Unmoved mover

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As formulated by [[Thomas Aquinas]], the '''unmoved mover''' argument is stated as follows:
 
As formulated by [[Thomas Aquinas]], the '''unmoved mover''' argument is stated as follows:
 
: "Nothing moves without a prior mover.  This leads us to a regress, from which the only escape is [[God]].  Something had to make the first move, and that something we call God."
 
: "Nothing moves without a prior mover.  This leads us to a regress, from which the only escape is [[God]].  Something had to make the first move, and that something we call God."
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This argument is one of the '''''Quinque viæ''''', "'''''Five Ways'''''", or "'''''Five Proofs'''''".
  
 
==Counter-apologetics==
 
==Counter-apologetics==
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# If ''nothing'' moves without a prior mover, then God must need a prior mover, as well. Otherwise God is nothing, which contradicts the conclusion. Thus, either the premise is untrue, in which case the argument is [[unsound]], or the conclusion doesn't follow, in which case the argument is [[invalid]]. In fact, as stated, the argument is clearly [[self-contradictory]].
 
# If ''nothing'' moves without a prior mover, then God must need a prior mover, as well. Otherwise God is nothing, which contradicts the conclusion. Thus, either the premise is untrue, in which case the argument is [[unsound]], or the conclusion doesn't follow, in which case the argument is [[invalid]]. In fact, as stated, the argument is clearly [[self-contradictory]].
 
# [[Who created God?]]
 
# [[Who created God?]]
# The word "God" carries a lot of undesirable cultural baggage, denoting an intelligent being. If the ultimate cause of our universe turns out to be, say, a random [[quantum]] fluctuation, then that would be "God" by Aquinas's definition, but to call this phenomenon "God" would be very misleading.
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# [[Which god?]] The word "God" carries a lot of undesirable cultural baggage, denoting an intelligent being. If the ultimate cause of our universe turns out to be, say, a random [[quantum]] fluctuation, then that would be "God" by Aquinas's definition, but to call this phenomenon "God" would be very misleading.
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# Two bodies at rest will start to move towards each other due to gravity. They can be each other's first mover. Therefore, the prior mover requirement is unnecessary.
 
# Pairs of [[virtual particle]]s are created (and annihilated) all of the time, out of literally nothing. These particles affect each other's motion, thus disproving Aquinas's premise.
 
# Pairs of [[virtual particle]]s are created (and annihilated) all of the time, out of literally nothing. These particles affect each other's motion, thus disproving Aquinas's premise.
 
# More exotically, if time were circular (i.e., if time repeated every so often, so that the year 1 were also the year ten trillion and one), then every motion could have a prior cause without infinite regress. This does not seem to be the case, though.
 
# More exotically, if time were circular (i.e., if time repeated every so often, so that the year 1 were also the year ten trillion and one), then every motion could have a prior cause without infinite regress. This does not seem to be the case, though.
 
# Even if there is an infinite regress of causes, so what? The human mind is uncomfortable with the concept of [[infinity]], but reality has no obligation to make us comfortable.
 
# Even if there is an infinite regress of causes, so what? The human mind is uncomfortable with the concept of [[infinity]], but reality has no obligation to make us comfortable.
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{{Arguments for god}}
  
 
[[Category:Arguments]]
 
[[Category:Arguments]]
 
[[Category:Arguments for the existence of God]]
 
[[Category:Arguments for the existence of God]]
 
[[Category:Cosmological arguments]]
 
[[Category:Cosmological arguments]]

Revision as of 19:18, 7 January 2012

As formulated by Thomas Aquinas, the unmoved mover argument is stated as follows:

"Nothing moves without a prior mover. This leads us to a regress, from which the only escape is God. Something had to make the first move, and that something we call God."

This argument is one of the Quinque viæ, "Five Ways", or "Five Proofs".

Counter-apologetics

Many of the responses to the "uncaused cause" argument also apply to this one:

  1. If nothing moves without a prior mover, then God must need a prior mover, as well. Otherwise God is nothing, which contradicts the conclusion. Thus, either the premise is untrue, in which case the argument is unsound, or the conclusion doesn't follow, in which case the argument is invalid. In fact, as stated, the argument is clearly self-contradictory.
  2. Who created God?
  3. Which god? The word "God" carries a lot of undesirable cultural baggage, denoting an intelligent being. If the ultimate cause of our universe turns out to be, say, a random quantum fluctuation, then that would be "God" by Aquinas's definition, but to call this phenomenon "God" would be very misleading.
  4. Two bodies at rest will start to move towards each other due to gravity. They can be each other's first mover. Therefore, the prior mover requirement is unnecessary.
  5. Pairs of virtual particles are created (and annihilated) all of the time, out of literally nothing. These particles affect each other's motion, thus disproving Aquinas's premise.
  6. More exotically, if time were circular (i.e., if time repeated every so often, so that the year 1 were also the year ten trillion and one), then every motion could have a prior cause without infinite regress. This does not seem to be the case, though.
  7. Even if there is an infinite regress of causes, so what? The human mind is uncomfortable with the concept of infinity, but reality has no obligation to make us comfortable.


v · d Arguments for the existence of god
Anthropic arguments   Anthropic principle · Natural-law argument
Arguments for belief   Pascal's Wager · Argument from faith · Just hit your knees
Christological arguments   Argument from biblical miracles · Would someone die for a lie? · Liar, Lunatic or Lord
Cosmological arguments   Argument from contingency · Cosmological argument · Fine-tuning argument · Kalam · Unmoved mover · Why is there something rather than nothing?
Majority arguments   Argumentum ad populum · Argument from admired religious scientists
Moral arguments   Argument from justice · Divine command theory
Ontological argument   Argument from degree · Argument from goodness · Argument from desire
Dogmatic arguments   Argument from divine sense · Sensus divinitatis · Argument from uniqueness
Teleological arguments   Argument from design · Banana argument · 747 Junkyard argument · Laminin argument · Argument from natural disasters
Testimonial arguments   Personal revelation · Argument from observed miracles · Argument from personal experience · Consciousness argument for the existence of God · Emotional pleas
Transcendental arguments   God created numbers
Scriptural arguments   Scriptural inerrancy · Scriptural scientific foreknowledge
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