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Whatever is Moved is Moved By Another

“Motion is the act of a being in potency insofar as it is in potency.” - Aristotle, Physics Book III, 201a10-11

In his famous First Way of proving God’s existence, St. Thomas Aquinas says, “It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion.”1 But, are things really in motion? Most people would think that motion in the world is too obvious to doubt. Yet, some, based on theories of modern physics, claim that physical change in the universe is actually impossible. Change or motion—meaning that “this” becomes “that” with some persisting reality exhibiting those before and after qualities—simply does not exist. Like Parmenides, those denying motion claim that our dynamically changing, evolving world is merely one grand illusion.

Despite such claims that change is unreal, philosopher of physics Tim Maudlin, well known for studying entangled quantum particles, insists, “Physics has discovered some really strange things about the world, but it has not discovered that change is an illusion.”

In his book, The Trouble with Physics (reprint edition, 2007), theoretical physicist Lee Smolin puts his finger on why physics is prone to make the mistake of saying motion and time are unreal: “…Descartes and Galileo both made a most wonderful discovery: You could draw a graph, with one axis being space and the other being time. A motion through space then becomes a curve on the graph. In this way, time is represented as if it were another dimension of space. Motion is frozen, and a whole history of constant motion and change is presented to us as something static and unchanging.”2 In other words, the static mathematical abstractions of modern physics automatically tend to omit the very starting point they presume, namely, the reality of objective motion or change.

In a new book, Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Contemporary Science (2017), philosopher Edward Feser points to the incoherence of physicists denying the reality of motion when their scientific method presupposes it. For example, even the simplest experiment requires watching for movement of a needle on a dial:

“When the needle moves from its rest position it loses one attribute and gains another (namely a particular spatial location), and it is one and the same needle that loses and gains these attributes and one and the same dial of which the needle is a component. If there were no gain or loss of attributes, or if the needle or dial were not the same, the observation would be completely useless.”3

Similarly, physicists presume real physical causation takes place through time with ontologically-continuous physical agents causing the continuous coming-to-be of ontologically-continuous effects. For example, the same rocket engine causes the progressive ascent of the same spacecraft into orbit. This is simply how natural science has always understood the nature of physical causation operating in the real world. That a physical theory should be interpreted as contradicting this universal scientific presupposition defies understanding.

Even if change or motion were simply a subjective illusion or a memory function product, it is still immediately recognized and judged by the intellect for precisely what it is, that is, a change. The intellect knows the nature of being and forms a concept of being that begets the universal certitude of the principle of non-contradiction – a truth about reality that scientists absolutely accept, but have no scientific way of explaining. In like fashion, the intellect judges the nature of change or motion as real when immediately experienced – no matter its size or type. Whether it is extramental or intramental change makes no difference. Static experiences alone would never beget the concept of motion, since non-motion contradicts motion.

One of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century, Karl Popper, says of the experience of change within consciousness, “It could not be explained away by a theory of the successive rising into our consciousness of time slices which in some sense coexist; for this kind of ‘rising into consciousness’ would have precisely the same character as that succession of changes which the theory tries to explain away.” Worse yet for materialists who deny change, if all that exists is material, then change’s reality within consciousness means that change is real in the physical universe.

We have a concept of change solely because we have encountered a reality – subjective or not – that actually contained motion. That alone explains how we even have such a concept. Yes, we form concepts of imaginary things. But, they are always composed of elements taken from real objects, as a unicorn is composed of concepts taken from real horses and real horns. Since the concept of change itself is primary, it must be based on an actually existing nature.

Nor could motion or change be experienced as such unless both the “before” and “after” of the change is present to the same knower. This fulfills change’s meaning, since “this” becomes “that” with something (the knower) persisting to both the before and after.

Therefore, change or motion is objectively real.

If some physicists cannot reconcile the immediately given reality of motion or change, as defined here, with their speculative inferences drawn from the special theory of relativity, their speculations must be wrong on that point.

Einstein’s special relativity thought experiment assumes a train moving past a standing observer. Observer, of what? Observer that the train is in motion! The observer knows it is motion because the train he observes is in diverse positions relative to his own position. So, for him there is a before and after with himself, the observer, being present to both – which fulfills the Aristotelian meaning of motion. Clearly, no speculative interpretation of special relativity can contradict the reality of the very motion Einstein’s thought experiment presupposes in its proof.

Either Einstein made a mistake in one of his assumptions, or else, one of several philosophical interpretations of special relativity compatible with motion must be correct.4 In any case, the immediately given reality of motion or change trumps any subsequently developed theory that denies its objective reality.

Quidquid movetur ab alio movetur.” Whatever is moved is moved by another. What this famous principle really means is this: Whatever is in motion is being moved here and now by another. While motion is mostly thought of in terms of local motion – motion from place to place, any type of change can be called motion.

As seen above, motion does not mean simply one thing replacing another, like frames in a motion picture film. Rather, it means one thing becoming somehow different with some persisting reality connecting the before and after. For example, consider the same knower experiencing successive images, or, the same body moving from one position to a different position relative to some point of reference.

Aristotle defines motion as the act of a being in potency insofar as it is in potency. Easier to grasp is this description: the progressive actualization of a potency. For purposes of describing motion, potency is what is able to be, but is not; act is that which is fully real or completed. Strictly speaking, motion means local motion, a change of place. More broadly, it can mean any kind of change, any passage of something from potency to act—sometimes even instantaneously.

For a non-technical macroscopic example, consider water being heated from room temperature to boiling. Motion is not maintaining the water at 72 degrees, but progressively adding heat so as to constantly raise the temperature until 212 degrees is reached. If the “raising” stops at, say, 200 degrees, the motion stops, even though the heat must be maintained to stay at that point. Thus, the motion is not the act already achieved, namely, the 200 degrees, but the act that is achieving the potency yet to be fulfilled, that is, 212 degrees.

The reason everything in motion needs a mover is simple. A thing cannot reduce itself from potency to act and that is exactly what is happening to the thing in motion: it is being reduced from potency to act. Yet, “reduction” here does not mean less being, but more being!

A thing in motion is gaining new perfections of existence every moment it continues to move or change. Since a being cannot give to itself that which it lacks, something else must be giving to it that which it lacks, but is gaining incrementally.

Yet, how do we know this reasoning is correct? While it is easy to defend the principle in terms of the standard Thomistic analysis of potency and act, many today do not fully appreciate the full force of such reasoning.

Here is a different way to see the objective certitude of the principle that whatever is in motion must be being moved by another, one simply based on “the natural metaphysics of human intelligence.”

Everyone knows and uses the metaphysical principle of non-contradiction, that is, that nothing can both be and not be at the same time and in the same way. Even though materialist scientists cannot prove this principle or show how its certitude arises, they have no honest doubts about its universal truth and application. This is because the human intellect, once it forms the concept of being, sees clearly the necessary truth of its application to all possible things.

So too, the fact that you cannot get something from absolutely nothing is universally accepted—after you eliminate claims of getting particles from quantum vacuums that turn out to be something after all. Once it is understood that the philosopher means really nothing, every honest mind assents to the truth that from nothing, nothing comes to be.

What has this to do with things in motion? Simply this: a thing in motion is gaining new properties of being it did not previously possess. As such, with respect to those properties it did not have, it is non-being; nothing at all. Since nothing cannot beget something without extrinsic causal assistance, a being in motion must be getting this new being from something other than itself, that is, from a mover.

For a thing to reduce itself from potency to act would be for it to be giving itself the very perfections of existence that it lacks. This is equivalent to having something that is non-being in a certain respect accounting for the coming-to-be of the selfsame being that it does not have. Being coming from non-being is impossible and absurd.

The full force of this principle is not understood until it is realized that it applies even to bodies already in a “state” of motion—a motion “explained” by most moderns simply by appeal to Newton’s principle of inertia. Even those who defend the principle that motion requires a mover sometimes retreat to applying it solely to cases in which a change in inertial motion occurs. Thus, to accelerate or decelerate an object in motion is seen to require a mover, but that the object merely stays in its present “state” of motion is considered fully explained by inertia.

Part of the problem is that it may not be clear as to exactly which body is in motion, since all motion appears relative—so that if A moves relative to B, we cannot tell which body is actually undergoing the motion. In fact, it could be both. But it really does not matter at all, since all we need to know is that a change of distance or relative position between two or more bodies occurs.

Just as I have shown in a prior Strange Notions article how many confuse physical antecedents with real causes of present effects, so too, acceptance of Newton’s first law of motion as full explanation for the phenomenon of inertial motion causes many to fail to see the further need of metaphysical explanation. Modern science correctly describes the phenomenon under consideration: a body in motion tends to remain in motion. But mere description is not identical to giving an adequate explanation as to why this phenomenon occurs at all.

Calling motion a “state” does not render it static. All motion still requires the continuous reduction of potency to act. And since nothing can give to itself the new perfections or qualities of existence that it lacks, some extrinsic reason or cause must account for the coming-to-be of those changes.

This applies just as much to bodies in a “state” of inertial motion as it does to objects that are accelerating or decelerating. Nor does it matter which object is considered to be in motion, since any change in spatial relation or any other kind of relation between things entails a real change in something—and that requires some extrinsic agent or mover to complete the explanation of what is going on—to account for the “new being” that is manifested, even if that new being is merely a change of relative position. Some outside agent must exist to account for the coming-to-be of the new existential qualities manifested by these new spatial relationships.

Newton’s first law of motion is not an exception to the principle that whatever is in motion requires a mover here and now continuously providing the new modes of existence manifested by continuing change or motion.

Of course, local motion is only one type of motion, but it is one of central occupation to physical science. The principle in question applies to every conceivable type of change, not only of local motion, but also to changes of quality, relation, size, disposition, time, and so forth. It can even be applied to spiritual changes that entail no gradual change. That is, even an instantaneous change by which a potency is actualized requires an extrinsic agent to effect the change, as when a fresh insight suddenly “pops” into one’s mind.

Much more can be said, but this should be enough to demonstrate that the philosophical principle that whatever is in motion is moved by another is absolutely certain and universally true.

This principle is not merely a principle of natural philosophy, but of metaphysics as well—since motion, which is the progressive actualization of a potency, entails that something is gaining new qualities of being. A being in motion must be getting this new being from something other than itself.

All of this shows that this principle is a principle of being, just like the principle of non-contradiction. As such, just like the concept of being and the principle of non-contradiction, it applies to all beings and can be used in an analogical manner, even possibly to reason from finite being to infinite being in a transcendent fashion. This, of course, foreshadows a role for this principle well beyond the topic at hand.

Notes:

  1. Summa theologiae I, q. 2, a. 3, c.
  2. Lee Smolin, The Trouble with Physics, pp. 256-58.
  3. Edward Feser, Neo-Aristotelian-Perspectives on Contemporary Science, p. 18.
  4. Ibid., pp. 50-55.
Dr. Dennis Bonnette

Written by

Dr. Dennis Bonnette retired as a Full Professor of Philosophy in 2003 from Niagara University in Lewiston, New York. He taught philosophy there for thirty-six years and served as Chairman of the Philosophy Department from 1992 to 2002. He lives in Youngstown, New York, with his wife, Lois. They have seven adult children and twenty-five grandchildren. He received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame in 1970. Dr. Bonnette taught philosophy at the college level for 40 years, and is now teaching free courses at the Aquinas School of Philosophy in Lewiston, New York. He is the author of two books, Aquinas' Proofs for God's Existence (The Hague: Martinus-Nijhoff, 1972) and Origin of the Human Species (Ave Maria, FL: Sapientia Press, third edition, 2014), and many scholarly articles.

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  • I have to admit it's difficult for me to think in these archaic terms, it seems like an unnecessary layer of description piled onto an already more or less complete account of physical reality. So I apologize in advance if i'm using your jargon incorrectly.
    My question- It seems that all non-gravitationally-bound galaxies are moving away from each other. What is reducing from potency-to-act to create this movement? Is it that empty space has the potential to expand? What is actualizing this potential?

    • Dennis Bonnette

      Good question. I am not trying to say what is the mover in each case. That depends on what it happens to be. If a proximate physical cause can explain the motion, fine. If not, we may be heading into the realm of metaphysics proper. My only point is that whenever something is in motion, there is need for an extrinsic mover -- even in the case of inertial motion, as the OP explains.

      • Richard Morley

        I am not trying to say what is the mover in each case.

        That, I would imagine, would be why you were asked for the mover in a specific case. Without that, you seem to be objecting to a very detailed, complete and coherent model in a way that solves nothing and raises problems to which you seem to have no answer.

        • Dennis Bonnette

          This OP aims at establishing clearly (1) the reality of motion as well as (2) the universal truth that everything in motion must have some extrinsic agent moving it. That is all.

          Once established, the consequences for rational
          understanding of the world must be worked out by proper philosophical methods.

          The “very detailed, complete, and coherent model” you
          describe is that, I presume, of modern physics – which has proven a splendid predictive tool for observable phenomena. That is not to confuse its role with that of philosophy or metaphysics. Were the model truly complete and coherent, it would have to answer questions of a purely philosophical nature, which, by definition, physics is not designed to do. It would have to address the rational intelligibility of the phenomenon of inertia, for example, which it does not do – as explained in the OP. And it would not encourage people to confuse the no longer existing “antecedent” of a given phenomenon with that of a proper cause which must exist at the same time as its proper effect.

          In a word, your entire objection seems to be a matter of
          confusing physics with philosophy, which itself is a philosophical position open to rational criticism.

          • Bob

            Doesn't (2) contradict Newton's first law of motion?

          • Richard Morley

            Or at least supposes that Newton's laws only hold because God intervenes from moment to moment to make it so.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Or at least supposes that Newton's laws only hold because God intervenes from moment to moment to make it so.

            Says who? Physical laws are nothing more then observed regularities. They are not some platonic entity that enforces final goals of a particular substance that interacts with another one.
            It doesn't require God action directly that is divine occationalism which is anathema to Thomism.
            It requires things have an essence that makes them distinct from one another.

            God cause things to exist that have essences that make them act or react in certain ways but fire burns the wood. God does not.

          • Doesn't (2) contradict Newton's first law of motion?

            See the conversation I started with this:

            [OP]: Since non-being cannot ever produce being, and since the effect, as such, is in continual existential dependence on another for some accidental quality and/or its very existence in being, no effect can survive ceasing to be actively caused – even if that causal agency ceased only a nanosecond ago. Physics is inherently incapable of penetrating the depths of this metaphysical insight about being and causality.

            LB: How does the discovery of impetus and then inertia factor into this analysis? IIRC, Aristotle thought that a rock needed to be continually pushed in order to continue moving. But we know that if we give something a push in space, it'll just keep moving—modulo gravity wells.

            @yeoldestatistician:disqus disagrees with @dennisbonnette:disqus (click to see the whole comment):

            YOS: The motus involved in the argument, though often translated as "motion," is better translated as "change." A change in motion-of-location is called "acceleration." An acceleration requires a "force" continually applied.

            Here's Dr. Bonnette's confirmation that he means "motion" to include velocity and not just acceleration:

            DB: And yes, what I am saying is a bit different from what Ye Olde Statistician is saying -- but only as a friendly strengthening of his position that every thing in motion requires a mover.

          • Bob

            Does an arrow, shot from a bow, create a vacuum causing air to rush in from behind and push it to the target?

          • Nope; any [partial] vacuum would appear to suck everything toward it, including the arrow.

          • Bob

            So what "extrinsic agent" should we posit to account for the arrow reaching the target? An impossible feat without an "extrinsic agent" since, according to Dr. Bonnette, it is "the universal truth that everything in motion must have some extrinsic agent moving it".

            I believe this qualifies as magical thinking.

          • Who says I think an "extrinsic agent" is required? You may wish to recall that I asked Dr. Bonnette the question about inertia. But to be absolutely clear, I'm inclined toward YOS' position, not Dr. Bonnette's.

          • Bob

            Sorry, I never meant to confuse Dr. Bonnette’s position with your position with my comments.

          • BCE

            I am not an expert, no doubt someone will correct me, but if your question was sincere I would like to try my humble best.

            The arrow reaches its target because of gravity, not air rushing into a vacuum, thus pushing it.
            The archers arm(muscular power) transfers power to the bow which provides thrust to the arrow.
            For a short time the arrow overcomes gravity( just in the same way a long jumper does) but the extrinsic force of gravity brings the arrow down.
            The goal of the archer is to estimate how much power(the pull of his arm) and arc (the curve of the earth) needed to reach the target.

            There is an extrinsic agent, gravity; it acted on the muscular action and how much arc possible and needed. The arrow was under the extrinsic power of gravity at every single moment of its journey.

          • David Nickol

            The arrow reaches its target because of gravity, not air rushing into a vacuum, thus pushing it.

            No. Gravity is not needed for arrows to continue on their paths once shot by archers. Archers take gravity into account, just as they would take wind direction and wind speed and into account, but archery is certainly possible in the absence of gravity (or air).

            This whole discussion has been way too specialized for me, but I think Aristotle (and Aquinas?) believed rest was the "natural state" for physical objects, and if something was moving, there had to be a force acting on it the entire time the motion persisted. That is not the case in Newtonian physics.

          • BCE

            Bob's question was about "air"
            I didn't intend to get into factors like friction, drag etc.
            You misstated "gravity is not need"
            Gravity is not needed for horizontal motion.
            But there is vertical force.
            If I drop a bowling ball from a 3.5ft height, gravity brings it down on my foot
            Now I throw it...horizontal, let's say it is propelled in the air
            horizontally 4 feet, then falls.
            the horizontal motion (4 ft) was not gravitational, but the vertical fall(from my hands to the floor) of 3.5 feet is.
            But you're there.. oops sorry
            Your hit because.....
            you just so happen to be there, like a target, you were just in the way.
            If instead you were kneeling, bending over your foot, putting on your shoe, then your head was in the way, you were still 4 horizontal feet away, but your head was 2.8 ft off the floor, in the path of the vertical 3.5 earth impact.
            Of course you're right, the projectile used inertia for forward motion
            but on earth, the ball can't avoid friction and drag.
            If you were standing 10 feet away you wouldn't have been knocked out.

            The problem with many SN comments is one person might be addressing a earth bound, conditional, real world question and the other is presenting a scientific axiom. And in the end Bob didn't care and was likely trying to be sarcastic.
            Then there's those, who if they read....Mary died when she fell out a 7 story window
            just could not resist pointing out.......

            But you were polite, Thank you and Happy Holiday

          • Ye Olde Statistician

            Ooh, ooh! I know! The extrinsic agent is the archer.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Doesn't (2) contradict Newton's first law of motion?

            Another example of confusing philosophy with science and metaphysics with physics.
            Motion in Aristotle = Potency to act by something already in act.
            Which you are equivocating with momentum. The later being a type of motion but not motion exhaustively.

          • Bob

            Irrelevant to the fact that (2) contradicts Newton’s first law.

          • Jim the Scott

            Sorry no. Contradiction is when you claim X and Not X are both true at the same time & in the same sense.

            Clearly we have two different senses of "motion" so logically no true contradiction.

            Repeating your blather is so low brow.

          • Bob

            You are mistaken. (2) is unequivocal.

          • Jim the Scott

            Only after you smoked your whole stash.

          • Bob

            Now you are bearing false witness.

          • Jim the Scott

            No you are likely taking hits on the bong.

          • Jim the Scott

            BTW after you come down and after you get over having the munchies. Here is something for your consideration.

            Motion in Aristotle = Potency to act by something already in act.

            Momentum in Newton=a body in a state of momentum stays in a state of momentuym till acted upon by an outside force.

            So how are these unequivocal or contradictory?

            If I combine them. A body in a state of momentum (has the potential) to be (in the of act of changing their momentum) when acted upon by an outside force (which by definition is already in act).

            Seemless.

          • Bob

            Dr. Bonnette stated "(2) the universal truth that everything in motion must have some extrinsic agent moving it. That is all."

            Your restatement of Newton does Dr. Bonnette no favors.

          • Jim the Scott

            Still smoking the herb eh?

            Except "motion" or in this case "motus" is strictly defined as "a potency which become act by something already in act". It is a metaphysical description of motion/change not a description of physics.

            You are equivocating that with "momentum" which Dr. Bonnette does not do. Now "momentum" can be modeled in terms of "motus".

            For example a body with the potential to be put in momentum can be caused to be in the act of momentum by a force already in act and will stay actualized in that state till actualized to a different state."

            Wow you really are no smarter then the goofy Young Earth Creationists who thinks the 2nd law of thermal dynamics refutes evolution.

            He makes the opposite mistake you do. He treats a law of physics like a metaphysical principle. You treat a metaphysical principle like a law of physics.

            Could you possibly sound less intelligent? I think you can so respond with something even more silly.

            I am counting on you not to get this and prove new atheists are intellectually inferior.

          • Bob

            Not relevant to the actual position being discussed.

          • Jim the Scott

            Pretty much is and it yours and everyone else's old error.

            As I said before and I will repeat myself.
            In addition to the usual suspects confusing Motus and momentum (& physics and metaphysics)we have another case of them confusing physical inertia with existential inertia.

            http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/07/new-acpq-article.html

            http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2012/07/cosmological-argument-roundup.html#more

          • Bob

            Again, you seem to not be following the actual conversation. Maybe reread the thread.

          • Richard Morley

            This. Seriously, this.

            (To Jim): Maybe go back to look for the discussion between Ye Olde Statistician and Dr Bonnette. As both are Thomists you may be able to digest it without leaping to an assumption that they just don't mean what they say but are making a sufficiently sophomoric error for you to be able to correct it.

          • Jim the Scott

            Rather at this point the weed has rotted your brain.

            You are still pretending we are having a scientific discussion and not a philosophical one. You are still confusing physics with metaphysics. You are still making category mistakes and fallacies of equivocation.

            You have nothing intelligent to contribute. You are in fact no better then the young earth creationist who treats the second law of thermal dynamics like a metaphysical principle instead of as a law of physics.

            You are the opposite fool. You are treating a metaphysical principle like a law of physics.

            Could you possibly be more silly?

          • Richard Morley

            This OP aims at establishing clearly (1) the reality of motion

            Which is not being denied, that is just your misunderstanding, or at least misrepresentation, of the modern position.

            as well as (2) the universal truth that everything in motion must have some extrinsic agent moving it

            Which is where your inability to say what that agent is comes into play. Acceleration requires some active agent, but not continuous velocity, as far as we can see.

            Once established, the consequences for rational understanding of the world must be worked out by proper philosophical methods.

            But if the premises (including hidden ones) are false, even 'proper philosophical methods' will produce false results and the kind of problems you are having with the findings of modern physics. Garbage in, garbage out applies to philosophy as well as physics.

            The “very detailed, complete, and coherent model” you describe is that, I presume, of modern physics

            and the associated philosophy. And maths. The subjects are not absolute isolated unrelated islands, they interrelate and often overlap. I increasingly suspect that your position is largely down to your apparent rejection or underappreciation of science (and now mathematics) as valid sources of knowledge.

            The complete and coherent model of which I spoke includes the basic mathematics and metaphysics and other assumptions (and of course it is an oversimplification to speak of one universally accepted modern model) and for that matter would go on to embrace the chemistry, biology, geology and so on that rely on the physics. But I doubt you have problems with those, unless any modern Thomists go as far as clinging to Aristotle and Aquinas' ill judged forays into biology.

            Modern physics has a complete model, including philosophical grounding, with considerable success behind its belt. Thomism cannot say as much.

            In a word, your entire objection seems to be a matter of confusing physics with philosophy, which itself is a philosophical position open to rational criticism.

            That's neither "a word" nor terribly fair. You try to limit my position to physics alone, then chide me for using physics to address questions of pure philosophy.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            As I explain in a reply above, the definition of motion is critical and I have given one that clearly insists upon and defends the persistent existential connection between the before and after that common sense understanding of motion has always entailed. The alternative appears to be disconnected “slices” of reality or annihilation and creation – neither of which is what has always previously been understood by the meaning of “change.”

            As to what you call “continuous velocity,” I clearly address that in the logic concerning claims for “inertia” in the OP.

            As to the rest of your comments about the relation of physics to philosophy, they stand or fall on the OP’s thesis that a genuine understanding of motion and defense of that exact meaning of motion’s reality determines the rest of the argument.

            If my explanation of motion and its reality are correct, then philosophical speculations derived from modern physics
            must not contradict these demands of common sense and their rational implications.

            Motion as defined in the OP is real and everything in motion
            requires an extrinsic agent to explain its motion.

          • Phil

            Which is where your inability to say what that agent is comes into play. Acceleration requires some active agent, but not continuous velocity, as far as we can see.

            Dr. Bonnette may have clarified, but when Aristotle uses the word "motion", he means any sort of change in the broad sense of the word. So something traveling at a "constant velocity" is still experiencing change, or motion as Aristotle calls it.

            Put another way, its potency for constant velocity is constantly be actualized. The turning from a potency to actuality is the very definition of change/motion.

          • Richard Morley

            Dr. Bonnette may have clarified, but when Aristotle uses the word
            "motion", he means any sort of change in the broad sense of the word.

            So including change in position, or velocity. Or change in velocity. Acceleration is an example of change that does seem to need an active principle. Velocity does not appear to work that way.

  • JeffC

    Just because you discuss motion in terms of act and potency, does not mean that you've entered into metaphysics, at least according to St. Thomas Aquinas, because you are still dealing with beings that are in matter and motion (i.e. material) and thus still within natural philosophy.

    • Dennis Bonnette

      That is why I said we "may" be heading..... If you follow causal regressions far enough in natural philosophy, where do you eventually wind up?

      • JeffC

        I see that in your comment above (which was not there yet when I responded). I did not see that in the article. I was referring to this paragraph in your article:

        "This principle is not merely a principle of natural philosophy, but of metaphysics as well—since motion, which is the progressive actualization of a potency, entails that something is gaining new qualities of being. A being in motion must be getting this new being from something other than itself."

        If you follow regresses far enough, you wind up at an unmoved mover, but you must take another few steps before we understand that this unmoved moved that is entirely outside of matter and motion (and thus enter into metaphysics).

        • Dennis Bonnette

          Correct. But that is not the main concern of my article. First, we must establish the universal validity of the topic principle.

          • JeffC

            True, but I agreed with everything else in the article.

            I was earning my MA in Philosophy at the Center for Thomistic Studies in Houston while Tom McLaughlin was doing his doctorate and writing his dissertation on Newton's Laws of motion and Thomas' "omne quod movetur." This is a discussion I've actually followed since my undergraduate days.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            There is nothing exceptional about what I have written in this article -- from the standpoint of traditional Thomistic philosophy. But to the readers who approach these issues from a perspective couched primarily in modern physics, what I say here is viewed as both controversial and, some would say, "archaic."

  • Richard Morley

    There is a lot that could be discussed here, but sharing your dislike for argument by inundation, I think the main point is that this issue largely and fundamentally (but not entirely) reduces to a question of the model of time. You have said, I think, that you reject both eternalism and presentism and offshoots such as the growing block or moving searchlight, but have not said exactly what you put in its place. Which is fair enough, I can see that it would take a lot of (drum roll) time to do so, but it is equally fair for us to point out that in that case your argument currently lacks a foundation.

    Rather, it means one thing becoming somehow different with some persisting reality connecting the before and after.

    But according to you, both the “before” and “after” are nonexistent, so cannot be present or affect anything or (one might think) rationally be discussed.

    Of course you will (I assume) object to that interpretation of what you have said about your concept of time, that is the point I want to illustrate: I think you similarly misrepresent the attitude of physics to change. I don't think anyone (excepting, possibly, overenthusiastic teenagers posturing on the internet) seriously denies that a system can be different at two different points in time. The question is whether (and how fundamentally) that is different from a system being different at two different points in space.

    We have (at least) two different ways of looking at the system. One, the Thomist one, has the problems you mention with ongoing motion (velocity or other change) as a steady state without active ongoing cause which you cannot specify, the other (broadly, physics) has no such problem, and is massively successful with multiple intersecting lines of support, both evidence and argument. It seems, to me at least, that the problems you raise here are tied to a philosophical point of view, namely presentism (or something akin to it) and Thomist concepts such as potency and act. In short and in the nicest way possible, I suspect that they are a result of trying to analyse a problem with a bad conceptual framework. You can tie yourself in knots trying to calculate orbits with cartesian (x,y,z) coordinates rather than more appropriate coordinate systems, for example. So in addition to a coherent theory of time, for your argument to be convincing your listener also has to be convinced of that Thomist framework.

    • Dennis Bonnette

      Acceptance of the common sense experienced and epistemologically-certain reality of change or motion does not entail the rejection of natural science, but rather is simply an honest recognition of the necessary presuppositions and operative assumptions of natural science.

      Nothing more startlingly underlines this truth than Einstein’s own special relativity thought experiment that presupposes the reality of the motion of the trains as the foundation for his argument.

      Aristotle did not develop the concepts of potency and act BEFORE recognizing motion, but as a SUBSEQUENT method of explaining the motion
      everyone knew was real, but could not sort out philosophically -- in light of
      the absurd contradictions between (1) Parmenides, who claimed that nothing changes, and (2) Heraclitus, who claimed nothing stays the same.

      Speculative philosophical claims, such as eternalism, that contradict the reality of motion contradict also the very starting point of human experience, and thereby annihilate their own credibility.

      • Richard Morley

        Nothing more startlingly underlines this truth than Einstein’s own special relativity thought experiment that presupposes the reality of the motion of the trains as the foundation for his argument.

        You apparently continue to misrepresent the position of modern physics, after being corrected. Unless you can point me to a modern physicist who denies that (for example) the Moon is at different positions with respect to the Earth at different times, as opposed to just disagreeing with you as to how one interprets 'time'.

        Speculative philosophical claims, such as eternalism, that contradict the reality of motion..

        i) it has been pointed out to you repeatedly that eternalism does not contradict the reality of motion as we observe it, just influences how we interpret it.
        ii) eternalism is no more 'speculative' than the presentism you appear to espouse (or whatever you want to call your position), indeed the philpapers survey you cited seems to show that your point of view is less accepted by modern philosophy than is eternalism.
        iii) as discussed earlier, presentism seems to be incompatible not just with scientific observations, but with the theological concept of a timeless God, or indeed the mere possibility of any timeless point of view.

        I don't think you ever did answer why you think position, even relative to other elements of the system, is the 'fundamental' variable which cannot change without an active principle interceding at every point. Why not velocity, as that is what we observe requiring intervention to change? For that matter, why not acceleration or jerk or absement? I can see why Aristotle or Aquinas would think that velocity drops to zero without intervention, but it could equally have been that everything reverts to the origin of spatial coordinates (0,0,0) without constant intervention.

        • Dennis Bonnette

          It isn't merely a question of whether there are different positions at different times. That is why I defined the traditional common sense meaning of change: "Change or motion—meaning that “this” becomes “that” with some persisting
          reality exhibiting those before and after qualities—simply does not
          exist."

          What is critically at issue is not only the different positions or the difference between the before and after, but the "persisting reality" that connects those extremes. That is what the OP is directly addressing with multiple explanations above.

          This is why some of the modern definitions of change I have described elsewhere as being "Alice in Wonderland" definitions, since they leave out the essential ingredient in true change: persistent reality underlying the change.

          • Richard Morley

            It isn't merely a question of whether there are different positions at different times.

            Hence the 'for example'. It is one example of change, and I note that you have not provided an example of a physicist denying the reality of that change, or of change over time in general.

            This is why some of the modern definitions of change I have described elsewhere as being "Alice in Wonderland" definitions, since they leave out the essential ingredient in true change: persistent reality underlying the change.

            Calling the alleged position of 'physics' (and associated philosophy) names is not an argument. Showing that for example modern physics denies the 'persistent reality' with a model such as a wavefunction evolving with time according to the Schrodinger equation, or even a Newtonian universe of atoms-as-billiard-balls, would be at least a good start.

            Again, this seems to be more of an issue with your perception of physics than with physics itself (and associated philosophy) as it actually is today.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            If physicists hold positions regarding change that meet the definition given in the OP, I have no difficulty with what they are saying. If their position denies the common sense definition held by Aristotle, St. Thomas, and all of mankind down to the advent of certain philosophical speculations associated with modern physics today, then we have a problem -- since it appears that some of those speculations contradict the very starting points of human experience -- as explained more fully in the OP.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Hence the 'for example'. It is one example of change, and I note that you have not provided an example of a physicist denying the reality of that change, or of change over time in general.

            They are physicists that's their specialty. Are you saying all physicists are uniform in their philosophy? Well Catholic Physicist Stephen Barr metaphysically I suspect leans toward Thomism where as atheist Lawrence Krauss I won't be surprised is a reductionist materialist of some sort.

            Atheist Philosopher Daniel Dennett said "“There is no such thing as philosophy-free science; there is only science whose philosophical baggage is taken on board without examination.”

            I get the impression you and Dr. Bonnette are wasting each others time.

            One is trying to have a philosophical discussion and the other is having an argument from physics.

            "Modern Physics" is an empirical science but it is not metaphysics. You can describe modern physics metaphysically. You can take the metaphysical philosophical position of reductionist materialism or OP or whatever but I think the first thing you need to do is not make category mistakes.

          • Richard Morley

            Are you saying all physicists are uniform in their philosophy?

            Actually, I said quite the opposite. Very explicitly.

            One is trying to have a philosophical discussion and the other is having an argument from physics.

            Or a discussion about both, informed by both. Personally I feel that those physicists who ignore philosophy are as (and no more) misguided as those philosophers who ignore physics. Or maths, cognitive science and so on. On relevant topics of course.

            Do you love knowledge and look for truth, or are you just playing the game of "my subject is bigger/better/more fundamental than yours"? I have no interest in the latter, whatsoever.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Actually, I said quite the opposite. Very explicitly.

            Then why demand he "provided an example of a physicist denying the reality of that change"? Obviously some physicist somewhere meets that criteria thus to demand he produce one is with all due respect a trivial request.

            >Or a discussion about both, informed by both. Personally I feel that those physicists who ignore philosophy are as (and no more) misguided as those philosophers who ignore physics. Or maths, cognitive science and so on. On relevant topics of course.

            That is good to know. I accept that is your true intention.

            >Do you love knowledge and look for truth, or are you just playing the game of "my subject is bigger/better/more fundamental than yours"? I have no interest in the latter, whatsoever.

            Of course I love truth but it's been my practical and personal experience that when discussing the argument from motion the physicist (unless he is informed philosophically) almost always without exception makes a fundamental category mistake & commits fallacies of equivocation when discussing this topic all over the place.

            Almost all of them confuse Motus/movement with momentum.

            Your responses to Dr. Bonnette seem to lean that way(maybe I am misreading you?). Because you cannot in principle refute the Argument from motion scientifically anymore then I can declare a Higg Bosen particle a myth because I can't dig it up in a fossil record.

            Category mistakes. Let us avoid them.

          • Richard Morley

            Then why demand he "provided an example of a physicist denying the reality of that change"?

            Obviously because I don't think he will be able to produce a mainstream physicist doing so. I can produce Christians who think the world is 6000 years old, or flat, or that gays should be herded up into concentration camps, but that is not representative of the christian position, is it?

            A better question might be: why did he not answer that question? Why don't you? If it is a trivial request, it should be trivial to answer.

            So far the OP seems to be based on massive misunderstanding of the actual modern scientific world view. Since it is presumably trying to argue that the Aristotelian view he presents is superior, despite its clashes with observed reality, this is a problem.

            That is good to know. I accept that is your true intention.

            How very generous. So far I see no evidence that the same is true of yourself. Try engaging politely with others, reading what they actually wrote and asking questions rather than leaping to assumptions.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Obviously because I don't think he will be able to produce a mainstream physicist doing so.

            Ah so any Physicist who is not an Atheist reductionist materialist is not "mainstream" then? Catholic Physicists like Stephen Barr or Protestant Christian Physicists like Robert T. Russell are not "mainstream"? Cause that is what you seem to be implying here?

            That is a little silly (and insulting too). You might as well have called them Rednecks. Just saying....

            >I can produce Christians who think the world is 6000 years old, or flat, or that gays should be herded up into concentration camps, but that is not representative of the christian position, is it?

            What a special snowflake you are taking offense at my jab against Ray comparing him to a Redneck YEC's but it is OK for you to do it?

            You may want to rethink that.

            >A better question might be: why did he not answer that question? Why don't you? If it is a trivial request, it should be trivial to answer.

            Why are you obsessed with trivialities unless you just want to gum up the works with irrelevancies & useless tangents?

            Anyway I answered you and Dr. B up votes me. So you have your answer.

            >So far the OP seems to be based on massive misunderstanding of the actual modern scientific world view.

            A "redneck" response on the level of saying the 2nd law refutes evolution.
            What is with you people confusing science and philosophy and making category mistakes up the wazzoo?

            Since the OP is a philosophical view your statement is about as meaningful as saying natural selection is based on a misunderstanding of quantum physics. How do you not get this? Yes philosophy and physics can inform each other but they are only related analogously. You are treating them as if they are related unequivocally.

            Please stop.

            >Since it is presumably trying to argue that the Aristotelian view he presents is superior, despite its clashes with observed reality, this is a problem.

            I honestly think as this point you are confusing Aristotle's metaphysical claims (potency becomes act by something already in act) with the anachronistic and false physics of the ancient Greeks (which they all held even the Atheists and anti-realists among them). Such as the false view an object in motion stays in motion as long as something is acting on it otherwise it returns to it's natural state of stasis.

            It is as I said and your responses vindicate me. You are confusing physics with metaphysics and philosophy with science. You are comiting fallacies of equivocation all over the place.

            >How very generous. So far I see no evidence that the same is true of yourself.

            I take people at their word even when I secretly think they are BS'ing me.
            For example I for purposes of argument take you at your word inspite of being offended I compared Ray to a Redneck & yet you explicitly accuse Christians of wanting to put gays in concentration camps. Stalin put gays in concentration camps too. He wasn't a Christian he was an Atheist. What was his excuse?

            >Try engaging politely with others, reading what they actually wrote and asking questions rather than leaping to assumptions.

            Follow your own advice and we will get along splendidly.

            Here is some advise. If I put you off so try humiliating me with a good rational argument defeating my claims. That would hurt me worst then merely pointing out I am a jerk.

            There now it's truly fair.

          • Richard Morley

            Ah so any Physicist who is not an Atheist reductionist materialist is not "mainstream" then? Catholic Physicists like Stephen Barr or Protestant Christian Physicists like Robert T. Russell are not "mainstream"? Cause that is what you seem to be implying here?

            Because "Catholic Physicists like Stephen Barr or Protestant Christian Physicists like Robert T. Russell" assert that the universe cannot be different at different points in time? You are not just implying that, you are pretty explicitly stating it. Have you forgotten what was being referred to?

            What a special snowflake you are taking offense at my jab against Ray comparing him to a Redneck YEC's but it is OK for you to do it?

            :D

            Again, I said that that is not "representative of the christian position". I will refrain from comments about reading ability, rednecks and 6th graders.

            Why are you obsessed with trivialities unless you just want to gum up the works with irrelevancies & useless tangents?

            It is neither irrelevant nor useless. Dr Bonnette has repeatedly misrepresented the eternalist point of view, been corrected and repeated the misrepresentation without addressing the correction. Asking him to produce a physicist who claims what he asserts seems a good way to try to make the point in a different way.

            Anyway I answered you

            You have not given an example of a physicist claiming that the universe cannot be different at different points in time. That was the question.

            and Dr. B up votes me

            To his eternal shame.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Because "Catholic Physicists like Stephen Barr or Protestant Christian Physicists like Robert T. Russell" assert that the universe cannot be different at different points in time?

            I thought you wanted an example of ""provided an example of a physicist denying the reality of that change"? What are you on about now?

            >You are not just implying that, you are pretty explicitly stating it. Have you forgotten what was being referred to?

            Maybe? I believe this fight of fancy of your into trivialities is succeeding in it's goal to muck up the discussion. So I just might have forgotten. Why don't we just get back to the philosophy & or your equivocations between Science and Philosophy?

            >:D
            Again, I said that that is not "representative of the christian position". I will refrain from comments about reading ability, rednecks and 6th graders.

            Of course. ;-):D ;D

            >It is neither irrelevant nor useless. Dr Bonnette has repeatedly misrepresented the eternalist point of view,

            If so blame him why blame OP?

            > been corrected and repeated the misrepresentation without addressing the correction. Asking him to produce a physicist who claims what he asserts seems a good way to try to make the point in a different way.

            Again Trivial.

            >ou have not given an example of a physicist claiming that the universe cannot be different at different points in time. That was the question.

            I was responding too "give us an example of a physicist denying the reality of that change." So there are no physicists who are philosophical anti-realists?

            That seems implausible. Like claiming no Physicists are Presbyterians.

            >To his eternal shame.

            Shame? Such a drama queen.

          • Richard Morley

            >Because "Catholic Physicists like Stephen Barr or Protestant Christian Physicists like Robert T. Russell" assert that the universe cannot be different at different points in time?
            I thought you wanted an example of ""provided an example of a physicist denying the reality of that change"? What are you on about now?

            Exactly that. What was asked was whether Dr Bonnete can point to a physicist who denies that the universe can be in different states at different times. The example was the Moon being at different positions with respect to the Earth. So, you are asserting that "Catholic Physicists like Stephen Barr or Protestant Christian Physicists like Robert T. Russell" assert this.

            Interesting, to say the least. Can you back this up?

            I believe this fight of fancy of your into trivialities is succeeding in it's goal to muck up the discussion.

            No, you are doing that all on your own. At least as far as your own understanding goes. You do know how to read past comments, don't you? Try that. If nothing else, reading your own posts in hindsight might bring home just how vile your behaviour has been.

            >It is neither irrelevant nor useless. Dr Bonnette has repeatedly misrepresented the eternalist point of view,
            If so blame him why blame OP?

            Wow.

            If I pointed out that Dr Bonnette is the OP, would that come as news to you? If you don't know what "the OP" refers to, the sensible thing to do is ask.

            Shame? Such a drama queen.

            You don't know the half of it, sweetie.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Exactly that. What was asked was whether Dr Bonnete can point to a physicist who denies that the universe can be in different states at different times. The example was the Moon being at different positions with respect to the Earth. So, you are asserting that "Catholic Physicists like Stephen Barr or Protestant Christian Physicists like Robert T. Russell" assert this.

            >Interesting, to say the least. Can you back this up?

            No and in fact I can concede it too you because well I really don't care & if you win this battle you still lost the war with your blunder in the other post blatantly conflating physics and metaphysics. Blatantly ignoring the distinctions between science and philosophy. Defending your category mistakes and fallacies of equivocation with more fallacies of equivocation and category mistakes. You cannot misuse interdisciplinary relations to justify any of that my friend.
            The act/potency distinction is a metaphysical principle and must be argued in the realm of philosophy. It is not a rival to newton. The anachronistic Greek Physics Aristotle and his fellows believed in is a rival (& a failed one) but not the metaphysics. The later can be applied to any branch of physics.

            >No, you are doing that all on your own. At least as far as your own understanding goes. You do know how to read past comments, don't you? Try that. If nothing else, reading your own posts in hindsight might bring home just how vile your behaviour has been.

            I only skip too the interesting bits. Who or what physicist does what is not interesting. As to me being vile. Yes I am a jerk. But you are a nicer person then moi who happens to confuse physics and metaphysics. I know which I would rather be. I'll be the smug self satisfied jerk who is right. I also know how to make a strategic retreat. You go all in damn the torpedos. Bad form.

            >Wow.
            If I pointed out that Dr Bonnette is the OP, would that come as news to you? If you don't know what "the OP" refers to, the sensible thing to do is ask.

            What Delicious fallacy of equitation cake you have just given me! Did you bake it yourself? Rich if every category mistake and fallacy of equivocation evaporated from the cosmos tomorrow one wonders if you would have anything to say?

            >You don't know the half of it, sweetie.

            Rather you are more Guy Benson to my Milo Yiannopoulos darling.

          • Richard Morley

            No and in fact I can concede it too you because well I really don't care

            You don't care that you are glaringly wrong on a fundamental point of the discussion? What was that about pride in one's intellect again?

            But good, you concede this point. That is a start. Not a great one, but once started one can at least begin to catch up, assuming of course that one is not the slowest as well as being late to the party.

            However, what this means is that Dr Bonnette's only defence of a key part of his argument, so far, is an attack on an irrelevant straw man. That 'key part' of course being his theory of time that he declines to state in detail (or even to give us a name for, hint hint, beyond objecting to 'presentism' which I have to say it seems to resemble in every relevant aspect). Understandably, to be clear, but without that his argument lacks its foundation. If you read my original post in this thread you will see that that was my main point all along. The act/potency distinction would be a different issue for a different discussion - I agree with Dr Bonnette that it is better to stick to one topic at a time if possible.

            That 'key part' also being a good example of how physics can and does inform philosophy and why I think it would be foolish for either group to dismiss the other's discipline. If you look at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry for Time you will see that the special theory of relativity is in fact given as the first (and most?) influential argument against presentism. Indeed you might want to take note of the phrase "This may be on account of the enormous respect philosophers typically have for leading theories in the empirical sciences." ;D

            Naturally you can take issue with the theory of special relativity, either how it is interpreted or by attacking its two main premises or the argument itself, but this places you firmly in the physicists' playground. Not a problem for me, but it would presumably be one for your claim of non overlapping magisteria.

            Who or what physicist does what is not interesting.

            As noted above, that is foolish in my opinion. Certainly not a 'love of knowledge'.

            But you are a nicer person then moi ...

            Oh, damn me with faint praise, why don't you?

            What Delicious fallacy of equitation cake you have just given me!

            Leave my horse riding out of this. You haven't met welsh horses, they are Evil.

            Since you are apparently not sensible enough to ask (silly me, asking would also have been the polite option, so was naturally out of the question, with hindsight) "the OP" refers to the Original Poster. In this case Dr Bonnette. Hence "If so blame him why blame OP?" was a silly question. No cake for you, boyo. The cake is a lie.

            Rather you are more Guy Benson to my Milo Yiannopoulos darling.

            Oh, cuddles, hush or Brandon will be telling us to get a room. Not that someone deliberately comparing themselves to that blinged up 'zombie Cleopatra' lookalike isn't skin crawlingly creepy. Or maybe the one image of him I have seen is not representative, but still, if you call Trump "Daddy" I don't want to know. Who is Guy Benson?

          • Jim the Scott

            >You don't care that you are glaringly wrong on a fundamental point of the discussion? What was that about pride in one's intellect again?

            No I don't care about this misdirecting triviality anymore then I care to discuss Forensics with you or wither or not it has non-criminal applications.

            >But good, you concede this point. That is a start. Not a great one, but once started one can at least begin to catch up, assuming of course that one is not the slowest as well as being late to the party.

            Well let the baby have bottle I say. That fact you confuse science and philosophy and physics with metaphysics is your chief malfunction.
            What physicist believes what philosophically is trivial.

            >However, what this means is that Dr Bonnette's only defence of a key part of his argument, so far, is an attack on an irrelevant straw man.

            No as even Edward Feser points out some physics on paper take an anti-realism view but practically to do actual physics requires practical realism.
            Listing names is not relevant. Thought you can read the complaints of Smolin.

            > That 'key part' of course being his theory of time that he declines to state in detail (or even to give us a name for, hint hint, beyond objecting to 'presentism' which I have to say it seems to resemble in every relevant aspect).

            I don't see how different theories of time invalidate the act/potency distinction? The First Way is not the Kalam Cosmological argument. Aquinas for practical purposes presumed a past eternal universe. He believed you could not scientifically or philosophically prove creation had a beginning & could only know that was true by divine revelation. Are you one of these people who erroneously think like Dawkins the First Way has something to do with the beginning of time? It doesn't.

            > Understandably, to be clear, but without that his argument lacks its foundation. If you read my original post in this thread you will see that that was my main point all along. The act/potency distinction would be a different issue for a different discussion - I agree with Dr Bonnette that it is better to stick to one topic at a time if possible.

            Dr B doesn't want to go down every rabbit hole like you do. I agree with him.

            >That 'key part' also being a good example of how physics can and does inform philosophy and why I think it would be foolish for either group to dismiss the other's discipline.

            That is trivially true and not in dispute except in your imagination.

            >If you look at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry for Time you will see that the special theory of relativity is in fact given as the first (and most?) influential argument against presentism.

            I have seen Thomists take opposite sides in the A Theory vs B Theory time dispute. But I don't see how adopting one or the other invalidates the Act/potency distinction. Thought some Thomists might believe one or the other is mandated by moderate realism. I plead Agnosticism.

            > Indeed you might want to take note of the phrase "This may be on account of the enormous respect philosophers typically have for leading theories in the empirical sciences." ;D

            I would not dispute that but it is irrelevant to the validity of the Act/potency distinction or the first way.

            >Naturally you can take issue with the theory of special relativity, either how it is interpreted or by attacking its two main premises or the argument itself, but this places you firmly in the physicists' playground. Not a problem for me, but it would presumably be one for your claim of non overlapping magisteria.

            No I would agree with Edward Feser and I don't think Dr. B would dispute it that you can model Aristotle's false Greek physics, Newton's physics, Relativity and Quantum Physics using the Act/potency distinction.

            I would be interested to see how the theory of time might fall on that but I need not take a side anymore then I need to take one between Gould vs Dawkins since God exists anyway and divine providence governs it.

            >Oh, damn me with faint praise, why don't you?

            I am trying.

            >>Who or what physicist does what is not interesting.
            >As noted above, that is foolish in my opinion. Certainly not a 'love of knowledge'.

            It is trivial knowledge.

            >Leave my horse riding out of this. You haven't met welsh horses, they are Evil.

            >Since you are apparently not sensible enough to ask (silly me, asking would also have been the polite option, so was naturally out of the question, with hindsight) "the OP" refers to the Original Poster. In this case Dr Bonnette. Hence "If so blame him why blame OP?" was a silly question. No cake for you, boyo. The cake is a lie.

            Whatever you say pal.

            >Oh, cuddles, hush or Brandon will be telling us to get a room. Not that someone deliberately comparing themselves to that blinged up 'zombie Cleopatra' lookalike isn't skin crawlingly creepy. Or maybe the one image of him I have seen is not representative, but still, if you call Trump "Daddy" I don't want to know. Who is Guy Benson?

            Benson is a leave it to beaver type gay conservative who writes for Townhall.
            BTW I wasn't coming on too you. I am already in a long term relationship but I am flattered.

          • Richard Morley

            No I don't care about this misdirecting triviality anymore then I care to discuss Forensics with you or wither or not it has non-criminal applications.

            You being wrong about the whole basis of the discussion does not seem trivial. Nor does the point that Dr Bonnette's only defense of one of his foundational premises so far has been an attack on a straw man.

            A block universe view of time seems to do away with the problem he asserts here. And has the support of scientists and philosophers of science. As shown by the SEP reference I gave you.

            I don't see how different theories of time invalidate the act/potency distinction?

            As I pointed out, I was not addressing the act/potency distinction.

            Is this another case where you just do not realise what has been discussed? Seriously, try reading the thread again. Get the context.

            Aquinas for practical purposes presumed a past eternal universe.

            The question of a block universe versus presentism (or similar models) has nothing to do with whether or not (past) time is finite. That I see, at least.

            >The act/potency distinction would be a different issue for a different discussion

            See that? You quoted that bit. It is relevant.

            That is trivially true and not in dispute except in your imagination.

            You are the one attacking others for mentioning physics in a discussion about philosophical views of time and causation.

            I have seen Thomists take opposite sides in the A Theory vs B Theory time dispute.

            I don't see the relevance of that to the debate. That said, who would you recommend as a fairly orthodox respected Thomist defending B theory?

            But I don't see how adopting one or the other invalidates the Act/potency distinction.

            Again this was not about the act/potency distinction itself. It was more about whether all change, especially ongoing change such as local motion (steady velocity) requires ongoing active causation at each point in time.

            I am trying.

            You are. Very. ;)

            BTW I wasn't coming on too you.

            Hah! I love that you feel the need to point that out. Rest assured, whatever kind of christian apologetics sites you may be used to, Strange Notions does not operate that way. That I know of, anyway. I was just goofing with your drama queen comment.

            I am already in a long term relationship

            Yet you are trawling for Dicks on the internet and calling them 'darling'? You hussy.

          • Jim the Scott

            >You being wrong about the whole basis of the discussion does not seem trivial. Nor does the point that Dr Bonnette's only defense of one of his foundational premises so far has been an attack on a straw man.

            Completely trivial. The basis of this discussion is his discussion of the first way and your tendency to treat it like a scientific claim or to misuse overlapping magisteria to further your fallacies of equivocation.
            But at least you have a small victory.

            >A block universe view of time seems to do away with the problem he asserts here. And has the support of scientists and philosophers of science. As shown by the SEP reference I gave you.

            It's a non-starter.
            http://philosophy.cah.ucf.edu/fpr/files/10_1/brenner.pdf

            As far as I can see Thomists don't favor one theory of time over another and the act potency distinction still applies .

            >As I pointed out, I was not addressing the act/potency distinction.

            So it is you who is straying off topic.

            >Is this another case where you just do not realise what has been discussed? Seriously, try reading the thread again. Get the context.

            LOL! I read all I need to read. You can't decide are we having a scientific discussion or a philosophical one. You have nothing let to say other then complain about trivialities.

            >The question of a block universe versus presentism (or similar models) has nothing to do with whether or not (past) time is finite. That I see, at least.

            It has little to do with wither or not whatever is moved is moved by another(in the AT sense).

            >The question of a block universe versus presentism (or similar models) has nothing to do with whether or not (past) time is finite. That I see, at least.

            Well that is some progress. Well done.

            >>The act/potency distinction would be a different issue for a different discussion
            >See that? You quoted that bit. It is relevant.

            At this point I am lost in your Rabbit hole.

            >You are the one attacking others for mentioning physics in a discussion about philosophical views of time and causation.

            No I am criticizing them for making equivocations between Physics and Metaphysics.

            >I don't see the relevance of that to the debate. That said, who would you recommend as a fairly orthodox respected Thomist defending B theory?

            You seem to think Block theory answers Dr. B on causality?

            Anyway see the brenner link above.

            >Again this was not about the act/potency distinction itself. It was more about whether all change, especially ongoing change such as local motion (steady velocity) requires ongoing active causation at each point in time.

            To ask such a question presupposes the anachronistic ancient Greek physics which is not relevant to the act/potency distinction per say. There is a transcendent causation in terms of God or the Prime Mover causing beings with distinct essences to exist here and now but one doesn't require a physics for that.

            >Hah! I love that you feel the need to point that out. Rest assured, whatever kind of christian apologetics sites you may be used to, Strange Notions does not operate that way. That I know of, anyway. I was just goofing with your drama queen comment.

            I knew you where joking. I am secure in my manhood. I was just joking back at you (in case you where not I thought I'd just let you down easy).

            >Yet you are trawling for Dicks on the internet and calling them 'darling'? You hussy.

            Whatever bitch.;-) . I am too sexy for this board. Layyyyder.

          • Richard Morley

            Completely trivial.

            Again, hardly. Do you not realise or not accept that lacking support for one of your fundamental premises renders the argument null? If his argument relies on a theory of time I reject (and that seems to clash with a timeless God) then naturally I will not find it convincing, especially given the lack of a defense of that premise.

            Again, I get that he is limited in time. But an argument with no foundation remains unconvincing whatever the reason for that state.

            It's a non-starter.
            http://philosophy.cah.ucf.e...

            Ah - nothing in that explains how Dr Bonnette's argument would hold under a B theory of time. What did you mean by "It's a non-starter" if not that?

            >As I pointed out, I was not addressing the act/potency distinction.
            So it is you who is straying off topic.

            No, right from the start I focused on the fundamental flaw of the lack of foundation for the argument due to the assumption of (apparently) an A-theory of time with no support beyond a straw man attack on B theories of time.

            That was the topic. You seem not to have realised this (really, read the thread why don't you?) so your interventions so far have been off topic as well as rude and childish.

            Well that is some progress. Well done.

            Yeah, I was pointing out that you had (again) clearly missed the point. And apparently do not understand what A and B theories of time actually refer to.

            No I am criticizing them for making equivocations between Physics and Metaphysics.

            It isn't an equivocation just because you do not understand the point. Possibly, in part at least, due to you lacking the context, but you now know this and have no excuse to go and read the earlier comments.

            >That said, who would you recommend as a fairly orthodox respected Thomist defending B theory?
            Anyway see the brenner link above.

            So an undergraduate paper is the best you can come up with as a "orthodox respected Thomist defending B theory"?

            You seem to think Block theory answers Dr. B on causality?

            His argument rests on his theory of time. You don't see this? Try restating it from a B theoretical point of view.

            To ask such a question presupposes the anachronistic ancient Greek physics which is not relevant to the act/potency distinction per say.

            No, it was a direct response to his assertion that constant velocity implied change and so requires an ongoing active extrinsic causal principle. Arguably his assertion presupposes the anachronistic ancient Greek physics whereof you speak, but take that up with him.

            So far it seems that you don't have a point beyond not understanding the debate in which you are rather bombastically trying to intercede. On the point in question you actually seem to agree not with Dr Bonnette but with me (or Ye Olde Statistician if you prefer a Thomist, but you have to look to the earlier thread for him).

          • Jim the Scott

            >Again, hardly. Do you not realise or not accept that lacking support for one of your fundamental premises renders the argument null?

            Are we still discussing what scientist believes what?

            >If his argument relies on a theory of time I reject (and that seems to clash with a timeless God) then naturally I will not find it convincing, especially given the lack of a defense of that premise.

            Good we have moved on.

            You have not shown a clash between B Theory time and a Timeless God. You merely assume it.

            >Again, I get that he is limited in time. But an argument with no foundation remains unconvincing whatever the reason for that state.

            Rather your argument is unstated & ambiguous.

            >Ah - nothing in that explains how Dr Bonnette's argument would hold under a B theory of time. What did you mean by "It's a non-starter" if not that?

            It gives the names of philosophers who hold too the idea of a timeless God under both A and B theory time and a short summery of their views in relation to Aquinas. Do your homework.

            You have not shown me B theory time is not compatible with the act/potency distinction.

            But as Feser said "A second point is that unlike Parmenides’ own block universe, the block universe of Minkowski is supposed to be governed by laws that are contingent. And if they are contingent, then, the Aristotelian-Thomistic philosopher will argue, they are merely potential until actualized. That means that even if there were no real change or actualization of potency within an Einsteinian four-dimensional block universe, the sheer existence of that universe as a whole would involve the actualization of potency, and thus something like change in the Aristotelian sense (and thus in turn an actualizer or “changer” distinct from the world itself, though that’s a subject of its own)."

            Relativity is according to Feser incoherent when modeled via Parmenides. But obviously not all block universe are so modeled.

            http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2012/01/maudlin-on-philosophy-of-cosmology.html#more

            >No, right from the start I focused on the fundamental flaw of the lack of foundation for the argument due to the assumption of (apparently) an A-theory of time with no support beyond a straw man attack on B theories of time.

            If you say so.

            Apparently you are equivocating Parmenides’ view of a block universe with modern physicists views.

            Will your fallacies of equivocation never cease?

            >That was the topic. You seem not to have realised this (really, read the thread why don't you?) so your interventions so far have been off topic as well as rude and childish.

            No rather you are blathering about trivialities and you can't decide if you are making a philosophical argument or a scientific one.

            So is your revised argument you are making an argument from the philosophy of time? If you said that in the beginning we might have been on the same page but so far you are just phoning it in. Not very grown up. I expect this level of evasiveness from women who want me to guess what they are feeling.

            >It isn't an equivocation just because you do not understand the point. Possibly, in part at least, due to you lacking the context, but you now know this and have no excuse to go and read the earlier comments.

            A straight forward "I am making an argument via the philosophy of time would have cleared the air." Instead you pretended the distinction between philosophy and science did not matter and overlapping magestra justifies it.

            >So an undergraduate paper is the best you can come up with as a "orthodox respected Thomist defending B theory"?

            Try these then.
            http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2012/01/maudlin-on-philosophy-of-cosmology.html#more

            http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2012/01/maudlin-on-philosophy-of-cosmology.html#more

            Maybe you can say something less ambiguous.

            >His argument rests on his theory of time. You don't see this? Try restating it from a B theoretical point of view.

            Hardly since the paper I originally cited too you shows philosophers don't all agree one wither or not we can apply A or B theory Time to Aquinas' view on time.

            >No, it was a direct response to his assertion that constant velocity implied change and so requires an ongoing active extrinsic causal principle. Arguably his assertion presupposes the anachronistic ancient Greek physics whereof you speak, but take that up with him.

            Not at all since the act/potency distinction is a metaphysical description by nature and can be applied to any branch of physics. Valid or anachronistic. You don't get that bit which is why you have nothing intelligent to say on the matter.

            >So far it seems that you don't have a point beyond not understanding the debate in which you are rather bombastically trying to intercede.

            Says the person who equivocates between physics and metaphysics and philosophy vs science. A & B theory Time is part of the philosophy of Time. Not the physics of time. Or did you not know that because you cannot distinguish between the two?

            > On the point in question you actually seem to agree not with Dr Bonnette but with me (or Ye Olde Statistician if you prefer a Thomist, but you have to look to the earlier thread for him).

            Not really since I don't equivocate between existential inertia vs physical intertia. As too O'Flynn well if he thinks B theory time is not compatible with Thomist he is entitled to that opinion. I plead the Agnostic view since there seems to be some diversity of opinion on the matter.
            I wonder if Micheal merely objects to Parmenides’ view of a block universe? Well if so then I do too.

          • Richard Morley

            Are we still discussing what scientist believes what?

            You are losing track of what we have discussed again? Time to go back and reread it! Yay!

            Not that that should be necessary for you to answer the question:"Do you not realise or not accept that lacking support for one of your fundamental premises renders the argument null?" Looks more like a defensive deflection to me.

            You have not shown a clash between B Theory time and a Timeless God. You merely assume it.

            i) I don't have to. The relevant point is that his argument, as given, relies on an A-series theory of time. So anyone who does not agree with that (a majority of philosophers of science, apparently, according to a survey he himself cited) will not be convinced by the argument.

            So, lacking its foundation, his triumphant conclusion draws the anticlimactic response "not proven".

            Rather your argument is unstated & ambiguous.

            I'm responding to his argument, not presenting a whole new one. That you do not understand this, or the point, is, shall we say, not necessarily my fault.

            It gives the names of philosophers who hold too the idea of a timeless God under both A and B theory time and a short summery of their views in relation to Aquinas. Do your homework.

            None of that explains how his argument would hold under a B theory of time. You do your homework, or you won't be allowed dessert.

            You have not shown me B theory time is not compatible with the act/potency distinction.

            I have not tried to. That is not my point. Why do you struggle so much with this concept?

            Other arguments may hold with a B theorist, but not the one presented in the OP.

            So is your revised argument you are making an argument from the philosophy of time?

            There is no revision. My point remains the same as it always was - apparently just beyond your grasp.

            If you said that in the beginning we might have been on the same page but so far you are just phoning it in.

            Ah. So you claim that if the very first sentence of my very first post in this thread had been:

            There is a lot that could be discussed here, but sharing your dislike for argument by inundation, I think the main point is that this issue largely and fundamentally (but not entirely) reduces to a question of the model of time.

            ..then you would not have so dismally misunderstood the point of the whole discussion?

            This turns out not to be the case.

            I expect this level of evasiveness from women who want me to guess what they are feeling.

            Oh, so comparison to women is added to your lovely list of non-pc insults. Maybe I am a woman whose parents really really wanted a boy?

            >So an undergraduate paper is the best you can come up with as a "orthodox respected Thomist defending B theory"?
            Try these then.

            Nope. If you had someone you considered an "orthodox respected Thomist" and who defends B theory to suggest, I would have been interested. I am not interested in what you get out of Googling "orthodox respected Thomist defending B theory".

            A & B theory Time is part of the philosophy of Time. Not the physics of time.

            Yet the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy cites physics on its entry on the philosophy of Time. Almost as though physics can be relevant to philosophy!

            As too O'Flynn well if he thinks B theory time is not compatible with Thomist he is entitled to that opinion.

            You are misreading again due to forgetting what we were talking about, in this case presumably due to a memory span that would embarrass a stunned puppy. YOS argued that 'motus' in the case of physical motion would apply to acceleration, not velocity. Thus in line with physics. Dr Bonnette disagreed.

          • Jim the Scott

            >You are losing track of what we have discussed again? Time to go back and reread it! Yay!

            No your trivial complaints about trivialities are just boring.

            >Not that that should be necessary for you to answer the question:"Do you not realise or not accept that lacking support for one of your fundamental premises renders the argument null?" Looks more like a defensive deflection to me.

            The fundamental premise here is Aristotle's metaphysics vs competing metaphysics like Parmenides vs Heraclides vs Plato or in modern times Hume. But I do love how you project your own insecurities on me.

            >i) I don't have to.

            You pretty much do since there are a host of philosophers who assume B Theory Time and divine timelessness and it appears some versions of B theory time are compatible with the Act/potency distinction and it does not across the board render a contradiction to the act/potency distinction.

            >The relevant point is that his argument, as given, relies on an A-series theory of time. So anyone who does not agree with that (a majority of philosophers of science, apparently, according to a survey he himself cited) will not be convinced by the argument.

