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I. We are capable of knowing certainly that there is a God. Though God has given us no innate ideas of Himself,; though He has stamped no original characters on our minds, wherein we may read His being; yet having furnished us with those faculties our minds are endowed with, He hath not left Himself without witness: since we have sense, perception, and reason, and cannot want a clear proof of Him, as long as we carry ourselves about us...
II. For man knows that he himself exists. I think it is beyond question, that man has a clear idea of his own being; he knows certainly that he exists, and that he is something. He that can doubt whether he be anything or no, I speak not to; no more than I would argue with pure nothing, or endeavor to convince a nonentity that it were something. If any one pretends to be so skeptical as to deny his own existence, (for really to doubt of it is manifestly impossible,) let him for me enjoy his beloved happiness of being nothing, until hunger or some other pain convince him of the contrary. This, then, I think I may take for a truth, which every one’s certain knowledge assures him of, beyond the liberty of doubting, viz. That he is something that actually exists. [Note well the meaning of “actually,” that is, something that is actual vs. that which does not exist.]
III. He knows also that nothing cannot produce a being; therefore something must have existed from eternity. In the next place, man knows, by an intuitive certainty, that bare nothing can no more produce any real being, than it can be equal to two right angles. If a man knows not that nonentity, or the absence of all being, cannot be equal to two right angles, it is impossible he should know any demonstration in Euclid. If, therefore, we know there is some real being, and that nonentity cannot produce any real being, it is an evident demonstration, that from eternity there has been something; since what was not from eternity had a beginning; and what had a beginning must be produced by something else.
IV. And that eternal Being must be most powerful. Next, it is evident, that what had its being and beginning from another, must also have all that which is in and belongs to its being from another too. All the powers it has must be owing to and received from the same source. This eternal source, then, of all being must also be the source and origin of all power; and so this eternal Being must also be the most powerful.
V. And most knowing. Again, a man finds in himself perception and knowledge. We have then got one step further; and we are certain now that there is not only some being, but some knowing, intelligent being in the world. There was a time, then, where was no knowing being and when knowledge began to be; or else there has been also a knowing being from eternity.
If it be said, there was a time when no being had any knowledge, when that eternal being was void of understanding; I reply, that then it was impossible there should ever have been any knowledge: it being as impossible that things wholly void of knowledge, and operating blindly, and without any perception, should produce a knowing being, as it is impossible that a triangle should make itself three angles bigger than two right ones. For it is as repugnant to the idea of senseless matter, that it should put into itself sense, perception, and knowledge, as it is repugnant to the idea of a triangle, that it should put into itself greater angles than two right ones.
VI. And therefore God. Thus, from the consideration of ourselves, and what we infallibly find in our own constitutions, our reason leads us to the knowledge of this certain and evident truth, – That there is an eternal, most powerful, and most knowing Being; which whether any one will please to call God, it matters not. The thing is evident; and from this idea duly considered, will easily be deduced all those other attributes, which we ought to ascribe to this eternal Being.
If, nevertheless, any one should be found so senselessly arrogant, as to suppose man alone knowing and wise, but yet the product of mere ignorance and chance; and that all the rest of the universe acted only by that blind haphazard; I shall leave him that very rational and emphatical rebuke of Tully (1. ii. De Leg.), to be considered at his leisure: “What can be more sillily arrogant and mis-becoming, than for a man to think that he has a mind and understanding in him, but yet in all the universe beside there is no such thing? Or that those things, which with the utmost stretch of his reason he can scarce comprehend, should be moved and managed without any reason at all?” Quid est enim verius, quam neminem esse oportere tam stulte arrogantem, ut in se mentem et rationem putet inesse, in caelo mundoque non putet? Aut ea quae vic summa ingenii [ingenī] ratione comprehendat, nulla ratione moveri puter?
From what has been said, it is plain to me we have a more certain knowledge of the existence of a God, than of anything our senses have not immediately discovered to us. Nay, I presume I may say, that we more certainly know that there is a God, than that there is anything else without us. When I say we know, I mean there is such a knowledge within our reach which we cannot miss, if we will but apply our minds to that…
VIII. Recapitulation – something from eternity. There is no truth more evident than that something must be from eternity. I never yet heard of any one so unreasonable, or that could suppose so manifest a contradiction, as a time wherein there was perfectly nothing. This being of all absurdities the greatest, to imagine that pure nothing, the perfect negation and absence of all beings [Id est, the complete absence of actualities], should ever produce any real existence. [Id est, actualities have potential, where there is no actualities there is no potential, nor can there ever be.]
