Platonism and Be-ing and Do-ing and Pure Act and Counterfactuals and Moral Facts and The Necessary Universe

PLATONISM? Moral Facts Through All Counterfactuals? Can The Universe Be The Necessary Being? 

If Abstract Objects exist how are we (as causal agents) obligated with respect to those (non-causal) Abstract Objects? If the Abstract Objects in question are only Immutable Self-Existing Abstract Objects but are Casually Inert such that they do NOT cause to “be” or “happen” various beings and various events ((and so on)) and/or they are NOT Intentional|Volitional, then again how are we as intentional|volitional causal agents obligated with respect to those (non-causal) Abstract Objects?

If the Objects ARE not ONLY Abstract but ALSO Causal, Intentional, Volitional, and so on such that they cause to “be”|“happen” various beings|events ((and so on)) then which Abstract Object is the Metaphysical Fountainhead of the other Abstract Objects? Also, and this is key, how would any of THAT state of affairs ((A)) end up as NON-Theism and/or ((B)) how is it NOT Polytheism?

Just as bad ((…discussed further down…)) is the problem of Casually Inert Immutable Self-Existing Abstract Objects juxtaposed to and/or amalgamated with the existence of all that is not “Them/That” such as Worlds and our own Contingent Minds and so on ((…discussed further down…)).

“[Erik] Wielenberg on Moral Realism and Theism” has 3 parts. In “Part 3 — Mysterious Floating Values” (linked below) it seems to end in Brute Fact. First of all, even IF we grant Platonism, the problems described earlier remain unaddressed. The linked essay on Wielenberg wrongly equates both Platonism and [God] to Brute Fact and leaves out the element of the Self-Explanatory vis-à-vis Being. Edward Feser and others are easily accessible and comment on what Brute Fact actually entails and why reality’s rock-bottom|self-explanatory terminus isn’t a Brute Fact vis-à-vis the Christian Metaphysic.

Additionally we find that [The Necessary Being] & [The Necessary Universe] are two radically different statements. Further, it seems that for Wielenberg it is the case that Abstract Objects v. Platonism DO in the end FAIL to rise above the level of Brute Facts. Here’s the link to part three: https://philosophicaldisquisitions.blogspot.com/2010/05/wielenberg-on-moral-realism-and-theism_8454.html

A telling quote from Erik Wielenberg is from God vs. ‘Just Because’: Two Explanations for Objective Morality ((…see https://strangenotions.com/god-vs-just-because-two-explanations-for-objective-morality/ …))

Begin Quote:

Given that these laws exist, why do they exist? Steven quotes Erik Wielenberg, who treats these laws as an effect without a cause:

“Such facts are the foundation of (the rest of) objective morality and rest on no foundation themselves. To ask of such facts, “where do they come from?” or “on what foundation do they rest?” is misguided in much the way that, according to many theists, it is misguided to ask of God, “where does He come from?” or “on what foundation does He rest”? The answer is the same in both cases: They come from nowhere, and nothing external to themselves grounds their existence; rather, they are fundamental features of the universe that ground other truths.”

This is not an answer. It’s a shrug of the shoulders and a “Just because.”

That’s not the case in the Christian answer that God is uncaused. We argue that God must exist, since you cannot just have an infinite series of conditional and created beings. For example, St. Thomas Aquinas’ Third Way proves the existence of a Being (who we call God) who must exist necessarily, and who relies only upon Himself for His Being. Without Him, there couldn’t be a universe. We don’t assume that God must exist: we show that He must.

Further, this conclusion makes sense. After all, God is Subsistent Being (ipsum esse subsistens). Being could no more not-be than non-being could be. Asking who caused the Uncaused Cause is contradictory, and it makes sense to say that a necessarily-existing Being necessarily exists.

That’s quite different when we’re dealing with moral principles: there’s no apparent reason or explanation why we would assume that they’re uncaused (other than the alternative requires God).

And asking who or what causes these truths isn’t contradictory. On the contrary, it’s a question that……”

End quote.