            Didn't Dr. B say "It isn't merely a question of whether there are different positions at different times. That is why I defined the traditional common sense meaning of change: "Change or motion—meaning that “this” becomes “that” with some persisting."

            You are the one employing the misdirection of A vs B theory time. As I have show advocating one or the other doesn't matter.

            >I'm responding to his argument, not presenting a whole new one. That you do not understand this, or the point, is, shall we say, not necessarily my fault.

            You response such as it is is inadequate.

            >There is no revision. My point remains the same as it always was - apparently just beyond your grasp.

            No I asked you point blank if you where making a philosophical vs a scientific argument and you blow off my question. So for future reference you where making an argument via the philosophy of time.

            >None of that explains how his argument would hold under a B theory of time. You do your homework, or you won't be allowed dessert.

            I pretty much did. Can't wait to see how answer or dodge it. Till I read you next post I will predict dodge.

            >Oh, so comparison to women is added to your lovely list of non-pc insults. Maybe I am a woman whose parents really really wanted a boy?

            Maybe.

            >Ah. So you claim that if the very first sentence of my very first post in this thread had been

            As I recalled I when I inserted myself here I commented on some challenge of yours to Dr. B to produce a scientist who believed this or that. Now you are back to trivialities. You need to move on. Are we going to argue ideas or not?

            >There is a lot that could be discussed here, but sharing your dislike for argument by inundation, I think the main point is that this issue largely and fundamentally (but not entirely) reduces to a question of the model of time.
            ..then you would not have so dismally misunderstood the point of the whole discussion?

            Maybe but you should have just plainly restated it. Why are you so coy?

            >Nope. If you had someone you considered an "orthodox respected Thomist" and who defends B theory to suggest, I would have been interested. I am not interested in what you get out of Googling "orthodox respected Thomist defending B theory".

            That is a goofy ad hoc standard. It show you really have no intelligent response to Feser's statement or Freakaziod's. This is just an example of you doing what you accuse me of misdirection and argument avoidance.

            Clearly B Theory time is not the issue. Rather B Theory Time & or Block Universe entirely modeled via the metaphysics of Parmenides is what opposes the act/potency distinction.

            >Yet the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy cites physics on its entry on the philosophy of Time.

            So what Mr. Catagory mistake? I am sure Evolutionary Encyclopedias cites archaeology as well as biology. It doesn't mean "natural selection" is a specific fossil you can dig up?

            >Almost as though physics can be relevant to philosophy!

            But you still can' t equivocate between them. Why won't you learn that lesson?

            >You are misreading again due to forgetting what we were talking about, in this case presumably due to a memory span that would embarrass a stunned puppy. YOS argued that 'motus' in the case of physical motion would apply to acceleration, not velocity. Thus in line with physics. Dr Bonnette disagreed.

            Well Dr. B has been trying to have a discussion of philosophy and metaphysics and you have been trying to equivocate is as a discussion on physics because you clearly don't have the faintest idea how to argue philosophy.

          • Richard Morley

            No your trivial complaints about trivialities are just boring.

            More pointless ****holery.

            >Not that that should be necessary for you to answer the question:"Do you not realise or not accept that lacking support for one of your fundamental premises renders the argument null?" Looks more like a defensive deflection to me.

            Still cannot answer that one, I see.

            The fundamental premise here is Aristotle's metaphysics vs competing metaphysics like Parmenides vs Heraclides vs Plato or in modern times Hume.

            No, the original point is the OP and the argument therein, which appears to rely on an A-theory of time (or something very much like it) and certainly devotes much of its space to a straw man attack on physicists and their alleged view of time and change.

            We could move on to other topics, but not while you occupy all the bandwidth with this nonsense.

            >i) I don't have to.
            You pretty much do

            I pretty much do not. Other philosophers can present other arguments, but I was talking here about this one, presented in the OP.

            We can talk about the other philosophers once this is wrapped up.

            That is why I defined the traditional common sense meaning of change: "Change or motion—meaning that “this” becomes “that” with some persisting."

            Actually, that is where I might argue that his apparent view of time and causality breaks the Thomist view of change, if I understand correctly. He appears to limit causality to individual points of space and time - cause can only have effect at the exact same point in space and time. Not even contiguous points, in the sense that the non negative numbers are contiguous with the negative ones but with zero interval between them - he would apparently not 'allow' (his word) that. If he means that literally and I understood him correctly, that would make each point in space and time utterly isolated and independent, relying presumably on some immaterial intervention for any propagation of cause and effect through time and space. This would raise real questions about what 'persists' from one moment to the next, or what can pass from one point in space to the next.

            That, again, would be another discussion and would, again, want clarification of what he meant, not what you assume he must have meant.

            Maybe but you should have just plainly restated it.

            I did. And pointed out repeatedly that you needed to go back and read the thread for context.

            Clearly B Theory time is not the issue. Rather B Theory Time & or Block Universe entirely modeled via the metaphysics of Parmenides is what opposes the act/potency distinction.

            Again, if you realise that I am not talking about the act/potency distinction, but the argument in the OP and the objection in my initial response, you should see that that sentence of yours needs revision.

            I gather there are objections along those lines, but those were not my point and would (again) be for another discussion.

            So what Mr. Catagory mistake?

            So physics can inform philosophy. When it comes to SR and presentism, the presentist's only real options seem to require him or her to argue physics, not philosophy. Except possibly making the property of 'reality' (i.e. something being real or existent) a purely relative, not absolute, property. That would (wait for it) be for another discussion.

            ...because you clearly don't have the faintest idea how to argue philosophy.

            Well, if that is your attitude there would be no point in my wasting time in trying to have a civilised discussion with you, would there?

          • Jim the Scott

            >More pointless ****holery.

            I am threw with it at least towards you.

            >No, the original point is the OP and the argument therein, which appears to rely on an A-theory of time (or something very much like it) and certainly devotes much of its space to a straw man attack on physicists and their alleged view of time and change.

            You only have to read "The Thinker" who apparently thinks change is not real and time is not real and science proves it.

            >Actually, that is where I might argue that his apparent view of time and causality breaks the Thomist view of change, if I understand correctly.

            I respectfully submit you don't. What would "break" the Thomist view is the view all change is unreal. Specifically Parmenides. If Time is unreal in some sense that doesn't mean all change is unreal. Also the ancients may use the term time differently then temporal theorists like the way Democretus understood "Atoms". What is called an Atom in modern times is not really an "atom" according to the ancient definition as units of matter made of electron, protons etc have void.

            >He appears to limit causality to individual points of space and time - cause can only have effect at the exact same point in space and time. Not even contiguous points, in the sense that the non negative numbers are contiguous with the negative ones but with zero interval between them - he would apparently not 'allow' (his word) that.

            Well negative numbers have no ontological counting significance. If I have a negative balance in the bank I don't positively have money that is made of some sort of "anti-matter" or some such spooky Scifi Trope. I merely positively owe the bank real money which is counted in positive numbers.
            But God merely would cause a B series time stream to exist with it' s properties of tenseless activity.

            > If he means that literally and I understood him correctly, that would make each point in space and time utterly isolated and independent, relying presumably on some immaterial intervention for any propagation of cause and effect through time and space. This would raise real questions about what 'persists' from one moment to the next, or what can pass from one point in space to the next.

            Indeed.

            >That, again, would be another discussion and would, again, want clarification of what he meant, not what you assume he must have meant.

            Cheers. Sorry I was a dick to you.

          • Richard Morley

            You only have to read "The Thinker" who apparently thinks change is not real and time is not real and science proves it.

            He is somewhat forceful in expressing his opinion, to put it politely. But does that not remind you of someone? Try asking him if the universe can be different at different points in time, such as the Moon being in different positions with respect to the Earth and I think you'll find he means something more nuanced and reasonable. I've found his points worth reading.

            What would "break" the Thomist view is the view all change is unreal.

            But likewise if each point in spacetime were utterly independant with no causal link to any other, would that not also 'break' the Thomist view of change specifically? If Dr Bonnette denies contiguous causation, between two points in spacetime that are different but contiguous, then it seems to me that whatever is at point (x,y,z) at one instant bears no relationship to what is there 'the next' instant, so there is no persistence, no continuity. Which is apparently nuts and so presumably not what he meant.

            An eternalist view just means that change over time is on a similar footing to change over space. So it still needs explanation, but a lot of the old arguments don't make much sense and especially local motion possibly does not count as 'motus' or A-T change.

            What is called an Atom in modern times is not really an "atom" according to the ancient definition as units of matter made of electron, protons etc have void.

            Fundamental particles are close, but I don't think there is an exact equivalent in field theory. Even quanta, or strings or loops in quantum gravity, don't really match from what I understand.

            Well negative numbers have no ontological counting significance.

            That was just an illustration of what is meant by two points (even in a continuum) being 'contiguous' but not identical. Requiring cause and effect to be contiguous is avoiding the 'spooky action at a distance' that physicists like Einstein dislike, which would still be nice despite current results in QM. But it seems to me that saying that cause at point (x,y,z,t) can only have any effect at (x,y,z,t) breaks the model. As I said, Dr Bonnette's idea of causation, as stated, appears to lead to each point in spacetime being utterly independant with no causal links between them. So it needs clarification, in my view, if he relies on this concept later on in what I am assuming to be an ongoing construction of an argument.

            Cheers. Sorry I was a dick to you.

            No worries. I was kind of playing up to it.

          • Jim the Scott

            >He is somewhat forceful in expressing his opinion, to put it politely. But does that not remind you of someone?

            Yes he is a d*** like me. We will either become bitter enemies or eventually fast Friends or both.

            Of course he is like me when I was at my ID phase in terms of intellectual development. He needs to move up.

            >Try asking him if the universe can be different at different points in time, such as the Moon being in different positions with respect to the Earth and I think you'll find he means something more nuanced and reasonable. I've found his points worth reading.

            Without a common ground or at least a clearly spelled out difference I know we will continue to talk past each other.

            From where I am sitting he clearly conflates science, metaphysics and philosophy of science. He seems to literally think the Trinity means God has three heads? I know something of comparative religion so I can reject some religious doctrine or views yet still understand them.

            He not so much,

            >But likewise if each point in spacetime were utterly independant with no causal link to any other, would that not also 'break' the Thomist view of change specifically?

            The way you describe it merely sounds like a version of Parmenides' metaphysics.

            >If Dr Bonnette denies contiguous causation, between two points in spacetime that are different but contiguous, then it seems to me that whatever is at point (x,y,z) at one instant bears no relationship to what is there 'the next' instant, so there is no persistence, no continuity. Which is apparently nuts and so presumably not what he meant.

            But isn't this just a mere modeling? If Time is unreal then why can' t we travel in the Past? That

            >An eternalist view just means that change over time is on a similar footing to change over space.

            But space is expanding so that sounds like some type of "change" is taking place.

            >So it still needs explanation, but a lot of the old arguments don't make much sense and especially local motion possibly does not count as 'motus' or A-T change.

            Maybe or maybe not.

            Cheers.

          • Jim the Scott

            It seems rich many people disagree with your claim B theory Time contradicts the Act/potency distinction and is not compatible with Aristotle's metaphysics.

            I quote Ed Feser.

            "On the Aristotelian-Scholastic analysis, questions about causation are raised wherever we have potentialities that need actualization, or a thing’s being metaphysically composite and thus in need of a principle that accounts for the composition of its parts, or there being a distinction in a thing between its essence or nature on the one and its existence on the other, or a thing’s being contingent. The universe, however physics and scientific cosmology end up describing it -- even if it turned out to be a universe without a temporal beginning, even if it is a four-dimensional block universe, even if Hawking’s closed universe model turned out to be correct, even if we should really think in terms of a multiverse rather than a single universe -- will, the Aristotelian argues, necessarily exhibit just these features (potentialities needing actualization, composition, contingency, etc.). And thus it will, as a matter of metaphysical necessity, require a cause outside it. And only that which is pure actuality devoid of potentiality, only what is utterly simple or non-composite, only something whose essence or nature just is existence itself, only what is therefore in no way contingent but utterly necessary -- only that, the classical theist maintains, could in principle be the ultimate terminus of explanation, whatever the specific scientific details turn out to be."END QUOTE

            You can find the whole discussion here,

            http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/07/carroll-on-laws-and-causation.html

            Additionally there is an interesting past discussion on his blog about B theory time & Aristotle.

            https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2017/11/aristotle-and-contemporary-science.html#more

            Pay attention too the posts from a fellow named Freakazoid.(though another poster named Red disagrees with him. I am sure you might agree with him but I am not so sure).

            Some choice quotes from Freakazoid.

            "But given substances, all the types of change that he lists in Five Proofs would still occur under the B-Theory and endurantism. We would still have changes that are qualitative, quantitative, substantial, etc. This just wouldn’t occur in a tensed manner."

            "Feser doesn’t say that it is the B-Theory that is denying change. It is the B-Theory denying temporal passage that he thinks is the problem. If you deny temporal passage, then you don’t have a way to measure change."

            "What's doing the real work in b-theory arguments against change is the denial of the passage of time. Again, there are b-theories endorse temporal passage like those of Maudlin, Savitt, etc. In that case, you still have real passage of time on the b-theory and thus real change."

            "What's doing the real work in b-theory arguments against change is the denial of the passage of time. Again, there are b-theories endorse temporal passage like those of Maudlin, Savitt, etc. In that case, you still have real passage of time on the b-theory and thus real change."

            "Every single theory of change requires that something persists through the change. This would be enduring substances for Thomists. Feser specifically links the denial of real change to different claims about persistence and indicates in the endnotes that he is referring to temporal parts theories ruling out any sense of actualization within a block universe. No substances persist in those theories so is able to change."

            "The only reason why the B-theory makes problems for change is because it rules out temporal passage. As I’ve already said, the only work that temporal passage is doing is providing an objective measure of change. This lets us know that change has occurred."

            "Both perdurantism and exdurantism deny that there are enduring substances. But you don’t need to endorse these in order to be a B-theorist. So real change, at least considered separately from temporal passage, is perfectly compatible with the B-theory."

          • Richard Morley

            Golly. An almost civil and on topic post, albeit mainly copy and pasted from others. Are you feeling OK? Should we call the emergency services for you?

            It seems rich many people disagree with your claim B theory Time contradicts the Act/potency distinction and is not compatible with Aristotle's metaphysics.

            Except I do not make that claim. I explicitly told you several times that I was not talking about the Act/potency distinction. I do make the vaguely similar claim that an A theoretical point of view is seemingly assumed by Dr Bonnette's version of the argument, especially his assertion that an object moving with steady velocity requires an ongoing intervention by an active extrinsic principle. This again is an example of you needing to read what people have actually written, not just leap to assumptions and ascribe straw man positions to them.

            I don't entirely disagree with that assertion, mind you, but I have not said that and would not phrase it as absolutely as that.

            Additionally there is an interesting past discussion on his blog about B theory time & Aristotle.

            Yah. Did you miss this bit:

            You can see that Ed straight forwardly admits that A-T kind of change is absent from Block world and so Act/Potency is to be given some other shape in order to be shown to be compatible with it

            .

            So, it is hardly news that some A-T arguments at the very least require reformulation to hold under a B-series of time. According to some philosophers at least, although most would see Feser as a pretty sound authority.

            So why do you struggle so much with the idea that Dr Bonnette's formulation apparently relies on an A-series POV?

          • Jim the Scott

            >Golly. An almost civil and on topic post, albeit mainly copy and pasted from others. Are you feeling OK? Should we call the emergency services for you?

            Glad you are happy.

            >Except I do not make that claim. I explicitly told you several times that I was not talking about the Act/potency distinction. I do make the vaguely similar claim that an A theoretical point of view is seemingly assumed by Dr Bonnette's version of the argument, especially his assertion that an object moving with steady velocity requires an ongoing intervention by an active extrinsic principle.

            That bit I bolded Dr. b means God who is Pure Act must continuously cause it to exist. That is the active extrinsic principle. Nothing more.

            >I don't entirely disagree with that assertion, mind you, but I have not said that and would not phrase it as absolutely as that.

            Even I said he could have phased things more clearly.

            >Yah. Did you miss this bit:
            You can see that Ed straight forwardly admits that A-T kind of change is absent from Block world and so Act/Potency is to be given some other shape in order to be shown to be compatible with it

            Nope, in fact it is mentioned in his book. But that doesn't mean all forms of block universe are incompatible only those modeled in a strict Parmenides fashion. across the board.

            >So, it is hardly news that some A-T arguments at the very least require reformulation to hold under a B-series of time. According to some philosophers at least, although most would see Feser as a pretty sound authority.

            So why do you struggle so much with the idea that Dr Bonnette's formulation apparently relies on an A-series POV?

            Doesn't matter that is does. Leftow confesses God is timeless and he holds to A theory time but he is not a Theistic Personalist which I believe is at the heart of objections to a timeless God being incompatible.

            We should explore this more. You are now beginning to be interesting.

          • Richard Morley

            That bit I bolded Dr. b means God who is Pure Act must continuously cause it to exist.

            That is not compatible with what he has written. Which appears to be the whole thrust of his OP.

            Even I said he could have phased things more clearly.

            Actually, I meant that I don't entirely disagree with what you called my "claim B theory Time contradicts the Act/potency distinction and is not compatible with Aristotle's metaphysics". But it not one that I am particularly keen to defend here and now.

            But that doesn't mean all forms of block universe are incompatible only those modeled in a strict Parmenides fashion. across the board.

            Shelving whether or not I agree with that assessment, the original comment still comes down to the fact that Dr Bonnette's argument appears to rely on a whole bunch of assumptions which others may not agree with, and many of which are either implicit, or explicitly referred to but unspecified, such as exactly what model of time he relies on and how it differs (as he claims it does, I think) from A theory.

            Leftow confesses God is timeless and he holds to A theory time but he is not a Theistic Personalist which I believe is at the heart of objections to a timeless God being incompatible.

            We should explore this more. You are now beginning to be interesting.

            Another discussion. Possibly for after Newtonmas, which has already kicked in for me with the traditional sudden funerals, trips to the vet for a cat that is not even mine, and relatives rescheduling their visit at the last minute and BTW their dietary restrictions have changed again. Yay!

          • Jim the Scott

            >That is not compatible with what he has written. Which appears to be the whole thrust of his OP.

            Well he has informed me that he thinks a physical cause is continuously keeping an object in motion in terms like moving space time. Which is a valid speculation. I've seen enough science documentaries that model gravity as analogous to depressions in a flat surface that change the direction of a rolling ball.

            >Actually, I meant that I don't entirely disagree with what you called my "claim B theory Time contradicts the Act/potency distinction and is not compatible with Aristotle's metaphysics". But it not one that I am particularly keen to defend here and now.

            Well I don't see how the lack of tenseness time proves or disproves all change. But the ancient used terms we understand differently now. Like Democretus' view on Atoms. For him an "Atom" was a particle so small it could not contain any void. Well what we call "Atoms" today can be split or decay or broken down into sub atomic particles etc.....

            If anything in nature corresponds in nature to a Democretus "Atom" I would elect a naked singularity. But the world is not made of naked singularities at best their rubble.

            >Shelving whether or not I agree with that assessment, the original comment still comes down to the fact that Dr Bonnette's argument appears to rely on a whole bunch of assumptions which others may not agree with, and many of which are either implicit, or explicitly referred to but unspecified, such as exactly what model of time he relies on and how it differs (as he claims it does, I think) from A theory.

            I don't think it is a model of time and it's flow that is the problem but resurrecting Parmenides. As long as you have real change then we can and must have essentialism.

            >Another discussion. Possibly for after Newtonmas, which has already kicked in for me with the traditional sudden funerals, trips to the vet for a cat that is not even mine, and relatives rescheduling their visit at the last minute and BTW their dietary restrictions have changed again. Yay!

            Oh you too? The mother of my Childhood friend (also named Jimmy) has just died as well.

            Condolences. Sorry I was a dick.

          • Jim the Scott

            BTW Rich I am going to ask you the same question I asked Bob. We shall see if your claims too love and seek truth are authentic or just blowing smoke.

            >Does an object in motion require an external agent to remain in motion?

            Are you asking me...

            A) If an object physically placed in momentum requires an external physical force to keep it in momentum? Yes or No?

            Or are you asking me...

            B) If an object in momentum metaphysically requires Pure Act to cause it to exist and exist with the property of remaining in momentum till acted upon by an another physical force? Yes or No?

            Are you asking A or B? Well which is it?

            BTW the answer to A is No and the answer to B is Yes.

          • Richard Morley

            >Does an object in motion require an external agent to remain in motion?
            Are you asking me...

            ...whether an object in motion requires an external agent to remain in motion? I would not have thought, once, that anyone would find that a slippery concept.

            A) If an object physically placed in momentum requires an external physical force to keep it in momentum? Yes or No?

            Close, but not quite. Any external agent will do, with detail of what agent and in what sense. Metaphysical responses will do.

            Or are you asking me...
            B) If an object in momentum metaphysically requires Pure Act to cause it to exist and exist with the property of remaining in momentum till acted upon by an another physical force? Yes or No?

            Tut tut. That is clearly not the same question. You are equivocating between physical momentum and existential inertia, you naughty feminine-acting redneck bong-smoking philosophical lightweight you. Come back when you understand the difference, you are embarrassing yourself. ;D

          • Jim the Scott

            No I am asking either/or not both/and.

        • DB: Speculative philosophical claims, such as eternalism, that contradict the reality of motion..

          RM: i) it has been pointed out to you repeatedly that eternalism does not contradict the reality of motion as we observe it, just influences how we interpret it.

          This sounds like a good opportunity for a guest post, arguing that the difference interpretation does not produce the problem that Dr. Bonnette thinks it does. Dr. Bonnette could then write a follow-up rebuttal.

          To throw some chum in the waters, here's a bit from Michael Tooley, who in this book defends a growing block universe (which I think is denied by most physicists and definitely by Dr. Bonnette). Note that eternalism is a "static conception of the world".

              To sum up, then, the difference between a static conception of the world and a dynamic one comes to this. According to a static conception, what states of affairs there are does not depend upon what time it is. Change, consequently, cannot be a matter of a change, over time, in what states of affairs exist. It must be a matter simply of the possession, by an object or by the world as a whole, of different intrinsic properties at different times.
              According to a dynamic conception of the world, by contrast, what states of affairs exist does depend upon what time it is. As a consequence, the totality of monadic states of affairs which exist as of one time, and which involve a given object, may differ from the totality that exists as of some other time, and it is precisely such a difference that constitutes change in an object, rather than merely the possession by an object of different properties at different times. Similarly, change in the world as a whole is a matter of a difference in the totality of states of affairs that exist as of different times, and not merely a matter of the possession of different properties by different temporal slices of the world. (Time, Tense, and Causation, 16)

    • One, the Thomist one, has the problems you mention with ongoing motion (velocity or other change) as a steady state without active ongoing cause which you cannot specify, the other (broadly, physics) has no such problem, and is massively successful with multiple intersecting lines of support, both evidence and argument.

      In exactly which domains has physics had massive success? I think it's important to consider whether Thomism is speaking to domains where physics isn't as successful—and perhaps is not really successful in doing more than [perhaps] elucidating a bit here and there. Physics may one day be queen of the sciences, but it isn't, now. It is therefore improper to import its successes from domains where it does well, to domains where it doesn't [yet?] do nearly as well.

      The above knife cuts both ways, so we should ask where Thomism has had major success. We ought to let it define success, but that leaves it open to the criticism that its choice of success is merely an aesthetic preference for this thought-castle architecture over that thought-castle architecture. For example, does Thomism show superiority in people pursuing mental health (which is surely a component of what a Thomist might call "spiritual health")? Does it show superiority in serving the poor? But perhaps it is more like string theory, stuck in the system-building phase with no [practical] way of testing against reality. That would be a problem though to Thomism as it relates to Christianity, for Jesus and Paul and crew seemed very interested in us loving God and neighbor ever-better. It seems dubious that a system which ostensibly helps us love God better cannot be shown to help us love our neighbors better.

    • Phil

      We have (at least) two different ways of looking at the system. One, the Thomist one, has the problems you mention with ongoing motion (velocity or other change) as a steady state without active ongoing cause which you cannot specify

      The problem is there is no such thing as an ongoing state without some sort of an active cause. If nothing is causing something to exist as it does, then it wouldn't exist.

      • Richard Morley

        The problem is there is no such thing as an ongoing state without some sort of an active cause.

        That may be true in your metaphysics, but if it is not true in mine, and mine leads to a complete metaphysics and physics which is validated by experiment, while yours contradicts experiment, and your philosophical premises look very fishy to me and you are unable or unwilling to defend them (and so on and so forth) surely you can see why I would just file your metaphysics with Parmenides et al (or even the flat earthers) until such time as you can back it up?

        • Phil

          That may be true in your metaphysics, but if it is not true in mine, and mine leads to a complete metaphysics and physics which is validated by experiment, while yours contradicts experiment, and your philosophical premises look very fishy to me and you are unable or unwilling to defend them (and so on and so forth) surely you can see why I would just file your metaphysics with Parmenides et al (or even the flat earthers) until such time as you can back it up?

          I mean, it has more to do with figuring out the truth of reality rather than "my metaphysics".

          My conclusion has to do with the fact of answering the question, why does something continue to exist as it does? If something doesn't contain the answer to that question within itself, then one must look outside the entity for the answer.

  • I'm not familiar enough with the physics but I find it surprising that many physicists would claim no motion exists. I think whether and what is in motion certainly depends on reference frames. For example if I am in space with no reference frame and you appear to be coming towards me with no acceleration, there is no way to know whether I am moving or not. So in this sense both would likely observe the other moving and think himself static but there is no way to say one is correct. Both are correct from his own reference frame. So it would seem to me that concepts of motion are not so obvious in relativity.

    But to the larger point from an admittedly Newtonian or maybe relativistic point of view, I guess, it seems to me that for any object in motion either it is moved by another object or force, or moving itself. I don't see any contradiction in an object moving itself, it seems non-intuitive to me, but do does an umoved mover that is just by definition a causes motion without moving itself.

    I really don't understand what a quantum vacuum is, but I think physicists have a decent theory they moving particles arise from it all the time. I'm not saying this vacuum is an absolute nothing, but I tend to think it hard to describe as something in motion.

    So I guess I land on accepting things move but not necessarily that all things are moved by others.

  • Yet, some, based on theories of modern physics, claim that physical change in the universe is actually impossible.

    Yes. And some are idiots.

    theoretical physicist Lee Smolin puts his finger on why physics is prone to make the mistake of saying motion and time are unreal

    It isn’t physics that is prone to make that mistake. It’s a few philosophers and other people trying to infer metaphysical principles from physics.

    In other words, the static mathematical abstractions of modern physics automatically tend to omit the very starting point they presume, namely, the reality of objective motion or change.

    There is a reason for distinguishing between abstractions and reality. We’re supposed to infer the former from the latter, not vice versa.

    the principle of non-contradiction – a truth about reality that scientists absolutely accept, but have no scientific way of explaining.

    There is no reason scientists should have to explain it. The axioms of logic are more primitive than science. Without them, we couldn’t think sensibly about anything.

    . . . for materialists who deny change . . . .

    Which is nobody posting to this forum, so far as I have noticed. For that matter, I cannot recall encountering a materialist of that variety in any forum that I have ever been active in.

    Whatever is moved is moved by another.

    The universe does seem to work that way, insofar as we have observed it.

    Aristotle defines motion as the act of a being in potency insofar as it is in potency.

    I have yet to see a good reason for thinking we must accept Aristotle’s definition for anything.

    A thing in motion is gaining new perfections of existence every moment it continues to move or change.

    Aristotle may say so.

    Everyone knows and uses the metaphysical principle of non-contradiction

    Everybody accepts the principle of non-contradiction because if they don’t, they can’t think about anything. Not everybody agrees that it is a metaphysical principle.

    that is, that nothing can both be and not be at the same time and in the same way.

    That was Aristotle’s formulation of the principle. Many of us don’t believe he had the last word on the issue.

    • Rob Abney

      that is, that nothing can both be and not be at the same time and in the same way.

      That was Aristotle’s formulation of the principle. Many of us don’t believe he had the last word on the issue.

      Can you please provide the latest word on the principle Doug?

      • Can you please provide the latest word on the principle Doug?

        I can pass on what I read in the textbooks that were assigned for the three logic classes I've taken. Will that satisfy you?

        • Phil

          I can pass on what I read in the textbooks that were assigned for the three logic classes I've taken. Will that satisfy you?

          I am curious who has seriously argued that something can both be and not be in the way, in the place, and at the same time?

        • Phil

          I can pass on what I read in the textbooks that were assigned for the three logic classes I've taken. Will that satisfy you?

          I am curious who has seriously argued that something can both be and not be in the way, in the place, and at the same time?

        • Phil

          I can pass on what I read in the textbooks that were assigned for the three logic classes I've taken. Will that satisfy you?

          I am curious who has seriously argued that something can both be and not be in the same way, in the same place, and at the same time?

          • I am curious who has seriously argued that something can both be and not be in the same way, in the same place, and at the same time?

            Nobody that I know of. That wasn't my point.

  • Ray

    At its heart, the argument in the OP is a repeated equivocation on the meaning of the claim “something cannot come from nothing.” First one interpretation of the claim is employed to create a supposedly insurmountable problem with the basic physicalist view of nature. Then another interpretation is employed to argue that God solves the problem. Finally, a third interpretation is employed to wave away the objection that modern physics gives good reasons for thinking the first two interpretations of the claim are simply false.

    Let us now examine what the claim could possibly mean:

    First of all, “something cannot come from nothing” could be taken as an informal description of those phenomena which are now systematically described by physical conservation laws (e.g. conservation of energy, momentum, information, and electric charge.) This is the interpretation studiously avoided by Dr. Bonnette, and it is, not so coincidentally, the only interpretation where we have a good reason for thinking the claim is true. Although, even here, it should be noted that the claim requires empirical support and cannot be established by pure logic. There is no contradiction in denying any version of “something cannot come from nothing” and Thomist attempts to claim otherwise rely on tortured (by which I mean fallacious) logic, like the following sentence, where Dr. Bonnette unjustifiably switches from past to present tense mid sentence:

    As such, with respect to those properties it did not have, it is nonbeing; nothing at all.

    This brings us to the second interpretation of “something cannot come from nothing” — the Parmenedian interpretation (or at least what Aristotle took to be the Parmenidean interpretation.) According to this interpretation any difference between past and present is something that is, but was not, in existence, i.e., something coming from nothing. This is what Dr. Bonnette hints at to suggest that physics, taken at face value, is metaphysically inadequate. However, note that, by this definition, not only are fluctuations in a quantum vacuum, “something coming from nothing”, but so is every instance of motion, caused or not.

    This brings us to the third interpretation. It was obvious, even to Aristotle, that the Parmenidean interpretation of “something cannot come from nothing” had been empirically falsified, but rather than responding like a physicist and abandoning the hypothesis, he responded like a lawyer by trying to find a loophole, not in nature, but in the words Parmenides had written about nature. Thus, we get the elaborate distinctions between, act/ potency/ being in one respect/ being in another respect, and Aristotle was able to convince himself that as long as everything worked the way he thought it did, with eternal unchanging gods ( later glossed as angels) pushing incorruptible celestial spheres in unceasing uniform circular motions to create both time and change, then everything Parmenides said could be treated as true except his obviously unacceptable conclusions. Modern Thomists seem to employ similar rules-lawyering (although they have been forced by empirical considerations and incompatibilities with Abrahamic theology to abandon large portions of Aristotle’s claimed solution.) This interpretation is not only completely unmotivated empirically, but it is an ad hoc conceptual mess.

    Finally, we have the interpretation of “something cannot come from nothing” according to which, even a quantum vacuum is not “nothing.” Now, apart from the fact that there are some perfectly respectable cosmologies that seem to violate even this interpretation of “something cannot come from nothing” e.g. Hartle Hawking, this interpretation is clearly not what Parmenides or Aristotle meant, since an object moving without a mover at no point in its history needs to be in a state more empty than a quantum vacuum.

    • It was obvious, even to Aristotle, that the Parmenidean interpretation of “something cannot come from nothing” had been empirically falsified, but rather than responding like a physicist and abandoning the hypothesis, he responded like a lawyer by trying to find a loophole, not in nature, but in the words Parmenides had written about nature.

      It's really interesting you're so confident in that, when there are a lot of similarities between Parmenides' [paraphrased] "reality is in some sense a unified and unchanging singular entity" and the idea of a block universe. There was certainly enough similarity for Karl Popper to call Einstein 'Parmenides' when criticizing Einstein for holding to a view "in which change was a human illusion, or very nearly so."

      Now, we cannot expect Parmenides to have a fully developed metaphysic which meshes perfectly with a 21st century understanding of physics. But to throw him out completely when plenty of people today argue that the "most real" way to understand reality is via a four dimensional block? Or … perhaps Karl Popper is just an idiot when it comes to this matter?

      • Ray

        I take Einstein's view (as understood by Popper and compared to Parmenides) to be that past present and future are equally real. I take Parmenides claim (as understood by Aristotle and Zeno at the very least) to be the claim that not only are the past and future unreal, but that they never were real and never will be.

        I don't know enough about Parmenides's original writings to assess whether Zeno's and Aristotle's understandings of Parmenides were what he meant, but as I said previously, what I'm talking about is the view Aristotle attributes to Parmenides in Physics book 1 part 8. I think it is hard to parse these views as being similar to Einstein's view, especially in light of Parmenides's student Zeno -- who said that Achilles would never pass the tortoise, not that the reality of Achilles having surpassed the tortoise was real for all eternity.

        • I take Einstein's view (as understood by Popper and compared to Parmenides) to be that past present and future are equally real. I take Parmenides claim (as understood by Aristotle and Zeno at the very least) to be the claim that not only are the past and future unreal, but that they never were real and never will be.

          If that were true, Popper's claim that "The reality of time and change seemed to me the crux of realism." would make no sense. I suspect that the truth is rather that within certain ways of framing the matter, you can say both that time is real in some degenerate sense, or that it isn't real. Michael Tooley shows one way to get at this; see my excerpt of his Time, Tense, and Causation.

          … as I said previously, what I'm talking about is the view Aristotle attributes to Parmenides in Physics book 1 part 8. I think it is hard to parse these views as being similar to Einstein's view …

          You don't see a connection between Einstein's determinism and Parmenides' arguments as presented by Aristotle in Physics I § 8?

          BTW, we should really dispense with the "look outside and see the crazy theory falsified" objection, because we are supposed to believe many things which go against common sense based on fundamental physics work. Parmenides was trying to dig below appearances—just like scientists do on a day-to-day basis.

    • Dennis Bonnette

      Good try – with many impressive-sounding, but meaningless distinctions proving nothing.

      It all ignores the simple fact that the concept of being is immediate to the human mind as the foundation of the universal truth that you cannot get being from non-being, and that absolute non-being cannot beget being. These are basic principles of both common sense and the very first
      certitudes the human mind forms when encountering the real world in which we find ourselves (even if one makes the mistake of thinking it is all
      subjective). It is prior to all secondary knowledge, such as that which arises
      in the study of ens mobile qua mobile: physics.

      All the distinctions and claims you make are couched in the context of the sub-science of physics, which presupposes metaphysical first principles at every juncture. Unless one bewitches himself with claims from a physical science that offend the logical presuppositions of the science itself,
      everyone really knows that you do not get something from absolutely nothing.

      As for the application of this truth to potency and act, this is simply a recognition that when something gains a previously absent quality of existence, it is just like getting something from nothing as far as that new quality is concerned. Thus, what is in motion, and gaining new aspects
      of being thereby, requires an extrinsic agent or mover.

      • Jim the Scott

        Dr. Bonnette,

        Contra Thomist polemics would be nothing (no pun intended) if itdidn't commit category mistakes and fallacies of equivocation all over the place.

        It would have nothing to say then.

      • Ray

        I hesitate to respond to this, because it seems high on bluster and light on substance, but you are the original poster, so I will persist.

        You say my distinctions are meaningless, but I count 6 interpretations of "something cannot come from nothing" outlined in my comment, and they all seem quite different to me. I think the onus is on you to show that the interpretations of something and nothing used by 1: physical conservation laws, 2: Aristotle's Parmenides, 3:Aristotle, 4:Aquinas, 5:modern Thomists (in the context of defending the 1st way), and 6:Those who claim that even a quantum vacuum is not an expression of nonbeing, can all be coherently be said to be talking about the same things, given that I provided actual arguments to the contrary.

        As for the claim that my perspective is invalid since it draws from knowledge of physics. I think that is completely alien to the historical Thomist perspective. If it is invalid to support or undermine metaphysical claims by appealing to physics, then surely it is invalid for Aquinas to repeatedly defend e.g. his summary of Aristotle Metaphysics book 12 (in SCG Book 1 chapter 13) by repeatedly citing claims from Aristotle's Physics. (Note: if you want to claim that the distinction between physics and metaphysics within the Aristotelian tradition should be taken as something other than the subject matter of the two books by Aristotle of those names, please concretely tell me how you can tell the difference.)

        • Dennis Bonnette

          The distinction is not about whether people are talking about the same things, but rather they are talking about the same “non-things.” It is not bluster to state simply a basic metaphysical first principle, namely, that from absolute non-being, you cannot get being.

          Certainly, Aristotle, St. Thomas, and the modern Thomists are all in agreement. Once the mind grasps the nature of being, it is evident that such cannot be gotten from its contradictory, non-being. There may be many ways to miss the point, but there is only a single truth here. All the claims of modern physics that appear to contradict this truth must be false.

          As for your last point, my reference to “physics” pertains to what we think of as the modern science of physics, not to be confused with Aristotle’s work, entitled “Physics” – although the two are related.

          The subject matter of Aristotle’s work is “ens mobile,” or movable being – equated with the entire physical universe, but focused more on the “ens” part of the subject matter phrase. To that end, much of his analysis contains truths that are valid both in his physics and his metaphysics. St. Thomas in, for example, the SCG 1, 13, is presenting Aristotle’s proof for a first mover unmoved. In so doing, he engages in a detailed commentary on the proof, but throughout one can see metaphysical principles being applied.

          As a whole, the Physics explores the general nature of the physical world, defining notions usually simply presupposed by modern physics, such as the meaning of nature, place, time, space, quality, quantity, and motion. Not all of his more physical comments would be regarded as definitive by modern Thomists.

          Still, there is a metaphysical core by which the arguments eventually lead beyond physical nature to the existence of a transcendent First Cause. In Books VI-VIII of Physics, Aristotle demonstrates the existence of an Unmoved First Mover, which, by definition, transcends the subject matter of "ens mobile," and hence becomes part of the subject matter of "ens qua ens," that is, being considered precisely as being, which is the subject matter of the distinct science of Metaphysics, a separate Aristotelian work.

          It is a gross error to conflate Aristotle’s Physics with modern physics, which explores more the “mobile” aspect of “ens mobile,” especially through the experimental method and mathematical expressions of physical theories. It is modern physics that I was referring to when I said that it is a subordinate science to metaphysics, since it does, in fact, presuppose metaphysical principles that govern both it and Aristotle’s Physics.

          • Ray

            You seem to be denying that Aristotle and other philosophers contemplated many different types of nonbeing. In response, I will quote the very same confused passage I quoted before (where I should note you have still made no justification for your conflation of past and present being.)

            As such, with respect to those properties it did not have, it is non-being; nothing at all.

            Given such fine distinctions as are alluded to by the italicized passage, it still seems hard to support the claim that all classical philosophers agreed "with respect to" what properties, prior nonbeing precludes present being.

            You also seem to think "something cannot come from nothing" is some sort of a priori truth. Well, you may have been consistent in refusing to justify your claim in terms of experience (as you continue to refuse to clarify what you mean by it, or even admit that there's something to be clarified) but many other Thomists I've met have not been so stubborn. It is common practice to justify the claim by saying things like "we don't see bicycles randomly pop into existence, now do we." Such statements are clearly alluding to states of affairs that should be considered absurd because they are contrary to experience.

            Re: physics and metaphysics. Here is what you need to answer: Surely you are not denying that Aristotle made physical claims, and that these can be refuted by modern physics. If so, how do you decide which Aristotelian claims are physical and which are metaphysical? e.g. which type of claim is the claim that the heavens move always with uniform motion? If you claim this is a physical, and not a metaphysical claim, how do you justify that assessment, other than by the fact that it is clearly false? It certainly seems intimately linked with the content of Metaphysics book 12, from which Aquinas's first way takes its inspiration.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            I am sorry but I cannot resist the pun of saying that I regret that my use of tense in this sentence makes you tense. :)

            Let me spell out the sentence so as to avoid any misunderstanding.

            “As such, with respect to those properties it did not have” prior to “gaining new properties of being” because of the motion, “it is non-being; nothing at all.”

            This does not mean that the object in motion is non-being absolutely speaking, but merely that if it gains, say, the quality of becoming red, it was “non-being” with respect to redness prior to gaining that quality.

            I doubt any classical philosophers, such as Aristotle or St. Thomas would have a problem with that. I hope this clarifies my meaning.

            That something cannot come from nothing is not an a priori truth, but, as I have indicated elsewhere on this site, is based on the Aristotelian form of induction whereby the concept of being is formed in the intellect’s first encounter with reality – giving it immediate understanding of its universality, since it applies to any being whatever.

            See https://strangenotions.com/are-metaphysical-first-principles-universally-true/

          • Jim the Scott

            Dr. Bonnette,

            Here is an interesting analogy (which we Thomists love to do) which I think applies to the anti-thomist polemics that are found on this board and why they are so tedious.

            Low Brow Young Earth Creationists types like to make irresponsible claims such as "The Second Law of Thermal Dynamics refutes evolution". That is they treat a law of physics that tells us in closed systems disorder and entropy arise as a metaphysical principle that tells us matter is some mechanistic thing that naturally moves toward disorder requiring some external Order Agent (presumably some tedious overly anthropomorphic preternatural being or "god") to impose order on it.

            They basically do the opposite to what Ray and Tommy and others are doing. The YEC confuses physics with metaphysics. The neo-Gnu influenced Atheists confuse metaphysics with physics.

            Both are just plain wrong. If Evolution is wrong (& we don't have to believe it is as Thomists and Catholics) the YEC polemic is still BS.

            If God really doesn't exist and the First Way is false Ray's & Tommy's arguments are still BS.

            One can argue for the "correct thing" incorrectly.

            Cheers boss,

          • Ray

            I am glad you admit that “something cannot come from nothing” is not known a priori. Nonetheless your account of the “Aristotelian form of induction” seems psychologically implausible given the way people actually learn. Reliable generalizations from a single data point simply do not happen in any area of learning I’m aware of.

            I still see no reason to modify my conclusions that
            1) To the extent we are justified in believing that something cannot come from nothing, we reach this conclusion in fundamentally the same way that we reach other conclusions about the law like behavior of the physical world.

            2) There is no useful content in the phrase “something cannot come from nothing,” that isn’t captured by physical conservation laws.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            People actually learn in more ways than one might think. You are probably familiar with Humean induction, whereby
            we generalize from particulars based on repeated association of phenomena – leading to hypotheses and empirical verification – which never can lead to universal certitudes.

            On the other hand, Aristotelian induction consists in abstraction whereby we form universal concepts from one
            or several encounters with intelligible realities (the actual basis for human language) that we realize are applicable to many things of a given kind, for example, once we encounter a chicken, we form a concept that would apply to any future chickens.

            But the concept of being is immediately grasped as applicable to all possible beings, since, while there may be some non-chickens, there can never actually be any non-beings. That is why we immediately realize that the inability of being to come from its contradictory non-being is a universal law of reality.

            The physical conservation laws pertain merely to a particular measurable property of an isolated physical system does not change as the system evolves over time. What on earth does that have to do with the new qualities of existence that motion entails regardless of something that appears to stay the same? Something changing while something stays the same is simply of the essence of Aristotelian motion. And it is the nature of motion to require an extrinsic agent or mover.

          • Ray

            The contrast between Humean and Aristotelian induction seems to me not so much a contrast between different modes of human thought, but different theoretical frameworks used to describe the same pattern of human though. As a digression, at present, I would say the theoretical framework yielding the most insight into this pattern of thought is neither that of Hume nor Aristotle, but that of machine learning, which has been able to build computational processes from scratch that eerily resemble the results of human thought. Other honorable mentions would go to the theory of Bayesian statistics and to experimental studies of child development. None of this is to say that we now have the full story of human thought or that there are no differences between the reasoning styles of those in the Aristotelian and Humean traditions, of course.

            As for whether whatever reasoning style is used by Aristotelians can yield universal certitudes, that seems a tough sell. Aristotelians certainly claimed to reach conclusions with something approaching absolute certainty, but among the conclusions they listed as having been established with the greatest degree of certainty are many that have been abandoned due to incompatibilities with theology (the impossibility of creation ex nihilo) and empirical disconfirmation (the uniform motion of the heavens.) If modern Aristotelians cannot assent to many of the most definitive statements of past Aristotelians, how can their current definitive statements be taken seriously.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            Without understanding what you are talking about, you have no human thought. Understanding means knowing the meanings of words. Knowing the meanings of words means knowing the nature of the things to which they refer, for example, horse, anger, justice, modal logic, disintermediation, and so forth.

            It is only by the abstraction of the universal concept or meaning from concrete reality that thought is possible. That is why some form of abstraction is needed for all thought, especially instanced by the expression "abstract thought."

            That is also why, contrary to Hume, I do not respond to you by saying, “I get your images,” but rather, “I understand your meaning.”

            That is what I meant above when I said we form a concept
            of being, and by that understanding quickly grasp the universal truth of first principles.

            All your “theoretical frameworks” for describing the “pattern
            of human thought” to which you refer above presuppose abstraction of concepts -- precisely as Aristotle describes.

            Do not forget that you and all other human beings absolutely
            embrace the universal application of the PNC, a principle based on the concept of being which is attained by abstracting and/or judging the existential content of encountered realities -- just as Aristotle taught.

            As I also said earlier, modern Thomists do not accept all the physical claims of Aristotle found in his Physics, including those about heavenly bodies. As I also explained above, it is the metaphysical content of Aristotle which stands the test
            of time. I am not sure about your reference to Aristotle and creation ex nihilo, since he had no concept of creation and appears to have believed that the world was eternal

          • Ray

            Without understanding what you are talking about, you have no human thought.

            I disagree. In fact I would say humans reasoning about things without knowing their nature is more the rule than the exception. Sticking to the example of astronomy, the astrologers of old had no clue what the stars and planets were, but they reasoned about them nonetheless, sometimes successfully: do we discount the reasoning that led the ancients to conclude Hesperus and Phosphorus were the same entity, just because they were incorrect (or at the very least ignorant) about what either of them was?

            That is also why, contrary to Hume, I do not respond to you by saying, “I get your images,” but rather, “I understand your meaning.”

            Ah, arguments from colloquial use of language. What would Thomism be without them? That said, it is odd for someone who is trying to distance himself from geocentrism to use such an argument given how often we use terms like "sunrise."

            In any event, Aristotle may have expressed his model of human thought in terms of "abstratctions" and Hume may have expressed his model of human thought in terms of "images," but neither had anything but the sketchiest inkling of the realities described by these terms. Instead, just like the astrologers of old, they knew what role the terms played in their model of reality, but not what kind of real entities played the same or a similar role to create the effects they sought to explain. We now know far better, but not nearly so well as we would like. Abstractions in the brain are as much a part of physical reality as are waves in the ocean, executable files in a computer, and circuits in a tensor processing unit. Whether or not you agree with the above, though, surely you agree that both Hume and Aristotle formed abstractions in their reasoning, so it seems odd why you would think the results of one to be universally certain and not the other.

            Finally, you continue to dodge the question of how you separate the physical and metaphysical claims of Aristotle and Aquinas before progress in physics makes them too embarassing to defend.

            I'll give you an example to work with:

            From Aristotle Metaphysics book 12 part 7:

            There is, then, something which is always moved with an unceasing motion, which is motion in a circle; and this is plain not in theory only but in fact. Therefore the first heaven must be eternal. There is therefore also something which moves it. And since that which moves and is moved is intermediate, there is something which moves without being moved, being eternal, substance, and actuality.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            I am not certain you could have misunderstood what I was saying more if you tried – and I am sure you were not trying to do so.

            My statements had to do with the way the mind works in coming to know reality, not with the success or failure of
            the reasoning that ensued. It has to do with how we form meanings and words that represent realities. You could at least form a concept of a cow that distinguishes it from a stone, and yet, still not understand at all how milk is formed inside the cow. I was describing how the mind forms concepts which are the basis for arbitrary or conventional signs called words. It had nothing to do with the overall understanding of nature either by Aristotle or Hume. It was about how we form concepts of “natures,” NOT “nature" – meaning the whole understanding of the natural world!

            My reference to “understanding meaning” vs. “getting images” merely referred to the fact that Aristotle said that the basis of intellectual knowledge was concepts, whereas Hume thought we think in terms of sense impressions or images. Do you know the difference between a concept and an image? That is where I was going there – not to an argument criticizing the colloquial use of language.

            Finally, it is a pity you do not know more about the scholarship of centuries devoted to the study of Aristotle as well as the later classical philosophers. You would then realize that there is nothing for anyone to be embarrassed about. Aristotle literally invented the various sciences that most universities finally adopted for study: logic, physics, psychology, ethics, politics, metaphysics, astronomy, zoology, literature, and so forth. He found fish in the Mediterranean that scholars laughed at – until they were actually rediscovered after 1900! He was probably the greatest genius of all time – and you find his work embarrassing?

            Of course, Aristotle did not get all his physics right. But he did lay down the structure of physics as pertains to the general presuppositions studied by later scholars. Indeed, modern scientists take the term, “nature,” for granted. But Aristotle had to examine what the term itself meant, even before later scholars studied it. His general explanations for quality, quantity, relation, time, place, position, and so forth, stood as the basis for all later investigation of these topics. That is why even until about 1900, a physicist would get doctorate IN PHILOSOPHY in which he focused on “natural philosophy.” Ever ask yourself where the “Ph.D.” degree came from?

            Quite aside, scholars are well aware of where Aristotle was in error about certain physical explanations he proposed.
            But that does not at all undermine the truth of his metaphysical analyses that were later perfected by other thinkers, such as St. Thomas. Clearly, his astronomical explanations were primitive by today’s standards, but how well does today’s astronomer do against Aristotle’s metaphysics?

            It all comes down to avoiding the mistake of thinking Aristotle’s or St. Thomas’ statements about physical science were flawed and so their statements about philosophical and metaphysical truths were also flawed.

            Physics is not philosophy, and many make the mistake of overextending the domain of physics even today – leading them into substantive speculative errors.

          • Ray

            My statements have to do with the way the mind works in coming to know reality, not the success or failure of the reasoning that ensued.

            Then I have no idea what you mean by the claim that Aristotelian induction leads to “universal certitudes” while Humean induction does not. I do not see what good a certitude is, if it is capable of failure.

            You could at least form a concept of a cow that distinguishes it from a stone, and yet still not understand how milk is formed inside the cow. I was describing how the mind forms concepts which are the basis for arbitrary or conventional signs called words.

            If that’s all a concept is: reliably assigning a verbal label to some set of things and not another, then modern image classification software is capable of forming concepts (or at least as capable as most humans.) I do not think that is all you were trying to say, but let’s leave aside whether AI is capable of conceptual reasoning for the time being. There are other reasons to believe that the claims you have been trying to defend have been less modest than what you say in the above quote.

            For one thing, you were trying to distinguish two different modes of human thought, “Humean” and “Aristotelian” induction, one of which involves “concepts” and the other of which involves “images.” You also clearly meant to indicate that both modes of thought actually occur and are clearly distinguishable since you set up the distinction to support the claim “People actually learn in more ways than one might think.” Well, I precisely mean to deny that Aristotle’s concept of “concept” and Hume’s concept of “image” are well enough developed that they can be used to clearly distinguish between instances of your two forms of induction, as they occur in real live humans. E.g. which form of induction was involved when the discovers of Ceres and Pluto identified what they saw as planets? I’m not even convinced either Hume or Aristotle was trying to distinguish between two real categories of reasoning, as opposed to merely claiming that other thinkers had inadequately described the mode of reasoning they were describing. Do you have a citation where they say that’s what they’re trying to do?

            As for your defense of Aristotle’s reputation, that’s all very chivalrous, but I’m afraid it misses the point. You have staked out a claim that the “metaphysical” claims of Aristotle are all worth defending, while the “physical” claims may be, and often are, wrong. It seems to me that you are not basing your physical/metaphysical distinction on any distinction that is clearly stated in the writings of Aristotle, or even Aquinas, but rather on which claims you are willing to defend in light of the results of modern empirical science. I highlighted a passage of Aristotle which is part of the text that inspired Aquinas’s First Way. It contains a conclusion concerning a purely actual unmoved mover, linked by several “therefore”s to statements I am certain you would regard as incorrect physical claims. If your metaphysical/physical distinction amounts to anything more than a “no true Scotsman” type defense of the claim that Aristotle’s metaphysical claims still hold up, you really need to defend how you’re separating the one from the other, because the “physical” and “metaphysical” claims certainly look inextricably linked in the original text.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            The references to Aristotle and Hume have to do with what we first know conceptually or by sense apprehension – not with judgments and reasoning per se.

            Aristotle maintains that we understand natures through intellectual concepts or ideas had by a process of abstraction. Hume says all we know are sense impressions, and that ideas are simply weak reflections of those impressions. The first is true intellectualism; the latter is a form of sensism.

            As for certitudes, in simple terms, the concept of being is the basis for immediately-known self-evident first principles (judgments) about being, including the principles of non-contradiction and sufficient reason as well as the evident application that you cannot get something from absolutely nothing. Aristotle gives us the doctrine of abstraction on which this is based. It does not mean that we have universal certitudes about everything else, since certitudes are judgments, not just abstractions. We do form other universal concepts about natures in general, but the certitudes of judgments concerning them depend on immediate sensory experience in a different manner and that is another topic within epistemology.

            Hume’s notion of induction also proceeds from experience, but refers to a mere association of sense impressions from which we try to form universal judgments, such as that cause and effect are always related. He undercuts such universal judgments by rightly observing that you can never move from particulars in that fashion to a universal.

            This is an entirely different epistemological setting than that of Aristotle.

            I really do not have to defend Aristotle’s reputation, since anyone truly versed in the history of philosophy and science knows his preeminent position.

            You have not discovered some amazing “dark secret” about Aristotle in noting the errors in his cosmography. They are well known to all scholars. I do not intend to engage in close textual analysis of the texts you mention. I already did enough of that in my book, Aquinas’ Proofs for God’s Existence (1972). If you want a “shocking” added fact about Aristotle, consider this: he thought that the prime movers were the agents of the concentric spheres that governed the motions of the heavens surrounding a geocentric Earth – and that, according to one statement in his Metaphysics, the only question was whether there was 47 or 55 such “first movers!”

            What modern Thomists and other Aristotelian commentators do today is to recognize the valid contributions Aristotle made to the philosophy of nature, while extracting from his works those elements of metaphysics that are of independent and transcendent value, such as his brilliant development of the doctrine of potency and act, which St. Thomas expands beyond form and matter to include the act of existence in relation to essence. Even in Aquinas, we extract his metaphysical insights and arguments, while prescinding from erroneous contemporary scientific assumptions as well as distinctively theological doctrines.

            None of this lessens the metaphysical importance or truths enunciated by either Aristotle or Aquinas, but it does take some genuine scholarship to sort out properly the above mentioned distinctions. That is why there is a lot more to A-T philosophy than you will ever see on internet OPs and comment threads.

          • Ray

            This seems like a reasonably accurate summary of Hume’s and Aristotle’s views. Thank you for the clarification.

            So it seems the view you are staking out is that certitude is possible, but only for judgements concerning being as such, which I take it you associate with “metaphysics” and Aristotle’s “principles of eternal things,” as described in Metaphysics book 2 part 1.

            I do not agree that there is any such category of judgements that produce a greater degree of certitude than the most rigorous results of the empirical sciences. While I think it is obvious that research carried out under the label “metaphysics” has not produced any such certitudes, I would also say the same for mathematics, which has a much better claim to certitude based on its historical track record. Not only can mathematics not prove its own consistency, but in accepting computer aided proof, as they do and should, mathematicians are delegating their judgements to the creation of the physicists — solid state physicists specifically.

            Even granting that there is such a domain of universal certitudes to be had, there remains the question of how one identifies whether a particular claim is within that domain. And here, it seems to me that the history of Aristotelian thought has been one where claims previously identified as being within the domain of universal certitude have been removed from that domain and rejected, not because of any deeper contemplation of the nature of being, but simply because the claims conflicted with the claims of a body of purported divine revelation, or with the discoveries of empirical science.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            That is all fairly stated. But I think I did indicate above that there were actually two kind of things that were immediately known starting points of knowledge: (1) self-evident
            metaphysical first principles (as described based on the concept of being), and (2) immediately evident judgments based on direct sense experience. I noted that the latter required epistemological defense. That would include pointing out that the Cartesian “cogito” failed to include immediate experience of external objects, since he restricted our knowledge to ideas in the mind. But that not an issue I wish to open at present.

            The problem, as I see it, with both math and empirical sciences is precisely that their intelligibility presupposes
            those very metaphysical certitudes which you do not accept and which have already been discussed at length on this web site.

            As to the belief that essential metaphysical certitudes have been rejected because of conflicts with divine revelation, I simply do not see it. I have taught metaphysics and natural
            theology for over forty years and am constantly amazed by what I call the “Santa Claus” proof for God – that unlike dear old Santa, the more you examine the nature of God in relation to his creation, the more apparent difficulties disappear. But that is a huge topic, I am sure, given all the “fake news” he has been victim to in recent centuries. As for alleged conflicts with new scientific discoveries, I am equally skeptical.

            Frankly, I don’t have time to pursue all the rabbit holes entailed once one opens this immense can of worms that I am sure divide us on the above points.

            That is one reason I have attempted to restrict the topics of my articles on this site to one limited topic at a time.

          • Ray

            At the risk of opening up another can of worms, I would like to point out that Christian apologists use the term “presupposition” very strangely. In other technical contexts, presupposition refers to things like the hidden assumptions present in loaded questions like “have you stopped beating your wife?” Here the risk is not that, by failing to notice the presupposition, a person will unreflectively reject it, but that they will unreflectively accept it.

            This concept of presupposition seems to generalize reasonably well from single questions to whole areas of inquiry like math and science. Again, though, I can think of episodes in the history of science where previously held presuppositions of scientific inquiry, like absolute simultaneity and counterfactual definiteness led to insurmountable problems, and had to be abandoned. I can think of none where scientists presupposed something without actually believing it. And yet, you seem to claim that the substantial majority of leading mathematicians, scientists and philosophers, who disbelieve in God are doing precisely that. Perhaps the tiny minority of scientists who are Thomists do presuppose your claimed universal certitudes when asking scientific questions, but I doubt the remainder do.

            Now you specifically talked about the presuppositions of the intelligibility of math and science. Well, I’m not sure how to parse the claim that “intelligibility” is making presuppositions, as intelligibility is neither an area of discourse nor a person engaged in it, so perhaps you are making a weaker claim than I think you are.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            By “presupposition,” I mean exactly what the word implies: something that is presupposed for some order of activity, in this case, scientific enquiry or experimentation or even the realm of mathematics.

            The principle of non-contradiction is absolutely presupposed in every scientific or mathematical activity. That is beyond dispute, for any scientific observation retains intelligibility solely if what is observed is affirmed and not denied – and no mathematical axiom or proposition can even be enunciated unless its contradictory is denied. I have also pointed out before that neither nor science nor math can adequately explain the origin of this principle’s certitude within their own domain: it is an insight whose truth is naturally known by the human intellect the moment it understands the meaning of “being.”

            This alone is sufficient to defend my claim that there is at least one universal metaphysical principle that is absolutely presupposed by every expression of human enquiry: math or science or philosophy.

            One might add the principle of sufficient reason, but it is not essential to my point. Even so, I cannot imagine any scientist investigating unexplained phenomena who is not seeking the reason for said phenomena – and not merely testing to see whether there is a reason for it. He presupposes that there is a reason, but realizes he may fail to find one. That is why scientists never stop asking, “Why?”

            The only time people makes claims that there is no reason at all is when it suits their philosophical purpose to undermine the principle of sufficient reason. Even then, they give reasons why the principle need not be universal for science to proceed. If it is not universal, then anything I can imagine might be true might be true and I need give no reasons for believing it, including my adherence to the principle of sufficient reason.

            And then we have the fact that all scientists presuppose
            that they are investigating the real extramental world and that science is discovering facts about that world and that such a world exists. If this is not a universal presupposition, then all the claims about spacetime and relativity theory and an expanding cosmos and possible multiverses are based upon and express nothing at all.

            Absent such presuppositions as I example above, all science loses its intelligibility, since “intelligibility” means ability to be understood and these presuppositions are required in order to make science understandable.

            Even if you deny some parts of what I have just said, unless you can remove every bit of it, it remains true that science and math have philosophical presuppositions that they cannot demonstrate within their own fields. Now, if you then reduce these presuppositions merely to the domain of faith or pragmatism, we should be much more humble in all our claims about the findings of science and math.

            In fact, one cannot even make claims about the pragmatic benefits of science or math without presupposing the same
            principles in order to establish the truth of those alleged benefits.

            Nor do I see that these basic presuppositions have anything to do with general physical assumptions about such things as simultaneity in time or metaphysical claims about God’s existence.

          • Ray

            By “presupposition,” I mean exactly what the word implies: something that is presupposed for some order of activity, in this case scientific enquiry...

            This definition seems somewhat circular, but at least it clearly restricts the area of applicability of the term to roughly what I think it is, based on its use in other contexts e.g. the Wikipedia article on presupposition: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presupposition

            I don’t deny that presuppositions are present in all domains of enquiry, including science and math. I agree that they are collectively unavoidable — at least those of the “we’re all on the same page about what these words mean” variety (and I put the principle of noncontradiction in that category.) That doesn’t mean there is any individual presupposition that cannot be done without. We could conduct science in French without assuming anything about the meaning of English words for example. Likewise, mathematics could be developed using a paraconsistent logic as a starting point instead of standard logic.

            There are also more straightforwardly identifiable presuppositions where a particular line of enquiry assumes the existence of a posited theoretical entity in some accepted theoretical framework. This can either be problematic “what is the velocity of Earth relative to the luminiferous aether?” or unproblematic “what is the pH of human blood?” These are the sort of presuppositions that needed to be rejected to make way for relativity and quantum mechanics.

            That said, developments in philosophy of science (I’m thinking specifically of the Duhem-Quine thesis) have tended to blur the lines between the two categories of presuppositions. Thus it’s probably healthy to consider scientific presuppositions as potentially fallible, even if they seem to be harmless linguistic conventions.

            Nor do I see that these basic presuppositions have anything to do with general physical assumptions about such things as simultaneity in time or metaphysical claims about God’s existence

            So you’re saying the basic presuppositions of science and math do not imply the existence of God? If so, I agree, and I will hold you to that statement in the future.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            I am not merely making the banal observation that presuppositions abound. I am making a very strong claim that all scientific statements and enquiries presuppose certain specific metaphysical and epistemological principles, exactly as I just outlined in my previous comment.

            My comment about these presuppositions having nothing to do with such things as metaphysical claims about God’s
            existence was, perhaps, inexactly expressed. Of course, these metaphysical first principles have everything to do with proving God’s existence. I was merely noting your earlier observation about the attitude of scientists who “disbelieve in God” with respect to presuppositions of their work. That is what I was trying to say had nothing to do the actual existence of such presuppositions.

            Sorry. You have nothing there to cite against me in future. ;-)

          • Ray

            These presuppositions seem very like your God — an entity that is supposedly extremely powerful and omnipresent, and yet has no observable impact in the real world. Supposedly these presuppositions necessary for the understanding of math and science lead inexorably to belief in God, and yet those who seem to best understand math and science are among the least likely to believe in God. Even those who do believe in God, e.g. Don Page, don’t find the classical proofs for His existence terribly convincing. Nor are intermediate steps in the proofs e.g. “that which is moved is moved by another” widely endorsed by mathematicians or scientists.
            I suppose it is the case that the logical consequences of assumptions are not always immediately apparent, which is why mathematics continually finds new theorems in old systems. But, this concerns an old claim, supposedly proven 800 years ago. The typical pattern in mathematics is that valid proofs are almost always recognized as such immediately, especially if they are widely publicized. There is simply no precedent for a well known proof being considered invalid for 400 years before mathematicians discover it really is valid after all. If anything, the opposite pattern, where new errors are found in old proofs, seems more common. Often these errors are precisely cases where an assumption is presupposed rather than being explicitly stated. ( Here I’m thinking of the side-angle-side postulate and it’s supposed proof by Euclid.)
            You probably would say the 5 ways are well known, but widely misunderstood, but it seems odd that a proof built on the most fundamental concepts required for an understanding of science would be so systematically misunderstood by scientists.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            You offer an impressive, but a priori argument against the
            proofs.

            The vast majority of mathematicians and scientists are not
            philosophers. Those who are tend to belong to the analytic school, which is derived from the tradition of David Hume and Auguste Comte. I would suggest that even though some of them have tried to analyze the proofs for God using the tools of their own experience, they simply do not know the Thomistic arguments in their full historical setting.

