Naturally there is change. Which is caused by this universe coming into being. Which then reaches a point of maximum complexity and then reduces to it’s simplest form, which is eternal, as time ceases to exist, before begining again.
So the universe doesn’t exist for an infinite time. We can take out any reference to infinite time. It doesn’t exist in this scenario.
And it starts in the simplest of forms (hence no time, hence eternal, hence not infinite) and reverts by progression into a complex state.
And there is no ‘act of existence’. Just like there is no start point on the circumference of a circle. But the circumference doesn’t need a cause. It is a function of the circle. As the universe doesn’t need a cause. It is a function of the cycle.
If the universe is coming into being in any way then “being” is not an essential property of the universe. If being was an essential property then the universe should simply “be” with no change. The very fact of change in the universe proves the necessity of an eternal, unchanging Being to create and sustain the world we experience.
As for motives, I was raised atheist and came to the conclusion that there must be a “God” based on the very fact of change. I didn’t know about Aquinas nor Aristotle, I just observed the world and ended up having a crisis of “no Faith”. It was only later that I discovered that the Jewish people worship a being known as “I Am that Am”, the perfect summation of the identity that would be the necessary Being. As an atheist-turned-believer I can assure you that these arguments aren’t necessarily motivated by proving something that is already believed; it just happens that the Judeo-Christian God not only matches the God of Philosophy, but has also spoken to humankind Personally.
It’s not something I wanted to believe (I am still an Anarchist who wishes for “no gods, no masters” on a fundamental level), but the world leaves me no choice.
And may I ask what people’s opinions are on the theories that don’t match what, for example, was proposed by Aquinas? Do we stop examining them or are you prepared to continue investigations into theories that would prove him wrong?
I am using your terms, and I assumed you were using “coming in to being” to refer to change, not existence. My point relates to any kind of change, not beginning to exist. So if the universe changes, if it comes to be in one moment something that it was not in another moment, then being is not an essential property of the universe.
If being is an essential property of a thing then that thing can’t change. Whatever it can be is, because this essential characteristic of being would apply to every possible property of the thing.
The universe, even if it always existed, clearly does not have being as an essential property. Two hours ago it did not have this forum post by Ghosty, and now it does; some aspect of the universe has newly come into being.
Since the universe does not have being as an essential property we must look elsewhere for the source of being, something that is essential being. This is true even if the universe has always existed in one state or another. This is the most fundamental proof of God, and the most obvious to basic reason.
I came to believe in God before I’d ever heard of Aquinas, though I find his articulation of the fundamental philosophical proof of God to be the most articulate and robust. I’m quite happy to explore other ideas so long as they’re sound. I’m not beholden to any particular thological/philosophical framework (Aquinas was sooooooo wrong about the Immaculate Conception )