  1. Highlights From Debate with Erik Wielenberg. Part One https://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/reasonable-faith-podcast/highlights-from-debate-with-erik-wielenberg.-part-one/
  2. Highlights From Debate with Erik Wielenberg. Part Two https://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/reasonable-faith-podcast/highlights-from-debate-with-erik-wielenberg.-part-two/

Platonism & Moral Fact & Rule-Setting?

As a segue into the problem of Moral Facts & Rule-Setting it will be helpful to delineate a few more concepts related to Platonism’s Problem of Causal Inertness. As per the following

Begin Quote/Excerpt:

On the basis of the examples thus far considered, one might be tempted to think that the distinction between the concrete and the abstract is the same as between the material and the immaterial. But a moment’s reflection shows that that cannot be correct. For if immaterial agents like souls or angels exist, they would indisputably fall in the class of concrete, not abstract, objects. Everyone recognizes that there is a world of difference between such causally active agents and things like numbers, propositions, and possible worlds. So even if, as it seems, all abstract objects are immaterial, not all immaterial objects are abstract. There could be objects which are both concrete and immaterial, so that the abstract/ concrete distinction cannot be equated with the immaterial/ material distinction.

One might then think that concrete objects, whether material or immaterial, are all spatiotemporal objects, while abstract objects are without exception non-spatiotemporal objects, that is, objects which transcend space and time. Is that how the distinction between abstract and concrete ought to be drawn? Again, the answer is, no. For God, if He exists, is plausibly thought to exist beyond space and time (at least sans the universe), being the free Creator of space and time. Yet, as a causal agent who has created the world, God would be a paradigmatic concrete object…..”

[…note that physics is converging here as the growing majority of physicists affirm Eternalism over Presentism, which is to say that Space-Time is emergent – as in Time and Space are not ontologically basic ((not ontologically irreducible)) and while neither Presentism nor Eternalism present a problem to the Christian Metaphysic, both put of stubborn walls for any Non-Theistic climbers…]

“…Perhaps here we have a clue as to how the distinction between abstract and concrete objects is best drawn. It is very widely held among philosophers that abstract objects, in contrast to concrete objects, are causally impotent and so are not related to other objects as causes to effects. Moreover, their causal impotence seems to be an essential feature of abstract objects. The number 2, for example, does not just happen to be causally effete. It seems inconceivable that 2 could possess causal powers. Abstract objects’ causal impotence entails that they are immaterial, for if they were material objects, they would exist in time and space and so could come into contact with other things, thereby affecting those things. No wonder, then, that some thinkers have too hastily concluded that the abstract/ concrete distinction just is the immaterial/ material distinction! Perhaps the reason abstract objects are causally effete is precisely because they are neither material objects nor personal agents. Be that as it may, the criterion of essential causal impotence seems to delineate effectively abstract from concrete objects…..

If asked to explain why the dog is brown, the anti-realist can offer a perfectly plausible and, I think, adequate scientific explanation in terms of the dog’s absorbing and reflecting various wavelengths of light, and so forth. By contrast, it does nothing at all to explain why the dog is brown to say that the dog has the property of brownness. Indeed, how does standing in a mysterious relation to a non-spatial, causally unconnected, abstract object make an otherwise colorless dog brown? It seems that Platonism has no explanatory advantage over anti-realism. It is therefore little wonder that, in the words of the philosopher of mathematics Mark Balaguer, ‘The One Over Many argument is now widely considered to be a bad argument.

End Quote/Excerpt ((…from “God Over All: Divine Aseity and the Challenge of Platonism”…))

Quote/Excerpt:

“….consider their response to the concern of many Nominalists that it is hard to see how we could have knowledge of all these abstracta beyond time and space, causally cut off from us.  The Nominalist will want to know how we can have genuine knowledge of a realm of objects existing in such splendid isolation.  Burgess and Rosen’s response is to compare mathematical knowledge with perceptual knowledge.  We do not know how to show that our perceptual beliefs are true.  Nevertheless, we take them for granted until we are given some sort of positive reason to doubt them.  Similarly, the Platonist may simply reject the Nominalist demand that our basic mathematical assumptions require some sort of positive defense.

