The Christian God is the only possible God to exist.
Debate Rounds (4)
-omnipotent: x is omnipotent iff x has the power to actualize m-worlds (or logically possible worlds)
-omnibenevolent: x is omnibenevolent iff x possesses benevolence to the maximal degree
-omniscient: x knows all possible truths there are to be known (analytic and synthetic a priori and a posteriori truths)
-simplicity: there is no composition in God
-pure actuality: there is no potency in God
-spiritual: there is no matter in God
-multi-personal: there is more than one person who is God
-monotheism: there is only one being God (in the case of simplicity we are using being analogously)
To begin, we start with an a posteriori argument, or an argument from experience. Arguments from experiences of the world to the existence of God are called cosmological arguments. The first argument is the argument from motion.
Argument from Motion:
P1. Some things are moved.
P2. If something is moved to being F, then it is potentially but not actually F.
P3. If something moves a thing to be F, then it (the mover) is in a state of actuality relevant to F.
C1. If something were to move itself to be F (e.g., be both moved and its own mover), then it would be both potentially but not actually F and also in a state of actuality relevant to F (conjunction, modus ponens, P1-3).
P4. But it is not possible for something to be both potentially but not actually F and also in a state of actuality relevant to F.
C2. It is not possible for something to move itself to be F (modus tollens, C1, P4).
P5. If it is not possible for something to move itself to be F, then if something is moved, it is moved by something else.
C3. If somemthing is moved, it is moved by something else (modus ponens, C2, P5).
P6. If B moves A and B is moved, then B must be moved by some other thing, C. And if C is moved, then C must be moved by still some other thing, D. And so on.
P7. If the series of movers was to go on to infinity, then there would be no first mover.
P8. If there were no first mover, then there would be no motion.
C4. There is a first mover (modus tollens, P1, P7).
C5. That first mover is the thing that everyone takes to be God (definition).
The argument is plainly valid and seemingly sound. I will leave it to con to find any objections to this argument; however, I will respond to one preemptive problem that may seemingly arise. The issue comes from a seeming contradiction between Newton's law of inertial motion, or Newton's first law of motion, and the Aristotelian definition of motion on which the argument above rests. The problem may be resolved in two ways. Firstly, to assert that there is a contradiction is to equivocate between two different definitions of the word motion. Newton's account of motion is only concerned with local motion (motion or change in terms of place or location), while the Aristotelian is concerned with change of every sort (quality, quantity, substance, accident, etc.). Secondly, there is no formal contradiction. As the Thomist philosopher Edward Feser says:
"Suppose that "motion" is being used in the two principles in the same sense. Even given this assumption, there is no formal contradiction between them. Newton"s law tells us that a body will in fact continue its uniform rectilinear motion if it is moving at all, as long as external forces do not prevent this. It does not tell us why it will do so. In particular, it does not tell us one way or the other whether there is a "mover" of some sort which ensures that an object obeys the First Law, and which is in that sense responsible for its motion."
Now that we have taken care of our potential difficultly, we may move on to our second argument, the argument from gradation.
Argument from Gradation:
P1.There are some things that are more or less good, more or less true, or more or less noble.
P2. If something is more or less F, then there is something maximally F.
C1. There is something maximally true, maximally noble, and maximally good. (substitution, and modus ponens, P1, P2)
C2. There is something maximally true. (simplification, C1)
P3. If something is maximally true, then it is maximally being.
C3. Something is maximally being. (modus ponens, C2, P3)
P4. If something is maximally F, then it is the cause of all things that are F.
C4. There is something that is the cause for all beings, their goodness, and each of their perfections. (modus ponens, C1, P4)
C5. We call that thing which is the cause of the being, goodness, and perfection of all other things "God." (definition)
Again, this argument is seemingly valid and sound and so the impetus is on Con to demonstrate a flaw either in the construction of the argument or in the truthfulness of the premises.
From these two arguments we may derive the Christian God as defined above. Firstly, we may demonstrate omnipotence, omnibenevolence (which includes blissfulness), intelligence, simplicity, and pure actuality. To quote from a Thomist blog:
"Pure act is absolutely simple since composite parts are in potency to the whole, and so what lacks all potency lacks any composition. This conclusion is the easier one to see because it demands only that we understand act so far as it is opposed to potency, and thus in an exterior way. The next conclusion- the one concerning freedom- demands knowing what act is in itself.
The fullest and most complete sense of act is immanence, and thus the fullest and most perfect actuality is the most complete immanent activity of intelligence and will. Pure act is therefore immediately and self-evidently personal, intelligent, and perfect with respect to what it wills. This is why Aristotle doesn"t argue to the divine attributes of blessedness or perfect intelligence: as soon as he establishes that some pure act exists he can simply set these things down as what he already meant. This is also why St. Thomas can be so confident in the first way that the first mover is "what all men call God", since a living, intelligent being with a perfectly rectified will who is responsible for the motion, activity and life of things in the universe is in fact what "all men call God". (St. Thomas goes on to prove all these attributes too, mercifully, since he realized that his readers probably had less penetration into the concept of "act" than he and Aristotle had).
