope it gives overwhelming support that the universe has a definite starting point, and that space and time itself began in this.
now some other points that you raised:
1. if there was a super symmetry to be broken that means something existed to be broken beforehand.
This itself was something outside space-time.and the thing that existed is similar to a disembodied mind.This is what I am calling God.
2.If you find a tree knocked over an alien tractor beam could have done it so whatever did it must be similar to an alien tractor beam?
If you found out cut marks in the trunk, you can deduce that a cutting device like an axe was used to cut it.An axe becomes a much more LIKELY event than a conspiracy involving aliens.Likewise, I have shown how the universe should have been started by something that is outside the realm of space and time(and cause and effect)and how the mind is the only thing that we know exists outside cause and effect that can effect changes in spacetime.So something similar to a mind is a better guess.
3.I would ask why it is that only Gods are caused by nothing.
I never said God is caused by nothing.I am calling that which is uncaused and eternal as God.There is a huge difference.I have already demonstrated how the universe has a cause and is not eternal.So I am calling that which caused the universe as God.Nothing cannot cause anything.Only something can.I am calling that something God.
4.good must be in a timeless void. What is good in a timeless void? Its potential to become something with time, space, and life?
we can only perceive the world through space time.But the objective good remains untouched by it.The concept of a circle is something in our mind.
It is practically impossible to draw the perfect circle, but we are able to compare this concept in our mind(which is also outside spacetime) and are able to determine if what is drawn is an accurate approximation or not.
Likewise, the objective good is there in our mind.We compare all our actions to this and can discern if an action is morally good or bad.
Now, for our discussion on Evolution.
I am totally for the formation of species.I agree that the formation of species is possible.I am merely against the belief that all forms of life can happen through a Random process alone.
My major point was that even though so many species were formed, the basic biological processes remain the same.So the formation of new species actually makes my position stronger.
I'll explain the argument better:
The HIV and Malarial viruses have an amazing ability to mutate and develop drug resistance.
They form different species, and not just a small change every time they mutate and develop resistance.
But even with their awesome mutation powers, the malarial virus was unable to infect a person with sickle cell haemoglobin, and the basic biochemistry of the HIV has always remained the same.No Virus has developed a mitochondria or other advanced cell parts, even though they were given all the necessary impetus for it.
Darwinism claims that all complex life developed from a single cell, this requires the organism to change it's biochemistry each and every time. It also requires a series of blind mutations all happening at the same time for each and every organ to develop.
we can see that the organ systems, advanced cell features etc. all have an independent pattern, as they work together and each requires the other part to function differently.If only one part of an organ system existed, it is useless on its own.
we also see that this large number of random blind mutations are very improbable(A single person has over a trillion malarial viruses and millions of people are infected every year, for hundereds of years.yet not a single advancement in the complexity of the organism was seen)
this is why design becomes possible.The agent can be something outside space-time, so we can be completely unaware of its presence.
I have a very rudimentary understanding of this, from High school.It would help if you could suggest some books, and provide sources in your next rebuttal.
Eagerly awaiting your response
Sources explain existence of space time and the paradoxes that are observed:
these sources show that time itself has origin:
Brief History of time by stephen Hawking
this last source is really interesting and relevant, but is not that direct.I hope you see it anyways.
Firstly, the universe can never remain in a fixed position because of gravity.
You seem to be conflating the objects in the universe with the universe itself. If the expansion is uniform the center of gravity in the universe will not change presuming there is even a finite amount of mass.
Wait, wait wait wait; what part about that video or relativity established that? We can think of a static system but that thought was not arrived at statically.
Software can only be executed through time. Everything about software is linear, relying on the changing of states. You couldn’t change a single bit much less run an artificial intelligence in a single instant.
Induce, that is not deduction.
I hope it gives overwhelming support that the universe has a definite starting point, and that space and time itself began in this.
It doesn’t and nothing can because it’s an oxymoron. Infinitely small is not equivalent to non-distance, a very long time ago is not equivalent to non-time.
If t = 0 is the start of time then what is t=-1? Undefined? Yet you claim that something before time caused time. That is you claim there is such a t < 0 where an event caused something at t = 0.
It simply doesn’t make any more sense than saying distance = 0 is the start of space. You refer to a point, why can’t I talk about a point a couple meters further? Why can’t I talk about a time a few seconds before this supposed creation of time? And if I can’t how can I talk about something that is supposed to cause that creation when the cause must precede the effect?
How can God exist before time? That is equivalent to saying God existed in the span of time that preceded all spans of time.
I still don’t understand how the mind could exist outside of space-time.
I call it existence.
There is a huge difference.I have already demonstrated how the universe has a cause and is not eternal.
We have no information about times preceding the big bang, and either the universe is eternal and will approach perfect 0 energy and mass density or it will collapse into a super mass.
Despite the inaccurate vernacular of popular science the universe is defined as all that exists, it would include God or anything else proposed to exist before the big bang.
Well at least I think I know how to talk about this. I have tried hard to wrap my mind around the idea of a static mind but I just can’t make it work. It really does seem to me to be some kind of specific appeal to platonic ideals. Like saying the abstract of the mind exists on this plane without time or space. Problem with that and all platonic ideals is that… well they don’t exist as far as evidence is concerned.
You realize intelligence is not the only non-random process right?
Has it occurred to you that if they did, they would now be cells and you would not classify them as viruses? Malaria is not a virus even though it acts a lot like one FYI.
No they can happen at different times because code can be inert for long periods of time without killing the carriers with useless junk.
Every organ could have been independently useful at one time and adapted to work with other organs later. The problem for the evolutionary mechanism arises not in the lack of independent use but the fact that independent use has nothing to do with a future novel interaction between systems. i.e. a kidney works as a kidney, and a heart works as a heart; but there can be no selection pressure for some new function that neither of them perform in the future. Natural selection will not act to create that new system it will only act to optimize the current function in the context of the environment.
Unfortunately that means we still have no idea what the functionality peaks in a gene landscape look like, how tall they are; how rare they are etc… We’ve seen a hundred years but there have been a hundred million we have not seen.
Design was always possible, but this does not make it more likely.
The agent can be something outside space-time, so we can be completely unaware of its presence.
Well Behe’s books are a fascinating read, especially after reading both Origin of Species and The Blind Watchmaker.
In the end I found irreducible complexity to be a sound refutation of non-random production of novelty, however it really does have nothing to do with intelligent design and Behe’s attempt to tac that on in the end can be summarized as “Well if you’ve got no better ideas” which is either relying on a false dichotomy or an appeal to ignorance.
However whether or not life could have come to be as it is now, it depends entirely on the odds; and until we get a much better idea of the functionality genescape we can’t say definitely whether it is plausible or whether there must be another explanation.
That is Behe’s argument reduced evolutionist to appealing to the odds when they really wanted to use natural selection to get around that. However Behe did not and cannot truly evaluate the odds since scaffolding can cause coincidental selection events such an evaluation can only be done with a fairly complete map not only of all functional sequences but sequences which might have functioned but which we do not see anywhere in real life. As you can imagine that is not easy to get your hands on in this day and age.
Now I read through the Feynman lecture, and I watched that video; and I know this is going to be frustrating since we are obviously passing in the night, but I saw plenty of talk of space time and various quantities and calculations but I saw nothing about the origin of time or showing the coherency of such a concept. It was a nice review for me, haven't seen this stuff in a while but I did end up feeling kinda cheated; like you were just giving me homework for no reason.
CynicalDiogenes forfeited this round.
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