There are a number of problems with this analogy.  First, as Plantinga has emphasized, beliefs which are properly basic need to be grounded in some way. Our perceptual beliefs are grounded in the appearances of things to us.  But in the case of mathematical objects it is their causal inertness that precludes any experience of such objects.  Any sort of appearance of such objects must be akin to a hallucination.  The Platonist might say that while we have no appearances of such entities, nevertheless there is the appearance of self-evidence of the existence axioms of mathematics, which entails their existence… But the difficulty with this response is not merely that the existence axioms of set theory are generally regarded as not self-evident (one reason for the failure of Logicism), but more importantly — and this leads to the second problem — it is far from self-evident that the truth of the existence axioms implies the existence of mathematical objects.  Burgess and Rosen respond to Yablo’s Figuralism by saying,

“Certainly in all clear cases of figurative language — and it is worth stressing that the boundary between figurative and literal is as fuzzy as can be — the non-literal character of the linguistic performance will be perfectly obvious as soon as the speaker is forced to turn attention to the question of whether the remark was meant literally. We further submit that mathematical discourse fails this test for non-literalness.”

One is tempted to ask….. if the self-evidence of existence axioms and their derivations is to ground the proper basicality of belief in mathematical objects, then it must be obvious that “There are infinitely many primes” is meant to be taken literally.  Thirdly, in the case of belief in mathematical objects, we have what we do not in general have for perceptual beliefs, namely, a putative undercutting defeater of the belief.  Were we given good reason to believe, say, that we have been dreaming or insane or hallucinating, then our previous perceptual beliefs would no longer be properly basic for us. Fortunately, we have in general no such defeater for our present perceptual judgements.  But in the case of mathematical objects, it is precisely their causal isolation which does constitute a putative undercutting defeater of those beliefs.  What is wanted now from the Platonist is a defeater-defeater; it is insufficient to re-assert the proper basicality of existence axioms.  Finally, although Plantinga defends the proper basicality and a priori knowledge of mathematical truths, he does so only on the basis of a rejection of Platonism in favor of a thorough-going Conceptualism, according to which no abstract objects exist.

Whatever we make of the epistemological objection to Platonism, Burgess and Rosen have not shown that there is no philosophical (or theological) argument powerful enough to warrant skepticism about mathematical objects despite their putative acceptability on mathematical and scientific standards….”

End Quote/Excerpts ((…from https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/scholarly-writings/divine-aseity/god-and-abstract-objects-2018/))

In short, we have warranted skepticism against Platonism. Hence Dr. Craig concludes with the following:

“I conclude that the challenge posed by Platonism to the doctrine of divine aseity can be met successfully. The doctrine that God is the sole ultimate reality is eminently reasonable. We may affirm without hesitation or mental reservation Paul’s doxology: ‘God who is over all be blessed for ever. Amen’ (Rom. 9: 5).” ((…from “God Over All: Divine Aseity and the Challenge of Platonism”….))

It seems Platonism forces all Contingent Minds into either another form of Eliminativism or else into a metaphysical armistice in which they too – along with Abstract Objects – are Uncreated Brute Facts – or something along that break-point vis-à-vis the Causally Inert Abstract Objects.

Let’s now contineu with Platonism & Moral Fact & Rule-Setting?

Twitter’s @robertdryer makes the interesting observation about the logically prior ((…in the discussion he is simply offering possible Hypotheticals / What-If’s and is not arguing for Platonism…)). He states that Abstract Math ((Etc.)) in Platonism may exist ((he offers a hypothetical/question)) and so, well, OK let’s say we grant Platonism but in order for us to (verb) abstract any numbers one must FIRST be able to apply (verb) rules in order to then SECONDLY access (verb) any Platonic system of numbers. Something must apply the rules of mathematics and something must actually access the abstractions. Notice that neither the verb of APPLY nor the verb of ACCESS is logically or necessarily prior the other verb IF both are contingent & mutable. Why? Well because the rules of the Rule-Setter ((our own contingent minds)) and the Rule-Doer itself  ((our own contingent minds)) can be forced onto the other by either side — by either mutable and contingent “terminus” – as neither is logically or necessarily prior to the other and each is contingent & mutable and each is therefore metaphysically free to Lead/Follow/Change. We reach a metaphysical armistice of ontological equals in Rule-Setting & Rule-Doing and seem to forfeit teleology despite Abstractions In The Sky. Axioms arrive and with it the Münchhausen Trilemma.

