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Aquinas' Fifth Way

zmikecuber
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2/6/2014 8:16:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Aquinas' fifth way, as taken from the Summa...

"The fifth way is taken from the governance of the world. We see that things which lack intelligence, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result. Hence it is plain that not fortuitously, but designedly, do they achieve their end. Now whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is shot to its mark by the archer. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God." (1)

I suppose one could interpret this as a version of Paley's watchmaker argument, but it seems that this isn't the general way Thomists read it.

Rather, the idea is that there is causal regularity, or that certain non-intelligent things are "directed at" an array of causes, or a particular cause.

For example, if A reguarlary is the efficient cause of B, then it follows that B is the final cause of A.

However, in the Aristotelian spirit, there are only two places "essences" can exist: In an intellect, and in something which embodies them.

So there are unintelligent things, which embody one particular essence, yet contain another "essence" within them.

Matches are directed towards fire, yet fire isn't actually present. Thus, they must be "directed towards" fire by some other intelligence.

I think this argument can be summed up...

P1: Some unintelligent things are directed towards ends.
P2: Whatever is unintelligent and is directed towards an end is done either by an intellect, or chance.
P3: It is not due to chance.
C: Therefore, some unintelligent things, which are directed towards ends, are directed by an intelligence.

Garrigou-Lagrange states: "Irrational beings cannot tend toward an end, unless they are directed by some supreme Intelligence. In fact, to be directed presupposes a directing cause, which is an act that pertains to the intellect and not to the imagination. "It is for the wise man to direct." Why? Because an intelligent being alone perceives the raison d'etre of the means. "Irrational beings," says St. Thomas, "tend toward an end by natural inclination; they are, as it were, moved by another and not by themselves, since they have no knowledge of the end as such." (2)

Thoughts?

(1) http://www.newadvent.org...
(2) http://www.thesumma.info...
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Rational_Thinker9119
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2/6/2014 8:31:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Why is the dichotomy between chance and intelligence a true dichotomy? When an object falls down to the ground due to gravity, that isn't by chance. When a snow flake falls, this isn't purely by chance.
Rational_Thinker9119
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2/6/2014 8:32:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
We see intricate things all the time in nature being formed not by pure chance, yet, why believe there is intelligent direction? Maybe nature is even more intricate than intelligence.
zmikecuber
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2/6/2014 8:55:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/6/2014 8:31:36 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Why is the dichotomy between chance and intelligence a true dichotomy? When an object falls down to the ground due to gravity, that isn't by chance. When a snow flake falls, this isn't purely by chance.

Well for Aristotelians, there's two places an "essence" can be... In the thing that embodies them, or in an intellect. A thing can't be both "a match" and "fire" at the same time. But you could make the argument that "a match" produces fire from pure chance, so I added that. It's not explicit in the argument though.

Supposedly even such simple phenomena as the attraction between two particles would show causal regularity, and that one thing is directed at another.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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2/6/2014 8:58:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/6/2014 8:32:41 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
We see intricate things all the time in nature being formed not by pure chance, yet, why believe there is intelligent direction? Maybe nature is even more intricate than intelligence.

The idea isn't the "formation" of things, but any "causal regularity" at all. I mean, you can say "just because y follows x all the time, it doesnt' mean y will always follow x." But the point is that it does. Lol.

So for something to "point beyond" itself, and to regularly achieve that effect, is apparently a way to say that something irrational, or without the ability to direct itself is being "directed" towards its end.

But most scientists would deny any sort of finality in the world at all.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Rational_Thinker9119
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2/6/2014 8:58:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/6/2014 8:55:42 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:31:36 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Why is the dichotomy between chance and intelligence a true dichotomy? When an object falls down to the ground due to gravity, that isn't by chance. When a snow flake falls, this isn't purely by chance.

Well for Aristotelians, there's two places an "essence" can be... In the thing that embodies them, or in an intellect. A thing can't be both "a match" and "fire" at the same time. But you could make the argument that "a match" produces fire from pure chance, so I added that. It's not explicit in the argument though.

A match doesn't produce fire from chance though on a classical level. This is a deterministic process based on strict chemical reactions.


Supposedly even such simple phenomena as the attraction between two particles would show causal regularity, and that one thing is directed at another.
zmikecuber
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2/6/2014 8:59:48 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/6/2014 8:58:50 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:55:42 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:31:36 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Why is the dichotomy between chance and intelligence a true dichotomy? When an object falls down to the ground due to gravity, that isn't by chance. When a snow flake falls, this isn't purely by chance.

Well for Aristotelians, there's two places an "essence" can be... In the thing that embodies them, or in an intellect. A thing can't be both "a match" and "fire" at the same time. But you could make the argument that "a match" produces fire from pure chance, so I added that. It's not explicit in the argument though.

A match doesn't produce fire from chance though on a classical level. This is a deterministic process based on strict chemical reactions.


I agree. But that just pushes the question back further. Why do certain chemical reactions result in what they do?


Supposedly even such simple phenomena as the attraction between two particles would show causal regularity, and that one thing is directed at another.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Rational_Thinker9119
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2/6/2014 9:08:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/6/2014 8:59:48 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:58:50 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:55:42 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:31:36 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Why is the dichotomy between chance and intelligence a true dichotomy? When an object falls down to the ground due to gravity, that isn't by chance. When a snow flake falls, this isn't purely by chance.

Well for Aristotelians, there's two places an "essence" can be... In the thing that embodies them, or in an intellect. A thing can't be both "a match" and "fire" at the same time. But you could make the argument that "a match" produces fire from pure chance, so I added that. It's not explicit in the argument though.

A match doesn't produce fire from chance though on a classical level. This is a deterministic process based on strict chemical reactions.


I agree. But that just pushes the question back further. Why do certain chemical reactions result in what they do?

But one can ask the same question about intelligent interactions. Why do they result in the way they do? If you answer with something, then why is that the case? Both sides can play that game.



Supposedly even such simple phenomena as the attraction between two particles would show causal regularity, and that one thing is directed at another.
zmikecuber
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2/6/2014 9:42:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/6/2014 9:08:08 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:59:48 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:58:50 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:55:42 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:31:36 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Why is the dichotomy between chance and intelligence a true dichotomy? When an object falls down to the ground due to gravity, that isn't by chance. When a snow flake falls, this isn't purely by chance.

Well for Aristotelians, there's two places an "essence" can be... In the thing that embodies them, or in an intellect. A thing can't be both "a match" and "fire" at the same time. But you could make the argument that "a match" produces fire from pure chance, so I added that. It's not explicit in the argument though.

