Unmoved mover

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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 scriptural miracles · Would someone die for a lie? · Liar, Lunatic or Lord
Cosmological arguments   Argument from aesthetic experience · Argument from contingency · Cosmological argument · Fine-tuning argument · Kalam · Leibniz cosmological argument · Principle of sufficient reason · Unmoved mover · Why is there something rather than nothing?
Majority arguments   Argument from admired religious scientists
Moral arguments   Argument from justice · Divine command theory
Ontological argument   Argument from degree · Argument from desire · Origin of the idea of God
Dogmatic arguments   Argument from divine sense · Argument from uniqueness
Teleological arguments   Argument from design · Banana argument · 747 Junkyard argument · Laminin argument · Argument from natural disasters
Testimonial arguments   Argument from observed miracles · Personal experience · Consciousness argument for the existence of God|Consciousness argument · Emotional pleas · Efficacy of prayer
Transcendental arguments   God created numbers · Argument from the meaning of life
Scriptural arguments   Scriptural inerrancy · Scriptural scientific foreknowledge · Scriptural codes
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