Axioms arrive and with it the Münchhausen Trilemma…

So IF Platonism is granted THEN the rules have a causally inert set of numbers in that the Abstract Objects “are” but they don’t “do” and all of that is just sitting there and — so — the Rule Setter||Rule-Doer is now // are now me and you — the mutable and contingent. There is no Setting nor Doing but that which is set by the mutable & contingent — the [we do] and — thereby — the irreducible nature of our actual Verb-ing/Reason-ing/Think-ing is now either Non-Causal or else some New/Other Brute-Fact ((in addition to the Abstract Objects)) for there was no Intentionality nor Volition logically & necessarily present anywhere ever — and — so — as we are ((supposedly)) Verb-ing/Reason-ing/Think-ing our way towards the Fountainhead|Source of our very Being we discover that said Do-Ing & said Intentional-Ing & said Volitional-Ing eventually collapses into incoherence or else the aforementioned New/Other Brute-Fact ((in addition to the Abstract Objects)).

Is this really nothing more than full-on Emergentism? Well perhaps not quite but if it does reduce to that then we’ve forced another narrative of full-on Eliminativism. An excerpt from a brief discussion alludes to that….

Begin Excerpt:

It seems Platonism forces all contingent minds into either another form of Eliminativism or else into a metaphysical armistice in which they too – along with Abstract Objects – are Uncreated Brute Facts – or something along that break-point vis-à-vis the Causally Inert Abstract Objects.

Question posed in thread: Is the problem that Brute Facts have a lack of explanation i.e. Sufficient Reason?

Brute Fact has several problems but one of the interesting metaphysical collapses which we traverse isn’t the forfeit of PSR ((there is that)) but something more along the lines of what we forfeit when we embrace the elimination of Mind. Eliminativism doesn’t collapse into Reductio specifically via the PSR — but because it can never retain Mind without horrific equivocation ((Etc.Etc.)). It is so catastrophic that even the term Illusion is gutted of all coherence — which it cannot *even *in *principle retain. So, keeping the PSR *out *of *the *picture for now & looking at Eliminativism, what comes into focus is the converging of 1. Eliminativism’s “Not Intelligible Even In Principle” and 2. Brute Fact’s “Not Intelligible Even In Principle”. The bulldog of the Law of Identity arrives.

The full on metaphysical collapse is [Identical] in both at the far end — where all [Metaphysical] [Products] converge and give the same [Metaphysical] [Yield/Content] — namely [Not Intelligible Even In Principal]. We tend to think of Eliminativism’s “set” of “problems” with respect to Intentionality//Mind vis-à-vis “i” vis-a-vis “i-am” vis-a-vis Intentionality vis-a-vis I-Reason vis-a-vis I-Think vis-a-vis I-Exist vis-a-vis the Contingent “i-am” forever in need of the Irreducible I-AM as somehow “only eliminativism’s collapse” but it becomes obvious that the Yield/Fruit of Eliminativism achieves Metaphysical Identity with the Yield/Fruit of Brue Fact. Then, from there, we can add the usual/other problems related to the PSR and other segues Etc. Etc.

End Excerpt. 

Another problem: Not only can we have no coherent Do-Ing amid Be-Ing vis-à-vis Verb-ing but, also, and just as bad, it is the case that Meaning ((rule setting)) cannot flow FROM the contingent & mutable ((contingent minds)) INTO the Necessary ((Platonism’s Causally Inert Numbers)).

So now what?

Well so then the Absolute Mind vis-à-vis Absolute Consciousness forfeits nothing with respect to Do-Ing|Be-Ing, and retains all while that false direction of rule-setting||doing is left behind even as Do-Ing amid Be-Ing is rationally affirmed and is also found ontologically prior to and logically prior to our own Do-Ing//Be-Ing. How is everything retained? Well that becomes obvious now as conceptually all aforementioned semantic intent lands within the express topography of Pure Act as the only coherent Be-Ing((Setting))||Do-Ing((Procession/Logos/Communique)). The odd part of Platonism is that all such abstract objects are causally inert. They “exist” but are void of “Act” — whereas — Pure Act ((…Thomistic brands etc…)) provides the Whole-Show and does so seamlessly. David B. Hart speaks of the Divine Mind housing “The Infinitely Known & The Infinite Knower”. Uncanny.