Of God – His Existence
(Benedict de Spinoza, Ethics, Part I)
1. BY CAUSE of itself, I understand that, [a Being] whose essence involves existence; or that, [a Being] whose nature cannot be conceived unless existing.
2. That thing is called FINITE in its own kind (in suo genere) which can be limited by another thing of the same nature. For example, a body is called finite, because we [may] always conceive another which is greater. So a thought is limited by another thought; but a body is not limited by a thought, not a thought by a body.
3. BY SUBSTANCE, I understand that which is in itself and is conceived through itself; in other words, that, the conception of which does not need the conception of another thing from which it must be formed.
4. BY ATTRIBUTE, I understand that which the intellect perceives of substance, as if constituting its essence [constituting the essence of a substance, not the intellect].
5. BY MODE, I understand the affections of substance, or that which is in another thing through which also it is conceived.
6. BY GOD, I understand Being absolutely infinite, that is to say, [a] substance consisting of infinite attributes, each one of which expresses eternal and infinite essence.
Explanation. I say absolutely infinite but not infinite in its own kind (in suo genere); for of whatever is infinite only in its own kind (in suo genere), we can deny infinite attributes; but to the essence of that which is absolutely infinite pertains whatever expresses essence and involves no negation.
7. That thing is called FREE which exists from the necessity of its own nature alone, and is determined to action by itself alone. That thing, on the other hand, is called necessary, or rather compelled, which by another is determined to existence and action in a fixed and prescribed manner.
8. BY ETERNITY, I understand existence itself, so far as it is conceived necessarily to follow from the definition alone of the eternal thing.
Explanation. For such existence, like the essence of the thing, is conceived as an eternal truth. It cannot therefore be explained by duration or time, even if the duration be conceived without beginning or end.
1. Everything which is, is either in itself or in another.
2. That which cannot be conceived through another must be conceived through itself.
3. From a given determinate cause an effect necessarily follows; and, on the other hand, if no determinate cause be given, it is impossible that an effect can follow.
4. The knowledge (cognitio) of an effect depends upon and involves the knowledge of the cause.
5. Those things which have nothing mutually in common with one another cannot through one another be mutually understood, that is to say, the conception of the other. [A blind man cannot understand the sense of sight merely through the sense of hearing; nor can a deaf man understand the sense of hearing merely through the sense of sight.]
6. A true idea must agree with that of which it is the idea (*** suo ideato).
7. The essence of that thing which can be conceived as not existing does not involve existence.
PROPOSITION 1. Substance is by its nature prior to its affections.
DEMONSTRATION. This is evident from Definitions 3 and 5. [That is to say, nothing can have no affections.]
PROPOSITION 2. Two substances having different attributes have nothing in common with one another.
DEMONSTRATION. This is also evident from Definition 3. For each substance must be in itself and must be conceived through itself, that is to say, the conception of one does not involve the conception of the other. [That is to say, if two substances – which are wholly independent of each other – have different attributes, it is self evident that they share nothing in common – the opposite of proper – with each other.] Q.E.D.
PROPOSITION 3. If two things have nothing in common with one another, one cannot be the cause of the other.
DEMONSTRATION. If they have nothing mutually common with one another, they cannot (Axiom 5) through one another be mutually understood, and therefore (Axiom 4) one cannot be the cause of the other. Q.E.D.
PROPOSITION 4.Two or more distinct things are distinguished from one another, either by the difference of the attributes of the substances, or by the difference of their affections.
DEMONSTRATION. Everything which is, is either in itself or in another (Axiom 1), that is to say (Definitions 3 & 5), outside the intellect there is nothing but substances and their affections. There is nothing therefore outside the intellect by which a number of things can be distinguished one from another, but substances or (which is the same thing by Definition 4) their attributes and their affections. Q.E.D.
PROPOSITION 5. In nature there cannot be two or more substances of the same nature or attribute.
DEMONSTRATION. If there were two or more distinct substances, they must be distinguished one from the other by difference of attributes or difference of affections (Proposition 4). If they are distinguished only by difference of attributes, it will be granted that there is but one substance of the same attribute. But if they are distinguished by difference of affections, since substance is prior by nature to its affections (Proposition 1), the affections therefore being placed on one side, and the substance being considered in itself, or, in other words, (Definition 3 and Axiom 6), truly considered, it cannot be conceived as distinguished from another substance, that is to say (Proposition 4), there cannot be two or more substances, but only one possessing the same nature or attribute. Q.E.D.
