Darth Pringle, CARM Feb 27,2011
This is an argument demonstrating that it is logically impossible for a necessary being to be a first cause of the universe even if it actually exists. It requires an understanding of possible world semantics (possible worlds are not all actual, but the actual world is a possible world) and Plantinga's Ontological Argument (see 5 below). That we speak of something existing in a possible world that is not actual can be potentially misleading.
1. A necessary being must be thought to exist in all possible worlds.
2. All contingencies can fail to be the case without contradiction (if all contingent things failed to exist tomorrow, it would not result in a contradiction).
3. Consequently, a world in which there is only a necessary being and no contingencies does not entail a contradiction (is a possible world).
4. A necessary being is not a first cause in a possible world where there are no contingencies.*
5. If a necessary being is not a first cause in some possible world then it is not a first cause in this (the actual) world.
6. Therefore, (from 3, 4 & 5) a necessary being is not the first cause of the universe even if such a being exists.
*Another way of supporting this premise would be to say that if God's creation of this (or any) universe is to be thought a choice then the possibility of him not creating anything must be thought to exist. Because the freedom for him being able to choose not to create anything is a logical possibility, there must be a possible world in which he never creates.
Argument invalid based upon 4 and 5. the function of 5 is to link the one possible to all of them. So the real problem is 4. The argument turns on the notion that you can have a possible world with no contingencies, just God. Then you say God can't be first cause in such a world, the you leap to the erroneous conclusion that therefore God wont be first cause in any world.
Invalid because it's only contingent on not creating. If God creates God is first cause. we have discussed this before. God's role as creator is contingent, that doesn't mean the divine essence is contingent. In Eastern Orthodox theology they distinguish between these two aspects saying one is God's energies and the other his essence. His energies include the acts God dose in being present in the immanent.
Things pertaining to divine energies can be contingent but not divine essence. The upshot for your argument is we need not think of God's possible limitation in a possible world as necessary for all possible words, because creatorhood is contingent upon god's energies in creating, but does not limit the divine essence from being necessary.
You are also creating a contradictory world and trying to feiot it in based upon the misunderstanding. While you can have a world with no contingencies and just God you can't have a world with God and bunch of contingencies he did not create. IF there a re contingents in a world God has to create them. That would make him first cause.
Originally Posted by Metacrock View Post
The argument turns on the notion that you can have a possible world with no contingencies, just God.
DP:Right but that doesn't change the fact that if any contingents come about they must be created by God (if there is a god) that means God must be first cause. First casue would be contingent upon creating but that is not an impediment upon God's necessity.Exactly. Such is a possible world because God must be thought to exist in all possible worlds (if he exists) but contingencies do not have to be thought to exist in all possible worlds.
Then you say God can't be first cause in such a world
Of course. God can't be a first cause in a possible world where only he exists.
the you leap to the erronious conclusion that therefore God wont be first cause in any world.
DP:But he does not have to create in all possible worlds.Exactly. God is what he is in all possible worlds.
Invalid because it's only contingent on not creating. If God creates God is first cause. we have discussed this before. God's role as creator is Continent, that doesn't mean the divine essence is contingent.
DP:you are not listening please read the words and think about what they mean:It means that a "creator God" is a contingent being because "creator" is contingent.
(1) God is not a being.
(2) God's being is not contingent but his actions are (energies vs. essence).
You are also creating a contradictory world and tyring to feiot it in based upon the misunderstanding. While you can have a world with no contingencies and just God you can't have a world with God and bunch of contingencies he did not create.
You most certainly can.
DP:yes of closure there is, don't be silly! the concept itself is misguided and logically contradictory. The words are oxymorons "a causal" and 'creation" are opposite concepts. A creation is a cause.There is nothing logically contradictory about the notion of things coming into existence acausally in a reality where God is thought to exist. You appear to be conflating between first cause and pre-condition.
that would be especially true if God is being itself.
the concept you have is quite wrong and this is the problem with making God into a being. God is not just one thing you can ad or subtract. If God is real then all being is in God. God has to be for anything to be. So there can't be contingencies that didn't make.
Interesting argument, but (if we ignore other objections here) I don't see why being a first cause could not be an accidental property of an otherwise necessary being, i.e. I would question (5).
This does raise issues concerning cross-world identity conditions, but these are not problems specific to the case of God.
DP goes on:
I think HRG's objection would be that a God who never creates cannot be the same being as one who does create. Therefore, if a being did create this universe, he cannot be necessary (exist in all possible worlds). Consequently, the only way that a necessary being could be necessary in this possible world, is if it doesn't create in any of them.
HRG has made the same mistake DP is making now many times. He tries to regard all of God's actions as necessary because God is necessary. He can't distinguish between energies and essence or in modern modern Western terms, "accidents" and essence. That's a major mistake because all the major philosophers have made that distinction. These atteampts doing trying to do what they think the Ontological argument is doing, only in reverse and disprove God (ultimately their aim is to "prove" that the OS is useless) are always turning upon some point that's misconceived and misunderstood. HRG's argument is wrong too. Notice how DP appeals to him as an authority when he's just another mistaken atheist.