Arguments for the Existence of God
Argument no. II page 6:
E. Objections Answered
1) Why doesn't God need a cause?
First check to see if the Skeptic has managed to disagree with line A.6 becasue the answer to this objection is built into the argument there. If that premise has been granted than essentially the skeptic has granted this point. Since there must be a final cause which begins the chain of cause and effect, logically the final cuase itself is not subject to it. So God is that point and therefore does not require a cause. There essentially five answers to this argument:
a) God is the final cause and by defintion does not need a cause himself.
The internet atheist will argue until dooms day that if "everything must have a cause" than God must have one too. This is of course illogical. God does not require a cause for several reasons:
This is merely a priori, if there must be a place where the chain stops, logically that place is the final cause of all things, which is what we say God is. Therefore God cannot need a Cause.
b) Everything but God needs cause
We are arguing that everything has to have a cause, except one this, that is the "final cause" or "first cause," the cause of all causes. Trying to the turn the words of the argument against itself wont work because we specify "everything but one needs a cause." Now this is not circular becasue the proof of the hypothosis is that no other alternative works, not that we merely stipulate it. Since this is the only alternative that adequately explains things, it is the most logical alternative.
c) By Definition God is not an effect
By definition God is beyond the natural realm of cause and effect, if not, "He" Would not be God, because that's what God is
d) all the more reason to assume God.
Since there must be a final cause, God is the only alternative since God is eternal and not arbitrary.
2) God is Being itself and thus trasncends The laws of Cause and effect.
a) God is not a thing alongside other things in creation.
God is by definition not a thing alongside other things in creation (ontologically speaking) but is on the order of being itself; the cause of the whole, which means God is the creator of the chain of cause and effect is therefore logically outside of it. (see also Timothy Ware The Orthodox Chruch; Paul Tillich, The Courage to Be, and Dynamics of Faith, Systematic Theology, and John MacQuarrie Principles of Christian Theology).
b) Being itself
God is Being Itself (see above) Being has to be. The fact that there is anything at all indicates that there is no such thing as true nothingness. If anything is than there must have always been something. Since God is Being itself in a sense we could say that being causes God,although this is not an adeuate way to pu it.
3) God is Spiritual and not physical, thus does not need physical cause
4) God's essence is his existence.
a) The Scholastic answer:
God's essence is his existence. The thing that makes God what he is (essence) coincides with the fact that he is (existence).For all other things the essence of a thing is to be the particular thing that it is. But with God the essence of the divine is to to be; thus, God's being is the same as his essence and to be the certain thing that God is is to be. God cannot fail to exist and requires no cause. see Eteinne Gilson, God And Philosophy.
b) This is the only logical answer,
otherwise we just have an ifinite regress of the same problem; it's a logical deduction
5) Proper use of Ocam's Razor
It would be a useless multiplication of entitites to posist a cause of God; God is sufficient explaination in and of "Himself" and logically deos not requrie a cuase.
The argument proves prior existance of creative "Source" as origin of the univserse, by logical deduction as the most plausible answer. Logically it cannot be an infitine regression, cannot be subject to the same laws of cause and effect but must be "first cause." Logically it must be eternal, and must be necessary to the existance of the singularity that produced the universe, by the law of Ockum's razor cannot be multiplied to include an infintie regress. Logically than we are talking about an erternal creative agent that stands behind all existance as the cause of all that is that creates as a free creative act; "that thing," as Aquinas says, "we call God."
F. Objection 2: Eternal Cause Cannot have Time bound Effects
1) Can timeless facts cause timebound facts?
Metaphysics and Epistemology of Causation
Robert C. Koons (University of Texas)
a) Yes they can.
First, we must admit that logical and mathematical realities, although they are certainly outside physical spacetime, can be causally efficacious. Otherwise, it would be impossible for us to have knowledge in logic and mathematics, and impossible for us to think about and refer to particular mathematical objects, like specific numbers or numerical relations.