PROPOSITION 6.One substance cannot be produced by another substance.
DEMONSTRATION. There cannot in nature be two substances of the same attribute (Proposition 5), that is to say (Proposition 2), two which have anything in common with one another. And therefore (Proposition 3) one [substance] cannot be the cause of the other, that is to say, one [substance] cannot be produced by the other [substance]. Q.E.D.
PROPOSITION 7. It pertains to the nature of substance to exist.
DEMONSTRATION. There is nothing by which substance can be produced (Proposition 6). It will therefore be the cause of itself, that is to say (Definition 1), its essence necessarily involves existence, or in other words it pertains to its nature to exist. Q.E.D.
PROPOSITION 8. Every substance is necessarily infinite.
DEMONSTRATION. Substance which has only one attribute cannot exist except as one substance (Proposition 6), and to the nature of this one substance it pertains to exist (Proposition 7). It must therefore from its nature exist as finite or infinite. But it cannot exist as finite substance, for (Definition 2) it must (if finite) be limited by another substance of the same nature, which also must necessarily exist (Proposition 7), and therefore would be two substances of the same attribute, which is absurd (Proposition 5). It exists therefore as infinite substance. Q.E.D.
Scholium 1. Since finiteness is in truth partly negation, and infinitude absolute affirmation of existence of some kind, it follows from Proposition 7 alone that all substance must be infinite.
Scholium 2. I fully expect that those who judge things confusedly, and who have not been accustomed to cognise things through their first causes, will find it difficult to comprehend the demonstration of the 7th Proposition, since they do not distinguish between the modifications of substances and substances themselves, and are ignorant of the manner in which things are produced.
Hence it comes to pass that they erroneously ascribe to substances a beginning like that which they see belongs to natural things; for those who are ignorant of the true causes of things confound every thing, and without any mental repugnance represent trees speaking like men, or imagine that men are made out of stones as well as begotten from seed, and that all forms can be changed one into the other. So also those who confound human nature with the divine, readily attribute to God human affects, especially so long as they are ignorant of the manner in which affects are produced in the mind. But if men would attend to the nature of substance, they could not entertain a single doubt of the truth of Proposition 7; indeed this proposition would be considered by all to be axiomatic, and reckoned among common notions.
For by “substance” would be understood that which is in itself and is conceived through itself, or, in other words, that, the knowledge of which does not need the knowledge of another thing.
But by “modifications” would be understood those things which are in another thing – those things, the conception of which is formed from the conception of the thing in which they are. Hence we can have true ideas of non-existent modifications, since although they may not actually exist outside the intellect, their essence nevertheless is so comprehended in something else, that they may be conceived through it.
But the truth of substances is not outside the intellect unless in the substances themselves, because they are conceived through themselves.
If any one, therefore, were to say that he possessed a clear and distinct, that is to say, a true idea of substance, and that he nevertheless doubted whether such a substance exists, he would forsooth be in the same position as if he were to say that he had a true idea and nevertheless doubted whether or not it was false (as is evident to any one who pays a little attention).
Similarly, if any one were to affirm that substance is created, he would affirm at the same time that a false idea had become true, and this is a greater absurdity than can be conceived.
It is therefore necessary to admit that, the existence of substance, like its essence, is an eternal truth.
Hence a demonstration (which I have thought worth while to append) by a different method is possible, showing that there are not to substances possessing the same nature.
But in order to prove this methodically it is to be noted: 1. That the true definition of any one thing neither involves nor expresses anything except the nature of the thing defined. From which it follows, 2. That a definition does not involve or express any certain number of individuals, since it expresses nothing but the nature of the thing defined. For example, the definition of a triangle expresses nothing but the simple nature of a triangle, and not any certain number of triangles. 3. It is to be observed that of every existing thing there is some certain cause by reason of which it exists. 4. Finally, it is to be observed that this cause, by reason of which a thing exists, must either be contained in the nature itself and definition of the existing thing (simply because it pertains to the nature of the thing to exist), or it must exist outside the thing.
This being granted, it follows that if a certain number of individuals exist in nature, there must necessarily be a cause why those individuals, and neither more nor fewer, exist.
If, for example, there are twenty men in existence (whom, for the sake of greater clearness, I suppose existing at the same time, and that no others existed before them), it will not be sufficient, in order that we may give a reason why twenty men exist, to give a cause for human nature generally; but it will be necessary, in addition, to give a reason why neither more nor fewer than twenty exist, since, as we have already observed, under the third head, there must necessarily be a cause why each exists.