A match doesn't produce fire from chance though on a classical level. This is a deterministic process based on strict chemical reactions.


I agree. But that just pushes the question back further. Why do certain chemical reactions result in what they do?

But one can ask the same question about intelligent interactions. Why do they result in the way they do? If you answer with something, then why is that the case? Both sides can play that game.


Sure. I would think that Aquinas would be happy to agree with you there, but that's not exactly what the argument is focused on.

I'm not even sure how free-will works on the Thomistic framework, because supposedly all motion, all contingent existence, all causal interaction, is all dependent upon God, who is purely simple. I've used this objection alot of the times when arguing with Thomists. John Duns Scotus (another big Scholastic school that's almost non-existent nowadays) way back in the middle ages also used it.



Supposedly even such simple phenomena as the attraction between two particles would show causal regularity, and that one thing is directed at another.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Installgentoo
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2/6/2014 9:42:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Aquinas' argument is an interesting one, but the problem is we now know why seemingly unintelligent things act in intelligent ways, we've discovered the existence of the space-time continuum, and all other sorts of physical things which cause gravity and cause things to act in certain ways.

Before Einstein, everyone said that God was needed to hold the Planets in their paths of motion, but over time, science has taught us why these things act in such a way. These acts are not caused by a supernatural being, but by a physical space-time dimension. All the activities of objects, which are seemingly directed towards something, can be explained now by natural means. The God hypothesis seems to be superfluous to science nowadays.
zmikecuber
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2/6/2014 10:00:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/6/2014 9:42:37 PM, Installgentoo wrote:
Aquinas' argument is an interesting one, but the problem is we now know why seemingly unintelligent things act in intelligent ways, we've discovered the existence of the space-time continuum, and all other sorts of physical things which cause gravity and cause things to act in certain ways.


I believe this knowledge only pushes the question back further. Unless of course, physics can explain why every single causal interaction must be the way it is, and could not be any other way.

I mean, I can easily conceive of me striking a match, and it turning into a pencil. That seems metaphysically possible to me. But the idea is that it doesn't... it's directed at a different effect.

Before Einstein, everyone said that God was needed to hold the Planets in their paths of motion, but over time, science has taught us why these things act in such a way. These acts are not caused by a supernatural being, but by a physical space-time dimension. All the activities of objects, which are seemingly directed towards something, can be explained now by natural means. The God hypothesis seems to be superfluous to science nowadays.

Also, are physics an explanation of what happens, or why it happens? It seems that many of our laws of physics are just observational explanations with mathematical formulas that correspond to reality. That really doesn't explain why anything happens, it just explains what happens.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Illegalcombatant
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2/6/2014 11:53:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Human beings are notorious for seeing the "plans" of invisible beings when trying make sense of the world around them. We seem particularly compelled to see the "plan" when we don't know what is going on.

Why did that earthquake happen ? the Gods are displeased....

Why are the planets moving that way ? God set them up like that.

Why something something something...........God

Every time I hear about the "end" and or plan about planets, I ask myself, I wonder if the person applies the same kind of reasoning to say the ebola virus or earthquakes.

Is the "ends" of the ebola virus dead kiddies in africa ?
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Sidewalker
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2/7/2014 7:39:07 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/6/2014 9:42:20 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 9:08:08 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:59:48 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:58:50 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:55:42 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:31:36 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Why is the dichotomy between chance and intelligence a true dichotomy? When an object falls down to the ground due to gravity, that isn't by chance. When a snow flake falls, this isn't purely by chance.

Well for Aristotelians, there's two places an "essence" can be... In the thing that embodies them, or in an intellect. A thing can't be both "a match" and "fire" at the same time. But you could make the argument that "a match" produces fire from pure chance, so I added that. It's not explicit in the argument though.

A match doesn't produce fire from chance though on a classical level. This is a deterministic process based on strict chemical reactions.


I agree. But that just pushes the question back further. Why do certain chemical reactions result in what they do?

But one can ask the same question about intelligent interactions. Why do they result in the way they do? If you answer with something, then why is that the case? Both sides can play that game.


Sure. I would think that Aquinas would be happy to agree with you there, but that's not exactly what the argument is focused on.

But in the end, it is exactly what the argument entails, when you "push the question back" you are invoking an infinite regress, how do you eliminate that regress? As RT points out, the infinite regress "game" works both ways, if you use it to defeat an opposing argument, there needs to be some way in which it doesn"t equally apply to your argument. Without a distinction between subject and object, the fact of "knowledge" would be unaccountable, the problem with the monist framework in the end, is the lack of a subject/object dichotomy, and that question is raised by the infinite regress question. In the end, the infinite regress must be addressed or it ends in either "nothing", or a circular argument.

I'm not even sure how free-will works on the Thomistic framework, because supposedly all motion, all contingent existence, all causal interaction, is all dependent upon God, who is purely simple.

From what I"ve seen lately, I thought you were a Thomist, your conclusions are essentially Thomistic, so how does your logical framework differ? The question becomes, how does free will work on your framework?

I think that it ends in circular reasoning with Aquinas as it is simply addressed by acceptance of the self-referential paradox in God. Within the Thomistic framework will and intellect are not independent entities, they are co-aspectual, Aquinas addresses the infinite regress in an all roads lead to God manner, which apparently is where your framework leads also. He reconciles the "infinite regress" problem of knowledge by eliminating the subject/object dichotomy in God.

For Aquinas, in God, all knowledge is self-knowledge, since everything is God, knowledge is self-reference for God. God knows all things, by knowing himself, so in God, awareness and existence are one and the same, so for instance, God does not know us because we exist; rather we exist because he knows us. Within your monist framework, what is knowledge referential to? What is the distinction between knower and known?

I've used this objection alot of the times when arguing with Thomists. John Duns Scotus (another big Scholastic school that's almost non-existent nowadays) way back in the middle ages also used it.

In these instances, wow is it not equally an objection to your argument?


Supposedly even such simple phenomena as the attraction between two particles would show causal regularity, and that one thing is directed at another.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Sidewalker
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2/7/2014 7:55:40 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Oops, correction to the typo in that last sentence:

In these instances, how is it not equally an objection to your argument?
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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2/7/2014 8:58:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/7/2014 7:39:07 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 2/6/2014 9:42:20 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 9:08:08 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:59:48 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:58:50 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:55:42 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:31:36 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Why is the dichotomy between chance and intelligence a true dichotomy? When an object falls down to the ground due to gravity, that isn't by chance. When a snow flake falls, this isn't purely by chance.