            Even so well-versed a philosopher-mathematician as Bertrand Russell, in his famous debate with Fr. Copleston, made the rookie mistake of thinking the proof from causality had its causal regression going back in time.

            More importantly, I would suggest that most physicists do
            their trade without even noticing the metaphysical and epistemological presuppositions they presuppose. For example, they employ the principle of non-contradiction absolutely, but still have never noticed that it is not derived by means of Humean induction. Debating one of them on the internet, he was trying to prove that the PNC did not work at the subatomic level by means of experimental results – and failed to notice that he was presupposing its validity in the very taking of readings at the subatomic level.

            No, I do not think your a priori argument against the proofs
            is valid. Besides, I was not trying to prove God in my comments above, but simply showing that first principles of metaphysics and epistemology are presupposed by scientists and mathematicians – which they are.

          • Bob

            Dr. Bonnette, how did Aristotle derive his metaphysics in the first place? What did he base his generalizations on?

          • Dennis Bonnette

            We were not there to see him do it, but if you follow the science of his treatise, Physics, or philosophy of nature, in the latter books VI-VIII he establishes the existence of one or more first movers absolutely unmoved. Since his physics is the science of movable being, the finding of an immovable first mover showed that there must be a broader science than physics, one whose subject matter was not merely movable being, but being considered precisely as being -- and thus the birth of the distinct science of metaphysics. Also, in his Psychology, the science of the soul, he discovers that the human soul is subsistent, that is, that it can exist completely independently of matter -- and thus, he has another category of being that exceeds the boundaries of physical being, meaning that it, too, is part of the subject matter of metaphysics.

            As to how he established a first principle, such as non-contradiction, this was done via a form of abstraction, such as I have depicted elsewhere in a more modern form.

          • Bob

            Thank you for the response. So if Aristotle happened to be incorrect in his understanding of physics, would that have any consequences on the metaphysical generalizations he derived from it?

          • Dennis Bonnette

            No. There were metaphysical insights and principles that he formed doing his physics, such as potency and act, which are transcendentally valid, that is, for all being. He did not know that they were actually "meta"-physical until he found out that there were beings that were not material. He did not call metaphysics by that name, but by the name of "first philosophy." He wrote that, if there were no "separate substances," then physics would be first philosophy. By "separate substances," he meant things that were not material and not dependent on matter for their existence.

            Keep in mind that we are talking about Aristotle here. St. Thomas made substantive additions to what Aristotle wrote, which is not surprising since he comes some fifteen centuries after Aristotle -- and the whole panoply of Christianity, Neo-Platonism, the Patristic period of philosophy and theology, the Jewish and Arabic commentators on Aristotle -- all intervened before Aquinas came on the scene.

          • Bob

            Thank you again for your response. I would be interested to understand how Aristotle "found out that there were beings that were not material". Do you mean 'things' like Plato's forms (though I think he actually opposed Plato on that), or thought(mind)?

          • Rob Abney

            Bob, have you read Dr. Bonnette's first OP here at SN, "Naturalism’s Epistemological Nightmare"?
            Here's an excerpt that addresses your question:

            Aristotle maintains that co-principles (matter and form) compose physical substances. In living things, form is called the soul. In man alone, the soul is strictly immaterial (spiritual). Contrary to atomism, wherein nothing is a single thing (substance) above the atomic (or subatomic) level, substantial form makes the living organism to be a single, unified being of a given nature.3 Since all sentient organisms sense through powers of the soul, and since the soul is not itself physically locatable or extended, an ontological basis for epistemological realism exists. More simply, this means that since the soul’s sensation is not extended in space, and thus, physically “locatable,” it is not “trapped” in the interior of the brain as would be the case with scientific materialism. Our immediate experience of external reality shows that the living soul enables the whole organism to do things that exceed the capacities of a purely physical nervous system alone.

          • Jim the Scott

            If I might add to what Dr. Bonnette has said & simplify.

            >if Aristotle happened to be incorrect in his understanding of physics, would that have any consequences on the metaphysical generalizations he derived from it?

            You seem to rely on semi-Humean metaphysics thus by your own reasoning why do you not reject it because Hume likely held the erroneous scientific views of the late 1700's?

            Well I reject Hume but not because of his bogus late 1700's scientific beliefs.

            You, Rich, Ray and Jimmy have to shelve the neo-positivism. It's not helping ya.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            Aristotle's metaphysics is definitely not dependent on his physics, despite some of the physical theories he put forth in his Physics and Metaphysics. His Physics is the study of ens mobile, movable being. Within that study, there are both genuine, universal, transcendentally-valid metaphysical principles and arguments. The greatest of the insights that Aristotle advanced were his hylemorphic (matter/form) doctrine and the metaphysically-valid act/potency explanation of reality. In general, the understanding of reality developed out of such principles is valid both in the natural physical world and, in the case especially of act and potency, in both the physical and spiritual worlds.

            It is true that the ancient cosmology into which Aristotle attempted to thrust some of his conclusions is replaced today by modern cosmology. But that does not invalidate the core philosophical analysis offered by Aristotle. What serious scholars know is that his metaphysics does not depend upon the tangential errors in his physics, and that one must extract the metaphysical truths from those "side errors."

            For example, he reasons through the study of motion to a first mover unmoved. That argument is essentially valid, and is taken up by later classical metaphysicians, such as St. Thomas Aquinas -- ultimately leading to a refined proof for the existence of the Christian God -- one whose validity stands today even in the face of modern physics. But in Aristotle, his conclusions become confused with notions about even the number of the first movers, based on a mistaken belief in geocentrism with celestial spheres moving the things in the world. In fact, in his Metaphysics, there is a passage where he debates whether there are 47 or 55 such "prime movers," depending on how one counts the spheres!

            Aristotelian-Thomistic scholars have long known all of the above and much more about Aristotle's writings and thought. In no way does this diminish the central insights of Aristotle, which led him to develop metaphysics as a science distinct from his own physics -- based on his own discovery of "separate substances" (unmoved first movers) that could therefore not be part of the subject matter of physics.

            All this is much more complicated than I can develop in this thread, but belongs to a fully developed course in Aristotelian sciences. One thing is clear to all serious scholars of Aristotle: his metaphysics is not so based on the errors of the ancient cosmology as to destroy either its independence or intrinsic validity as a philosophical science.

          • Jim the Scott

            Bob is dogmatically convinced at this point we have been having a discussion on physics and have been defending the anachronistic erroneous physics of the ancient Greeks vs Newton.

            He is like a Protestant fundamentalists who can't think beyond Sola Scriptura. He by analogy can't get beyond his scientism. It's kind of sad actually.

          • Bob

            Again, I appreciate you taking the time to reply to my question. Though I continue to have substantive issues with the foundations of the metaphysical claims being made (for instance that "he reasons through the study of motion to a first mover unmoved. That argument is essentially valid" which I disagree with since I still think his observation of which is empirically flawed), I believe that I understand where you are coming from.

          • Jim the Scott

            Hey Dr. B if Tommy is correct and the anachronistic physics invalidates Aristotle's metaphysics well then wouldn't the materialist metaphysics of Democretus be invalid as well since he held the same erroneous physics?

            Fallacies of equivocation man. Without them no anti-Thomist polemicist here would have anything to say.

          • Jim the Scott

            > So if Aristotle happened to be incorrect in his understanding of physics, would that have any consequences on the metaphysical generalizations he derived from it?

            Can you prove positively an error in physics can lead to an error in metaphysics?

            No because that is absurd.

            Can an error in physics prove natural selection is wrong? No.....

            Can an error in physics prove math postulates are wrong?
            No.

            Pull your head out of your positivism dude.

          • Jim the Scott

            additional:

            > So if Aristotle happened to be incorrect in his understanding of physics, would that have any consequences on the metaphysical generalizations he derived from it?

            So if I am incorrect in my understanding of physics that would have consequences on my understanding of chemistry?

            For example if I am incorrect in my understanding of the atomic structure of water and sodium that means my claim from experience that raw sodium explodes in water will from that moment on turn out to be false and it is now safe for me to do that without danger(the past explosions just being a fluke)?

            Seriously Bob?

            Bob, dude you wouldn't last five minutes in a NYC subway.

          • Bob

            Not sure if your analogy here is actually analogous...

          • Jim the Scott

            Rather Bob you just don't know what you are talking about. That seems self evident.

          • Jim the Scott

            Additional:

            So how does the anachronistic physics of the Greeks invalidate Aristotle's metaphysics?

            Also what about the materialist atheist metaphysics of Democretus? He held to the same bad science as Aristotle so atheist materialism must be false too for the same reason you claim Aristotle is false?

            Think Bob! Use the brain God or Evolution (I say both) gave you.

          • Ray

            The vast majority of mathematicians and scientists are not philosophers. Those who are tend to belong to the analytic school, which is derived from the tradition of David Hume and Auguste Comte. I would suggest that even though some of them have tried to analyze the proofs for God using the tools of their own experience, they simply do not know the Thomistic arguments in their full historical setting.

            Again, I'm not sure how this excuse is supposed to work, given that you have explicitly stated that scientists and mathematicians, by virtue of understanding their subject matter, must share exactly the concepts and presuppositions necessary to make the proofs work. What is a philosophical tradition supposed to consist of, if not a shared set of presuppositions and concepts?

            As for the charge that those analyzing the proofs from an analytic perspective are ignoring the historical context: Are not Aristotelian physics and Aristotelian Cosmology, the eternity of the world, the celestial spheres etc. part of the historical context for the arguments? I think if anyone is at fault, it seems to me that those who present these arguments without those details are the ones stripping them of their historical context.

            Even so well-versed a philosopher-mathematician as Bertrand Russell, in his famous debate with Fr. Copleston, made the rookie mistake of thinking the proof from causality had its causal regression going back in time.

            You are aware that Fr. Copleston explicitly said he was adapting the argument of Leibniz, not that of Aquinas. Right? Also, I have scanned the debate here: http://www.biblicalcatholic.com/apologetics/p20.htm and don't see anywhere where Russell makes that assumption.

            As for your previous internet debate, that's between you and your debate partner. I have already stated that I believe the PNC is nothing more nor less than an artifact of the choice of language we seem to have agreed upon. As for how we come to know a certain language, I would point out that, at least initially, it is done by the same sort of trial and error comparison of mental model to experience that is involved in empirical science (albeit in a much less reflective form.)

          • Jim the Scott

            I smell a rookie mistake.

            >You are aware that Fr. Copleston explicitly said he was adapting the argument of Leibniz, not that of Aquinas. Right? Also, I have scanned the debate here: http://www.biblicalcatholic...

            Way to miss the point. Where does Leibniz say the proof from causality had its causal regression going back in time? I told you with the exception of the Kalam most classic cosmological arguments assume a past eternal universe without a formal beginning.

            (Or at least I told either Rich or Bob or Jimmy that. You lot make all the same nearly identical mistakes it's hard to tell you all apart).

            >and don't see anywhere where Russell makes that assumption.

            It seems he blatantly is making that assumption in the THE ARGUMENT FROM CONTINGENCY discussion.

            Russell: The word “gratuitous” suggests that it might be something else. I should say that the universe is just there, and that’s all.

            Copleston: I can’t see how you can rule out the legitimacy of asking the question how the total, or anything at all comes to be there. Why something rather than nothing? That is the question. The fact that we gain our knowledge of causality empirically, from particular causes, does not rule out the possibility of asking what the cause of the series is [ … ]

            Russell: I can illustrate what seems to me your fallacy. Every man who exists has a mother, and it seems to me your argument is that therefore the human race must have a mother, but obviously the human race hasn’t a mother; that’s a different logical sphere.

            Copleston: Well, I can’t really see a parity. If I were saying “every object has a phenomenal cause, therefore, the whole series has a phenomenal cause,” there would be a parity; but I’m not saying that; I’m saying, every object has a phenomenal cause if you insist on the infinity of the series; but the series of phenomenal causes is an insufficient explanation of the series. Therefore, the series has not a phenomenal cause but a transcendent cause.

            >Are not Aristotelian physics and Aristotelian Cosmology, the eternity of the world, the celestial spheres etc. part of the historical context for the arguments?

            Nope. They work well with a past eternal universe. A universe with a formal beginning or a no boundary beginning or a cyclical creation. Newton, Relativity, Quantum physics,

            I leave it to Dr. B to correct the rest. Franky I am too tired.

          • Jim the Scott

            additional:

            >Are not Aristotelian physics and Aristotelian Cosmology, the eternity of the world, the celestial spheres etc. part of the historical context for the arguments?

            See his response to Bob.

            https://disqus.com/home/discussion/strangenotions/whatever_is_moved_is_moved_by_another/#comment-3667837836

          • Dennis Bonnette

            You are quite right about the Russell-Copleston debate with respect to the matter of infinite regress not explicitly arising. Despite my advancing senility, I still think I am right about the substance of the matter – but, now that I think about it, it is probably in Russell’s history of philosophy that he directly misreads St. Thomas. I do know that Samuel Enoch Stumpf in his Elements of Philosophy, which is used as a standard history text, makes this same mistake when he compares the infinite causal regression to a series of dominoes, which clearly takes place through past time.

            If you are talking about the most famous proofs for God’s
            existence, they really would be Aquinas’ Five Ways in his Summa theologiae, not the arguments in Aristotle’s own books. And that is why the historical context of St. Thomas is more relevant. It is true that he is largely restating arguments taken from Aristotle, but in doing so, he centers on the valid metaphysical aspects of them. He was well aware of the contents of both the Physics and Metaphysics, since he wrote commentaries on both. But his quinque viae were not detailed restatements of Aristotle. In fact, they were not even intended to be complete proofs – for reasons evident in the historical context. He was merely giving his own shorthand versions of these arguments – already well known to his students, who were hardly “students” as we think them today! These were people who had already studied in detail the Commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard and who already knew a ton of philosophy. Since St. Thomas is doing these proofs at the beginning of his Summa theologiae, the whole edifice of Catholic theology would have to stand or fall on these proofs, were he attempting to fully elucidate them – much in the detail we seen in Reginald Garrigou Lagrange’s God: His Existence and Nature. That was simply not St. Thomas' intention.

            Quite the contrary, the famous Five Ways were given simply as shorthand versions of proofs largely taken from Aristotle, showing his students his own “take” on how to handle them – but never intended as full proofs without presupposing the rest of Thomistic metaphysics! More complete are the arguments given in the Contra gentiles I, c. 13 – but even they are largely abbreviated save for the prima via.—and even there, as you have pointed out, he labors the Aristotelian cosmology unnecessarily. This is why his Summa theologiae, not his Contra gentiles, is considered his greatest work -- a theological work from which contemporary Thomists extract metaphysical content.

            All of this supports my claim that, if you really want to grasp the Thomistic proofs for God’s existence, you need to work in the historical context of Aquinas, not Aristotle, as I have done in great detail in my book, Aquinas’ Proofs for God’s existence, in which I include both the classical and modern commentators on St. Thomas, NOT Aristotle. And I can assure you that the modern commentators on St. Thomas, who are known as Thomists, do not base their interpretation of Aquinas’ proofs for God on the outdated aspects if Aristotle’s cosmology.

            Moreover, most modern non-Thomistic writers follow Kant’s
            erroneous reading of the cosmological argument (which is not St. Thomas’ argument) as reducible to the Anselmian ontological argument, which both Kant and St. Thomas explicitly reject.

            Yes, historical context matters. Most modern English-speaking philosophers are not sufficiently well versed in the inner workings of Thomistic metaphysics to understand his proofs for God properly. That was Dr. Feser’s experience before abandoned atheism and became a Thomist.

            While you may think that “the PNC is nothing more nor less than an artifact of the choice of language we seem to have agreed upon,” the fact remains that it is absolutely presupposed by every thought, statement, proposition, hypothesis, doubt, hope, or axiom any other mental expression that you or any scientist or any mathematician has ever made or could make. And when you say that I am wrong, you presuppose that you are correct and that my contradictory assertion is incorrect. Even when you assert that “the PNC IS nothing more….,” you presuppose its own validity, since the very intelligibility of your own affirmation is vitiated if it can simultaneously be denied.

          • Ray

            Even when you assert that “the PNC IS nothing more...,” you presuppose its own validity

            Why yes, in speaking English, I am presupposing the linguistic conventions of that language. You seem dissatisfied with my enthusiasm in accepting the principle of non contradiction. Since you mention the word “is”, I’ll make you a deal: I will grant as extravagant a metaphysical status to the PNC as you are willing to grant for the transitivity of the identity relation denoted when that lovely word links two proper names. Sorry: couldn’t resist. My only regret is that I couldn’t come up with a pithy way to work in a William Jefferson Clinton reference.

            Regarding the history, what you say may be correct. My problem is that you regard these arguments as passive victims of misrepresentation by their critics. Thomism has been officially endorsed by no less than the Pope, the leader of the world’s second largest religious denomination, nominally representing over a billion followers. Surely Thomism should have no problem getting its message out. Moreover, Kant and Russell surely are not to blame for the fact that Copleston chose to defend the argument of Leibniz, rather than those of Aquinas. (To be fair Copleston was really defending somewhat of a hybrid.) Perhaps, Copleston, who really should have been in a position to know, felt that Leibniz made a more convincing argument. Perhaps he did not believe the arguments of Aquinas were defensible in their original form. I can’t help but think these “misrepresentations” you complain about were merely the critics of Theism responding to the versions of the arguments their contemporaries felt were most convincing.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            The problem with assuming this is merely a matter of linguistic convention is that it isn’t. It is a problem caused by the way the mind works when we form a judgment about reality. And it is reality that makes it work this way. Any declarative proposition entails a subject and a predicate in which the predicate can only be affirmed or denied of the subject. And this in turn is because what is really happening is that we are either conjoining two concepts or disjoining them: the principle of non-contradiction in action.

            All other utterances, such as interjections, really say nothing about the world. That is why any scientific statement or math supposition is meaningless unless it actually says something, which means to enunciate a truth or fact or even affirm a supposition. Your problem isn’t with linguistics, but the world and how the mind affirms or denies what it apprehends. It is that old “being” thing again.

            It is the same reason that no matter what language someone speaks, if you try to tell him you will make something out of nothing, he will look very oddly at you.

            As for the history, I have explained it as best I can. The fact remains that most philosophers taught in English speaking countries have very limited exposure to genuine Thomism. And this limits their ability to understand the force of metaphysical proofs for God’s existence. If you want to see how this operates in practice, read Dr. Feser’s account of how he came to accept the Thomistic Five Ways – screaming and kicking against them all the way!

          • Jim the Scott

            Dr. B,

            I think Ray, Bob, Jimmy and Richard are confusing physical inertia with existential inertia. We know God has too cause things to exist here and now otherwise they would stop existing. We reject the idea if God (to imagine the absurd for a moment) could commit Cosmic Suicide anything he created would just continue on without him.

            They are all confused about divine conservation. Add that to the fact it seems hard for that lot to shed their implicit scientism/positivism.

            Cheers boss.

          • Bob

            Contradicting the the first law of thermodynamics and the law of conservation of energy...

            Not to mention blowing a giant hole in 'any type of change whatsoever', which it seems that Dr. Bonnette completely understands is crucial to the OP.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Contradicting the the first law of thermodynamics and the law of conservation of energy...

            This lame response proves my charge as good as any confession. Bob you and Ray and Rich and sometimes Jimmy are pretending this is a scientific discussion not a philosophical one.

            You are treating philosophical concepts like laws of physics. That is called a category mistake and it reduces all your polemics without exception to fallacies of equivocation.

            At this point you are just obstinate and anti-intellectual. You are as I said you where no better then the redneck Young Earth creationist except in reverse.

            >Not to mention blowing a giant hole in 'any type of change whatsoever', which it seems that Dr. Bonnette completely understands is crucial to the OP.

            Dr. Bonnette is not arguing physics but metaphysics. Bob you are proof positive new atheists are without exception mentally and intellectually inferior.

          • Bob

            Is Divine Conservation just a philosophical exercise, or is it supposed to apply to the physical world? If the latter, then this is a scientific discussion...

          • Jim the Scott

            >Is Divine Conservation just a philosophical exercise, or is it supposed to apply to the physical world?

            It is the conclusion at the end of the philosophical analysis that things that change require an unchanged changer to keep them in existence from moment to moment.

            > If the latter, then this is a scientific discussion...

            By that faulty reasoning I could claim since Animals are made of Atoms therefore natural selection has to do with particle physics not biology.

            You are making category mistakes and fallacies of equivocation. If there is no God or gods all your arguments thus far are useless at this point.

          • Bob

            Natural selection does have to do with physics, it is just a very painful and unnecessary way to talk about natural selection since we have invented biology. That doesn't mean that biology gets to contradict physics.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Natural selection does have to do with physics,

            Neither does philosophy or metaphysics. They are related but not unequivocally interchangeable which is how you are treating them.

            it is just a very painful and unnecessary way to talk about natural selection since we have invented biology. That doesn't mean that biology gets to contradict physics.

            > it is just a very painful and unnecessary way to talk about natural selection since we have invented biology.

            The scientific method itself is precede by philosophy and founded on philosophical presuppositions. It is not necessary for you to reduce all reality to Science alone. Positivism is either trivially true or false by it's own standards.

            >That doesn't mean that biology gets to contradict physics.

            There is no contradiction between animals evolving the entropy as the Young Earth Creationist imagines. There is no contradiction between the act potency distinction and modern physics.

            How does modern physics prove whatever is in potency does not become act by something already in act?

            It doesn't.

          • Bob

            If your philosophy contradicts physics, it is most likely wrong.

            "How does modern physics prove whatever is in potency does not become act by something already in act?"

            Everything is actually what it is and actually not what it is not. Change is our accounting of a succession of actual states - what something actually is from moment to moment. The concept of potency you are using is quaint and unnecessary (and seems to cause you to believe things one wouldn't otherwise find reasonable to believe).

          • Jim the Scott

            >If your philosophy contradicts physics, it is most likely wrong.

            Morally and practically at this point you are no different then the Young Earth Creationist who pleads "if Evolution contradicts the 2nd Law of Thermal Dynamics it is most likely wrong".

            You sound just as silly at this point I am afraid.

            >>"How does modern physics prove whatever is in potency does not become act by something already in act?"

            >Everything is actually what it is and actually not what it is not. Change is our accounting of a succession of actual states - what something actually is from moment to moment.

            That looks like a metaphysical claim via Hume. What you just said above is not a scientific claim. It has nothing to do with Physics.

            > The concept of potency you are using is quaint and unnecessary (and seems to cause you to believe things one wouldn't otherwise find reasonable to believe).

            Rather Daniel C. Dennett is correct "There is no such thing as philosophy-free science; there is only science whose philosophical baggage is taken on board without examination".

            That is what you are doing here. You should read some modern philosophical and Essentialist critiques of Hume.

            As Ascombe said he was if anything a brilliant sophist but a lousy philosopher.

          • Jim the Scott

            Additional: OTOH at least Jimmy is trying to offer competing philosophical arguments even if he still commits fallacies of equivocation. I don't think he uses the term "material cause" the way we do.

          • Ray

            The problem with assuming this is merely a matter of linguistic convention is that it isn’t. It is a problem caused by the way the mind works when we form a judgment about reality. And it is reality that makes it work this way. Any declarative proposition entails a subject and a predicate in which the predicate can only be affirmed or denied of the subject. And this in turn is because what is really happening is that we are either conjoining two concepts or disjoining them: the principle of non-contradiction in action.

            All other utterances, such as interjections, really say nothing about the world. That is why any scientific statement or math supposition is meaningless unless it actually says something, which means to enunciate a truth or fact or even affirm a supposition. Your problem isn’t with linguistics, but the world and how the mind affirms or denies what it apprehends. It is that old “being” thing again.

            You claim that the PNC is not a linguistic convention. But everything you say to support the claim sounds to me like a description of the conventions of language and how we parse utterances in light of these conventions.

            It is the same reason that no matter what language someone speaks, if you try to tell him you will make something out of nothing, he will look very oddly at you.

            Seems to me, the reason for this response is that the claim is not in accord with common experience (unless the claim is interpreted as Parmenides would.) Surely you are not claiming it is incoherent on its face. If so, which part is incoherent, the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo, or that a man can legitimately claim to be God?

            If you want to see how this operates in practice, read Dr. Feser’s account of how he came to accept the Thomistic Five Ways – screaming and kicking against them all the way!

            One thing I note about these sort of argument-based conversion stories is that none of those involved seem to have a strong scientific background (e.g. not even a bachelors in a hard science or mathematics.) To be fair, I only have a sample size of like 5 or so -- I looked up Feser, Flew, MacIntyre, CS Lewis, and Leah Libresco -- I don't think PoliSci counts, really. You also have well known Catholic scientists like Juan Maldacena and Ken Miller, but neither has said much in favor of the arguments of Aquinas to my knowledge. Regarding Feser specifically: does he say why he pursued a BA in religious studies -- or was that after his conversion? That doesn't sound like the sort of thing a convinced atheist would do, unless he was already established as a public skeptic and looking to boost his credentials. I don't think he was.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            Your take on language conventions appears to me to make intelligent conversation on this thread impossible, since it could never reach an apodictic inference – given that any conclusion could be dismissed as ultimately based on a “linguistic convention.”

            First we know things, and then we invent words to describe them. The ultimate force of the principle of non contradiction is that once we encounter a being or beings, the intellect understands what the nature of being is. From that understanding, we immediately know with absolute certitude that a thing is what it is and that being cannot both be and not be at the same time and in the same respect.

            Putting all that into words in any language in no way reduces its truth to a mere “linguistic convention,” since the mind grasps this immediately-known, self-evident first principle in light of understanding the meaning of the concept of being it has formed upon contact with being. There simply is no more primary form of knowledge possible. Any alternative form of knowledge you may propose, including anything whatever in physics or mathematics, is inherently secondary and derivative.

            That is also why, while I put it in a somewhat whimsical manner above, the reason someone would “look very oddly” at anyone telling him that he could “make something out of nothing” is simply that everyone honestly confronting the meaning of “absolutely nothing” knows full well that it cannot beget any being all by itself. God can be said to “make something out of nothing” because we don’t really mean it literally when we say that of God, since we know full well that creation does not come forth from nothing, but from the infinite creative power of the Infinite Being.

            I concur with you that conversion stories in themselves can
            be misleading for many reasons. But I would urge you to take a careful read of Dr. Feser’s own intellectual odyssey from born Catholic to very well read atheist and naturalist, utterly convinced that the classical proofs for God were pure rubbish. I am not sure of his scientific background, but his education in all the atheist folklore is beyond doubt. He knows all the atheist arguments well, since he held and defended them himself – long before finding fault in naturalism and eventually coming to understand properly the classical proofs for God’s existence, and finally being intellectually converted back to theism.

            Here is the link to his intellectual autobiography: http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2012/07/road-from-atheism.html

            I fear that you vastly overestimate the noetic value of both
            physics and mathematics, which is why you underestimate the importance of seeing that they both actually do presuppose first principles and other truths that can solely be known philosophically.

          • Ray

            Your take on language conventions appears to me to make intelligent conversation on this thread impossible, since it could never reach an apodictic inference – given that any conclusion could be dismissed as ultimately based on a “linguistic convention."

            If I don't need apodictic certainty for the claim that eating my next lunch won't kill me, I don't see why I would need it for anything else. That said you have it backwards: Any lack of certainty I might have in the truth of the PNC comes precisely from the possibility that it might NOT be a mere linguistic convention. If it is true by linguistic convention then, however the world is, it is true, and by the same token, its truth says nothing about the world.

            That is also why, while I put it in a somewhat whimsical manner above, the reason someone would “look very oddly” at anyone telling him that he could “make something out of nothing” is simply that everyone honestly confronting the meaning of “absolutely nothing” knows full well that it cannot beget any being all by itself. God can be said to “make something out of nothing” because we don’t really mean it literally when we say that of God, since we know full well that creation does not come forth from nothing, but from the infinite creative power of the Infinite Being.

            So this hypothetical someone is looking at me strangely because he expects me to be speaking completely literally? I would hate to see the look I got when I said it was raining cats and dogs. (Or perhaps he would see nothing in absurd in it at all, since the literal meaning is rarely true, but not contradictory, by your lights?)

            I fear that you vastly overestimate the noetic value of both physics and mathematics, which is why you underestimate the importance of seeing that they both actually do presuppose first principles and other truths that can only be known philosophically.

            Training in physics and mathematics is relevant precisely because you are making judgements about what is presupposed by people who are successful in those endeavors. To the extent I have any clue what presuppositions are supposed to be they have empirical consequences -- i.e. people who hold the presuppositions will tend to accept arguments that logically follow from those presuppositions. If you claim that successful scientists universally presuppose certain principles, and yet they are unconvinced by arguments you say are based on those principles, something in your model of how successful scientists think is badly wrong -- either the argument is based on additional presuppositions that the scientists do not accept, or you are wrong that the presuppositions you give are necessary for success in the sciences.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            Again you are confusing natural science with philosophy.
            Most natural scientists simply are not interested in the arguments philosophers propose because most natural scientists are not trying to do philosophy.

            Those who do enter the field of philosophy are thereby
            outside their field of competence, and thereby they are just as prone to error as anyone else. Since most scientists are used to dealing exclusively with material things, many tend to become materialists. So, of course, they would not tend to be sensitive to metaphysical arguments. They tend to seek empirical verification regarding things that by nature are not verifiable in such manner, such as God or the human soul or free will -- just as did the Logical Positivists of the 1930s, who looked at the whole world through the myopic lens of natural science.

            In any event, all of the above ignores the underlying truth that the basic principles, like identity, non-contradiction, sufficient reason, as well as the epistemological corollary of belief in a real physical world remain presuppositions of natural science. The only one of these that even raises some opposition is sufficient reason, since some people expect reasons for all physical phenomena, but their atheism makes them not want to apply that same search for reasons to the existence of the entire cosmos – knowing full well that starts them down a path toward a theism they personally reject.

            While materialists typically claim that Nature or the cosmos explains itself, the role of classical proofs for God is to show that the world cannot explain itself, but needs an external cause. That, of course, is another topic altogether.

          • Ray

            We seem to have hit a point of diminishing returns on this thread. As such, I will close with a few requests for future top level posts.

            1) General advice: When arguing against a position, find the most eloquent defender of that position you can, and quote them, at length. You seem happy to quote atheists, but only when they say something you agree with. This puts you at a severe risk of straw-manning.

            2) Please do a post on how to tell the difference between scientific and metaphysical statements.

            3) Just for fun: I would love to see a post speculating about why no Neo-Aristotelian has, as far as I can tell, come up with the idea of putting those angels who used to push the celestial spheres back to work — pushing the amplitudes of the energy eigenstates of the universal Hamiltonian in circles around the complex plane.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            Haven't you heard? The angels in question subsequently all became harp players and now belong to a musicians union that absolutely forbids such outside activities.

          • Jim the Scott

            My response to these special pleading requests.

            >When arguing against a position, find the most eloquent defender of that position you can, and quote them, at length. You seem happy to quote atheists, but only when they say something you agree with. This puts you at a severe risk of straw-manning.

            So if we cite a theist then he is bias because he is a theist. If we cite an Atheist then according to you we are straw manning?

            How do we cite an "eloquent defender" is that someone you agree with (unless they say something you don't agree with then it's straw manning)?

            >2) Please do a post on how to tell the difference between scientific and metaphysical statements.

            Yes this is sorely needed here!

            Read this.
            http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/03/scientism-roundup.html

            and this

            http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2012/05/natural-theology-natural-science-and.html

            >Just for fun: I would love to see a post speculating about why no Neo-Aristotelian has, as far as I can tell, come up with the idea of putting those angels who used to push the celestial spheres back to work — pushing the amplitudes of the energy eigenstates of the universal Hamiltonian in circles around the complex plane.

            They where fired when we discovered star lifting and building partial Dyson shells with reflective inner surfaces could do the job better.
            http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/49f85ad889279

            That and stellar propulsion swarms.
            http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/572b6ae057374

          • Jim the Scott

            >You seem to be denying that Aristotle and other philosophers contemplated many different types of nonbeing.

            Geez buddy you are like a redneck with a 6th graders' knowledge of biology trying to argue evolutionary science with Richard Dawkins. There are not different types of nonbeing. There is only one. Take being and subtract it from itself and bingo. Nonbeing. This isn't hard and your sophistry & fallacies of equivocation becoming tedious.

            > In response, I will quote the very same confused passage I quoted before (where I should note you have still made no justification for your conflation of past and present being.)

            Why is that relevant? Aristotle believed the universe always existed and Aquinas for purposes of argument treated the universe as if it always existed. Neither's view presupposes a formal creation event. You are bad at this.

            >As such, with respect to those properties it did not have, it is non-being; nothing at all.
            Given such fine distinctions as are alluded to by the italicized passage, it still seems hard to support the claim that all classical philosophers agreed "with respect to" what properties, prior nonbeing precludes present being.

            I think you are picking a fight with the Kalam Cosmological argument not Aquinas' first way? You are really bad at this.

            >You also seem to think "something cannot come from nothing" is some sort of a priori truth.

            It is a logical deduction or do you deny 1+1=2? How far does your anti-realism go?

            >Well, you may have been consistent in refusing to justify your claim in terms of experience (as you continue to refuse to clarify what you mean by it, or even admit that there's something to be clarified) but many other Thomists I've met have not been so stubborn.

            Who are these "Thomists" you speak of? Freshmen who have merely signed up for Thomism 101 but have not yet taken their first class?

            > It is common practice to justify the claim by saying things like "we don't see bicycles randomly pop into existence, now do we." Such statements are clearly alluding to states of affairs that should be considered absurd because they are contrary to experience.

            I think you are winging it at this point.

            >Re: physics and metaphysics. Here is what you need to answer: Surely you are not denying that Aristotle made physical claims, and that these can be refuted by modern physics.

            Nobody disputes his view of physics which was shared by Atheist Greek philosophers like Democrites and other Greeks who where anti-realists are false compared to Newton but so what? Potency to Act brought about by something already in Act is a metaphysical description of change not one from physics and can be applied to the faulty Greek Physics, Newton, Einstein, Heisenberg, and even String Theory.

            You are equivocating between physics and metaphysics. You are like the YEC who treats the second law of thermal dynamics as a metaphysical principle to deny evolution caused design rather then using it properly as a law of physics.

            You are the reverse of that.

            >If so, how do you decide which Aristotelian claims are physical and which are metaphysical? e.g. which type of claim is the claim that the heavens move always with uniform motion?

            You learn the philosophy of science so as to learn to figure out what is a scientific question.

            >If you claim this is a physical, and not a metaphysical claim, how do you justify that assessment, other than by the fact that it is clearly false? It certainly seems intimately linked with the content of Metaphysics book 12, from which Aquinas's first way takes its inspiration.

            ??????????

          • Ray

            The level of rudeness in this comment is the sort of thing that would get an Atheist poster banned here. I will not engage further. If Dr. Bonnette wishes me to engage any substantive point hidden among the many gratuitous insults, he may politely repeat it himself.

          • Jim the Scott

            It is not "rude" for me to claim you do not have a good grasp of the topic and need to improve. If you disagree then you prove me wrong by showing a good grasp of the topic.

            Now if comparing you to a redneck was out of line then I sort of apologize but not really because my ancestor was a redneck but was quite a smart guy.

            But if it offended you I am sorry.

          • Richard Morley

            It is not "rude" for me to claim you do not have a good grasp of the topic and need to improve.

            The same point could have been made without being rude, although it would still be up to you to justify it, but you clearly chose not to do so but to be gratuitously, obviously and deliberately rude. The claim that phrases like "you are like a redneck with a 6th graders' knowledge of biology" were not intended to be insulting first and foremost is laughable.

          • Jim the Scott

            >The same point could have been made without being rude, although it would still be up to you to justify it, but you clearly chose not to do so but to be gratuitously, obviously and deliberately rude.

            I said I was sorry but if you wish to hold a grudge for someone else then I that is your choice.

            >The claim that phrases like "you are like a redneck with a 6th graders' knowledge of biology" were not intended to be insulting first and foremost is laughable.

            So you are telling me YEC Rednecks & people with 6th grader's level of education biology are bad or shameful? Like child molesters, rapists or murderers?

            No, they are merely unqualified to comment on Evolution especially since they misunderstand the second law of thermal dynamics treating it as a metaphysical principle rather then a law of physics.

            The critics of the first way on this very thread are doing the opposite mistake and they should do better & know better.

          • Richard Morley

            I said I was sorry

            "..sort of apologize but not really..."

            'nuff said.

            So you are telling me YEC Rednecks & people with 6th grader's level of education biology are bad or shameful? Like child molesters, rapists or murderers?

            So you are doubling down on the redneck comment not being intended as an insult and playing the child molester and rapist card? Incontheivable!

          • Jim the Scott

            >"..sort of apologize but not really..."

            That is subjective Mr. "Christians want to put gays in deathcamps.".

            >So you are doubling down on the redneck comment not being intended as an insult

            As if I would insult my own Grandfather? What is interesting is you seem to think Southern Working Class people are so loathsome,

            I bet the word "Deplorable" comes to mind when you think of them eh?

            >and playing the child molester and rapist card? Incontheivable!

            The point being Rednecks are not comparable to child molesters.

          • Richard Morley

            That is subjective Mr. "Christians want to put gays in deathcamps.".

            Some do. I also pointed out that most do not. That was kind of the point of that whole comment. Nor was it terribly subtle or hard to get.

            As if I would insult my own Grandfather?

            I let the evidence speak for itself.

            I bet the word "Deplorable" comes to mind when you think of them eh?

            You are very quick to leap to assumptions about others.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Some do. I also pointed out that most do not. That was kind of the point of that whole comment. Nor was it terribly subtle or hard to get.

            It was still an irrelevant tanget.

            >I let the evidence speak for itself.

            Indeed.

            >You are very quick to leap to assumptions about others.

            Likewise.

    • Jim the Scott

      >It was obvious, even to Aristotle, that the Parmenidean interpretation of “something cannot come from nothing” had been empirically falsified.

      If you define "nothing" as a quantum vacuum, a Hartle-Hawking State or space time well philosophically that is not the classic definition of "nothing". That is "something" not "nothing". "Nothing" is philosophically an absolute absence of being or existence. Space time or a Quantum vacuum has existence ergo it is not "nothing" in the classical sense.

      A Hartle Hawking State is still something not "nothing" metaphysically.

      Category mistake much?

      • Ray

        In the Hartle Hawking state, there is nothing before the big bang in the same sense that there is nothing north of the north pole. Are you saying that what's north of the north pole is still too much of a something for you?

        ETA: While we're at it, for both Aristotle and Parmenides, the quantum vacuum would be considered to be in a state of nonbeing with respect to particles, which is enough to establish things like Hawking radiation as a counterexample to the Aristotelian interpretation of the claim that something cannot come from nothing. Please note that Aristotle needs this expansive interpretation of the claim in order to support his claim that uncaused motion would involve something coming from nothing. (If a quantum vacuum is not "nothing" in the relevant sense, neither is an object moving without a mover.)

        • Jim the Scott

          >In the Hartle Hawking state, there is nothing before the big bang in the same sense that there is nothing north of the north pole.

          I know and I agree. It's just like that low brow atheist question "Who created God?" and twice as stupid. If I denied God tomorrow I would tell someone who used it to stop helping. Like I do with Young Earth Creationists who think "the 2nd law of thermal dynamics refutes evolution" is a good argument when it is three times as stupid.

          > Are you saying that what's north of the north pole is still too much of a something for you?

          Based on Experience I am going to guess you don't know all classic cosmological arguments for the existence of God (sans the Kalam Argument) presuppose a past eternal universe without a formal beginning? Aquinas didn't believe you could scientifically or philosophical prove the universe had a beginning. Everybody knows this.

          "Creation from nothing" in the classic sense merely means causing there to be being. It's not strictly a case of turning "nothing" into a "something" as if "nothing" was some sort of material that can be transmuted.

          God could create from nothing but God cannot create out of nothing. As nothing is non-being and there isn't anything there to create out of or turn into something.

          God is also outside of time in the classic sense so even in a formal fiat creation scheme he is not "before" the universe anymore then He is north of the north pole.

          >ETA: While we're at it, for both Aristotle and Parmenides, the quantum vacuum would be considered to be in a state of nonbeing with respect to particles,

          Interesting speculation on how they might evaluate our physics but trivial since it seems out of the question they would say a Hartle-Hawking state was "nothing". Because creation from nothing really specifically means creation from non-being or non-existence and I don't think you can credibly claim a Hartle-Hawking State is "non-existence" or "non-being". If it doesn't really exist then Stephen Hawking is just wrong.

          >which is enough to establish things like Hawking radiation as a counterexample to the Aristotelian interpretation of the claim that something cannot come from nothing.

          "Something cannot come from nothing" is better formulated "being cannot come from non-being." Or existence cannot come from non-existence. I don't see how you can with a straight face claim a Hartle-Hawking state is "non-existence" and not sound incoherent?

          > Please note that Aristotle needs this expansive interpretation of the claim in order to support his claim that uncaused motion would involve something coming from nothing. (If a quantum vacuum is not "nothing" in the relevant sense, neither is an object moving without a mover.)

          Un-cause motion here means something that is pure act without any passive potency. I think you understand that to be some scientific mechanistic description?

          I thought I smelled Positivism on your breath.:-)

          You need to go back and hit the books kid.

  • George

    It seems that motion has been "paid for" by the expansion of the universe. It's omnidirectional, unbiased, you might say, and thus quite simple. superclusters of galaxies are moving apart, and we'll never interact with them again. possible interactions will asymptotically approach zero as everything spreads out and cools down. is there an issue with that explanation?

  • Jim the Scott

    The Argument from Motion is a metaphysical argument from change/motion/motus where change/motion is defined as going from potency to act by the agency of something already in act.

    Every person who keeps pretending this is an argument regarding physics and not metaphysics & claims it's been refuted by Newton is making a category mistake.

    Motion in the Aristotelian sense is a metaphysical description of change. It is not interchangeable with the Newtonian physics concept of momentum.

    Momentum can be described metaphysically via Aristotle (potency to act by something in act)or by some other competing metaphysics(it is unreal and either the change alone is real via Heraclitus or the being alone is real Parmenides and the change is illusion).

    But please people stop conflating metaphysics with physics.

  • Jim the Scott

    >Only theologians and apologists have need for that hypothesis. ;-)

    Only people who hold the self refuting Positivist view of reality say such things.

  • Jim the Scott

    >There is no 'nothing'. 'Nothing' doesn't exist.

    This one is strong in the Sophist Side of the Force.

  • Jim the Scott

    Well if we are going to be serious. Creation from nothing means God cause something to be or exist from non-being. He did not change nothing (as if it was some type of invisible ghost material) into something. He cannot do the later at all.

  • Jim the Scott

    >I'm a positivist because I believe the universe works without gods/angels/demons/invisible people jiggering it?

    As a Classic Theist and Thomist I also believe the universe works without theistic personalist gods/angels/demons/invisible people jiggering it.

    Positivists believe the only scientific truths are the only meaningful truths. The problem with this concept is it is either self-refuting or trivial.

    The proposition cannot be shown to be true scientifically so by it's own standards it is not meaningful.

    If the category of science is expanded to include philosophy and metaphysics then it becomes trivial since Positivists try to exclude those catagories.

    AG Flew at the height of his Atheism in the 1950's abandoned Positivism as hopelessly incoherent.

    There are more intellectually respectable ways to be a non-believer. Positivism is not one of them. You might as well become a Young Earth Creationist Fundie and be done with it.

    • Positivists believe the only scientific truths are the only meaningful truths.

      I've read a lot of material written by the positivists themselves. That is a considerable oversimplification of what they were arguing.

      • Jim the Scott

        So are most of the criticisms I've seen here of the act/potency distinction and the first way.

        What can you do?

        • What can you do?

          Educate them if they're receptive to it. Move on if they're not.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Educate them if they're receptive to it. Move on if they're not.

            That is good advice. Of course I might also add play with their stupidity till you are bored.

            But I already admitted I am a jerk. ;-)

            Peace Doug.

  • Jim the Scott

    >It is you who confuses the abstract with the physical.

    I don't think so. You are the one who seems to think "Creation out of nothing" means God acts on nothing and changes it into something.
    I understand the concept correctly. You do not. One does not have to believe a concept to understand it correctly.

    >Physically, 'nothing' never existed.

    Nothing simply means "no thing". It "exists" in the sense holes in a donuts exist as an absence of dough. The state of their being an absence of dough somewhere exists but not in the sense that an absence of dough is some type of invisible dough taking up the space in a donut hole.

    >There is and always has been 'something'.

    Only in the notional sense. Not always in the ontological one.

    >Physics can so far only trace the origin of the universe back to the singularity. The singularity is 'something'. There never was 'nothing'. As far as we know, the universe always existed.

    Which really has little to do with classic cosmological arguments for the existence of God which presuppose a universe that always exists.

  • Jim the Scott

    >I am serious. You definitely aren't with your initial reply unless you really believe in Jediism:

    Saying there is no nothing doesn't sound serious. It is at best punning. So I thought I would oblige you. As for Jediism I am merely enthusiastic for seeing Episode Eight this Friday. The Science in Star Wars is beyond wrong and these days I have discovered the joys of Hard Scifi and learned slamming an X-wing onto a planet at relativistic speed would be cheaper and do way more damage then building an expensive small moon sized metal ball that need at least six times the energy output from the sun to fire a laser to destroy a planet.

    Anyway....

    >How would you know this? Has anyone observed this in reality?

    I deduce & or infer it logically from premises. The idea all meaningful knowledge is empirical is not something that can be proven empirically.
    Thus false by it's own standards.

    >That's interesting, because if God/angels/demons aren't made up of physical material (matter and energy), then what can they be made up of except "some type of invisible ghost material"?

    Your question presupposes the philosophical world view of reductionist materialism. How do you scientifically prove reality is only materialistic?

    God is what is metaphysically ultimate which by definition cannot be material.

    >So you are convinced God is not omnipotent?

    Are we talking Aquinas' correct view of omnipotence or Descartes incoherent one? Because it will fit either.

    God can do anything. Of course making 2+2=5 or making a rock so heavy blah blah blah etc or turning nothing into something as if nothing was onto-logically a type of something instead of notionally doesn't describe anything. It describes nothing which adds new meaning to the phrase "There is nothing God cannot do".

  • I think that's a really good question, considering the Principle of Material Causality (PMC):

    1. All concrete objects that have an originating or sustaining cause have a material cause of their existence.
    2. If classical theism is true, then the universe is a concrete object that has an originating or sustaining cause without a material cause of its existence.
    3. Therefore, classical theism is false.

    http://exapologist.blogspot.com/2014/12/theism-and-material-causality.html

    Why should we think creation "out of nothing" is metaphysically possible or even coherent? we have no experience of it..

    • Jim the Scott

      premise one is not proven and is incoherent. What "material cause" causes a photon to be here and now? something may be causing it to be here and now but how do you prove that cause is "material"? Also what definition of "material" are you using and are you really equivocating it with "substance"?

      additional: From your link"Call classical theism the view that there is a personal god who is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect,".

      That is actually a trivial definition. Is God a substance? An event? Is God "a being" or Being Itself? Is God an existent thing or Existence itself?

      It is a word salad not a deep professional philosophical critique.

      • Richard Morley

        What "material cause" causes a photon to be here and now?

        Since Dr Bonnette cannot specify what active principle sustains the motion of galaxies, why should Jimmy have to specify what caused a specific photon?

        • Jim the Scott

          Jimmy is the one claiming " All concrete objects that have an originating or sustaining cause have a material cause of their existence.".

          He offers neither scientific proof nor logical philosophical argument for this view. Dr. Bonnette has made his philosophical & common sense arguement for these propositions & the presuppositions of Aristotle have a body of argument behind them.

          Jimmy is an obvious amateur non-professional philosopher who has merely made an ad hoc assertion & have given no reason for it.

          BTW when you ask "what active principle sustains the motion of galaxies" are you asking a scientific question such as what mechanisms in physics sustain the motion of galaxies? Or are you asking a metaphysical question as to what is the nature of their being that they should move?

          Are you conflating scientific questions with philosophical ones?

          That is a no no.

          • Richard Morley

            Sticking to the one vaguely grown-up comment:

            BTW when you ask "what active principle sustains the motion of galaxies" are you asking a scientific question such as what mechanisms in physics sustain the motion of galaxies? Or are you asking a metaphysical question as to what is the nature of their being that they should move?

            I don't care. It is not I, if anyone, who is trying to define strict non overlapping magisteria, I feel that physics and its underlying metaphysics are robust enough to face challenge. Or if not, what can be destroyed by the truth, deserves to be.

            Both subjects treat matters such as time, being and causation, so he may answer as he wills, or (tellingly) not answer, I am just highlighting an obvious point for clarification when he asserts that there must be such an active principle.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Sticking to the one vaguely grown-up comment:

            Finally something that might be challenging..

            >I don't care.

            So there is no Santa Claus? I guess I need to get use to disappointment.

            >It is not I, if anyone, who is trying to define strict non overlapping magisteria, I feel that physics and its underlying metaphysics are robust enough to face challenge.

            You are not dealing with overlapping magisteria you are committing blatant fallacies of equivocation. A paleontologist cannot challenge the possible existence of a Higg Bosen particle by complaining he has never found one in a fossil record. That is not a challenge that is being goofy and you are in the same boat.

            You cannot treat a the metaphysical and physics equivocally.

            >Both subjects treat matters such as time, being and causation,

            One treats it philosophically and the other scientifically. Animals are made of Atoms and Atoms are studied by physicists. Doesn't mean I can prove or disprove Evolution using a particle accelerator.

            You are committing catagory mistakes and it is beyond childish and manifests extreme ignorance.

            > I am just highlighting an obvious point for clarification when he asserts that there must be such an active principle.

            No you are clouding the issue. You don't care if you are asking a scientific question or a philosophical one. You said it yourself. You are morally like the Redneck who doesn't care the 2nd Law of Themal Dynamics is a law of physics not a metaphysical observation or principle.

            Have you no pride in your intellect?

          • Richard Morley

            I guess I need to get use to disappointment.

            In your case, I would say that is a very good general principle.

            Doesn't mean I can prove or disprove Evolution using a particle accelerator.

            Well, your example is slightly flawed, particle accelerators can be used in palaeontology or analysis of biomolecules as light sources, for example, but setting that aside and accepting it at face value. You have not shown whether philosophy and physics are as divorced from each other as the (slightly dodgy) particle physics and evolution example, or whether they are more like, say, evolutionary biology and Shannon's information theory. You (especially) might well say that evolutionary biology has nothing to say about a more fundamental mathematical subject like information theory, but:
            i) Information theorists might well find that tools developed by evolutionary biologist turn out to be useful for them, as I feel Dr Bonnette would gain from better understanding of the physics and mathematical tools developed for thinking about these issues than he appears to have.
            ii) More concretely and relevantly, as soon as information theory leads to conclusions about evolutionary biology it is quite likely that the biologists can say that X actually turns out not to be the case, and that the fault will turn out to lie in some hidden flawed assumption of the mathematics.

            Likewise, as soon as Dr Bonnette says anything about the physical world, it is quite possible for the physicists to point out that this turns out not to be the case. Especially as is it not the case that all philosophers agree with him.

            You are committing catagory mistakes and it is beyond childish and manifests extreme ignorance.

            Pointless insults and multiple spelling mistakes are a bad thing in themselves, even more so in a post where you claim the other "is beyond childish and manifests extreme ignorance". :D

            You don't care if you are asking a scientific question or a philosophical one.

            I am pointing out something that needs clarification, I care about an informative response, so no I don't care whether that is a scientific response or a clarification that the intended point was so purely metaphysical that it has no physical implications and so what was meant by an 'extrinsic active principle'. Or in between - for example it may be that inertia as an innate quality of the object in (local) motion (or possibly of the space through which it passes) counts as metaphysical active principle, caused in turn by the Higgs boson (note spelling) and so on.

            Have you no pride in your intellect?

            Pride is a sin and proverbially comes before a fall. So while I don't claim to be perfectly humble (which is hard) I do at least try not to bluster and insult others as you have been doing here. I may well be blunt in how I disagree, that is sometimes necessary to get the point through for one thing, but I do not sink to accusing others of smoking bongs.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Well, your example is slightly flawed, particle accelerators can be used in palaeontology or analysis of biomolecules as light sources, for example, but setting that aside and accepting it at face value.

            But they cannot be used to prove natural selection that they can be used as in instrument for forensics(that is it's correct scientific use FYI) is not in dispute. Again what is with you and category mistakes? You defend one category mistake by bringing up another.

            >You have not shown whether philosophy and physics are as divorced from each other as the (slightly dodgy) particle physics and evolution example, or whether they are more like, say, evolutionary biology and Shannon's information theory.

            The burden of proof is on you. You are the one positively asserting they are interchangeable. Philosophers like A.G. Flew at the height of his Atheism abandoned positivism as hopelessly incoherent. You remind me of the Fundamentalist Protestant who say he confesses Sola Scriptura but rejects Solo scriptura. It is a distinction without a difference. Anybody with an IQ ove

            >You (especially) might well say that evolutionary biology has nothing to say about a more fundamental mathematical subject like information theory, but:

            Nope Rather I would not claim like a silly amateur ID theorist that evolution requires a programer because of information theory. As a Classic Theist I can believe in the 5th way, final causality and the doctrine of Divine Providence as expounded by Augustine and Aquinas but Paley's nonsense is a bridge too far.

            The relation between disciplines is not in dispute. Your category mistakes are in dispute. You cannot use an Election Microscope vs a Telescope to observe a galaxy. You cannot defend using an electron microscope for such an absurd end buy saying"Well we can use it to examine rocks from asteroids that might have come from that galaxy so we can use it to examine the galaxy". NO!

            The Act/potency distinction is universally acknowledged to be a metaphysical modeling of motion not a physical theory competing with Newton. Stop embarrassing yourself Richard pretending otherwise. Yes I am a jerk & you are a nicer person them moi but I am the jerk who is right.

            >Likewise, as soon as Dr Bonnette says anything about the physical world, it is quite possible for the physicists to point out that this turns out not to be the case. Especially as is it not the case that all philosophers agree with him.

            That depends what he says about the physical world Mr. Fallacy of Equivocation. . If he says it's pretty then that is a matter for Art Critics or those who are experts in aesthetics. If he makes a metaphysical modeling of physical phenomena that requires a philosopher of nature or science not a physicist. Stop with the category mistakes and equivocations.

            >Pointless insults and multiple spelling mistakes are a bad thing in themselves, even more so in a post where you claim the other "is beyond childish and manifests extreme ignorance". :D

            When confronted by my bad speeling and crapy grammer I simply own it.
            I don't pretend my mis spelled words are the correct spellings and ignore dictionaries. You erroneous make category mistakes and fallacies of equivocation dig in then answer them with more of the same. So particle accelerators can be used in forensics? Big deal! I can smash as many atoms together as I please it will not prove or disprove punctuated equilibrium and settle the dispute between Gould and Dawkins.

            How do you not get this?

            >I am pointing out something that needs clarification,

            Which you have to clarify at the basic level. When I ask "Is that bark too loud"? Do I mean a dog is too noisy or am I objecting to the aesthetically challenged color scheme on a tree? (add to that my bad spelling issues).

            Pretending it doesn't matter if you are asking a scientific question vs philosophical is just as tedious. Please stop.

            > I care about an informative response, so no I don't care whether that is a scientific response or a clarification that the intended point was so purely metaphysical that it has no physical implications and so what was meant by an 'extrinsic active principle'.

            Then you have nothing intelligent to contribute here in my judgement and I think Dr. B might agree. Just Dawkins would say the same thing to the obstinate young earth creationist who insists on abusing the 2nd law of thermal dynamics.

            > Or in between - for example it may be that inertia as an innate quality of the object in (local) motion (or possibly of the space through which it passes) counts as metaphysical active principle, caused in turn by the Higgs boson (note spelling) and so on.

            That is a word salad. Inertia as an innate quality of an object would be metaphysically modeled as it's essence on Thomism. You are using physical and metaphysical interchangeably. It counts as the physically active principle not the metaphysical(of course this physical principle can be modeled metaphysically).

            Stop digging in on this glaring mistake. I am a heartless jerk at my worst and will use it against you. There is nothing worst then arguing with a heartless jerk when he is right and you are glaringly wrong.

            >Pride is a sin and proverbially comes before a fall. So while I don't claim to be perfectly humble (which is hard) I do at least try not to bluster and insult others as you have been doing here.

            Granted. But I am the blusterer who is right. You conflate physics and metaphysics like Ray, Bob, Tommy and the others. Geez Rimmer is either an Atheist or Panentheist (I forget but I know he is not a Thomist) but he gets it right(but he is Scottish so). Why can't you?

            > I may well be blunt in how I disagree, that is sometimes necessary to get the point through for one thing, but I do not sink to accusing others of smoking bongs.

            Well Bob's absurd low brow response merits an equally absurd low brow one.

            Here is the deal Rich. You are in fact a nicer person then moi. I don't deny it. But you are a nice person who is wrong. You cannot conflate physics and metaphysics.

            here is my correction.

            it may be that inertia as an innate quality of the object in (local) motion (or possibly of the space through which it passes) counts as the physically active principle, caused in turn by the Higgs boson (note spelling) and so on.

            That make much more sense. Your way sounds like "The dog's bark has been made rotten by caterpillars."

          • Richard Morley

            But they cannot be used to prove natural selection that they can be used as in instrument for forensics(that is it's correct scientific use FYI) is not in dispute.

            Struggling to make sense of that sentence, even with your usual joys of spelling and punctuation, but forensics normally refers to scientific method applied specifically to crime. Other than crimes against the English language, there are none involved here. The point was just that this is another example of beneficial link ups between unexpected disciplines. Assuming that you consider proving either Dawkins or Gould wrong a Good Thing.

            You are the one positively asserting they are interchangeable.

            No, I am saying that one can inform the other, and at most that there are some questions that might fall under both umbrellas. Possibly a better illustration: you don't have to know anything about calculus or aerodynamics to know that the (probably anecdotal) scientist claiming that bumblebees cannot possibly fly has made a mistake somewhere.

            Philosophers like A.G. Flew at the height of his Atheism abandoned positivism as hopelessly incoherent.

            I'm not sure how you are defining positivism or how it is relevant here. I don't know of anyone who rejects the validity of logical or mathematical argument, for example. Or those things that are evident to the conscious mind, such as being.

            That depends what he says about the physical world Mr. Fallacy of Equivocation. . If he says it's pretty then that is a matter for Art Critics or those who are experts in aesthetics.

            Hey, physicists can be art critics! But, OK, if it makes it clearer for you, if Dr Bonnette says anything about physics then it is quite possible for the physicists to point out that this turns out not to be the case. Especially as is it not the case that all philosophers agree with him.

            When confronted by my bad speeling and crapy grammer I simply own it.

            Sure, you are better at admitting your errors. But then you get so much more practice than I. ;)

            Pretending it doesn't matter if you are asking a scientific question vs philosophical is just as tedious.

            I don't know which it is until and unless Dr Bonnette clarifies what he meant. Ssimples. And it might be both, just to get your blood pressure back up.

            here is my correction misrepresentation

            Fixed that for you.

            But you misunderstand: the point was that to a physics point of view the object's own inertia would not count as an 'active' principle, or for that matter 'extrinsic'. But the (physical) principle of inertia might be considered as both extrinsic and active from a metaphysical point of view.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Struggling to make sense of that sentence, even with your usual joys of spelling and punctuation, but forensics normally refers to scientific method applied specifically to crime.

            I love how you try to focus on tangents in order to misdirect from your category mistakes and fallacies of equivocation here.
            Forensics has a rather broad application for empirical investigation.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forensic_science#Subdivisions
            That is relevant to you erroneous belief we may identify the act/potency mechanism in nature empirically rather then accepting it is solely a modeling for change in nature across the board.

            >Other than crimes against the English language, there are none involved here. The point was just that this is another example of beneficial link ups between unexpected disciplines. Assuming that you consider proving either Dawkins or Gould wrong a Good Thing.

            Being a de facto Theistic Evolutionist I don't really care who is right as it doesn't have a bearing on the existence of God or not. My crimes against English are nothing compared too your felonious category mistakes.

            >No, I am saying that one can inform the other,

            Which is an vague proposition and adds imprecision and ambiguity too your statements.

            >and at most that there are some questions that might fall under both umbrellas.

            This is not one of them. The act/potency distinction models ALL change and does not represent some mechanism in physics which is at the heart of your confusion and thus far obstinate resistance to correction.

            >Possibly a better illustration: you don't have to know anything about calculus or aerodynamics to know that the (probably anecdotal) scientist claiming that bumblebees cannot possibly fly has made a mistake somewhere.

            Except the inability to fly or not is not a metaphysical modeling but a physical observation. At best as an analogy non-flying bumblebee's are analogously an argument against anti-realism in general. Act/potency modeling presupposes realism.

            >I'm not sure how you are defining positivism or how it is relevant here. I don't know of anyone who rejects the validity of logical or mathematical argument, for example. Or those things that are evident to the conscious mind, such as being.

            You obvious implicit belief or tendency to treat all real knowledge is scientific knowledge—that there is no rational, objective form of inquiry that is not a branch of science. Specifically empirical sciences excluding philosophy. This view is either self refuting when applied to the later or it is trivial when Philosophy is admitted to be a type of science. You are blatantly treating a philosophical and metaphysical modeling as a scientific mechanism or physics proposition. That stinks of positivism. It is common among modern Atheists, skeptics and Agnostics. They have not learned to reject it like their recent ancestors like Flew.

            >Hey, physicists can be art critics!

            That is a trivial statement if a person has dual training in both and or a physicist amateur cannot give a professional analysis of art. In a like manner a physicist who is unlearned in philosophy of nature will often equivocate between metaphysical modeling vs actual empirical investigation into physical mechanisms in nature and come out looking as silly as the Creationist who keeps citing the Second Law against Evolution.

            >But, OK, if it makes it clearer for you, if Dr Bonnette says anything about physics then it is quite possible for the physicists to point out that this turns out not to be the case. Especially as is it not the case that all philosophers agree with him.

            I would be the first to concede Dr. Bonnette might get science wrong BUT when he is metaphysically modeling a natural event he is speaking as an authority in the field he is train and ignorant disputations of his musings are tedious. Thus far I am like the college biology major rolling my eyes at the person with a 6th graders understanding of biology digging in to tell Dawkins the 2nd law of thermal dynamics might plausibly refute evolution.
            In this analogy Dr. Bonnette is Dawkins and well I think even you are smart enough with your superior spelling ability to figure out where you stand in all this.

            >Sure, you are better at admitting your errors. But then you get so much more practice than I. ;)

            But that is not a good thing for you but it is excellent for moi.:D Socrates was wise because he knew not and all that......

            >>Pretending it doesn't matter if you are asking a scientific question vs philosophical is just as tedious.
            >I don't know which it is until and unless Dr Bonnette clarifies what he meant. Ssimples. And it might be both, just to get your blood pressure back up.

            Here is a hint. Dr. B is a philosopher not a physicist. It should be obvious to persons with an IQ above 3.

            >Fixed that for you.

            No you just re-broke it.
            It cannot be both it is solely a philosophical modeling. If you read his other conversations on this board you would know.

            >But you misunderstand: the point was that to a physics point of view the object's own inertia would not count as an 'active' principle, or for that matter 'extrinsic'.

            From a "physics point of view" so it WAS a scientific question! That was like pulling teeth. Gotcha! The active principle in physical motion from the perspective of Newton is putting an object in inertial motion and it is part of the essence of physical motion for it too stay in motion until it potential to change that motion or stop is actualized by something else already in act.

            > But the (physical) principle of inertia might be considered as both extrinsic and active from a metaphysical point of view.

            No an object physically moving away from some point in space having been previously been put in that state by something in Act is in the Act of inertial movement. True the ancient Greeks erroneously believed something has to keep it moving or it would return to stasis and stop but in terms of metaphysics that is not required to recognize the act/potency distinction or invalidate the proposition "whatever is moved is moved by another" (presuming the metaphysical definition of motus).

            But that is easy to figure out once you take Dr. B at his word & have some personal knowledge of this subject he is discussing metaphysics here not physics.

          • Richard Morley

            But that is not a good thing for you but it is excellent for moi.:D Socrates was wise because he knew not and all that......

            I think you are doing that wrong. The point of knowing that you know not is to realise the limits of your knowledge and accept that others might have an insight you lack, not to posture and bluster and boast of being "like the college biology major" and call everyone else 'rednecks' as a term of insult.

            From a "physics point of view" so it WAS a scientific question!

            No, it is a question whose answer might be philosophical or physical. Or neither. Or both.

            The active principle in physical motion from the perspective of Newton is putting an object in inertial motion and it is part of the essence of physical motion for it too stay in motion until it potential to change that motion or stop is actualized by something else already in act.

            If I am understanding that correctly, you seem to disagree with Dr Bonnette, who seems to feel that for the object to stay in motion requires an active extrinsic principle to actualise, moment by moment, the change in position of the object. That is the point of disagreement.

