Ethan Rigby

Salt Lake City, UT, United States

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Philosophy (Metaphysics, Ethics), Art

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Ethan Rigby
Posted over 3 years ago
Can we prove Aristotle’s “Prime Mover”:Everything that happens is caused by something else?Then what caused the first cause?
The argument uses Cause and Effect. If there is an effect there must be a cause to this effect, and in order to avoid infinite regress, there must exist a first cause that has effected and caused everything else, otherwise there would be no other causes. If we apply this to our existence, we are simply dependent on our cause, our parents, and they were caused by their parents and so on. to help us in our understanding, lets simplify things by supposing that only one thing exists right now, A1, which was brought into existence by, A2, which died shortly after A1 came into existence. Suppose that A2 was created by A3, and A3 by A4, and so on. We will call this a causal series. At this point nothing seems wrong with there existing a causal series that could go back infinitely, not being dependent on any one uncaused cause, but only on its predecessor. A Cosmological argument, such as stated by Aristotle would say: 1.Every member of the collection of dependent beings has a cause or explanation. thus, 2. The collection of dependent beings has a cause or explanation. The argument fails to realize that for there to be an explanation of a collection of things is nothing more than for there to be an explanation of each of the things making up the collection. Since in the infinite collection of dependent beings, each being in the collection has an explanation- by having been caused by a preceding member of the collection- the explanation of the collection, so the criticism goes, has already been given. As David Hume said, 'Did i show you the particular causes of each individual in a collection of twenty particles of matter, I should think it very unreasonable, should you afterwards ask me, what was the cause of the whole twenty. This is sufficiently explained in explaining the cause of the parts.' It is certainly a mistake to think that a collection of stamps is itself a stamp, so it is a mistake to think that the collection of dependent beings, is itself a dependent being