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Ntech
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@Hahiha @Doombreed
Of our Knowledge of the Existence of a God
(John Locke, Concerning Human Understanding: Chapter X, pages 349 – 351)
(Articles I – VI, VIII)

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)

DEFINITIONS

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.

AXIOMS

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.

PROPOSITIONS

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.

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FishPreferred
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Archduke

We are still discussing the first mover, I believe? If you have accepted the first mover, great!
We were discussing your unsupportable assumption that there is such a thing.
Ntech
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We were discussing your unsupportable assumption that there is such a thing.

Ok

Well, I'll state once again:

I. We find there is an order of efficient causes
a) It is not possible for a thing to be the efficient cause of itself.
b) Therefore, there must be an non-caused cause of what exists,
c) Else nothing would exist.
II. We find that there are things in motion.
Definitions:
By motion is meant the movement from potentiality to actuality, the reduction of the
potential to act.

a) And a thing is not in motion unless put in motion by another
b) Therefore a thing that is not moved must exist to start the movement that caused what we
have today
c) Else nothing would exist.
III. We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be.
a) But it is impossible for these always to exist, for that which is possible not to be at
some time is not.
b) Therefore, if everything is possible not to be, then at one time there could have been
nothing in existence.
c) Now if this were true, even now there would be nothing existing, because that which does
exist only begins to exist by something already existing.
d) Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for
anything to have begun to exist, and thus now nothing would be in existence, which is
false.
e) Therefore, not all beings are merely possible, but there must exist something the
existence of which is necessary.
f) But every necessary thing either has its necessity caused by another or not. Now it is
impossible to go to infinity in necessary things which have their necessity caused by
another, as has been already proved in regard to efficient causes.
g) Therefore we must admit the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity,
and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity.
IV. Conclusion
These things, all signified by the above argument, I call God -- the first principle.

Moegreche
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@Ntech

So, you're bringing in Aquinas now. That, in itself, is fine. But I'll tell you what I tell my student: you should bring in other philosophers to help you make your points--not to make your points for you. There's nothing of your argumentation in here, and that's a problem for 2 reasons.

1) We're having this discussion to engage with you--not Aquinas or Locke or whomever.

2) Aquinas relies heavily on Aristotle. And it's quite clear (from the conversation in the AG chat the other day) that you don't understand Aristotle. I'm not saying this to be mean or to make you feel dumb--Aristotle is incredibly challenging. But no one here is an Aquinas or Aristotle scholar, so presenting these points without any curation at all is asking too much of your audience. Even if you gave a reading of these views that was wrong, at least it would then be your view that we could engage with.

Take, for example, the definition of motion that you're using here:

By motion is meant the movement from potentiality to actuality, the reduction of the
potential to act.

This is incredibly thick and requires some sort of explanation. You can't expect your audience to follow without something to peg these concepts to. They're entirely opaque.

Lastly, it's worth noting that Aristotle's physics is just wrong. There's no two ways about it. Yes, his physics was widely accepted for millennia, but Newton shattered these notions. And our understanding of the physical world has increased dramatically since then.
A lot of people are going to bring in things like relativity or quantum mechanics to debate these issues (as has already happened) and Aristotle's physics simply isn't equipped to handle these things. Here's an example: "Quarks don't have an efficient cause." On the face of it, that might seem like something we could debate about. But when you get down to it, we might as well be discussing whether quarks have a jump rope. Geez... even that analogy doesn't work because they don't have jump ropes either. I can't even think of a good analogy here. The point I'm trying to make is that trying to draw some line of discussion between quarks and an Aristotelian notion of efficient cause is just nonsensical. And it's going to distract from the debate.

So, sure, bring in these authors to help you develop your points. But don't rely on them to make your points for you. All due consideration to St. Aquinas, but his understanding of the world is just... wrong. That doesn't make him any less brilliant or any less of a scholar. He just didn't have the tools we have today. So trying to insert him into a modern debate is impossible without some kind of curation going on.

FishPreferred
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a) It is not possible for a thing to be the efficient cause of itself.
b) Therefore, there must be an non-caused cause of what exists,
c) Else nothing would exist.
No. That's a false dichotomy.

II. We find that there are things in motion.
Definitions:
By motion is meant the movement from potentiality to actuality, the reduction of the
potential to act.
As I said before, that definition makes no sense whatsoever, so no, we do not find that. I'd be happy to take this "motion" into consideration if you define it properly, but right now it just looks like you're parroting this in the hope that no one will challenge something that could mean practically anything.

a) And a thing is not in motion unless put in motion by another
b) Therefore a thing that is not moved must exist to start the movement that caused what we
have today
No on both counts. That's still a false dichotomy.