Pure act thus has a perfectly rectified will, which is to say it possesses the most perfect object in the most perfect fashion, and in an immutable and necessary way. The will of what is purely actual is thus completely determined and unchangeable, considered simply of itself. But this unchanging will is simultaneously absolutely free with respect to its inferiors. Freedom always involves imperfection, even when said of God, for it concerns an object that is other than the last end of the will as perfectly possessed. It"s important to get this right: while freedom is a perfection of the will, it always involves the imperfection, namely the imperfection of an object other than the last end of the will as perfectly possessed. God"s freedom is always said with respect to creatures- for this is the only way that freedom is a perfection of the will. Freedom is indetermination, and indetermination is only of value to a will with respect to things other than an absolute end in which it rests. If you are possessing your last end, indetermination of the will would be an imperfection and defect- just as it is now with respect to the goods we attain (no one wants to possess a good in a way that can be lost)."
From the second argument, we may derive all of the omni-properties and perfections that God possesses. Any perfection that may be found in creatures is possessed by God to a maximal extent as He is the cause of perfections in creatures.
We now have two tasks left for us. We must derive monotheism and multi-personalism from the two arguments above. St. Thomas Aquinas derives monotheism from the unity of the world, the simplicity, of God, and the perfection of God. Since the simplicity of God is the focus of the first argument it will only be necessary to post that proof here. He says:
For it is manifest that the reason why any singular thing is "this particular thing" is because it cannot be communicated to many: since that whereby Socrates is a man, can be communicated to many; whereas, what makes him this particular man, is only communicable to one. Therefore, if Socrates were a man by what makes him to be this particular man, as there cannot be many Socrates, so there could not in that way be many men. Now this belongs to God alone; for God Himself is His own nature, as was shown above (Question 3, Article 3). Therefore, in the very same way God is God, and He is this God. Impossible is it therefore that many Gods should exist. - http://www.newadvent.org...
Argument for Multipersonalism:
P1. God possesses all perfections (argument from gradation)
P2. Love is a perfection
C1. God possesses love (modus ponens, P1, P2)
P3. Perfect love is love between equals
P4. God is a person in a qualified sense
P5. God's equal would be another person
C2. There must be another person in God.
cause and effect is necessety of motion.. a first cause would be like getting a punch out of nowhere, therfore a first cause is impossible.. cause and effect has no beginning and end
effects are caused
infinity is defined as endless.. it can not be reached for it to not be desctuction or end
there is a mover.. this is the point.. no first mover.. but you can argue god always existed..
but then god would be his own nature, therfore god would be nature.. in which case he didnt create it...
lies are complicated by separation and true is simple now as one
"if god created nature, nature would be a machine.. nature is the opposite of machine, no faith involved.. nature is not a machine"
My opponent here is arguing from modus tollens, or, in other words, if p then q, not q, therefore not p. Let us reconstruct his argument in syllogistic fashion.
P1. If God created nature then nature would be a machine
P2. Nature is not a machine
C1. God did not create nature
The theist, and rightly so, explicitly rejects P1 and P2. Why though? First of all, God could create a random universe. this is possible because there is an m-possible world in which there are no nomological laws, or, in other words, there is a logically possible world in which there are no laws of nature; however, this does not get around the argument from motion. The non-Christian needs to give a plausible account of Aristotelian motion. P2 is unacceptable because it is clear to inductive reason that nature operates in certain ways to fulfill certain ends in the best way possible. For example, a dropped body will fall to the center of the heaviest mass nearest to it (the earth in our case). Another example would be our moral life, where human will tends toward the good as its fulfillment.
"cause and effect is necessety of motion.. a first cause would be like getting a punch out of nowhere, therfore a first cause is impossible.. cause and effect has no beginning and end
effects are caused"
While I agree that cause and effect is interrelated to motion, I do not agree that first causes are impossible. It is merely an assertion that they are and my opponent needs to provide an argument for his position here.
"there is a mover.. this is the point.. no first mover.. but you can argue god always existed..
but then god would be his own nature, therfore god would be nature.. in which case he didnt create it.."
This is merely a non sequiter and equivocation fallacy. It does not logically follow that because God is his nature (simplicity) that He is physical nature. My opponent blends the two definitions of nature in order to make his point. We must distinguish between the essence or nature of a thing and physical nature.
machines are intended, nature is the opposite of machine
if nature is intended, it is a machine, not nature
nature cant change what it is.. so it dosnt make a decision to do anything.. thats like saying nature could just work on its biceps instead of letting a thing fall
a first cause is impossible. because the chain of cause and effect can not be broken, flawless as reality.. cause and effect is transformation.. at no point does matter equal 0 or nothing
to look at it differently.. if an apple falls from a tree, when does the effect end?
also, a first cause, is like a chicken without an egg.. or a punch from a non existent puncher... an effect is caused, and causes cause for them to be causes.. unless an empty pool makes me float
supernature comes after nature, to contrast..
nature is physical or true.. where as nature of the mind is a construct
in the age of computers, nature is but the dusty motherboard of intelligence
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