Platonism fails in other ways too and when we come to specifically Moral Facts we find the following:

One’s own “motion in being” ((so to speak)) a. ultimately converges with or else b. ultimately runs against the Objective or Irreducible Grain of reality — whatever that is. If Reason as Truth-Finder is not obligated “there” with respect to love then Hume wins and Non-Theism fails to afford us an ontology for Moral Realism.  All vectors short of love vis-à-vis Reciprocity vis-a-vis Being as Self-Giving vis-à-vis the meta-ontological question: “…what determines one’s ontological commitments…?” actually fail to obligate Reason in her role as Truth-Finder. This is one of the many reasons why the many capricious Greek gods/termini come up short.

Abstract Objects reach further – yes – but there’s a problem if one means to tell Reason that reality’s rock-bottom is — qua Truth — Love vis-à-vis Timeless Reciprocity vis-à-vis Ceaseless Self-Giving vis-à-vis Being in totum. Reality’s “concrete furniture” as some physicists like to put it.

For another thing — Reason *as* Reason finds her obligation in seeking/chasing that Irreducible Grain ((whatever it is)). But Hume got it right and set Reason free because the term “morally un-reasonable” collapses once we realize that ((on Non-Theism)) Reason never can find said Concrete Furniture vis-à-vis Reality offering her Being *as* Irreducible Self-Giving.

There is only one Metanarrative infused into the consciousness of Mankind wherein Being Itself *as* Self-Giving just is Reason’s final satisfaction. All Progressions vis-à-vis the Trinitarian Life arrive as “The-Always” & “The-Already” and no other Sub-Narrative, Narrative, or Meta-Narrative infuses the collective consciousness of Mankind with said transcendentals with more clarity than the uncanny Trinitarian Metaphysic.

In the Christian metanarrative we find the Trinitarian metaphysic and therein “….that eternal one-another…” and therein love’s timeless Self-Giving in and by and of nothing less than the irreducible diffusiveness of the Ontic-Self in totum with respect to …being itself… and, thereby – once again – The Always & The Already, or that which is ceaselessly Beneath and Above – namely “Love & Necessity” as an ontic singularity.

It is there that we find in the Christian metaphysic the intellectual and moral grounds for affirming the term, “Love Himself” vis-à-vis the A and the Z of the Trinitarian Life / Trinity with respect to the Decree of the Imago Dei (…and all which comes with “that”…). That is to say, it is there that we find nothing less than the immutable love of the Necessary Being (…and all that comes with “that”…).

That is to say, it is there in nothing less than Being that we find The Always and The Already constituting love’s timeless reciprocity and Self-Giving diffusiveness of the Ontic-Self in totum (…and all that comes with “that”…). It is *that* explanatory terminus which is reality’s rock-bottom, reality’s irreducible substratum – the A and the Z of every possible ontic, of every possible sentence.

That uncanny A — Z finds the immutable with respect to, not “only” Being Itself (as it were) but instead Being Itself as love’s timeless reciprocity and therein we find Ceaseless Self-Giving revealing the fundamental fabric of reality’s concrete furniture. See “Malleable Truth? The Christian Ethic Shifts With Culture?” at http://disq.us/p/1wq6j96 which is also linked to with https://randalrauser.com/2018/06/okay-so-laura-ingalls-wilder-was-a-racist-now-what/#comment-4155674874

  1. WRT Platonism we have https://disqus.com/home/discussion/standtoreason/did_god_create_evil_video/#comment-3518528830
  2. WRT the Laws of Nature there is https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/what-are-the-laws-of-nature/
  3. WRT Moral Realism there is http://disq.us/p/1yf4p2u which is also linked to with https://randalrauser.com/2018/11/do-bad-children-go-to-hell/#comment-4258045686

[All] [Sets] of [Possible Counterfactuals] & Moral Facts & The Moral Dilemma: 

Here’s reality “as it is” given the landscape of the aforementioned Privation (…or instead that Incline Godward / Upward and so on…) vis-à-vis the proverbial moral dilemma:

“…in a hypothetical war we find a few hundred people hiding and the crying baby will give away the hiding place of the 100 adults, hence they’ll be found and killed. The options: we can kill the baby and save the 100 or we can let the baby cry and sacrifice (thereby) all the adults and the baby too in the end…..”