Well for Aristotelians, there's two places an "essence" can be... In the thing that embodies them, or in an intellect. A thing can't be both "a match" and "fire" at the same time. But you could make the argument that "a match" produces fire from pure chance, so I added that. It's not explicit in the argument though.

A match doesn't produce fire from chance though on a classical level. This is a deterministic process based on strict chemical reactions.


I agree. But that just pushes the question back further. Why do certain chemical reactions result in what they do?

But one can ask the same question about intelligent interactions. Why do they result in the way they do? If you answer with something, then why is that the case? Both sides can play that game.


Sure. I would think that Aquinas would be happy to agree with you there, but that's not exactly what the argument is focused on.

But in the end, it is exactly what the argument entails, when you "push the question back" you are invoking an infinite regress, how do you eliminate that regress? As RT points out, the infinite regress "game" works both ways, if you use it to defeat an opposing argument, there needs to be some way in which it doesn"t equally apply to your argument. Without a distinction between subject and object, the fact of "knowledge" would be unaccountable, the problem with the monist framework in the end, is the lack of a subject/object dichotomy, and that question is raised by the infinite regress question. In the end, the infinite regress must be addressed or it ends in either "nothing", or a circular argument.


I don't believe I understand what you're saying. You can keep explaining naturalistically that "this explains how this happens" or whatever, but you're actually just redefining the question to begin with. Why does a match produce fire? Because of its chemical structure. Well, that's what I'm asking, why does the chemical structure produce fire?

Unless you want to argue that it's metaphysically impossible for a match to produce anything other than fire.

I'm not even sure how free-will works on the Thomistic framework, because supposedly all motion, all contingent existence, all causal interaction, is all dependent upon God, who is purely simple.

From what I"ve seen lately, I thought you were a Thomist, your conclusions are essentially Thomistic, so how does your logical framework differ? The question becomes, how does free will work on your framework?


I tend towards Thomism on alot of matters, yes.

I think that it ends in circular reasoning with Aquinas as it is simply addressed by acceptance of the self-referential paradox in God. Within the Thomistic framework will and intellect are not independent entities, they are co-aspectual, Aquinas addresses the infinite regress in an all roads lead to God manner, which apparently is where your framework leads also. He reconciles the "infinite regress" problem of knowledge by eliminating the subject/object dichotomy in God.

For Aquinas, in God, all knowledge is self-knowledge,

since everything is God,

What?

knowledge is self-reference for God. God knows all things, by knowing himself, so in God, awareness and existence are one and the same, so for instance, God does not know us because we exist; rather we exist because he knows us. Within your monist framework, what is knowledge referential to? What is the distinction between knower and known?


God knows all things since he is the cause of them... not because they're a part of him.


I've used this objection alot of the times when arguing with Thomists. John Duns Scotus (another big Scholastic school that's almost non-existent nowadays) way back in the middle ages also used it.

In these instances, wow is it not equally an objection to your argument?


It sure could. It doesn't undermine it though, it just seems that it would undermine free will, or make it seem like we're all puppets. Of course, from a Catholic perspective, that's a big problem.


Supposedly even such simple phenomena as the attraction between two particles would show causal regularity, and that one thing is directed at another.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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2/7/2014 10:25:54 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/7/2014 8:58:18 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/7/2014 7:39:07 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 2/6/2014 9:42:20 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 9:08:08 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:59:48 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:58:50 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:55:42 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:31:36 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Why is the dichotomy between chance and intelligence a true dichotomy? When an object falls down to the ground due to gravity, that isn't by chance. When a snow flake falls, this isn't purely by chance.

Well for Aristotelians, there's two places an "essence" can be... In the thing that embodies them, or in an intellect. A thing can't be both "a match" and "fire" at the same time. But you could make the argument that "a match" produces fire from pure chance, so I added that. It's not explicit in the argument though.

A match doesn't produce fire from chance though on a classical level. This is a deterministic process based on strict chemical reactions.


I agree. But that just pushes the question back further. Why do certain chemical reactions result in what they do?

But one can ask the same question about intelligent interactions. Why do they result in the way they do? If you answer with something, then why is that the case? Both sides can play that game.


Sure. I would think that Aquinas would be happy to agree with you there, but that's not exactly what the argument is focused on.

But in the end, it is exactly what the argument entails, when you "push the question back" you are invoking an infinite regress, how do you eliminate that regress? As RT points out, the infinite regress "game" works both ways, if you use it to defeat an opposing argument, there needs to be some way in which it doesn"t equally apply to your argument. Without a distinction between subject and object, the fact of "knowledge" would be unaccountable, the problem with the monist framework in the end, is the lack of a subject/object dichotomy, and that question is raised by the infinite regress question. In the end, the infinite regress must be addressed or it ends in either "nothing", or a circular argument.


I don't believe I understand what you're saying. You can keep explaining naturalistically that "this explains how this happens" or whatever, but you're actually just redefining the question to begin with. Why does a match produce fire? Because of its chemical structure. Well, that's what I'm asking, why does the chemical structure produce fire?

Why does intelligence do what it does? All you are doing is trying to solve one problem, with intelligence, which is subject to the same exact questioning. It is rather useless in my opinion.


Unless you want to argue that it's metaphysically impossible for a match to produce anything other than fire.

I'm not even sure how free-will works on the Thomistic framework, because supposedly all motion, all contingent existence, all causal interaction, is all dependent upon God, who is purely simple.

From what I"ve seen lately, I thought you were a Thomist, your conclusions are essentially Thomistic, so how does your logical framework differ? The question becomes, how does free will work on your framework?


I tend towards Thomism on alot of matters, yes.

I think that it ends in circular reasoning with Aquinas as it is simply addressed by acceptance of the self-referential paradox in God. Within the Thomistic framework will and intellect are not independent entities, they are co-aspectual, Aquinas addresses the infinite regress in an all roads lead to God manner, which apparently is where your framework leads also. He reconciles the "infinite regress" problem of knowledge by eliminating the subject/object dichotomy in God.

For Aquinas, in God, all knowledge is self-knowledge,

since everything is God,

What?

knowledge is self-reference for God. God knows all things, by knowing himself, so in God, awareness and existence are one and the same, so for instance, God does not know us because we exist; rather we exist because he knows us. Within your monist framework, what is knowledge referential to? What is the distinction between knower and known?


God knows all things since he is the cause of them... not because they're a part of him.


I've used this objection alot of the times when arguing with Thomists. John Duns Scotus (another big Scholastic school that's almost non-existent nowadays) way back in the middle ages also used it.

In these instances, wow is it not equally an objection to your argument?


It sure could. It doesn't undermine it though, it just seems that it would undermine free will, or make it seem like we're all puppets. Of course, from a Catholic perspective, that's a big problem.