But this cause (as we have shown under the second and third heads) cannot be contained in human nature itself, since the true definition of a man does not involve the number twenty, and therefore (by the fourth head) the cause why these twenty men exist, and consequently the cause of why each exists, must necessarily lie outside each one; and therefore we must conclude generally that whenever it is possible for several individuals of the same nature to exist, there must necessarily be an external cause for their existence.
Since now it pertains to the nature of substance to exist (as we have shown in this Scholium), its definition must involve necessary existence, and consequently from its definition alone its existence must be concluded.
But from its definition (as we have already shown under the second and third heads) the existence of more substances than one cannot be deduced.
It follows, therefore, from this definition necessarily that there cannot be two substances possessing the same nature.
PROPOSITION 9. The more reality or being a thing possesses, the more attributes belong to it.
DEMONSTRATION. This is evident from Definition 4. [For as attributes constitute a thing’s essence to the intellect, the more “essence” a thing has, a corresponding number of attributes is perceived by the intellect.]
PROPOSITION 10. Each attribute of a substance must be conceived through itself.
DEMONSTRATION. For an attribute is that which the intellect perceives of substance, as if constituting its essence (Definition 4), and therefore (Definition 3) it must be conceived through itself. Q.E.D.
PROPOSITION 11. God, or substance consisting of infinite attributes, each one of which expresses eternal and infinite essence, necessarily exists.
DEMONSTRATION. If this be denied, conceive, if it is possible that God does not exist. Then it follows (Axiom 7) that His essence does not involve existence. But this (Proposition 7) is absurd. Therefore God necessarily exists. Q.E.D.
Another proof. For the existence or non-existence of everything there must be a reason or cause. For example, if a triangle exists, there must be a reason or cause why it exists; and if it does not exist, there must be a reason or cause which hinders its existence or which negates it.
But this reason or cause must either be contained in the nature of the thing or lie outside it. For example, the nature of the thing itself shows the reason why a square circle does not exist, the reason being that a square circle involves a contradiction. And the reason, on the other hand, why substance involves existence (see Proposition 7).
But the reason why a circle or triangle exists or does not exist is not drawn from their nature, but from the order of corporeal nature generally; for from that it must follow, either that a triangle necessarily exists, or that is impossible for it to exist. But this is self evident.
Therefore it follows that if there be no cause nor reason which hinders a thing from existing, it exists necessarily. If, therefore, there be no reason nor cause which hinders God from existence, or which negates His existence, we must conclude absolutely that He exists.
But if there be such a reason or cause, it must be either be in the nature itself of God or must lie outside it, that is to say, in another substance of another nature. For if the reason lay in a substance of the same nature, the existence of God would by this very fact admitted.
But substance possessing another nature could have nothing in common with God (Proposition 2), and therefore could not give Him existence nor negate it.
Since, therefore, the reason or cause which could negate the divine existence cannot be outside the divine nature, it will necessarily, supposing that the divine nature does not exist, be in His Nature itself, which would therefore involve a contradiction.
But to affirm this of the Being absolutely infinite and consummately perfect is absurd. Therefore neither in God nor outside God is there any cause or reason which can negate His existence, and therefore God necessarily exists. Q.E.D.
Another proof. Inability to exist is impotence, and, on the other hand, ability to exist is power, as is self-evident. If, therefore, there is nothing which necessarily exists excepting things finite, it follows that things finite are more powerful than the absolutely infinite Being, and this (as is self evident) is absurd; therefore either nothing exists or Being absolutely infinite also necessarily exists.
But we ourselves exist, either in ourselves or in something else which necessarily exists (Axiom 1 & Proposition 7). Therefore the Being absolutely infinite, that is to say (Definition 6), God, necessarily exists. Q.E.D.
Scholium. In this last demonstration I wished to prove the existence of God a posteriori, in order that the demonstration be the more easily understood, and not because the existence of God does not follow a priori from the same grounds.
For since ability to exist is power, it follows that the more reality belongs to the nature of anything, the greater is the power for existence it derives from itself; and it also follows, therefore, that the Being absolutely infinite, or God, has from Himself an absolutely infinite power of existence, and that He therefore necessarily exists.