III. We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be.
No, as a matter of fact, we don't. What we find in nature are things that are, and nothing else.

c) Now if this were true, even now there would be nothing existing, because that which does
exist only begins to exist by something already existing.
1 Again, you need to support your claim that spontaneous existence is impossible. Restating it is not enough.
2 If we critically examine this line, we can see that it also defeats the entire argument. Look:
- There are things that exist.
- Everything that exists must be brought into existence by something with prior existence.
- Therefore something must exist before anything exists.
It's self-defeating.

f) But every necessary thing either has its necessity caused by another or not. Now it is
impossible to go to infinity in necessary things which have their necessity caused by
another, as has been already proved in regard to efficient causes.
1 That's a gross oversimplification of cause.
2 That has never been proved, nor can it.

g) Therefore we must admit the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity,
and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity.
No, not least because "being" was just crudely tagged on to the end without any justification.
Doombreed
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Sorry I do not have the time to jump in, so instead I'll just leave this here for Ntech (and anyone else interested) to see

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UemhCsaeGgc

Ntech
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@Moegreche @Doombreed @FishPreferred

A) The proof from motion has nothing to do with physics.

B) In an effort to make my point, there necessarily exists a Sustaining Principle, that which constantly actualizes everything that exists each moment. For the Big Bang (were it true) only attempts to account for what existed a millenia ago, not what exists today.

A thing's continued existence is potential, for something potentially exists, as well as non-exists.

For one to say that one stays actual unless made potential by another actuality is true, but that does not mean that that actuality remains actual without actualization by another -- on the contrary, that actualization will keep getting actualized by the Sustaining Principle until made into potency by another actuality.

For to say that a thing is actual -- and remains actual without being actualized -- is to say that it exists before it exists, and thus change would be IMPOSSIBLE. For if existence belongs to the essence of a thing (if existence belongs to the essence of an actuality), that actuality would not change (and it could never change too), for change makes it something else, and what it was ceases to exist (how could that be, since existence belongs to its essence?).

Thus, a Sustaining Principle MUST exist for everything in existence to exist as it is today, else change would be impossible, and nothing would exist.

Doombreed
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Υeah sure, keep re-stating it as if we don't understand. It's not like, you know, we actually do understand but it's false

FishPreferred
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A) The proof from motion has nothing to do with physics.
Then it has nothing to do with motion. I'll ask you one more time to explain what you're trying to say about the "motion" in your argument, because it clearly doesn't follow any recognizable definition of motion.

B) In an effort to make my point, there necessarily exists a Sustaining Principle, that which constantly actualizes everything that exists each moment.
No, there doesn't. That would be entirely unnecessary and frivolous. To get anywhere with this argument, you need to actually support your assertions, and you can't do that just by throwing on more layers of unsupported assertions.

For the Big Bang (were it true) only attempts to account for what existed a millenia ago, not what exists today.
So?

A thing's continued existence is potential, for something potentially exists, as well as non-exists.
No, it isn't and it doesn't. We've been over this: Things that exist do not potentially not exist, and things that don't exist do not potentially exist.

For one to say that one stays actual unless made potential by another actuality [...................................] and nothing would exist.
No, that's entirely incorrect. It's the equivalent of citing Aristotle's On Generation and Corruption as proof of the luminiferous aether and expecting everyone to agree; you're working from assumptions that were once widely held, but have no factual basis.
Ntech
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@FishPreferred


Then it has nothing to do with motion. I'll ask you one more time to explain what you're trying to say about the "motion" in your argument, because it clearly doesn't follow any recognizable definition of motion.

By motion, in the context of the Proof, is meant the movement from potentiality to actuality -- the reduction of the potential to act by an agent.


No, it isn't and it doesn't. We've been over this: Things that exist do not potentially not exist, and things that don't exist do not potentially exist.

Then change, if what you said were true, would be impossible for a thing would exist as it is, for the existence of it in a different way (in a different location, for example) is impossible because "things that don't exist do not potentially exist."
Moreover, were it true that 'things that don't exist do not potentially exist,' how in the world do things (such as skyscrapers) come into existence? For they didn't exist before, and "things that don't exist do not potentially exist."

I'll walk you through this. Firstly, we acknowledge that some things exist. Then we acknowledge that they potentially not exist as well, for you and I don't exist forever. Now, that means that our continued existence is potential (unless our bodies are taken as to exist forever) because some day they won't exist anymore. Therefore, our continued existence is -- and remains -- potential.
I am not saying that we are potential, but that our continued existence is potential.

Now you and I agree that it is impossible for a thing to cause itself. Therefore, each and every moment, the potentialities of everything that will continue to exist are actualized by something other than themselves (which is clearly NOT the Big Bang, for it only claims to account for what existed at the beginning of time).