Second, it seems plausible to suppose that space and time are themselves definable or constructible in terms of causal relations. One event is earlier than another, just in case the first is causally prior to the second, or if the first is spatially related to an event causally prior to the second. Two events are in the same spatiotemporal neighborhood just in case there are direct causal relations between the two. What we call physical or measurable time is a simple and systematic system of measurement that can be imposed on the whole network of causal relations. It is reasonable to expect that some of the causal network will lie outside of the system of measurable space-time. At least, it would be a remarkable coincidence if all of the causal network could be included in a single simple and systematic measurement system.
Therefore, from this perspective, it seems reasonable to think that there might be exceptions to the general rule of causation occurring within physical spacetime.
Third, scientific realism depends on the possibility of timeless causation. Scientific realism is the thesis that we sometimes know that our scientific theories are approximately true. Philosophers and historians of science are generally agreed that the acquisition of empirical data alone does not determine which scientific theories we accept. This is known as the "indeterminacy of theory by data". In addition to data, we use considerations of simplicity, symmetry, and elegance to guide our theory choice. For example, scientists accepted Copernicus' theory despite the fact that, for over 200 years, it did not fit the astronomical data as well as Ptolemy's theory. The fit with data was less important than the fact that Copernicus's model was vastly simpler than the ramshackle, epicyle-laden Ptolemaic model.
However, if our choice of theories is guided by considerations of simplicity and elegance, then our scientific beliefs constitute knowledge only if these aesthetic preferences are a reliable guide to the truth. In order for these to be truly reliable, there must be some causal mechanism that ensures that the deep structure of the world (as describable by our theories) is, by and large, very simple, symmetrical, elegant, etc. Any such causal mechanism must be a timeless fact, since it causes the history of the world to take a certain form or shape. This is especially so in light of general relativity, which takes the form of space and time to be themselves an essential part of the structure of the world. Hence, there must be a cause that determines the spacetime structure of the universe, introducing a bias toward simplicity. Thus, there must be at least one cause that lies outside of time.
b) This is empirical
Since I've already showen that in any case, the singualirty is outside of time, than empirically it is the case the time bound univrese must of necessity be casued by a timeless exta-temporal Cause. But to than turn around and say OK the singularity doesn't need a cause, that is the final cause is merely fiating an arbitrary necessity.
2)God Cannot create the Universe if he is beyond time.
Atheists sometimes argue this as a counter argument against the existence of God,usually in despiration, after being trounced by the preceeding evidences. It seems like a an iron clad argument, but consider the assumptions. The assumptions here are that beyond time is a place where someone could actually dwell, and that there can be no movement beyond time, since time is movment. To them, no movment means no thought and thus God can't think to create anything.
There are several faulty assumptions here. First, God does not need to think as we think. Would an inifnite and all knowing being need to callcuate, to consider, to rominate? God doesn't need to think, he knows. He could know the whole business of creation and how it will turn out and how to actually pull it off instaneaneiously. Secondly, the popular conception of "beyond time" is to think of space/time as a beach ball in a big room. The ball is our uiverse wheree time is, the room is filled with "non time" and thus there can be no movement, no thought, and no change in that room.
But wait! These are naturalistic assumptions. They are predicated upon viewing God as a big "guy in the sky." God is ultiamte reality, he is not a man, not even the biggest and most powerful man. "Beyond time" need not be a physical Place where God could actually dwell as in a large room. God is ultimate reality and creates physical reality out of his conceptualizations. The Bible says God "spoke" creation into existence, but speaking, words, these are just thought, and thought is conceptualitzation. God creates the world out of his thought by conceiving of it perfectly and he gives it independent solidity and concerte existence, but it is still a thought in the mind of God. That tells us how God can be both immanent (within creation) and transcendent (beyond it).The Eastern Orthdoox distinguish this immanence and transcendence by speaking of the "entergies of God," which extend into physical space/time.
Thus, it is the naturalistic assumption that thinks of "beyond time" as an actual realm. In reality it need not be, but it could be that there is nothing beyond time but the mind of God. Thus time exists not a timeless void, but in a world of thought and ideal, a world of mind controled by the ultimate mind. Thus there can be thought in "beyond time" because it is a realm of thought. And that realm is the mind of the ultimate reality.
The Religious A priori