            Putting it in motion requires an active cause, we all agree on that I think. Dr Bonnette's argument that further motion requires ongoing active causation appears to rely on his concept of time.From an eternalist, block universe point of view, I don't see that there is a problem.

          • Jim the Scott

            >I think you are doing that wrong. The point of knowing that you know not is to realise the limits of your knowledge and accept that others might have an insight you lack,

            So follow your own advise.

            > not to posture and bluster and boast of being "like the college biology major" and call everyone else 'rednecks' as a term of insult.

            It is a fitting "insult" like calling certain intellectually stunted non-believes "fundamentalists". It is useful to appeal to their pride and point out they are using similar intellectual fallacies as their most odious opponents.

            >No, it is a question whose answer might be philosophical or physical. Or neither. Or both.

            So it's hopelessly ambiguous? Yeh that is not helpful for the pursuit of knowledge.......

            >If I am understanding that correctly, you seem to disagree with Dr Bonnette, who seems to feel that for the object to stay in motion requires an active extrinsic principle to actualise, moment by moment, the change in position of the object. That is the point of disagreement.

            Not at all I recognize that is a transcendent principle not a physical one.
            Thomists and modern Aristotelians except physical inertia since we accept science.
            (He is making a philosophical argument to that principle. He is not pleading for a scientific explanation. )

            We Thomists don't believe in existential inertia. We don't believe God can create something and after it's creation it exists on it's own apart from him after his initial act of creating it. Thus hypothetically if you ponder the absurd and imagine God could commit cosmic suicide the thing created would still continue to exist.

            You keep confusing the scientific with the metaphysical. It is a sickness here.

            >Putting it in motion requires an active cause, we all agree on that I think. Dr Bonnette's argument that further motion requires ongoing active causation appears to rely on his concept of time. From an eternalist, block universe point of view, I don't see that there is a problem.

            A transcendent metaphysically ultimate cause is outside time and I see no reason why such a cause can't cause the existence of any specific species of time that amuses Him?

            God could cause a Hartle Hawking spacetime exist here and now. So I don't see how presentism or eternalism, block theory or A or B theory Time has anything to do with it?

          • Richard Morley

            So follow your own advise.

            I am talking to you am I not? Despite the unpleasant level of abuse and low level of actual content?

            It is useful to appeal to their pride and point out they are using similar intellectual fallacies as their most odious opponents.

            It would be more useful to point out any fallacies clearly and politely and with actual substantiation.

            For example, you have claimed that I believe "that there is no rational, objective form of inquiry that is not a branch of science". OK, prove it, or at least substantiate your claim to a reasonable extent. Given that you admit (when cornered) that science can indeed inform philosophy, I think it is fair to say that it would be insufficient to just point to the fact that I refer to science when discussing theories of time (remember that the SEP backs me up on the relevance of this) or when querying what Dr Bonnette means by asserting that constant velocity requires (in some sense) an ongoing active extrinsic principle. For that matter one instance where I think science is relevant and you do not is not proof that I believe your caricature of positivism.

            Again, it would help you look less rude and foolish if you read the past comments so as to understand the context.

            So it's hopelessly ambiguous?

            The question is clear, I think. But there is no point in my dictating what the answer will be, ( if not why ask the question in the first place?) which in this case means I don't know whether the answer will be purely physical or metaphysical or neither.

            Why not try answering the question yourself, preferably without schoolyard insults and bluster. What active extrinsic principle is required to intervene to keep a rock in free fall (for example) moving in a straight line at constant velocity, in the absence of external forces? If you don't have a positive answer, that is your answer is 'none', you also seem to disagree with Dr Bonnette on this, so the question would be justified.

            Thomists and modern Aristotelians except physical inertia since we accept science.

            Spelling error that drastically and plausibly changes your meaning, or did you mean that you make an exception for inertia in some way?

            We Thomists don't believe in existential inertia.

            You've referred repeatedly to this. Where does anyone suggest you do? Are you again unable to understand our points?

            You keep confusing the scientific with the metaphysical.

            You keep asserting this. It seems to be a defense mechanism to avoid actually presenting a coherent argument.

            A transcendent metaphysically ultimate cause is outside time and I see no reason why such a cause can't cause the existence of any specific species of time that amuses Him?

            He cannot create one that is logically incompatible with him existing or creating it. So he couldn't create a universe that was self-created, that contained its own cause that was not him, for example. Others, such as William Lane Craig, have argued that a timeless creator is incompatible with A-theory models of time.

            But how is this a counter to my point that Dr Bonnette's argument relies (apparently) on his model of time, and fails for B theory?

            So I don't see how presentism or eternalism, block theory or A or B theory Time has anything to do with it?

            Under B theory, the argument does not hold. How is that not obvious? At this point I am not clear that you even understand the terms, given how you seemingly tried to link them to asserting or denying infinite past time.

          • Jim the Scott

            >I am talking to you am I not? Despite the unpleasant level of abuse and low level of actual content?

            Then stop majoring in the minors and get to the damn point.

            >It would be more useful to point out any fallacies clearly and politely and with actual substantiation.

            Well I do that too for all the good it does me.

            >For example, you have claimed that I believe "that there is no rational, objective form of inquiry that is not a branch of science".
            OK, prove it, or at least substantiate your claim to a reasonable extent.

            Well if you carefully delineated between scientific questions and philosophical ones you would have come right out and said "I am making an argument from the philosophy of time". Saying it is not important smells of positivism or at least shows a mind set that can't distiguish between science and philosophy.

            >Given that you admit (when cornered) that science can indeed inform philosophy,

            I never denied it. I denied that equivocating was the same as informing. A point you seem unable to grasp.

            >I think it is fair to say that it would be insufficient to just point to the fact that I refer to science when discussing theories of time (remember that the SEP backs me up on the relevance of this) or when querying what Dr Bonnette means by asserting that constant velocity requires (in some sense) an ongoing active extrinsic principle.

            At worst Dr. Bonnette should have informed you he was proposing opposition to existential inertia not physical inertia. That active extrinsic principle is Pure Act causing there to be being.

            >For that matter one/i> instance where I think science is relevant and you do not is not proof that I believe your caricature of positivism.

            No you and nearly all of your fellows are equivocating between the two in a very irrational manner.

            >Again, it would help you look less rude and foolish if you read the past comments so as to understand the context.

            I already conceded I am a jerk. Put me in my place with rational argument. I even concede a mistake or two I made but it seems you still want to dwell on it.

            >The question is clear, I think. But there is no point in my dictating what the answer will be, ( if not why ask the question in the first place?) which in this case means I don't know whether the answer will be purely physical or metaphysical or neither.

            No it's either one or the other it cannot rationally or coherently be both.

            >Why not try answering the question yourself, preferably without schoolyard insults and bluster.

            The question is absurd like "What is north of the north pole?". That is my answer.

            > What active extrinsic principle is required to intervene to keep a rock in free fall (for example) moving in a straight line at constant velocity, in the absence of external forces? If you don't have a positive answer, that is your answer is 'none', you also seem to disagree with Dr Bonnette on this, so the question would be justified.

            Rather you and Bob and Ray want to pretend there is no real difference between metaphysics and physics. You are like the Redneck who keeps repeating his "2nd law of thermal dynamics refutes evolution" nonsense.

            It's getting old.

            >Spelling error that drastically and plausibly changes your meaning, or did you mean that you make an exception for inertia in some way?

            So here you are pretending there is no distinction between existential inertia and physical inertia much like your friend confuse motus and momentum.

            You are useless at this point Rich. You invite my mockery.

            >Spelling error that drastically and plausibly changes your meaning, or did you mean that you make an exception for inertia in some way?

            No that is you here not moi.

            >He cannot create one that is logically incompatible with him existing or creating it.

            Yes you are begging the question.

            > So he couldn't create a universe that was self-created, that contained its own cause that was not him, for example.

            Obviously. So what is your point?

            >Others, such as William Lane Craig, have argued that a timeless creator is incompatible with A-theory models of time.

            Leftow disagrees with him as does Helm. Also Craig is not a classic Theist.

            >But how is this a counter to my point that Dr Bonnette's argument relies (apparently) on his model of time, and fails for B theory?

            Apparently only if it's Parmenides B theory. If it is a form of B theory that allows contingency then what Feser said obtains.

            >Under B theory, the argument does not hold. How is that not obvious? At this point I am not clear that you even understand the terms, given how you seemingly tried to link them to asserting or denying infinite past time.

            B Theory modeled how via Aristotle or Parmenides?

          • Richard Morley

            Then stop majoring in the minors and get to the damn point.

            Fact of life, boyo, as long as your posts are as full of insults, bluster, posturing and straw man arguments people are going to tend to see those and not the (alleged) reasonable bits. If you want more signal to noise, stop kicking out the noise yourself.

            >For example, you have claimed that I believe "that there is no rational, objective form of inquiry that is not a branch of science".
            OK, prove it, or at least substantiate your claim to a reasonable extent.
            [...]
            Saying it is not important smells of positivism or at least shows a mind set that can't distinguish between science and philosophy.

            So your best attempt to "prove" it is to claim that an assertion I did not make "smells of positivism", and even then you need to add a qualifier. Weak. Can you not just admit that the original allegation was unfounded?

            >Given that you admit (when cornered) that science can indeed inform philosophy,
            I never denied it.

            You attacked anyone who referred to physics. Do you not see that that presupposes that physics cannot inform a philosophical debate? Sorry, not quite anyone - Thomists or anyone who agrees with you can refer to physics, it is only those who disagree with you who are idiots, redneck or (new one) women if they refer to scientific facts.

            At worst Dr. Bonnette should have informed you he was proposing opposition to existential inertia not physical inertia.

            No, he has been quite explicit that physical inertia requires an active extrinsic cause. An object requires an active principle to keep moving, not just to keep existing. Do your homework! ;) You are equivocating to try to defend your clueless intervention. Just admit that you did not realise what the discussion was about, why don't you? Then you can move on and dazzle us with your brilliance, as this sort of schoolyard shenanigan will not.

            I even concede a mistake or two I made but it seems you still want to dwell on it.

            Because you show no sign of having gone back to look at the context and see how your mistakes undermine the line of rhetorical attack you are still engaged in.

            >Why not try answering the question yourself, preferably without schoolyard insults and bluster.
            The question is absurd like "What is north of the north pole?". That is my answer.

            Then it sounds as though you agree that the original assertion I was querying need clarification, at least.

            You are like the Redneck who keeps repeating his "2nd law of thermal dynamics refutes evolution" nonsense.

            Rather you are like the Redneck (why your animosity towards rednecks?) who keeps accusing you of making that argument, in order to avoid the argument that you are genuinely making. That grew old a long time ago.

            >Spelling error that drastically and plausibly changes your meaning, or did you mean that you make an exception for inertia in some way?
            So here you are pretending there is no distinction between existential inertia and physical inertia much like your friend confuse motus and momentum.

            That answer doesn't even begin to make sense.

            I would be tempted to read your original post as a typo for "Thomists and modern Aristotelians ACcept physical inertia since we accept science." But the original sort of makes sense, especially with your often fractured grammar. Why don't you want to clarify?

            No that is you here not moi.

            I know you are, but what am I? And did you mean to repeat the same quote from me?

            Obviously. So what is your point?

            If a timeless creator is not compatible with an A-series universe, he cannot create one. This is getting off the point, so if you want to read more about the alleged contradictions between A theory and a timeless God, read that article you cited earlier. My point here is just that Dr Bonnette's argument seems to rely on a theory of time he has neither specified nor proven, and which looks a lot like A-theory which is apparently incompatible with some of his claims elsewhere.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Fact of life, boyo, as long as your posts are as full of insults, bluster, posturing and straw man arguments people are going to tend to see those and not the (alleged) reasonable bits. If you want more signal to noise, stop kicking out the noise yourself.

            So basically you ignored my advice to rebut the reasonable bits as a means to humiliate me? Well I tried to be sportsmen like......

            >So your best attempt to "prove" it is to claim that an assertion I did not make "smells of positivism", and even then you need to add a qualifier. Weak. Can you not just admit that the original allegation was unfounded?

            Or your response was so flawed & ambiguous I did my best to interpret it. Also the theme here among you, Ray and Bob is to continue to pretend the act/potency distinction is a scientific statement about physics.

            What else can I do?

            >You attacked anyone who referred to physics.

            Nope only those who insisted on treating the First way and Act/potency distinction as an argument from physics.

            > Do you not see that that presupposes that physics cannot inform a philosophical debate?

            I am all on board with the sciences (understood broadly to include Philosophy too) informing one another. It's equivocating and making category mistakes I have no pitty for and will give no quarter to when this is violated.

            > Sorry, not quite anyone - Thomists or anyone who agrees with you can refer to physics, it is only those who disagree with you who are idiots, redneck or (new one) women if they refer to scientific facts.

            No rather it's people who insist on equivocating between physics and metaphysics who are basically no smarter then Rednecks.

            >That answer doesn't even begin to make sense.

            Largely because you are too lazy too look up the links I posted or read up on the technical distinction between existential inertia vs physical inertia.

            >I would be tempted to read your original post as a typo for "Thomists and modern Aristotelians ACcept physical inertia since we accept science." But the original sort of makes sense, especially with your often fractured grammar. Why don't you want to clarify?

            All modern Thomists etc accept physical inertia since we accept science.
            Given my admission to be bad at speelin and grandma ;-) I would have thought it was obvious.

            >I know you are, but what am I? And did you mean to repeat the same quote from me?

            Most likely not but few things you say are interesting so I don't pay attention to the rest.

            >If a timeless creator is not compatible with an A-series universe, he cannot create one.

            So we are not talking about B Theory time anymore? This is your new Argument? Ok I am interested.

            >This is getting off the point, so if you want to read more about the alleged contradictions between A theory and a timeless God, read that article you cited earlier.

            Yes I would dismiss those arguments because they make the fundamental mistake of comparing God's knowing unequivocally to human knowing and we Thomist's don't believe God can be compared to creatures unequivocally. But I would accept those arguments show a timeless theistic personalist "god" (as opposed to God Classically conceived) cannot create via A Theory Time. But those arguments are non-starters for Classic Theists. Craig is a species of theistic personalist.

            >My point here is just that Dr Bonnette's argument seems to rely on a theory of time he has neither specified nor proven, and which looks a lot like A-theory which is apparently incompatible with some of his claims elsewhere.

            I don't see how? God is pure Act so He doesn't need time to act. Time measures potency to act but God is Pure Act without any passive Potency that needs to become Act so why would he need "time" to create? He simply causes time and things to exist.

            Thank you for that. That was interesting.

          • Richard Morley

            So basically you ignored my advice to rebut the reasonable bits as a means to humiliate me? Well I tried to be sportsmen like......

            As you ignored my advice to stop kicking out the noise yourself. If you want to continue discussion, especially over the holiday period, it is up to you whether that is wrangling like this or actual serious debate. I don't give a flamingo's knickers about 'humiliating' you. At present this is more like dealing with a badly behaved dog or child. Positive and negative reinforcement.

            Also the theme here among you, Ray and Bob is to continue to pretend the act/potency distinction is a scientific statement about physics.

            There is another assertion. Can you back that one up? Can you see a pattern yet?

            >That answer doesn't even begin to make sense.
            Largely because you are too lazy too look up the links I posted ...

            No, there is no logical link between my original comment and the alleged response.

            ...or read up on the technical distinction between existential inertia vs physical inertia.

            Again, no. You are the one equivocating about existential inertia vs physical inertia. I imagine Dr Bonnette agrees with you about existential inertia, but the question here is all about physical inertia or continuous unchanging velocity.

            All modern Thomists etc accept physical inertia since we accept science.
            Given my admission to be bad at speelin and grandma ;-) I would have thought it was obvious.

            So why did you not just confirm which meaning it was when I queried it, instead of retreating into defensive insults? Especially as you seem to want me to recap the entire thread for your benefit when you came along?

            >If a timeless creator is not compatible with an A-series universe, he cannot create one.
            So we are not talking about B Theory time anymore? This is your new Argument? Ok I am interested.

            Both are relevant. The argument appears to assume A theory or similar, B theory seems to me to resolve much of the problem. A theory strikes me as inconsistent with a timeless God, B theory is trivially compatible.

            Yes I would dismiss those arguments because they make the fundamental mistake of comparing God's knowing unequivocally to human knowing..

            That only applies if at all to some of the arguments.

          • Jim the Scott

            >As you ignored my advice to stop kicking out the noise yourself.

            Well with you I will now head it.

            > I imagine Dr Bonnette agrees with you about existential inertia, but the question here is all about physical inertia or continuous unchanging velocity.

            The problem was Dr. B was referencing the idea something in physics causes objects in momentum to stay in momentum and well this is actually an idea found in modern physics(moving spacetime). It resembles the anachronistic Greek physics just as Zero point energy might resemble the ancient concept of Ather. But they are not equivolent.

            >So why did you not just confirm which meaning it was when I queried it, instead of retreating into defensive insults? Especially as you seem to want me to recap the entire thread for your benefit when you came along?

            I was being a jerk.

            >Both are relevant. The argument appears to assume A theory or similar, B theory seems to me to resolve much of the problem. A theory strikes me as inconsistent with a timeless God, B theory is trivially compatible.

            The reason God could create or simply cause an A series time continuum to exist is God himself is already Pure Act so he can directly actualize any passive potency he wants including imparting existence too the A series time continuum. When God creates he doesn't change something he merely causes it to be.

            Now if God power to create was a passive potency in his nature being timeless would render it impossible. But God contains no passive potency only Active Potency because he is pure act.

            >That only applies if at all to some of the arguments.

            Rather is applies to some gods not others.

        • Jimmy doesn't think this guy is worth engaging with based on his other interactions in this thread. For what it's worth, the argument I presented is not my own, but it was made a professional philosopher, Dr Felipe Leon. I provided the link. I would be happy to defend it though, as I find it far more persuasive than most of Dr Bonnette's metaphysical principles. Just not with this toxic fellow.

          • Richard Morley

            Thanks, I got that. So, I think, does everyone except the person himself. Nice link, BTW.

          • Jim the Scott

            No rather Jimmy wants to equivocate between modal thinking and essentialism.
            But he is on a better tract then you. He does seem to know you have to answer philosophy with philosophy.
            He just has to be careful not to equivocate between how different schools define terms.
            Like not confusing Quantum physics with String theory if you want an analogy from science.
            You OTOH seem to want to continue to make category mistakes conflating philosophical questions with scientific ones.

          • Jim the Scott

            Obviously Jimmy you just want to engage people who don't know what they are talking about as a mask for your own ignorance.

            Dr Felipe Leon from what I can gather studies The Epistemology of Modality.

            https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/modality-epistemology/

            Which seems to be some kind of an anti-essentialist approach where as Aristotle and Aquinas are a species of essentialist philosophy. That is they view things as being an irreducible combination of being and essence. That they are vs how they are.
            Which is fine except classic Essentialists and modalists don't use terms in the same manner so they are not equivalent to one another. Which is bad form. Like "material cause".
            But I will say this advantage you have over Richard and Tommy and Ray and the rest.
            You are kind of on the right path. You must answer philosophy with philosophy. Not science. So at least you have that.
            Equivocating between philosophical views is like confusing quantum mechanics with string theory.

  • Jim the Scott

    >Wrong.

    Then you are not being clear.

    >Bad analogy. You can show me an absence of dough, but can you show me an absence of 'everything'?

    I don't have too. I can't show you googol minus one is less then googol because it is impossible to count that high. Indeed if I made every particle in the universe a number it wouldn't go higher then 10 to the 23rd power times some number.

    But I can infer it. You assumption everything has to be proven empirically is false by it's own standard.

    > We're not talking about a lack of a specific object, we're talking about a lack of 'everything'. There was never a lack of 'everything' because there always has been 'something'.

    So Infinity minus itself is not zero? Anyway as I said it doesn't matter if there is always something. I don't need to believe in a formal beginning.

    >Just the physical one.

    The claim all reality is physical is still a metaphysical claim and not a scientific one. Sorry.....

    >Which arguments would those be?

    The first Way, the Platonic Argument, the Rationalist argument etc....almost all of them sans the Kalam cosmological argument.

    > I've never heard of any cosmological arguments that presuppose a universe that always exists, rather the opposite: They presuppose a being that always exists who created the universe.

    Then the problem here is your own ignorance. BTW God is Being Itself or the Ground of all being etc....God is not "a being". Obviously you knowledge of theism doesn't extend beyond theistic personal ism.

    I suggest you explore this website if only so your Atheism will become more informed in the future.

  • Jim the Scott

    So you are by implication saying "I don't know" googal minus one is really less then googal because I cannot count that high?

    Seriously?

    Also by your own standards you don't know your standard is correct so you cannot really conclude I "don't know".

    Touche!

  • Jim the Scott

    >In other words, you don't know. Gotcha.

    See my "Touche" in the other post.

    >I presuppose a worldview that gods/angels/demons don't jigger with the universe.

    So you are believer in presuppositionalism? Coupled with Positivism that is even more amusing.

    >Science is not about 'proof'.

    Which branch of science and which "proof"?

    >And thus, by definition, cannot exist in the universe which is made of the physical.

    He would not "exist in it" as if He where another thing along side other things. You seriously have a child's view of God not a philosopher's view.

    >I'm not asking Aquinas or Descartes. I'm asking you. What is your view?

    That is as absurd as a YEC person asking your view of Evolution and not Darwin or Dawkins'.

    Ask sensible questions please.

    >So God cannot 'do anything'.

    Yes He can but that assumes you give me a true scenario that qualifies as "anything" and not "nothing".

  • Jim the Scott

    Good! Well done.

  • Jim the Scott

    >I was clear. Your assumption was simply wrong

    We will have to agree to disagree I am afraid.

    >Googol is number. Numbers are abstract concepts.

    But we use them to count real things.

    > We're not talking about the abstract but the physical.

    No we are discussing Metaphysics which refers to the real. Your metaphysics so far is physicalism which you seem to conflate with science.

    > If you cannot show me the absence of physical 'everything' then you cannot show me physical 'nothing'.

    That is an absurd & trivial analysis. Unless you are on a farm I think right now if there are no live chickens in your house then I can show you a physical lack of chickens.

    >Again, we're talking the physical, not the abstract.

    We are taking metaphysics and philosophy not physics. After all if we are talking about God then God is a philosophical subject not a physics subject.
    His existence or not or even assertions of skepticism are all philosophical arguments not scientific physical ones.

    >Wrong. Claims about the physical are physics claims and thus scientific. Sorry.....

    Nope, a claim that reality is only physical or material or ideal or being or a series of events or illusion or absurd etc are metaphysical claims NOT scientific ones. That is like saying natural selection is a species of particle physics not biology just because biological entities are made up of atoms.
    Enough of the category mistakes.
    Science is the empirical verificationalist process by which we test and explain the mechanism of natural things within reality. It cannot explain what reality is or how exhaustive it is. The later requires philosophy.

    >Perhaps. But I've never heard any theists use the Platonic Argument or the Rationalist argument as cosmological arguments.

    Then this merely tells me the only Theists you tend to interact with are Fundamentalists and nobody more sophisticated then that.

    > Nearly all of them use the Kalam argument or an argument that presupposes an eternal being creating the universe.

    If you want a Thomistic Essentialist defense of the Kalam read Oderberg's reply ot Graham Oppy.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7SKlRTfkUieWU9MdGtMM0hjRGc/view

    If you want read a Traditional Thomists who takes an agnostic view of the effectiveness of the Kalam critique it read Feser.
    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2016/09/a-difficulty-for-craigs-kalam_2.html

    Also it would help if you learned the difference between Classic Theism vs Theistic Personalism(which is a s***e view of God IMHO).

    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/09/classical-theism.html

    >Perhaps.

    Good answer. Socrates was wise because he knew that he knew not. Well done.

    >Or perhaps theism is poorly defined.

    Or perhaps you have only dealt with those with poor definitions?

    >I don't call myself an atheist and I suggest you stop assuming who you're conversing with.

    Well whatever you want to call yourself I submit acquiring a more sophisticated enlightened form of non-belief or lack of belief couldn't hurt you and could only help.

    Just saying......

  • Jim the Scott

    "Creation from nothing"

    The substandard polemics against Thomistic metaphysics I have seen on this thread so far are not formulations or defenses of competing metaphysical schemes and or philosophical critiques of Thomism itself. They are in their entirety attempts to treat a philosophical argument as if it was a scientific one.

    Tedious.

    Anyway "Creation from nothing" is NOT God causing an invisible substance called "nothing" to change into a visible substance called "something".

    Divine Creation is not God changing something into another thing. It is God merely causing something to be. Nothing more.

    "Nothing" is defined as "non-being" or "non-existence".

    It has little or nothing to do with Quantum Vacuums or Hartle Hawking States or a Harking/Penrose Singularity.

    If a Hartle Hawking state is "nothing" in the classic sense then that means it does not and or has never existed. Which kinda defeats the point of Hawking's theory now doesn't it?

  • Jim the Scott

    @Jimmy SM

    additional:

    a change or movement's material "cause", is the aspect of the change or movement which is determined by the material that composes the moving or changing things. For a table, that might be wood; for a statue, that might be bronze or marble.

    You put forth the proposition "All concrete objects that have an originating or sustaining cause have a material cause of their existence."

    You are in effect saying what something is made of (i.e. material cause) causes it's existence.

    Which is a nonsensical statement. It may be how something exists but not why it exists nor what causes it's existence.

    People philosophy is not a word Salad.

      • Jim the Scott

        Why did you not read that link before claiming ""All concrete objects that have an originating or sustaining cause have a material cause of their existence."?

      • Jim the Scott

        BTW jimmy.

        from your link(which BTW U cribbed from before.

        In Aristotelian terminology, material is not the same as substance. Matter has parallels with substance in so far as primary matter serves as the substratum for simple bodies which are not substance: sand and rock (mostly earth), rivers and seas (mostly water), atmosphere and wind (mostly air and then mostly fire below the moon). Only individuals are said to be substance (subjects) in the primary sense. Secondary substance, in a different sense, also applies to man-made artifactsEND QUOTE

        What did I say before?

        "what definition of "material" are you using and are you really equivocating it with "substance"?

  • Neo-Aristotelianism for the win.

  • Richard Morley

    The OP seems to be based on how things ought to work or should
    work according to the musings of a medieval theologian inspired by the
    musings of an ancient Greek philosopher instead of how things actually do work.

    That is where metaphysics becomes physics, and is where the physicist is justified in saying that the metaphysicist turns out to be wrong.

    Of course it may be that the philosopher does not intend the apparent physical implication, but:
    i) if so he can say as much and clarify what was meant by the apparent physical implication
    ii) sometimes the physical implication is there regardless, and can experimentally prove apparently more fundamental argumentation to be wrong. Cosmology and the nature of time were once considered fairly pure
    philosophical grounds, but now both have testable and so falsifiable
    implications.

    Obviously experiments can be flawed, but so can premises, or arguments.
    So one should look at all the elements, where some philosophers want to
    insist that the philosophy cannot be wrong, even in
    its physical implications.

  • George

    I say that nothing is SO insubstantial that it doesn't conflict with there being something.

    Look around you, nothing is everywhere!

    "What're ya talkin about? There's something there!"

    Exactly, nothing isn't there! :)

  • Jim the Scott

    So in addition to the usual suspects confusing Motus and momentum we have another case of them confusing physical inertia with existential inertia.

    Maybe this links will remedy that.

    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/07/new-acpq-article.html

    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2012/07/cosmological-argument-roundup.html#more

  • Jim the Scott

    "What’s the difference between a philosopher of science and a scientist who comments on philosophy? The difference is that the philosopher usually makes sure he’s done his homework before opening his mouth."-Ed Feser

    • Bob

      Of course GIGO would still apply.

      • Jim the Scott

        Bob the act/potency distinction is a philosophical modelling of change.

        Not a law of physics. "Whatever is moved is moved by another" is a philosophical proposition not a proposition on physics.

        That you don't get that shows you are intellectually inferior.

        http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/03/scientism-roundup.html

        • Bob

          What is it supposed to be modeling? I assumed it was an attempt to model experiential data. If not, then how does it connect to anything real at all? Did he just make it up?

          • Jim the Scott

            >What is it supposed to be modeling?

            It is modelling change in general.

            There that was easy. Pay attention!

          • Bob

            If it is modeling change in general then it necessarily needs to deal with physics.

          • Jim the Scott

            Only if we are modelling it scientifically. We are in fact modelling it metaphysically. The nature of being is philosophy not physics.
            If you confess materialism that is a metaphysical view not a view of physics.

            Again with the category mistakes and fallacies of equivocation.

            Pull your head out of your positivism.

          • Bob

            If you are not talking about physical change, then the whole framework collapses into irrelevance - in other words, it is not referring to anything substantive.

          • Jim the Scott

            >If you are not talking about physical change,

            We are talking about the nature and essence of physical change. That is metaphysics. Just like claiming matter and energy are all that is is a metaphysical claim not a physical one.

            > then the whole framework collapses into irrelevance - in other words, it is not referring to anything substantive.

            No you are just at this point like the Young Earth Creationist who insists the Second Law of Thermal Dynamics is a metaphysical principle not a law of physics and that somehow it renders evolution impossible.

            Only he makes a law of physics a metaphysical principle. You make a metaphysical principle a law of physics.

            You are stuck in your positivist mindset.

          • Bob

            "We are talking about the nature and essence of physical change. That is metaphysics."

            And if the metaphysics contradicts physics, it is most likely wrong.

          • Jim the Scott

            That is an absurd statement on the level of claiming "Evolution contradicts the Second Law of Thermal Dynamics".

            metaphysics can be incoherent or contradictory but it cannot in principle "contradict" physics.

          • Bob

            Except evolution does not contradict the second law.

            If metaphysics "cannot in principle contradict physics" then it is simply a non substantive irrelevancy - a fairy tale - when it comes to providing any meaningful understanding of the physical world.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Except evolution does not contradict the second law.

            Neither does the first way or act/potency distinction contradict Newton.

            >If metaphysics "cannot in principle contradict physics" then it is simply a non substantive irrelevancy - a fairy tale - when it comes to providing any meaningful understanding of the physical world.

            That is a positivist metaphysical claim. It is incoherent since that very principle you expound above can neither confirm nor contradict physics thus by it's own standards it has non substantive irrelevancy.

          • Bob

            If the first way is restated in such a way as to not contradict Newton, then the premises will not lead to an unmoved mover (not even considering the fact that an unmoved mover itself contradicts Newton).

            I am not sure what the second part of your response is supposed to even mean in this context.

          • Jim the Scott

            >If the first way is restated in such a way as to not contradict Newton...

            Meaningless observation. Aquinas clearly defines Motus in terms of Act/potency by something already in Act. He does not rely on the anachronistic and erroneous Greek Physics(which anti-realists like Parmedides and Atheist materialists like Democretus accepted as well).
            He is not trying to do physics. Everybody knows this.

            >then the premises will not lead to an unmoved mover (not even considering the fact that an unmoved mover itself contradicts Newton).

            Your objection is a silly non-starter. You are still treating this as an argument from physics & or making equivalencies between physics and metaphysics you would not do with any other science which is why you roll you eyes at the anti-evolutionist who cites the 2nd law & why I & likely Dr. B are rolling our eyes at you right now.

            Repeating your arguments by special pleading are not going to make them coherent, rational or true anytime soon.

            >I am not sure what the second part of your response is supposed to even mean in this context.

            Basically it is as I said. You are an latent Positivist. You only believe scientific knowledge is meaningful or valid sans philosophy. It is a self referential belief or at best trivially true.

            Here before you waste my time and Dr. B's any further. I demand you read these two essays.

            http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2010/03/1174/

            part 2.

            http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2010/03/1184/

            here for extra credit if you feel like it.

            http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2012/05/natural-theology-natural-science-and.html

            Philosophy of Nature is not natural science anymore then physics is chemistry. They are related but not unequivocal.

            Additional: God is proven to exist via philosophy not science. The existence of God is NOT a scientific question & I would go so far to say any "god" proven to exist via science by definition could not be the God of the philosophers and I would not wipe the **** from my *** to give as an offering to such a "god".

            Bob you have been wasting your life arguing with IDiots. Classic Theism has nothing to do with that crap.

          • Bob

            If this metaphysics is divorced from the actual world it is attempting to explain, then this metaphysics doesn't explain anything about the actual world.

          • Jim the Scott

            By definition metaphysics is about the nature of the actual world in terms of being. Geez you people need too hit the books.

            Start here Bob.

            http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2010/03/1174/

            http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2010/03/1184/

            http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2012/05/natural-theology-natural-science-and.html

            The sooner you lot ditch the neo positivist thinking the better.

          • Bob

            If this metaphysics happens to seriously contradict what we observe in the actual world, why should we believe that this metaphysics is correct?

          • Jim the Scott

            >If this metaphysics happens to seriously contradict what we observe in the actual world, why should we believe that this metaphysics is correct?

            Begging the question much Bob? You have not shown the act/potency distinction contradicts what we observe in the world. (Indeed the opposite is the case)

            Thus your objections are beyond silly at this point.

            The burden of proof is on you Bob. Show me how the act/potency by something already in Act distinction is "contradicted".

            Put up or shut up.

          • Bob

            Does an object in motion require an external agent to remain in motion?

          • Jim the Scott

            I am going to take a different tact. I know it's futile but maybe you are intelligent. We shall see

            >Does an object in motion require an external agent to remain in motion?

            Are you asking me...

            A) If an object physically placed in momentum requires an external physical force to keep it in momentum? Yes or No?

            Or are you asking me...

            B) If an object in momentum metaphysically requires Pure Act to cause it to exist and exist with the property of remaining in momentum till acted upon by an another physical force? Yes or No?

            Are you asking A or B?

            BTW the answer to A is No and the answer to B is yes.

            PS You still haven't answered my question. Show me how the potency to act by something already in act distinction seriously "contradicts" what we observe in the actual world?

            Taking down my other two post for simplicity's sake.

          • Richard Morley

            I am going to take a different tact.

            I think you mean "tack".

            "Tact" is really not your thing.

          • Jim the Scott

            So true.

          • Jim the Scott

            Tell you what Rich. I will stop being an arse**** if we can just discuss your claim A Series Time and a Timeless God are incompatible.

            That is interesting.

          • Richard Morley

            Tell you what Rich. I will stop being an arse**** if we can just discuss your claim A Series Time and a Timeless God are incompatible.

            That is interesting.

            Well, I am out of time for now, having spent most of it responding to insults. So we might discuss that another time, if I don't have yet more ****holery to respond to, and from what I've seen from a quick glance you have not yet stopped kicking it out. My manipulation is cunning and subtle, is it not?

          • Jim the Scott

            >Well, I am out of time for now, having spent most of it responding to insults.

            That is my fault.

            > So we might discuss that another time, if I don't have yet more ****holery to respond to, and from what I've seen from a quick glance you have not yet stopped kicking it out.

            Nah I just found another Arse**** to kick around with. Compared to him I now actually feel bad the way I treated you.

            My manipulation is cunning and subtle, is it not?

            >My manipulation is cunning and subtle, is it not?

            Tis brilliant and I say that without irony.

            Merry Christmas.

          • Richard Morley

            Briefly, and from memory:

            It would be more accurate to say that B-theory/eternalism seems trivially compatible with a timeless God (or any timeless point of view) while I do not see how to reconcile A-theory/presentism with a timeless POV. As I noted in my earlier discussion with Dr Bonnette, my main problem with presentism (which if course he denies supporting, as such) is coming up with a meaning that is neither a thinly disguised eternalism nor trivially false. This is true, both in general and in trying to fit it in with the concept of a timeless God.

            As such, the best I can do is offer a few examples of the above, and let any budding presentist offer an example that avoids the problems without becoming eternalism with a fake moustache.

            The broadest most general objection is simply that if each instant in our timeline is timelessly real to God, then they are all timelessly real. QED, eternalism. The only way I see out of that is to make 'being real' to be a relative concept that varies with the observer, such as being in front or behind. A 'Cambridge quality'. But this still makes each instant 'as real' as any other, the overall view is still timeless, so it seem to be effectively eternalism.

            There is the objection that the universe must appear static to a timeless being. It can vary over its parts, as a carrot can vary over its length even in a static photo, but it cannot present a changing appearance to God as that would require time to pass for God, for him to change. So the idea that 'presentism' means simultaneously claiming that God is timeless and that he perceives a changing universe consisting only of the present is trivially false, contradictory. If you claim a deterministic universe (everything except possibly God) then God can know the universe timelessly even with presentism, but unless you claim that God is unaware of the universe beyond deducing it, that a changing 'now' is real and absolute but he is unaware of what is 'now', I don't see that that changes the fundamental issue.

            There is the objection that if God is sufficient reason for anything in this universe, let alone everything, then that thing cannot change. This relies (I think) on an interpretation of the PSR whereby a sufficient reason entails the thing it explains, 'thus and not otherwise'. What I would call a sufficient reason as opposed to just a reason or cause, or a necessary condition. But by that meaning if (God) implies (Richard Morley as he is now) then Richard Morley must be eternally as he is now, as long as timeless (God) remains true. A similar argument is that if God sustains Richard Morley in existence, then for Richard Morley to change implies change in God's act of sustaining. Eternalism has an easy answer, what God entails or sustains or in any way interacts with is the static 4D timeless object of Richard Morley right from the moment of conception up until the moment the angry mob traps him in a burning windmill. But for presentism, where the only existent Morley is a constantly changing 'now' Morley, it is hard to see how a timeless entity can be reason for, sustain or interact in any way with him without itself changing. How can a timeless thing be a sufficient reason for a changing temporal thing?

          • Jim the Scott

            >it would be more accurate to say that B-theory/eternalism seems trivially compatible with a timeless God (or any timeless point of view) while I do not see how to reconcile A-theory/presentism with a timeless POV.

            But negative theology which rules Classic Theism would tell me I cannot positively explain what is to be God and what is His POV. I invoke my inner Negal. I can't imagine what it is to be a bat. I can only imagine & conceive of myself as a human mind dwelling in a form that resembles a bat. What it is to be a bat is in principle beyond my comprehension. That is a mere bat who is less then me made in the divine image. So how can I know God.....

            I can conclude God can cause there to be being & cause it too exist and he needs to continuously cause it to exist because existential inertia is impossible but with Aquinas I can conclude if God can cause it then somehow he can know it & know it perfectly..

            >As I noted in my earlier discussion with Dr Bonnette, my main problem with presentism (which if course he denies supporting, as such) is coming up with a meaning that is neither a thinly disguised eternalism nor trivially false. This is true, both in general and in trying to fit it in with the concept of a timeless God.

            I think your problem is Bonnette is thinking of time strictly as the measure of change in our realm and not in terms of what is Time's Being (A or B or Block or whatever).

            >As such, the best I can do is offer a few examples of the above, and let any budding presentist offer an example that avoids the problems without becoming eternalism with a fake moustache.

            This is a stupid question but I will ask it anyway. If time is relative based on the observer why can we observe it A series and God b series?

            Maybe I committed a category mistake? You tell me.

            >The broadest most general objection is simply that if each instant in our timeline is timelessly real to God, then they are all timelessly real. QED, eternalism.

            If you say.

            > The only way I see out of that is to make 'being real' to be a relative concept that varies with the observer, such as being in front or behind.

            My Jedi powers tell me you might be making the mistake (for us Thomist anyway) of comparing God's Being to our being in an unequivocal way.
            That is too me impossible to do. So it is possible these are all non-starter objections to a classic theist thought a non-divinely simple theistic personalist "timeless" so called deity is fracked.;-)

            > A 'Cambridge quality'. But this still makes each instant 'as real' as any other, the overall view is still timeless, so it seem to be effectively eternalism.

            It is timeless in the sense applying time to it may be incoherent.

            >There is the objection that the universe must appear static to a timeless being.

            I invoke the Negal Bat from before.

            > It can vary over its parts, as a carrot can vary over its length even in a static photo, but it cannot present a changing appearance to God as that would require time to pass for God, for him to change.

            Assuming we are not talking about God in the Classic sense but a theistic personalist deity who is unequivocally comparable to a human mind only more uber.

            > So the idea that 'presentism' means simultaneously claiming that God is timeless and that he perceives a changing universe consisting only of the present is trivially false, contradictory.

            I think it is an error to say God percives or believes anything. He simply Knows.

            > If you claim a deterministic universe (everything except possibly God) then God can know the universe timelessly even with presentism, but unless you claim that God is unaware of the universe beyond deducing it, that a changing 'now' is real and absolute but he is unaware of what is 'now', I don't see that that changes the fundamental issue.

            Thomists are determinists in a sense actually. Study the topic of divine providence.

            >There is the objection that if God is sufficient reason for anything in this universe, let alone everything, then that thing cannot change.

            Well God cannot will something to be X and not X at the same time in the same relation. God cannot change his mind he wills eternally. God's will is only free in the sense nothing external nor any internal passive potency moves or effects that will. But God can only will X but he cannot having willed X from eternity & will not X.

            I respond to the rest of this stuff later. It was a lovey Christmas present you gave to an ass****.

            Cheers.

          • Richard Morley

            What it is to be a bat is in principle beyond my comprehension.

            I am not convinced one can perfectly imaging what it is to be even another human being, especially given things like the subconscious baggage. But one can reason about what a bat can perceive, for example, especially an 'idealised bat' with only sonar as a sense. Likewise I don't have to perfectly imagine what it is like to be God, or a timeless being in general, to reason that its perceptions cannot change but must be static. For its perception to change, time (or equivalent timelike variable) would have to pass for it.

            (Although I did once get to play with a headset designed to crudely mimic sonar. Great fun. And some blind people have learned to do it on their own.)

            ...and he needs to continuously cause it to exist because existential inertia is impossible...

            Another simplification from eternalism. A timeless God causes a timeless block universe to exist. End of discussion, there is no need to argue over him 'continuing' to sustain each moment in existence, the block is what it is.

            I think your problem is Bonnette is thinking of time strictly as the measure of change in our realm and not in terms of what is Time's Being (A or B or Block or whatever).

            Except it directly impacts his argument that a past event (e.g. the one that set something 'in motion') cannot actualise something later in the timeline because 'the past is nonexistent'.

            If time is relative based on the observer why can we observe it A series and God b series?

            Time being ordered according to A or B theory is different from the time coordinate being relative according to the observer ('relativity of simultaneity'), although the latter is a strong argument for B theory. Another aside, I read that strong presentism is arguably saying more than just 'moments in time being ordered as an A series', as the past and future are literally nonbeing. I'm still getting my head around that one.

            But yes, I can imagine a timeless God timelessly creating a timeless universe that appears to its inhabitants as a presentist universe. But the fundamental reality would still be God's, timeless, so the 'presentist' universe would be an illusion that was still, fundamentally, a static timeless thing. Likewise, even in a presentist universe one could have something like a novel or a DVD on a shelf which effectively represents a timeless block mini-universe. but since it exists embedded in a presentist universe, that would be its base reality.

            To paraphrase Creel, if time appears one way to God and another way to us, and only one of us can be right, which one do you think it is? And I do think only one can be fundamentally right. Also, as special relativity shows, when one looks at the fine detail our universe does not look like a presentist universe.

            My Jedi powers tell me you might be making the mistake (for us Thomist anyway) of comparing God's Being to our being in an unequivocal way.

            But I am all for denying Univocity of being (or thinking, knowing, acting and so on) for God. Indeed my concepts of fundamental causes that a theist would link with 'God' are so different from an anthropomorphic God that I discard the word 'God' or 'person'/'think'/'act'/'know' in this context entirely. Just repeating the A-T arguments while avoiding those terms can be one way to see other alternatives that tend to be dismissed by the anthropomorphic language, are closer to a naturalistic universe, and strike me as not just plausible but more so than anything that fits the word 'God'.

            However, the fundamental point I was truing to make was that there are certain specific points that influence the difficulty of reconciling a timeless God with a presentist, fundamentally dynamic changing universe. Whether or not you assert that 'being real' is an absolute or a relative quality is one. Likewise, is it transitive? That is, if B is real to A, and C is real to B, does that imply that C is real to A? Equally, if A is real to B does that necessarily entail that B is real to A. Otherwise, if the year 1900 is timelessly real to God, and God is real to us now, 1900 is real now.

            So defining what one means by 'real' or 'actual' very very carefully is important, and something like 'real' being a Cambridge quality can make presentism less trivially false.

            I invoke the Negal Bat from before.

            My Sith powers tell me that you might be deploying the "God moves in mysterious ways" cop out, at least in invoking the Negal bat. If we cannot reason about God, that cuts both ways. You cannot use reason to try to prove God's existence but say that reasoning about him in any other ways is not possible. If time does not pass for you, your experience cannot change with time. Ssimples.

            I think it is an error to say God percives or believes anything. He simply Knows.

            What is perceiving other than knowing? But if the present is a dynamic changing thing, how can a timeless being 'know' that dynamic process, i.e. when 'now' is, without changing? At the least his knowledge of what time it is would have to change.

            As an aside, consider the question that if time flows, what does it flow with? Normally one variable changes with another. Position changes with time. Viscosity changes with temperature. Eye colour changes with who you are referring to. Talking about 'now' changing with time is like talking about 'here' changing with position.

          • Jim the Scott

            A few points I will answer.

            >Another simplification from eternalism. A timeless God causes a timeless block universe to exist. End of discussion, there is no need to argue over him 'continuing' to sustain each moment in existence, the block is what it is.

            If it is purely a Parmenide Block Universe that is true & Parmenides view sort of mandates at best Pantheism. OTOH because God is causing it's being and it's being is contingent then God has to alway cause it to exist.

            >Time being ordered according to A or B theory is different from the time coordinate being relative according to the observer ('relativity of simultaneity'),

            I thought it might be a category mistake.

            > although the latter is a strong argument for B theory. Another aside, I read that strong presentism is arguably saying more than just 'moments in time being ordered as an A series', as the past and future are literally nonbeing. I'm still getting my head around that one.

            Sounds like they can all use a dose of moderate realism instead of Strong realism. That is what a follower of Aristotle will do.

          • Jim the Scott

            Ok I am back and have some time.

            >There is the objection that if God is sufficient reason for anything in this universe, let alone everything, then that thing cannot change.

            Hard for me to conceive how a necessary changeless changer who is such because He is Pure Act can't do that?.... but go on.

            > This relies (I think) on an interpretation of the PSR whereby a sufficient reason entails the thing it explains, 'thus and not otherwise'.

            Well a Thomist and Classic Theists in general will say we are all something like God but God is nothing like us. What we have was in God first but it flows top down one way.

            >What I would call a sufficient reason as opposed to just a reason or cause, or a necessary condition. But by that meaning if (God) implies (Richard Morley as he is now) then Richard Morley must be eternally as he is now, as long as timeless (God) remains true.

            In the divine intellect that was true and some Augustinian Theologian might hold to a view called the Archetypal idea. In the mind of God from all eternity God willed you should be and has in the divine mind an idea of you so perfect it like you except it is not distinct from the divine essence.
            In someways this is "how" God can make you in his image. Some silly sitcoms I've seen have the main character dying temporary meeting God and he looks like them exactly.

            > A similar argument is that if God sustains Richard Morley in existence, then for Richard Morley to change implies change in God's act of sustaining.

            No if God changes then he would need an act above him to impart that potency. This violates the logic of top down essential causality and the essential causal series.

            >Eternalism has an easy answer, what God entails or sustains or in any way interacts with is the static 4D timeless object of Richard Morley right from the moment of conception up until the moment the angry mob traps him in a burning windmill.

            This will be shorthand but I recomend you read Fr. Brian Daves on God's causality and divine intervention.

            >But for presentism, where the only existent Morley is a constantly changing 'now' Morley, it is hard to see how a timeless entity can be reason for, sustain or interact in any way with him without itself changing. How can a timeless thing be a sufficient reason for a changing temporal thing?

            Only if you make an unequivocal comparison with the type of being you are and what God is and that is a no no.

            Like asking "Who created God?". It is a dumb question (this is not an insult directed at you. I have to say because it would be natural to think that given my ass**le'ry. Who created God? What is up from up?

            God in the classic Sense can only be compared to creatures by analogy not unequivocally.

            Merry Christmas.

          • Richard Morley

            >There is the objection that if God is sufficient reason for anything in this universe, let alone everything, then that thing cannot change.
            Hard for me to conceive how a necessary changeless changer who is such because He is Pure Act can't do that?

            I don't think I explained that well.

            Start not with God as such, but with the basic relationship of sufficient reason and its effect. If P is 'sufficient reason' for Q, I would take that to mean that P entails Q, so if P is true Q must be true. So Q is always true if P is true, thus the only way for Q to be false (to cease to exist) is for P to be false.

            Likewise for P to be a full sufficient reason, it must explain all of Q's qualities. A partial cause P might (for example) explain only part of Q's being and qualities, but then there must be some other sufficient reason to explain the remaining bits not explained by P.

            So if God, or any timeless being, is sufficient reason for X's existence, X cannot cease to exist unless (paradoxically) God, the necessary being, ceases to exist or changes so as to no longer be sufficient reason for X. If God is a full sufficient reason for X, X can also not change unless (paradoxically) God, the changeless being, changes.

            So if "P is sufficient reason for Q" implies that P entails Q, then asserting that God is sufficient cause for anything means that that thing (whether 'Richard Morley' or the whole universe) would be changeless and timeless. And if God is the root of everything other than God, everything would then be changeless and timeless. And, indeed, necessary. This is fairly straightforward, if P entails Q and P is necessary, Q is necessary.

            Eternalism encompasses this easily - the block universe is static, and change, while real, is just a matter of its internal structure, so a timeless God can trivially be 'sufficient reason' for it without contradiction. Anything that corresponds to 'presentism' or a growing block universe or whatever has a much harder time, without opting for a much much weaker version of the PSR.

            > A similar argument is that if God sustains Richard Morley in existence, then for Richard Morley to change implies change in God's act of sustaining.
            No if God changes then he would need an act above him to impart that potency. This violates the logic of top down essential causality and the essential causal series.

            That is agreeing with the point. A straightforward literal interpretation of presentims contradicts a timeless, changeless God. I have yet to see a less straightforward version that does not clash, or is not trivially false. Not without becoming a version of eternalism.

            This will be shorthand but I recomend you read Fr. Brian Daves on God's causality and divine intervention.

            While I know who you refer to, I am afraid he is at the end of a long reading list. This guy for anyone following this. I have yet to read anything of his.

            Only if you make an unequivocal comparison with the type of being you are and what God is and that is a no no.

            I don't think so - as long as the concept we are referring to as 'God' is timeless in the obvious sense, then it being fully responsible for a dynamic changing thing in a presentist universe, such as being 'sufficient reason' for that dynamic thing, leads fairly trivially to contradiction whatever the rest of its nature may be. Other than being beyond the rules of logic or suchlike.

            Merry Christmas.

            Happy Saturnalia.

          • Jim the Scott

            Briefly because it is getting late.

            >Start not with God as such, but with the basic relationship of sufficient reason and its effect.

            Don't know if we hold the same principle of sufficient reason thought?

            http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/10/could-theist-deny-psr.html#more

            >That is agreeing with the point. A straightforward literal interpretation of presentims contradicts a timeless, changeless God.

            I don't see how? Creation isn't really an act of change. God doesn't change nothing into something when He creates as if nothing was a substance with the potential to become something. God is a Transendant Cause here. Causing there to be Being from nothing not out of nothing.

            >I have yet to see a less straightforward version that does not clash, or is not trivially false. Not without becoming a version of eternalism.

            I think your arguments only have steam if you make unequivoal comparisons between God and creature. God could create from eternity if he so eternally willed it.

            >While I know who you refer to, I am afraid he is at the end of a long reading list. This guy for anyone following this. I have yet to read anything of his.

            His writings cleared up the problem of evil for me. Life still sucks but the Problem of Evil for me is a non-problem.

            >I don't think so - as long as the concept we are referring to as 'God' is timeless in the obvious sense, then it being fully responsible for a dynamic changing thing in a presentist universe, such as being 'sufficient reason' for that dynamic thing, leads fairly trivially to contradiction whatever the rest of its nature may be. Other than being beyond the rules of logic or suchlike.

            I disagree. It is clear you are comparing God to creatures and creation unequivocally in terms if their being and thus Act.

          • Jim the Scott

            PS

            >Happy Saturnalia.

            That ended the 23rd but thanks anyway.;-)

          • Jim the Scott

            >So, it is hardly news that some A-T arguments at the very least require reformulation to hold under a B-series of time.

            Not really. A species of B series that is entirely Parmenidan is by definition incompatible. But any species of B series that has contingency and real substances are no problem. It is just Time itself would be unreal.

          • Bob

            Great so you agree that an object in motion does not require an external agent to keep it in motion, therefore the first way is unsound.

            I suppose we are done, with regards to this thread.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Great so you agree that an object in motion does not require an external agent to keep it in motion, therefore the first way is unsound.

            I do not agree to that at all.

            Not until you answer me, are you asking Question A or Question B?

            In case you forgot.

            Are you asking me...

            A) If an object physically placed in momentum requires an external physical force to keep it in momentum? Yes or No?

            Or are you asking me...

            B) If an object in momentum metaphysically requires Pure Act to cause it to exist and exist with the property of remaining in momentum till acted upon by an another physical force? Yes or No?

            Are you asking A or B?

            BTW the answer to A is No and the answer to B is Yes.

            Additionally: Answer B is relevant too the first way. Answer A is not.

  • Jim the Scott

    >Yes. Aristotle's metaphysics were based on the known (and assumed) physics of the ancient world.

    Nope, by that silly reasoning if I am incorrect in my understanding of the atomic structure of water and sodium that means my claim from experience that raw sodium explodes in water will from that moment on turn out to be false and it is now safe for me to do that without danger(the past explosions just being a fluke)?

    Seriously?

    > Modern physics no longer appeal to Aristotle to form models of the natural world.

    No silly modern physics no longer appeal to the anachronistic erroneous physics of the ancient Greeks. The metaphysical modeling of their philosophers is still used.

    Democretus was a Greek philosopher who was an Atheist and materialist who ALSO held too the erroneous physics of the Greeks. So by your own reasoning he derived his materialist beliefs from faulty physics therefore materialism must be false?

    Seriously?

    You really don't get category mistakes do you?

  • Jim the Scott

    Richard Morley's claim B theory Time contradicts the Act/potency distinction and is not compatible with Aristole modeling change is not correct.

    I quote Ed Feser.

    "On the Aristotelian-Scholastic analysis, questions about causation are raised wherever we have potentialities that need actualization, or a thing’s being metaphysically composite and thus in need of a principle that accounts for the composition of its parts, or there being a distinction in a thing between its essence or nature on the one and its existence on the other, or a thing’s being contingent. The universe, however physics and scientific cosmology end up describing it -- even if it turned out to be a universe without a temporal beginning, even if it is a four-dimensional block universe, even if Hawking’s closed universe model turned out to be correct, even if we should really think in terms of a multiverse rather than a single universe -- will, the Aristotelian argues, necessarily exhibit just these features (potentialities needing actualization, composition, contingency, etc.). And thus it will, as a matter of metaphysical necessity, require a cause outside it. And only that which is pure actuality devoid of potentiality, only what is utterly simple or non-composite, only something whose essence or nature just is existence itself, only what is therefore in no way contingent but utterly necessary -- only that, the classical theist maintains, could in principle be the ultimate terminus of explanation, whatever the specific scientific details turn out to be."END QUOTE

    You can find the whole discussion here,

    http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/07/carroll-on-laws-and-causation.html

    Additionally there is an interesting past discussion on his blog about B theory time & Aristotle.

    https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2017/11/aristotle-and-contemporary-science.html#more

    Pay attention too the posts from a fellow named Freakazoid.(though another poster named Red disagrees with him).

    Some choice quotes from Freakazoid.

    "But given substances, all the types of change that he lists in Five Proofs would still occur under the B-Theory and endurantism. We would still have changes that are qualitative, quantitative, substantial, etc. This just wouldn’t occur in a tensed manner."

    "Feser doesn’t say that it is the B-Theory that is denying change. It is the B-Theory denying temporal passage that he thinks is the problem. If you deny temporal passage, then you don’t have a way to measure change."

    "What's doing the real work in b-theory arguments against change is the denial of the passage of time. Again, there are b-theories endorse temporal passage like those of Maudlin, Savitt, etc. In that case, you still have real passage of time on the b-theory and thus real change."

    "Every single theory of change requires that something persists through the change. This would be enduring substances for Thomists. Feser specifically links the denial of real change to different claims about persistence and indicates in the endnotes that he is referring to temporal parts theories ruling out any sense of actualization within a block universe. No substances persist in those theories so is able to change."

    "The only reason why the B-theory makes problems for change is because it rules out temporal passage. As I’ve already said, the only work that temporal passage is doing is providing an objective measure of change. This lets us know that change has occurred."

    "Both perdurantism and exdurantism deny that there are enduring substances. But you don’t need to endorse these in order to be a B-theorist. So real change, at least considered separately from temporal passage, is perfectly compatible with the B-theory."END QUOTE

    I don't really take a view on A Theory vs B Theory time and the view God sees all time in a manner similar to B Theory while we only experience the present but remember the past in an A theory manner might have some utility too.

    But I am convinced denying the reality of time is not equivalent to denying act/potency change. At worst it is the denial time is the measure of change.

    • Richard Morley

      Richard Morley's claim B theory Time contradicts the Act/potency
      distinction and is not compatible with Aristole modeling change is not
      correct.

      I don't make that claim. But thanks for making it for us!

      • Jim the Scott

        Then I withdraw the charge.

      • Jim the Scott

        It's like reading Kenneth Ham's refutations of Dawkins and twice as silly.

        Except here Feser is Dawkins........

        • More like Feser is Ken Ham and Dawkins is science and philiosophy.

          • Jim the Scott

            You couldn't even come up with an original rejoinder? You have to crib from me?

            If I conclude tomorrow there is no God or gods the goofy mistakes and misreadings and just plain ignorance of the subject matter in that silly blather you offer up as a "critique" would still be as plain as a Bulgarian Pin Up.

            You are the Ken Ham here buddy and about half as smart.

          • You couldn't even come up with an original rejoinder? You have to crib from me?

            I did a fify

            If I conclude tomorrow there is no God or gods the goofy mistakes and misreadings and just plain ignorance of the subject matter in that silly blather you offer up as a "critique" would still be as plain as a Bulgarian Pin Up.

            And yet you can't show this claim to be true.

            You are the Ken Ham here buddy and about half as smart.

            LOL. Feser is Ken Ham on his best day, you're Ken Ham on a bad day. Seems you're all insults no substance.

          • Jim the Scott

            >you're all insults no substance.

            ROTFLOL!!!!:D

            Stop it dude you are killing me. Pot=kettle=black much?

            What was it Dr. B said?

            "I have offered an extensive philosophical defense of the reality of motion or change in the OP, precisely as I have defined it in the OP – most of whose philosophical points you have not directly addressed."

            One can easily see how the silly the anti-evolution arguments put forth by a person with a 7th grader's knowledge of biology are rubbish. Against stupidity even the gods themselves content in vain.

            It is equally easy to see someone who understands no philosophy trying to fake it badly.

            Anyone who says "metaphysics can't contradict physics" is automatically stupid like the Young Earth Creation boob who won't let go of his "But the Second Law of thermal Dynamics refutes evolution" nonsense.

            I've had my fill picking on people afflicted with terminal positivism.

          • ROTFLOL!!!!:D
            Stop it dude you are killing me. Pot=kettle=black much?

            You just demonstrated my point.

            One can easily see how the silly the anti-evolution arguments put forth by a person with a 7th grader's knowledge of biology are rubbish. Against stupidity even the gods themselves content in vain.

            Read my response, I did address them: https://disqus.com/home/discussion/strangenotions/whatever_is_moved_is_moved_by_another/#comment-3673855733

            It's not that hard to show Dr Bonnette or Feser are completely ignorant of the science they use or deny to make their case. I'm pretty sure you are too given what I've seen so far.

            It is equally easy to see someone who understands no philosophy trying to fake it badly.

            Just proved my point again. Accusing people of positivism when they aren't demonstrates you don't know what you're talking about.

            Anyone who says "metaphysics can't contradict physics" is automatically stupid like the Young Earth Creation boob who won't let go of his "But the Second Law of thermal Dynamics refutes evolution" nonsense.

            Which is false and only something a blowhard dotard would say who hasn't studied the subject matter enough. Metaphysics can clearly contradict physics: Cartesian dualism is metaphysics for example and it's incompatible with the law of the conservation of energy, among other things. And yes the metaphysical dualistic soul is descernable to science.

            I've had my fill picking on people afflicted with terminal positivism.

            That's because you have a habit of falsely accusing others of it. If you think like a hammer, everything's going to look like a nail.

          • Jim the Scott

            >You just demonstrated my point.

            No you just lack self reflection.

            >Read my response, I did address them: https://disqus.com/home/dis...

            >It's not that hard to show Dr Bonnette or Feser are completely ignorant of the science they use or deny to make their case. I'm pretty sure you are too given what I've seen so far.

            I answered part ofit before you posted.

            You said "spacetime" is scientific but according to the wiki it's a mathematical model. Or are you equivocating between Math and science?

            I think the later. So many category mistakes and it is obvious you don't know much about philosophy.

            >Just proved my point again. Accusing people of positivism when they aren't demonstrates you don't know what you're talking about.

            I use positivism and scientism interchangeably & you already confess to believe in "weak positivism". Which is still incoherent. See my post here

            https://strangenotions.com/whatever-is-moved-is-moved-by-another/#comment-3673869136

            >Which is false and only something a blowhard dotard would say who hasn't studied the subject matter enough. Metaphysics can clearly contradict physics:

            No more then natural selection can contradict thermal dynamics. Only a believer in special pleading "weak scientism" can believe your blather.

            >And yes the metaphysical dualistic soul is descernable to science.

            What view of the soul? Carthusian dyualism? Property dualism? hylomorphism? Stenger can't get past his own incoherent scientism and reductionist materialism.

            >That's because you have a habit of falsely accusing others of it. If you think like a hammer, everything's going to look like a nail.

            Rather that applies to all proponents of scientism wither "weak" or strong.

            You cannot as a matter of principle refute metaphysics with physics.

          • No you just lack self reflection.

            Nope just an accurate assessment by me.

            I answered part ofit before you posted.
            You said "spacetime" is scientific but according to the wiki it's a mathematical model. Or are you equivocating between Math and science?

            https://disqus.com/home/discussion/strangenotions/whatever_is_moved_is_moved_by_another/#comment-3673987790

            I think the later. So many category mistakes and it is obvious you don't know much about philosophy.

            No it just seems that way because I know much more about you. But you will learn from interacting with me and perhaps I can learn from you. But I know that with a Thomist I'm in for a lot of well seasoned turds disquised as coherent philosophy.

            I use positivism and scientism interchangeably & you already confess to believe in "weak positivism". Which is still incoherent. See my post here
            https://strangenotions.com/...

            Yeah I already tore that one up pretty easily: https://disqus.com/home/discussion/strangenotions/whatever_is_moved_is_moved_by_another/#comment-3673904641

            No more then natural selection can contradict thermal dynamics. Only a believer in special pleading "weak scientism" can believe your blather.

            False of course, and you can't show my weak scientism to be incoherent, nor have you refuted my numerous examples of how metaphysical claims clearly intrude into science. I mentioned substance dualism, and rather than admit defeat, you deflect to mention hylomorphic dualism.

            What view of the soul? Carthusian dyualism? Property dualism? hylomorphism? Stenger can't get past his own incoherent scientism and reductionist materialism.

            Cartesian substance dualism, as of course you know. Nice try playing ignorant.

            Rather that applies to all proponents of scientism wither "weak" or strong.
            You cannot as a matter of principle refute metaphysics with physics.

            I just showed you. And both times you've either (i) played ignorant, or (ii) deflected to talk about hylonorphic dualism.

            You need to reconsider you might be a bit dogmatic about things that are false.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Nope just an accurate assessment by me.

            Nope just a failure on your part in looking in the mirror.

            >No it just seems that way because I know much more about you.

            We never met so that seems unlikely.

            > But you will learn from interacting with me and perhaps I can learn from you. But I know that with a Thomist I'm in for a lot of well seasoned turds disquised as coherent philosophy.

            Well i am sure I could learn from you how to refute "gods" I already disbelieve in but the seasoned weak scientism poop will still have a strong smell.

            You make a metaphysics of your method.

            >False of course, and you can't show my weak scientism to be incoherent,

            I pretty much did. You just dodged my criticism and answered with ambiguities.

            >nor have you refuted my numerous examples of how metaphysical claims clearly intrude into science.

            To claim "intrusion" is not a formal philosophical argument nor metaphysical demonstration nor scientific proof.

            > I mentioned substance dualism, and rather than admit defeat, you deflect to mention hylomorphic dualism.

            Well I don't believe in substance dualism. I believe in hylomorphic dualism. So why should I care if the former is false again?

          • Nope just a failure on your part in looking in the mirror.

            All talk, no substance. Your style is very common.

            We never met so that seems unlikely.

            I meant much more about the subject matter.

            Well i am sure I could learn from you how to refute "gods" I already disbelieve in but the seasoned weak scientism poop will still have a strong smell.

