Creation Ex Nihilo, The Principle of Proportionate Causality, Seamelessness In Being From Pure Act To The Contingent And From I AM to Imago Dei
Mind Body Interaction Problem? What Interaction Problem? There cannot be any such “problem” given Being’s Superseding Ontic Over Both Material and Non-Being. Being’s Ontic Weight supersedes the Ontic Weight of both Material and Non-Being just as the Ontic Ordering of Being||Material||Non-Being finds Being necessarily Ordered Ahead-Of/Logically-Prior-To ((which is distinct from Chronologically Prior)) both Material and Non-Being. The Ontological Map as it were is of the requisite transcendentals necessarily surviving the traversal/journey from the Necessary Being ||Pure Act || I-AM || Absolute Consciousness in the Downhill Ontic into/to potentiality || contingent consciousness || i-am || imago dei
In a key sense we can say that ‘Dualism’ is ultimately ‘Monism’ because *Being*Itself* is the Root||Wellspring of the whole show. Singularity. How that unfolds is seen mostly through the Principle of Proportionate Causality but before getting to that it is worth adding relevant transcendentals that retain lucidity as we move from Creator to Created and any/all “interactions” therein. With that in mind, see the following:
(1) Causality, Pantheism, And Deism https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/12/causality-pantheism-and-deism.html
(2) The Metaphysical Middle Man https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2013/01/metaphysical-middle-man.htm
(3) Recovering The Hierarchy Of Being ~ by David Oderberg https://metachristianity.com/recovering-hierarchy-of-being-by-david-oderberg-transcript/
(4) Being’s Superseding Ontic Over Both Material and Non-Being https://metachristianity.com/beings-superseding-ontic-over-both-material-and-non-being/
(5) Creation ex Nihilo: The World Plus God is Not More Than God Alone – Eclectic Orthodoxy https://afkimel.wordpress.com/2020/02/10/creatio-ex-nihilo-the-world-plus-god-is-not-more-than-god-alone/
(6) Divine Freedom In Creating And Does God Change If He Creates? https://metachristianity.com/divine-freedom-in-creating-and-does-god-change-if-he-creates/
(7) Consciousness, Emergence, Intentionality, Searle, Reason Atop The Irrational, And Naturalism’s Egregious Deficiency https://metachristianity.com/consciousness-emergence-intentionality-searle-reason-atop-the-irrational/
Neither Dualism nor Monism — if Theistic vis-à-vis Christianity — find their respective explanatory termini in the mutable and/or the contingent. Which is to say their respective Meaning-Makers are not the Soul ((…not any *contingent mind/soul/consciousness/and so on…)). It is necessarily the case that all *definition* flows downhill, from the Necessary and into the Contingent. Therein *neither Dualism *nor Monism is “enough” vis-à-vis any explanatory terminus providing the [Necessary & Sufficient] with respect to Meaning-Maker.
Monism too faces this problem of Final Accounting vis-a-vis ANY Contingent terminus — hence the final futility of Idealism and Solipsism and the embedded Conscious Observer in the 4D Block and notice that this holds both in Monism and in Dualism ((and again Solipsism and Idealism)) vis-à-vis ANY contingent stopping-point vis-à-vis ANY supposed “metaphysical bubble” that is somehow immune to // isolated from that which Feeds All Possible Being||Fundamental-Nature(s) Into It. Whereas the Principle of Proportionate Causality finds all requisite distinctions traversing all such topography fully intact. We can say that the Necessary Being || Absolute Consciousness does “Express” but that is not “Create” and any such wording ((express rather than create)) reads more like Pantheism or Panentheism and the Reducito of stopping there is that they both find our soul/mind/consciousness/being to be *non-contingent — and in fact “Necessary” – and obviously if that is true then we do not have a God but instead we have a god. Whereas – again – the Principle of Proportionate Causality finds all requisite distinctions traversing all such topography fully intact.