Supposedly even such simple phenomena as the attraction between two particles would show causal regularity, and that one thing is directed at another.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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2/7/2014 10:27:06 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/7/2014 8:58:18 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/7/2014 7:39:07 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 2/6/2014 9:42:20 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 9:08:08 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:59:48 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:58:50 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:55:42 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:31:36 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Why is the dichotomy between chance and intelligence a true dichotomy? When an object falls down to the ground due to gravity, that isn't by chance. When a snow flake falls, this isn't purely by chance.

Well for Aristotelians, there's two places an "essence" can be... In the thing that embodies them, or in an intellect. A thing can't be both "a match" and "fire" at the same time. But you could make the argument that "a match" produces fire from pure chance, so I added that. It's not explicit in the argument though.

A match doesn't produce fire from chance though on a classical level. This is a deterministic process based on strict chemical reactions.


I agree. But that just pushes the question back further. Why do certain chemical reactions result in what they do?

But one can ask the same question about intelligent interactions. Why do they result in the way they do? If you answer with something, then why is that the case? Both sides can play that game.


Sure. I would think that Aquinas would be happy to agree with you there, but that's not exactly what the argument is focused on.

But in the end, it is exactly what the argument entails, when you "push the question back" you are invoking an infinite regress, how do you eliminate that regress? As RT points out, the infinite regress "game" works both ways, if you use it to defeat an opposing argument, there needs to be some way in which it doesn"t equally apply to your argument. Without a distinction between subject and object, the fact of "knowledge" would be unaccountable, the problem with the monist framework in the end, is the lack of a subject/object dichotomy, and that question is raised by the infinite regress question. In the end, the infinite regress must be addressed or it ends in either "nothing", or a circular argument.


I don't believe I understand what you're saying. You can keep explaining naturalistically that "this explains how this happens" or whatever, but you're actually just redefining the question to begin with. Why does a match produce fire? Because of its chemical structure. Well, that's what I'm asking, why does the chemical structure produce fire?

Unless you want to argue that it's metaphysically impossible for a match to produce anything other than fire.

I'm not even sure how free-will works on the Thomistic framework, because supposedly all motion, all contingent existence, all causal interaction, is all dependent upon God, who is purely simple.

From what I"ve seen lately, I thought you were a Thomist, your conclusions are essentially Thomistic, so how does your logical framework differ? The question becomes, how does free will work on your framework?


I tend towards Thomism on alot of matters, yes.

I think that it ends in circular reasoning with Aquinas as it is simply addressed by acceptance of the self-referential paradox in God. Within the Thomistic framework will and intellect are not independent entities, they are co-aspectual, Aquinas addresses the infinite regress in an all roads lead to God manner, which apparently is where your framework leads also. He reconciles the "infinite regress" problem of knowledge by eliminating the subject/object dichotomy in God.

For Aquinas, in God, all knowledge is self-knowledge,

since everything is God,

What?

knowledge is self-reference for God. God knows all things, by knowing himself, so in God, awareness and existence are one and the same, so for instance, God does not know us because we exist; rather we exist because he knows us. Within your monist framework, what is knowledge referential to? What is the distinction between knower and known?


God knows all things since he is the cause of them... not because they're a part of him.


I've used this objection alot of the times when arguing with Thomists. John Duns Scotus (another big Scholastic school that's almost non-existent nowadays) way back in the middle ages also used it.

In these instances, wow is it not equally an objection to your argument?


It sure could. It doesn't undermine it though, it just seems that it would undermine free will, or make it seem like we're all puppets. Of course, from a Catholic perspective, that's a big problem.


Supposedly even such simple phenomena as the attraction between two particles would show causal regularity, and that one thing is directed at another.

Also, how does omniscience follow from the notion that he created everything?
zmikecuber
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2/7/2014 11:46:05 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/7/2014 10:25:54 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/7/2014 8:58:18 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/7/2014 7:39:07 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 2/6/2014 9:42:20 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 9:08:08 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:59:48 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:58:50 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:55:42 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:31:36 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Why is the dichotomy between chance and intelligence a true dichotomy? When an object falls down to the ground due to gravity, that isn't by chance. When a snow flake falls, this isn't purely by chance.

Well for Aristotelians, there's two places an "essence" can be... In the thing that embodies them, or in an intellect. A thing can't be both "a match" and "fire" at the same time. But you could make the argument that "a match" produces fire from pure chance, so I added that. It's not explicit in the argument though.

A match doesn't produce fire from chance though on a classical level. This is a deterministic process based on strict chemical reactions.


I agree. But that just pushes the question back further. Why do certain chemical reactions result in what they do?

But one can ask the same question about intelligent interactions. Why do they result in the way they do? If you answer with something, then why is that the case? Both sides can play that game.


Sure. I would think that Aquinas would be happy to agree with you there, but that's not exactly what the argument is focused on.

But in the end, it is exactly what the argument entails, when you "push the question back" you are invoking an infinite regress, how do you eliminate that regress? As RT points out, the infinite regress "game" works both ways, if you use it to defeat an opposing argument, there needs to be some way in which it doesn"t equally apply to your argument. Without a distinction between subject and object, the fact of "knowledge" would be unaccountable, the problem with the monist framework in the end, is the lack of a subject/object dichotomy, and that question is raised by the infinite regress question. In the end, the infinite regress must be addressed or it ends in either "nothing", or a circular argument.


I don't believe I understand what you're saying. You can keep explaining naturalistically that "this explains how this happens" or whatever, but you're actually just redefining the question to begin with. Why does a match produce fire? Because of its chemical structure. Well, that's what I'm asking, why does the chemical structure produce fire?

Why does intelligence do what it does? All you are doing is trying to solve one problem, with intelligence, which is subject to the same exact questioning. It is rather useless in my opinion.


God, as the ultimate "intelligence" is not "intelligent" in the univocal sense of the word. As a good Thomist, we can only have analogous positive knowledge of God, and univocal negative knowledge of God. So we can know that there is no potency in God, since potency is directed at actuality, and if the directing intelligence had any admixture of potencies, then a higher intelligence would be needed to direct those. So the only way it can end is in a purely actual, intelligent being. But obviously an intelligent being of that sort is different than what we think of "intelligence."


Unless you want to argue that it's metaphysically impossible for a match to produce anything other than fire.

I'm not even sure how free-will works on the Thomistic framework, because supposedly all motion, all contingent existence, all causal interaction, is all dependent upon God, who is purely simple.

From what I"ve seen lately, I thought you were a Thomist, your conclusions are essentially Thomistic, so how does your logical framework differ? The question becomes, how does free will work on your framework?