            Oh no, gods encapsulates all gods, including the god you believe in. And the smell comes from you continued strawman. Somehow it has no brain, but it can crap.

            You make a metaphysics of your method.

            More nonsense.

            I pretty much did. You just dodged my criticism and answered with ambiguities.

            No you didn't. I addressed all your little points and showed how they don't apply to my definition. Keep lying for Jesus.

            To claim "intrusion" is not a formal philosophical argument nor metaphysical demonstration nor scientific proof.

            Doesn't have to be. I sucecssfully showed metaphysics can intrude into science, and predictably rather than accept the fact that you were wrong, you now want to deflect and move goal posts and insult.

            Well I don't believe in substance dualism. I believe in hylomorphic dualism. So why should I care if the former is false again?

            Because I showed that substance dualism is a metaphysical belief that makes scientific claims - and that means your repeated dogma that "You cannot as a matter of principle refute metaphysics with physics" has been shown to be false.

            It is completely irrelevant whether or not you accept substance dualism. Your dogmatic claim about the non-overlapping magesteria of metaphysics and science is false. That's what matters. You are either too idiotic to realize this, or you do realize this and are pretending to be an idiot to avoid facing the terms you were wrong.

          • Jim the Scott

            >All talk, no substance. Your style is very common.

            Yeh I have been reading your debate with scbrown(lhrm)2017 .
            I mean WOW you are really an idiot! You actually think the doctrine of the Incarnation is a Necessary Being becoming a Contingent one? Seriously?
            That is just wrong! It's seems you just up your own crap like conflating Math and Physics with Science.

            Your responses to Brown are one long sophistical blather. So my expectations of you are now lower then Hell's basement.

            >I meant much more about the subject matter.

            Well it is clear(especially reading that debate with Brown) you don't say what you mean nor take people at their word.

            >Oh no, gods encapsulates all gods, including the god you believe in.

            That is a fallacy of equivocation. Not all god concepts are conception-ally the same therefore you need to make distinctions which I know you won't because your are pretty much on the intellectual level of a Young Earth Creationist sans god belief.

            >And the smell comes from you continued strawman. Somehow it has no brain, but it can crap.

            This from the boob who ACTUALLY THINKS the doctrine of the Incarnation dictates God changes his divine nature! All your arguments without exception seem to be strawmen.

            >No you didn't. I addressed all your little points and showed how they don't apply to my definition. Keep lying for Jesus.

            Again with the Argument Sketch meme!

            >Doesn't have to be. I sucecssfully showed metaphysics can intrude into science, and predictably rather than accept the fact that you were wrong, you now want to deflect and move goal posts and insult.

            No you just said it "intrudes" and you don't define what that means and just now you say it doesn't matter.
            You are an excellent sophist sir. I do recommend you get out of the Atheism business and use your skills for something more productive. Like base politics.

            Me move the goal posts? You won't even come out on the field!

            >Because I showed that substance dualism is a metaphysical belief that makes scientific claims - and that means your repeated dogma that "You cannot as a matter of principle refute metaphysics with physics" has been shown to be false.

            Rather substance dualism makes both scientific and metaphysical claims. There fixed that for ya. No need to thank me. You cannot as a matter of principle refute metaphysics with physics rather you are refuting it's scientific claims with science.

            >It is completely irrelevant whether or not you accept substance dualism.

            IT pretty much is irrelevant to refute views I already reject. You are like one idiot young atheist I debated years ago who kept spouting his anti-creationist polemics at me ignoring the brute fact I am a Theistic Evolutionist.

            You don't get "non-starter objections" do you?"

            >Your dogmatic claim about the non-overlapping magesteria of metaphysics and science is false.

            No I am attacking your equivocations between metaphysics and science.

            >That's what matters. You are either too idiotic to realize this, or you do realize this and are pretending to be an idiot to avoid facing the terms you were wrong.

            More projection.

          • Yeh I have been reading your debate with scbrown(lhrm)2017 .
            I mean WOW you are really an idiot! You actually think the doctrine of the Incarnation is a Necessary Being becoming a Contingent one? Seriously?
            That is just wrong! It's seems you just up your own crap like conflating Math and Physics with Science.

            I don't think god is necessary at all. I said god becoming physical in Jesus shows god has potential. Otherwise god would have no ability to become a physical person.

            Your responses to Brown are one long sophistical blather. So my expectations of you are now lower then Hell's basement.

            Meaning they are still above my expectations from you.

            Well it is clear(especially reading that debate with Brown) you don't say what you mean nor take people at their word.

            I was toying with him because he wasn't being serious with me.

            That is a fallacy of equivocation. Not all god concepts are conception-ally the same therefore you need to make distinctions which I know you won't because your are pretty much on the intellectual level of a Young Earth Creationist sans god belief.

            I never said all god concepts are conception-ally the same, of course they're not. I said I use the word "god" when referring to all god concepts. Every swipe of yours at me is a strawman.

            This from the boob who ACTUALLY THINKS the doctrine of the Incarnation dictates God changes his divine nature! All your arguments without exception seem to be strawmen.

            It changes god's immaterial nature, and special pleading is all you have to deny it or that Jesus isn't god.

            Again with the Argument Sketch meme!

            You will get what you sow.

            No you just said it "intrudes" and you don't define what that means and just now you say it doesn't matter.
            You are an excellent sophist sir. I do recommend you get out of the Atheism business and use your skills for something more productive. Like base politics.

            I clearly defined what that means, you're just willfully ignorant. I said metaphysical views sometimes make claims about the physical world, like substance dualism, and that intrudes into science. It is irrelevant whether you're a substance dualist or you think it's true. Your dogmatic view that NOMA is true here is false.

            Me move the goal posts? You won't even come out on the field!

            LOL. I'm on the field, the game is over, and now you want to raise the score limit.

            Rather substance dualism makes both scientific and metaphysical claims. There fixed that for ya. No need to thank me. You cannot as a matter of principle refute metaphysics with physics rather you are refuting it's scientific claims with science.

            Substance dualism is a metaphysical view and it makes scientific claims. Hence you are wrong. No need to thank me.

            IT pretty much is irrelevant to refute views I already reject. You are like one idiot young atheist I debated years ago who kept spouting his anti-creationist polemics at me ignoring the brute fact I am a Theistic Evolutionist.

            Oh so brute facts exist? Interesting. Whether substance dualism is true is irrelevant. All that matters is that it is a metaphysic that makes scientific claims. That is true and that shows your dogmantic belief that "You cannot as a matter of principle refute metaphysics with physics rather you are refuting it's scientific claims with science" is false. Case closed.

            You don't get "non-starter objections" do you?"

            I do. It's a false claim on your part.

            No I am attacking your equivocations between metaphysics and science.

            Which don't exist, like your god.

            More projection.

            More description.

          • Jim the Scott

            >I don't think god is necessary at all. I said god becoming physical in Jesus shows god has potential. Otherwise god would have no ability to become a physical person.

            Somebody is rocking the monophysite heresy. An Atheist who is a monophysite? Can I find an Agnostic who is a Nestorian?

            Anyway what you said is gibberish. But that is all you say.

            >I was toying with him because he wasn't being serious with me.

            Funny that is how I have been and will treat you.

            >I never said all god concepts are conception-ally the same, of course they're not. I said I use the word "god" when referring to all god concepts. Every swipe of yours at me is a strawman.

            Moving the goalpost again.

            >I clearly defined what that means, you're just willfully ignorant.

            I don't think you know what that means.

            > I said metaphysical views sometimes make claims about the physical world, like substance dualism, and that intrudes into science.

            No sir substance dualism makes dual claims that are scientific and metaphysical. Science can only answer the science part.

            It is irrelevant whether you're a substance dualist or you think it's true. Your dogmatic view that NOMA is true here is false.

            >Oh so brute facts exist? Interesting.

            Yes it's a brute fact you are an idiot.

            >Whether substance dualism is true is irrelevant. All that matters is that it is a metaphysic that makes scientific claims. That is true and that shows your dogmantic belief that "You cannot as a matter of principle refute metaphysics with physics rather you are refuting it's scientific claims with science" is false. Case closed.

            You are so sad repeating yourself.

          • Somebody is rocking the monophysite heresy. An Atheist who is a monophysite? Can I find an Agnostic who is a Nestorian?
            Anyway what you said is gibberish. But that is all you say.

            Either Christian view is incohent. That's the real gibberish.

            Funny that is how I have been and will treat you.

            Which is exactly what Jesus would have wanted.

            Moving the goalpost again.

            I've already won the game.

            I don't think you know what that means.

            What you think means little given your incoherent views.

            No sir substance dualism makes dual claims that are scientific and metaphysical. Science can only answer the science part.

            Substance dualism is a metaphysical view. That's settled.

            Yes it's a brute fact you are an idiot.

            That means it can't be shown why, which is why you can't.

            You are so sad repeating yourself.

            You are so sad repeating yourself.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Either Christian view is incohent. That's the real gibberish.

            No it just you make up your own strawman Christian doctrine as well as scientific and philosophical terms. You can't help yourself.

            >Which is exactly what Jesus would have wanted.

            I have seen you champion Richard Carrier a Jesus Mytherist on your Atheist dream team. So one can infer you don't think Jesus existed therefore speculating on the motives of a fictional character is a tad droll.
            BTW I do like how Atheist Historian Tim O'Neil refers too Jesus Mythres. He calls you lot the Young Earth Creationist of Atheism. Actually that is how stylize you kneejerk positivist types but that works too.

            >I've already won the game.

            You could win a video game using cheatcodes in Godmode. Pun intended.

            >What you think means little given your incoherent views.

            You conflate science and philosophy and math shamelessly. How is that coherent? It's not.

            >Substance dualism is a metaphysical view. That's settled.

            No Substance Dualism is a variety of dualism in the philosophy of mind which states that two sorts of substances exist: the mental and the physical.

            >That means it can't be shown why, which is why you can't.

            So you do reject Brute facts? Interesting.......

            >You are so sad repeating yourself.

            You are so sad repeating yourself.

          • No it just you make up your own strawman Christian doctrine as well as scientific and philosophical terms. You can't help yourself.

            You mean you think I behave the way you do when you accuse everyone of positivism? How projectionist of you.

            I have seen you champion Richard Carrier a Jesus Mytherist on your Atheist dream team. So one can infer you don't think Jesus existed therefore speculating on the motives of a fictional character is a tad droll.
            BTW I do like how Atheist Historian Tim O'Neil refers too Jesus Mythres. He calls you lot the Young Earth Creationist of Atheism.

            I'm agnostic on whether Jesus existed.

            Actually that is how stylize you kneejerk positivist types but that works too.

            There goes that knee again. Everyone's a positivist!

            You could win a video game using cheatcodes in Godmode. Pun intended.

            Or just debating you.

            You conflate science and philosophy and math shamelessly. How is that coherent? It's not.

            I don't, I just acknowledge as all smart people do that some things overlap, like ven diagrams.

            No Substance Dualism is a variety of dualism in the philosophy of mind which states that two sorts of substances exist: the mental and the physical.

            Yes, which is a metaphysical view.

            So you do reject Brute facts? Interesting.......

            Me? No. That you accept them is interesting.

            You are so sad repeating yourself.

            What he said.

          • Jim the Scott

            >You mean you think I behave the way you do when you accuse everyone of positivism? How projectionist of you.

            I only accuse the guilty.

            >I'm agnostic on whether Jesus existed.

            Which is about as goofy as saying one is an agnostic on Evolution.

            >There goes that knee again. Everyone's a positivist!

            Well you are a self professed "weak one" which means on paper you hold the trivial definition of scientism but in practice when you need too you confuse science and philosophy. Data and metaphysics.

            >Or just debating you.

            You are not debating you are floundering.

            >I don't, I just acknowledge as all smart people do that some things overlap, like ven diagrams.

            No you blatantly equivocate.

            >Yes, which is a metaphysical view.

            Which I reject.

            >Me? No. That you accept them is interesting.

            No I am agnostic on them. I just say that for rhetorical flair.

            >What he said.
            What he said.

          • I only accuse the guilty.

            No you live your life with the burning desire to accuse people of positivism. I've seen your type before.

            Which is about as goofy as saying one is an agnostic on Evolution.

            Not at all because we actually have good evidence for evolution.

            Well you are a self professed "weak one" which means on paper you hold the trivial definition of scientism but in practice when you need too you confuse science and philosophy. Data and metaphysics.

            I'm not confusing science and philosophy, it's you who are in denial that philosophical and metaphysical claims can conflict with scientific data. That is trivially true.

            You are not debating you are floundering.

            Still looking in the mirror?

            No you blatantly equivocate.

            I don't, you're just too trigger happy to accuse other of equivocating.

            Which I reject.

            Which is again irrelevant. The only thing that matters is that metaphysical views can make claims that contradict science.

            No I am agnostic on them. I just say that for rhetorical flair.

            So tell me, god necessarily exists, and god is a trinity. Is there a logically necessary reason why god is a trinity, as opposed to, say, a singular, or dual being?

            What he said.

            You need to walk away from the mirror already.

          • Jim the Scott

            There is only one thing you said here worth responding too. Maybe two.

            >So tell me, god necessarily exists, and god is a trinity. Is there a logically necessary reason why god is a trinity, as opposed to, say, a singular, or dual being?

            No there isn't. We can only know God is a Trinity if we accept Christian divine revelation. The Trinity is revealed theology not natural theology. There are no philosophical arguments possible to prove God is a Trinity.
            You would need reasons to accept divine revelation and then reasons to accept a particular purported revelation that informs you God is a Trinity.

            >Not at all because we actually have good evidence for evolution.

            As Atheist historian Tim O'Neil has shown on many an occasion we have good evidence a man name Jesus lived. Tim doesn't believe his was God or that there is a God. I would personally be intimidated to debate him because unlike you Gnus he won't argue using your wacko blather.

            You are not so formidable.

            PS enough of the Positivism.

          • No there isn't. We can only know God is a Trinity if we accept Christian divine revelation. The Trinity is revealed theology not natural theology. There are no philosophical arguments possible to prove God is a Trinity.
            You would need reasons to accept divine revelation and then reasons to accept a particular purported revelation that informs you God is a Trinity.

            Which means you're telling me god is a necessary being, but it also happens to be the case that god is an eternal trinity, who necessarily exists, but there are no possible philosophical arguments to show why god necessarily exists as a trinity. It must be taken on faith. I suppose it's just a brute fact right?

            As Atheist historian Tim O'Neil has shown on many an occasion we have good evidence a man name Jesus lived. Tim doesn't believe his was God or that there is a God. I would personally be intimidated to debate him because unlike you Gnus he won't argue using your wacko blather.

            He's "shown"? Where? What arguments has he made that have "shown" good evidence Jesus lived? And when you're so ignorant on the subject matter, you will mistake many things for wacko blather.

            You are not so formidable.

            PS enough of the Positivism.

            Says the guy with the knee jerk "Positivism" claim again. Have you met your daily minimum of positivism claims?

          • Jim the Scott

            >Which means you're telling me god is a necessary being, but it also happens to be the case that god is an eternal trinity, who necessarily exists, but there are no possible philosophical arguments to show why god necessarily exists as a trinity. It must be taken on faith.

            Yes you finally got something right.

            If the NT & Apostolic Tradition are false and the Church has no real authority from God then whatever God is if there is a God we cannot know He is a Trinity if He is a Trinity. He has to tell us or we will never know.

            >I suppose it's just a brute fact right?

            I just say "Brute Fact" for rhetorical flair. But to follow your rhetoric it would be if the NT and Apostolic Traditional are in fact divine revelations from God.
            There is a species of general Christian apologetics that specializes in that. Go talk to them I focus on Natural Theology.

            >He's "shown"? Where? What arguments has he made that have "shown" good evidence Jesus lived? And when you're so ignorant on the subject matter, you will mistake many things for wacko blather.

            You wouldn't last five minutes with Tim O'Neil. He has forgotten more about professional history then either you or I have ever learned. He is at least 5 times smarter then moi and too you he would be 10 times more cruel then me since he has no fear of the God he doesn't believe in sending him to Hell for it.

            He has written a few articles here and debated in the comboxes Theists and Atheists. Scary guy. I can't help but like him.

            >Says the guy with the knee jerk "Positivism" claim again. Have you met your daily minimum of positivism claims?

            No I buy them in bulk at wholesale.

          • Yes you finally got something right.

            If the NT & Apostolic Tradition are false and the Church has no real authority from God then whatever God is if there is a God we cannot know He is a Trinity if He is a Trinity. He has to tell us or we will never know.
            [...]
            I just say "Brute Fact" for rhetorical flair

            Been right many times. The point I'm hitting on is the Thomist is saying god is a necessary being, god is also eternally a trinity, but god is not necessarily a trinity. So somewhere along the line there he's inserting a brute fact in. Would you agree? If it's not a brute fact then what is it?

            You wouldn't last five minutes with Tim O'Neil. He has forgotten more about professional history then either you or I have ever learned. He is at least 5 times smarter then moi and too you he would be 10 times more cruel then me since he has no fear of the God he doesn't believe in sending him to Hell for it.

            He has written a few articles here and debated in the comboxes Theists and Atheists. Scary guy. I can't help but like him.

            I certainly don't claim to be an expert on the Jesus historicity issue, which is why I remain an agnostic. But telling me how scary he is does nothing for me, since I was told the same exact thing about William Lane Craig and Ed Feser and then when I looked into them they failed to live up to their reputations amongst the theists. So without any arguments from him I have nothing to go by. In a sense, I can imagine he's of the higher caliber defenders of historicity. Perhaps he is. Richard Carrier doesn't think so and wrote this scathing critique on his site of him. But who knows? Maybe Carrier is wrong on him. I shall reserve my judgement of O'neil until I get more information.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Been right many times. The point I'm hitting on is the Thomist is saying god is a necessary being, god is also eternally a trinity, but god is not necessarily a trinity. So somewhere along the line there he's inserting a brute fact in. Would you agree? If it's not a brute fact then what is it?

            Whatever God is as God He is by the necessity but you still can't know God is a Trinity via philosophy. You either believe Christian divine revelation that informs you of that fact or you believe other. A brute fact has no explanation. We don't know if there is a explanation or not & in principle we cannot know. God is inexplicable as God.

            >I certainly don't claim to be an expert on the Jesus historicity issue, which is why I remain an agnostic.

            That is an honest answer I will give you that.

            >But telling me how scary he is does nothing for me, since I was told the same exact thing about William Lane Craig and Ed Feser

            No Craig and Feser are nice guy. O'Neil is by his own admission a "bastard" so he combines intelligence with cruelty. He would not be kind too you like Feser or Craig. His temperment is like yours or mine.

            Also your criticism of Feser are not at all impressive and there is that matter of your irrational beliefs about the relation between metaphysics and science.

            So there we have it.

          • Whatever God is as God He is by the necessity but you still can't know God is a Trinity via philosophy. You either believe Christian divine revelation that informs you of that fact or you believe other. A brute fact has no explanation. We don't know if there is a explanation or not & in principle we cannot know. God is inexplicable as God.

            The 'ol god's mysterious cover. I get it. But god is not necessarily a trinity, as you know damn well is there is no logically necessary reason why that is the case (provide one if you think so) and yet you still are claiming this trinitarian god is necessary. So you want to have your cake and eat it too. If there is a reason why god is a trinity (supposing there is one) it isn't a logically necessary one that's possible. That means it's a contingent one. And that opens up only two possibilities: an infinite regress of contingent explainations or an eventual terminus in a brute fact.

            No Craig and Feser are nice guy. O'Neil is by his own admission a "bastard" so he combines intelligence with cruelty. He would not be kind too you like Feser or Craig. His temperment is like yours or mine.

            Well thanks for putting him on my radar. I will look into him more when I get the time. And regarding Feser and Craig it wasn't that they were cruel, it was that they were particularly smart in defending theism. I found them unimpressive upon inspection.

            Also your criticism of Feser are not at all impressive and there is that matter of your irrational beliefs about the relation between metaphysics and science.

            My relation is true because (among other things) Thomism assumes presentism is true, and presentism is a claim that science has already refuted. At the very least, presentism is something science has something to say about.

          • Jim the Scott

            >The 'ol god's mysterious cover. I get it.

            It is rather plainly called "the doctrine of the Mystery of the Holy Trinity".
            We don't call it the doctrine of complete absolute comprehension of the Trinity.

            > But god is not necessarily a trinity, as you know damn well is there is no logically necessary reason why that is the case (provide one if you think so) and yet you still are claiming this trinitarian god is necessary.

            Only in the sense in which my beliefs could be false which is a trivial claim.
            You will have to talk to Apologists who make arguments as to why accept any particular revelation or if there is revelation etc....

            >So you want to have your cake and eat it too.

            No you just have to learn not to be an idiot and stop making non-starter arguments. Sure tell me why you find the Cosmological argument or any and all arguments for the existence of God flawed. Assuming you are successful then I would not have any good reasons to believe in God in the first place. Wither that non-existent God is a Trinity or Unity is irrelevant.

            > If there is a reason why god is a trinity (supposing there is one) it isn't a logically necessary one that's possible.

            Not really since God from a Classic perspective would be His own reason and could not be other then what he is.

            > That means it's a contingent one. And that opens up only two possibilities: an infinite regress of contingent explainations or an eventual terminus in a brute fact.

            I already refuted your last Ctesippus type argument. The Trinity cannot make God contingent. Not being divinely immutable & or divinely simple would do that.

            >Well thanks for putting him on my radar. I will look into him more when I get the time. And regarding Feser and Craig it wasn't that they were cruel, it was that they were particularly smart in defending theism. I found them unimpressive upon inspection.

            Funny I would say the same about you and I don't think I am alone.

            >My relation is true because (among other things) Thomism assumes presentism is true, and presentism is a claim that science has already refuted. At the very least, presentism is something science has something to say about.

            No you just can't help equivocating. I don't think you really know what you are talking about half the time.

          • It is rather plainly called "the doctrine of the Mystery of the Holy Trinity".
            We don't call it the doctrine of complete absolute comprehension of the Trinity.

            And you'll also tell me the purpose of the human power of our intellect is to "know" this god, who also happens to be shrouded in mystery. How ironic.

            Only in the sense in which my beliefs could be false which is a trivial claim.
            You will have to talk to Apologists who make arguments as to why accept any particular revelation or if there is revelation etc....

            But you have no reason therefore to claim god is necesary because you're slipping in the fact that there is no necessary reason this trinitarian god exists, and hoping the atheist doesn't notice. It would seem to shatter the whole appeal of Thomism, that at the heart of it lies an unsubstantiated claim.

            No you just have to learn not to be an idiot and stop making non-starter arguments. Sure tell me why you find the Cosmological argument or any and all arguments for the existence of God flawed. Assuming you are successful then I would not have any good reasons to believe in God in the first place. Wither that non-existent God is a Trinity or Unity is irrelevant.

            I don't make non-starter arguments, at least not in our conversations. A non-starter argument would be the claim that god necessarily exists, and also just so happens to be a trinity, but a trinitarian god doesn't necessarily exist. That is a non-starter basis for god's existence.

            Not really since God from a Classic perspective would be His own reason and could not be other then what he is.

            That's a non-starter answer, since you clearly don't have any reasons why god is a trinity, let alone necessarily a trinity.

            I already refuted your last Ctesippus type argument. The Trinity cannot make God contingent. Not being divinely immutable & or divinely simple would do that.

            You haven't refuted anything I wrote. If god is not necessarily a trinity by definition the reason why god is a trinity must be contingent, according to the PSR which I know you accept.

            Funny I would say the same about you and I don't think I am alone.

            I agree, the strawman versions of my arguments you attack are very, very unimpressive.

            No you just can't help equivocating. I don't think you really know what you are talking about half the time.

            I think this is your excuse to not face my truth. No equivocation. It's the "I don't know what you're talking about" defense.

          • Jim the Scott

            >And you'll also tell me the purpose of the human power of our intellect is to "know" this god, who also happens to be shrouded in mystery. How ironic.

            That merely means we can have natural knowledge about God within natural theology. Not supernatural. The later requires revelation. You have a bizarre need to equivocate & waste everyone's time with non-starter arguments.

            >But you have no reason therefore to claim god is necesary because you're slipping in the fact that there is no necessary reason this trinitarian god exists, and hoping the atheist doesn't notice.

            No I realize you are a sophist with a need to equivocate. God being necessary is part of natural theology not revealed. I can't know God is a Trinity unless He communicates that to me via a divine revelation. If God never revealed himself I could still conclude he is necessary. These are sophistic Arguments not reasoned ones.

            >It would seem to shatter the whole appeal of Thomism, that at the heart of it lies an unsubstantiated claim.

            No Thomist worthy of the name would claim you could philosophically prove God is a Trinity or know it without revelation. Yes I get you A priori dismiss all revelation. If there is no God then there is no God and no revelation is true & no God Trinity or Unitarian exists.

            You are coming up with word salads. Your contra Trinity polemics are non-starter objections. Move on.

            >I don't make non-starter arguments, at least not in our conversations.

            Most of your arguments have been non-starters. This claim reminds me of Lenny Bruce telling his wife when she caught him with another woman "Honey this woman showed up a the door naked! She said she was dying of hypothermia & if I didn't lie on top of her it would be the end".

            Dude, I am not a chick. I don't believe you. Your anti-Trinity Polemic here is a non-starter argument(one among many). Even if there is no God. Even if there is no divine revelation and no way to know God's supernatural life.

            If you think this is not a non-starter then we have nothing to discuss. You want to argue against the belief you wish I believed in not the one that I do believe in.

            > A non-starter argument would be the claim that god necessarily exists, and also just so happens to be a trinity,

            No those wouldn't be arguments those would be claims. The formal philosophical arguments Aquinas and others actually give for believing God is necessary being would be the arguments. We could only Know God who is necessary being is a Trinity because He told us via divine revelation.

            >but a trinitarian god doesn't necessarily exist. That is a non-starter basis for god's existence.

            You are begging the question. God may or may not exist. If not then wither He is a Trinity or not is notionally incidental. The argument from necessity may be good or not. But wither God is a Trinity or not has no bearing on that.

            >That's a non-starter answer, since you clearly don't have any reasons why god is a trinity, let alone necessarily a trinity.

            At this point you are merely naysaying for shits and giggles. You are just phoning it in.

            >You haven't refuted anything I wrote.

            You haven't said anything coherent or consistent.

            >If god is not necessarily a trinity by definition the reason why god is a trinity must be contingent, according to the PSR which I know you accept.

            That is a word salad. The question of God being a Trinity is one of revealed theology not natural theology. The question of God being Necessary Being is one of natural theology. Two different branches of theology. You keep trying to weight the number 3 with your equivocations.

            The PSR tells me that God is his own reason and the PSR is not the sort of thing that can affirm or deny God being a Trinity since I am using & can only use the PSR for natural theology. Or do you believe I can observe Galaxies with microscopes and conclude just because you can't discoveries made using microscopes must be invalid?

            Are you trolling me because I can't believe anyone could be this silly unless it was on purpose?

            > think this is your excuse to not face my truth.

            I can presuppose it for purposes of argument. I can easily conceive God might not exist but I would still know the PSR has nothing to do with God being a Trinity or not.

            > No equivocation. It's the "I don't know what you're talking about" defense.

            Which is a valid defense.

          • That merely means we can have natural knowledge about God within natural theology. Not supernatural. The later requires revelation. You have a bizarre need to equivocate & waste everyone's time with non-starter arguments.

            Which is like saying you can only have a 9 year old's understanding of physics in a world where the purpose of life is the know physics. And you've got revelation - supposedly, and you still don't know god's nature.

            No I realize you are a sophist with a need to equivocate. God being necessary is part of natural theology not revealed. I can't know God is a Trinity unless He communicates that to me via a divine revelation. If God never revealed himself I could still conclude he is necessary. These are sophistic Arguments not reasoned ones.

            No, these are reasoned ones, because the natural theology you claim shows god is a necessary being doesn't actually show god is a necessary being because it doesn't do so from the true trinitarian nature of god. And this means you cannot logically conclude your god is a necessary being. Now this is all assuming your arguments can actually show any god is necessary. They can't of course. It is irrelevant whether you learn god's a trinity by revelation.

            No Thomist worthy of the name would claim you could philosophically prove God is a Trinity or know it without revelation. Yes I get you A priori dismiss all revelation. If there is no God then there is no God and no revelation is true & no God Trinity or Unitarian exists.

            I don't a priori dismiss all revelation. But now that you "know" god is a trinity, you can't logically demonstrate it, and that necessarily means you must conclude that god's trinitarian nature's explaination is contingent one, and then you get that dilemma I told you about.

            You are coming up with word salads. Your contra Trinity polemics are non-starter objections. Move on.

            No, a word salad would be like saying "God from a Classic perspective would be His own reason and could not be other then what he is." That is a word salad, devoid of any coherent meaning. There is no necessary reason why god is a trinity, as opposed to a duality, or a singularity, or a pentality, hexality, heptality, octality, or ninality for that matter.

            Most of your arguments have been non-starters. This claim reminds me of Lenny Bruce telling his wife when she caught him with another woman "Honey this woman showed up a the door naked! She said she was dying of hypothermia & if I didn't lie on top of her it would be the end".

            None have been non-starters. Your strawman versions of them maybe.

            Your anti-Trinity Polemic here is a non-starter argument(one among many). Even if there is no God. Even if there is no divine revelation and no way to know God's supernatural life.

            It's not anti-trinity, it's anti god. See, you can't even get that right. What hope is for you to understand anything else. You admit there is no logically necessary reason god is a trinity, and that means there is no logically necessary reason why god happens to be what god is, and saying god is his own reason is a word salad. And means the reason why god is a trinity, as opposed to a duality, or a singularity, or a pentality, hexality, heptality, octality, or ninality for that matter, must be a contingent one, since a necessary one is off the table as an option. And then you get into the dilemma. One option for you is to just assert it is a brute fact about your god.

            If you think this is not a non-starter then we have nothing to discuss. You want to argue against the belief you wish I believed in not the one that I do believe in.

            You seem to think I'm arguing against the trinity again. Ha!

            No those wouldn't be arguments those would be claims. The formal philosophical arguments Aquinas and others actually give for believing God is necessary being would be the arguments. We could only Know God who is necessary being is a Trinity because He told us via divine revelation.

            Which of course you take on faith, which means you can't "know" such a thing. But that's not the real issue. The real issue is the fact that you claim god necessarily exists, meaning god's non-existence would entail a contradiction. Yet there is no necessary reason why god just so happens to be a trinity, as opposed to a duality, or a singularity, or a pentality, hexality, heptality, octality, or ninality for that matter. And that means all these god are logical possibilities. Possible options (assuming no problems with the god concept itself). This doesn't square right with the Thomistic logic that uses the PSR. There's perhaps an infinitude of ontologically distinct kinds of gods that exist as possibilities, yet I'm being told only one necessarily exists.

            You are begging the question. God may or may not exist. If not then wither He is a Trinity or not is notionally incidental. The argument from necessity may be good or not. But wither God is a Trinity or not has no bearing on that.

            Oh ok. Another option is that the Thomistic arguments for god fail.

            At this point you are merely naysaying for shits and giggles. You are just phoning it in.

            No I'm exploring with you some of the reasons why I'm not convinced the Thomist's case for god is sound.

            You haven't said anything coherent or consistent.

            I have you just like saying I don't in lieu of an argument.

            That is a word salad. The question of God being a Trinity is one of revealed theology not natural theology. The question of God being Necessary Being is one of natural theology. Two different branches of theology. You keep trying to weight the number 3 with your equivocations.

            No word salad. Anything that is not necessary is contingent, according to the PSR. If god is not necessarily a trinity by definition the reason why god is a trinity must be contingent. B entails from A. Whether we learn of god being a trinity from revelation is irrelevant. Once we "know" god is a trinity, the logic applies.

            The PSR tells me that God is his own reason and the PSR is not the sort of thing that can affirm or deny God being a Trinity since I am using & can only use the PSR for natural theology. Or do you believe I can observe Galaxies with microscopes and conclude just because you can't discoveries made using microscopes must be invalid?

            Do you want some bread with that word salad? How does the PSR tell you that god is his own reason for being a trinity?

            Are you trolling me because I can't believe anyone could be this silly unless it was on purpose?

            Me, a troll?

            I can presuppose it for purposes of argument. I can easily conceive God might not exist but I would still know the PSR has nothing to do with God being a Trinity or not.

            Then claiming that the "PSR tells me that God is his own reason" makes no sense since you originally brought that phrase up when responding to my comment that if there is a reason why god is a trinity (supposing there is one) it isn't a logically necessary one that's possible. This only makes sense in the context that the PSR tells you god is his own reason for why he's a trinity.

            Which is a valid defense.

            Not if you understand.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Which is like saying you can only have a 9 year old's understanding of physics in a world where the purpose of life is the know physics. And you've got revelation - supposedly, and you still don't know god's nature.

            No it's like saying there is math and there is physics and you can't apply physical force to the number 3. There is one species of theology that follows one set of rule and another that followers another and you can't equivocate between them.

            Why is that a hard concept for you? Is it that you need too hold this non-starter argument?

            >No, these are reasoned ones,

            Sophistry and word salads.

            > because the natural theology you claim shows god is a necessary being doesn't actually show god is a necessary being because it doesn't do so from the true trinitarian nature of god.

            How can the existence or non-existence of mysterious real relations subsisting in the divine nature show God is a necessary being or not?
            You will just write anything.

            > And this means you cannot logically conclude your god is a necessary being.

            That doesn't follow and it assumes natural theology can give us exhaustive claims about the nature of God. It can't and it doesn't.

            >Now this is all assuming your arguments can actually show any god is necessary. They can't of course. It is irrelevant whether you learn god's a trinity by revelation,

            So now you are agreeing with me? I agree you have some problems communicating clearly.

            >Oh ok. Another option is that the Thomistic arguments for god fail.

            Maybe they could fail? But not because you cannot prove God is or is not a Trinity. Aquinas said you cannot use natural theology to prove God is a Trinity. That is obvious.

            >It's not anti-trinity, it's anti god. See, you can't even get that right.

            That is short hand for anti-doctrine of the trinity mr eqivocation.

            >You admit there is no logically necessary reason god is a trinity, and that means there is no logically necessary reason why god happens to be what god is, and saying god is his own reason is a word salad.

            No here you are equivocating between PSR and arguments from necessary being.

            >And means the reason why god is a trinity, as opposed to a duality, or a singularity, or a pentality, hexality, heptality, octality, or ninality for that matter, must be a contingent one, since a necessary one is off the table as an option. And then you get into the dilemma. One option for you is to just assert it is a brute fact about your god.

            But this whole argument assumes my claim is all things can be known about God exhaustively by natural theology. Sorry that is not true. A the existence of subsisting divine relations is solely a matter of revelation and has nothing to do with the argument from necessary being. Still a non-starter.

            >No I'm exploring with you some of the reasons why I'm not convinced the Thomist's case for god is sound.

            By pretending there is no formal distinction between the claims of revealed vs natural theology...

            Yours is a non-starter objection.

            >Then claiming that the "PSR tells me that God is his own reason" makes no sense since you originally brought that phrase up when responding to my comment that if there is a reason why god is a trinity (supposing there is one) it isn't a logically necessary one that's possible.

            No we cannot know God is a Trinity unless he tells us. Informs us of that fact via divine revelation. God is incomprehensible and why he is a Trinity is not something we can know via reason alone.

            PSR it's called the principle of sufficient reason. If why God is a Trinity is above reason then we can't know why God is a Trinity but that don't mean there isn't a reason known but to God.

            >This only makes sense in the context that the PSR tells you god is his own reason for why he's a trinity.

            No the PSR according to Feser merely means God his own reason for why he exists. That he exists as a trinity or not is just an objective fact we cannot know unless he tells us.

            Why is this hard?

          • No it's like saying there is math and there is physics and you can't apply physical force to the number 3. There is one species of theology that follows one set of rule and another that followers another and you can't equivocate between them.

            Why is that a hard concept for you? Is it that you need too hold this non-starter argument?

            I fully get that, but what I notice is that there is a flaw in your claim that god is necessary, because a trinitarian god is not necessary, and a trinitarian god is what you claim exists. So somewhere there you are necessarily inserting a brute fact. It's like me saying X necessarily exists and here's an argument for why that is so, but also it just so happens that X is a particular kind of X that isn't necessary, it just so happens to be this way, and I know this by a leap of faith.

            This is a non-starter argument. You have no basis for claiming god is necessary. You can admit that, and we can move on from this point. But if you still insist god is necessary but just so happens to be a trinity that is not necessary, we will have to continue debating this.

            Sophistry and word salads.

            Stop insulting St Feser!

            How can the existence or non-existence of mysterious real relations subsisting in the divine nature show God is a necessary being or not?
            You will just write anything.

            Because there is no necessary reason why the god you claim is necessary just so happens to be a trinity (that is, unnecessary). Your view is totally incoherent.

            Now if you come back saying you don't think god is necessary, then you are saved. But if you do, then you are incoherent.

            That doesn't follow and it assumes natural theology can give us exhaustive claims about the nature of God. It can't and it doesn't.

            It claims to give us exhaustive claims about god's existence, but it inserts a brute fact in there hoping we don't notice.

            So now you are agreeing with me? I agree you have some problems communicating clearly.

            That god cannot be shown to be necessary? Sure we can agree on that.

            Maybe they could fail? But not because you cannot prove God is or is not a Trinity. Aquinas said you cannot use natural theology to prove God is a Trinity. That is obvious.

            They fail for many reasons, one being that you insist a god necessarily exists that just so happens to be an unnecessary trinity.

            That is short hand for anti-doctrine of the trinity mr eqivocation.

            And that assumes god must be a trinity.

            No here you are equivocating between PSR and arguments from necessary being.

            Knee jerk again! The arguments from necessary being assume the PSR. There's no equivocation.

            But this whole argument assumes my claim is all things can be known about God exhaustively by natural theology. Sorry that is not true. A the existence of subsisting divine relations is solely a matter of revelation and has nothing to do with the argument from necessary being. Still a non-starter.

            Nope. I'm arguing that because it is not true that the basics of god's nature cannot be known exhaustively by natural theology your argument for a necessary being fails.

            By pretending there is no formal distinction between the claims of revealed vs natural theology...

            Yours is a non-starter objection.

            No, by showing that because you cannot know god's nature logically, and because god's nature isn't necessary, your arguments that you claim can show god is necessary are flawed. They don't actually do that.

            They also assume things about nature already shown false by science.

            No we cannot know God is a Trinity unless he tells us. Informs us of that fact via divine revelation. God is incomprehensible and why he is a Trinity is not something we can know via reason alone.

            And this is why any claim that your god is necessary fails as it will require a brute fact in there somewhere.

            PSR it's called the principle of sufficient reason. If why God is a Trinity is above reason then we can't know why God is a Trinity but that don't mean there isn't a reason known but to God.

            There isn't a necessary reason. If there were, a dualistic, or singular god's existence would entail a contradiction. In other words, god could have revealed it is not a trinity, but a singularity, or a duality, or a singularity, or a pentality, hexality, heptality, octality, or ninality for that matter. The fact that god's nature isn't necessary means you can never demonstrate god's existence is necessary without slipping in a brute fact.

            No the PSR according to Feser merely means God his own reason for why he exists. That he exists as a trinity or not is just an objective fact we cannot know unless he tells us.

            Oh and St Feser is always right. I'm going to need to run to the store to get some more bread for Feser's word salad.

            I know damn well the difference here. I'm saying there is an implication from this that is damning to your claim god is necessary that you haven't realized.

            Why is this hard?

            Because claiming god is his own reason is a stupid incoherent meaningless word salad.

          • Jim the Scott

            >I fully get that,

            Says the man who thinks a hypothetical immaterial cause is also a material cause at the same time and in the same relation.

            Rational discussion with you is not in principle possible.

            you said,
            >That's not true because on this assumption the immaterial soul of a substance dualist would be material since it would have a causal effect on the material.

            So it is both immaterial and material at the same time? That is a contradiction. That is like saying X=Not X. If this your "reasoning" then I am going to stop here and not answer the rest of your silly blather . This shows conclusively it would be impossible to have a rational conversation with you as this statement shows you are not rational.

            There is no point in responding too your insane blather.

            Phil thinks so too.
            https://disqus.com/home/discussion/strangenotions/whatever_is_moved_is_moved_by_another/#comment-3682018992

          • Says the man who thinks a hypothetical immaterial cause is also a material cause at the same time and in the same relation.
            Rational discussion with you is not in principle possible.

            I don't believe that, I just outlined what would have tobe the case if an immaterial thing caused a material thing. Since it leads to contradictions, we know that immaterial things do not have any causal power on material things, and that of course includes your god too.

            So it is both immaterial and material at the same time? That is a contradiction. That is like saying X=Not X. If this your "reasoning" then I am going to stop here and not answer the rest of your silly blather . This shows conclusively it would be impossible to have a rational conversation with you as this statement shows you are not rational.
            There is no point in responding too your insane blather.

            Apparently you don't know what entertaining an "assumption" is. Obviously something cannot be A and not A at the same time. Expect Jesus of course can be god and man at the same time! But if we agree that there is an interaction problem, and an immaterial thing cannot act on a material thing, the intellect as well as god is causally impotent. You can't just say we wouldn't be able to measure it. We would because if it somehow could, it would require a force in addition to the existing physical forces - all of which are known.

          • Jim the Scott

            At this point you have contradicted yourself so many times. Shifted the goal posts so many times it is impossible to keep up. Reasoning is a learned skill. One doesn't get that skill simply by denying gods. You claim to make scientific arguments then philosophical then metaphysical. You deny and affirm in the same breath. You make up your own definitions. It is astounding. You know I donna mind so much at all that you are a rude mean spirited jerk cause well........It takes one to know one.;-)
            But the insult to my intelligence reading your incoherent ignorant crap....Wow! I mean Wow!

            So we are done.

          • Interesting just as you were supposed to defend the logical necessity of god you decide to cop out and insult your way to an end.

            I haven't contradicted myself, ever, or shifted any goal posts, you just made that idea up just like you did with all of your false accusations of everyone on this site of scientism/positivism.

            It's clear you can't actually defend your positions, and prefer insults to argument, so I leave you with the timeless wisdom of Socrates, who spoke of your kind 2500 years ago:

            https://i.pinimg.com/originals/76/6b/79/766b7983c3977856c615d612deacd2fc.jpg

          • Jim the Scott

            Still more incoherent gibberish & hypocritical gibberish........

            A donkey can ask more questions then a wise man can answer.

            This applies doubly to irrational Gnu Atheists.

          • This applies doubly to irrational Gnu Atheists.

            Which is every atheist to you who even mentions the word "science." You are the kind of incoherent gibberish & hypocritical gibberish........

          • Jim the Scott

            More irrationalism.

          • Jim the Scott

            I don't think you have seen this either.

            To simplify.

            Irrational persons here who claim Metaphysical views can be contradicted by science are literally saying that a particular view of “being as such”(i.e. materialism, idealism, realism, essentialism, Parmenides etc) can contradict the data derived from studies of material reality that are accomplished by developing quantitative models and testing them by observation and experiment.

            But note Science is strictly limited to studying material reality by developing quantitative models and testing them by observation and experiment.
            That can't tell us material reality is Being only & change is an illusion(Parmenides) nor can it tell us material reality is being and essence, act/potency (essentialism Aristotle). Nor can it tell us material reality is all there is in some manner (materialism).

            To claim otherwise is a clear category mistake.

            So if one objects to the idea minds are immaterial in some fashion (i.e. forms, Carthusian substance, a property etc) and claims it contradicts science note that science can only study material reality via quantitative models etc..... It can neither by nature confirm nor deny the existence of non-material reality as that is outside it's nature to study. We may infer or deny by philosophical argument the existence of immaterial reality and we would still have to give a metaphysical account of it’s being (is it a mere property? An illusion? Or something else etc.) but it is absurd to claim science can contradict any metaphysics. Just as it is absurd for an archaeologist to say to a physicist "I won't believe in this Higg Bosen `God particle' nonsense till I dig it up" this irrationalist view that has been inflicted on me is equally silly.

            Thus I am convinced wither or not there is or there is not a God anybody who holds this irratonalist view (Metaphysics can be contradicted by science) is just plain wrong by plain reason. I can no more believe it then I can believe 1+1=3.

          • Irrational persons here who claim Metaphysical views can be contradicted by science are literally saying that a particular view of “being as such”(i.e. materialism, idealism, realism, essentialism, Parmenides etc) can contradict the data derived from studies of material reality that are accomplished by developing quantitative models and testing them by observation and experiment.

            Metaphysics doesn't only include questions on "being as such," it's also concerned with this or that kind of being, and within a metaphysic are numerous claims, some of which may be claims about the nature of how physical reality operates, such as a claim that our imamterial "intellects" have the ability to apply some kind of force to our bodies that move them. That would indeed be a claim to material reality because it is a claim that something affects material reality, and that falls within the purview of science.

            But note Science is strictly limited to studying material reality by developing quantitative models and testing them by observation and experiment.
            That can't tell us material reality is Being only & change is an illusion(Parmenides) nor can it tell us material reality is being and essence, act/potency (essentialism Aristotle). Nor can it tell us material reality is all there is in some manner (materialism).

            Science can tell us if the kind of change required under presentism is is real, and since act/potency only make any kind of sense on the assumption of presentism, science can certanly falsify that. So you're wrong. I can understand your motivations, but you just don't realize that the claims you're making, act/potency, change, etc, are things that require a certain view to be real (presentism) and such a view has already been falsified by science. Science can also tell us there are no forces at play in humans than the 4 in physics, and so any philosophical or metaphysical view that requires an additional force, like the Thomist's "intellect" or the Cartesian's substance dualism, is false.

            So if one objects to the idea minds are immaterial in some fashion (i.e. forms, Carthusian substance, a property etc) and claims it contradicts science note that science can only study material reality via quantitative models etc..... It can neither by nature confirm nor deny the existence of non-material reality as that is outside it's nature to study.

            Science (as far as I know) has not completely ruled out that the mind is immaterial, but it has ruled out that the mind is causally effective. Meaning, if the mind is immaterial it is epiphenominal. And that is not compatible with Thomism, Cartesianism, but is compatible with property dualism.

            We may infer or deny by philosophical argument the existence of immaterial reality and we would still have to give a metaphysical account of it’s being (is it a mere property? An illusion? Or something else etc.) but it is absurd to claim science can contradict any metaphysics.

            We may infer or deny by philosophical argument the existence of immaterial reality with the help of science, or not. Science cannot contradict certain fundamental metaphysical views, like realism vs idealism, (although some of the arguments for idealism rely on the Copenhagen interpretation of QM, which might be falsifiable). But that may not be true for all metaphysical views and for certain views within a metaphysic. And I will of course return to the fact that for me to accept Thomistic metaphysics (forget about accepting god's existence for now) I would have to accept things that I already know to be false by science (eg. presentism is true, mental causation is real, etc.) So your last sentence, again, is wrong.

            Just as it is absurd for an archaeologist to say to a physicist "I won't believe in this Higg Bosen `God particle' nonsense till I dig it up" this irrationalist view that has been inflicted on me is equally silly.

            It's nothing like that at all because physics plays little role in archaeology at all if any (maybe in dating atrifacts). However metaphysical views and for certain views within a metaphysic make claims that for me to accept, I would have to accept things that I already know to be false by science (eg. presentism is true, mental causation is real, etc.)

            Thus I am convinced wither or not there is or there is not a God anybody who holds this irratonalist view (Metaphysics can be contradicted by science) is just plain wrong by plain reason. I can no more believe it then I can believe 1+1=3.

            Then tell me, what would I need to believe to accept Thomistic metaphysics to be true? (Forget about god's existence). Do I have to accept presentism and mental causation are real? I don't think you've answered that.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Metaphysics doesn't only include questions on "being as such," it's also concerned with this or that kind of being,

            Says who? Whose definition is that? I note it's slight difference from Feser.

            What that means is that it is not concerned merely with this or that kind of being, but with being as such, with what is true of anything whatsoever that does have or could have being.

            > and within a metaphysic are numerous claims, some of which may be claims about the nature of how physical reality operates, such as a claim that our imamterial "intellects" have the ability to apply some kind of force to our bodies that move them.

            Except an immaterial "intellect" is not physical so in principle cannot be studied by science. Whether an immaterial thing can apply force or not cannot be tested by science. At best we might infer from philosophy why the concept is incoherent but you can't test it. You can't falsify it. What? You are an Atheist and you never used the Invisible Unicorn argument?

            > That would indeed be a claim to material reality because it is a claim that something affects material reality, and that falls within the purview of science.

            Science can only test material realities that effect other material realities. It can neither confirm nor deny immaterial realities that may or may not be able to effect physical realities. I can't scientifically prove or disprove an invisible unicorn.

            >Science can tell us if the kind of change required under presentism is is real, and since act/potency only make any kind of sense on the assumption of presentism, science can certanly falsify that.

            So you can have a quantitative model of time in terms of presentism and testing it by observation and experiment to see if it is real?

            Ok what was the name of that experiment that showed Time in presentistic terms is unreal?
            Is that the same as looking in your closet where the invisible pink Unicorn lives not seeing him and concluding he is not real because you cannot see something that is invisible? This is what you believe?

            >I can understand your motivations, but you just don't realize that the claims you're making, act/potency, change, etc, are things that require a certain view to be real (presentism) and such a view has already been falsified by science.

            Sorry but if you are in an Earth bound reference frame and I am traveling toward Tau Ceti in a Starship moving at relativistic speed, well time may be moving slower for me then it is for you (& the slower movement of time being in Gravity well or putting atomic clocks that can measure to the billionth of a second on planes from Cali to New York have been proven scientifically) but that doesn't tell me the passage of time is real or not.

            Last I checked Lee Smolin believes in relativity but he believes time is real?

            Oh & BTW he is an Atheist.

            Anyway this is all just talking past each other till you produce some solid definition of Metaphysics, philosophy of nature and Science.

            > Science can also tell us there are no forces at play in humans than the 4 in physics, and so any philosophical or metaphysical view that requires an additional force, like the Thomist's "intellect" or the Cartesian's substance dualism, is false.

            No science can only test material reality that is being effected by other material reality and even then it cannot by it's nature exhaustively tell us about material reality.

            You really don't think you believe in scientism? Are you also a materialist? Looks like it.

            >Science (as far as I know) has not completely ruled out that the mind is immaterial,

            In principle it can't. No more then you can measure the atomic weight of the number 3.

            > but it has ruled out that the mind is causally effective.

            Only if you a priori assume the mind is caused by the brain. Idealists have something to say about that.......

            >Meaning, if the mind is immaterial it is epiphenominal .

            Only if the mind is caused by the brain which begs the question. Of course if you are hardcore like Dennett then the mind is an illusion.

            >And that is not compatible with Thomism, Cartesianism, but is compatible with property dualism.

            Actually the philosphical arguments you use against Cartesianism also work on property dualism.

            Science has nothing to say here other then observed the material operations of the brain.

            >We may infer or deny by philosophical argument the existence of immaterial reality with the help of science, or not.

            Science can only test material reality and even then it can't test it exhaustively nor in principle give a complete explanation of it. It cannot test immaterial reality or help philosophy to do that.

            >Science cannot contradict certain fundamental metaphysical views, like realism vs idealism,

            That contradicts what you said about "Time being scientifically proven unreal." I can model time via realism. Science can only tell us some thing about material reality only and even then it can't test material reality exhaustively or give a complete description of it.

            >(although some of the arguments for idealism rely on the Copenhagen interpretation of QM, which might be falsifiable).

            No it's just we can't observe the Quantum world without changing it. As one physicist said if I live in a world where light is as hard as bullets my eyes would only see rubble. We reach our physical limit.

            >But that may not be true for all metaphysical views and for certain views within a metaphysic.

            Without a formal consistant definition of metaphysics on your part you will forever talk past me & I you.

            > And I will of course return to the fact that for me to accept Thomistic metaphysics (forget about accepting god's existence for now)

            Which only refers to “the science of being qua being.” as understood by thomists. We distinguish studying that vs studying

            >I would have to accept things that I already know to be false by science (eg. presentism is true, mental causation is real, etc.) So your last sentence, again, is wrong.

            Because you are confusing claims you make via philosophy of nature with claims made by science.

            >It's nothing like that at all because physics plays little role in archaeology at all if any

            So how do I apply force to my chisel without physics then? Do I use The Force. That only works in movies.

            >(maybe in dating atrifacts). However metaphysical views and for certain views within a metaphysic make claims that for me to accept, I would have to accept things that I already know to be false by science (eg. presentism is true, mental causation is real, etc.)

            You have no coherent technical definition of Metaphysics as you understand it so you objections have no formal content.

            >Then tell me, what would I need to believe to accept Thomistic metaphysics to be true?

            What you need is a consistant definition of metaphysics.

            >(Forget about god's existence). Do I have to accept presentism and mental causation are real? I don't think you've answered that

            I think you need to do some more reading beyond THE LAST SUPERSTITION. You need to study the subject more closely. I don't see it.

            Merry Christmas.

            PS. You shouldn't be offended by that I wish Muslims a happy Ramadhan & I believe Muhammed is a false prophet. You just disbelieve in one more set of prophets then I do.

          • Says who? Whose definition is that? I note it's slight difference from Feser.

            It's from your own definition from Feser:

            To quote Feser…..
            Metaphysics, as traditionally defined in Aristotelian philosophy, is “the science of being qua being.” What that means is that it is not concerned merely with this or that kind of being, but with being as such,

            ...

            Except an immaterial "intellect" is not physical so in principle cannot be studied by science. Whether an immaterial thing can apply force or not cannot be tested by science. At best we might infer from philosophy why the concept is incoherent but you can't test it. You can't falsify it.

            This is wrong. An immaterial intellect if it were to causally effect physical matter, as the Thomist must believe is the case, would have exert a force on the physical that was not already found in the known physical forces and would exist in addition to them. Just like if a ghost could move a physical object, it would have to inject new energy/force into the system that wasn't already there, and that is something science can absolutely measure. So if the immaterial intellect can have a causal effect on physical matter it must do so with a force that is measurable by science, less the immaterial intellect is causally impotent. Anything that effects physical matter is something science can investigate, and the Thomist claims the immaterial intellect effects physical matter. And this is why we know Thomist is outdated antiquated metaphysics (among other things).

            What? You are an Atheist and you never used the Invisible Unicorn argument?

            No. I generally tend to stay away from those kinds of simplistic arguments.

            Science can only test material realities that effect other material realities. It can neither confirm nor deny immaterial realities that may or may not be able to effect physical realities. I can't scientifically prove or disprove an invisible unicorn.

            If it is claimed that the invisible unicorn has a causal effect on material reality, as is being claimed with the immaterial intellect under Thomism, then yes, it is perfectly testable by science. For one thing, taking science aside and just focusing on the senses, if a ghost or invisible unicorn or soul or anything immaterial could move a material object, we'd all be able to see that.

            Recall that quote from the link I originally sent you:

            The soul is a scientific hypothesis about the design and functioning of human beings (the stuff of biology, psychology, and neuroscience), and dualism makes claims about the detachability of mind and body and the existence of a substance capable of causal interaction with ordinary matter (the stuff of physics). As such, souls are fair game for scientific investigation, subject to the same criteria that apply to the evaluation of any other scientific idea (a line of reasoning developed more generally for other supernatural concepts by the physicist Victor J. Stenger in his book "God: The Failed Hypothesis"). After all, science can tell us what happened a fraction of a second after the big bang took place, some 13.8 billion years ago, when no one was around to make measurements or record anything. Is it so far-fetched that science would also have something to say about what we are made of and how we function?

            So you can have a quantitative model of time in terms of presentism and testing it by observation and experiment to see if it is real? Ok what was the name of that experiment that showed Time in presentistic terms is unreal?
            Is that the same as looking in your closet where the invisible pink Unicorn lives not seeing him and concluding he is not real because you cannot see something that is invisible? This is what you believe?

            Yes. Newtonian physics is presentistic. We've tested it, Newton was ultimately wrong, only useful approximations in low speeds. No need for any unicorn sillyness. It's not even applicable.

            Last I checked Lee Smolin believes in relativity but he believes time is real?

            Oh & BTW he is an Atheist.

            Anyway this is all just talking past each other till you produce some solid definition of Metaphysics, philosophy of nature and Science.

            See my other comments for definitions. Smolin doesn't really have an argument. He's got an elaborate hypothesis, and he's been hammered by the mainstream scientific community. Now I'm not saying we should shun unorthodox views, scientists should always be allowed to think outside the box, but Smolin just doesn't have a good case for presentism. I've written on the presentism/eternalism debate extensively, and presentism will always forces you to just believe certain things that you can never have evidence for and that contradict all existing evidence. And remember, it's not about whether the passage of time is real, it's about the flow of time being real or not.

            No science can only test material reality that is being effected by other material reality and even then it cannot by it's nature exhaustively tell us about material reality.

            You really don't think you believe in scientism? Are you also a materialist? Looks like it.

            And you cannot effect material reality without applying a force to it. There's a great quote from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy relevant here: "To suppose that non-physical minds can move bodies is like supposing that imaginary locomotives can pull real boxcars."

            Regarding scientism, no, since "scientism" of course means "strong scientism." Seriously put down that hammer. Not everything is a nail. I'm a naturalist, not necessarily a materialist. And that's because I'm open to the possibility of property dualism being true.

            In principle it can't. No more then you can measure the atomic weight of the number 3.

            I'm not sure about that. The mind could just be an emergent property of really complex arrangements of atoms.

            Only if you a priori assume the mind is caused by the brain. Idealists have something to say about that.......

            No, you don't assume any directionality in mind/brain causation. That's the whole point.

            Only if the mind is caused by the brain which begs the question. Of course if you are hardcore like Dennett then the mind is an illusion.

            No begging any questions. One starts out on a neutral position in the directionality in mind/brain causation.

            Actually the philosphical arguments you use against Cartesianism also work on property dualism.

            Science has nothing to say here other then observed the material operations of the brain.

            Property dualism doesn't require mind causally effect brain.

            Science can only test material reality and even then it can't test it exhaustively nor in principle give a complete explanation of it. It cannot test immaterial reality or help philosophy to do that.

            Science can test anything that can effect material reality, which if the mind was causally effective, it would do.

            That contradicts what you said about "Time being scientifically proven unreal." I can model time via realism. Science can only tell us some thing about material reality only and even then it can't test material reality exhaustively or give a complete description of it.

            I wrote that? I couldn't find it in my comments.

            No it's just we can't observe the Quantum world without changing it. As one physicist said if I live in a world where light is as hard as bullets my eyes would only see rubble. We reach our physical limit.

            There are new experiments pending that might be able to falsify conclusively the interpretations of QM that fall in the epistemic models in favor of the ontic models. But time will have to tell.

            Which only refers to “the science of being qua being.” as understood by thomists. We distinguish studying that vs studying

            Thomism makes numerous claims much more than “the science of being qua being.”

            Because you are confusing claims you make via philosophy of nature with claims made by science.

            Not at all. You're confusing claims made by science with claims made by the philosophy of nature. Or the distinction between the two is at times so trivial it makes no difference.

            So how do I apply force to my chisel without physics then? Do I use The Force. That only works in movies.

            You don't need to know any physics to use a chisel. We used chisels for thousands of years without any knowledge of the underlying physics.

            You have no coherent technical definition of Metaphysics as you understand it so you objections have no formal content.

            What you need is a consistant definition of metaphysics.

            See other comments.

            I think you need to do some more reading beyond THE LAST SUPERSTITION. You need to study the subject more closely. I don't see it.

            Merry Christmas.

            Merry Christmas to you! I take no offense by it. Also, I asked santa if you'd answer my questions.

          • Jim the Scott

            Hey idiot!

            You wrote:
            Metaphysics doesn't only include questions on "being as such," it's also concerned with this or that kind of being...

            Feser OTOH wrote:
            > What that means is that it is not concerned merely with this or that kind of being, but with being as such....

            >This is wrong. An immaterial intellect if it were to causally effect physical matter, as the Thomist must believe

            You are thinking of Decartes whom Thomists reject.

            >is the case, would have exert a force on the physical that was not already found in the known physical forces and would exist in addition to them.

            No, we are not testing psychic powers that move things. We are "testing" to see if their is a ghost in the machine and if it is immaterial you can't test it. If an immaterial substance could effect nature you could only observe the effects not the cause.

            >Just like if a ghost could move a physical object, it would have to inject new energy/force into the system that wasn't already there, and that is something science can absolutely measure.

            No you couldn't and a "souless" brain would work exactly the same way as one with a soul via Descartes. Thomism has a better view.

            >So if the immaterial intellect can have a causal effect on physical matter it must do so with a force that is measurable by science, less the immaterial intellect is causally impotent.

            Except a "materalist intellect" is in the end an unreal illusion so if "nothing" can move the brain then invisible non-material pseudo-nothing could as well. Which is kind of philosophically incoherent & which is why the soul is a philosophical question not a scientific one.

            I'll correct the rest of your crap later.

            >Anything that effects physical matter is something science can investigate, and the Thomist claims the immaterial intellect effects physical matter. And this is why we know Thomist is outdated antiquated metaphysics (among other things).

            Except in materialist "reality" illusion can move things. Specifically the non-existent mind.

          • Hey idiot!
            You wrote:
            Metaphysics doesn't only include questions on "being as such," it's also concerned with this or that kind of being...
            Feser OTOH wrote:
            > What that means is that it is not concerned merely with this or that kind of being, but with being as such....

            Same F--ing thing. Idiot.

            You are thinking of Decartes whom Thomists reject.

            Nope. I'm thinking of Acquinas, whom I reject.

            No, we are not testing psychic powers that move things. We are "testing" to see if their is a ghost in the machine and if it is immaterial you can't test it. If an immaterial substance could effect nature you could only observe the effects not the cause.

            Agreed but the effects would be empirical, measurable, and testable. And that is something science can investigate. If an immaterial intellect could move physical objects, that is easily something science could measure.

            No you couldn't and a "souless" brain would work exactly the same way as one with a soul via Descartes. Thomism has a better view.

            Um, yes we could, and according to Descartes a soulless brain wouldn't be able to be intelligent, Thomism says the same thing with the intellect.

            Except a "materalist intellect" is in the end an unreal illusion so if "nothing" can move the brain then invisible non-material pseudo-nothing could as well. Which is kind of philosophically incoherent & which is why the soul is a philosophical question not a scientific one.

            If you defined an "intellect" using AT terminology, then sure a "materialist intellect" is not a thing, but there's no reason to suppose a purely physical brain can't give rise to our ability to be conscious/intelligent. All the things we do are already accounted for in the physical forces. Any soul or intellect would require new forces, lest they'd be causally impotent. Hence both Cartesian and Thomistic accounts for human psychology are false.

            I'll correct the rest of your crap later.

            LOL. Meaning: I'll spout my incorrect Thomistic bias later.

            Except in materialist "reality" illusion can move things. Specifically the non-existent mind.

            The only thing that moves anything are physical forces in the standard model and gravity. No spiritual stuff of any kind. Hence we know why Thomism is outdated antiquated metaphysics (among other things).

          • Jim the Scott

            >Same F--ing thing. Idiot.

            No it is sophistic & linguistic sabotage. Feser's sentence puts the emphasis & focus on "Being as such". Yours misdirects by putting the focus on "this or that kind of being."

            >Agreed but the effects would be empirical, measurable, and testable.

            Then you can't falsify or confirm the immaterial substance in principle. Thus your claim you can use science to falsify metaphysics is clearly wrong.

            >And that is something science can investigate. If an immaterial intellect could move physical objects, that is easily something science could measure.

            No science can only investigate physical phenomena by testing it(&then it cannot do so exhaustively or completely) limiting the results to known or & even possible unknown physical causes. A hypothetical immaterial substance "causing" something to happen would remain at best a "gap".

            >Um, yes we could, and according to Descartes a soulless brain wouldn't be able to be intelligent, Thomism says the same thing with the intellect.

            Now you are equivocating intelligence and the intellect......Geez!

            >f you defined an "intellect" using AT terminology, then sure a "materialist intellect" is not a thing, but there's no reason to suppose a purely physical brain can't give rise to our ability to be conscious/intelligent.

            Then you make a philosophical argument for some species of metaphysics such as either physicalism or materialism. Science can neither confirm nor deny your metaphysics. You back that up with philosophical arguments against the Metaphysics of Aristotle. You only need science to tell you how the mechanisms physically work so you can model them correctly.

            >All the things we do are already accounted for in the physical forces. Any soul or intellect would require new forces, lest they'd be causally impotent. Hence both Cartesian and Thomistic accounts for human psychology are false.

            No you are just intellectually lazy there Peter.

            >The only thing that moves anything are physical forces in the standard model and gravity.

            No the only thing that physically moves physical forces etc what it's being qua being is requires metaphysics and it's being qua being according to Aristotle and other essentialists is act becoming potency by something already in act.

            You seem unable to contemplate two possible truths. Maybe there is no God and maybe you are wrong about your claims regarding science being able to falsify metaphysics.

          • No it is sophistic & linguistic sabotage. Feser's sentence puts the emphasis & focus on "Being as such". Yours misdirects by putting the focus on "this or that kind of being."

            It is nothing of the sort. Saying "A isn't only about B, but also C" means the exact same thing as saying "A is not concerned merely with C, but with B."

