Why infinite regress is impossible?


I already searched the forum and google it.


Because there is no such thing as an actually infinite number of something. There is not an amount, quantity, or number of things, that can add up to an infinite because an infinite is quantitatively indefinable. There is no exact amount that can define a point were you actually have an infinite number of something and so the idea is meaningless.Thus if there were an infinite regress, this would be a contradiction because you would have an actually infinite number in the past; and so it’s impossible. There is only ever the potentially infinite number.


Infinite regress is impossible because infinity is an irrational term when appled to a finite universe. Infinity simply doesn’t exist for a finite universe.


From this article, which I just found by Googling “why is an infinite regress impossible?”…


This podcast may help you


Zeno’s paradox shows you can have an infinite number of steps (each one becoming smaller than the previous) in a finite interval.


I’m not familiar with Zeno’s paradox.


There are things as actual number of things. Think of universe. It is infinite otherwise it is bounded with by a boundary and that boundary is bounded by… etc. which this leads to infinite regress.

You are just proving that infinity cannot be reached which this is different from that infinity does not exist.


I think an actually infinite number is meaningless because there is no actual quantity that can be said to be infinite. It’s indefinable.There is always a finite amount no matter how large the quantity or how many numbers you add. Only a potentially infinite number exists…

But if you agree that i have proven that an infinity cannot be reached, then you must agree that we couldn’t possibly have reached an infinite number of events in actual reality, so what sense does it make to say there is an actually infinite past? If an infinite number cannot be achieved i fail to see how an infinite regress could actually be achieved.


I don’t agree with the bold part.

I don’t agree with this part either. There is no sufficient reason in an infinite chain of causality and there is no need for it so it is meaningless to argue based on it.


Sorry, I have to correct myself. An infinity cannot be reached by finite number of entities. A+A+A+A…<infinity if the number of A is finite otherwise you can catch infinity.


Sorry, but that really didn’t help.


But there is no otherwise. To speak of an an actually infinite quantity or number is to speak of something that is made of finite parts or irreducible points that add up to an actual infinite. To argue for an infinite regress of events, you are by definition arguing for an an actually infinite number of a finite amount. and since finite amounts cannot possibly add up to a point that can be defined as actually infinite it is meaningless to speak of an infinite regress because the addition of numbers only ever allows a potential infinite; never an actual infinite.

An infinite regress is impossible.


From a Thomist perspective, an infinite regress of secondary causes is possible. As others in this thread have mentioned with Zeno’s Paradox, we don’t have to look far to find an infinite series of causes. There’s an infinite number of infinitely small discrete steps within a finite period of time, thus implying infinite series of secondary causes within that same finite amount of time. Beyond that, the causal chain could loop back on itself or do all kinds of wonky stuff, too. But it still stands that the infinite causal chain must have a first cause.

Imagine a simple situation in which there exists a first cause and one intermediate cause. If we remove the first cause, of course, the situation is invalid. Now we add more intermediate causes and after each one if we try to remove the first cause the series becomes invalid. Continue adding intermediate causes, and there is still an invalid causal series if the first cause is removed after each intermediate is added to the chain ad infinitum.


We could have infinite intermediate causes, so there is no need for first cause.


Why infinite sum of things is impossible? Think of Zeno’s paradox.


The idea that you can have a potentially infinite series of halves is not the same thing as arguing for an actually infinite regress of events.


You can have actual infinity. Think of 1/x where we gradually go toward x=0.


To halve something a potentially infinite amount of times is not the same thing as saying that you have an actually infinite amount of something.


Is it possible to reach from 1 to zero? If yes then 1/x is an actual infinity.

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