Thus it is clear that an uncaused thing must constantly actualize the potentials of what exists' continued existence, for things to continue to exist (including us). It is logically impossible for one to seriously say that "the Big Bang" just kicked things off, for that is impossible.

For everything to continue to exist -- to be sustained in motion -- requires a Sustaining Principle, that which holds everything in motion. That Principle accounts for what exists, it regulates what sustains in motion.


but have no factual basis.

So everybody up to now studied unfounded metaphysics? Impossible. What we have today is a corrupted, tainted, and degrading form of their great achievements, particularly those of Aristotle, Plato, and Augustine, who shaped philosophy as we have it today -- the legacy of Western Thought and Civilization.

What you said has no factual basis.

FishPreferred
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FishPreferred
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Then change, if what you said were true, would be impossible for a thing would exist as it is, for the existence of it in a different way (in a different location, for example) is impossible because "things that don't exist do not potentially exist."
No; you're just conflating state with existence.

Moreover, were it true that 'things that don't exist do not potentially exist,' how in the world do things (such as skyscrapers) come into existence?
They're aggregates of things that already exist.

Then we acknowledge that they potentially not exist as well, for you and I don't exist forever. Now, that means that our continued existence is potential (unless our bodies are taken as to exist forever) because some day they won't exist anymore. Therefore, our continued existence is -- and remains -- potential
If all you're trying to say is that we are capable of ceasing to exist, sure, but that's actual existence and not potential existence. If what you are trying to say is that while we exist we can simultaneously not exist, no, because that's just nonsense.

Therefore, each and every moment, the potentialities of everything that will continue to exist are actualized by something other than themselves [...]
No, they aren't. That's like claiming that the planets would be stuck in place without invisible gremlins to push them across the sky. You can ask what is there to keep them moving, but I can as well ask what is there to stop them.

It is logically impossible for one to seriously say that "the Big Bang" just kicked things off, for that is impossible.
No, it is not impossible because of being impossible. Come up with an actual reason.

For everything to continue to exist -- to be sustained in motion -- requires a Sustaining Principle, that which holds everything in motion.
No. A thing in motion can't just suddenly not be in motion, because that would create a change out of nothing. As I said before, a "Sustaining Principle" would be entirely unnecessary and frivolous. You'd need to invent another thing (a "Negating Principle", if you will) just to give it a reason to exist.

So everybody up to now studied unfounded metaphysics?
No; but everybody basing their reasoning purely on Aristotle, Plato, and Augustine certainly did.

What we have today is a corrupted, tainted, and degrading form of their great achievements, particularly those of Aristotle, Plato, and Augustine, who shaped philosophy as we have it today -- the legacy of Western Thought and Civilization.
No; you're just making petty excuses where you ought to be making reasonable arguments.

What you said has no factual basis.
Okay, for the sake of argument we can pretend for the moment that this is true. What was it I was claiming to have proven, again? . . .
HahiHa
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HahiHa
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Viceroy

For everything to continue to exist -- to be sustained in motion -- requires a Sustaining Principle, that which holds everything in motion.

If I remember correctly, that is precisely one of the points where Aristotle's physical understanding was wrong. It wasn't unreasonable at the time, but now that we know more about physics, if only about air resistance and vacuum, we know that an object which is set in motion will continue to move in the same speed and direction unless an outside force acts on it. If there are no forces acting on the object apart from the original impulse, why would it stop?
Doombreed
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Doombreed
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Justiciar

@HahiHa that's what I said too, he doesn't mean that by motion. He literally means something continuing to exist. I argued that something's existence does not have to follow those rules, something could just exist without needing a sustaining principle. And only stopping to exist when something happens that puts it out of existence. In short why do things need to be sustained, why can't they just be? But I never got an adequate response

HahiHa
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HahiHa
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Viceroy

@Doombreed I see. I also thought he was bizarrely conflating existence and motion... but I still thought it was noteworthy to mention. Not only because of his infatuation with Aristotle, but because the same argument can be applied to existence, as you and Fish have done.

EPICRAIDER1990
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EPICRAIDER1990
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Peasant

i am new and i don't have time to read all the chats. but I believe that God is real. I have seen him in my personal life. i was a drug addict and I overdosed it was caught in time, and here i am today. I started reading my bible, my dusty bible. and he spoke to me. I'm currently three years clean. i owe everything to him, truly i do.

EPICRAIDER1990
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EPICRAIDER1990
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Peasant

also, let me be clear. as of evidence and its hard to define. but i mean like where would we have gotten the ideas of ghosts and unearthly beings? and why do we love good guys against bad guys, heres? like we all know super man, wonder woman hulk, they are all fake, but what if the most debated and important hero of all, God. exists? I'm definitely not as smart as you guys. you all reference to great books, i am not able to do that, but i just, I trust my own story. and God's, the bible

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