            Same F--ing thing. Idiot. Nothing about what I wrote says C is more important than B.

            Then you can't falsify or confirm the immaterial substance in principle. Thus your claim you can use science to falsify metaphysics is clearly wrong.

            Of course you can falsify it, because if you're saying X has a causal effect on Y, and all the causes of Y are already accounted for, and none of them include anything remotely like X, then you know X has no causal effect on Y. Furthermore, since X's whole purpose is posited as a cause to try and explain Y, it's causal impotency means X is a meaningless concept that plausibly doesn't exist. At best you can say X is there but just is causally impotent, which defeats the whole purpose of X.

            No science can only investigate physical phenomena by testing it(&then it cannot do so exhaustively or completely) limiting the results to known or & even possible unknown physical causes. A hypothetical immaterial substance "causing" something to happen would remain at best a "gap".

            We wouldn't necessarily know what the substance is, but we would measure its effects quantitatively, and we'd know it was a violation of physical laws.

            Now you are equivocating intelligence and the intellect......Geez!

            Oh no I'm not. The intellect on Thomism is the rational soul. It's supposed to give us the power to grasp abstract objects - namely, the forms or essences of things - and to reason on the basis of them, and "freely" to choose different possible courses of action on the basis of what the intellect knows.

            Science can neither confirm nor deny your metaphysics. You back that up with philosophical arguments against the Metaphysics of Aristotle. You only need science to tell you how the mechanisms physically work so you can model them correctly.

            Science can confirm or deny certain aspects of it, certain claims from within it. It could corroborate nearly all claims within it, and deny certain claims made from opposing metaphysical views. While this wouldn't prove it, it would make it more likely true at the least.

            No you are just intellectually lazy there Peter.

            Seems like you're the intellectually lazy one actually.

            No the only thing that physically moves physical forces etc what it's being qua being is requires metaphysics and it's being qua being according to Aristotle and other essentialists is act becoming potency by something already in act.

            And that assumes presentism is true, which is falsified by science.

            You seem unable to contemplate two possible truths. Maybe there is no God and maybe you are wrong about your claims regarding science being able to falsify metaphysics.

            Of course I can handle 2 possible truths. Even if god exists, AT metaphysics is still wrong, for reasons we already know. So its falsity has nothing to do with my atheism. I'm still waiting for a coherent reason why I'm wrong regarding science being able to falsify metaphysics.

          • Jim the Scott

            >It is nothing of the sort. Saying "A isn't only about B, but also C" means the exact same thing as saying "A is not concerned merely with C, but with B."

            Nope clearly you are saying the focus of A is "about this or that kind of being" and not A refering to "Being as such".

            >Same F--ing thing. Idiot. Nothing about what I wrote says C is more important than B.

            Well you don't have the best record of being clear. Of course it still doesn't show how the study of "being as Such" can make claims about quantitative models used to test material realities. Or claims about material realities that you can test using.quantitative models.

            >Of course you can falsify it, because if you're saying X has a causal effect on Y, and all the causes of Y are already accounted for, and none of them include anything remotely like X, then you know X has no causal effect on Y.

            No that is like saying you can use a metal detector to find purely wooden coins and if you fail to find any with the metal detector then the existence of purely metal coins should be doubted. Science can only test material realities and efficient causes in a quantitative manner. If the mind is immaterial it cannot be tested by science. We cannot explain the mind in purely physical or purely reductionistic materialistic terms. There are other versions of materialism that are not strictly reductive that might find some traction but Hylomorphism is the best because it doesn't rely on mechanistic metaphysics.

            >We wouldn't necessarily know what the substance is, but we would measure its effects quantitatively, and we'd know it was a violation of physical laws.

            Any substance you detect would by definition be material not immaterial. It would be matter or energy. A metal detector cannot find purely wooden coins. Granted if a melted piece of metal attached itself to a wooden coin you would find it but it wouldn't be a purely wooden coin but a fusion of metal and wood. Of course given the history of modern philosophy you would convince yourself because the detecter only detected the metal and not the wood attached to the metal then I guess the wood is "unreal".

            This is your mentality in a nutshell.

            >Oh no I'm not. The intellect on Thomism is the rational soul. It's supposed to give us the power to grasp abstract objects - namely, the forms or essences of things - and to reason on the basis of them, and "freely" to choose different possible courses of action on the basis of what the intellect knows.

            But do you even know what that means? Or is it because you cannot understand this in materialist or scientific terms you just ad hoc declare this a "scientific" claim and bore the poop out of the rest of us with it?

            >Science can confirm or deny certain aspects of it, certain claims from within it.

            No more then a metal detector can find a purely wooden coin. This is just a special pleading claim. It has no formal content. There is no experiment that can confirm or deny this. This is in the realm of philosophy of mind.

            >It could corroborate nearly all claims within it, and deny certain claims made from opposing metaphysical views. While this wouldn't prove it, it would make it more likely true at the least.

            No rather you are doing what Peter was doing in that link. You are giving in too your scientism. You are treating metaphysical claims and philosophical claims as scientific ones. At best maybe Dr. B might infer a hidden physical force responsible for inertia based on his metaphysics. And we can test if that physical force exists. But wither it exists or not doesn't prove or disprove his metaphysics scientifically. I can still model inertia as a mere state whose potential can be actualized.

            >Seems like you're the intellectually lazy one actually.

            No your "Atheism" is not intellectually rigorous for my tastes and I have a sophisticated palate. This is not an argument against Atheism in general or proof of the existence of God. But I am convinced you have no ability to show me your truth or refute Thomism. There is no point arguing this you can't even conceve you might be using non-starter objections.

            >Of course I can handle 2 possible truths. Even if god exists, AT metaphysics is still wrong, for reasons we already know.

            No the so called "reasons" you have given have not shown this at all. But they are a testament to the idea you should just give up all version of scientism. It's a dead end.

            >So its falsity has nothing to do with my atheism. I'm still waiting for a coherent reason why I'm wrong regarding science being able to falsify metaphysics.

            shifting the burden of proof doesn't help you. You have to prove a particular view of Being qua Being can be tested using a quantitative model used for testing material reality.

            You can only use science to falsify scientific claims made by a advocate of a particular species of metaphysics. His metaphysics might lead him to make a particular claim about material reality that can be proven true or false but that doesn't prove the metaphysics true or false.

            Act/potency is a prime example. You can affirm or refute a hidden physical force sustaining inertia but you can't diprove act/potency. If you for example disprove it then Inertia is a physical state that can be actualized by something in momentum.

          • Nope clearly you are saying the focus of A is "about this or that kind of being" and not A refering to "Being as such".

            Clearly you can't read, because "isn't only" or "doesn't only include" is not the same thing as "and not". It denotes A and B, not A or B. So you're either reading into what I wrote and changing it's meaning, or you can't read.

            Well you don't have the best record of being clear. Of course it still doesn't show how the study of "being as Such" can make claims about quantitative models used to test material realities. Or claims about material realities that you can test using.quantitative models.

            Well clearly you don't have the best record of knowing how to read, given the above as just the most recent example. Being as such would cover the nature of being, and the presentism/eternalism divide would have significant aspect of that. And since metaphysics - according to Feser's own definition - also covers this and that kind of being, as in tensed or tenseless, the point is made even further.

            No that is like saying you can use a metal detector to find purely wooden coins and if you fail to find any with the metal detector then the existence of purely metal coins should be doubted. Science can only test material realities and efficient causes in a quantitative manner. If the mind is immaterial it cannot be tested by science. We cannot explain the mind in purely physical or purely reductionistic materialistic terms. There are other versions of materialism that are not strictly reductive that might find some traction but Hylomorphism is the best because it doesn't rely on mechanistic metaphysics.

            If the mind is immaterial and has an effect on matter which the Thomist says must be the case - lest you admit right now the mind or intellect (regardless of whether they're the same thing or not) is causally impotent - can be tested by science. I'm not saying the mind can or cannot be fully investigated by science. I'm saying if it is causally effective that is something science can test.

            So is your view that the intellect is causally impotent?

            Any substance you detect would by definition be material not immaterial. It would be matter or energy. A metal detector cannot find purely wooden coins. Granted if a melted piece of metal attached itself to a wooden coin you would find it but it wouldn't be a purely wooden coin but a fusion of metal and wood.

            That's not true because on this assumption the immaterial soul of a substance dualist would be material since it would have a causal effect on the material. And that would mean that the intellect would be the same thing, even though the soul under substance dualism and the intellect under Thomism are both posited to be immaterial, and yet they're both claiming to have a causal effect on matter. So either they're both material, or they're immaterial and have no causal effect on matter.

            Of course given the history of modern philosophy you would convince yourself because the detecter only detected the metal and not the wood attached to the metal then I guess the wood is "unreal".

            This is your mentality in a nutshell.

            No because if there was a metaphysical substance that had a causal effect on material, we'd have discovered it by now given Core Theory, and such a view would be testable and fall within the domain of science. You're still in denial about that. Whether or not the mind or intellect is immaterial is not the issue, it's whether it has the power to effect physical things. So unless you want to claim that the intellect is completely causally impotent, you are making a claim that would be testable and fall within the domain of science.

            But do you even know what that means? Or is it because you cannot understand this in materialist or scientific terms you just ad hoc declare this a "scientific" claim and bore the poop out of the rest of us with it?

            Yes, it means that there's an immaterial intellect that gives us our higher and perhaps, innately human cognitive abilities, and this is what causes us to choose things and take a course of physical action. And that my friend is claiming an immaterial intellect has a causal power on physical matter. But you want to maintain that this intellect's causal power on material matter is completely - in principle - out of the domain of science, which is total BS.

            This is your mentality in a nutshell.

            No more then a metal detector can find a purely wooden coin. This is just a special pleading claim. It has no formal content. There is no experiment that can confirm or deny this. This is in the realm of philosophy of mind.

            Wrong. There is no special pleading here at all. Claim that our immaterial intellect gives us our higher and perhaps, innately human cognitive abilities, has no physical cause, and is what causes us to choose things and take a course of physical action - as your St. Feser claims - and you make a scientific claim. This is not purely in the domain of science, philosophy of mind has theories to explain different camps. But any philosophy of mind view that says mind exists independently of brain and causes brain is a scientific claim.

            No your "Atheism" is not intellectually rigorous for my tastes and I have a sophisticated palate. This is not an argument against Atheism in general or proof of the existence of God. But I am convinced you have no ability to show me your truth or refute Thomism. There is no point arguing this you can't even conceve you might be using non-starter objections.

            You don't have a sophisticated palate. You've convinced yourself that you do. You just think knowing some Thomistic terminology and ideas make you sophisticated, but you haven't even realized the implications of your own view. I can conceive I'm using nonstarted objections, but I need to be shown I'm wrong not with hyperbolic assertions and insults - but with actual coherent arguments. I've debated many Thomists over the years, and one thing that seems applicable to all of them is that they will always in the end make the silliest assertions that they're right, because entertaining the real (not hypothetical) possibility that they're wrong is too scary. It's partly a manifestation of the sunk-cost bias.

            No the so called "reasons" you have given have not shown this at all. But they are a testament to the idea you should just give up all version of scientism. It's a dead end.

            They have. You're still in utter denial (or ignorance) that Thomism presupposes presentism in its metaphysical claims, and that presentism has already been refuted by science. And your predictable response to this will be "You're a doo doo head! Positivism!!"

            Let's make this a bit more worthwhile? Take what I've said above and show me exactly where it goes wrong:

            1. Thomism presupposes presentism in its metaphysical claims (eg. A actualizes B's coming into existence, etc.)
            2. presentism has already been refuted by science.

            As for weak scientism, you have yet to show a flaw in it. You've beaten strong scientism AKA scientism very well. Good job. We agree, it's incoherent. But you have not touched mine.

            shifting the burden of proof doesn't help you. You have to prove a particular view of Being qua Being can be tested using a quantitative model used for testing material reality.

            If you claim my views are wrong, I need a reason why they're wrong. Asking for a reason isn't shifting a burden. It's asking for the reason you think my views are wrong. Unless you want to tell me they are faith based like your religious views are, I need a reason.

            I've already proved my case:

            1. Thomism presupposes presentism in its metaphysical claims (eg. A actualizes B's coming into existence, etc.)
            2. presentism has already been refuted by science.

            This is just one example of several I can use.

            You can only use science to falsify scientific claims made by a advocate of a particular species of metaphysics. His metaphysics might lead him to make a particular claim about material reality that can be proven true or false but that doesn't prove the metaphysics true or false.

            If his metaphysics relies on his particular claim about material reality being true, then it could. In Thomism we have that because presupposes presentism in its metaphysical claims (eg. A actualizes B's coming into existence, etc.) and presentism has already been refuted by science.

            Act/potency is a prime example. You can affirm or refute a hidden physical force sustaining inertia but you can't diprove act/potency. If you for example disprove it then Inertia is a physical state that can be actualized by something in momentum.

            I think your scientific knowledge is very limited. If you claim via act/potency that A actualizes B's potential coming into existence, as every Thomist would claim, then you are presupposing presentism is true. If presentism is false, A doesn't actualize B's potential coming into existence. B already exists. If A and B both exist, A doesn't actualize B's coming into existence, and act/potency is false.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Clearly you can't read, because "isn't only" or "doesn't only include" is not the same thing as "and not". It denotes A and B, not A or B. So you're either reading into what I wrote and changing it's meaning, or you can't read

            By your own admission you said you don't always explain things correctly. So move on.

            >Well clearly you don't have the best record of knowing how to read, given the above as just the most recent example. Being as such would cover the nature of being, and the presentism/eternalism divide would have significant aspect of that. And since metaphysics - according to Feser's own definition - also covers this and that kind of being, as in tensed or tenseless, the point is made even further.

            This response tells me nothing but the trivial observation that how I understand my metaphysical position would be different wither or not I think spacetime really changes or I change within unchanging space time.
            Nothing more.

            >If the mind is immaterial and has an effect on matter which the Thomist says must be the case -

            Thomism says no such thing. Non-starter objection. Do some reading on prime matter, form and essence before you make another category mistake.

            > lest you admit right now the mind or intellect (regardless of whether they're the same thing or not) is causally impotent - can be tested by science.

            It clearly can't be & the philosophical arguments for the Descartes view is incoherent but Aquinas avoids it.

            >I'm not saying the mind can or cannot be fully investigated by science. I'm saying if it is causally effective that is something science can test.

            You think final causes and formal causes can be tested by empirical scientific methods! You might as well claim to be able to weight the number 3.

            >So is your view that the intellect is causally impotent?

            Why don't you take a break explain the clear differences between Descartes dualism, property dualism and Thomist "dualism" & maybe you can stop pretending they are all alike?

            >That's not true because on this assumption the immaterial soul of a substance dualist would be material since it would have a causal effect on the material.

            So it is both immaterial and material at the same time? Yeh that is a contradiction. That is like saying X=Not X. If this your "reasoning" then I am going to stop here and not answer the rest of your silly blather . This shows conclusively it would be impossible to have a rational conversation with you as this statement shows you are not rational.

            If something is immaterial by definition you cannot experiment on it scientifically. Depending how you understand immateriality vs your back round metaphysics (AT essentialism vs Mechanism) it may be either coherent or incoherent.

            Just as reason tells me I cannot find purely wooden coins with a metal detector it tells me I cannot use science to confirm or deny an immaterial intellect.

            I will refrain from reading the rest of your blather as I have no confidence it could contain anything worth responding too considering you believe "the immaterial soul of a substance dualist would be material." WOW!

          • Jim the Scott

            >Thomist claims the immaterial intellect effects physical matter. And this is why we know Thomist is outdated antiquated metaphysics (among other things).

            No that is not the correct formula. Thomists don't believe in immaterial substances. Descartes for all intensive purposes was a pseudo-materialist & for all practical purposes he believed in the existence of "Ghost matter".

            >If it is claimed that the invisible unicorn has a causal effect on material reality, as is being claimed with the immaterial intellect under Thomism, then yes, it is perfectly testable by science.

            No science can only test material reality, At best you can observe the effects(which would be material therefore testable) but you could not test the cause which would be immaterial and the cause would be no different then any other observed natural regularity.

            >if a ghost or invisible unicorn or soul or anything immaterial could move a material object, we'd all be able to see that.

            I can also "see" hallucinations. There would be no testable difference between the two.

            >No. I generally tend to stay away from those kinds of simplistic arguments.

            You just make up your own.

            >And you cannot effect material reality without applying a force to it.

            No you merely have to actualize a potency by either natural or preternatural/supernatural means. Here you are presupposing materialism for a non-materialist scheme. If you didn't equivocate you would have nothing to say. If by supernatural means those means could not be tested. Only the effects.

            >Science can test anything that can effect material reality, which if the mind was causally effective, it would do.

            No science such a case could only observe the material realities at best postulate a "god-of-the-gap". Which we Thomists hate.

            >There's a great quote from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy relevant here: "To suppose that non-physical minds can move bodies is like supposing that imaginary locomotives can pull real boxcars."

            Only if materialism is true in which case you have the weird situation where you have to claim manually operated locomotives are driving themselves or better yet non-existent locomotives are pulling boxcars.

            >Regarding scientism, no, since "scientism" of course means "strong scientism." Seriously put down that hammer. Not everything is a nail. I'm a naturalist, not necessarily a materialist. And that's because I'm open to the possibility of property dualism being true.

            You have not a coherent thing to say.

            >Science can test anything that can effect material reality

            This is an incoherent statement in any potential godless universe. You could test any material cause or observe material effects but you cannot test an immaterial cause and at best if one existed it would look like a "gap".

            But all this presupposes mechanistic causation which is wrong anyway.

            All your arguments are fallacies of equivocation.

            >See my other comments for definitions.

            You have given none and have made no case why your definitions are "true" and Feser is false.

            >Smolin doesn't really have an argument. He's got an elaborate hypothesis, and he's been hammered by the mainstream scientific community.

            But that is all you are doing here. Giving me your hypothesis which equivocates between science and philosophy and makes irrational claims.

            >Now I'm not saying we should shun unorthodox views, scientists should always be allowed to think outside the box, but Smolin just doesn't have a good case for presentism.

            You haven't given any case for eternalism either. But that is not what is at issue. Your goofball irrational claims Metaphysical can be tested by science is at issue. It is a category mistake. In no conceivable godless universe could it be true. Much less a Theistic one.

            > I've written on the presentism/eternalism debate extensively, and presentism will always forces you to just believe certain things that you can never have evidence for and that contradict all existing evidence. And remember, it's not about whether the passage of time is real, it's about the flow of time being real or not.

            At this point you are giving me nothing but word salads to cover your own ignorance.

            >Merry Christmas to you! I take no offense by it. Also, I asked santa if you'd answer my questions

            Same too you but Santa can't answer irrational questions & neither can I.

            You don't get our divide, If no gods exist your views on science, metaphysics and philosophy are completely incoherent. It is an irrational category mistake to claim science can test metaphysical claims.

            I could stop believing in God as I understand him & I would still think you are out there.

          • No that is not the correct formula. Thomists don't believe in immaterial substances. Descartes for all intensive purposes was a pseudo-materialist & for all practical purposes he believed in the existence of "Ghost matter".

            Isn't it true that the intellect cannot possibly require a material or bodily organ for its operations, and when the intellect determines that a certain course of action is the best one to take and the will follows it, the body proceeds to move in a way that constitutes the action. The operation of the intellect and will constitute in this case is the formal-cum-final cause of the action, of which the firing of the neurons, flexing of the muscles, etc. are the material cause??

            No science can only test material reality, At best you can observe the effects(which would be material therefore testable) but you could not test the cause which would be immaterial and the cause would be no different then any other observed natural regularity.

            Incorrect, because an immaterial cause would be different from all other observed natural causes in regularity, and hence a distinction could be made. An immaterial cause would have to exert a new force and new energy that wasn't in the system already from the existing physical forces, and would violate the laws of physics.

            I can also "see" hallucinations. There would be no testable difference between the two.

            Because we'd be able to see a ghost or invisible unicorn or soul or anything immaterial moving a material object, we'd be able to test its effects and it would have to do so using a force and energy that was not already present in the system which would of course break the laws of physics. Hence if anything immaterial was having any causal effect on our bodies, it would break the laws of physics. So there is a testable difference between the two.

            You just make up your own.

            I do make up my own, but they tend to be complicated ones that rely on knowledge of science like my argument from core theory.

            No you merely have to actualize a potency by either natural or preternatural/supernatural means. Here you are presupposing materialism for a non-materialist scheme. If you didn't equivocate you would have nothing to say. If by supernatural means those means could not be tested. Only the effects.

            Actualizing a potency requires a force. There are no actualized potencies without forces. Anything immaterial that effects the material requires a force, this is not an assumption of materialism, this is a logical fact. If by supernatural means the effects could be tested and existing known physical forces would be ruled out. That's how we'd know it's a supernatural event: it would break the laws of physics.

            No science such a case could only observe the material realities at best postulate a "god-of-the-gap". Which we Thomists hate.

            And if by supernatural means the effects could be tested and existing known physical forces would be ruled out. That's how we'd know it's a supernatural event: it would break the laws of physics.

            Only if materialism is true in which case you have the weird situation where you have to claim manually operated locomotives are driving themselves or better yet non-existent locomotives are pulling boxcars.

            You have not a coherent thing to say.

            That makes absolutely no sense. If supernaturalism is true, that entails, not materialism. On materialism there are no imaginary locomotives. There are physical things doing physical things to physical things.

            You have not a coherent thing to say.

            Stop comparing me to your metaphysics.

            This is an incoherent statement in any potential godless universe. You could test any material cause or observe material effects but you cannot test an immaterial cause and at best if one existed it would look like a "gap".

            Nothing incoherent. If by supernatural means the effects could be tested and existing known physical forces would be ruled out. That's how we'd know it's a supernatural event: it would break the laws of physics.

            But all this presupposes mechanistic causation which is wrong anyway.

            All your arguments are fallacies of equivocation.

            It doesn't presuppose any mechanic causation. The whole exercise is in assuming Thomism is true. If it were the case our immaterial intellects would be having a causal effect on our bodies and that would necessarily require that our bodies are subject to a force and energy that doesn't exist in the natural forces. Lest the intellect be causally impotent.

            You have given none and have made no case why your definitions are "true" and Feser is false.

            I have read.

            But that is all you are doing here. Giving me your hypothesis which equivocates between science and philosophy and makes irrational claims.

            There's no equivocation, you just love to accuse others of that like you do with positivism, and there are no irrational claims I'm making. You don't even know what irrational is.

            You haven't given any case for eternalism either. But that is not what is at issue. Your goofball irrational claims Metaphysical can be tested by science is at issue. It is a category mistake. In no conceivable godless universe could it be true. Much less a Theistic one.

            If you want to debate eternalism, we can do so, but I've already proven metaphysical claims can be tested by science. Thomism assumes presentism is true, and presentism is a claim that science has already refuted. At the very least, presentism is something science has something to say about. Denial, denial, denial.

            At this point you are giving me nothing but word salads to cover your own ignorance.

            At this point you have no argument, just insults, and as Socrates said, ad hominems are the resort for the person who has no arguments.

            Same too you but Santa can't answer irrational questions & neither can I.

            You don't get our divide, If no gods exist your views on science, metaphysics and philosophy are completely incoherent. It is an irrational category mistake to claim science can test metaphysical claims.

            I could stop believing in God as I understand him & I would still think you are out there.

            Still waiting for you to prove they're incoherent. Claiming they are isn't an argument. I've already proven metaphysical claims can be tested by science. Thomism assumes presentism is true, and presentism is a claim that science has already refuted. At the very least, presentism is something science has something to say about. Denial, denial, denial.

            You don't want to answer the questions because you know doing so will expose this.

          • Jim the Scott

            First do some reading on Thomism & stop equivocating with Descartes.

            Was Aquinas a Dualist?
            http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2012/09/was-aquinas-dualist.html

            Nothing you wrote above is even slightly coherent. It is all gibberish and a word salad.

            One example.

            >>Actualizing a potency requires a force.

            No see bellow.

            There is no point in discussing any topic with you as long as you hold the irrational view that you can use science to invalidate metaphysics. That view is irrational and can no more be true then 1+1=3 can be true.

            http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/08/science-dorks.html#more

            QUOTE" the key metaphysical ideas that underlie Aristotelian-Thomistic arguments for God’s existence -- the theory of act and potency, the principle of causality, the principle of finality, and so forth -- certainly have implications for what we observe in the empirical world, but, equally certainly, they are not going to be falsified by anything we observe in the empirical world.

            That by no means entails that empirical science is irrelevant to metaphysics and philosophy of nature. But how it is relevant must be properly understood. How we apply general metaphysical principles to various specific empirical phenomena is something to which a knowledge of physics, chemistry, biology, etc. is absolutely essential. The metaphysical facts about the essence of water specifically, or the nature of local motion specifically, or bacterial physiology specifically are not going to be determined from the armchair. But the most general metaphysical principles themselves are not matters for empirical science to settle, precisely because they concern what must be true if there is to be any empirical world, and thus any empirical science, in the first place.

            Hence, consider hylemorphism. Should we think of water as a compound of substantial form and prime matter? Or should we think of it as an aggregate of substances, and thus as having a merely accidental form that configures secondary matter? The empirical facts about water are highly relevant to this sort of question. However, whether the distinctions between substantial and accidental form and prime versus secondary matter have application at all in the empirical world is not something that can possibly be settled by empirical science. In short, whether hylemorphism as a general framework is correct is a question for metaphysics and philosophy of nature, not for empirical science; but how the hylemorphic analysis gets applied to specific cases is very definitely a question for empirical science.

            >>>Actualizing a potency requires a force.

            continue quote "Or consider the principle of causality, according to which any potential that is actualized is actualized by something already actual. Should we think of the local motion of a projectile as violent, or as natural insofar as it is inertial? Should we think of inertial motion as a real change, the actualization of a potential? Or should we think of it as a “state”? How we characterize the cause of such local motions will be deeply influenced by how we answer questions like these (which I’ve discussed in detail here and elsewhere), and thus by physics. But whether there is some sort of cause is not something that can possibly be settled by physics. In short, whether the principle of causality is true is a question for metaphysics and philosophy of nature, not for empirical science; but how that principle gets applied to specific cases is very definitely a question for empirical science.END QUOTE

            There is no point in us discussing any particulars as long as you hold too the category error that metaphysics can be invalidated by science.

          • First do some reading on Thomism & stop equivocating with Descartes.

            Was Aquinas a Dualist?
            http://edwardfeser.blogspot...

            Nothing you wrote above is even slightly coherent. It is all gibberish and a word salad.
            One example.

            That's hilarious because my first paragraph was literally a composite of 2 quotes from your saint Feser's book The Last Superstition, on page 127. So if nothing I wrote above is "even slightly coherent" I'm glad we agree that Thomism is not even slightly coherent. This might be the first major thing we agree about! #Progress

            There is no point in discussing any topic with you as long as you hold the irrational view that you can use science to invalidate metaphysics. That view is irrational and can no more be true then 1+1=3 can be true.

            I never said you can use science to invalidate metaphysics simpliciter. Such a view of course would be irrational. I've been saying all along that certain metaphysical views make claims science has something to say about - regardless of whether you or your St. Feser are aware of it, and those views can be potentially falsified by science, which under certain cases at least, can falsify the metaphysic. This is not saying "science" falsifies the entire discipline of "metaphysics." But hey keep attacking that strawman, you need the exercise.

            QUOTE" the key metaphysical ideas that underlie Aristotelian-Thomistic arguments for God’s existence -- the theory of act and potency, the principle of causality, the principle of finality, and so forth -- certainly have implications for what we observe in the empirical world, but, equally certainly, they are not going to be falsified by anything we observe in the empirical world.

            Yeah, I know what Feser believes, I've read and reviewed one of his books. Feser is wrong. He doesn't know or realize what he's actually talking about because he's so blinded by his philosophy. Act and potency, the "principle" of causality, and finality, makes no sense given eternalism, which we know is true from science. Even Dr Bonnette knows this because this very OP proves my point that if eternalism is true, Thomism is blown to smithereens. That's why all people who think about it deeply know Thomism must pressupose a presentist ontology for it even to work. I can count Dr Bonnette as one of those people at least. Not you or Feser.

            The metaphysical facts about the essence of water specifically, or the nature of local motion specifically, or bacterial physiology specifically are not going to be determined from the armchair.

            The irony is that Thomistic metaphysics does just that when it presuppose presentism must be true to its ontology, as Dr Bonnette duly notes, and which further makes my point, that some metaphysical views require things to be a certain way that science has already refuted, like Thomism. That's why educated people in the know say it is antiquated.

            In short, whether hylemorphism as a general framework is correct is a question for metaphysics and philosophy of nature, not for empirical science; but how the hylemorphic analysis gets applied to specific cases is very definitely a question for empirical science.

            Except when one claims via hylemorphism that we have an immaterial intellect that intellect that will constitute the formal-cum-final cause of an action, of which the firing of the neurons, flexing of the muscles, are the material cause, as Feser did, which you think is not even slightly coherent. Because once someone claims this they are claiming mental causation happens, and that is a claim testable by science.

            But whether there is some sort of cause is not something that can possibly be settled by physics.

            Which is false, because according to physics, there are no real causes in the sense the Aristotelian thinks of causality, where A causes B to begin to exist. Causality is an emergent concept, not a fundamental one. There are simply just worldtubes or particles in spacetime and one point on the worldtube doesn't really "cause" a later point on the worldtube to exist. What causality really is would seem to have to be the relationships of intersecting worldtubes as they precede or intertwine with one another in spacetime; they're a description of the relationship between patterns and boundary conditions. At the fundamental level, the word "cause" really should be replaced by the word "explanation" or "relationship."

            There is no point in us discussing any particulars as long as you hold too the category error that metaphysics can be invalidated by science.

            Keep attacking the strawman. I love to see the fact that you can't deal with my actual arguments.

          • Jim the Scott

            >That's hilarious because my first paragraph was literally a composite of 2 quotes from your saint Feser's book The Last Superstition, on page 127.

            Yes you can proof text like a fundie who cites Bible, but I cited scholars who read him and interpreted him in harmony my interpretation and cited the same works. A text without a context is a pretext Your goofball "God has the potential to become incarnate sans God containing no potency" is a first class example.

            So if nothing I wrote above is "even slightly coherent" I'm glad we agree that Thomism is not even slightly coherent. This might be the first major thing we agree about! #Progress

            >I never said you can use science to invalidate metaphysics simpliciter. Such a view of course would be irrational.

            You say a lot of incoherent things, contradict yourself & then when called on it move the goal posts.

            "I've already proven metaphysics can be contradicted by science”.

            How can a quantitative model used to test a material reality by observation and experiment confirm or deny a theory on Being qua Being? That a prima face absurd claim. Like saying I can tell you the Atomic weight of the number three.

            > I've been saying all along that certain metaphysical views make claims science has something to say about.....

            Yes you said & I quote your actual words" Of course it does, because "change is an objective feeature of the world" is one of the starting points for Thomism and that is falsified by science."

            Wow! So how was that falsified? Are you going to cite experiments that failed to produce the predicted results as "proof" change isn't an objective feature of the world? You actually believe this?

            >regardless of whether you or your St. Feser are aware of it, and those views can be potentially falsified by science, which under certain cases at least, can falsify the metaphysic.

            The Act/potency can be falsified? At best we might might not be able to identify the Act that physically actualizes a material potency but how can you construct a quantitative model to show this to be the case? Act/potency are a metaphysical model of change. You pretty much have to presuppose them to do science.

            Sorry you are Peter at this point.
            https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/08/science-dorks.html

            >This is not saying "science" falsifies the entire discipline of "metaphysics."

            No you are saying Metaphysics which is mostly concerned with Being qua Being makes claims about physical reality in terms of observable testable phenomena. Well at best someone might conclude via Act/potency an unknown physical force is continuously moving an object in inertia (like moving spacetime) but only the scientific claim hypothesized that person via their metaphysical reasoning can be falsified. Not the metaphysical proposition of Act/potency. For example I might reason Inertia is merely a state which would not require another physical force to keep it actual. A State can be actualized.

            You don't make any sense guy. You don't. You simply do not do philosophy well.

            >Except when one claims via hylemorphism that we have an immaterial intellect that intellect that will constitute the formal-cum-final cause of an action, of which the firing of the neurons, flexing of the muscles, are the material cause, as Feser did, which you think is not even slightly coherent.

            What is not coherent here is empirical science can only by definition create a quantitative model to test material reality. That can only test by definition material and efficient causes not final and formal causes. If you want to examine final and formal causes you need philosophy of nature.

            You wonder why I accuse you of scientism? It is because you are blatantly taking philosophical claims and or metaphysical ones and treating them like scientific claims. They are not! At best a Thomist might speculate on science via his metaphysics (like is there a hidden physical force moving objects in inertia) but the scientific claim ALONE is subject to testing. If science could exclude a hidden force continuously moving object then a Thomist would have to conclude Inertia is a State.

            >Because once someone claims this they are claiming mental causation happens, and that is a claim testable by science.

            No you can't since mental causation by nature involves formal and final causality. Science can only test material and efficient causes.

            >Act and potency, the "principle" of causality, and finality, makes no sense given eternalism, which we know is true from science.

            Who calls eternalism a scientific claim? It is a philosophical one and you might be equivocating between Space time and Time in the general sense.
            It seem even if past present & future are all real in some sense some type of act/potency move you threw time.

            From what I am seeing it is not eternalism that is doing that. It is eternalism that presupposes the metaphysics of Parmenides. You have to refute Aristotle's response and Feser's criticism of Parmenides. You haven't even started .

            >Which is false, because according to physics, there are no real causes in the sense the Aristotelian thinks of causality, where A causes B to begin to exist.

            This is not a scientific claim or a claim of Physics. It's the incoherent metaphysics of Hume. You blatantly confuse physics with philosophy and metaphysics.

            >ere are simply just worldtubes or particles in spacetime and one point on the worldtube doesn't really "cause" a later point on the worldtube to exist. What causality really is would seem to have to be the relationships of intersecting worldtubes as they precede or intertwine with one another in spacetime; they're a description of the relationship between patterns and boundary conditions. At the fundamental level, the word "cause" really should be replaced by the word "explanation" or "relationship."

            That is an interesting metaphysical modelling you have there. Which should be explored via the philosophy of nature. But I don't see a quantitative model proving a potency cannot be put into Act by something already in act.

            >Keep attacking the strawman. I love to see the fact that you can't deal with my actual arguments.

            Says the guy who proof texts Feser to "prove" he believes God does not contain active as well as potencies.

            You are not giving any substasive arguments. You are confusing scientific claims with philosophy and you are confused about Metaphysics.

            I can with ease conceive of myself denying God but still know none of your bad arguments can get me to that knowledge anymore then Ken Ham can show you good arguments against evolution.

          • Yes you can proof text like a fundie who cites Bible, but I cited scholars who read him and interpreted him in harmony my interpretation and cited the same works. A text without a context is a pretext Your goofball "God has the potential to become incarnate sans God containing no potency" is a first class example.

            No proof texting or taking out of context. I just listed how your St. Feser understands the intellect to interact with the body, and you said it is not "even slightly coherent." There is nothing deceptive about my quote whatsoever context-wise.

            So if nothing I wrote above is "even slightly coherent" I'm glad we agree that Thomism is not even slightly coherent. This might be the first major thing we agree about! #Progress

            I totally agree with the guy who wrote this!

            You say a lot of incoherent things, contradict yourself & then when called on it move the goal posts.

            Yeah, quoting Feser does involve saying incoherent things. We agree. I will interpret this as more ad hominem in lieu of argument.

            How can a quantitative model used to test a material reality by observation and experiment confirm or deny a theory on Being qua Being? That a prima face absurd claim. Like saying I can tell you the Atomic weight of the number three.

            Metaphysical views can be refuted by science, not metaphysics simpliciter.

            Wow! So how was that falsified? Are you going to cite experiments that failed to produce the predicted results as "proof" change isn't an objective feature of the world? You actually believe this?

            The kind of change mentioned in the Thomist's claim is the kind required by presentism. And yes, presentism has been falsified by science by all the experiments that support SR.

            The Act/potency can be falsified? At best we might might not be able to identify the Act that physically actualizes a material potency but how can you construct a quantitative model to show this to be the case? Act/potency are a metaphysical model of change. You pretty much have to presuppose them to do science.

            Yes, because act/potency relies on presentism and that has been falsified by SR (and GR too for that matter.) It involves A actualizing B's coming into existence, and that of course requires presentism, which obviously no one has to presuppose to do science. The moment you realize that you forfiet your right to claim science can't refute a metaphysic.

            Sorry you are Peter at this point.
            https://edwardfeser.blogspo...

            St Feser to the rescue!!! Apples to oranges.

            No you are saying Metaphysics which is mostly concerned with Being qua Being makes claims about physical reality in terms of observable testable phenomena. Well at best someone might conclude via Act/potency an unknown physical force is continuously moving an object in inertia (like moving spacetime) but only the scientific claim hypothesized that person via their metaphysical reasoning can be falsified. Not the metaphysical proposition of Act/potency. For example I might reason Inertia is merely a state which would not require another physical force to keep it actual. A State can be actualized.

            "Mostly" ≠ all. And that means metaphysical views sometimes makes claims about physical reality in terms of observable testable phenomena. Your "at best" fails. We know all the physical forces involved in matter interactions in everyday situations, it's summed up in Core Theory. There are no unknown forces applicable (please don't prove to be ignorant on science responding to this point.) But act/potency metaphysics assumes a scenario where A actualizes B's coming into existence, and that again, assumes presentism is true. And whether or not presentism is true is something science can potentially falsify or affirm. And that is why Thomistic metaphysics makes claims science has something to say about. It is not merely a language on how to refer to things, it makes (or assumes) ontological claims that science can indeed say something about. When is this going to sink in?

            You don't make any sense guy. You don't. You simply do not do philosophy well.

            You still are clueless on the subject matter.

            What is not coherent here is empirical science can only by definition create a quantitative model to test material reality.

            So you're saying your own view is incoherent. Looks like your intellect fired the wrong neurons.

            That can only test by definition material and efficient causes not final and formal causes. If you want to examine final and formal causes you need philosophy of nature.

            Since final causes assume intrinsic directionality in time, that is something science has something to say about, and it says there isn't.

            You wonder why I accuse you of scientism? It is because you are blatantly taking philosophical claims and or metaphysical ones and treating them like scientific claims.

            When you make a metaphysical claim that assumes presentism is true, you are making a claim that science has something to say about. I'm not saying the claim itself is scientific, I'm saying the claim itself asserts or assumes something is the case that science can say something about (like presentism is true, mental causation exists, etc).

            At best a Thomist might speculate on science via his metaphysics (like is there a hidden physical force moving objects in inertia) but the scientific claim ALONE is subject to testing. If science could exclude a hidden force continuously moving object then a Thomist would have to conclude Inertia is a State.

            And if science could exclude the kind of "movement" that requires the assumption of presentism being true, then what? What becomes of the Thomist's claim that movement requires a prime mover? Your "at bests" completely fail.

            No you can't since mental causation by nature involves formal and final causality. Science can only test material and efficient causes.

            I agree, it is testable by science. The intellect cannot possibly require a material or bodily organ for its operations according to Thomism, and so must exist independently of it, and yet since it's the intellect that determines a certain course of action is the best one to take and the will follows it, and the body proceeds to move in a way that constitutes the action, which is the firing of the neurons, flexing of the muscles, etc., if you're going to tell me that only material causes/forces can do this, then there's no need for the intellect as a cause of anything.

            Who calls eternalism a scientific claim? It is a philosophical one and you might be equivocating between Space time and Time in the general sense.
            It seem even if past present & future are all real in some sense some type of act/potency move you threw time.

            Eternalism is again just the name for "what do we call a reality where SR and the relativity of simultaneity are true?" I never said eternalism was science, I said we know it's true from science. There is no "moving" from act to potency on eternalism. Perhaps you don't know enough about it, and that's why you make such a claim. I don't know.

            I'd challenge you to try making an argument for your god's existence on the assumption eternalism is true to see the difficulties you face.

            From what I am seeing it is not eternalism that is doing that. It is eternalism that presupposes the metaphysics of Parmenides. You have to refute Aristotle's response and Feser's criticism of Parmenides. You haven't even started .

            I need to do no such freaking thing. From what I'm seeing you barely understand eternalism, and most likely don't understand SR. I don't need anything Parmenides said to make the case for eternalism, all I need is SR. As far as criticism of Parmenides, it seems that a lot of it unknowingly assumes what it concludes.

            This is not a scientific claim or a claim of Physics. It's the incoherent metaphysics of Hume. You blatantly confuse physics with philosophy and metaphysics.

            It is a claim of SR since in SR, there is a relativity of simultaneity and a RoS means past, present, and future exist. Nothing begins to exist in a world where past, present, and future exist. Also in quantum mechanics the same thing is affirmed: there's just a pattern of states in spacetime, and nothing says A exists and then B. There is nothing here I need to assume about Hume.

            That is an interesting metaphysical modelling you have there. Which should be explored via the philosophy of nature. But I don't see a quantitative model proving a potency cannot be put into Act by something already in act.

            It's because you're blind. Nothing is put into anything else because the potency exists along with the act. Claiming A actualizes B into existence is like saying 4 actualizes 5 into existence.

            Says the guy who proof texts Feser to "prove" he believes God does not contain active as well as potencies.

            Says the guy who doesn't even understand half the science or philosophical implications of what he's even talking about.

            You are not giving any substasive arguments. You are confusing scientific claims with philosophy and you are confused about Metaphysics.

            There's no confusion at all here - though I will admit sometimes my wording is not perfect, and it leads to misuderstandings. So far you just don't understand the subject matter enough, I deal with it a lot when talking about the implications of presentism/eternalism - which few understand correctly, or at all, and when taking metaphysical views to their real conclusions, which you clearly do not understand with Thomism.

            I can with ease conceive of myself denying God but still know none of your bad arguments can get me to that knowledge anymore then Ken Ham can show you good arguments against evolution.

            I can with ease conceive of myself affirming god but still know that none of your rebuttals to my arguments and none of your Thomistic beliefs can get me to that knowledge any more than Ken Ham can show you good arguments for god.

          • Jim the Scott

            >No proof texting or taking out of context. I just listed how your St. Feser understands the intellect to interact with the body, and you said it is not "even slightly coherent." There is nothing deceptive about my quote whatsoever context-wise.

            Treating it like it was making scientific claims is coherent. It is no incoherent as a philosophy on philosophical grounds IMHO.

            >There is nothing deceptive about my quote whatsoever context-wise.

            A text without a context is a pretext.

            >Yeah, quoting Feser does involve saying incoherent things. We agree. I will interpret this as more ad hominem in lieu of argument.

            Just giving what I get.

            >Metaphysical views can be refuted by science, not metaphysics simpliciter.

            simpliciter means without any qualification or condition.

            So metaphysics that has not been qualified cannot be refuted by science? Dude nothing that has not been qualified can be refuted by anything.

            So much gibberish.

            >So if nothing I wrote above is "even slightly coherent" I'm glad we agree that Thomism is not even slightly coherent. This might be the first major thing we agree about! #Progress

            Rather your assumption Thomistic metaphysical claims are scientific ones & treating them as scientific is not coherent.

            >The kind of change mentioned in the Thomist's claim is the kind required by presentism. And yes, presentism has been falsified by science by all the experiments that support SR.

            Nope, relativity refutes the idea time follows the same everywhere. If it still "flows" then it can still change. That it is faster outside a gravity well or at a slower moving reference frame it is still moving in some way. I think everyone here is equivocating between space time and the mere change from past present to future. If Spacetime is static there is no reason why we would not need an act/potency distinction to model moving threw it.

            You equivocate Being qua Being with the study of material reality by developing quantitative models and testing them by observation and experiment. Science show time flows more slowly in a gravity well but it doesn't prove or disprove only present time exists or that the past present and future are unreal.

            >I'm not saying the claim itself is scientific,

            You just contradicted yourself. Eternalism and presentism are either confirmed or refuted by relativity? Nope not at all. You can accept Relativity and presentism. Wither you think the philosophical arguments are good or not is one thing. But this is not science.

            >And if science could exclude the kind of "movement" that requires the assumption of presentism being true, then what?

            It can't. Science can only refute a specific type of physical "movement" in material reality specifically the claim all of time everywhere "moves" at the same rate but it doesn't prove time doesn't move at all & if space time doesn't do the moving it doesn't prove we don't somehow move threw it.

            >What becomes of the Thomist's claim that movement requires a prime mover? Your "at bests" completely fail.

            The existence of a prime mover cannot be scientifically verified or falsified science the Prime mover is not a material reality.

            > I agree, it is testable by science.

            You are reading what you want to see at this point.

            I said "No you can't since mental causation by nature involves formal and final causality. Science can only test material and efficient causes."

            Are you saying because science can't test formal and final causes that means they don't exists? Cause that is some blatant scientism.

            >. The intellect cannot possibly require a material or bodily organ for its operations according to Thomism, and so must exist independently of it, and yet since it's the intellect that determines a certain course of action is the best one to take and the will follows it, and the body proceeds to move in a way that constitutes the action, which is the firing of the neurons, flexing of the muscles, etc., if you're going to tell me that only material causes/forces can do this, then there's no need for the intellect as a cause of anything.

            You really don't get the "science by it's nature can only test material or efficient causes". Metal detectors can only find metal coins not purely wooden. Science cannot by it's nature detect formal or final causes. If you cannot grasp this then no rational conversation is possible.

          • Treating it like it was making scientific claims is coherent. It is no incoherent as a philosophy on philosophical grounds IMHO.

            I think your comment is incoherent. I think you need to check its grammar.

            There's nothing scientifically true about it, but your St. Feser is clearly making a claim that immaterial intellects have a causal power on physical bodies, and that makes a claim that falls into the testability of science. It is ignorant to not realize this.

            A text without a context is a pretext.

            The context is already give: what is the intellect and does it interact with the body? Feser answered, you said he was incoherent. We agree.

            Just giving what I get.

            Weird, I don't see reasoned arguments from you.

            simpliciter means without any qualification or condition.

            So metaphysics that has not been qualified cannot be refuted by science? Dude nothing that has not been qualified can be refuted by anything.

            So much gibberish.

            Simpliciter means in and of itself, meaning metaphysics itself, as opposed to particular metaphysical views. And yes, metaphysics without any qualification can't be refuted by science. You keep asserting (falsely) that I'm saying this. No gibberish. Just deal with a knee jerk personality.

            Rather your assumption Thomistic metaphysical claims are scientific ones & treating them as scientific is not coherent.

            I never said all Thomistic metaphysical claims are scientific ones. I said some are in that they assert things that science has something to say about. Act/potency, mental causation, are but a few examples.

            In order for me to be wrong it would have to be the case that (1) act/potency does not presuppose presentism, and that (2) presentism isn't a view that science has anything to say about. Clearly that is false. You are either ignorant of these things or in denial. But you cannot show 1 and 2 are true.

            Nope, relativity refutes the idea time follows the same everywhere. If it still "flows" then it can still change. That it is faster outside a gravity well or at a slower moving reference frame it is still moving in some way. I think everyone here is equivocating between space time and the mere change from past present to future. If Spacetime is static there is no reason why we would not need an act/potency distinction to model moving threw it.

            Um nope, relativity does not only show us that time is relative. Is that all you know about it? If so, it would explain your ignorant statement. SR shows that time doesn't flow at all, because space and time are intertwined into spacetime, which as a whole is a static block. "Change" in spacetime simply means that not all parts of the block universe are the same, and yes, people equivocate a lot on this. If spacetime is static there is no movement threw it at all in the traditional sense of the term movement, because it's static.

            You equivocate Being qua Being with the study of material reality by developing quantitative models and testing them by observation and experiment. Science show time flows more slowly in a gravity well but it doesn't prove or disprove only present time exists or that the past present and future are unreal.

            I equivocate no such thing, I just state that Thomism makes claims about the nature of physical reality that science has something to say about, and for at least some of those claims science has shown they are wrong. That's why we can know confidently Thomism is false. Science shows there is a relativity of simultaneity, and this is only possible on eternalism, not presentism. And science shows time does not "flow" at all. It's static.

            Dr Bonnette's OP here affirms what I'm saying as he writes that a presentist-view of change and movement is required for Thomism to get off the ground.

            You just contradicted yourself. Eternalism and presentism are either confirmed or refuted by relativity? Nope not at all. You can accept Relativity and presentism. Wither you think the philosophical arguments are good or not is one thing. But this is not science.

            Knee Jerk alert!!! Eternalism and presentism are confirmed or refuted by relativity. You can't accept SR and presentism without contradicting yourself and holding false views.

            It can't. Science can only refute a specific type of physical "movement" in material reality specifically the claim all of time everywhere "moves" at the same rate but it doesn't prove time doesn't move at all & if space time doesn't do the moving it doesn't prove we don't somehow move threw it.

            Lots of equivocation here. It can, actually, and all the fundamental laws of physics describe a world that is technically static, as you'd expect if it were a spacetime block. Relativity also falsifies presentism, and affirms eternalism, and you're wrong that it doesn't. Given this movement as it is defined under presentism is false.

            The existence of a prime mover cannot be scientifically verified or falsified science the Prime mover is not a material reality.

            But the prime mover relies on a presentism assumption of movement, and presentism can be falsified by science. So in order to deduce the prime mover you need to assume something false is the case. So you're wrong.

            You are reading what you want to see at this point.

            I said "No you can't since mental causation by nature involves formal and final causality. Science can only test material and efficient causes."

            Are you saying because science can't test formal and final causes that means they don't exists? Cause that is some blatant scientism.

            No, I'm saying science can test at least some aspects of formal and final causes, and show they are false.

            You really don't get the "science by it's nature can only test material or efficient causes". Metal detectors can only find metal coins not purely wooden. Science cannot by it's nature detect formal or final causes. If you cannot grasp this then no rational conversation is possible.

            You really don't get the "since it's the intellect that determines a certain course of action is the best one to take and the will follows it" makes a claim that there is not a material cause for the action, there is an immaterial one called the intellect, and that requires an immaterial causing a physical thing, and that puts it into the domain of science. So either the intellect is causally impotent, or it causes matter and is testable by science.

            If you cannot grasp this then no rational conversation is possible.

          • Jim the Scott

            Dude

            Once more you said.

            >That's not true because on this assumption the immaterial soul of a substance dualist would be material since it would have a causal effect on the material.

            So it is both immaterial and material at the same time? That is a contradiction. That is like saying X=Not X. If this your "reasoning" then I am going to stop here and not answer the rest of your silly blather . This shows conclusively it would be impossible to have a rational conversation with you as this statement shows you are not rational.

            You have to make a philosophical criticism of wither or not a hypothetical immaterial substance could coherently be the material or efficient cause of the movement of the body.

            A Thomist of course would not ask that question. A Thomist would know about formal and final causes. You equivocate on cause treating the four causes as if they where all one thing.

            You are too insane to have a discussion with.

            PS I told on you. I told Dr. B about what you said about immaterial causes being material. I am sure he will find that most interesting.

          • Jim the Scott

            >There's no confusion at all here - though I will admit sometimes my wording is not perfect, and it leads to misuderstandings.

            Then until you perfect your wording skills what is the point?

            Look at this following word salad.

            >Eternalism is again just the name for "what do we call a reality where SR and the relativity of simultaneity are true?"

            No eternalism is quote" is a philosophical approach to the ontological nature of time, which takes the view that all points in time are equally real, as opposed to the presentist idea that only the present is real, and the growing block universe theory of time in which past and present are real while the future is not."

            You are giving me the definition of special relativity and equating that with eternailism.

            This is not mere imperfect wording. This is redefining terms.

            > I never said eternalism was science, I said we know it's true from science.

            No you don't know it's true from science. That time flows at different speeds in different reference frames doesn't make time real or not. Nor does it make the past or future real or not.

            >There is no "moving" from act to potency on eternalism. Perhaps you don't know enough about it, and that's why you make such a claim. I don't know.

            You equate eternalism with SR. Just like you confuse Natural Theology with Revealed Theology.

            This is beyond imperfect wording. It can't tell me anything. It mixes scientific claims I have believed all my life with philosophical claims and science. It's just....wow.

            >I can with ease conceive of myself affirming god but still know that none of your rebuttals to my arguments and none of your Thomistic beliefs can get me to that knowledge any more than Ken Ham can show you good arguments for god.

            stealing my lines & repeating them back to me is not rebuttal.

            It just means you are a thief. But I respect the fact you steal from the best.

            Who knew you had Scottish blood?

          • Then until you perfect your wording skills what is the point?

            That's saying saying until everyone communicates 100% perfectly no communication is possible. Have you decided to become a silent monk?

            Look at this following word salad.

            No word salad. You're just ignorant.

            No eternalism is quote" is a philosophical approach to the ontological nature of time, which takes the view that all points in time are equally real, as opposed to the presentist idea that only the present is real, and the growing block universe theory of time in which past and present are real while the future is not."

            You are giving me the definition of special relativity and equating that with eternailism.

            This is not mere imperfect wording. This is redefining terms.

            And that definition of eternalism is what you'd call a reality where SR and the relativity of simultaneity are true - because if the relativity of simultaneity is true, that can only take place in a world where eternalism is true. There is no possible world where the relativity of simultaneity is true, and eternalism is false, or vice versa. I'm not redefining eternalism as SR, this is your knee jerk idiocy again.

            No you don't know it's true from science. That time flows at different speeds in different reference frames doesn't make time real or not. Nor does it make the past or future real or not.

            You have no clue what you're talking about because you have no clue what SR or GR says. SR doesn't only say time passes differently in different reference frames. If that's all you knew, of course you'd say something as ignorant as you did. Here's one simple argument using science that can disprove presentism:

            P1. There are gravitational waves.
            P2. Gravitational waves have non-zero Weyl curvature.
            P3. Non-zero Weyl curvature is only possible in 4 or more dimensions.
            P4. Presentism is incompatible with a 4 dimensional world.
            Then, presentism is false.

            You equate eternalism with SR. Just like you confuse Natural Theology with Revealed Theology.

            This is beyond imperfect wording. It can't tell me anything. It mixes scientific claims I have believed all my life with philosophical claims and science. It's just....wow.

            I didn't equate SR with eternalism nor did I confuse natural theology with revealed theology. This is your knee jerk idiocy again.

            stealing my lines & repeating them back to me is not rebuttal.

            It just means you are a thief. But I respect the fact you steal from the best.

            Neither was you "rebuttal" a rebuttal. Give me an actual rebuttal to steal.

          • Jim the Scott

            Dude

            You said
            >That's not true because on this assumption the immaterial soul of a substance dualist would be material since it would have a causal effect on the material.

            So it is both immaterial and material at the same time? That is a contradiction. That is like saying X=Not X. If this your "reasoning" then I am going to stop here and not answer the rest of your silly blather . This shows conclusively it would be impossible to have a rational conversation with you as this statement shows you are not rational.

            You have to make a philosophical criticism of wither or not a hypothetical immaterial substance could coherently be the material or efficient cause of the movement of the body.

            A Thomist of course would not ask that question,

          • Jim the Scott

            >>This from the boob who ACTUALLY THINKS the doctrine of the Incarnation dictates God changes his divine nature! All your arguments without exception seem to be strawmen.

            >It changes god's immaterial nature, and special pleading is all you have to deny it or that Jesus isn't god.

            Only if you believe in monophysite heresy . You having nothing intelligent to say.

          • Only if you believe in monophysite heresy . You having nothing intelligent to say.

            Two natures, one natures, both incoherent, and both make no sense. Regarding the incarnation, Jesus is god, Jesus is physical, yet god isn't physical. Makes total sense. That's why Ken Ham believes it.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Two natures, one natures, both incoherent, and both make no sense.

            Two distinct natures united in one divine person without division or confusion.

            Seems straight forward.

            >Regarding the incarnation, Jesus is god, Jesus is physical, yet god isn't physical. Makes total sense. That's why Ken Ham believes it.

            Jesus' human nature is physical his divine nature and person are not. That makes perfect sense and of course it is free from formal contradiction.

            Even if I didn't believe it I would still understand what it was I didn't believe.

            You can't make that claim I am afraid. You are an idiot.

          • Two distinct natures united in one divine person without division or confusion.

            Seems pretty incoherent. He's divine and human, and god had the potential to become divine and human yet he has no potentials.

            Jesus' human nature is physical his divine nature and person are not. That makes perfect sense and of course it is free from formal contradiction.
            Even if I didn't believe it I would still understand what it was I didn't believe.

            That means the divine nature has a physical body associated with it like the way your soul has a phyiscal body attached to it, and that means god had this potential. Also persons are related to their bodies. Even on Christianity, you get a body in heaven. Did god's divine nature have the potential to become a person with a divine and human nature?

            You can't make that claim I am afraid. You are an idiot.

            I think you've demonstrated your idiocy long ago.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Seems pretty incoherent.

            No that would be your weird and novel reformulations of the doctrine.

            >He's divine and human,

            Nope, he has two distinct natures one human and other divine.

            Merely saying "he is divine and human" without qualification is just one more way you equivocate and engage in linguistic mischief because you are not really a thinker. You are a mere sophist at heart. That is self evident from your behavior.

            > and god had the potential to become divine and human yet he has no potentials.

            No God contains in his divine nature no passive potencies because he is already pure act. Uniting a divine nature to a human nature does not change that unchangeable divine nature.
            God is not actualizing in the divine nature any passive potency by said union since nothing in the divine nature can change physically or metaphysically.

            Being you have a strong scientism mindset in spite of your pathetic claims to confess "weak scientism" I imagine you think the incarnation was (literally) akin to a mixing of chemicals or mixing atomic elements creating a new substance? You are imagining some form of transmutation of a divine nature into a human nature which is pretty much impossible & not the formal content of the actual doctrine?

            That is obvious.

            >That means the divine nature has a physical body associated with it like the way your soul has a phyiscal body attached to it,

            No, you have moved from monophysite heresy to the Apollinarian.
            You are s***e at this.

            It would be fun to see what stupid s***e you say about the Trinity? If I stopped believing these doctrines today I would still at least understand the ideas behind them. So what is you malfunction?

            >Also persons are related to their bodies.

            So here I predict you being a person with a kneejerk need to equivocate will now try to read some reductionist materialist view of personhood into this concept? Yeh the doctrine doesn't presuppose that.

            >Even on Christianity, you get a body in heaven.

            No only Jesus, Mary, Enoch and Elijah maybe Moses get that we don't get that till the resurrection. Do pay attention.

            >Did god's divine nature have the potential to become a person with a divine and human nature?

            How is the external potential for any one of the divine persons to become incarnate by uniting to a human nature equivalent to having a physical property that can change or a metaphysical potential in a nature that can become actual(the later two the divine nature by definition lack)?
            Or too simplify it so that even a boob like you can understand.

            How is the external potential for any one of the divine persons to become incarnate equivalent to a passive physical or metaphysical potency?

            You make a lot of fallacies of the undistributed middle by ignoring the relevant adjectives modifying terms.

            The external potential for God to do something is not equivalent to a passive physical or metaphysical potency that can become act within a nature.

            Of course your rhetorical trick is obvious. Do you imagine it is this "God being act has no potencies & yet he has the potential to incarnate ergo the incarnation is incoherent."

            This really is no better then Ctesippus the sophist "arguing" - "Your dog has puppies? Yes, and they are very like himself. And the dog is the father of them? Yes, he said, I certainly saw him and the mother of the puppies >come together. And is he not yours? To be sure he is. Then he is a father, and he is yours; ergo, he is your father, and the puppies are your brothers."

            do you really possess no ability to think rationally?

            Of course not! You think scientific data is the same as metaphysics or philosophy.

            I must learn to lower my expectations.

            >I think you've demonstrated your idiocy long ago.

            Get away from that mirror and stop talking too yourself. It's creepy.

          • No that would be your weird and novel reformulations of the doctrine.

            Not really.

            Nope, he has two distinct natures one human and other divine.

            Merely saying "he is divine and human" without qualification is just one more way you equivocate and engage in linguistic mischief because you are not really a thinker. You are a mere sophist at heart. That is self evident from your behavior.

            Oh so since we we need qualitications: How does he have two distinct natures? Could I also have these two distinct natures? Could a goat also have them? Could a mountain? A rock? Explain this divine nature in full detail in a way that's not incoherent.

            No God contains in his divine nature no passive potencies because he is already pure act. Uniting a divine nature to a human nature does not change that unchangeable divine nature.
            God is not actualizing in the divine nature any passive potency by said union since nothing in the divine nature can change physically or metaphysically.

            But at one point in time god is purely immaterial, and at another point in time his divine nature is correleated with a physical body. How can god not have had the potential do so? How can god even initiate a union of any kind without having the potential for such a union? Seems that you want to have it both ways.

            Being you have a strong scientism mindset in spite of your pathetic claims to confess "weak scientism" I imagine you think the incarnation was (literally) akin to a mixing of chemicals or mixing atomic elements creating a new substance? You are imagining some form of transmutation of a divine nature into a human nature which is pretty much impossible & not the formal content of the actual doctrine?

            That is obvious.

            No strong scientism for me, as I've already proven, but keep up the pathetic false accusations, it's becoming part of your reputation. Obviously god is immaterial, but to say physical Jesus is god and has a divine nature, you have to fully and coherently explain how an immaterial being with no potentials whatsoever, can at a specific point in time enter the human world and associate (unify) itself with a Middle Eastern Jew. That's totally incoherent.

            No, you have moved from monophysite heresy to the Apollinarian.
            You are s***e at this.

            It would be fun to see what stupid s***e you say about the Trinity? If I stopped believing these doctrines today I would still at least understand the ideas behind them. So what is you malfunction?

            So the divine nature of Jesus was not his soul? Seems that the 'malfucntion' here is your religion. Not my brain. So what view on Jesus's nature is the correct one?

            So here I predict you being a person with a kneejerk need to equivocate will now try to read some reductionist materialist view of personhood into this concept? Yeh the doctrine doesn't presuppose that.

            So what is a "person" to you?

            No only Jesus, Mary, Enoch and Elijah maybe Moses get that we don't get that till the resurrection. Do pay attention.

            And until then?

            How is the external potential for any one of the divine persons to become incarnate by uniting to a human nature equivalent to having a physical property that can change or a metaphysical potential in a nature that can become actual(the later two the divine nature by definition lack)?
            Or too simplify it so that even a boob like you can understand.

            How is the external potential for any one of the divine persons to become incarnate equivalent to a passive physical or metaphysical potency?

            Because it isn't an external potential. It's an internal potential of the triune god to exist in time in a physical being (even it it's just that physical being carrying the "divine nature" whatever that means) assuming human form. A truly immaterial being of pure act by definition would not be capable of that.

            You make a lot of fallacies of the undistributed middle by ignoring the relevant adjectives modifying terms.

            The external potential for God to do something is not equivalent to a passive physical or metaphysical potency that can become act within a nature.

            I see no reason to believe it's an external potential, and that sounds like sophstry. Make sense of this.

            Of course your rhetorical trick is obvious. Do you imagine it is this "God being act has no potencies & yet he has the potential to incarnate ergo the incarnation is incoherent."

            Just like how Jews and Muslims consider it blasphemy that any human could be associated with god, I think they have a point. Given god's nature: immaterial, timeless(?), pure act, no potential whatsoever, I'm also being told god can impregnate a tennager and birth himself out of her as a physical person in time, but this was an "external potential". Sorry that doesn't cut it.

            do you really possess no ability to think rationally?

            Of course not! You think scientific data is the same as metaphysics or philosophy.

            I must learn to lower my expectations.

            I clearly do posses the ability to think rationally, but you cannot deny the trinity has numerous problems. There's a lot of sophistry needed to explain it, as it is apparent here. And I do not confuse scientific data is the same as metaphysics or philosophy - that is your strawman and knee jerk reaction to accuse everyone of scientism again.

            Get away from that mirror and stop talking too yourself. It's creepy.

            No I'm talking to you.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Oh so since we we need qualitications: How does he have two distinct natures? Could I also have these two distinct natures? Could a goat also have them? Could a mountain? A rock? Explain this divine nature in full detail in a way that's not incoherent.

            Nope, request denied as that is absurd. The incarnation is a species of Negative Theology* & it is by definition also a species of revealed theology and can only be known via divine revelation. It cannot be positively explained and must be taken on faith. God can only be compared to creature analogously not unequivocally. Created things can be compared to each other unequivocally but you cannot do it with God. If two created thing combine their natures they wind up having a new nature. Such as combining hydrogen and oxygen creates the nature of water and not two potentially explosive gases.

            *Negative Theology tells us we can say stuff about God but by definition we cannot say what God is as God in his essence. God's nature is incomprehensible if it was not so then God would not be God. Negative Theology also tells us what God is by telling us what he is not. God is not composite or physically divisible which is why he can unite to a rational human nature and not change his own.

            As a side note. The only way God could become a Goat is if there was a species of rational animal with an intellect and will unequivocally identical to a human 's that physically resembles a goat. If God created such a creature (which metaphysically would be "human" but in a different physical form) he could from all eternity if He so willed become incarnate as one.

