Catholic FAQ


Help support Catholic Answers!

Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics > Philosophy
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Jun 2, '12, 6:06 pm
Qoeleth Qoeleth is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: January 14, 2010
Posts: 1,366
Religion: Catholic/Philosopher
Default That nothing can come into being....

Let us consider the following:
"Socrates came into being".

Now, it would seem that, before Socrates exists, no action may be predicated of him. Therefore, it is untrue to say "Before Socrates existed, Socrates came into being."

But, it is equally untrue to say that Socrates came into being, once he already exists. Because, something which already exists cannot come into being.

Hence it would seem that nothing can come into being. If it does not yet exist, no action may be predicated of it. But if it exists already, it may not come into being.

From this, we may conclude either; that all existent things are eternal, or that nothing exists.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Jun 2, '12, 7:22 pm
Aelred Minor's Avatar
Aelred Minor Aelred Minor is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: June 2, 2011
Posts: 4,201
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: That nothing can come into being....

I see you describe yourself as a "Sophist." Apt.


Your conclusion might be valid if "came into being" meant "gave itself being out of nothing"

As it is, something that is not Socrates can turn into Socrates. Also something that is not Socrates but which has the power to create ex nihilo (presumably God) could create Socrates "out of nothing."

As for God Himself, He never "came into being" at all but "always" existed.
__________________
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." I will rather boast most gladly of my weakness, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Jun 2, '12, 7:39 pm
Qoeleth Qoeleth is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: January 14, 2010
Posts: 1,366
Religion: Catholic/Philosopher
Default Re: That nothing can come into being....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aelred Minor View Post
I see you describe yourself as a "Sophist." Apt.


Your conclusion might be valid if "came into being" meant "gave itself being out of nothing"

As it is, something that is not Socrates can turn into Socrates. Also something that is not Socrates but which has the power to create ex nihilo (presumably God) could create Socrates "out of nothing."

As for God Himself, He never "came into being" at all but "always" existed.
Let us grant then that "came into being" is meant passively. Socrates thus does not "come into being" as an act of Socrates, but rather is acted upon by a creative agent, i.e. Socrates is "brought into being". But a non-existent 'thing' could not even be the subject of action. Thus, whether worded actively ("Socrates came into being") or passively ("Socrates was brought into being"), both seem to require the existence of Socrates, which is not yet the case.

Now, even if something else 'becomes' Socrates- it still follows that Socrates must either "come into being" or "be brought into being", both of which seem impossible.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Jun 2, '12, 7:42 pm
AndyT_81 AndyT_81 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: October 12, 2008
Posts: 197
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: That nothing can come into being....

Hi Qoeleth,

This analysis of being has been around since Parmendies i.e. no change can occur because from non-being no being can come but if all is being how can things come into and go out of existence. This was solved by Aristotle. All things (apart from God) which have being are composed out of potentiality and actuality (or form and matter for material things). Therefore, with respect to some material thing (ignoring Socrates for the moment) like a tree it can come into being out of pre-existing matter by that matter receiving a form (i.e. the potentiality of the matter being actualised by the form).

The Socrates example is different, because the soul of Socrates, having an immaterial component (as opposed to other animals) is created ex nihilo by God in a different way than how God sustains all other material things in existence.

There is no need to resort to Sophism
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Jun 2, '12, 7:46 pm
Bartolome Casas Bartolome Casas is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: November 24, 2011
Posts: 1,005
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: That nothing can come into being....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qoeleth View Post
From this, we may conclude either; that all existent things are eternal, or that nothing exists.
As you know, many people say that from God's point of view, there is no Time, and so that, from God's point of view, all of the people and events in the past, all of the people and events in the present, and all of the people and events in the future, exist simultaneously, and are all always known by God.

Thus, it seems that, from this perspective, in a certain sense, from God's point of view, it would make sense to say that "all existent things are eternal."

But, I don't understand why you are wondering about this. Perhaps you will elaborate.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Jun 2, '12, 7:56 pm
Qoeleth Qoeleth is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: January 14, 2010
Posts: 1,366
Religion: Catholic/Philosopher
Default Re: That nothing can come into being....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartolome Casas View Post
As you know, many people say that from God's point of view, there is no Time, and so that, from God's point of view, all of the people and events in the past, all of the people and events in the present, and all of the people and events in the future, exist simultaneously, and are all always known by God.

Thus, it seems that, from this perspective, in a certain sense, from God's point of view, it would make sense to say that "all existent things are eternal."