E. Feser’s description of the principle of proportionate causality ((…and notice that there is a “causality” in play…not “no-thing”// “no-cause” and so on…)) is from A First Without A Second at https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/07/first-without-second.html as per the following:
“Now that which creates out of nothing is not limited by any such external factors, precisely because it is not modifying anything that already exists outside of it. But neither can it be limited by any internal potentialities analogous to the limits on a sculptor’s skill. For it is not *merely causing *a being of this or that sort to exist (though it is doing that too) – modifying preexisting materials would suffice to cause that – but also making it the case that *any *being *at *all *exists. And only that which is not *a being among others but rather *unlimited being – that which is pure actuality – can do that. The idea is perhaps best stated in Platonic terms of the sort Aquinas uses (in an Aristotelianized form) in the Fourth Way. *To *be *a *tree or *to *be *a *stone is merely to participate in “treeness” or “stoneness.” But *to *be *at *all – which is the characteristic effect of an act of creation out of nothing – is to participate in Being Itself. Now the principle of proportionate causality tells us that whatever is in an effect must be in some way in its cause. And only that which just *is Being Itself can, in this case, be a cause proportionate to the effect, since the effect is not merely *to *be *a *tree or *to *be *a *stone, but *to *be *at *all. So only God – who just is pure actuality or Being Itself rather than a being among others – can cause a thing to exist *ex *nihilo”.
BOTH on Monism ((only this Monism being described here in/by the key sense of the seamlessness of Being vis-à-vis the Principle of Proportionate Causality)) AND on Dualism we find that “The Adamic” is not an entirely physical being. Adding Form to Material does add the Immaterial in the sense that Form sums to Abstraction/Immaterial and so Hylomorphic Dualism offers us something there – BUT – notice that “Form Of Material” is not where HD stops and we know that because most Hylomorphic Dualists ALSO affirm the Immaterial Being that persists without the Body/Corporeal ((…after the death of the body… as in “Survivalism” contrary to “Corruptionism” as per https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2016/03/so-what-are-you-doing-after-your-funeral.html …)).
Notice that Ex Nihilo is NOT contrary to experience and the reason Why/How that is the case is found in the Principal of Proportionate Causality. Without the PPC we are left with “From No-Thing By No-Thing With No-Thing” regarding Being-Itself || Existence-Itself – and so on – which is both fallacious and impossible. A brief discussion/excerpt looking at that:
Non-Theist: “Ex Nihilo is something from nothing”
Christian reply: No. It isn’t. That’s the error many make. There are two possible maps here regarding what is in play as we move from Pure Act (God) down into Potentiality/Actualization/Contingency/Created Order ~ 1. Being Itself. Existence Itself. Pure Actuality. Pure Act. Proportionate Causality or else 2. Nothing. You keep saying “2”. Why? You’ve been informed its “1” and hence you’re either not willing to interface with the *Christian claims/metaphysic or else you’re merely Straw-manning/misrepresenting.
Added context on the remarkable robustness afforded to the Christian Metaphysic in and by Creation Ex Nihilo || Principle of Proportionate Causality is described in three consecutive sections titled 1. “God Is More Intimate to Created Beings than They Are to Themselves” and 2. “After Creation, There Are More Beings but No More Being” and 3. “A Note on the Distinction between Essence and Existence” – those three sections are in the book Four Ages of Understanding — The First Postmodern Survey of Philosophy from Ancient Times to the Turn of the Twenty-first Century — by John Deely
Observation: Being||Existence gives us all logical//ontological possibility IF it starts with Pure Act and proceeds through the Principle of Proportionate Causality.
That holds firm even/especially within the semantic intent behind all First-Person Experience vis-à-vis “I-AM” || “i-am” and not only that but again the Christian is afforded the intellectual right to counter objections with the following: Mind Body Interaction Problem? What Interaction Problem? There cannot be any such “problem” given Being’s Superseding Ontic Over Both Material and Non-Being. Being’s Ontic Weight supersedes the Ontic Weight of both Material and Non-Being just as the Ontic Ordering of Being||Material||Non-Being finds Being necessarily Ordered Ahead-Of/Logically-Prior-To ((which is distinct from chronologically prior to)) both Material and Non-Being.
In a key sense we can say that ‘Dualism’ is ultimately ‘Monism’ because *Being*Itself* is the Root||Wellspring of the whole show – Seamless Singularity. And, again, lest we forget out steps, how that unfolds is seen mostly through the Principle of Proportionate Causality but before getting to that it is worth adding relevant transcendentals that retain lucidity as we move from Creator to Created and any/all “interactions” therein and, so, see both Causality, Pantheism, And Deism at https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/12/causality-pantheism-and-deism.html and also The Metaphysical Middle Man at https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2013/01/metaphysical-middle-man.html
Consciousness? First Person Experience? I-AM//i-am? The Non-Theist must show how stacking up billions of layers of reality’s fundamental nature ((non-intentional/non-mind)) yields the fundamental nature of intentionality/mind and of course the key is that AT SOME POINT he faces a Death by 10K Equivocations as he moves FROM “[A]” over TO “[Non-A]”. All the Non-Theist, Theist, Christian, you/we/anyone has/haves are “metaphysical equivalents” vis-à-vis the SAME “Principal of Proportionate Causality” as it were, and, so Non-Theism gets “Emergence” as he moves from [A] to [Non-A] and that is why, at some point, all brands of Emergence force the Eliminative Maps akin to Churchland, Rosenberg, Dennett, and so on. Nature can’t break free of Nature just as Nature cannot beget fundamentally different Natures other than Nature.