            >But at one point in time god is purely immaterial, and at another point in time his divine nature is correleated with a physical body. How can god not have had the potential do so? How can god even initiate a union of any kind without having the potential for such a union? Seems that you want to have it both ways.

            Here you are ignoring the distinction I made between God's lack of "passive physical and metaphysical potency in his divine nature" and the concept of potential in general. Such as God's "potential" to create or refrain from creating.
            I suppose you get this concept from Craig?
            Two words for you.
            “Cambridge properties.”

            http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2009/11/william-lane-craig-on-divine-simplicity.html

            You seem to have this deep seated need to equivocate? Sorry but even if I stop believing in God I would still think of your implicit "God has the potential to become incarnate therefore your claim he has not potenys is incoherent" meme is pure sophistry.

            Maybe there is no God? But this is not an argument that can "prove" the incarnation or Classic theism incompatible with a Classic Theist God.

            Now let us see what other nonsense you have?

            >No strong scientism for me, as I've already proven,

            No you merely deny it your actions and silly questions and statement prove it.

            > but keep up the pathetic false accusations, it's becoming part of your reputation. Obviously god is immaterial, but to say physical Jesus is god and has a divine nature,

            No idiot! The divine person of the word who is essential identical with the divine nature is united to a human nature(human nature are more then physical)

            More equivocations because you are a brain dead Gnu. Geez if I was an Atheist I would never be a New Atheist. You people are as dumb as Frak!
            If I was going to Hell for eternity at least I would not be a Gnu. Why add insult to injury?

            > you have to fully and coherently explain how an immaterial being with no potentials whatsoever, can at a specific point in time enter the human world and associate (unify) itself with a Middle Eastern Jew. That's totally incoherent.

            I didn't say God has no potential whatsoever? That is not true. I said God has no passive physical and metaphysical potency.
            You are predictable at this point. Like I said if I was an Atheist I would still get these concepts & if I wanted to I could criticize them from a position of knowledge. You will forever be a boob.

            > an immaterial being

            God is Being Itself or Substantive Being which is immaterial. God is not "a being" that is immaterial. God is not an Angel only more uber goofball.

            >So the divine nature of Jesus was not his soul?

            Correct! Jesus in fact has a human soul from his human nature. Well that is some progress now you won't look completely stupid when you try to polemic Christianity....but I am not hopeful.

            > Seems that the 'malfucntion' here is your religion. Not my brain. So what view on Jesus's nature is the correct one?

            The Council of Chalcedon ...duh!

            >So what is a "person" to you?

            At last at least one sensible question(took you long enough). I take it you mean what is a divine person. A Divine Person is a subsisting Relation in the Godhead. Because it is a real relation is it really distinct from an opposing real relation. Of course it's real distinction is neither physical nor metaphysical but mysterious and in principle unknowable.

            A divine person is analogous to a human person in that both are "who's" vs a "what". A person is the operating principle in a rational being. In god this is understood to be analogous to a human person.

            >And until then?

            Frak that I should know?

            >Because it isn't an external potential.

            So now you are redefining the doctrine for us? Useless twit. Dude you can' t will an argument against a belief by redefining it. You can believe it or disbelieve it or argue it is true or false but this is just special pleading.

            > It's an internal potential of the triune god to exist in time in a physical being

            A "internal potential" is just something you now made up. It is not a classic term. It's not a thing.

            Let me help you. God has the ACTIVE POTENTIAL being pure act to will from all eternity to become incarnate with a rational created nature. God has ACTIVE POTENCY. That is what being in Act.

            You didn't know that? :D What a boob....

            > A truly immaterial being of pure act by definition would not be capable of that.

            Moron to be in Act is to have ACTIVE POTENCY. To be in Pure Act is to be Pure ACTIVE POTENCY. Thus God has the active potency to be by definition capable of that.

            >I see no reason to believe it's an external potential, and that sounds like sophstry. Make sense of this.

            Well it is external in the sense it is not an internal change in nature. Because Pure ACTIVE POTENCY would have to be.

            >Just like how Jews and Muslims consider it blasphemy that any human could be associated with god, I think they have a point.

            Well you could only know that to be true if you accept the jewish interpretation of OT revelation or if you accept the Koran. So what you are saying is you are an Atheist who believes in Muslim divine revelation or Jewish interpretation of OT revelation?

            Dude I was joking before when I said can we find an Agnostic who was a Nestorian? An Atheist who believes in Koranic or post NT Rabbinic religious doctrine? It's like saying your an idealist materialist.....

            > Given god's nature: immaterial, timeless(?), pure act, no potential whatsoever,

            Who says God has no potency whatsoever? He has no passive physical or metaphysical potency. He has ACTIVE POTENCY. What is what Act is.. go look it up.

            > I'm also being told god can impregnate a tennager and birth himself out of her as a physical person in time, but this was an "external potential". Sorry that doesn't cut it

            This is just argument from ridicule. Like the idiot Creationist who says "Well I never saw an Ape give birth to a human!".

            No are really no better then him. Don't you have any self respect?

            >I clearly do posses the ability to think rationally,

            ROTFLOL!!! You are a legend in your own mind......

            > but you cannot deny the trinity has numerous problems.

            If I had good reasons to believe in Atheism I could dismiss the existence of any Classic view of God and the Trinity would go with it. If I thought the arguments for the existence of God where not strong enough to demand my belief the same. But no...the doctrine has not problem other then strawmaning twits who argue against it by redefining it.

            >There's a lot of sophistry needed to explain it,

            Says the basement dweller who doesn't know Act is just shorthand for Active Potency.

            >as it is apparent here. And I do not confuse scientific data is the same as metaphysics or philosophy - that is your strawman and knee jerk reaction to accuse everyone of scientism again.

            Merry Christmas.

          • It cannot be positively explained and must be taken on faith.

            Which means it's an inchoerent load of crap that Christians just expect us to believe. That is the foundation of your religion.

            Created things can be compared to each other unequivocally but you cannot do it with God.

            Which is very convient for the Thomist because all of god's incoherencies can be excused with a hand wave of "this is only analogously true not unequivocally." Now that may be good enough for you and your faith, but for many of us it is not.

            *Negative Theology tells us we can say stuff about God but by definition we cannot say what God is as God in his essence. God's nature is incomprehensible if it was not so then God would not be God. Negative Theology also tells us what God is by telling us what he is not. God is not composite or physically divisible which is why he can unite to a rational human nature and not change his own.

            Yes, I've all heard this before. God is a fuzzy world salad that cannot even be coherently described because it's beyond our comprehension, but we should believe in it anway because, you know, we need a prime mover, even though that idea relies on a theory of time shown false by science, but to get around that we can just play word games and say that our metaphysics by definition cannot be refuted by science, and then keep repeating that over and over again and stick our fingers in our ears.

            Well, you can image why some of us do not accept your views.

            As a side note. The only way God could become a Goat is if there was a species of rational animal with an intellect and will unequivocally identical to a human 's that physically resembles a goat. If God created such a creature (which metaphysically would be "human" but in a different physical form) he could from all eternity if He so willed become incarnate as one.

            But wouldn't god becoming the goat give the goat said intellect? Why does the being need to posses that intellect beforehand? That makes no sense to me, since it seems to me that the beings soul would be god. Could god have become a severely mentally disabled person?

            Here you are ignoring the distinction I made between God's lack of "passive physical and metaphysical potency in his divine nature" and the concept of potential in general. Such as God's "potential" to create or refrain from creating.
            I suppose you get this concept from Craig?
            Two words for you.
            “Cambridge properties.”

            So you're saying that god does absolutely nothing, and yet, still manages to create, and change other things, ie, do things? Is that correct?

            You seem to have this deep seated need to equivocate? Sorry but even if I stop believing in God I would still think of your implicit "God has the potential to become incarnate therefore your claim he has not potenys is incoherent" meme is pure sophistry.

            Well since you've basically already admitted (as all Thomists have to do) that you cannot describe your god the way it really is in a coherently manner, but can only through analogy, I'm asking you a simple question above that I would appreciate an answer to.

            Maybe there is no God? But this is not an argument that can "prove" the incarnation or Classic theism incompatible with a Classic Theist God.

            Now let us see what other nonsense you have?

            Yet to be decided.

            No you merely deny it your actions and silly questions and statement prove it.

            They don't, you just wield your hammer to preemptively.

            No idiot! The divine person of the word who is essential identical with the divine nature is united to a human nature(human nature are more then physical)

            Did god have to do anything in order to unite his divine nature to a human nature?

            More equivocations because you are a brain dead Gnu. Geez if I was an Atheist I would never be a New Atheist. You people are as dumb as Frak!
            If I was going to Hell for eternity at least I would not be a Gnu. Why add insult to injury?

            Who said I'm a New Atheist? If you think world salads are going to explain your god, and hope that I just accept that it's an analogy, you're wrong. The "divine person of the word" is the "divine nature" and is united to the non-physical aspects of human nature, correct? Seems like there was a potential god had to do that. Right?

            I didn't say God has no potential whatsoever? That is not true. I said God has no passive physical and metaphysical potency.
            You are predictable at this point. Like I said if I was an Atheist I would still get these concepts & if I wanted to I could criticize them from a position of knowledge. You will forever be a boob.

            You love insults, the true Christian in you comes out on the internet. So god has potentials, like which kind exactly. God has the potential to.....explain. How is uniting the divine nature with the human nature not a metaphysical potency?

            God is Being Itself or Substantive Being which is immaterial. God is not "a being" that is immaterial. God is not an Angel only more uber goofball.

            OK, then you have to fully and coherently explain how being itself with no metaphysical potentials whatsoever, can at a specific point in time enter the human world and associate (unify) itself with a Middle Eastern Jew. Better?

            Correct! Jesus in fact has a human soul from his human nature. Well that is some progress now you won't look completely stupid when you try to polemic Christianity....but I am not hopeful.

            According to your particular view. The next Christian I encounter could have a completely different view on god's nature and Jesus and then I might have to start from scratch and learn a whole new way this could be. The real stupidity is believing any of this is real.

            The Council of Chalcedon ...duh!

            And you know this for a fact or is it something that "must be taken on faith"?

            Because it is a real relation is it really distinct from an opposing real relation. Of course it's real distinction is neither physical nor metaphysical but mysterious and in principle unknowable.

            No I was actually asking what a regular person is to you, not a divine person. I see nothing but a word salad above.

            A divine person is analogous to a human person in that both are "who's" vs a "what". A person is the operating principle in a rational being. In god this is understood to be analogous to a human person.

            What's that operating principle? I'm really asking how you define a person, and what things or substances make up a "person."

            Frak that I should know?

            You could just make stuff up. It wouldn't be out of line with the rest of your beliefs.

            So now you are redefining the doctrine for us? Useless twit. Dude you can' t will an argument against a belief by redefining it. You can believe it or disbelieve it or argue it is true or false but this is just special pleading.

            I'm not redefining it, I'm saying what you're referring to is an internal potential that's merely being called an external potential. I have no idea where the special pleading claim comes from. Do you even know what that means? Wouldn't special pleading apply to your incoherent god claims that cannot in principle be explained?

            A "internal potential" is just something you now made up. It is not a classic term. It's not a thing.

            Let me help you. God has the ACTIVE POTENTIAL being pure act to will from all eternity to become incarnate with a rational created nature. God has ACTIVE POTENCY. That is what being in Act.

            You didn't know that? :D What a boob....

            I know that. Active potency is "the principle of change or of acting upon another inasmuch as it is another thing; a power; the capacity to do or make; a principle of action." But even if god willed from all eternity to impregnate a 14 year old girl in Palestine, god still must do something to materialize it. And doing always requires change. Wouldn't you agree that It's logically impossible to do something without change (even if everything is immaterial)?

            Also, is the reason why god willed the incarnation from all eternity a necessary one?

            Moron to be in Act is to have ACTIVE POTENCY. To be in Pure Act is to be Pure ACTIVE POTENCY. Thus God has the active potency to be by definition capable of that.

            So god has no potentials "whatsoever" (according to Feser) but he has the potential to impregnate a 14 year old girl in Palestine in time?

            Well it is external in the sense it is not an internal change in nature. Because Pure ACTIVE POTENCY would have to be.

            Anything done in time, where you have a before and after relationship as the incarnation requires, requires change. You seem to want me to believe that god is timeless, changeless, and yet can still do things that requires time and change.

            Well you could only know that to be true if you accept the jewish interpretation of OT revelation or if you accept the Koran. So what you are saying is you are an Atheist who believes in Muslim divine revelation or Jewish interpretation of OT revelation?

            No of course not. I'm just saying from a logical perspective, they have a much stronger case than does the Christian. For example, all three of you believe god is a necessary being, but the Christian has a more difficult case. He has to say not only is god a necessary being, god is also an eternal 3 headed triune. So a he has to make a logical argument that not only does god necessarily exist, it's necessarily that a triune god exist. But of course he can never do that, so he requires more faith on top of that. Combine that squaring the incoherencies of god and the trinity and that makes it that much harder.

            So no idiot, I need not accept any religious doctrine, it's plain to see that from the perspective of pure logic, the Christian's view adds layers of additional claims that cannot possibly be justified. That's why it "must be taken on faith."

            Dude I was joking before when I said can we find an Agnostic who was a Nestorian? An Atheist who believes in Koranic or post NT Rabbinic religious doctrine? It's like saying your an idealist materialist.....

            Keep rolling in your stupidity.

            Who says God has no potency whatsoever? He has no passive physical or metaphysical potency. He has ACTIVE POTENCY. What is what Act is.. go look it up.

            Um Edward Feser does in his book, The Last Superstition. He says "A being of Pure Actuality, lacking any potentiality whatsoever, would also have to be immaterial, since to be a material thing entails being changeable in various ways, which a purely actual being cannot be. (98) So god has no" potentiality whatsoever" but has active potency. Got it.

            This is just argument from ridicule. Like the idiot Creationist who says "Well I never saw an Ape give birth to a human!".

            No it's just an accurate description of the core event of your religion. If you find that ridiculous, says more about your religion than me.

            No are really no better then him. Don't you have any self respect?

            Please don't compare me to the creationist because we are nothing alike.

            ROTFLOL!!! You are a legend in your own mind......

            You're going to need a shower after all that rolling in your own feces.

            If I had good reasons to believe in Atheism I could dismiss the existence of any Classic view of God and the Trinity would go with it. If I thought the arguments for the existence of God where not strong enough to demand my belief the same. But no...the doctrine has not problem other then strawmaning twits who argue against it by redefining it.

            The doctrine has numerous problems, as I've stated here.

            Says the basement dweller who doesn't know Act is just shorthand for Active Potency.

            I think I sense a but of projection here in you. I know act is shorthand for active potency, I think the concept makes no sense when talking about god.

            Merry Christmas.

            The day Christians stole from the pagans!

          • Jim the Scott

            So many mistakes.. But I will remove more insults because it is Christmas.

            >Which means it's an inchoerent load of crap that Christians just expect us to believe. That is the foundation of your religion.

            Sorry wrong religion. Vatican One condemns Fideism.

            >Which is very convient for the Thomist because all of god's incoherencies can be excused with a hand wave of "this is only analogously true not unequivocally." Now that may be good enough for you and your faith, but for many of us it is not.

            Sour grapes! I generously explained the concept. That you obviously don't understand the distinction between analogous and unequivocal comparisons is not my problem. Creationists don't know the difference between physical laws and metaphysical principles and make stupid statements about evolution. Come to think of it so do you.

            >Yes, I've all heard this before. God is a fuzzy world salad that cannot even be coherently described because it's beyond our comprehension, but we should believe in it anway because, you know, we need a prime mover, even though that idea relies on a theory of time shown false by science, but to get around that we can just play word games and say that our metaphysics by definition cannot be refuted by science, and then keep repeating that over and over again and stick our fingers in our ears.

            Or you could just admit you don't understand the concepts surrounding what you disbelieve in and can't coherently come up with an intelligible criticism to someone who understands it? Which is evident from your silly complaining. ;-)

            >Well, you can image why some of us do not accept your views.

            It is unremarkable that the ignorant reject what they don't understand. I prefer to understand what it is I reject. Try it sometime.

            >But wouldn't god becoming the goat give the goat said intellect?

            So now you think the Incarnate Jesus has only one intellect(the divine) and not two(a human intellect from the human nature & the divine from the divine)?

            The former is the monothelite heresy. The later the orthodox teaching. Geez you are going to run the gauntlet of misunderstanding Christian teaching in terms of false doctrines the Church has condemned centuries ago aren't you?

            >Why does the being need to posses that intellect beforehand? That makes no sense to me, since it seems to me that the beings soul would be god. Could god have become a severely mentally disabled person?

            I don't care if it doesn't make sense too you anymore then you care to answer the dumb scientific misfires and ignorance of a rube with a 5th grader's knowledge of science. I don't care to fill in the gabs of your massive ignorance. If you want to know go read Garrigou-Lagrange.

            >Well since you've basically already admitted (as all Thomists have to do) that you cannot describe your god the way it really is in a coherently manner, but can only through analogy, I'm asking you a simple question above that I would appreciate an answer to.

            Why should I? So you can bitch & whine some more because you don't understand the specifics of the theology, philosophy or the back round presuppositions? We both know you REALLY don't want to know. You just want me to mock. I prefer to understand what I reject. I'll still reject but at least I won't look silly.

            >Did god have to do anything in order to unite his divine nature to a human nature?

            I believe he sent away for a starter kit?

            >Who said I'm a New Atheist?

            I deduced it from your Scientism, philosophical stupidity and mind numbing anti-intellectual hostility to religion. That kind of gives it away.

            I despise Gnus. I like rational Atheists well enough like Nagel or O'Neil but Gnus are nothing more then an amusement. Fundies without God belief with all their vices and none of their virtues.

            >If you think world salads are going to explain your god, and hope that I just accept that it's an analogy, you're wrong.

            Or you could just admit you don't understand the concepts surrounding what you disbelieve in and can't coherently come up with an intelligible criticism to someone who understands it?

            > The "divine person of the word" is the "divine nature"
            and is united to the non-physical aspects of human nature, correct?

            A Person is the principle that operates a rational nature.(BTW Goats don't have a rational nature. A "goat" for whom God creates an intellect is mere material for Him to create a "human"in the metaphysical sense with a physical form that resembles a goat). The divine person operates both natures without mixing them.

            > Seems like there was a potential god had to do that. Right?

            Whatever.

            >OK, then you have to fully and coherently explain how being itself with no metaphysical potentials whatsoever, can at a specific point in time enter the human world and associate (unify) itself with a Middle Eastern Jew. Better?

            Or you could just admit you don't understand the concepts surrounding what you disbelieve in and can't coherently come up with an intelligible criticism to someone who understands it? Really understanding what you reject doesn't mean you will automatically accept it.

            >According to your particular view. The next Christian I encounter could have a completely different view on god's nature and Jesus and then I might have to start from scratch and learn a whole new way this could be. The real stupidity is believing any of this is real.

            So what? Not all Atheists hold your wacko Scientism nonsense. Negal comes to mind. Atheism has a broad spectrum of disbelief and some people don't believe in gods and are broadly uneducated. Arguments I might use against an Atheist who is a reductionist materialist I wouldn't dream of using against a Platonic Atheist because he would start accusing me of equivocating.

            >And you know this for a fact or is it something that "must be taken on faith"?

            I know not to equivocate between natural theology vs revealed theology.
            You it seems can barely tie your shoes or grasp this concept.

            >No I was actually asking what a regular person is to you, not a divine person. I see nothing but a word salad above.

            Well I am sure Quantum Physics sounds like a word salad to persons with a 6th graders level of scientific knowledge. Go read Aquinas and go learn theology so you can polemic from a position of knowledge. Otherwise all you can do is merely ridicule in a childish manner which won't convince the knowledgeable but merit their contempt.

            >What's that operating principle? I'm really asking how you define a person, and what things or substances make up a "person."

            Go do your own research. I answer what amuses me.

            >You could just make stuff up. It wouldn't be out of line with the rest of your beliefs.

            So you admit you don't really care to know? That is fine. But you will forever condemn yourself to mere ridicule not intelligent contra religious polemics.

            >I'm not redefining it, I'm saying what you're referring to is an internal potential that's merely being called an external potential.

            You are redefining it. I make sharp distinctions between God and Creatures. We are something like God but God is really nothing like us. Hence analogy.

            You want to see this in terms of some explanation of physics or at best materialism. This view presupposes neither & is incompatible.

            > I have no idea where the special pleading claim comes from. Do you even know what that means? Wouldn't special pleading apply to your incoherent god claims that cannot in principle be explained?

            Special pleading is an argument in which the speaker deliberately ignores aspects that are unfavorable to their point of view. That is you in a nutshell.

            >I know that. Active potency is "the principle of change or of acting upon another inasmuch as it is another thing; a power; the capacity to do or make; a principle of action."

            (Good you did some homework) Called Act for short. God is after all Omnipotent. Meaning he has all powers or more accurately all active power. If he had no potencies in the sense you equivocate he wouldn't be that?

            >But even if god willed from all eternity to impregnate a 14 year old girl in Palestine, god still must do something to materialize it. And doing always requires change.

            What does "do something to materialize it" mean? Now who is using word Salads?

            > Wouldn't you agree that It's logically impossible to do something without change (even if everything is immaterial)?

            No essential causality would require a first cause that is simply Pure Act and thus must be an unchanged changer. Or have you not been paying attention?

            >Also, is the reason why god willed the incarnation from all eternity a necessary one?

            Some theologians believe God could have redeemed us in another manner this is the one he choice. God must by necessity do His own will.

            >So god has no potentials "whatsoever" (according to Feser) but he has the potential to impregnate a 14 year old girl in Palestine in time?

            Feser in THE LAST SUPERSTITION and other works talks of the potentials that contrast with act. I learned over at his blog in discussions there that God having no potencies mean no passive potencies and certainly God would have active potency otherwise he would not be Pure Act.

            You can't just prooftext writings without context like a fundie prooftexts the bible & expect to impress me.

            >Anything done in time, where you have a before and after relationship as the incarnation requires, requires change. You seem to want me to believe that god is timeless, changeless, and yet can still do things that requires time and change.

            Now it sounds like you are channeling Divine Occasionalism? God causes things to exist that have secondary causes. He doesn't need to be the efficient act in everything.

            God being Act can actualize any potency. God is purely an Active Potency without passivity. This is not an unknown concept I read it in St Maximos the confessor who Aquinas quotes too. Something that is pure act can cause time and change without changing. Because Act doesn't need to change as Act. A created Act was once a potency before something in Act made it Act and the top down essentialist causal chain ends somewhere with Pure Act.

            >No of course not. I'm just saying from a logical perspective, they have a much stronger case than does the Christian. For example, all three of you believe god is a necessary being, but the Christian has a more difficult case.

            I fail to see how? But then again you don't have an accurate understanding of the doctrine of the incarnation. You have this weird strawman you constructed by special pleading & equivocation.

            >He has to say not only is god a necessary being, god is also an eternal 3 headed triune.

            Gibberish.

            > So a he has to make a logical argument that not only does god necessarily exist, it's necessarily that a triune god exist.

            Nope the Trinity can only be known by divine revelation. Jews and Christians have to argue over if the NT is a true successor to the OT & that Jesus is the Messiah. Muslims have to convince us the Koran is True and negates the NT.
            The arguments would be over what revelation is true or not. We don't as a rule make up philosophical arguments. Granted some Muslims and Jews I have talked to told me "God contains no real distinctions in the divine essence otherwise that denies the divine simplicity". I would respond "We understand the divine simplicity excludes real physical and metaphysical distinction. It does not exclude mysterious real distinctions.".
            At that point I suggest we need to argue over whose revelation is correct or not.

            > But of course he can never do that, so he requires more faith on top of that. Combine that squaring the incoherencies of god and the trinity and that makes it that much harder.

            From personal experience. Muslims are like Atheists in that they equivocate and ignore the laws of non-contradiction when they misrepresent the Trinity. Jews are more receptive because their mystical schools allow different dimensions in God. Especially Kaballha. One can make metaphorical comparisons with the Trinity there OTOH Muslims hold to God's 99 names and believe the Koran is eternal and their theologians shamelessly steal the Logos concept from Christians to explain it.
            But I know enough comparative religion to navigate those waters. Your knowledge OTOH is lacking and at best you might do mere ridicule but not intelligent polemics.

            >So no idiot, I need not accept any religious doctrine,

            I didn't say you needed to bonehead. I said one can only know God is a Trinity from revelation not philosophy.

            I don't confess the Muslim's unitarianism. I just know I could only know their unitarianism is true if I believed the Koran was divine revelation. I wouldn't waste my time trying to come up with futile philosophical arguments God is unitarian. That can't be known by philosophy only revelation.

            Let me make this simple for you. Over throw natural theology then there is no rational basis for belief in God and that overthrows all Classical Theistic Gods & revealed theology. Stop equivocating between revealed and natural theology it's silly.

            >it's plain to see that from the perspective of pure logic, the Christian's view adds layers of additional claims that cannot possibly be justified. That's why it "must be taken on faith."

            It can't be justified by the methods of natural theology or philosophy. You would need other branches of apologetics that deal with arguing for the truth of divine revelation or the resurrection etc.....

            If you try to use natural theology to overthrow the Trinity or incarnation I will simply conclude you are too ignorant to have a rational conversation with.

            >Um Edward Feser does in his book, The Last Superstition. He says "A being of Pure Actuality, lacking any potentiality whatsoever,would also have to be immaterial, since to be a material thing entails being changeable in various ways, which a purely actual being cannot be. (98) So god has no" potentiality whatsoever" but has active potency. Got it.g

            How cute you can proof text Feser like a fundie quotes Scripture. Sorry but the Potency he is talking about there is in contrast to Act and by definition refers to passive potency. I learned that over at Feser's blog.

            To cite Aquinas ""An effect may be said to pre-exist in the causal virtues of creatures, in two ways. First, both in active and in passive potentiality, so that not only can it be produced out of pre-existing matter, but also that some pre-existing creature can produce it. Secondly, in passive potentiality only; that is, that out of pre-existing matter it can be produced by God. In this sense, according to Augustine, the human body pre-existed in the previous work in their causal virtues."

            You really think Feser is saying something contrary to this? Or is unaware of it?

            According to this professional philosopher who has read his works.

            http://alanrhoda.net/wordpress/?p=576

            Quote:According to Feser (pp. 38ff.), potency can be subdivided into objective (i.e., merely conceptual) and subjective (i.e., real) potency. The latter, in turn, can be subdivided into active and passive potencies. Active potencies are better called “powers” because they are capacities to bring about effects, whereas passive potencies are capacities to be affected and changed. That the same term “potency” should be used for both active and passive potencies is both confusing and misleading. As Feser notes, it is passive potency that is potency in the strict sense that contrasts with act. So God who, according to Aquinas, is Pure Act is (qua omnipotent) loaded with active potency but utterly without passive potency. Hence, God is absolutely impassible and immutable (i.e., can’t be affected or changed).

            Feser goes on to detail several distinctions with the category of passive potency, as well as several distinctions within the category of act (pp. 40–41). Here’s an image that someone else prepared based on Feser’s book:END QUOTE

            Bad job proof texting.

            >No it's just an accurate description of the core event of your religion. If you find that ridiculous, says more about your religion than me.

            Rather you are faking it and phoning it in really badly.

            >The day Christians stole from the pagans!

            Now you are stealing from Fundamentalists.

  • Jim the Scott

    Wow I've seen creationist drive physicists and biologist mad by insisting "the Second Law of Thermal Dynamics proves Evolution is impossible" is a valid polemic against believing in evolution. They are simply too dogmatically entrenched to learn actual science and apply it correctly.

    The critics here of the potency to act by something already in act distinction are no better or anymore intelligent then a Young Earth Creationist.

    At this point Bob, Ray and Richard all dogmatically insist motus and momentum are unequivocal interchangeable terms. They can't think beyond that & I am convinced they don't want to because it somehow threatens their world view.

    As Feser points out anything that necessarily exhibit just these features (potentialities needing actualization, composition, contingency, etc.). And thus it will, as a matter of metaphysical necessity, require a cause outside it to exist.
    And only that which is Pure Act devoid of potentiality, only what is utterly simple or non-composite, only something whose essence or nature just is existence itself, only what is therefore in no way contingent but utterly necessary -- only that, the classical theist maintains, could in principle be the ultimate terminus of explanation, whatever the specific scientific details turn out to be."

    An object in momentum requires Pure Act to cause it to exist and exist with the property of remaining in momentum till acted upon by an another physical force.

    • David Nickol

      Motion, it seems to me, is in no way necessary or even relevant to the argument you are making. A moving "contingent" object needs an outside cause to keep it in existence, but so does a "contingent" object at rest. It seems you are smuggling the argument from contingency into the argument from motion rather than actually defending the argument from motion.

      • Jim the Scott

        David when I am talking about "motion" do you think I am talking about motus(potency to act by something in act) or momentum(i.e Newton)?

        Answer my question & I will confirm or deny your suspicions.

        • David Nickol

          While I am aware that "motus" has a broader meaning than "motion," and means something more akin to "change," it seems to me that "local motion" means the same thing for Aristotle, Aquinas, and Newton. The OP quotes Aquinas as saying, “It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion.” I take that to mean "motion" itself is not some kind of metaphysical concept that carries with it the necessity of some "Unmoved Mover" to maintain an object in motion in existence while it moves. As I said, if moving things need God to keep them in existence while they move, then nonmoving objects certainly must need God to maintain them in existence all the while they are not moving. So if you can make an "argument from motion" that relies on God maintaining objects in existence while they move, then you can make just as good an argument from "nonmotion" that objects at rest need God to keep them in existence while they remain stationary. Strangely, you would then have two identical arguments, one from motion and one from nonmotion, which indicates to me something is very wrong with the arguments.

          Insofar as the argument from motion relies on examples of objects in (local) motion, I have to presume that what is meant is "motion" (for example, when a stick moves a rock). It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. It is neither certain nor evident to our senses that some things are in "motus" by being first in potency and going to actuality by means of, and only by means of, something already in actuality. it seems to me one has to already be a Thomist to think in those terms.

          • Jim the Scott

            >While I am aware that "motus" has a broader meaning than "motion," and means something more akin to "change," it seems to me that "local motion" means the same thing for Aristotle, Aquinas, and Newton.

            Well local motion is a type of change wither we correctly deduce it's mechanisms as Newton did(mometum) or incorrectly as the Greeks did the fact of the change and that potencies are made act by something already in act remains the same across the board.

            > The OP quotes Aquinas as saying, “It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion.” I take that to mean "motion" itself is not some kind of metaphysical concept that carries with it the necessity of some "Unmoved Mover" to maintain an object in motion in existence while it moves.

            Rather our senses tell us change is evident and our move to an un-moved mover is a logical deduction in terms of top down causality. In an accidental series such as a man begetting a son the series can reach back forever. In the top down series there must be a terminus. To deny this is akin to saying you can have a caboose drawn by an infinite series of box cars without a locomotive. Or a lamb hanging from an infinite chain that is not attached to a celling. You need a first Act that is Pure Act at the beginning of that essential series.

            >As I said, if moving things need God to keep them in existence while they move, then nonmoving objects certainly must need God to maintain them in existence all the while they are not moving.

            Correct but of course God causes the physically moving things to exist with the property of momentum as part of their essence.

            > So if you can make an "argument from motion" that relies on God maintaining objects in existence while they move, then you can make just as good an argument from "nonmotion" that objects at rest need God to keep them in existence while they remain stationary.

            I believe Feser has mentioned something to that effect.

            >Strangely, you would then have two identical arguments, one from motion and one from nonmotion, which indicates to me something is very wrong with the arguments.

            No Dave you are kind of equivocating here. You are really making two identical arguments from momentum and non-momentum. Motion must be understood as change and it entirely rests on that concept. Obviously physical motion is a type of change but not the only type.

            >Insofar as the argument from motion relies on examples of objects in (local) motion, I have to presume that what is meant is "motion" (for example, when a stick moves a rock). It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion.

            I quote Feser "On the Aristotelian-Scholastic analysis, questions about causation are raised wherever we have potentialities that need actualization, or a thing’s being metaphysically composite and thus in need of a principle that accounts for the composition of its parts, or there being a distinction in a thing between its essence or nature on the one and its existence on the other, or a thing’s being contingent. The universe, however physics and scientific cosmology end up describing it -- "END QUOTE

            >It is neither certain nor evident to our senses that some things are in "motus" by being first in potency and going to actuality by means of, and only by means of, something already in actuality. it seems to me one has to already be a Thomist to think in those terms.

            I am afraid Dave this is an ad hoc statement that does not logically follow on your part. Our senses do tell us there is change. Any change is all we need. If you wish to doubt your senses that is fine you will have to deal with the incoherencies of anti-realism.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            I agree with most all of this, but I maintain, as in the OP, that inertia or momentum still requires an extrinsic mover in the case of bodies already in motion. Newton is simply describing the fact that bodies in motion tend to stay in motion, but that does not answer the metaphysical question as to how this is possible.

            Saying that God gives momentum to the essence of some body does not comport with the fact that real motion means the continued actualization of a potency. No thing can self-actualize its own potency, which is why anything in motion still needs a mover other than itself to explain its motion.

            Aristotle speaks of "self-movers," but only in the sense that, say, a deer moves itself by moving its legs to move it locally. But he does not say that the deer moves itself primarily, since something must first move the deer, such as thirst for water. The case with the deer is a bit complex, since one of the signs of life is a form of self-motion.

            But in the case of heavenly bodies exhibiting inertia or motion, some extrinsic mover is required -- since self-actualization is a contradiction in terms. A thing must be in potency (non-being) to be actualized (being). Non-being cannot give itself being, since the two are contradictories.

            I did not say that God was moving things in a state of inertia or momentum, merely, that something must be. Perhaps it is a physical force of some type, the curvature of space around masses, or whatever. Whether some finite physical force or God himself, something other than the body itself must explain its own motion.

          • Jim the Scott

            Dr. B

            Speculating on an unknown an physical force that is responsible for momentum I think confuses a lot of people who already are predisposed to think in Positivist terms and who conflate the anachronistic Greek Physics with Aristotle's Metaphysics.

            Some concepts rejected in the past in a sense can come back.

            Scientists disregarded the idea of Ather as a medium by which light passes between object. OTOH a quantum vacuum is almost analogous to Ather....

            Spontaneous Generation was believed by the medieval scholastic to be a purely unknown natural process by which primitive life came from non-life. Metaphysically Spontaneous Generation is no different from Abiogenesis as it is also a natural process by which primitive life comes from non-life except one is largely discredited and the other involves time and evolutionary mechanism.

            >Perhaps it is a physical force of some type, the curvature of space around masses, or whatever. Whether some finite physical force or God himself, something other than the body itself must explain its own motion.

            Maybe stretching space time accounts for momentum or maybe momentum is just a property of physical motion that is actualized? But we have to be careful on voicing such speculations (which are are no doubt mainstream in science) because well to this day poor guys like Bob seem to think Aquinas' arguments entirely rest on the anachronistic Greek Physics.

            It is also why I prefer to use the term "Positivism" rather then "Scientism" because the low brow think criticizing scientism is equivalent to criticizing science as a source of he truths proper to it.

            One has to be careful not to confuse the simple.*

            *that is an arrogant statement on my part which you are free to disavow. But I am not a nice person and the holidays are getting me down.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            You say you are not a "nice person," but I am sure you are aware of the ethical dictum that no one should be a judge in his own case. :-)

            Still, I try to resist the temptation to label my opponents or attack their motives, if, for no other reason that it only alienates people and makes them less likely to be willing to give me an honest hearing.

            As for the need for an extrinsic mover, even in the case of inertial motion, I have to defend this position simply because it is the truth -- and the only position consistent with the proper understanding of local motion as the progressive actualization of a potency.

            I agree that many "modern minds" cannot readily follow this reasoning about the philosophy of nature, but there are many other truths about metaphysics proper that they also cannot seem to comprehend.

            Incidentally, while I might not sanction every element of your polemical style, I do want to take this opportunity to tell you that I appreciate your vigorous defense of philosophical truth and your active bringing of the thought of that very competent philosopher, Dr. Edward Feser, to these comment threads.

          • Jim the Scott

            Cheers Doc. You are a better man then me (even as a self judge that make me bias I know) and so are many if not most if not all the people I fight with.

            I will try to be "nicer" but I can' t promise anything.

          • Jim the Scott

            Dr. B.

            BTW fun side note. If you seen the new Star Wars apparently the space ships fly threw space according to anachronistic Greek physics not Newton in their universe. Note the scene when the support Starships run out of fuel. True maybe those things are flying like Torch Ships constantly accelerating but if that was true the fighters could not wiz around them.

            Still loved the movie thought.

            I am repeating this to others.

          • Rob Abney

            The "object at rest" is dependent here and now on a cause for its continued existence, which will regress to a first cause; the "changing object" is dependent on that cause for its existence as well as on an external actor to change/move it from moment to moment.
            Subtle differences between the First Way and the Second Way.

          • Jim the Scott

            Rob

            BTW fun side note. If you seen the new Star Wars apparently the space ships fly threw space according to anachronistic Greek physics not Newton in their universe. Note the scene when the support Starships run out of fuel. True maybe those things are flying like Torch Ships constantly accelerating but if that was true the fighters could not wiz around them.

            Still loved the movie thought.

            I am repeating this to others.

          • Jim the Scott

            (I discovered too late while answering this post I already answered it before. But I was on a roll so forgive the second go around if you would Dave.)

            >While I am aware that "motus" has a broader meaning than "motion," and means something more akin to "change," it seems to me that "local motion" means the same thing for Aristotle, Aquinas, and Newton.

            Well they all observed physical movement from point a to point b. Newton simply observed the mechanism was different then how Aristotle and Aquinas believed it too be. But change is present in each regardless of the correct mechanism.

            >The OP quotes Aquinas as saying, “It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion.”

            Our senses tell us there is change. It doesn't have to be a rock rolling down a hill. It can be a stationary tree turning color in autumn.

            > I take that to mean "motion" itself is not some kind of metaphysical concept that carries with it the necessity of some "Unmoved Mover" to maintain an object in motion in existence while it moves.

            The external mechanism of physical motion (the rock rolls down the hill) and the internal mechanism (it is placed in motion and will stay in motion till gravity and friction stop it) are all merely change.

            Aristotle and Aquinas would have come to the same conclusions of act/potency even if they knew of Newton and not the anachronistic Greek physics. Something being put into momentum is still change.

            The whole argument is entirely change.

            > As I said, if moving things need God to keep them in existence while they move, then nonmoving objects certainly must need God to maintain them in existence all the while they are not moving.

            Well it is trivial that things that can change have to be changing at any given moment in any particular manner. An immobile dying butterfly is in motus. It is changing even as it sits still on the rock and later rots.

            > So if you can make an "argument from motion" that relies on God maintaining objects in existence while they move, then you can make just as good an argument from "nonmotion" that objects at rest need God to keep them in existence while they remain stationary.

            Whatever is changed is changed by another but that doesn't mean things must always at every given time change. They just require the potential to do so and the act-potency distinction tells us change is possible because it tells us changing things have potential.

            > Strangely, you would then have two identical arguments, one from motion and one from nonmotion, which indicates to me something is very wrong with the arguments.

            You Dave I just realized I already answered you here this morning? I am on another computer and it seems I am answering the same question from you twice? Either that or I am getting senile myself?

            Or not? Anyway I think the second go around I made my point better.

            >Insofar as the argument from motion relies on examples of objects in (local) motion, I have to presume that what is meant is "motion" (for example, when a stick moves a rock).

            This is kind of special pleading. The argument relies on object in local motion as an example of observable change. Aristotle and Aquinas can make the same argument relying on Newton. For example "Whatever is put into the Act of momentum must have it's potential to be put into momentum by a force already in Act".

            Different mechanism describing physical motion don't change the essential argument from motus.

            >It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. It is neither certain nor evident to our senses that some things are in "motus" by being first in potency and going to actuality by means of, and only by means of, something already in actuality.

            That is an ad hoc statement my friend. Things change and physical motion is just one specific species of observable change. Any observable change works here. For your idea to have even the slightest utility you would have to live in a world where nothing changes at all and is completely static. Which would make it hard for you to conclude nothing changes and vindicate Parmenides.

            > it seems to me one has to already be a Thomist to think in those terms.

            Aristotle was before Aquinas.

            Anyway sorry of this is my second go around.

      • Jim the Scott

        additionally: The contingency we are speaking of here is the fact potency needs Act to bring said potency into Act.

        Feser defense the argument from contingency in his writing but here we are taking about the argument from motion.

      • Jim the Scott

        BTW fun side note Dave. If you seen the new Star Wars apparently the space ships fly threw space according to anachronistic Greek physics not Newton in their universe. Note the case scene when the support Starships run out of fuel. True maybe those things are flying like Torch Ships constantly accelerating but if that was true the fighters could not wiz around them.

        Still loved the movie thought.

        I am repeating this to others.

  • Jim the Scott

    Correction:

    Richard Morley does not claim B theory Time contradicts the Act/potency
    distinction and is not compatible with Aristole modeling change.

  • Jim the Scott

    Richard Morley does claim:

    >Dr Bonnette's argument seems to rely on a theory of time he has neither specified nor proven, and which looks a lot like A-theory which is apparently incompatible with some of his claims elsewhere.

    Time for a Thomist is merely in the broad sense the measurement of change. In a metaphysical scheme that is purely Parmenides sans Aristotle if all change is unreal then all of Aquinas claims would be incompatible.

    But A Series Time is largely seen as real (in terms of passage) and more likely then not can be modeled via Aristotelian. The Universe is basically a set of things or beings that change therefore the act/potency distinction would obtain and in term of top down causality (as opposed to an accidental causal series which ironically would resemble A series Time) will terminate at Pure Act.

    >presentism seems to be incompatible not just with scientific observations,

    I don't see how? The theory of Relativity it seems works just as well wither only the present is real or wither the future, present and past are all real. As long as change is real and substances are real and contingency is real wither or not eternalism is real or not seems to not be relevant to Aquinas' teaching.

    > but with the theological concept of a timeless God, or indeed the mere possibility of any timeless point of view.

    God is "timeless" because He is Pure Act that contains no passive potency needing to be actualized. God is also immutable and God's essence and being are identical so he really cannot within His nature change. When God Wills, he wills from eternity. When he creates the act of creation is not a species of change but of causing something to simply be. God creates Time, space, matter, energy etc....
    He causes it all to Be. Aquinas taught God could have caused the world to exist from eternity if he so willed it. God could also will a beginning. Such a beginning could be a formal one or even a no boundary one. So I don't see how God's timelessness or rather his eternity is at odds with presentism?

  • enchess

    I've noticed in these comments the Catholic response always seems to be "you can't apply physics to metaphysics!" or "are you saying only empirically decided truths are true?" But no one ever seems to explain a few extremely necessary things... 1) How do we know which model of metaphysics is true if we can't determine it empirically? If you truly can prove it logically instead, ask yourself why it doesn't seem to convince anyone. Do you really think the atheists are all just thick-skulled or don't understand logic? Or could it be the logical proof isn't as sound as you thought. 2) If we truly restrict the discussion to only metaphysics and place it completely outside physics, don't we end up with the classic problem of the identical appearance of a world with and without God? If a world with God is identical to one without, then why should anyone believe God is real? Seems Occam's should make short work of this. 3) Suppose only metaphysical worldviews affirming God are found logically sound and suppose that these principles demand certain things of the status of the world that we can verify that would be unlikely without God (ignore for now that this actually implies empirical verification is possible). If anything was found in physics that was incompatible with this worldview (say tomorrow scientists prove that in a true void particles suddenly spring into existence), would you immediately throw out your metaphysical principles? I'm growing suspicious most wouldn't, in which case I have to see any "but this is metaphysics" as an evolved form of God of the Gaps.

    • Rob Abney

      If anything was found in physics that was incompatible with this worldview (say tomorrow scientists prove that in a true void particles suddenly spring into existence), would you immediately throw out your metaphysical principles?

      How could science prove that being came from non-being?

      • Jim the Scott

        I know! I know! :D

        It can't that is the realm of philosophy. Noah is just presupposing positivism/scientism.

        Positivism is at best a trivial concept if you include philosophy as a science in the classic sense. It is self refuting as it cannot be proven true via science and it is therefore wrong by it's own standard.

        • enchess

          I don't follow either positivism or scientism. You've categorized me incorrectly.

          • Jim the Scott

            >I don't follow either positivism or scientism. You've categorized me incorrectly.

            Given what you posted above that is like saying "I don't believe in Limited Atonement I just believe Jesus only died for the elect".

            Distinction without a difference. How are you not a positivist?

          • enchess

            Correct me if I'm wrong as I learned the word in another forum on this site, but Positivists belief the only truth is that which can be found empirically, right? I don't agree with that statement as it pushes out logic and mathematics, which rely on accepted axioms. I DO reject metaphysics and theology, but that doesn't make me a positivist unless I have the word wrong.

          • Jim the Scott

            >I DO reject metaphysics and theology,

            I don't think you know what metaphysics is? I think you think it means magic or something?

            Let me give you an example. If you are a reductionalist materialist then you hold a metaphysical view. If you are a radical skeptic about reality you hold a metaphysical view.

            What you believe or how you model ultimate reality is metaphysics.

            here let me help.

            http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2012/05/natural-theology-natural-science-and.html

          • enchess

            Sorry, poor phrasing. I reject metaphysics based arguments when the parties in debate don't agree on a metaphysical model. I was unclear there.

          • Jim the Scott

            Then what you need to do is philosophical critique the other guys metaphysics and defend your own.

            BTW as a Classic Theist I am a strong Atheist toward any type of "god of the gaps".

            ID is for losers.

          • enchess

            The god of the gaps thing was really more of me trying to address the broad categories I find people in. (1) was for people who assert that an argument purely from a metaphysical model without proving said model or acknowledging other valid models. (2) was for people who side-step that and want to debate models instead of argue from them. Wiser, but makes me wonder the point, as it yields no practical knowledge or application. (3) was for people who bring model into physical realm so that it is practical. They lend themselves to be proven wrong, yet I remain unconvinced their position changes when the evidence does.

          • Jim the Scott

            Well the simple minded primitive might invoke a "god of the gaps" who creates rain in clouds till he learns about condensation.

            But conceiving of a potency being put into act by something already in act and inferring it all the way to Pure Act is not the same as postulating a "god of the gaps".

          • Jim the Scott

            I am going to get back to you late my friend.

            I have work to do.

          • Jim the Scott

            BTW fun side note. If you seen the new Star Wars apparently the space ships fly threw space according to anachronistic Greek physics not Newton in their universe. Note the case scene when the support Starships run out of fuel. True maybe those things are flying like Torch Ships constantly accelerating but if that was true the fighters could not wiz around them.

            Still loved the movie thought.

            I am repeating this to others.

      • enchess

        I don't have a method. If anyone did, the question would be tested and proven/disproven by now. It was more a hypothetical: what will you do if someone does? This has happened before. The question of the origins of the Earth were unanswerable...until they were answered. Religion just adjusted by claiming that part was metaphor and the rest is real. That was god of the gaps then and I'm not seeing what's different now.

        • Jim the Scott
        • Rob Abney

          It was more a hypothetical: what will you do if someone does?

          If it is proven that being can come from non-being then we will all have to change our claims, religious and non-religious, because we will not have any idea of the order of the universe.

          • enchess

            If you would reassess the religious claims you make, I would not take issue with that. I was expressing suspicion based on history (evolution, heliocentrism, etc) that many would either hold tight to their models in spite of evidence, or drop a model supposedly part of the foundation of their belief without changing said belief. I've seen the later personally with relatives insistent that Young Earth is mandatory for true faith, then came around to scientific view without any change to faith. Those people strike me as dishonest.

          • Jim the Scott

            Catholics in theory can be young earth creationists but they can also be Theistic evolutionists. I am an ex-young earth creationist & in my old age a default theistic evolutionist.

          • Rob Abney

            I am an ex-young earth creationist in my old age

            How did you happen to change your views Jim?

          • Jim the Scott

            My wife gave me some Catholic Theistic Evolutionist literature that made some devastating critiques of YEC in my middle twenties. At to that we are not required to believe one way or another I learned they where mostly bad arguments and made category mistake.

            Reading Feser's THE LAST SUPERSTITION killed any chance I would substitute YEC with ID. I reject both & I don't need them to be Catholic.

          • Rob Abney

            The wife has the brains in the family huh? Have you been to this site? http://www.thomisticevolution.org

          • Jim the Scott

            Yes my wife is an order of magnitude smarter then me and a gentile person.
            Opposites attract or she just likes bad boys.

            I don't think I have even been to that sight but I like what I see.

          • Rob Abney

            If you would reassess the religious claims you make, I would not take issue with that.

            But would you change your "scientific" views if being came from non-being?

            relatives insistent that Young Earth is mandatory for true faith, then came around to scientific view without any change to faith

            How can that not be a change of faith?

          • enchess

            Well, being from non-being wouldn't change my view on theism because it would show no god is required for creation. Would it change my views on other things? Absolutely. Now if you show that, say, time existed before the universe and show that nothing pops-in in a void then absolutely I'll accept uncaused cause. Not quite a god yet, but at least getting there.

            And all purely theological views stayed constant, despite metaphysical model they claimed as foundational to those views being taken away. That's what I mean by no change of faith. To any outside observer, it was clear the model never really was the foundation. Their insistence before proved dishonest.

          • Rob Abney

            show that nothing pops-in in a void then absolutely I'll accept uncaused cause

            So far, there has never been an instance of something coming from nothing, that seems like enough proof for most people to confidently expect that it will never happen.

            Their insistence before proved dishonest.

            I believe you but wouldn't expect you to generalize that to another group.

          • enchess

            There has only been nothing before the universe (assuming there even is before), so with current means "something from nothing" has never had the opportunity to manifest before humans. If the universe is contingent, then imaging a reality with nothing should be possible. This is a condition we can't observe and have no idea how it would behave. I'm not so arrogant as to claim with certainty one way or another.

          • Rob Abney

            So, you’re agnostic on whether something can come from nothing but certain that God is nonexistent?

          • enchess

            Not sure where you got that. No. I'm agnostic on whether something can come from nothing and believe God is non-existent. Not "certain". It just makes the most sense from my observations.

          • Rob Abney

            Right, I assumed that you were atheist, only agnostic though. Do you live as if there is any certainty?

          • enchess

            By that logic, if you are not 100% certain that Christianity is true, you are also agnostic. I'm more confident that there isn't a god than there is, so I take the label atheist. The existence of a god has no effect on my life, so the answer to your question is yes, but would also be yes if asked in negative.

    • Jim the Scott

      To quote Luke Skywalker everything you just posted is wrong even if there is no God or gods.

      • enchess

        That's not really a rebuttal. When Luke said that, he was a jerk who was more interested in pushing Rey away than helping her. The joke was funny, but to quote it as wisdom is bad movie literacy. Why was it wrong?

        • Jim the Scott

          additonal:
          >Do you really think the atheists are all just thick-skulled or don't understand logic?

          So the mere fact one is an Atheist magically confers instant logic and understanding?

          So U can't conceive of the possibility you might be ultimately right (there are no gods) but the reasoning & arguments you are employing might be s***e?

          No cool or helpful and it invites bastards like me to mock.

          • enchess

            No... I'm saying it's foolishness to assume the entirety of those opposed to your viewpoint are too thick-skulled or dumb to understand the wisdom of your position. Phrased differently: If you are convinced your metaphysical idea is proven, either you've misunderstood the word "proven" or your opponents are too dumb or uneducated to understand the proof. It was an honest question. I think it's more likely that the "proofs" are flawed then all atheists are dumb. Now, can you address my actual questions?

          • Jim the Scott

            I am sorry but if you enter this with the idea Atheists can't ultimately be right but employ bad arguments and reasoning to get there then I cannot help you.

    • Jim the Scott

      >1) How do we know which model of metaphysics is true if we can't determine it empirically?

      The idea a model of metaphysics is only true as long as we can determine it empirically is itself a metaphysical position. How do you prove it empirically?

      Classic Theists don't do "God of the gaps".

      I don't think you understand the distinction between philosophy and science.

      That seems to be a sickness around here. Not all Atheist have it but many do.

      • enchess

        I'm pretty sure you meant to troll me earlier, so I appreciate what seems the first honest comment. I don't think a model of metaphysics can only be true if it can be proven. I just question the usefulness of a model that can't and even more so question arguments that depend on them. "What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." That idea. Why should I agree with your model?

        • Jim the Scott

          I think you need to go learn philosophy. BTW I absolutely believe the existence of God is a philosophical question not a scientific one. Any "god" you come up with scientifically I will reject as an idol.

          Read some the links I posted for you then get back too me.

          • enchess

            I think you don't understand what I was getting at... Perhaps it's my fault for being unclear. I absolutely believe the existence of God is a philosophical question and not a scientific one as well. That's my point in (2). I was saying if God is removed from naturalistic explanations, a world without God and a world with him look the same. Sure, they require different metaphysical models, but if you have no way of determining the correct model what's the difference? Might as well believe there is no God, it's easier and fully consistent as long as you just pick a different model.

          • Jim the Scott

            >I think you don't understand what I was getting at... Perhaps it's my fault for being unclear.

            Maybe.

            >I absolutely believe the existence of God is a philosophical question and not a scientific one as well.

            Good we are on the same page.

            >That's my point in (2). I was saying if God is removed from naturalistic explanations, a world without God and a world with him look the same.

            That is true of the false "god of the gaps". I would not wipe the s***e from me arse as an offering to "it". I would sleep in on Sundays and not go to Mass over such a petty meta-entity.

            Go Ground of All Being or go home! That is what I say!

            >Sure, they require different metaphysical models, but if you have no way of determining the correct model what's the difference?

            You can't treat metaphysical models scientifically like you do empirical science. But you can show coherence vs incoherence and you can use logic and reason. I think materialism is incoherent as is naturalism.

            > Might as well believe there is no God, it's easier and fully consistent as long as you just pick a different model.

            I am a strong Atheist toward any theistic personalist "deity".

            Cheers.

          • enchess

            > But you can show coherence vs incoherence and you can use
            logic and reason.

            Exactly the issue with 90% of Strange Notion articles. They never show why their model is more coherent than other models. They just argue from it assuming it as true. Unmoved Mover/Uncaused Cause arguments rely on certain models of time that aren't any more coherent than the competing ideas. In fact, it's not terribly hard to point out an incoherency here. The arguments I've seen assume God either exists before time or outside of time. Both make the words "cause" and "mover" nonsensical when applied to God as they both involve time. Infinite time and asymptotic time are both much more consistent with God, but neither of these imply an uncaused cause in the first place

          • Jim the Scott

            >Exactly the issue with 90% of Strange Notion articles. They never show why their model is more coherent than other models.

            Not sure I agree but there you are.

            >They just argue from it assuming it as true.

            I would say that applies to positivists and or semi-positivists.
            It seems logic demands in an essential causal series there must be a terminus that is pure act. To deny it is like claiming a caboose can be pulled by an infinite series of mere box cars without a locomotive.

            >The arguments I've seen assume God either exists before time or outside of time.

            Without time there is no "before" except in the notional sense. "Outside" is more accurate.

            > Infinite time and asymptotic time are both much more consistent with God, but neither of these imply an uncaused cause in the first place.

            Time came from the singularity of the Big Bang and started with the Cosmos. Talking about "before" is like asking what is north of the north pole. Even without God I can notionally conceve of a beginning of time. But a temporal "god" can't be pure act so I am not interested in idols.

            Later.

          • enchess

            I read all your links. I conclude you underestimate my knowledge entering this as there was nothing resembling new information for me in them other than a few terms describing ideas I was already well familiar with. I certainly don't fall into 'scientism' or 'positivism' according to anything you've sent me. I no longer think I was prohibitively unclear, rather I think you are conflating a desire for common premises with 'scientism'. Metaphysical arguments only work on those sharing your metaphysical model. By nature, it must be possible for multiple metaphysical models to be valid when describing the same physical situation (if not, then the model is truly physical as it can be inferred using only physical means). Thus we are still in the "identical world with or without god" unless you have a method to falsify all models without god without using only presuppositions of those same models. Any "uncaused cause" or similar argument is pointless because of this.

          • Jim the Scott

            > I think you are conflating a desire for common premises with 'scientism'.

            No I think your seemingly implicit assertion philosophy requires the verificationism of empirical science smacks of scientism. But by your own admission you might not be clear,

            > Metaphysical arguments only work on those sharing your metaphysical model.

            This is the trivial statement those who agree on the warrant of an argument are more likely then not (thought not absolutely) to agree on the conclusion.

            One has to make a positive philosophical argument for one's metaphysics and polemic the competition. If hypothetically one has the implicit skeptical belief no real knowledge is possible well that still kind of refutes itself.

            >By nature, it must be possible for multiple metaphysical models to be valid when describing the same physical situation...

            No rather you can use different metaphysical schemes to model physical phenomena and naturally there is some relation between physics and metaphysics which I have never denied. I believe our senses can tell us mere change is real & reason can tell us the problems with anti-realism.
            But you need philosophy to examine any particular metaphysical model. Obviously to argue we need to do some short hand. Before you get to act potency you need to think on realism vs conceptionalism or nominalism. Moderate realism vs Strong realism etc....

            But we cannot explain every detail of knowledge in a 20 page paper. So when you read essays here at Strange Notions you should follow up on the 300 page books & literature behind them.

            >(if not, then the model is truly physical as it can be inferred using only physical means).

            I don't think you know what physical vs metaphysical means?
            Reductionist Materialism is a metaphysical model. Not because it postulates something exists beyond the physical but conception-ally you need to think beyond what is physical to try to come to the conclusion there is nothing beyond the physical(I don't think such reasoning succees but there you are). Metaphysics is intellectually getting beyond physics to explain being it's not presupposing existence beyond the physical.

            >Thus we are still in the "identical world with or without god" unless you have a method to falsify all models without god without using only presuppositions of those same models.

            The minute you wrote "falsify" which is a term used in scientific empirical investigation you let your positivist/scientism slip show.

            It's like if I denied I was Catholic or Orthodox but keep invoking prayers to the Virgin Mary Mother of God that would look strange at best.

            I don't deny your sincerity in denying you are a positivist anymore then Feser denies John Searle's sincerity in denying he is a property dualist but Searle stated beliefs seem to lend him to that catagory in spite of denials.

            >Any "uncaused cause" or similar argument is pointless because of this.

            You can't get to the "uncaused cause" scientifically. Philosophy has nothing to do with "falsifying" or verification-ism.

            cheers.

          • enchess

            Truth exists regardless of verification/falsifiability. There do exist methods to verify truth other than scientific method (like logical arguments). I'm not sure how to make this any more clear and if you don't get it after this, I don't know if you'll ever get it. You certainly will never convince an atheist if you can't answer this:

            How do you know what's true with no method to verify what's true? If you have a method other than logical or empirical, please present it.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Truth exists regardless of verification/falsifiability. There do exist methods to verify truth other than scientific method (like logical arguments).

            I can't directly verify one googleplex plus one is greater then a mere googleplex (since it is impossible to count that high) but the inferred axioms of Math lead me there. Philosophy has it's own axioms like First Principles and Principle of Sufficient Reason etc....

            I recommend you read the second Feser essay "Recovering Sight after Scientism" .

            >I'm not sure how to make this any more clear and if you don't get it after this,

            I think I do get it(you are free to disagree) but we must make sure we are using the same category of "verification/falsifiability". Are we doing philosophy or science?

            >I don't know if you'll ever get it. You certainly will never convince an atheist if you can't answer this:

            I can't be convinced my metaphysics is wrong due to science anymore then I can be convinced a Higgs Bosen doesn't exist because it can't be dug up in a fossil record. You need philosophy to defeat a specific metaphysical scheme.

            >How do you know what's true with no method to verify what's true?

            Do your realize that is a philosophical question? And too answer it requires philosophy.

            > If you have a method other than logical or empirical, please present it.

            Philosophy,

            To QUOTE Feser"We have no choice but to engage in philosophy. The only question is whether we will do it well or badly. Those committed to scientism pretend not to do it at all, but what they have really done is (as Burtt puts it) “made a metaphysics out of their method.” And as we have seen, it is a very bad metaphysics indeed. Only those who do not eschew philosophy—and especially those who do not engage in it while pretending not to—are going to do it well."END QUOTE

            http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2010/03/1184/

          • enchess

            Ok, question skirted. "Philosophy" isn't really an answer because you gave no method of distinguishing between equally consistent philosophies. There are both theistic and nontheistic philosophies fully consistent with everything I've been taught or experienced in the world. If I have no reason to choose one or the other, I'll just pick the simpler one.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Ok, question skirted. "Philosophy" isn't really an answer because you gave no method of distinguishing between equally consistent philosophies.

            You gotta go learn philosophy kid (& I don't mean that in a condescending way but in a Han Solo way). It is not possible to prove Quantum Physics or spell out all it's methods in 100 words or less in a comvbox.

            >>There are both theistic and nontheistic philosophies fully consistent with everything I've been taught or experienced in the world. If I have no reason to choose one or the other, I'll just pick the simpler one.

            Both are compatible with existing science but philosophically one seems more incoherent.

            I think you can guess where I hang that hat.

            Cheers.

          • enchess

            You gotta learn manners and humility, kid. Seems you can't stop acting condescending for even one comment. Look, you seem to be decently knowledgeable in a particular type of philosophy, ignorant in others, and poorly versed in logic and debate. All things being equal (seeing as you can't seem to provide any objective way to compare), I'll stick with mine. Did you know I used to be a devoted Christian who tried to argue with my atheist friends? They won me over in the end by engaging my arguments. It's a good strategy, try it sometime.

            Cheers.

          • Jim the Scott

            >You gotta learn manners and humility, kid.

            I am so old now...I used to have so much mercy... but I still quote Dr. Who. Old dog new tricks.....

            > Seems you can't stop acting condescending for even one comment. Look, you seem to be decently knowledgeable in a particular type of philosophy, ignorant in others, and poorly versed in logic and debate.

            If you say so. I am a naughty person but I do sincerely think some of your thinking presupposes Positivism. Experience tells me this is usually the case. Such as when I argue the Bible with Protestants I usually assume they hold some form of Sola Scriptura and perspicuity view of Holy Writ. That is their first error.

            We will have to agree to disagree but I like that you realize the existence of God is a philosophical argument not a scientific one.

            >All things being equal (seeing as you can't seem to provide any objective way to compare), I'll stick with mine.

            Well your demand for an "objective way to compare" is a bit ambiguous.

            >Did you know I used to be a devoted Christian who tried to argue with my atheist friends? They won me over in the end by engaging my arguments. It's a good strategy, try it sometime.

            I've seen Atheists come to Ed Feser's blog learn philosophy & the philosophical arguments for the existence of God and at worst depart Deists and some became Catholic.

            Of course I also believe logically no version of Protestantism could be true. So in my eyes you when from one less bad error to another worst one but I will let God judge your soul because well I have no choice. I am already in fear of my own soul for being a natural jerk.

            Cheers.

          • enchess

            ...so you agree on time? I'm not seeing a disagreement with my points really. If you want to know, I view time as asymptotic (approaches 0, but universe undefined at t=0), which isn't in opposition to anything you said really... It's not even in opposition to the existence of a God, it just doesn't require one.

          • Jim the Scott

            Maybe I agree. Such opinions I tend to hold tentatively.

            I am more like Feser in that I am Agnostic toward of any Kalam Cosmological arguments(Oderberg defends it) but apart from the Kalam pretty much all cosmological arguments presuppose a past eternal universe for purposes of argument. So a "no boundary" beginning should not be a problem. Catholic Physicist Stephen Barr thinks it's elegant & so does Physicist Robert Russel who is also a Protestant Christian of some type.

  • This post is another epic failure to deal with the real ontology described by science and the philosophy behind it.

    In other words, the static mathematical abstractions of modern physics automatically tend to omit the very starting point they presume, namely, the reality of objective motion or change.

    They don't presume change or motion. Change and motion as we typically come to understand them are emergent phenomena. What motion is - given the fundamental laws of physics that say there is no motion or change - is the fact that worldtubes are angled with respect to one another. It doesn't mean anything flows. All the worldtubes are static as a whole. Hence no real change or motion - as defined under a presentist ontology. And nothing about anything in physics or science presupposes this.

    This relies on a very nuanced understanding of the definitions of terms 'change' and 'motion', one which Dr Bonnette clearly doesn't understand. Once you understand this and the above, Dr Bonnett's entire case here falls apart.

    Similarly, physicists presume real physical causation takes place through time with ontologically-continuous physical agents causing the continuous coming-to-be of ontologically-continuous effects. For example, the same rocket engine causes the progressive ascent of the same spacecraft into orbit. This is simply how natural science has always understood the nature of physical causation operating in the real world. That a physical theory should be interpreted as contradicting this universal scientific presupposition defies understanding.

    Causation in light of the facts of physics means that there are simply just worldtubes or particles in spacetime and one point on the worldtube doesn't really "cause" a later point on the worldtube to exist. What causality really is would seem to have to be the relationships of intersecting worldtubes as they precede or intertwine with one another in spacetime; they're a description of the relationship between patterns and boundary conditions. At the fundamental level, the word "cause" really should be replaced by the word "explanation" or "relationship."

