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


Are you really insisting that I repost the entire argument without the word “teleology” in it? Because either you’re insisting on that to be tedious or you didn’t understand the point. That a fundamental particle follows a certain set of “behaviors” and not a different set of behaviors is sufficient for Aquinas’ Fifth Way. We don’t need to look at how an acorn becomes an oak tree, only how an electron is repelled by a negative charge and attracted by a positive charge, and/or other “behaviors” it has.


I’m not sure why you’re putting ‘behaviours’ in scare quotes. Do you mean something else? Because yes, an electron exhibits certain behaviours. It’s why we know it’s an electron and not something else.

If you are simply saying: ’ God makes it do that’, then so be it.


Consider the drunk driver who drives that car into the bridge that collapses into the water electrocuting the maintenance worker replacing the bridges lights. Is that the designer fault?

I’m not sure what your point is in the above. All we’re looking for in this thread is intelligence in the designer. Start a new thread to argue perfection in the designer.

That’s correct.

But that’s not correct. Our ancestors may and probably were just as intelligent as us. Progress, you see, requires the ability to pass onto subsequent generations what we learned the hard way.

Come again? Multiple theories but few facts on evolution of species. Name an aquatic creature for which we have fossils that evolved into a land animal. I believe you’ll find the rudimentary structures for legs and wings.


Spare me. You’re better than that.


Some people woupd object to the use of words such as behavior as it implies that the electron itself is choosing or exercising a consciousness or will of some sort. I am simply trying to be clear (over multiple posts) that I am not claiming the electron has a consciousness.

“God makes it do that” (directly or indirectly) is a rather simplified way of stating the conclusion of the Fifth Way. The argument does not assume that. The argument is that, lacking any intelligence or will or conciousness, a particle cannot direct itself toward any set of behavior.

Perhaps, and to make it more clear let’s consider a water molecule, the cause of a water molecule’s direction isn’t some type of immediate intelligence, but is determined/caused by the oxygen and hyrdrogen molecules that make it up. However, the oxygen molecule can’t direct/cause itself to exhibit certain behaviors either, but perhaps that’s just reducible to it being determined by the protons, neutrons, and elctrons that comprise it. However, the proton has no way to determine itself to a certain set of behaviora, but maybe that’s just caused by the up and down quarks that make it up. However…

The chain could be finite, infinite, or circular, the causal power of all the members (and any members which are made up of parts, or contingent, or have a potential being actualized) is all derivative, none of the members examined have the ability to determine themselves, and at some level the causal power must be imparted to it by something that itself doesn’t need to be caused.


I think Aquinas’ Fifth Way is one of the more difficult ones to track as a stand alone argument (though not impossible). However, it becomes more potent, particularly as an argument for the First Cause being intelligent, when paired with a more conventional cosmological argument.


Point 1: If the driver was sober and the car was at fault, the designer gets the blame.

Point 2: You’ve been arguing that the design is perfect. It is a long way from that. If a designer (who is omnipotent and omniscient) turns out a bad design, then it is either intentional or he is not very smart.

Point 3: If I write a programme that filters infra red information from a telescope that I built that can see further than I can so we can view things that are invisible to the human eye, then…that should do it.

Point 4: Your ancestors were apes. And before that little mammals that scurried around in the undegrowth. And before that lived in the ocean. And before that…oh, I can’t be bothered going back any further. They were all less intelligent than you.

Point 5: And those aquatic creatures didn’t have fingers or legs or lungs or feathers or venom or vocal chords or…oh, I’ve lost interest again.


Yes, I have been looking at the 5th way. I think it’s an important argument, but difficult for the lay-person to understand since you would have to comprehend and accept the idea of final-causes and the esse/essence distinction… So i like to focus on the idea of something being necessary or unnecessary as that is much easier for people to grasp. Debating metaphysics in the way that Aquinas presents it is a long process and so I’d rather avoid it altogether.

The OP seeks to explain why unnecessary things exist since only that which is existentially-necessary ought to exist…

I am assuming you are addressing the argument in the OP. Sure, it is not Aquinas’s argument, but the first argument does remove any possibility of a “natural cause” insomuch as it removes the possibility that physical activity is a natural result of what is intrinsic to the nature of the first cause. That being the case, the only possibility left is the idea that physical reality is an artificial construct since it’s existence is not natural or necessary…

The second argument is certainly not the fine-tuning argument. I basically argue that the laws of physics is not a necessary function of fundamental reality, thus the fact that any contingent or unnecessary being acts in a particular way or to a particular end has to be due to an intelligent cause. Otherwise there is no reason why physical things ought to act or behave in any particular way.

Both arguments eliminate the possibility that physical reality and it’s laws are necessarily real or is a natural expression of that which is necessarily real. In so doing i have removed all natural possibilities or causes as being the explanation for why unnecessary things exist.


So, Mary did not give birth to Jesus’s body after all. Thank you for clearing up that theological point.

Where did Jesus’ beard come from? Babies don’t have beards. Is Jesus’ beard eternal or not? The world needs to know. :slight_smile:



If the driver, who is free to do so, modifies the car’s original design and suffers as a result then he cannot blame the designer.

No. I have not argued so. I respond only to the OP question for only arguments that the first cause be necessarily intelligent. You and others have rebutted with, "Well OK, but wait it’s not perfect!

No, it does not do it at all. What effect (a simulated image?) do you claim that is not actual or potential in one or more of the causes you listed?

All imagination with no facts, no missing links, no evidence at all to back up the fantasy. My (our) ancestors were all human. The apes of today live lives exactly the same as their ancestors over the millenia.

I guess that means you can’t come up with a fossil of your imaginary aquatic creature? A+ on imagination, F on facts in support.


Imagine eternity, I’ll wait. Are you there yet? If you answer, “Yes” then you’re not in eternity. Get it. In eternity the past, like the future, is present to the mind.


Hell? Been there; done that (many times).

Heaven? Been there; done that (many times).

The Argumentum ad Baculum does not work on me since I am Buddhist. I have lived and died many many times already. I know what comes after death: birth comes after death in almost all cases, including my next death.



OK, then perhaps you could help one of the other posters on this thread. Do you remember whether or not in your first life if you were a really good swimmer or just a good tree climber?:fish::monkey:


Do you know any women who have redesigned their child bearing equipment?

And I’m not sure you know enough about evolution to make any further discussions about the other points worthwhile.


What does Hell feel like?


Do you think that intelligence can come from non-intelligence? Or that a fully functional 747 can come from a tornado going through a junk yard? If you think your intelligence comes from random chance then how can you trust it to come up with any meaningful conclusions?


Do you know any dumb rocks that evolved to reproduce?

Cop out? I know enough to separate fantasy from fact. Do you have any facts?


In my next life, I’m coming back as the Old Colonel. :sunglasses:


Erm… Shouldn’t that be “The Older Colonel”? :slight_smile:



Ooooo!!! There’s the crux of the problem for me right there…you believe that you’re the product of an intelligent designer, so how can I possibly trust that you’ll come up with any meaningful conclusions? From what I’ve gathered so far, your ability to discern truth from fantasy isn’t all that reliable.

Since time immemorial the world has been full of people with claims of divine revelation that have thus far come to naught, why should I believe that your claims are any different?

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