Why you should think that the First-Cause has to be an Intelligent Cause


#1

There are two reasons to think that the uncaused-cause is intelligent or has a will to create.

  1. A being or nature that is existentially necessary cannot be anything other than what it necessarily is since what it is is necessary. Anything that potentially exists is unnecessary and therefore cannot be considered to be an intrinsic part of that which is existentially-necessary. The first cause has to be existentially-necessary in order for unnecessary things to exist. But only that which is existentially-necessary ought to exist. That which is necessary is not potentially a sequence of physical events (it is not in a state of becoming something else) and thus the universe cannot be considered it’s natural end. Once an existentially-unnecessary thing exists it has to be sustained in existence because it doesn’t necessarily exist of it’s own accord or because of it’s own nature.Therefore if things exist other than what is existentially-necessary only an intellect and will can be considered to be it’s cause and sustenance, since there is no other reason for existentially-unnecessary things to exist.

  2. The laws of physics is not necessary and physical laws only apply to physical natures. Physical laws do not exist outside the existence of physical things. Physical laws is just a description of regularities in physical things. Thus the reason why physical things behave the way they do can only be attributed to an intelligent cause, a being who has designed the rules of how physical things behave. Otherwise there is no logical reason as to why physical things must behave the way they do once they exist since none of it is existentially-necessary.


#2

There are two major philosophical problems with “the cause of all things”.

First, nothing can cause itself, so there is no “cause of all things”. At best there can only be a “cause of all things except itself”.

Second, causation requires that the cause exists before the effect. That “before” requires the existence of time, otherwise “before” is a meaningless concept.

Hence, at best we can only consider a “cause of all things except itself and time”.

If you also require your initial cause to be intelligent, then you need to further modify the statement to: “the cause of all things except itself and time and intelligence”.

rossum


#3

True, but i never intended to mean that all things included the first cause or that all things is everything that has an act of reality. I mean anything that is not the first cause.
However, i have amended that statement to avoid further confusion.

Temporal events require that the cause comes “before” the effect. But if the cause is not physical and therefore not temporal such rules don’t apply. In fact the existence of the first cause can exist simultaneously with the first temporal event and be its cause at the same time…

What ever the case may be, a first cause is logically necessary. So it is only qeustion of what the nature of that cause would have to be. The idea that one necessarily requires time in order to be a cause is simply not true and certainly hasn’t been demonstrated as such…


#4

I disagree. God is not physical, yet the parting of the waters for Moses was a temporal event. God existed before the parting of the waters, so all the standard rules apply.

Either a first cause or an eternal universe. If we define the universe as “all that exists”, then the universe is eternal since the Abrahamic God is both eternal and exists.

Have to? That depends on what definition of “universe” you are using. On one hypothesis the material universe was caused by the multiverse. The multiverse lacks many of the properties assigned to the Abrahamic God, including intelligence, as in your title.

rossum


#5

If God is not physical, then physical rules don’t apply.

Or you could just address the argument in the OP and we can go from there.

A multiverse still requires a cause. It’s irrelevant how many universes there are…


#6

Easy, once you get to the conclusion there caan only be one necessary and absolutely simple Being you infer that such Being has the action of causing all else, now it’s impossible that this is done by some outside force for a force is interaction, and there’s nothing else at the same level of simplicity to interact with, therefore, it cannot be by force that this Being causes all else, by what then? If not by will i.e the action is decided by Itself


#7

Why does the multiverse require a cause? Where is your evidence that the multiverse had a beginning? As with the Kalaam argument, only things with a beginning need a cause, a beginningless multiverse needs no cause, just as a beginningless God needs no cause.

I am not talking about different universes (though there may be more than one material STEM universe), I am talking about different definitions of the word “universe”. In philosophical discussions I often find it useful to consider the “All That Exists” (ATE) definition of ‘universe’. The ATE universe obviously cannot have an existing external cause.

rossum


#8

I’m not making the Kalaam cosmological argument, and neither am i interested in defending it.

Any sequence of change involves the actualization of potential, it has potential states. Anything that is only potentially realized is not existentially-necessary. Only that which is existentially-necessary ought to exist, and that which is existentially-necessary exists in it’s entirety. It is fully-actual. It is not partially actual. It is not in a continuous state of becoming. That which is in a continuous state of becoming is not existentially necessary. In other-words i identify change as evidence that the universe or multiverse or physical reality in general is not fundamental-reality. It’'s existence is not due to it’s own being or nature because it does not bare the attributes of that which is existentially-necessary…

Arguing for something like an infinite regress of change or physical processes, while such an idea (a flawed concept to say the least) removes the need for a beginning, It does not mean that it’s existence is necessary; it does not follow that it exists because of it’s own nature…

But you end up with a circular argument because you don’t know that the physical universe is all that exists. You have no justification for that definition. At best you can say “APT” - all physical things. That would be a more honest approach to the subject matter…


#9

Then the “All That Exists” universe must necessarily exist, and the ATE universe needs no cause, by your own argument.

