A Teleological Argument


#1

This argument assumes that there is an uncaused-cause that necessarily exists and that anything else existing other than that which is necessarily real is not intrinsic to the nature of the uncaused cause and is ontologically unnecessary. We have established that physical reality is unnecessary.

1. Unnecessary things exist; this is to say that their existence is not necessary.

2. It is evident that unnecessary beings move to particular ends, and they do so because of their given nature.

3. Because their given nature is not ontologically necessary it cannot be said that any particular nature they have should necessarily have a particular effect, and the only case in which a thing must do a particular thing is because doing otherwise would conflict with the law of non-contradiction. A ball being thrown at glass doesn’t necessarily mean it has to smash. It could be that a hole will open up in the glass and the ball will move through it, after which the hole will close. It’s possible because the existence of any nature is not necessary other than the uncaused cause and neither is their effects other than what is logically necessary.

4. Yet we find unnecessary things doing what they do not necessarily need to do in a consistent fashion…This is what we characterize as the laws of physical behavior.

5. Since the uncause cause cannot be said to be governed by the laws of physics, it cannot be said that the laws of physics as we find them is a necessary feature of reality

6. Therefore when the uncaused cause creates unnecessary things it is also causing them to act to particular ends that are not necessary,.

7. Causing things to act in a particular way that is not necessary requires intention and therefore knowledge since things do not act in any particular way for no reason. We have some analogous understanding of this from our own intellectual activity like when we create bricks to build a house. But in the case of the uncaused cuase it is creating the very nature and the end to which the uncaused cause intends it to act.

Conclusion: Therefore the uncaused cause is an intelligent cause


#2

This strikes me as occasionalism. Do you agree with that and is that how you view laws of nature?


#3

All i am saying is that if a thing has a natural way of behavior it is only because God has created it to be that way and not because it necessarily has to be that way, unless it conflicts with the law of contradiction.

In my view, everything other than God is truly contingent, even their effects.


#4

Huh??..:butterfly:


#5

If by occasionalism you mean that God is a direct cause of all effects, then no, that is not my intention, but i can see why you would think that.


#6

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

Since when has it been established that unnecessary things exist?

How can you possibly prove this?


#7

It’s not my intention to prove this. It’s a given for the sake of the proceeding argument.


#8

So this statement from the OP is false?


#9

Not necessarily. In fact i would argue that the idea of physical reality not being necessary is in fact true and is rationally demonstrable. But that is not the point. I ask you all to assume that it is correct, so that we can focus on the teleological argument alone. If you wish to open a thread demanding proof of the idea that physical reality is unnecessary, then by all means feel free. I would be happy to contribute.


#10

Not necessary. I just wanted to establish that this thread is based totally upon an assumption, and as such, any subsequent conclusions are unreliable.


#11

If you are not interested in whether or not the assumption in this thread is provable then i fail to understand your intentions.

Only if the first premise is false. I made it clear in the first paragraph that this argument assumes that there is an uncaused-cause that necessarily exists and that anything else existing other than that which is necessarily real is not intrinsic to the nature of the uncaused cause and is ontologically unnecessary. We have established that physical reality is unnecessary.


#12

I also am confused.


#13

Forgive me for being argumentative…but one last time…you haven’t established that anything that exists, does so unnecessarily. You have simply, for the sake of this thread, assumed that this is true.


#14

Sigh… There are other arguments from contingency. For the sake of brevity, he’s taken the presentation and conclusion of that argument as a given for this topic. Say he had presented that argument already. One of the first objections that follows is “but why must the necessary being be intelligent?” He’s specifically addressing that objection. He is not saying we should just full stop assume the things of our experience are contingent. It would be unwise to do so. He’s just addressing a follow up question to that argument on the premise that the reader had already accepted contingency but was wary of going further.

Say someone were presenting an argument using calculus and said, “given the proof of a definition of a derivative, we can proceed with…” and someone objected with “wait! Are you just presuming it’s true?! Glad to know I can disregard your point.” That just misses the aim of the argument being presented.

If you wish to argue against the contingency of the things of our experience, I suggest making a new topic or finding one already going that is making an argument from contingency.


#15

I don’t think i could make it any clearer what my intentions are for this thread. If you want proof that unnecessary beings or things exist then i admit you will not find it here because it is clearly not the intentions of this thread. If it was my intention then i would understand why you would have a problem.


#16

I can understand and appreciate that. I simply wish to clarify a statement presented in the OP, that it has been established that some things exist unnecessarily.

If we can all agree that this simply isn’t true, then I’ll gladly get out of your hair, and let the discussion continue on it’s fanciful way.

It’s a very simple request, just clarify the statement in the OP that it has been established that unnecessary things exist. After that I’ll be perfectly happy.


#17

I assume that it’s true for the sake of this thread. Why you would want me to say it isn’t true doesn’t make sense to me. It’s a bizarre request, not to mention that i don’t think it is false; i’m just not going to establish why in this thread. No doubt you want me to establish that it isn’t false, but that’s a subject for another thread.


#18

It hasn’t been established in this thread; it’s assumed to be true and by now i think i have made it pretty clear.


#19

This is the problem that I have with most of these arguments. They start with a premise which allows the person making it to reach the conclusion they want. Ah but the premise has been proved elsewhere! Yeah, in a line of argument that also starts with premise that is assumed. And so on down the line.

You might just as well start off with this:

  1. Unneccesary things do not exist; this is to say that their non-existence is not necessary.

Now, I’m not saying that that is proved. I am simply assuming that to see where it goes. Which is nowhere. The same as the op.

It’s like trying to reach your destination by saying: ‘Well, let’s try this direction. I’m not saying it’s the right one but let’s see where it goes’.

And gee, wouldn’t you know it. It always leads to the right place.


#21

That’s not much of a counter argument. In fact, you reject the argument without rejecting a single statement in it. I don’t see the logic in rejecting an argument not because of its assumptions, but for the fact that it makes assumptions. The idea is that if you trace your “And so on down the line” far enough, we reach a basic enough assumption we can all agree on.

And go on, put your money where your mouth is. Prove whatever it is YOU want with statement 1.


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