Map 1 ~ Christianity: Being||Existence begetting Being||Existence from Non-Being ((or rather “traversing non-being” etc…)) vis-à-vis the Principal of Proportionate Causality finds I-AM//i-am irreducibly and seamlessly intact. All logical//ontological possibility is found because it starts with Pure Act and proceeds in the Downhill Ontic in/by Creation Ex Nihilo. The result is immediately apparent: The First-Person Experience of Self / Intentionality / “i-am” / and all such semantic intent lands in Being Itself as Absolute Consciousness Itself as Irreducible Mind Itself as Reason Itself as The Great I-AM.
Map 2 ~ Non-Theism: Four-Fundamental-Forces ((or whatever)) from Four-Fundamental-Forces ((or whatever)) in/through the same concept of “the Principal of Proportionate Causality” land within Emergence as he moves from [A] to [Non-A] and that is why ((again)) at some point, all brands of Emergence force the Eliminative Maps akin to Churchland, Rosenberg, Dennett, and so on. Nature can’t break free of Nature just as Nature cannot beget fundamentally different Natures other than Nature. Eliminative and the First-Person Experience of Self / Intentionality / ”i-am” falls into Non-Theism’s illusory ends ((See Churchland, Rosenberg, Carroll, Etc., Etc.)).
We cannot coherently map anything NOT traversing Creation Ex Nihilo ((in this Christian sense, not the fallacy of No-Thing)) because BOTH the Christian AND the Non-Theist (Etc.) must avoid slipping into No-Thing/Magic and hence BOTH must satisfy their own respective “forms of/versions of” the PPC. Whether it’s God’s Decree of “Tree” or “Intentionality” or Non-Theism’s Emergence of “Tree” or “Intentionality”. Hence the First Person Experience of “i-am” is NOT subject to Non-Theism’s array of catastrophic||eliminative termini but instead, in Christendom, the ground of our own created being – as in Person, Self, the Irreducible Singularity of “I”/Me, and so on – is discussed in numerous places in the contexts of Being Itself, the Creative Decree, Ex Nihilo, Proportionate Causality, Divine Mind, Absolute Consciousness, Pure Act, Logos, and so on. Therein the Christian Metaphysic affords us a robust and seamless explanatory power to Map all requisite Ontic-Content ((so to speak)) as we move FROM Pure-Act/I-AM and INTO/TO Contingency/i-am ((and so on)).
Brief Tangentially Related Observation Distilled Into 5 Parts:
1 of 5: Pure Act has the *Capacity* to not MERELY “Freely Chooses” and not MERELY “to create” but to freely create many ontologically and irreducibly distinct X’s ((all logical/ontological possibility)) – as in Fundamental Nature*s* – *plural*. that is what we find in the syntax of “…the metaphysical wellspring of all ontological possibility….”. This matters in two other tangentially related discussions as per the following…
2 of 5: Non-Trinitarians cannot account for this when it comes to Pure Act and Capacity and so also then when it comes to irreducible distinctions between Minds vs. Rocks vs. Ontological Possibilities. Non-Trinitarians lack the Seamless Distinctions of full-on Trinitarianism. In part that is why Aristotle (A-Metaphysics) is widened ((not reduced/lessened, but widened)) to Aristotle-Thomistic (A.T. Metaphysics).
3 of 5: Non-Theism cannot account for ANY full-on ontic/irreducible distinctions when it comes to Minds vs. Rocks given ITS OWN ((Non-Theism’s)) specific metaphysical wellspring of all ontological possibility.
4 of 5: Only the Trinitarian Map finds Pure Act with the necessary Capacity amid the necessary Seamless-Distinctions required to abort all such Reductio’s.