I tend towards Thomism on alot of matters, yes.

I think that it ends in circular reasoning with Aquinas as it is simply addressed by acceptance of the self-referential paradox in God. Within the Thomistic framework will and intellect are not independent entities, they are co-aspectual, Aquinas addresses the infinite regress in an all roads lead to God manner, which apparently is where your framework leads also. He reconciles the "infinite regress" problem of knowledge by eliminating the subject/object dichotomy in God.

For Aquinas, in God, all knowledge is self-knowledge,

since everything is God,

What?

knowledge is self-reference for God. God knows all things, by knowing himself, so in God, awareness and existence are one and the same, so for instance, God does not know us because we exist; rather we exist because he knows us. Within your monist framework, what is knowledge referential to? What is the distinction between knower and known?


God knows all things since he is the cause of them... not because they're a part of him.


I've used this objection alot of the times when arguing with Thomists. John Duns Scotus (another big Scholastic school that's almost non-existent nowadays) way back in the middle ages also used it.

In these instances, wow is it not equally an objection to your argument?


It sure could. It doesn't undermine it though, it just seems that it would undermine free will, or make it seem like we're all puppets. Of course, from a Catholic perspective, that's a big problem.


Supposedly even such simple phenomena as the attraction between two particles would show causal regularity, and that one thing is directed at another.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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2/7/2014 11:48:28 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/7/2014 11:46:05 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/7/2014 10:25:54 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/7/2014 8:58:18 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/7/2014 7:39:07 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 2/6/2014 9:42:20 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 9:08:08 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:59:48 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:58:50 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:55:42 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:31:36 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Why is the dichotomy between chance and intelligence a true dichotomy? When an object falls down to the ground due to gravity, that isn't by chance. When a snow flake falls, this isn't purely by chance.

Well for Aristotelians, there's two places an "essence" can be... In the thing that embodies them, or in an intellect. A thing can't be both "a match" and "fire" at the same time. But you could make the argument that "a match" produces fire from pure chance, so I added that. It's not explicit in the argument though.

A match doesn't produce fire from chance though on a classical level. This is a deterministic process based on strict chemical reactions.


I agree. But that just pushes the question back further. Why do certain chemical reactions result in what they do?

But one can ask the same question about intelligent interactions. Why do they result in the way they do? If you answer with something, then why is that the case? Both sides can play that game.


Sure. I would think that Aquinas would be happy to agree with you there, but that's not exactly what the argument is focused on.

But in the end, it is exactly what the argument entails, when you "push the question back" you are invoking an infinite regress, how do you eliminate that regress? As RT points out, the infinite regress "game" works both ways, if you use it to defeat an opposing argument, there needs to be some way in which it doesn"t equally apply to your argument. Without a distinction between subject and object, the fact of "knowledge" would be unaccountable, the problem with the monist framework in the end, is the lack of a subject/object dichotomy, and that question is raised by the infinite regress question. In the end, the infinite regress must be addressed or it ends in either "nothing", or a circular argument.


I don't believe I understand what you're saying. You can keep explaining naturalistically that "this explains how this happens" or whatever, but you're actually just redefining the question to begin with. Why does a match produce fire? Because of its chemical structure. Well, that's what I'm asking, why does the chemical structure produce fire?

Why does intelligence do what it does? All you are doing is trying to solve one problem, with intelligence, which is subject to the same exact questioning. It is rather useless in my opinion.


God, as the ultimate "intelligence" is not "intelligent" in the univocal sense of the word. As a good Thomist, we can only have analogous positive knowledge of God, and univocal negative knowledge of God. So we can know that there is no potency in God, since potency is directed at actuality, and if the directing intelligence had any admixture of potencies, then a higher intelligence would be needed to direct those. So the only way it can end is in a purely actual, intelligent being. But obviously an intelligent being of that sort is different than what we think of "intelligence."

The problem is that there is no reason to believe it has to be intelligent. Plenty of things are "directed" in nature without intelligence.



Unless you want to argue that it's metaphysically impossible for a match to produce anything other than fire.

I'm not even sure how free-will works on the Thomistic framework, because supposedly all motion, all contingent existence, all causal interaction, is all dependent upon God, who is purely simple.

From what I"ve seen lately, I thought you were a Thomist, your conclusions are essentially Thomistic, so how does your logical framework differ? The question becomes, how does free will work on your framework?


I tend towards Thomism on alot of matters, yes.

I think that it ends in circular reasoning with Aquinas as it is simply addressed by acceptance of the self-referential paradox in God. Within the Thomistic framework will and intellect are not independent entities, they are co-aspectual, Aquinas addresses the infinite regress in an all roads lead to God manner, which apparently is where your framework leads also. He reconciles the "infinite regress" problem of knowledge by eliminating the subject/object dichotomy in God.

For Aquinas, in God, all knowledge is self-knowledge,

since everything is God,

What?

knowledge is self-reference for God. God knows all things, by knowing himself, so in God, awareness and existence are one and the same, so for instance, God does not know us because we exist; rather we exist because he knows us. Within your monist framework, what is knowledge referential to? What is the distinction between knower and known?


God knows all things since he is the cause of them... not because they're a part of him.


I've used this objection alot of the times when arguing with Thomists. John Duns Scotus (another big Scholastic school that's almost non-existent nowadays) way back in the middle ages also used it.

In these instances, wow is it not equally an objection to your argument?


It sure could. It doesn't undermine it though, it just seems that it would undermine free will, or make it seem like we're all puppets. Of course, from a Catholic perspective, that's a big problem.


Supposedly even such simple phenomena as the attraction between two particles would show causal regularity, and that one thing is directed at another.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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2/7/2014 11:58:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Basically, there are mechanistic process that we know of that lead to the same "end" if you will, as someone with intelligence. I can create a sphere, so can gravity. I can get a piece of paper and design and create snow flakes, but chemical processes can make snowflakes too.

The question then becomes, why intelligence for all this? Why is that the most reasonable inference, when we know of intricate processes that can are similar, and lead to similar "ends".
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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2/7/2014 2:17:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/7/2014 11:48:28 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/7/2014 11:46:05 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/7/2014 10:25:54 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/7/2014 8:58:18 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/7/2014 7:39:07 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 2/6/2014 9:42:20 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 9:08:08 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:59:48 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:58:50 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:55:42 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:31:36 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Why is the dichotomy between chance and intelligence a true dichotomy? When an object falls down to the ground due to gravity, that isn't by chance. When a snow flake falls, this isn't purely by chance.