In the middle of war’s hell we find that killing the crying baby in said time of war to save the many isn’t “Morally Good”, but it might be justified given this or that horrific impact of doing otherwise – with the catch that there is no World-Contingent Metric which can satisfy “justified” in that syntax given that there is only One True Ideal. Just the same, sparing the baby and sacrificing the many in said time of war isn’t “Morally Good”, but it might be justified given this or that horrific outcome of doing otherwise – again with the catch that there is no World-Contingent Metric which can satisfy “justified” in that syntax given that there is only One True Ideal with respect to The-Good, or as some say The-Always & The-Already.

Regarding The Illusive World-Contingent Metric:

Before we shout Consequentialism one must push through to the End of any Contingent World and get beyond all possible Possibilities and Counterfactuals such that one lands in, not this or that Contingent Fact but, instead, in the Necessary vis-à-vis Ending Evil vis-à-vis The Good vis-à-vis Ending Privation (…..in short one must arrive at Closure irrespective of a. Privation or b. Incline Godward….).

It is only “there” where we find That-Which is not and cannot even in principle be the-consequence-of this or that World Contingent Vector or Metric.

Just the same it is logically unavoidable in all of this that there are no options which rise to the level of Moral Excellence in such a world. And in fact Scripture expressly defines the pains of Privation (…which is “The-Good-Minus-Some-Thing“…) as that which constitutes – not just a few ingrained mindsets in a few cultures – but reality itself. Even further, we find that such a reality sums to that very same category of World unless/until/pending nothing less than the “ontic-fact” of the only logically possible dissolution of a Vacuum (….as in “The-Good-Minus-Some-Thing”….) which is to In-Fill said Vacuum with nothing less than All Sufficiency’s Own Self-Outpouring into, and through, and to the bitter ends of that category of reality world. As another Christian once pointed out to our Non-Theist friends:

“….As a side note, I don’t think executing child-molesting cannibals is, in your words, morally good….”

Now, how in the world would that act not be “Morally Good”? Because there is a Moral Better – or – a Higher Moral which does *not* include the destruction of the Man (….all narratives in Scripture converge in the Cross, in Christ…) and as such the Non-Theist has no rational grasp on what is actually being discussed here with respect to any coherent ontic in and of The Good. It’s almost as if fictions really do matter to our Non-Theist friends rather than the bitter reality of the pains of Privation with respect to, not a few ingrained mindsets, but of reality itself. That seems to motivate the unfortunate posture behind our Non-Theist friends with respect to their odd habit of beginning and ending all related analytics with “But Sinai…. But Sinai …..But…but… BUT SINAI…!!”

The Christian reply to that fallacious “Sinai Is God’s Eternal Ideal & The Means To Moral Excellence” is straightforward:

“You’re struggling over a very simple fact, which is that you won’t find any Morally Excellent vector within Privation (..or “The-Good-Minus-Some-Thing“…). Notice that if one posits that Incline Godward then the syntax does not change as, all over again the problem is that of “The-Good-Minus-Some-Thing“. Hence either way we find the following simple fact: You just won’t find any Morally Excellent vector in any such Landscape. None. Zero. Every vector will, at some seam somewhere, come up as lacking good. That’s the whole show, and, so, though you suggest there is “parsing out” needed by the Christian, there is not and in fact cannot be any such need for any such “parsing-out.”

It’s not clear but it seems that our Non-Theist friends STILL want to claim that Scripture’s Metanarrative tells them and us to look to Sinai for the Means and the Ends of The Good – for the Means to the actualization of Moral Excellence in and through All-Things-Adamic. The reason that is the case is because they seem to have merely recast the entire question in this or that Non-Christian set of premises.

Unfortunately for such Straw-manning Scripture is quite clear about the means and the ends of [A] Laws in all/any time/place, including Sinai, with respect to all possible explanatory termini and also of [B] All-Sufficiency’s Own Self-Outpouring as the only logically coherent explanatory terminus.