5 of 5: In all of that we say “the ground of x” but notice that we mustn’t “equate” every “x”, which is to say it is not the case that X = X = X and so on as we move through differing “Fundamental Natures/Qualia/Ontic-Contents” IF we are within the Christian Map. We mustn’t equate the Decree of Gravity to the Decree of Tree to the Decree of Mind to the Decree of Quarks/Etc. because if the Christian does that then the Christian leaves us with God’s ‘Decree(s)’ ending up ‘Distinctionless’ and hence ‘Contentless’ — as the Christian finds there an incoherent Pure Act that can only “Create-Full-Stop” and which CANNOT “Create A and B and C and D and E” – not really – and that would end up making God a Decreer Of Distinction-Free//Content-Free Worlds – Hard Stop.
The explanatory terminus for our being is the explanatory terminus for our ontology and therein Decree = Logos = Being Itself = God = Pure Act within that Map’s contours. When we speak of Creation Ex Nihilo we are actually speaking of an ontology of the Principal of Proportionate Causality. All contingent things in being necessarily stream from/by Pure Act [Being] in what is necessarily a Downhill Ontic Descent ((Pure Act cannot move/create “Laterally” for such is to create God, nor can Pure Act move “Uphill” for such is Reductio)). To “Reach Down” and then Pull Adam Up||Into Full Closure ((…the Perfection of whatever that being’s full decree is and so on…)) for all of that from A to Z is a Free Choice of Pure Act. Nothing is lost in either direction – not by Being-Itself in the Downhill Ontic Descent ((…Creating just is both Free & Being In Descent….)) nor by Being-Itself/Pure Act Reaching Down and Pulling X or Y or Z Up||Into Full Closure ((…the Perfection of whatever that being’s full decree is and so on…)).
Regarding Ex Nihilo we must point out that Ex Nihilo does NOT include *Non*Being*Itself* and we must also point out that we have to include “The Principle Of Proportionate Causality” as we “Map the Ontology of” all things “Adamic” as in Mankind/Conscious Observer and so on. EVERY NUANCE of “Man” will traverse that map of Ex Nihilo.
Hence Being as Volition/Intention and/or Angels and/or Immaterial Intellects and so on are all possible. The Principle of Proportionate Causality funds such (all) Creative Acts. Any claim that God can’t Create those in this Possible World yields an Immaterial God void of said PPC/Act – in short, a god. The downhill path into the Adamic is from I-AM down into i-am // Imago Dei and that path is wide open for the Christian vis-à-vis the principle of proportionate causality ((…which is different than the principle of sufficient reason…)).
Non-Theism’s “Mind/Intentionality” survives only by foisting a kind of metaphysical isolation or bubble – which is logically impossible, Notice that neither the Material Property nor the fundamental nature of the Material Property are free of the fundamental nature of the Wider (Ultimate) Reality or “Nature”. The move of X produces Y is limited only by the Principal of Proportionate Causality and Logic’s Law of Identity, whether Theist or Non-Theist and in all of that our semantic intent when we speak of Mind vs. Rock vs. Whatever must have a rational terminus — one that provides metaphysical closure. The Non-Theist has not broken free of the PPC by asserting “Emergence!” with something like “i-am” if the fundamental nature of “i-am” ultimately violates the bulldog of Logic and her demands upon Proportionate Causality and upon Identity.
Earlier the following link was provided: Creation ex Nihilo: The World Plus God is Not More Than God Alone – Eclectic Orthodoxy https://afkimel.wordpress.com/2020/02/10/creatio-ex-nihilo-the-world-plus-god-is-not-more-than-god-alone/ and here it is perhaps helpful to give a brief excerpt from that:
“The above paragraphs deserve a rereading. “The world plus God is not more than God alone. God less the world is not less than God alone”—here is the key to the logic of divine transcendence. In response to the analytic theologians and theistic personalists who think of divinity as existing alongside creatures (God plus a creature = two existents), Allen would suggest that they have not yet begun to think *God.”
Recovering The Hierarchy Of Being ~ by David Oderberg ~ https://metachristianity.com/recovering-hierarchy-of-being-by-david-oderberg-transcript/
Being’s Superseding Ontic Over Both Material and Non-Being https://metachristianity.com/beings-superseding-ontic-over-both-material-and-non-being/
Divine Freedom In Creating And Does God Change If He Creates? https://metachristianity.com/divine-freedom-in-creating-and-does-god-change-if-he-creates/
Causality, Pantheism, And Deism at https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/12/causality-pantheism-and-deism.html
The Metaphysical Middle Man at https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2013/01/metaphysical-middle-man.html
Consciousness, Emergence, Intentionality, Searle, Reason Atop The Irrational, And Naturalism’s Egregious Deficiency https://metachristianity.com/consciousness-emergence-intentionality-searle-reason-atop-the-irrational/