Well for Aristotelians, there's two places an "essence" can be... In the thing that embodies them, or in an intellect. A thing can't be both "a match" and "fire" at the same time. But you could make the argument that "a match" produces fire from pure chance, so I added that. It's not explicit in the argument though.

A match doesn't produce fire from chance though on a classical level. This is a deterministic process based on strict chemical reactions.


I agree. But that just pushes the question back further. Why do certain chemical reactions result in what they do?

But one can ask the same question about intelligent interactions. Why do they result in the way they do? If you answer with something, then why is that the case? Both sides can play that game.


Sure. I would think that Aquinas would be happy to agree with you there, but that's not exactly what the argument is focused on.

But in the end, it is exactly what the argument entails, when you "push the question back" you are invoking an infinite regress, how do you eliminate that regress? As RT points out, the infinite regress "game" works both ways, if you use it to defeat an opposing argument, there needs to be some way in which it doesn"t equally apply to your argument. Without a distinction between subject and object, the fact of "knowledge" would be unaccountable, the problem with the monist framework in the end, is the lack of a subject/object dichotomy, and that question is raised by the infinite regress question. In the end, the infinite regress must be addressed or it ends in either "nothing", or a circular argument.


I don't believe I understand what you're saying. You can keep explaining naturalistically that "this explains how this happens" or whatever, but you're actually just redefining the question to begin with. Why does a match produce fire? Because of its chemical structure. Well, that's what I'm asking, why does the chemical structure produce fire?

Why does intelligence do what it does? All you are doing is trying to solve one problem, with intelligence, which is subject to the same exact questioning. It is rather useless in my opinion.


God, as the ultimate "intelligence" is not "intelligent" in the univocal sense of the word. As a good Thomist, we can only have analogous positive knowledge of God, and univocal negative knowledge of God. So we can know that there is no potency in God, since potency is directed at actuality, and if the directing intelligence had any admixture of potencies, then a higher intelligence would be needed to direct those. So the only way it can end is in a purely actual, intelligent being. But obviously an intelligent being of that sort is different than what we think of "intelligence."

The problem is that there is no reason to believe it has to be intelligent. Plenty of things are "directed" in nature without intelligence.

Sure, it might seem so, but that's why you'd have to accept the premise that unintelligent things which can't direct themselves are directed by another.

I mean, that's really what the whole argument is about... lol. Unintelligent things in nature "point at" something beyond themselves all the time. It's obvious that they "point at" something, because they always, or almost always, attain that end. But if it can't "direct itself" then it must be "directed" by another. And eventually that ends up in something which can direct others, namely an intelligence.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Rational_Thinker9119
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2/7/2014 2:20:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/7/2014 2:17:29 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/7/2014 11:48:28 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/7/2014 11:46:05 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/7/2014 10:25:54 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/7/2014 8:58:18 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/7/2014 7:39:07 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 2/6/2014 9:42:20 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 9:08:08 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:59:48 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:58:50 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:55:42 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:31:36 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Why is the dichotomy between chance and intelligence a true dichotomy? When an object falls down to the ground due to gravity, that isn't by chance. When a snow flake falls, this isn't purely by chance.

Well for Aristotelians, there's two places an "essence" can be... In the thing that embodies them, or in an intellect. A thing can't be both "a match" and "fire" at the same time. But you could make the argument that "a match" produces fire from pure chance, so I added that. It's not explicit in the argument though.

A match doesn't produce fire from chance though on a classical level. This is a deterministic process based on strict chemical reactions.


I agree. But that just pushes the question back further. Why do certain chemical reactions result in what they do?

But one can ask the same question about intelligent interactions. Why do they result in the way they do? If you answer with something, then why is that the case? Both sides can play that game.


Sure. I would think that Aquinas would be happy to agree with you there, but that's not exactly what the argument is focused on.

But in the end, it is exactly what the argument entails, when you "push the question back" you are invoking an infinite regress, how do you eliminate that regress? As RT points out, the infinite regress "game" works both ways, if you use it to defeat an opposing argument, there needs to be some way in which it doesn"t equally apply to your argument. Without a distinction between subject and object, the fact of "knowledge" would be unaccountable, the problem with the monist framework in the end, is the lack of a subject/object dichotomy, and that question is raised by the infinite regress question. In the end, the infinite regress must be addressed or it ends in either "nothing", or a circular argument.


I don't believe I understand what you're saying. You can keep explaining naturalistically that "this explains how this happens" or whatever, but you're actually just redefining the question to begin with. Why does a match produce fire? Because of its chemical structure. Well, that's what I'm asking, why does the chemical structure produce fire?

Why does intelligence do what it does? All you are doing is trying to solve one problem, with intelligence, which is subject to the same exact questioning. It is rather useless in my opinion.


God, as the ultimate "intelligence" is not "intelligent" in the univocal sense of the word. As a good Thomist, we can only have analogous positive knowledge of God, and univocal negative knowledge of God. So we can know that there is no potency in God, since potency is directed at actuality, and if the directing intelligence had any admixture of potencies, then a higher intelligence would be needed to direct those. So the only way it can end is in a purely actual, intelligent being. But obviously an intelligent being of that sort is different than what we think of "intelligence."

The problem is that there is no reason to believe it has to be intelligent. Plenty of things are "directed" in nature without intelligence.

Sure, it might seem so, but that's why you'd have to accept the premise that unintelligent things which can't direct themselves are directed by another.

I mean, that's really what the whole argument is about... lol. Unintelligent things in nature "point at" something beyond themselves all the time.

So do intelligent things in nature (us). As I said, positing intelligence posits just as many problems as non-intelligence.

It's obvious that they "point at" something, because they always, or almost always, attain that end. But if it can't "direct itself" then it must be "directed" by another.

The same applies to all intelligence we know of (us). Again, what problem are you really solving here?

And eventually that ends up in something which can direct others, namely an intelligence.

Why can only intelligence direct others?
Rational_Thinker9119
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2/7/2014 2:23:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
This is the problem with traditional cosmological arguments for God. Something has to ground all contingent being, but then when one is asked to justify why it has to be a sentient, conscious, or intelligent being... The argument flops.
Rational_Thinker9119
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2/7/2014 2:31:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
If Idealism is true, or, all is mental/ conscious, then the grounding of all contingent being has to be a mind. It simply follows necessarily if all is mental, and our finite minds cannot be the only ones that exist.

If you accept an ontology other than Idealism, it is extremely difficult to deductively prove that the necessary grounding for reality has to be a mind, or a conscious being (it could be anything for all we know, some "force" we couldn't fathom, but is not conscious, intelligent, but maybe just as complex or intricate).