Many persons, nevertheless, will perhaps not be able easily to see the force of this demonstration, because they have been accustomed to contemplate those things alone which flow from external causes, and they see also that those things which are quickly produced from these causes, that is to say, which easily exist, easily perish, whilst, on the other hand, they adjudge those things to be more difficult to produce, that is to say, not so easy to bring into existence, to which they conceive more properties pertain.
In order that these prejudices may be removed, I do not need here to show in what respect this saying, “What is quickly made perishes,” is true, nor to inquire whether, looking at the whole of nature, all things are or are not equally easy.
But this only it will be sufficient for me to observe, that I do not speak of things which are produced by external causes, but that I speak of substances alone which (Proposition 6) can be produced by no external cause.
For whatever perfection or reality those things may have which are produced by external causes, whether they consist of many parts or of few, they owe it all to the virtue of an external cause alone and not from their own.
On the other hand, whatever perfection substance has is due to no external cause.
Therefore its existence must follow from its nature alone, and is therefore nothing else than its essence.
Perfection consequently does not prevent the existence of a thing, but establishes it; imperfection, on the other hand, prevents existence, and so of no existence can we be more sure than of the existence of the Being absolutely infinite or perfect, that is to say, God.
For since His essence shuts out all imperfection and involves absolute perfection, for this very reason all cause of doubt concerning His existence is taken away, and the highest certainty concerning it is given, – a truth which I trust will be evident to any one who bestows only moderate attention.
- 144 Replies
I'll change my assertation to: the universe is not infinite.
That is a simple rewording that doesn't affect the content of your claim; what is not infinite is, by definition, finite, which is what you've asserted before. It is also wholly irrelevant since this is not the point I disagree with you on; I actually tend to agree that the universe is finite. Let me try to recapitulate this particular argument:
1. You claimed that objects don't have potential and that everything can exist because the source of the universe is infinite. I assumed that by "infinite source of the universe" you mean God, and since you haven't corrected me on this so far I assume it is still what you mean by that. So basically, your argument is that God is the source of all potential, is that correct?
2. You may be entitled to hold that belief, if you want to, but the reason we're having this particular argument is because you're trying to use this belief as a premise to prove your argument on a sustaining principle - which is circular reasoning, because to you that sustaining principle is God, which only means that you're trying to prove God by using God's existence as proof (or in other words, you're trying to prove the existence of something by taking that very thing's existence for granted). Do you see why that doesn't work?
The possibilities of existing are deemed potential.
Or in other words: "the potential is deemed potential". Awesome. Look, just admit there was a contradiction in your wording and let's move on.
Your past, present and future self is conceived of as the same 'entity' yet only that state which is actual -- if one is -- can be termed actual.
"The actual is actual". Even more awesome. The problem remains that you consider the future as a potential state to which the present is actualized, which is impossible since the future does not exist.
Or in other words: Instead of assuming that there is only one existence that continually changes, you're claiming that there are an infinite amount of existences which are sequentially actualized and immediately expired by an outside force.
The cause is equate with the actualizer.
The cause is part of existence, while the actualizer isn't. They're not the same concept.
That "magical" force is the cause, what exists is its effect.
Consider this scenario: I kick a ball, the ball moves. What you are claiming is that my kick is not the cause of the ball's movement. This is completely irrational and violates all causality based on the laws of physics; in fact you pretty much deny every explanation that is not "God did it", because in the worldview you try to paint here, God (or the sustaining principle) is literally the only reason why anything happens or exists at all. This is something you just cannot prove, sorry.
So basically, your argument is that God is the source of all potential, is that correct?
because to you that sustaining principle is God, which only means that you're trying to prove God by using God's existence as proof (or in other words, you're trying to prove the existence of something by taking that very thing's existence for granted). Do you see why that doesn't work?
A thing's reality as proven by something which it alone can cause is not circular reasoning.
The problem remains that you consider the future as a potential state to which the present is actualized, which is impossible since the future does not exist.
A state is actualized when it begins to exist. It is not actual before it exists, or after it does. It cannot exist before it exists; its existence is not a prerequisite for its being sustained.
What you are claiming is that my kick is not the cause of the ball's movement.
It is the apparent cause, though not the efficient cause. Your action influenced the material actualized by the Sustinant Principle.
A thing's reality as proven by something which it alone can cause is not circular reasoning.Right, so if you had anything like that, he wouldn't be calling your argument circular and I wouldn't be calling it self-defeating.
[...] its existence is not a prerequisite for its being sustained.Nor is a sustainer requisite for its existence being continued.
It is the apparent cause, though not the efficient cause. Your action influenced the material actualized by the Sustinant Principle.1 How is it influenced if not causally related?