But, I don't understand why you are wondering about this. Perhaps you will elaborate.
I feel that if it is possible to come to believe that the world of appearances (coming into being, time, etc), is an impossibility, we will then be freed of many of the worries and anxieties in life.

God is non-apparent, and the universe is apparent. Demonstrations which destabilize the tyranny and credibility of the apparent, help the search for God. Possibly....
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Jun 2, '12, 8:39 pm
empther's Avatar
empther empther is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: July 8, 2004
Posts: 2,180
Religion: Catholic loyal to the Pope, don't even try to change me!
Default Re: That nothing can come into being....

The phrase "Coming into being" might be interpreted as moving or changing something from outside of being into being,
if your're a sophist and try to inject something into the phrase which the speaker didn't intend.

The phrase "Create something from nothing" might be interpreted as changing something from outside of being into being,
if your're a sophist and try to inject something into the phrase which the speaker didn't intend.


Try this phrase: "God creates something where there was nothing."
No ambiguity in that, I think. No room for sophistry.

And so the thread's question ( if there is one ) is answered.
__________________


Empress Theresa is what some people would consider impossible, a book about a good girl, with no sex, foul language, or violence, but still giving the reader an action-filled fascinating story.

The paperback is now on Amazon.com
Norman
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old Jun 2, '12, 8:58 pm
AndyT_81 AndyT_81 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: October 12, 2008
Posts: 197
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: That nothing can come into being....

Hi Qoeleth,

Quote:
I feel that if it is possible to come to believe that the world of appearances (coming into being, time, etc), is an impossibility, we will then be freed of many of the worries and anxieties in life.

God is non-apparent, and the universe is apparent. Demonstrations which destabilize the tyranny and credibility of the apparent, help the search for God. Possibly....
If you don't mind me asking, why the attempt at novelty and sophistry? Look to the saints! If one trusts in God completely, one doesn't need to try and deny the common sense world to avoid the worries and anxieties in life. Rather, one can affirm reality precisely as it is, with all it's difficulties and sufferings, and still be completely at peace immersed in the love of God.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old Jun 2, '12, 10:24 pm
StrawberryJam StrawberryJam is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 1, 2009
Posts: 7,789
Religion: agnostic w/ catholic leanings
Default Re: That nothing can come into being....

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyT_81 View Post
Hi Qoeleth,



If you don't mind me asking, why the attempt at novelty and sophistry? Look to the saints! If one trusts in God completely, one doesn't need to try and deny the common sense world to avoid the worries and anxieties in life. Rather, one can affirm reality precisely as it is, with all it's difficulties and sufferings, and still be completely at peace immersed in the love of God.
This is not a completely true statement, even if it was meant as such,
we still have to swallow a literal adam and eve to be in line with the church. That is impossible for any intelligent person to do.
__________________
It's nothing to get hung about.

Strawberry Fields Forever
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old Jun 2, '12, 10:43 pm
AndyT_81 AndyT_81 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: October 12, 2008
Posts: 197
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: That nothing can come into being....

Hi StrawberryJam,

I disagree - one does not have to say that all change is illusory (which is the context of my comments) in order to avoid the supposed problem of Monogenisis. In fact, one can't really say much at all about the truth or falsity of natural events if one is a sophist. Anyway, here are a couple of links for you to consider:

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com.au/2...rt-i.html#more

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com.au/2...n-part-ii.html

Hope these help

God bless
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old Jun 3, '12, 3:43 pm
Qoeleth Qoeleth is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: January 14, 2010
Posts: 1,366
Religion: Catholic/Philosopher
Default Re: That nothing can come into being....

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyT_81 View Post
Hi Qoeleth,



If you don't mind me asking, why the attempt at novelty and sophistry? Look to the saints! If one trusts in God completely, one doesn't need to try and deny the common sense world to avoid the worries and anxieties in life. Rather, one can affirm reality precisely as it is, with all it's difficulties and sufferings, and still be completely at peace immersed in the love of God.
That's true. But some people play football, other play musical instruments. Some people like to play 'philosophy'- to make the implausible plausible, etc.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics > Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8020Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: Butterflylily
4812CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: UpUpAndAway
4282Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: FootStool
4027OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: fencersmother
3809SOLITUDE
Last by: Prairie Rose
3356Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: RJB
3177Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: 4elise
3141Poems and Reflections
Last by: PathWalker
2954For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: libralion
2672Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: Amiciel



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 1:40 pm.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2013, Catholic Answers.