I suppose that is just my opinion. If Physicalism or Dualism is true, then Atheism is still reasonably on the table (I can quote plenty of Atheistic dualists). However, it is almost impossible to maintain Atheistic Idealism unless you resort to Solipsism! Idealism just makes God's existence obvious.
ApollosMuse
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2/7/2014 4:36:14 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
What you are looking for is accountability for why things happen the way they do, i.e. chemical reactions in a match. If someone says it's nature, you say that only pushes the question back. So you want an account of nature, otherwise we continue on an infinite regress. To a theist, things happen because of God. But as alluded to, that only pushes the answer back on the theist side. The theist still needs to account for God. If the theist wants accountability for nature, then the theist should be prepared to give an account for God.
zmikecuber
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2/9/2014 10:56:14 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/7/2014 2:31:16 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
If Idealism is true, or, all is mental/ conscious, then the grounding of all contingent being has to be a mind. It simply follows necessarily if all is mental, and our finite minds cannot be the only ones that exist.

If you accept an ontology other than Idealism, it is extremely difficult to deductively prove that the necessary grounding for reality has to be a mind, or a conscious being (it could be anything for all we know, some "force" we couldn't fathom, but is not conscious, intelligent, but maybe just as complex or intricate).


I know what you're saying, and I agree but I don't. I think that it is much more complicated, but I think it can be done. The reason everyone thinks it's impossible is precisely because it's complicated. Lol. However, if you accept that the more immaterial something is, the more intelligent it is (abstractions are not "things" per se) then the necessary thing, being of the uttermost immateriality, must also be of the uttermost intelligence. That's the underlying thesis in the whole of Aristotelian metaphysics. Immateriality = intelligence.

I suppose that is just my opinion. If Physicalism or Dualism is true, then Atheism is still reasonably on the table (I can quote plenty of Atheistic dualists). However, it is almost impossible to maintain Atheistic Idealism unless you resort to Solipsism! Idealism just makes God's existence obvious.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Illegalcombatant
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2/9/2014 11:19:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
After reading the post again a few points come to mind.......

End here is often used as one and the same as outcome. Thats fine.

Just because there is an "outcome" doesn't mean it was intentional.

Just because there is an outcome that is "regular" doesn't mean it was intentional.

I also noticed a possible equivocation at the start when talking about "ends". The first time it is raised it is used to refer to an outcome, which may or may not be intentional.

But later on in the argument is claims that "ends" is one and the same as something that is the product of intent, since something which has "ends" must be the result of intent.

You sneaky butt pirate
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Sidewalker
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2/10/2014 8:20:37 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/7/2014 8:58:18 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/7/2014 7:39:07 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 2/6/2014 9:42:20 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 9:08:08 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:59:48 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:58:50 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:55:42 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 2/6/2014 8:31:36 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Why is the dichotomy between chance and intelligence a true dichotomy? When an object falls down to the ground due to gravity, that isn't by chance. When a snow flake falls, this isn't purely by chance.

Well for Aristotelians, there's two places an "essence" can be... In the thing that embodies them, or in an intellect. A thing can't be both "a match" and "fire" at the same time. But you could make the argument that "a match" produces fire from pure chance, so I added that. It's not explicit in the argument though.

A match doesn't produce fire from chance though on a classical level. This is a deterministic process based on strict chemical reactions.


I agree. But that just pushes the question back further. Why do certain chemical reactions result in what they do?

But one can ask the same question about intelligent interactions. Why do they result in the way they do? If you answer with something, then why is that the case? Both sides can play that game.


Sure. I would think that Aquinas would be happy to agree with you there, but that's not exactly what the argument is focused on.

But in the end, it is exactly what the argument entails, when you "push the question back" you are invoking an infinite regress, how do you eliminate that regress? As RT points out, the infinite regress "game" works both ways, if you use it to defeat an opposing argument, there needs to be some way in which it doesn"t equally apply to your argument. Without a distinction between subject and object, the fact of "knowledge" would be unaccountable, the problem with the monist framework in the end, is the lack of a subject/object dichotomy, and that question is raised by the infinite regress question. In the end, the infinite regress must be addressed or it ends in either "nothing", or a circular argument.


I don't believe I understand what you're saying. You can keep explaining naturalistically that "this explains how this happens" or whatever, but you're actually just redefining the question to begin with. Why does a match produce fire? Because of its chemical structure. Well, that's what I'm asking, why does the chemical structure produce fire?

But no matter what the answer is, you can always ask why again, it becomes an infinite regress that is either "circular" or ends in "nothing". Science is descriptive rather than explanatory, naturalistic explanations are referential to "what", and perhaps "how" questions, they don"t answer the "why" questions.

Unless you want to argue that it's metaphysically impossible for a match to produce anything other than fire.

That wouldn"t be a naturalistic explanation.

I'm not even sure how free-will works on the Thomistic framework, because supposedly all motion, all contingent existence, all causal interaction, is all dependent upon God, who is purely simple.

From what I"ve seen lately, I thought you were a Thomist, your conclusions are essentially Thomistic, so how does your logical framework differ? The question becomes, how does free will work on your framework?


I tend towards Thomism on alot of matters, yes.

Yes, but you are a monist, Aquinas was a dualist.

I think that it ends in circular reasoning with Aquinas as it is simply addressed by acceptance of the self-referential paradox in God. Within the Thomistic framework will and intellect are not independent entities, they are co-aspectual, Aquinas addresses the infinite regress in an all roads lead to God manner, which apparently is where your framework leads also. He reconciles the "infinite regress" problem of knowledge by eliminating the subject/object dichotomy in God.

For Aquinas, in God, all knowledge is self-knowledge,

since everything is God,

What?

That may be a discomforting statement (and that was intention), but it is the necessary consequence of your argument for monism, God is a spirit, a consciousness without a body, and we exist as His thoughts. You eliminated the possibility of a dualistic framework by claiming the impossibility of interaction between two realms, so there can be no independent existence aside from God's thoughts.

knowledge is self-reference for God. God knows all things, by knowing himself, so in God, awareness and existence are one and the same, so for instance, God does not know us because we exist; rather we exist because he knows us. Within your monist framework, what is knowledge referential to? What is the distinction between knower and known?


God knows all things since he is the cause of them... not because they're a part of him.