2 That is still an unprovable and unsupportable explanation of the event.
Right, so if you had anything like that, he wouldn't be calling your argument circular and I wouldn't be calling it self-defeating.
A Sustinant Principle is the only thing that can explain what exists. It is proven by reality.
Nor is a sustainer requisite for its existence being continued.
Yes, it is. For if its existence suddenly stopped, everything that it sustains would stop being sustained. That is, every moment that we exist in this universe the Sustaining Principle sustains the universe.
1 How is it influenced if not causally related?
It influenced the material present within the universe sustained by the Sustaining Principle. Your actions had no direct effect on the Principle, but on that which it sustains, which you yourself are part of.
2 That is still an unprovable and unsupportable explanation of the event.
Which has nothing to do with proving, or disproving, the Principle.
A state is actualized when it begins to exist. It is not actual before it exists, or after it does. It cannot exist before it exists; its existence is not a prerequisite for its being sustained.
I wasn't going to jump in, but I have 2 things:
1: The above quoted statement is incoherent. Existence, you claim, is moving from potentiality to actuality. As an aside, this is miles removed from Aristotle and Aquinas. Neither talks about existence like this. In fact, they literally would have lacked the language to make this sort of move. But that's not all that relevant here. What's important is that we have a model of existence that is nonsensical. I don't mean that it's silly or anything like that--I mean that there are deep, intractable contradictions here.
What we're saying is that, for state X to exist, it must move from potence to actuality. I don't even know how to explain what's wrong with this. A non-existence state has no potentiality; it has no properties whatsoever. To say that a principle or god acted up a non-existent state in order to actualize it just isn't a coherent view. And this is something that is happening every single moment across the universe. Like, it wouldn't be coherent for the formation of the universe. It's somehow even less coherent to insist that this process is ongoing.
2: Personally, I would be far more interested in ceding this point and seeing how @Ntech gets a personal creator deity. This would have to be his own arguments, since Aquinas didn't dare do it, so I think it might be easier to engage with. Plus, I just kinda feel like we're going in circles here. Obviously, I have no say in the matter since I haven't been involved in this in quite a while. Just throwing it out there for consideration.
A Sustinant Principle is the only thing that can explain what exists. It is proven by reality.It isn't, and you know it isn't. Your Sustinant Principle does not explain anything. "Because magic" is not a real explanation.
For if its existence suddenly stopped, everything that it sustains would stop being sustained.And if gravity tripped and fell down the stairs ...
That is, every moment that we exist in this universe the Sustaining Principle sustains the universe.No, it doesn't. You can't prove that it exists by just saying it exists and then deducing from that that it exists.
It influenced the material present within the universe sustained by the Sustaining Principle. Your actions had no direct effect on the Principle, but on that which it sustains, which you yourself are part of.In other words, my actions have a direct causal association with the result. Therefore, a Sustaining Principle is unnecessary.
Which has nothing to do with proving, or disproving, the Principle.And everything to do with that Principle being a completely unprovable and unsupportable non-explanation of the event.
@Moegreche I'm not bothered either way. If he wants to set this topic aside for now, he's welcome to do so, but I certainly won't pretend to agree with him just because he's arguing ad infinitum.
To say that a principle or god acted up a non-existent state in order to actualize it just isn't a coherent view.
An actuality exists in states, the state does not pre-exist the actuality.
No, it doesn't. You can't prove that it exists by just saying it exists and then deducing from that that it exists.
I prove it exists by the existence of that which it alone can cause.
In other words, my actions have a direct causal association with the result. Therefore, a Sustaining Principle is unnecessary.
Your actions are not direct, nor are they causal, yet they are associated with other bodies of matter within the properties of the larger universe sustained by the Principle.
I prove it exists by the existence of that which it alone can cause.
No, you defined existence in a way that only the thing which you defined as being the only thing that could cause it, could cause it.
Or in other words, you established an unsupported definition of reality and designed a being that would fit as the source of said reality. None of those have any supporting evidence on their own, so they cannot support themselves.
An actuality exists in states, the state does not pre-exist the actuality.So?
I prove it exists by the existence of that which it alone can cause.No, you don't. The closest thing you've come to proving is that you haven't been paying attention to what any of us have been telling you: Nothing in existence needs or ever needed such a principle in order to exist.
Your actions are not direct, nor are they causal, [...]If that's the case, they can't be influencing the material present within the universe, so which is it?
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