I am Buddhist, so I believe that the material (STEM) universe is not all that exists. Hence the necessity of differentiating the STEM universe from the ATE universe. They are different, hence it is necessary to be precise about which universe you are referring to in order to avoid the error of equivocation.

rossum


#10

Caveat: As a perpetual over-thinker, I know that many tend to over-philosophize on matters of the immaterial. And most of those matters are indeed immaterial. But, how could a stupid first cause create the beauty and complementarity of life on this earth? How could a stupid first cause make a self-sustaining world? How could a stupid first cause create love?

And finally, how could a stupid first cause envision, let alone create the human being? Just our immune systems are so incredibly complex and wonderful that it takes a bevy of super computers to crunch the numbers which study only the defects in our immune systems and not the trillions of communications occurring each second.

The list goes on, but we think and talk much while praying and doing little. We seek knowledge while ignoring wisdom. We seek understanding when we need trust.


#11

Physical reality realizes potential. It has unrealized potential. Possible states become actual states. It has emergent properties. A reality that is existentially necessary has no unrealized aspects of it’s being because everything that it is is necessarily actual. No part of it is unnecessary. Thus physical reality cannot be thought of as being existentially-necessary or fundamental-reality.

Just because you are a Buddhist does not mean i have to accept your definition of what a universe is.


#12

Just because you are a Christian does not mean I have to accept your definition of what a God is.

rossum


#13

This point has come up recently on another thread so I’ll introduce it here.

Have you seen an animal give birth? Pretty straightforward. Nice and easy. Hardly any problems. Now compare that to this wonderfully designed human being. Forget about modern hospitals and treatment. Back in the Middle Ages and beyond, you were literally taking a chance with your life having a baby. The low figure for female mortality is about 30%. The high around 50%.

If the female body was designed then having a baby was pretty low on the list of things to consider. And seeing as it’s required just to propogate the species, then something went seriously wrong when they produced the working drawings.

Designed? Don’t make me laugh…


#14

Form follows function. If the function of the design is to reproduce then measure the goodness of the design based on its ability to reproduce.

Human population in1000 AD. - 345,000,000 (high estimate).
Human population in 2010 AD. - 6,868,000,000.

Looks like that design (20 fold increase) is working pretty good. Therefore, it must be a good design.


#15

So if a very conservative estimate says that a quarter of women died from childbirth in that time (and a much greater proportion of babies) then you are putting that down as great design.

‘Hey, 15 women died in childbirth in the maternity ward last week’
‘Yeah, but we had twenty succesful births. Let’s face it, we’re well ahead of the curve here’.
‘Great work. Keep it up.’


#16

Cynical! Did it work in your case, or not?

Hint: we are not created for this world.

Alluding to: another world.

If you do not believe in that, the problem is strictly yours, my friend.


#17

If the female body was designed to get as many women and their children out of this world as soon as possible, then gee, I guess you have a point.

But I mean, really. Is that your best response? Because there’s an after life bad design doesn’t matter? Well, I guess it has to be. There is no other explanation.


#18

One way to reason to God’s intelligence and omniscience is by the principle of proportionate causality (PPC). What is present in an effect must be present in the total cause (all sets of factors) that brought it about. As an illustration, suppose I give you twenty dollars. The effect is you having twenty dollars. In order to do so, I must have the causal power to bring about that state of affairs.

What will come to mind first for most people is having this causal power formally. If I have twenty dollars in my wallet, I can give you it in cash. I have the form of having $20, and I give you the form of having $20. Another way the effect can be in the cause is virtually. I might not have $20 on hand, but I may have $20 in the bank. By writing you a check, the total set of causal factors (me and the bank) can bring about the effect of you having $20. The final way the effect can be in the cause is eminently. Maybe I don’t have $20, but I have legitimate access to a federal reserve printing press and can have a $20 printed specifically for you. In this way, through myself and the printing press, I have the power to bring about the effect eminently.

Suppose, for the purposes of this discussion, we’ve already reasoned that the First Cause is not made of matter, is eternal, doesn’t occupy space, is one, and is metaphysically simple (without physical or metaphysical parts) (many people hesitantly accept that there is a first cause after a cosmological argument has been made, at least for the purposes of discussion, but then object to this being intelligent, so that’s where I’m starting from). Suppose also we know the First Cause is the cause of all things other than itself. We know that the effects (all things of Creation) must be in the first cause by the PPC. That they are in the cause formally is ruled out by virtue of it not being material, not occupying space, being one, and being simple. It therefore can’t be composed of millions of different actual trees and human beings and atoms. We also know it can’t be eminently, because it’s not by authority over things other than itself that allows it to create. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be the first cause but would suppose things that exist other than itself and uncaused by it. The only other option is virtually. That is, the causal power for all things that have been caused and can be caused exist virtually in it. Furthermore, all possible relationships between things exist virtually in it, all possible propositions, etc… But this is most closely analogous with the way concepts and relationships between concepts exist as thoughts in a mind, as knowledge. Therefore, God is something analogous to a mind or an intelligence that has (or is) knowledge. And if it knows all relationships between things that have been, are, or can be, it is what we call omniscient.

I’m posting from my phone as a passanger in a car, and have just about reached my destination. I wish I could expand on some parts more. Take care, all.


#19

You probably do not believe in God, or in the fall from grace, correct?


#20

So what? An exact estimate says that all the women of that time have died.

Does form follows function? You argued so previously.

The numbers clearly show the Designer has “having a baby” higher on His list than you think.


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