Existence of finite beings prove that infinite beings exists

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One argument, possibly a variant of the argument from contingency, is that the existence of finite beings prove that infinite beings exists.

"If finite beings exist, then an infinite being exists.[1]"

"There is no truth more evident than that something must be from eternity. I never yet heard of any one so unreasonable, or that could suppose so manifest a contradiction, as a time wherein there was perfectly nothing. This being of all absurdities the greatest, to imagine that pure nothing, the perfect negation and absence of all beings, should ever produce any real existence. It being, then, unavoidable for all rational creatures to conclude, that something has existed from eternity [...]"

John Locke[2]

Contents

The argument

The argument runs: [3]

  • Finite things exist (such as the universe as it appears at this time)
  • Things are either finite or infinite
    • Finite things cannot be infinite
  • Finite things cannot exist by themselves
  • Therefore infinite being exists (i.e. God)

Counter arguments

Finite things cannot exist by themselves

The argument requires an unfounded assertion "finite things cannot exist by themselves". When challenged, an apologist might ask "What finite thing exists by themselves?" This either shifts the burden of proof or is an argument from ignorance - "I can't think of a finite thing that exists by itself therefore they don't exist".

Which God?

This argument supports no particular god or theology.

Infinite series of finite things

It is possible that there exists an finite series of finite things. Therefore we cannot say that finite things require an infinite (actually existent) thing to exist (beyond the infinite series).

See also

References

  1. David Roemer Book Review: Letters to Doubting Thomas: A Case for the Existence of God, 18-Feb-07
  2. [1]
  3. Caller on Atheist Experience 27/Jan/2013
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