Nope, you eliminated that as metaphysically impossible, your idealistic framework was based on the impossibility of interaction between two dualistic realms. Consequently, God knows all things but he can't be the cause of anything except by having a thought, but the thought can't be actualized into something else, we can have no independent existence, everything is mental and there is no physical in your framework, so we exist only as the thoughts of God. In the monistic framework thinking isn't creating, it is only thinking, the thoughts of God are the only things that exists. Unless you can coherently demonstrate how God's thoughts aren't part of God, and I don"t think you can within a monist framework because it would necessarily be an argument for dualism, then my statements must stand as factual and a necessary consequence of your monistic framework. What we call reality is nothing but the conceptual space within which we find the objects of thought, and those objects are attributes of that consciousness referenced with the word God.

I've used this objection alot of the times when arguing with Thomists. John Duns Scotus (another big Scholastic school that's almost non-existent nowadays) way back in the middle ages also used it.

In these instances, wow is it not equally an objection to your argument?


It sure could. It doesn't undermine it though, it just seems that it would undermine free will, or make it seem like we're all puppets. Of course, from a Catholic perspective, that's a big problem.

From a Catholic perspective, your monism is the big problem, Catholicism presupposes dualism, your monist framework has "metaphysically" defeated Catholicism and established as an a priori principle the impossibility of God's ability to "interact" or "create". I chose my words carefully in an attempt point out the necessary consequences of your idealism metaphysic, I fully expected the reaction I got, that was the point of saying them the way I did, but the fact is they are the logically consequences of your idealist metaphysic, and within that framework, I'd like to see how you can deny them while remaining logically consistent to your monistic metaphysic.
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2/10/2014 9:24:39 AM
Posted: 2 years ago

But no matter what the answer is, you can always ask why again, it becomes an infinite regress that is either "circular" or ends in "nothing". Science is descriptive rather than explanatory, naturalistic explanations are referential to "what", and perhaps "how" questions, they don"t answer the "why" questions.


There's more to the argument than that. It's saying that things which exhibit causal regularity require an explanation, or guiding intelligence. God, on the classical framework, isn't moving, or anything like that, and thus wouldn't need an explanation.

Unless you want to argue that it's metaphysically impossible for a match to produce anything other than fire.

That wouldn"t be a naturalistic explanation.

I'm not even sure how free-will works on the Thomistic framework, because supposedly all motion, all contingent existence, all causal interaction, is all dependent upon God, who is purely simple.

From what I"ve seen lately, I thought you were a Thomist, your conclusions are essentially Thomistic, so how does your logical framework differ? The question becomes, how does free will work on your framework?


I tend towards Thomism on alot of matters, yes.

Yes, but you are a monist, Aquinas was a dualist.


Hmmmm. He sortof was, but not really. It depends on what you mean by "dualism." Hylemorphic dualism is alot different than substance dualism, since it doesn't posit two seperate things, but rather one thing, a person, with two essential components.

I think that it ends in circular reasoning with Aquinas as it is simply addressed by acceptance of the self-referential paradox in God. Within the Thomistic framework will and intellect are not independent entities, they are co-aspectual, Aquinas addresses the infinite regress in an all roads lead to God manner, which apparently is where your framework leads also. He reconciles the "infinite regress" problem of knowledge by eliminating the subject/object dichotomy in God.

For Aquinas, in God, all knowledge is self-knowledge,

since everything is God,

What?

That may be a discomforting statement (and that was intention), but it is the necessary consequence of your argument for monism, God is a spirit, a consciousness without a body, and we exist as His thoughts. You eliminated the possibility of a dualistic framework by claiming the impossibility of interaction between two realms, so there can be no independent existence aside from God's thoughts.


God isn't "conscious" in the univocal sense of the word. I don't think that under a panentheistic view, that God's thoughts are automatically identical to him. I wouldn't consider my thoughts "me." So even if there is some mind that God uses to create the world, I think when it really gets back to it, "God" is entirely simple, and is pure subsistent being. Now of course you can argue about whether or not, if panentheism is true, the mind we exist in IS that simple God, or just something closely related to that simple God. Either way works for me.

knowledge is self-reference for God. God knows all things, by knowing himself, so in God, awareness and existence are one and the same, so for instance, God does not know us because we exist; rather we exist because he knows us. Within your monist framework, what is knowledge referential to? What is the distinction between knower and known?


God knows all things since he is the cause of them... not because they're a part of him.

Nope, you eliminated that as metaphysically impossible, your idealistic framework was based on the impossibility of interaction between two dualistic realms. Consequently,

God knows all things but he can't be the cause of anything except by having a thought, but the thought can't be actualized into something else, we can have no independent existence, everything is mental and there is no physical in your framework, so we exist only as the thoughts of God.

Well I don't quite take that position. I think saying something is "in" God's intellect is misleading, since it sounds as if it's spatially in his intellect. If panentheism is true, I would take a bit of a revised view of it. In other words, instead of "physical matter" I'd take the world to be "mental matter" in a sense.

In the monistic framework thinking isn't creating, it is only thinking, the thoughts of God are the only things that exists.

I'm not sure I see what you're saying...

Unless you can coherently demonstrate how God's thoughts aren't part of God, and I don"t think you can within a monist framework because it would necessarily be an argument for dualism, then my statements must stand as factual and a necessary consequence of your monistic framework. What we call reality is nothing but the conceptual space within which we find the objects of thought, and those objects are attributes of that consciousness referenced with the word God.


As I said above, "God" as I mean by him, is entirely simple. As long as I allow "God" to be purely simple, and this purely simple being ultimately the cause of everything, I'm in fine standing with Catholic theology. Other than that, I'm pretty sure you can believe that God can use all kinds of other metaphysical things.

I've used this objection alot of the times when arguing with Thomists. John Duns Scotus (another big Scholastic school that's almost non-existent nowadays) way back in the middle ages also used it.

In these instances, wow is it not equally an objection to your argument?


It sure could. It doesn't undermine it though, it just seems that it would undermine free will, or make it seem like we're all puppets. Of course, from a Catholic perspective, that's a big problem.

From a Catholic perspective, your monism is the big problem, Catholicism presupposes dualism, your monist framework has "metaphysically" defeated Catholicism and established as an a priori principle the impossibility of God's ability to "interact" or "create". I chose my words carefully in an attempt point out the necessary consequences of your idealism metaphysic, I fully expected the reaction I got, that was the point of saying them the way I did, but the fact is they are the logically consequences of your idealist metaphysic, and within that framework, I'd like to see how you can deny them while remaining logically consistent to your monistic metaphysic.

I've always thought Catholicism disagreed with dualism alot. It always taught that the mind and body are essentially just two parts of one thing... Contrasted to dualism which views the soul almost as something of a little bird that flies around.

"your monist framework has "metaphysically" defeated Catholicism and established as an a priori principle the impossibility of God's ability to "interact" or "create""

Could you elaborate this?
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