What men do – Christian or not – Theist or Atheist – never can be “enough” with respect to any ontology of the Immutable & Necessary. We have to be careful about stopping our unpacking at the metric of normative shifts, else this or that action (…say… slavery or whatever…) forces the logical absurdity of A. condoned and a slice of the Good rather than B. tolerated and a slice of Privation. Rather, our metric must both precede and outdistance all such normative shifts.  The necessary and sufficient “Means” to the “Ends” of that which is “The Good” is not, and never can be, the hard fist of Law, which is why God meets us right where we live such that Sinai is, according to the OT and the NT, anything but God’s Ideal for mankind as He works and speaks with us beneath our own conceptual ceilings. Now, that mode of tolerance on God’s part is a means towards the restraint of death rather than a means into The-Good.

See Love, Reason, Reality, And The Golden Thread Of Reciprocity at https://metachristianity.com/reason-reality-golden-thread-reciprocity/

Can The Universe Be The Necessary Being?

The following is from Dr. W.L. Craig at https://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/reasonable-faith-podcast/subtracting-infinite-coins-and-necessity-of-the-universe/

Quote:

“I give a couple of arguments as to why it seems to me that the universe is not metaphysically necessary. The first argument is based upon the composition of the universe. Just as a pair of socks would not be the same pair of socks if it were made of silk rather than made of wool, so it seems to me that a universe composed of a different collection of quarks wouldn’t be the same universe as a universe made up of a different collection of quarks or fundamental particles. Therefore, the person who thinks that the universe is metaphysically necessary has to say that just this collection of quarks exists with metaphysical necessity. And that just seems outrageous to me – to think that all of the quarks in the universe are metaphysically necessary beings and couldn’t have been replaced by other quarks. So I don’t have any argument beyond that other than the fact that that just seems modally obvious. The quarks and strings in the universe don’t exist with metaphysical necessity. I suppose one thing you could appeal to would be modern scientific theories in which the universe is not made up of quarks. Say it is made up of strings instead. In other words, it is very easy to craft alternative physical models that are different. So the proponent of the view that the universe is metaphysically necessary would have to say that these other physical models are, in fact, metaphysical impossibilities. That just seems wrong. They do seem perfectly possible, not only metaphysically but physically. So I think that the person who is taking this line is taking a really radical line in thinking that all these fundamental particles exist with metaphysical necessity. That is probably why nobody adopts this view.”

End quote.

From David Oderberg:

The Impossibility Of Natural Necessity — That is the title of his chapter in “Ontology, Modality, and Mind” (Edited by Carruth, Gibb, and Heil) as per https://www.amazon.com/Ontology-Modality-Mind-Themes-Metaphysics-ebook/dp/B07J128YN4/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1 and also as per  https://global.oup.com/academic/product/ontology-modality-and-mind-9780198796299?cc=us&lang=en&

From Dr. Craig:

  1. https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/could-the-universe-not-god-be-the-necessary-being/
  2. https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/is-part-of-the-universe-a-necessary-being/
  3. https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/scholarly-writings/the-existence-of-god/timothy-oconnor-on-contingency-a-review-essay/
  4. https://www.reasonablefaith.org/podcasts/defenders-podcast-series-3/s3-excursus-on-natural-theology/excursus-on-natural-theology-part-5
  5. https://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/reasonable-faith-podcast/subtracting-infinite-coins-and-necessity-of-the-universe/
  6. https://www.reasonablefaith.org/podcasts/defenders-podcast-series-3/s3-excursus-on-natural-theology/excursus-on-natural-theology-part-7/

Similar content with segues from E. Feser:

  1. http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/03/an-exchange-with-keith-parsons-part-iv.html
  2. https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/03/can-you-explain-something-by-appealing.html
  3. https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2016/02/parfit-on-brute-facts.html
  4. https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/02/can-we-make-sense-of-world.html
  5. https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2013/10/why-is-there-anything-at-all-its-simple.html

From Sam Harper is the following:

“….I think what he means is that the earth is a contingent thing. It’s possible for it to not exist. This is evident in the fact that there was a time when it didn’t exist. If it once didn’t exist but now does exist, then it’s a thing that can be made. In other words, it’s a thing that can be caused to come into existence. That is unlike anything that is either impossible or necessary. If something is impossible, then it can’t be made. If something is necessary, then it also can’t be made because it can’t fail to exist…” (Sam Harper / http://philochristos.blogspot.com/ )

A few excerpts from the comment section of https://strangenotions.com/how-cosmic-existence-reveals-gods-reality/ beginning with http://disq.us/p/1qobtik  and ending with http://disq.us/p/1r4hilb  from J.Hillclimber is helpful:

Begin Excerpts/Quotes:

Jim’s comment: “I think Sean Carroll’s wording kind of gives it away. Even if it is true that “the universe can simply exist”, that only acknowledges the logical possibility of the universe “simply existing”. The nature of possibility is that there is always a context in which the possible thing could occur or not occur. Unless one believes that the universe must logically exist, one should acknowledge that there seems to be a universe-transcending context in which the universe might or might not exist……. Let’s please leave aside the word “supernatural”, unless you can propose a definition for that. (And please, no suggestions along the lines of, “something that is not natural”, unless you have an approximate definition of “nature”.) All I am saying is that:

  1. If the existing universe were existing within an absolutely necessary, universe-transcending context, then it would be logically possible for the universe to not exist.
  2. If the existing universe were existing outside of any absolutely necessary, universe-transcending context, then it would not be logically possible for the universe to not exist. That is, the existing universe would not be a possibility but would instead be an absolute necessity.

For my part, I can only say that the existing universe seems logically unnecessary. That seems sufficient for me to me to infer that we are in scenario 1, i.e. that there is an absolutely necessary, universe-transcending context.

….if you saying that you don’t know what it means to speak of a context of possibility [then] I think I am just using normal English here. If you are asking me to get more precise about it, I suppose we could formalize it mathematically. If we agree that possibility means the same thing as “probability greater than zero”, we can use the standard formalization of probability as a measure on a sigma algebra. The measure space (i.e. the underlying set and the sigma algebra defined on it) provide the context wherein we can speak of certain events as being possible or not possible. Absent a context, I don’t know how you can possibly define probability or possibility. What do those words even mean, without a context in which to operate? [You say it] seems possible that the universe might not exist, then what is the context of that possibility of non-existence?”

Doug’s comment: “My apologies. In a moment of carelessness I misread your comment. Where you wrote “might or might not exist” I saw “might or might not have existed.” That the universe might, in actual fact, not exist is a notion I can make no sense of. Even taking solipsism to its extreme, if I am all that exists, then I am the universe, and I can’t deny my own existence.”

Jim’s comment: “No worries, the verb tenses are confusing here. You interpreted me correctly the first time. I mean, essentially, “the universe might never have existed” (in which case it also would not exist now). I am not talking about what is, in actual fact, the case. I am talking about what is possible. ETA: To belabor it even more: obviously, if we condition on the known fact that the universe exists, then it is conditionally impossible for the universe not to exist. So when we acknowledge the possibility of the non-existence of the universe, we obviously are talking about “marginal” possibility that hasn’t conditioned on the universe’s existence.”

End quotes/excerpts.

Another line of sight of possible interest is four essays on “Platonism and The Trinity by Alexander Earl – at the following: https://afkimel.wordpress.com/2020/03/29/platonism-and-the-trinity/  and then https://afkimel.wordpress.com/2020/04/01/platonism-and-the-trinity-hierarchy-and-participation/ and then https://afkimel.wordpress.com/2020/04/06/platonism-and-the-trinity-apophaticism-and-pure-relationality/ and then https://afkimel.wordpress.com/2020/04/08/platonism-and-the-trinity-plotinian-triad/

— One would have to at least address the question of whether or not that merges into Pantheism and address distinctions regarding the Un-Created/Un-Derived ((on the one hand)) and the Created/Derived ((on the other hand)) and also the notion of Causally Inert and then converge/diverge with actual premises — and so on — but it is offered here as a matter of segue/interesting context.

 END

Spread the love
Recent Posts

Leave a Comment