    We have a concept of change solely because we have encountered a reality – subjective or not – that actually contained motion. That alone explains how we even have such a concept. Yes, we form concepts of imaginary things. But, they are always composed of elements taken from real objects, as a unicorn is composed of concepts taken from real horses and real horns. Since the concept of change itself is primary, it must be based on an actually existing nature.
    Nor could motion or change be experienced as such unless both the “before” and “after” of the change is present to the same knower. This fulfills change’s meaning, since “this” becomes “that” with something (the knower) persisting to both the before and after.

    Therefore, change or motion is objectively real.

    Non-sequitor. The person who denies change and motion is only denying certain definitions of change and motion. He's not denying all possible definitions and understandings of change and motion. And your claim that scientists presuppose change and motion forgets that they do not need to define it as you do, and most non-physicist scientists are not aware of even the fact that change and motion are not fundamental to reality.

    • Dennis Bonnette

      As you admit yourself on your own web site, the position you defend regarding motion and time is not physics, but "a philosophical approach to the ontological nature of time, which takes the view that all points in time
      are equally "real",…”
      http://www.atheismandthecity.com/2016/02/does-special-relativity-entail.html

      As such, this is not a matter to be decided by physicists, but either by philosophers or by physicists who are acting as philosophers, outside their own proper discipline.

      You are right about the definition of change or motion being crucial. I will not try to tell you what you mean by motion or change, but I have carefully defined it in the OP so as to mean what you apparently deny, namely, that “that “this” becomes “that” with some persisting reality exhibiting those before and after qualities.” This is consistent with what Aristotle, St. Thomas, Dr. Feser, Dr. Smolin, Dr. Maudlin, Dr. Popper and others appear to mean when they insist that motion or change (and time) are real.

      I am not saying that most scientists bother to define it at all, but rather that
      this is the meaning that their actual practice of science logically presupposes in order to do its work, as the example given by Dr. Feser proves. It is this common sense understanding of motion and time that all human beings experience -- including physicists as they engage in their actual practice of doing experiments. (I strongly suspect that even those physicists who theoretically reject motion actually assume it in practice precisely as I have defined it.) That is why it is nonsense to invoke physics as disproving the reality of motion.

      Perhaps, the most startling paragraph in my article should be the one in which I point out that Einstein’s own famed thought experiment presupposes the reality of motion as I have defined it – with the same observer observing the before and after of events.

      I have offered an extensive philosophical defense of the reality of motion or change in the OP, precisely as I have defined it in the OP – most of whose philosophical points you have not directly addressed. Moreover, I have given a reference to Dr. Feser’s new chapter in which he offers an even more complete defense of this obvious reality – for those who want to really chase down this question.

      As much as you want this to be merely a question of physics, it is clearly a philosophical notion that you are proposing and it is the metaphysical and epistemological philosophical presuppositions of physics that entail the reality of motion as defined in the OP. Moreover, the philosophical analysis of the subjective experience of motion was shown above to entail real motion as properly defined -- a section you ignored.

      I stand on the arguments for the reality of motion as presented in my article. You are welcome to have the last word. The readers can draw their own conclusion. The one thing they cannot do, according to you, is to change their own SAME mind.

      • Jim the Scott

        Hey Dr. B

        This guy should be called The Rhetoric. There is a lot of that in his writings but little or no thinking.

        If scientism/positivism was a disease a lot of the people here have a cold but this guy has the plague.

      • As such, this is not a matter to be decided by physicists, but either by philosophers or by physicists who are acting as philosophers, outside their own proper discipline.

        Eternalism is just the philosophical name for spacetime realism. Spacetime is the block universe, and spacetime is definitely a scientific viewpoint. So it is not the case that eternalism is a "speculative" and purely philosophical conclusion. It is one deeply rooted in physics. In fact, it's based on physics. It's basically just taking SR as it is with no additional assumptions.

        This is consistent with what Aristotle, St. Thomas, Dr. Feser, Dr. Smolin, Dr. Maudlin, Dr. Popper and others appear to mean when they insist that motion or change (and time) are real.

        I agree that these great thinkers all conceived of motion that assumes presentism. They just don't have any good arguments to assume presentism.

        I am not saying that most scientists bother to define it at all, but rather that this is the meaning that their actual practice of science logically presupposes in order to do its work, as the example given by Dr. Feser proves.

        Which is of course false because most physicists understand time under eternalism and yet it does nothing to hinder their job. Scientists in the higher level sciences (Chemistry, biology, sociology, etc.) are mostly not even aware that time is static and that motion and change are not fundamental features of reality. So Dr Feser's point is moot.

        Perhaps, the most startling paragraph in my article should be the one in which I point out that Einstein’s own famed thought experiment presupposes the reality of motion as I have defined it – with the same observer observing the before and after of events.

        Which is of course false since Einstein was an eternalist and his scenario doesn't require you to presuppose the definition of motion under presentism - which we must always be aware to note when having this kind of discussion. His thought experiment also shows presentism is completely incompatible with special relativity, which you've acknowledged in prior comments, yet still want to deny both presentism and eternalism.

        I have offered an extensive philosophical defense of the reality of motion or change in the OP, precisely as I have defined it in the OP – most of whose philosophical points you have not directly addressed. Moreover, I have given a reference to Dr. Feser’s new chapter in which he offers an even more complete defense of this obvious reality – for those who want to really chase down this question.

        I would appreciate if you could write a more formal logical argument demonstrating your conclusion, even if it takes 15 premises. But I'm sorry to say that your OP does not demonstrate motion a la presentism is real. Like every OP you write, it utterly fails to reach its conclusion logically.

        As much as you want this to be merely a question of physics, it is clearly a philosophical notion that you are proposing and it is the metaphysical and epistemological philosophical presuppositions of physics that entail the reality of motion as defined in the OP.

        It is both a question of physics and philosophy. You can't brush away the physics with a philosophical assumption of basic belief if they are in conflict. So far on the issue of time you haven't outlined a coherent position. You want to deny both presentism and eternalism, acknowledge there's a relativity of simultaneity, and deny the reality of the past present and future. And you have nothing but strawmans as any other evidence. If you would only just learn SR you'd stop offering totally incoherent views on the subject.

        Moreover, the philosophical analysis of the subjective experience of motion was shown above to entail real motion as properly defined -- a section you ignored.

        I've been chasized for commenting too lengthy, and now for not commenting enough! Subjective experience cannot establish presentist motion is real. If eternalism was true, you'd experience it the same exact way. Therefore your entire argument is based on an incorrect assessment from subjective experience.

        I stand on the arguments for the reality of motion as presented in my article. You are welcome to have the last word. The readers can draw their own conclusion. The one thing they cannot do, according to you, is to change their own same mind.

        Very well. I look forward to a discussion on this topic. Minds change when they're exposed to new ideas and arguments. And that's why of course it makes perfect sense for us make arguments for our point if view.

        • Jim the Scott

          >Eternalism is just the philosophical name for spacetime realism.

          True so far.

          >Spacetime is the block universe, and spacetime is definitely a scientific viewpoint.

          In physics, spacetime is any mathematical model that fuses the three dimensions of space and the one dimension of time into a single four dimensional continuum. Spacetime diagrams are useful in visualizing and understanding relativistic effects such as how different observers perceive where and when events occur.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spacetime

          Is the wiki wrong? How can you claim "Spacetime" is a scientific viewpoint? Looks like a mathematical modeling?

          "The growing block view is an alternative to both eternalism (according to which past, present, and future all exist) and presentism (according to which only the present exists)."

          The above looks like philosophy.

          > So it is not the case that eternalism is a "speculative" and purely philosophical conclusion. It is one deeply rooted in physics. In fact, it's based on physics. It's basically just taking SR as it is with no additional assumptions.

          How so? Maybe Mike O'Flynn can jump in here? But I am skeptical & I think your "weak scientism" is incoherent blather even if there are no gods & colors your claims about science.

          Maybe I am right and maybe I am wrong but we shall see.

          • Is the wiki wrong? How can you claim "Spacetime" is a scientific viewpoint? Looks like a mathematical modeling?

            Spacetime itself refers to the union of space and time from SR, which gets you the block universe, which can be described mathematically.

            How so? Maybe Mike O'Flynn can jump in here?

            http://www.atheismandthecity.com/2016/08/does-special-relativity-entail.html

            http://www.atheismandthecity.com/2017/04/heres-what-you-have-to-believe-in-order.html

            But I am skeptical & I think your "weak scientism" is incoherent blather even if there are no gods.

            Maybe I am right and maybe I am wrong but we shall see.

            That's because you're strawmanning weak scientism as I of course expected. I see so many theists accuse everyone of scientism/positivism the moment the other person even mentions "science." It's like "How dare you require scientific evidence for anything! Scientism!" You're definitely wrong.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Spacetime itself is refers to the union of space and time from SR, which gets you the block universe, which can be described mathematically.

            But how is it a "scientific" view unless you are equating science, math and philosophy which is seems you do at the drop of a hat?

            BTW I don't care about externalism vs presentism.

            >That's because you're strawmanning weak scientism as I of course expected.

            Says the guy who is strawmanning up the wazzo feser's arguments.

            > I see so many theists accuse everyone of scientism/positivism the moment the other person even mentions "science."

            God is purely a philosophical question not a scientific one. In principle I cannot believe in any scientific "god" you refute in the first place or shed a tear at it's demise.

            Good riddance to that f***ing false idol you smashed.

            Why do you think refuting a "god" I don't think in principle could exist in the first place is useful or convincing? Indeed as an intelligent Atheist once remarked to me. You would have to put on the hat of a theist apologist to get me to believe if God exists such a God must be that way in the first place before you can turn around and smash him in the second.

            But I already reject that "god" so it is almost as goofy as your "weak scientism".

            >It's like "How dare you require scientific evidence for anything! Scientism!" You're definitely wrong.

            The existence of God like the possible truth of "weak scientism" is entirely a philosophical concept.

            Any IDiot Theistic personalist carthusan "deity" you refute I already am a strong Atheist toward believing in the first place.

          • But how is it a "scientific" view unless you are equating science, math and philosophy which is seems you do at the drop of a hat.

            I don't care about externalism vs presentism.

            I do care about eternalism vs presentism because I want to know the nature of reality. Are you saying mathematical models can't be scientific? Physical theories are all math. It's all equations. Are none of them scientific because they're mathematical?

            Says the guy who is strawmanning up the wazzo.

            You just can't show that to be true. But have fun making tons of baseless claims. It's very emblematic of theistic positions.

            God is purely a philosophical question not a scientific one. In principle I cannot believe in any scientific "god" you refute in the first place or shed a tear at it's demise.

            Good riddance to that f***ing false idol you smashed.

            Now I'm reapeating myself: I'm well aware that god is a philosophical question, but it's one where science is sometimes relevant. And when I hear a metaphysical claim being made in the course of justifying theism that contradicts known science, as Thomist does abundantly, it needs to be called out.

            Why do you think refuting a "god" I don't think in principle could exist in the first place is useful?

            Because you still believe in it, and many others do.

            The existence of God like the possible truth of "weak scientism" is entirely a philosophical concept.

            Any IDiot Theistic personalist carthusan "deity" you refute I already am a strong Atheist toward in the first place.

            Nope, because even Feser uses the claim that "change is an objective feature of the world" as one of his primary premises in justifying god, and that makes a claim that trounced on the domain of science I'm afraid. So you're just plain wrong that god is entirely philosophical.

          • Jim the Scott

            >I do care about eternalism vs presentism because I want to know the nature of reality.

            I am convinced neither is relevant to the question of Act/potency distinctions and philosophical arguments for the existence of God or your special pleading belief metaphysical question pertaining to God are scientific ones. Your false claim Metaphysics can contradict science is at issue.

            > Are you saying mathematical models can't be scientific? Physical theories are all math. It's all equations. Are none of them scientific because they're mathematical?

            Math is a science but it is not the same category of science as physics. Again with the category mistakes. You scientism types would be nothing without them. You make a metaphysics out of your method.

            >You just can't show that to be true.

            I pretty much have at this point. Denial is not just a river in Egypt....

            > But have fun making tons of baseless claims. It's very emblematic of theistic positions.

            Rather your "weak" Scientism is emblematic of low brow New Atheists who are a pale imitation of their more philosophically inclined forerunners.
            You are devolved.

            >Now I'm reapeating myself: I'm well aware that god is a philosophical question, but it's one where science is sometimes relevant.

            That is still ambiguous. "Relevant" does not tell me it's role in the God debate nor is it relevant to my Classic View of God. Use it on Craig or the other Theistic Personalists.

            >And when I hear a metaphysical claim being made in the course of justifying theism that contradicts known science, as Thomist does abundantly, it needs to be called out.

            Repeating this nonsense doesn't make it true nor is it a philosophical argument nor is it scientific proof. It is incoherent nonsense.

            >Because you still believe in it, and many others do.

            So you equivocate between God concepts as well as metaphysics and science. Hate to disappoint you but no "god" you can prove exists scientifically can be any "god" I believe in or am familar with.

            >Nope, because even Feser uses the claim that "change is an objective feature of the world" as one of his primary premises in justifying god, and that makes a claim that trounced on the domain of science I'm afraid.

            No that is a metaphysical claim not a scientific one. You can answer it with Parmenides or Plato but not Relativity. Sure you can model relativity via Parmenides but you don't have too regardless of Einstein's personal philosophical views. If that was legitimate then you must confess AT metaphysics because of Aristotle's contribution to the formulation of the scientific method.

            >So you're just plain wrong that god is entirely philosophical.

            Now you have to do double work for yourself. You have to put on the hat of a Theistic personalist Christian Apologist and convince me if God exists then he would not be entirely philosophical.

            You have to convince me a God I already am an Atheist toward exists before you turn around to knock him down. Good luck with that buddy.

          • I am convinced neither is relevant to the question of Act/potency distinctions and philosophical arguments for the existence of God or your special pleading belief metaphysical question pertaining to God are scientific ones. Your false claim Metaphysics can contradict science is at issue.

            I am convinced eternalism destroys Thomistic metaphysics contrary to what Feser says because if everything already exists, and one thing doesn't become another, and there really is no motion, Thomism and the arguments for god fall apart. I don't think Feser has spent enough time on this.

            Oh and there's no special pleading on my part, and I've already proven metaphysics can be contradicted by science here: https://disqus.com/home/discussion/strangenotions/whatever_is_moved_is_moved_by_another/#comment-3674608099

            Math is a science but it is not the same category of science as physics. Again with the category mistakes. You scientism types would be nothing without them. You make a metaphysics out of your method.

            There's no catagorical mistake. Scientific equations are math and science. See there's this thing called overlap you may not be aware of. And I'm not a scientism type. You don't even know what you're talking about and it's obvious.

            I pretty much have at this point. Denial is not just a river in Egypt....

            No you haven't. Assertions are proofs.

            Rather your "weak" Scientism is emblematic of low brow New Atheists who are a pale imitation of their more philosophically inclined forerunners.

            According to your strawman sure. But not in reality.

            That is still ambiguous. "Relevant" does not tell me it's role in the God debate nor is it relevant to my Classic View of God. Use it on Craig or the other Theistic Personalists.

            Oh see what you're doing here. You're assuming (riduculously) that only your views are the real metaphysical or philosophical ones. A variation of the No True Scottsman fallacy. First it's wrong. Second, Thomism makes scientific claims too. It presuppoes movement as defined under presentism - just like Dr Bonnette did in this OP - and that means presentism is fundamental to it's ontology. But of course presentism is falsified by both special and general relativity. And that of course proves Thomistic metaphysics makes or assumes scientific claims that science has already shown to be false. You'd see this if you weren't so busy falsly accusing others of scientism. You can even say Dr Bonnette is wrong on this, but Feser basically says the same thing.

            Repeating this nonsense doesn't make it true nor is it a philosophical argument nor is it scientific proof. It is incoherent nonsense.

            Nope. See above comment.

            So you equivocate between God concepts as well as metaphysics and science. Hate to disappoint you but no "god" you can prove exists scientifically can be any "god" I believe in or am familar with.

            I do not such thing. I just show ignoramouses like you that they're wrong because they haven't thought out their views enough. I've already proved metaphysics can overlap with science when metaphysical ideas assert claims that intrude onto science. Your best response was "I'm not a substance dualist" - which is of course totally irrelevant.

            No that is a metaphysical claim not a scientific one. You can answer it with Parmenides or Plato but not Relativity. Sure you can model relativity via Parmenides but you don't have too regardless of Einstein's personal philosophical views. If that was legitimate then you must confess AT metaphysics because of Aristotle's contribution to the formulation of the scientific method.

            It's a metaphyscical claim that asserts the universe must be a particular way, a way that science has something to say about. If you think of the block universe as a whole, there is no change. Even Dr Bonnette realizes that eternalism would smack Thomism into submission. I need not confess any AT metaphysics because it's almost all bugus and not only incompatible with science (ie, if forces me to deny scientific truths I already know) it's ultimately incoherent.

            Now you have to do double work for yourself. You have to put on the hat of a Theistic personalist Christian Apologist and convince me if God exists then he would not be entirely philosophical.

            No I don't, the Thomist makes scientific claims when he makes his case for god. No need for me to assume theistic personalism.

            You have to convince me a God I already am an Atheist toward exists before you turn around to knock him down. Good luck with that buddy.

            I don't actually. I have the god of Feser right in my sights. You can keep deflecting if you want. It serves you well. Or you can drop the cockiness and actually be willing to learn a few things, because the cockiness is really not working for you. You have to be correct on things for that to work.

          • Jim the Scott

            >I am convinced eternalism destroys Thomistic metaphysics contrary to what Feser says because if everything already exists, and one thing doesn't become another, and there really is no motion, Thomism and the arguments for god fall apart. I don't think Feser has spent enough time on this.

            I have been watching your debate with scbrown(lhrm)2017 on this matter. You keep contradicting yourself minute to minute. I would say versions of eternalism that are purely the metaphysics of Parmenides would do that but any that allow any real change do not. But you don't make careful distinctions.

            >Oh and there's no special pleading on my part, and I've already proven metaphysics can be contradicted by science here.

            No you just proved something that makes dual metaphysical and scientific claims can have it's scientific claims refuted by science.
            You still don't get category mistakes anbd fallacies of equivocation.

            > Your best response was "I'm not a substance dualist" - which is of course totally irrelevant.

            Because you want to fight a strawman.

            >It's a metaphyscical claim that asserts the universe must be a particular way, a way that science has something to say about.

            But they are giving two different categories of description. That is why the second law of thermal dynamics applies to closed systems recieving energy and has nothing to do with Evolution.

            >If you think of the block universe as a whole, there is no change.

            A block universe modeled via Parmenides but not all block universe are so modeled as Feser showed.

            > Even Dr Bonnette realizes that eternalism would smack Thomism into submission.

            No rather any metaphysics or model that denies all substantive change across the board. More category mistakes.

            >I need not confess any AT metaphysics because it's almost all bugus and not only incompatible with science (ie, if forces me to deny scientific truths I already know) it's ultimately incoherent.

            No you need to critique AT properly with philosophy not science. You even admitted to me hylomorphic dualism makes no scientific claims only metaphysical ones.

            More equivocations.

            >No I don't, the Thomist makes scientific claims when he makes his case for god. No need for me to assume theistic personalism.

            No you just use your weak scientism hammer that sees everything as a scientific nail to hit it.

            Thomism makes metaphysical claims that require philosophical critique. Your scientism is tedious. Not as much as your cowardly refusal to own it.

            >I don't actually.

            Then you believe you can convince me Thomism is wrong by irrational means.

            > I have the god of Feser right in my sights. You can keep deflecting if you want.

            No you have you own made up God Feser doesn't believe in. Sad!

            >It serves you well. Or you can drop the cockiness and actually be willing to learn a few things, because the cockiness is really not working for you. You have to be correct on things for that to work.

            I have learned a lot watching your debate with scbrown(lhrm)2017 . I learned you are an idiot.

          • I have been watching your debate with scbrown(lhrm)2017 on this matter. You keep contradicting yourself minute to minute. I would say versions of eternalism that are purely the metaphysics of Parmenides would do that but any that allow any real change do not. But you don't make careful distinctions.

            Given how much you strawman, your abiliity to know what's a real contradiction is not trust worthy. What's "real change"?

            No you just proved something that makes dual metaphysical and scientific claims can have it's scientific claims refuted by science.
            You still don't get category mistakes anbd fallacies of equivocation.

            I'm not making them. I'm showing a metaphysical view - substance dualism- makes some scientific claims, and they can be shown to be false. Your response is to deny substance dualism is metaphysics. Hey what's next, Thomism isn't actually metaphysics?

            Because you want to fight a strawman.

            No I'm just using substance dualism as an example. No need for it to be true or believed by you. That's what you don't get.

            But they are giving two different categories of description. That is why the second law of thermal dynamics applies to closed systems recieving energy and has nothing to do with Evolution.

            No comparison. If Thomism requires presentism, that makes a scientific claim. If Thomism requires libertarian free will, that makes a scientific claim. If Thomism requires mental causation, that makes a scientific claim. Clearly Thomism makes numerous claims that science has something to say about. Metaphysical views make claims that intrude into the domain of science.

            A block universe modeled via Parmenides but not all block universe are so modeled as Feser showed.

            Feser just asserted Einstein's 4d block universe is compatible with Thomism. I showed here and in my post that this is a false claim. If Parmenides's block universe is ontologically the same as Einstein's, that your distinction is irrelavant.

            No rather any metaphysics or model that denies all substantive change across the board. More category mistakes.

            Which includes eteralism. Eternalism and Thomism are not compatible.

            No you need to critique AT properly with philosophy not science. You even admitted to me hylomorphic dualism makes no scientific claims only metaphysical ones.
            More equivocations.

            I never said that. Hylomorphic dualism does make scientific claims, eg. mental causation. So you're wrong again.

            No you just use your weak scientism hammer that sees everything as a scientific nail to hit it.
            Thomism makes metaphysical claims that require philosophical critique. Your scientism is tedious. Not as much as your cowardly refusal to own it.

            Not at all, because I'm well aware that not all Thomistic claims intrude onto science, some are purely philosphical, but some intrude onto science and you are in complete denial of that and your predictible response is to claim I'm giving way to scientism by assumeing everything is scientific. So wrong.

            Then you believe you can convince me Thomism is wrong by irrational means.

            Given your lackluster mental abilities I'm doubting you'd be convinced by rational means.

            No you have you own made up God Feser doesn't believe in. Sad!

            The god of Thomism is a well known moving target. But no Feser's god applies to my critique.

            I have learned a lot watching your debate with scbrown(lhrm)2017 . I learned you are an idiot.

            I learned you're an idiot in first hour debating you.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Given how much you strawman, your abiliity to know what's a real contradiction is not trust worthy. What's "real change"?

            So you have no answer?

            >I'm not making them. I'm showing a metaphysical view - substance dualism- makes some scientific claims, and they can be shown to be false. Your response is to deny substance dualism is metaphysics. Hey what's next, Thomism isn't actually metaphysics?

            So you are admitting you can show the scientific claims of substance dualism are false scientifically. Fine! I agree BUT that is not the same as refuting metaphysics with science. Views that make no scientific claims are not subject to this standard.

            >No I'm just using substance dualism as an example. No need for it to be true or believed by you. That's what you don't get.

            You example is riddled with equivocations. You can refute scientific claims with science but you cannot refute metaphysics with science. You didn't give me a metaphysical view but a view that makes two separate category claims.

            >No comparison. If Thomism requires presentism, that makes a scientific claim.

            No presentism is a philosophical position on the nature of time not a scientific one. You keep making category mistakes.

            >If Thomism requires libertarian free will, that makes a scientific claim. If Thomism requires mental causation, that makes a scientific claim.

            No these are all philosophical claims. At best philosophy of science can be involved. Category mistakes all the way down.

            >Clearly Thomism makes numerous claims that science has something to say about. Metaphysical views make claims that intrude into the domain of science.

            Rather because of your weak scientism everything is a scientific question when you need it too be.

            >Feser just asserted Einstein's 4d block universe is compatible with Thomism.

            Dude I have done enough reading to know there are different conceptions of 4d block universes. Some do allow real change in some fashion. You are the living incarnation of the god of equivocation.

            >I showed here and in my post that this is a false claim. If Parmenides's block universe is ontologically the same as Einstein's, that your distinction is irrelavant.

            Now you confuse ontology with metaphysics. I love it!

            >Which includes eteralism. Eternalism and Thomism are not compatible.

            If so it is for philosophical reasons not science.

            >I never said that. Hylomorphic dualism does make scientific claims, eg. mental causation. So you're wrong again.

            You keep saying Thomism makes scientific claims. Make up you mind!

            >Not at all, because I'm well aware that not all Thomistic claims intrude onto science, some are purely philosphical, but some intrude onto science and you are in complete denial of that and your predictible response is to claim I'm giving way to scientism by assumeing everything is scientific. So wrong.

            Gibberish! You keep contradicting yourself and you keep moving the goal posts.

            >The god of Thomism is a well known moving target. But no Feser's god applies to my critique.

            In other words "No fair! You are not a fundamentalist!".

            >Given your lackluster mental abilities I'm doubting you'd be convinced by rational means. I learned you're an idiot in first hour debating you.

            You are so dull.

          • So you have no answer?

            I need clarification first, since Thomism is well known for its contentious definitions of things.

            So you are admitting you can show the scientific claims of substance dualism are false scientifically. Fine! I agree BUT that is not the same as refuting metaphysics with science. Views that make no scientific claims are not subject to this standard.

            And substance dualism is a metaphysical belief. Are you denying that now? Views that make no scientific claims are not able to be falsified scientifically. Trivially true. But some metaphysical beliefs make scientific claims. Don't think that "scientific claim" means that it's a claim that is compatible with scientific methods. It means it's a claim that asserts things are true that happen to fall within the perview of science.

            You example is riddled with equivocations. You can refute scientific claims with science but you cannot refute metaphysics with science. You didn't give me a metaphysical view but a view that makes two separate category claims.

            I gave you substance dualism, which is a metaphysical view. You have to show it isn't a metaphysical view in order to have a point. I just used substance dualism to make my point, which I did successfully. THomism does the same thing. It makes scientific claims. Do you deny this?

            No presentism is a philosophical position on the nature of time not a scientific one. You keep making category mistakes.

            Presentism says only "now" exists, and that is something science shows false. So presentism is just the philosophical name for the present just existing, which is a claim science has something to say about.

            No these are all philosophical claims. At best philosophy of science can be involved. Category mistakes all the way down.

            Libertarian free will is a claim in philosophy, but it is a claim that asserts things are true that happen to fall within the perview of science. That's what I mean when I say it makes a scientific claim. In other words, LFW is a philosophical position that makes scientific claims.

            Rather because of your weak scientism everything is a scientific question when you need it too be.

            Not at all, your ignorance to my view makes you say these silly things.

            Dude I have done enough reading to know there are different conceptions of 4d block universes. Some do allow real change in some fashion. You are the living incarnation of the god of equivocation.

            "Change" in what way? Define this change, because it really matters. By not defining change, you are equivocating.

            Now you confuse ontology with metaphysics. I love it!

            No such confusion. Just your ignorance and knee jerking again.

            If so it is for philosophical reasons not science.

            Nothing about Thomism is scientific or compatible with science, we get it.

            You keep saying Thomism makes scientific claims. Make up you mind!

            I've never denied that.

            Gibberish! You keep contradicting yourself and you keep moving the goal posts.

            Gibberish describes Thomism, not my views.

            In other words "No fair! You are not a fundamentalist!".

            I don't know how you go this. Must be tourette's again.

            You are so dull.

            You are so easy to refute.

          • Jim the Scott

            >I need clarification first, since Thomism is well known for its contentious definitions of things.

            Rather you need to clarify the soup of words you spill out willy nilly.

            >And substance dualism is a metaphysical belief.

            Substance Dualism is a variety of dualism in the philosophy of mind which states that two sorts of substances exist: the mental and the physical.

            > Are you denying that now?

            At this point your fallacies of equivocation and category mistakes run so deep it is now impossible to understand anything you mean. I believe you just make up your own terms as you go along.

            >Views that make no scientific claims are not able to be falsified scientifically. Trivially true. But some metaphysical beliefs make scientific claims. Don't think that "scientific claim" means that it's a claim that is compatible with scientific methods. It means it's a claim that asserts things are true that happen to fall within the perview of science.

            Rather some things make both metaphysical and scientific view but science can only answer the scientific part by provicing data. You act as if interpreting the data is the same as the data.

            >I gave you substance dualism, which is a metaphysical view. You have to show it isn't a metaphysical view in order to have a point.

            I already cited the definition. Your statement is incoherent.

            >I just used substance dualism to make my point, which I did successfully. THomism does the same thing. It makes scientific claims. Do you deny this?

            At this point analogously you are asking me to prove the existence of a Higgs bosen by challenging me to dig it up in a fossil bed.

            Category mistakes for all!

            >Presentism says only "now" exists, and that is something science shows false.

            Presentism is a philosophical modeling of time not a scientific theory.

            >So presentism is just the philosophical name for the present just existing, which is a claim science has something to say about.

            No presentism is the formal definition of a philosophical modeling of tensed time.

            >Libertarian free will is a claim in philosophy, but it is a claim that asserts things are true that happen to fall within the perview of science.

            No it is the claim that free will is incompatible with causal determinism.
            I am sure Compatibilism disagree with them but it has little to do with science.

            >That's what I mean when I say it makes a scientific claim. In other words, LFW is a philosophical position that makes scientific claims.

            At this point your equivocations are so incoherent you blah blah blah sounds more clear.

            >Not at all, your ignorance to my view makes you say these silly things.

            You "views" have no objective content and you make up your own terms.

            >"Change" in what way? Define this change, because it really matters. By not defining change, you are equivocating.

            Hey come back with those goal posts!

            >No such confusion. Just your ignorance and knee jerking again.

            There is some jerking here. Might I suggest you wash your hands?

            >Nothing about Thomism is scientific or compatible with science, we get it.
            >>You keep saying Thomism makes scientific claims. Make up you mind!
            >I've never denied that.

            You just contradicted yourself right there.

            >Gibberish describes Thomism, not my views.

            I don't think you have any real views. That would require an ordered intellect. There is just mush here.

            >I don't know how you go this. Must be tourette's again.

            No saying f***! F***! and making weird noises is tourette's.

            >You are so easy to refute

            Which is what you say while standing in front of a mirror.

          • Rather you need to clarify the soup of words you spill out willy nilly.

            Looking in the mirror again?

            Substance Dualism is a variety of dualism in the philosophy of mind which states that two sorts of substances exist: the mental and the physical.

            Which is a metaphysical belief.

            At this point your fallacies of equivocation and category mistakes run so deep it is now impossible to understand anything you mean. I believe you just make up your own terms as you go along.

            There's no equivocation on my part sorry. You seem to have particular definitions of things I may disagree with. If we could get past that, we could have a real conversation.

            Rather some things make both metaphysical and scientific view but science can only answer the scientific part by provicing data. You act as if interpreting the data is the same as the data.

            But what are those things? If they are views from within a metaphysic, they are metaphysical views. And that means some metaphysical views can make scientific claims. If a claim makes scientific claims that are false, if they are salient to the claim, then the claim is false. Hence science can in some cases show metaphysical views are false. Trying to define metaphysics in such a way as to obsolve it from any scientific scrutiny is the Thomist's little attempt to falsely claim that science has nothing to say about their metaphysic. Feser is well known for this.

            But in order for me to accept Thomism I am forced to accept things I know to be false from science, e.g. presentism is true, mental causation exists, etc.) So you can deny this all you want, it's still not going to change the fact that metaphysical views like Thomism force me to deny scientific data.

            I already cited the definition. Your statement is incoherent.

            See above.

            At this point analogously you are asking me to prove the existence of a Higgs bosen by challenging me to dig it up in a fossil bed.

            No I'm not. You're just too ignorant. If I become a Thomist do I have to accept mental causation?

            Category mistakes for all!

            Ignorant comments for all!

            Presentism is a philosophical modeling of time not a scientific theory.

            I'm well aware of that, but presentism says only "now" exists, and that is something science shows false.

            No presentism is the formal definition of a philosophical modeling of tensed time.

            And that philosophical modeling of tensed time says only "now" exists, and that is something science shows false.

            No it is the claim that free will is incompatible with causal determinism.
            I am sure Compatibilism disagree with them but it has little to do with science.

            It is not only the claim of incompatibilism, that's just one aspect of it. It's the claim (in part) that we can control our will, our mind is causally effective, and we could have done otherwise in the same situation.

            At this point your equivocations are so incoherent you blah blah blah sounds more clear.

            That's because you're willfully ignorant and dogmatically cling to a view that purposely tries to make metaphysics inscrutible from any science, meanwhile not realizing you're making scientific claims.

            You "views" have no objective content and you make up your own terms.

            You mean I sound like Thomism's vocabulary?

            Hey come back with those goal posts!

            Comeback with definitions if you are capable of it. I suspect not.

            There is some jerking here. Might I suggest you wash your hands?

            No jerking.

            You just contradicted yourself right there.

            No I didn't because you can make a scientific claim that is incompatible with science. Thomism does that. Hence it makes scientific claims but is not compatible with science. Nice try.

            I don't think you have any real views. That would require an ordered intellect. There is just mush here.

            Your brain is the 'mush' over here.

            Which is what you say while standing in front of a mirror.

            No I say to you.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Looking in the mirror again?

            If I was I would never leave. I am so pretty.

            >Which is a metaphysical belief.

            Which I reject because of it's incoherence.

            >There's no equivocation on my part sorry. You seem to have particular definitions of things I may disagree with. If we could get past that, we could have a real conversation.

            Well you believe metaphysics can contradict data. Which is silly because it merely models data.

            >But what are those things?

            We determine that via the philosophy of science. So we don't confuse our metaphysics with method or data.

            >If they are views from within a metaphysic, they are metaphysical views. And that means some metaphysical views can make scientific claims.

            To date you think neuroscience or physics can tell me if substance dualism is true or false? Now the Mechanistic metaphysics of Descartes might blur the lines back in the day when Scientism was just a gleem in Descartes' eye
            But the logical arguments of philosophy showed us the mind body problem caused by that nonsense.

            hylomorphism does not have this problem.

            > If a claim makes scientific claims that are false, if they are salient to the claim, then the claim is false.

            But not if one is making metaphysical claims. Then true and false are super-ceded with coherent vs incoherent.

            >Hence science can in some cases show metaphysical views are false. Trying to define metaphysics in such a way as to obsolve it from any scientific scrutiny is the Thomist's little attempt to falsely claim that science has nothing to say about their metaphysic. Feser is well known for this.

            No they just don't presume you scientism claim that metaphysical claims and scientific one are interchangeable. Momentum is shown to be true by data. Modeling it is not data it is interpreting the data. We Thomist threat metaphysics as metaphysics and science as science according to their proper categories. You blur them with equivocations.

            >But in order for me to accept Thomism I am forced to accept things I know to be false from science, e.g. presentism is true, mental causation exists, etc.)

            Those things can be proven true or false by science. Science cannot prove or deny a philosophical model. You can't go into a lab and falsify the existence of mental causations or affirm them. They are argued via philosophy not science.

            >So you can deny this all you want, it's still not going to change the fact that metaphysical views like Thomism force me to deny scientific data.

            No your Scientism forces you to equivocate their philosophical and metaphysical claims with scientific data. No rational person would attack Thomism with science anymore then a rational person confuses physical laws of entropy with the biological claim of Evolution. You must fight philosophy with philosophy. You are tilting against a windmill.

            >No I'm not. You're just too ignorant. If I become a Thomist do I have to accept mental causation?

            Well if you became a Thomist you would be a Christian as I have never heard of an Atheist Thomist. OTOH you could become an Aristotelian and stay an Atheist or at worst you would be a species of deist ( of the non Paley kind) who only accepted Aquinas' natural theology and not the revealed doctrines of Catholic Christianity.

            Now it seems you are equivocating between metaphysics, philosophy of nature and religion. You whole mind is mush.

            >Ignorant comments for all!

            Yeh you keep dishing them out.

            >>Presentism is a philosophical modeling of time not a scientific theory.
            >I'm well aware of that, but presentism says only "now" exists, and that is something science shows false.

            If science could show it too be false it would not be a philosophical modeling theory it would be a scientific theory. Science cannot prove or disprove "now" exists.

            You really have no ability to distinguish between science & philosophy. Your just interchange them at the drop of a hat.

            >And that philosophical modeling of tensed time says only "now" exists, and that is something science shows false.

            see previous....

            >It is not only the claim of incompatibilism, that's just one aspect of it. It's the claim (in part) that we can control our will, our mind is causally effective, and we could have done otherwise in the same situation.

            Which is mere philosophical modeling not data. Science can't show us which brain waves are an act of will or not it is a meaningless concept.

            >That's because you're willfully ignorant and dogmatically cling to a view that purposely tries to make metaphysics inscrutible from any science,

            No I could be a Platonic Atheist tomorrow or a strict Aristotelian in my metaphysics and philosophy of nature without the doctrinal claims of thomism or natural theology and still think you are an irrational boob who believes fringe irrational things. That you disbelieve in Our Lord is merely accidental to that.

            >You mean I sound like Thomism's vocabulary?

            Using Thomist terminology and making up your own meanings is just weird.

            >Comeback with definitions if you are capable of it. I suspect not.

            Rather stop making up your own.

            >No jerking.

            Sorry did it fall off? Well that would make sense. Unlike there more rational non-Gnu Atheist brethren New Atheist have....nothing to jerk.

            >No I didn't because you can make a scientific claim that is incompatible with science.

            Obviously but not a philosophical one.

            >Hence it makes scientific claims but is not compatible with science.

            No your scientism hammer sees nothing but science nails.

            I don't think you have any real views. That would require an ordered intellect. There is just mush here. Your brain is the 'mush' over here.

            >No I say to you.

            And I say I am too smart to believe you nonsense regardless of the existence of God or not.

          • If I was I would never leave. I am so pretty.

            Ok keep accusing yourself.

            Which I reject because of it's incoherence.

            Which is irrelevant. It's a metaphysical belief, that's all that matters.

            Well you believe metaphysics can contradict data. Which is silly because it merely models data.

            And that's absurd because if that were true all metaphysical views would be based on the latest and best scientific data. That is clearly not the case.

            We determine that via the philosophy of science. So we don't confuse our metaphysics with method or data.

            We determine that via the philosophy of science. So we don't confuse our metaphysics with method or data.

            Missing the point. When I ask what are those things, I'm referring to the "some things make both metaphysical and scientific view" that you mentioned. We determine those things via the philosophy of science? That makes no sense.

            To date you think neuroscience or physics can tell me if substance dualism is true or false? Now the Mechanistic metaphysics of Descartes might blur the lines back in the day when Scientism was just a gleem in Descartes' eye
            But the logical arguments of philosophy showed us the mind body problem caused by that nonsense.

            hylomorphism does not have this problem.

            To your first question yes. And hylomorphism still requires mental causation, so it is not immune to this problem.

            But not if one is making metaphysical claims. Then true and false are super-ceded with coherent vs incoherent.

            It applies to metaphysical claims. Something incoherent is false. Something falsified by scientific data - which applies to some metaphysical beliefs - is false. If a metaphysical claim is falsified by scientific data it doesn't mean the metaphysical claim is incoherent. It could have internal consistency.

            No they just don't presume you scientism claim that metaphysical claims and scientific one are interchangeable. Momentum is shown to be true by data. Modeling it is not data it is interpreting the data. We Thomist threat metaphysics as metaphysics and science as science according to their proper categories. You blur them with equivocations.

            I'm not blurring anything nor am I assuming scientism. I'm not saying metaphysical claims and scientific ones are interchangeable, I'm saying - again - that they sometimes overlap. Thomism makes claims about the world that science has something to say about. Thomism is not completely neutral on science. Thomism requires presentism, a view that contradicts science. Thomism requires mental causation, a view that contradicts science, etc. I'd have to accept these things in order to accept Thomism, and that means I'd have to change my views on various scientific things in order to accept Thomism. It isn't a mere interpretating the data. Science says X, Thomism says Y. There is no interpretating those two together lest you want to encourage cognitive dissonance.

            Those things can be proven true or false by science. Science cannot prove or deny a philosophical model. You can't go into a lab and falsify the existence of mental causations or affirm them. They are argued via philosophy not science.

            This is false. Mental causation if it were to be true would be something science can investigate, because it would require that there be a force in our bodies that was not a part of the 4 natural forces, and such a new force would inject new energy into the universe that didn't already exist. This would violate everything we know from quantum mechanics.

            No your Scientism forces you to equivocate their philosophical and metaphysical claims with scientific data. No rational person would attack Thomism with science anymore then a rational person confuses physical laws of entropy with the biological claim of Evolution. You must fight philosophy with philosophy. You are tilting against a windmill.

            Knee jerk again. Plenty of rational people would attack Thomism with science because Thomism requires that we all accept certain truths that science has something to say about, presentism is true, mental causation is true, etc.

            We can also fight Thomism with philosophy, so don't think I'm saying we can only fight it with science.

            Well if you became a Thomist you would be a Christian as I have never heard of an Atheist Thomist. OTOH you could become an Aristotelian and stay an Atheist or at worst you would be a species of deist ( of the non Paley kind) who only accepted Aquinas' natural theology and not the revealed doctrines of Catholic Christianity.

            Now it seems you are equivocating between metaphysics, philosophy of nature and religion. You whole mind is mush.

            Nice deflection. If I become a Thomist do I have to accept mental causation?

            If science could show it too be false it would not be a philosophical modeling theory it would be a scientific theory. Science cannot prove or disprove "now" exists.

            Which just assumes your false dichotomy. Presentism is a philosophical view that has been shown to be false scientifically, and that's because philosophical and metaphysical views sometimes make claims that science has something to say about.

            You've even admitted presentism is a philsophical claim.

            You really have no ability to distinguish between science & philosophy. Your just interchange them at the drop of a hat.

            Oh I do. You said presentism was philosophy, but you now say if if can be falsified by science it ceases to be a philosophy and becomes a scientific theory. So at some point according to you it's in a superposition of being a philosophy and a scientific theory, and falsifying it collapses it into a scientific theory. You've got schrodinger's category! This is a failure on your part to know what you're talking about.

            see previous....

            You mean see previous nonsense above.

            Which is mere philosophical modeling not data. Science can't show us which brain waves are an act of will or not it is a meaningless concept.

            It's not really a philosophical modeling of scientific data, since you say data is science. LFW is an intuitive intepretation from subjective experience, and that's why its so wrong. It can be shown wrong philosophically and scientifically, because it is a view that if true, would intrude into science (via the mental causation part). Science can show that is false.

            No I could be a Platonic Atheist tomorrow or a strict Aristotelian in my metaphysics and philosophy of nature without the doctrinal claims of thomism or natural theology and still think you are an irrational boob who believes fringe irrational things. That you disbelieve in Our Lord is merely accidental to that.

            You could be "a Platonic Atheist tomorrow or a strict Aristotelian in my metaphysics and philosophy of nature" and still be willfully ignorant and dogmatically clinging to a view that purposely tries to make metaphysics inscrutible from any science. I disbelieve in your lord because I know enough to know its a made up entity like all other gods are.

            Using Thomist terminology and making up your own meanings is just weird.

            Which is what I'm not doing.

            Rather stop making up your own.

            Sure, define them for me.

            Sorry did it fall off? Well that would make sense. Unlike there more rational non-Gnu Atheist brethren New Atheist have....nothing to jerk.

            Were you typing this with one hand? Seems like it.

            Obviously but not a philosophical one.

            Of course you can make a philosophical one that's incompatible with science - substance dualism, Thomism, etc.

            No your scientism hammer sees nothing but science nails.

            Another knee jerk need to accuse people of scientism. You need help.

            I don't think you have any real views. That would require an ordered intellect. There is just mush here. Your brain is the 'mush' over here.

            LOL.

            And I say I am too smart to believe you nonsense regardless of the existence of God or not.

            By 'smart' you mean dogmatic. I get it.

          • Jim the Scott

            >And that's absurd because if that were true all metaphysical views would be based on the latest and best scientific data. That is clearly not the case.

            Time to put this too bed. This is what I wrote about you. I am very harsh.

            To quote Feser…..

            Metaphysics, as traditionally defined in Aristotelian philosophy, is “the science of being qua being.” What that means is that it is not concerned merely with this or that kind of being, but with being as such, with what is true of anything whatsoever that does have or could have being. Thus it is concerned with questions like: What is it to be a substance? What is an essence? What is it to exist? What is it to have quantity? What is a quality? What are universals and what is their relationship to particulars? And so forth.

            Empirical science, as it is typically understood in modern times, studies material reality by developing quantitative models and testing them by observation and experiment. That, at any rate, is the paradigm, which is why physics -- with its mathematical formulae, rigorous predictions and technological applications, and discovery of strict laws -- is commonly regarded as the gold standard of science.

            The philosophy of nature is a middle ground field of study, lying between metaphysics and empirical science. Unlike metaphysics, it is not concerned with being as such, but with changeable, empirical reality in particular. But neither is it concerned merely with the specific natures of the changeable, empirical things that happen to exist. It is rather concerned with what must be true of any world of changeable, empirical things of the sort we might have scientific knowledge of, whatever their specific natures and thus whatever turn out to be the specific laws in terms of which they operate. Nor is the philosophy of nature concerned merely with the quantitative aspects of material things, but with every aspect of their nature. In Aristotelian philosophy of nature, these fundamental features of any possible empirical reality (or at least any sort we might have scientific knowledge of) include act and potency, substantial form and prime matter, efficient and final causality, and so forth. (That is not to say that some of these concepts don’t also have broader metaphysical significance. But the philosophy of nature approaches them from the point of view of the role they play in making sense of the empirical world, specifically.)………

            A further complicating factor is that much of what falls under the label “science” these days doesn’t really fit the physics paradigm,whatever people like Alex Rosenberg think. Indeed, even some of what physicists themselves say is really philosophy rather than physics. Thus, when physicists pronounce upon the nature of physical law, or causality, or the role of the observer in physical systems, they are really (in part) doing philosophy of nature, metaphysics, or epistemology rather than physics.END QUOTE

            Hence “Thinker” and his irrationalist scientism partisans are forever doomed to voice non-starter objections with their blather that metaphysics can somehow contradict science. They might as well claim 2+2=5 and be done with it. I think it is motivated by some psychotic fear of believing in God? Now intellectually I could see myself becoming a Platonic Atheist or an Atheist or Agnostic who confesses Aristotle’s Essentialist metaphysics & philosophy of nature sans his natural theology (by simply ignoring the later.) But belief in God or gods or none has little to do with my judgement “Thinker” and Co are irrationalists and clearly kneejerk positivists and their version of "atheism" is about as attractive to me as Young Earth Creationism is attractive to me now as a Traditionalist Thomist. It is clearly low brow.

          • Hence “Thinker” and his irrationalist scientism partisans are forever doomed to voice non-starter objections with their blather that metaphysics can somehow contradict science.

            Nothing about anything Feser wrote entails this above. First, I'm under no obligation to accept the Aristitotelian definition, or take on things, as if it's the only correct or coherent way (which it isn't). Second, given that, when the Thomist makes metaphysical claims, like "Change is an objective feature of the world," or "When the intellect determines that a certain course of action is the best one to take and the will follows it, the body proceeds to move in a way that constitutes the action," he is unknowlingly making claims that science has something to say about. So the Thomist here is trying to define himself into a position where he can make metaphysical claims that science has something to say about, while saying that science cannot by definition have something to say about it in order to avoid the obvious.

            They might as well claim 2+2=5 and be done with it. I think it is motivated by some psychotic fear of believing in God? Now intellectually I could see myself becoming a Platonic Atheist or an Atheist or Agnostic who confesses Aristotle’s Essentialist metaphysics & philosophy of nature sans his natural theology (by simply ignoring the later.) But belief in God or gods or none has little to do with my judgement “Thinker” and Co are irrationalists and clearly kneejerk positivists and their version of "atheism" is about as attractive to me as Young Earth Creationism is attractive to me now as a Traditionalist Thomist. It is clearly low brow.

            LOL. Rather the denial that the Thomist here is trying to define himself into a position where he can make metaphysical claims that science has something to say about, while saying that science cannot by definition have something to say about it, I think comes out of a fear that if they open their beliefs up to scientific scrutiny, they will be easily shown false, much like how the creationist dismisses all the scientific evidence against his view.

            I don't claim science answers all or that it's the only way to know truth, and you know that. Yet you still can't resist your urge to accuse other of positivism. It's such a knee jerk reflex in you now that it will likely take medication and psychotherapy to fix. But I do claim that different metaphysical beliefs can sometimes make claims that science has something to say about. Feser in his books even goes so far as to claim science supports some of his metaphysical Thomist beliefs, thereby acknowledging science has something to say about his metaphysics. Of course when science contradicts his metaphysics, then the Thomist must assert that his metaphysics by definition cannot be refuted by science, as a way to absolve his beliefs of falsifiability, so he can go on living, much like the creationist, that his beliefs are intact, and impenetrable from data and evidence.

            And this is of course why you never answered: If I become a Thomist do I have to accept mental causation?

          • Jim the Scott

            >Nothing about anything Feser wrote entails this above. First, I'm under no obligation to accept the Aristitotelian definition, or take on things, as if it's the only correct or coherent way (which it isn't).

            Ah Ad Hoc throwing out definitions because they have their roots in Aristotle? I guess the Scientific Method in general and rules of logic better watch their backs with you around? BTW if you don't recognize your opponent is using different definitions then you then you will forever talk past them and you will not be able to offer anything but strawman criticism. Like in my other post contrasting the Jewish/Muslim view of Divine simplicity vs the Christian. If we don't recognize distinction we can have no common ground to rationally dispute.

            >Second, given that, when the Thomist makes metaphysical claims, like "Change is an objective feature of the world," or "When the intellect determines that a certain course of action is the best one to take and the will follows it, the body proceeds to move in a way that constitutes the action," he is unknowlingly making claims that science has something to say about.

            Whose definition of "science" or "metaphysics"? Also where do you get your fuzzy unstated definitions and how do you know they are the "correct" ones vs what I quoted from Feser? Are they really contrary to Aristotle?

            Well? Or are you going to punk out and ignore as per usual and shift the burden of proof?

            > So the Thomist here is trying to define himself into a position where he can make metaphysical claims that science has something to say about, while saying that science cannot by definition have something to say about it in order to avoid the obvious.

            You are begging the question here with this statement by assuming your own fuzzy undefined concepts of Science and metaphysics. But we don't know what they are? At least the Muslims and Jews I argued with could define their view of divine simplicity clearly so I could contrast it with mine.
            If you don't know where specifically you disagree then you cannot argue.

            >LOL. Rather the denial that the Thomist here is trying to define himself into a position where he can make metaphysical claims that science has something to say about, while saying that science cannot by definition have something to say about it, I think comes out of a fear that if they open their beliefs up to scientific scrutiny, they will be easily shown false, much like how the creationist dismisses all the scientific evidence against his view.

            Unless you formally and clearly define what you think the terms like"metaphysics" and "science" mean & why they are the "correct" definitions then I have no reason to assume what you say above is either true or false.

            Creationists do bad science and in my experience can no more define metaphysics, philosophy of nature or empirical science anymore then you can or have. As for "scientific evidence" against Creationism. As Bertram Russell once said & I paraphrase from memory "Either the Universe was created without a cause or God created it. If God created it there is no reason why He couldn't have created it instantly 10 minutes ago as it existed 10 minutes ago all at once & kept from out minds any perception of not having existed beyond 10 minutes ago with false memories of have existed prior to 10 minutes ago." Of course being the Agnostic he also added "If the Universe came into existence without a cause there is no reason why it could have come into instantly uncaused into existence 10 minutes ago as it existed 10 minutes ago.etc"

            Yeh good luck trying to "science" that away.

            >I don't claim science answers all or that it's the only way to know truth, and you know that.

            I know you have no clear definition of science or philosophy or metaphysics. You have no given one. I just now gave you Feser because I am sick of us talking past each other.

            Feser as a professional Philosopher at least gives a respectable technical definition of these concepts I can find stated elsewhere in non Thomistic dictionaries or online Encyclopedias.

            So what is your formal technical definition of science, philosophy of nature and metaphysics? Well?

            BTW I took at face value your explanation of "weak scientism" and going by what your wrote concluded it is basically trivial scientism. You accept the true of philosophy which make all definitions of scientism trivial.

            >Yet you still can't resist your urge to accuse other of positivism. It's such a knee jerk reflex in you now that it will likely take medication and psychotherapy to fix.

            I have met many a Protestant who dismisses my criticism of their Sola Scriptura doctrine as "No that is not sola scriptura that is solo scriptura" which often looks like a distinction without a difference.

            But at least those people on paper can give a formal definition of the two that I can pick on.

            You need to define science, metaphysics and philosophy of nature otherwise your blather about Feser trying to "define" his way to escaping your science is just that blather.

            >Feser in his books even goes so far as to claim science supports some of his metaphysical Thomist beliefs, thereby acknowledging science has something to say about his metaphysics.

            You have already shown me you are not that good at proof texting Feser. Pretending he doesn't distinguish between active and passive potency in regards to God so you can use your lame "If God contains no potency he can't potentially become incarnate" non-argument.

            Why should I trust you interpretation of him here? At least in the last post you provided a page number (& I provided context with page numbers can contradict your claim).

            >And this is of course why you never answered: If I become a Thomist do I have to accept mental causation?

            No because all this time I was assume the formal scholarly definitions of Metaphysics, philosophy of nature and empirical science given by Feser.

            You have offered no counter definitions much less given me reasons to think whatever these fuzzy unstated definitions are they are more true then the ones Feser gives.

          • Ah Ad Hoc throwing out definitions because they have their roots in Aristotle? I guess the Scientific Method in general and rules of logic better watch their backs with you around?

            I don't think one's exact definition of metaphysics is anything like the rules of logic.

            If we don't recognize distinction we can have no common ground to rationally dispute.

            I agree, which is why we should encourage each other to ask "What do you mean by X?" instead of assuming the worst possible definition of X for the other person.

            Whose definition of "science" or "metaphysics"? Also where do you get your fuzzy unstated definitions and how do you know they are the "correct" ones vs what I quoted from Feser? Are they really contrary to Aristotle?

            A defintion of science you would most certainly agree with, like things involving empirical evidence obtained via the scientific method. And a definition of metaphysics you'd almost certain agree with, since those claims come directly out of Thomism's metaphysics.

            Well? Or are you going to punk out and ignore as per usual and shift the burden of proof?

            I don't think I have a habit of doing that at all, which is why I tend to respond to every major point you make.

            You are begging the question here with this statement by assuming your own fuzzy undefined concepts of Science and metaphysics. But we don't know what they are? At least the Muslims and Jews I argued with could define their view of divine simplicity clearly so I could contrast it with mine.
            If you don't know where specifically you disagree then you cannot argue.

            I don't think I'm assuming any fuzzy defined concepts, in fact, I could just borrow your own definitions and usages of science and metaphysics. A claim like "change is an objective feature of reality" comes directly out of the metaphysics of Thomism. It's a metaphysical view. And it's one that assumes a presentist ontology in how it defineds "change." Dr Bonnette's whole post is centered on this fact. Clearly, a metaphysical claim that assumes a point of view on time like presentism makes a claim science has something to say about. And by science I simply mean empirical evidence obtained via the scientific method. This is not the only definition of science, but this is the functional definition I'm using here to make the point.

            Unless you formally and clearly define what you think the terms like"metaphysics" and "science" mean & why they are the "correct" definitions then I have no reason to assume what you say above is either true or false.

            Sure. Metaphysics can have several workable definitions, like the word "religion" can. By metaphysics I mean the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space. It's concerned primarily with the fundamental nature of reality. And as I see metaphysics, it also includes not just first principles but extrapolating from science a big picture worldview. Within a metaphysic, are several views regarding what exists, these are the metaphysical views, not to be confused with metaphysics simpliciter - which I think was a huge source of our disagreement. Metaphysical views can include things like substance dualism, Thomistic notions of change, causality, souls and mental causation. So the Thomistic notions of causation, that imply a presentist ontology must be true (as Dr Bonnette writes in this OP) make claims that science clearly has something to say about. Hence my point, that metaphysical views can make claims that can be refuted by science.

            I know you have no clear definition of science or philosophy or metaphysics. You have no given one. I just now gave you Feser because I am sick of us talking past each other.

            Really? Just like you "know" god is a trinity. Thomists do have slightly different definitions of metaphysics that I would use, because I don't think metaphysics only covers first principles.

            BTW I took at face value your explanation of "weak scientism" and going by what your wrote concluded it is basically trivial scientism. You accept the true of philosophy which make all definitions of scientism trivial.

            Only it is not scientism, since "scientism" is really strong scientism, and it says science is the only way to know truth. And since weak scientism doesn't say thing (a huuuge difference), it is anything but trivial scientism.

            You have already shown me you are not that good at proof texting Feser. Pretending he doesn't distinguish between active and passive potency in regards to God so you can use your lame "If God contains no potency he can't potentially become incarnate" non-argument.

            Why should I trust you interpretation of him here? At least in the last post you provided a page number (& I provided context with page numbers can contradict your claim).

            Or, Feser isn't good at communicating his idea. You have also already shown me you are not good at realizing the full implications of your claims, like your numerously refuted claim that a metaphysical view cannot in principle be refuted by science. Clearly, as it has been spelled out abundantly by now, that is false, because Thomism - which no one denies is a metaphysic, makes claims that contradict known scientific data.

            Regarding active/passive potency, I don't see a difference that makes the problem any better. Active potency is the capacity to do or make, which requires change and which requires time.

            No because all this time I was assume the formal scholarly definitions of Metaphysics, philosophy of nature and empirical science given by Feser.

            You have offered no counter definitions much less given me reasons to think whatever these fuzzy unstated definitions are they are more true then the ones Feser gives.

            That hardly answers the question. No I don't have to accept mental causation or yes I do?

        • Rob Abney

          Scientists in the higher level sciences (Chemistry, biology, sociology, etc.) are mostly not even aware that time is static and that motion and change are not fundamental features of reality.

          Because those scientists, like most realists, realize:

          “that “this” becomes “that” with some persisting reality exhibiting those before and after qualities.”

          • Because those scientists, like most realists, realize:

            “that “this” becomes “that” with some persisting reality exhibiting those before and after qualities.”

            But they don't understand the fundamentals, that things don't actually flow from one thing into another - a scientific claim that Thomism asserts must be the case, thereby proving my point that metaphysical views make scientific claims. The human level understanding of things are not anything like the fundamental way things are. That's the inherent flaw in all theistic arguments for god.

          • Rob Abney

            Please explain how it is a scientific claim that this becomes that.

          • Because it assumes time flows (ie. presentism) and we know from science that presentism is false.

          • Rob Abney

            That is a vague response with no meaning.

          • It's only vague if you don't understand the terms or subject matter. That's not my problem if you don't.

          • Jim the Scott

            >That is a vague response with no meaning.

            I notice that too.

          • Phil

            Thinker,

            Is eternalism compatible with the view that there is an absolute "before" and "after" in casual relationships? Insofar as an effect cannot precede its cause?

            In other words, if Y must cause X to exist. Then X cannot exist until Y causes it to exist. And this must be true from every single reference frame in the cosmos.

            Is that compatible with eternalism and, if so, can you explain it from an eternalist POV?

            Thanks!

          • Is eternalism compatible with the view that there is an absolute "before" and "after" in casual relationships? Insofar as an effect cannot precede its cause?

            Yes.

            In other words, if Y must cause X to exist. Then X cannot exist until Y causes it to exist. And this must be true from every single reference frame in the cosmos.

            Is that compatible with eternalism and, if so, can you explain it from an eternalist POV?

            I'd be more than happy to explain! See, the thing is on eternalism nothing really causes anything to exist. X technically exists already, Y just precedes X in spacetime where there's information exchange. Just think of a causal chain A→B→C→D→E.. where the entire causal chain exists. A doesn't cause B to begin to exist, but it precedes B and that's what we call it a cause. But in causes where there is information exchange where we can say A causes B, you are correct that from every reference frame they will agree with that order A→B, and no one will says B→A.

          • Phil

            I'd be more than happy to explain! See, the thing is on eternalism nothing really causes anything to exist. X technically exists already, Y just precedes X in spacetime where there's information exchange. Just think of a causal chain A→B→C→D→E.. where the entire causal chain exists. A doesn't cause B to begin to exist, but it precedes B and that's what we call it a cause. But in causes where there is information exchange where we can say A causes B, you are correct that from every reference frame they will agree with that order A→B, and no one will says B→A.

            Gotcha, let me ask this slightly differently to make sure I understand you correctly:

            When I say "begin to exist" that merely means to "begin to exist as it does". For example, one could conclude that the lighting of the match and bringing it in close proximity to the paper (Event A) caused the paper to begin to exist as "on fire" (Event B).

            So there is genuine casual relationship between (A) and (B), where the lit match caused the fire to be lit, is that correct?

            If so, it seems that Event (A) must necessarily pre-exist Event (B)? This would seem to contradict eternalism since Event (B) cannot exist until after Event (A).

            X technically exists already, Y just precedes X in spacetime where there's information exchange.

            Are you saying that the paper on fire already exists before the match is lit and brought into proximity with the paper? This would seem to say that effects can precede the cause, which you said that eternalism does not allow.

            It would seem to be clear that the paper existing as on fire (Event B) cannot exist before Event A, the match being lit and brought into close proximity with the paper.

          • When I say "begin to exist" that merely means to "begin to exist as it does". For example, one could conclude that the lighting of the match and bringing it in close proximity to the paper (Event A) caused the paper to begin to exist as "on fire" (Event B).

            So there is genuine casual relationship between (A) and (B), where the lit match caused the fire to be lit, is that correct?

            I'm not sure I understand what "begin to exist as it does" exactly means. I think "begin to exist" still assumes a kind of presentist ontology. Now when it comes to the match causing the paper to ignite, I would say yes it does. The match is the A to the paper fire being B.

            If so, it seems that Event (A) must necessarily pre-exist Event (B)? This would seem to contradict eternalism since Event (B) cannot exist until after Event (A).

            Eternalism doesn't say that event B should or could exist before event A, eternalism says event A will precede event B in time, but all moments of time exist, and so you have a time line of A→B where the match is the A to the paper fire being B. And as faras we know (settings aside other reasons why a paper could catch on fire) B events are always preceded by A events. But A and B exist, just in different parts of time. Just like how on a DVD the frame of the match being lit and the frame of it igniting the paper all exist, just in different parts of the DVD.

            Are you saying that the paper on fire already exists before the match is lit and brought into proximity with the paper? This would seem to say that effects can precede the cause, which you said that eternalism does not allow.

            No. Again, be careful when you say "before". I'm saying there is a timeline of events that all exist:

            →Time→
            A→B→C→D→E→

            And event A is the match and event B is the paper burning. Event B isn't before event A, but event B exists, along with all events on the timeline.

          • Phil

            Eternalism doesn't say that event B should or could exist before event A, eternalism says event A will precede event B in time, but all moments of time exist, and so you have a time line of A→B where the match is the A to the paper fire being B. And as faras we know (settings aside other reasons why a paper could catch on fire) B events are always preceded by A events. But A and B exist, just in different parts of time. Just like how on a DVD the frame of the match being lit and the frame of it igniting the paper all exist, just in different parts of the DVD.

            My point is that time is not something distinct from the states that entities go through. In other words, because the existence of (B) is not possible prior to (A), then there is an objective order of events that points to an ontological distinction between those states.

            Time is simply the changing of those entities from one state into another states. Time is not a substance above and beyond those things.

          • Time is simply the changing of those entities from one state into another states. Time is not a substance above and beyond those things.

            If by "changing" here you mean one thing becomes another thing through a flow of existence from one thing to another, where the latter doesn't yet exist, until it "becomes," then we will have to disagree. Butif you just mean there are events in spacetime that all exist, and certain events just precede other events, like numbers on a number line, then sure. Ontological distinction can mean a few things. It could mean a distinction between what exists (as in A exists but B doesn't) or it could mean a distinction between the kinds of things that exist (as in A and B both exist but A is different from B). Eternalism is the latter view.

          • Phil

            If by "changing" here you mean one thing becomes another thing through a flow of existence from one thing to another, where the latter doesn't yet exist, until it "becomes," then we will have to disagree.

            I mean that, really, time is not something above and beyond the changing that entities go through. (In other words, space-time is not a substance. Space-time describes how material entities interact.)

            On a number line there are unique and multiple numbers, but I do not agree that there are unique and multiple "me's" like the numbers on a number line. It is the same me that changed from a baby into a teen, into an adult, and eventually into a corpse.

            And, ultimately, there must be an ontological distinction between different states that an object is in because an effect cannot precede its cause. So if the effect is the existence of the paper being on fire which is brought about by the lit match being brought close to proximity to it, then this effect cannot exist until the match is lit and brought close to paper.

          • I mean that, really, time is not something above and beyond the changing that entities go through. (In other words, space-time is not a substance. Space-time describes how material entities interact.)

            Well yes, in the sense that there is no separate substance of "spacetime" that exists in addition to the things in spacetime.

            On a number line there are unique and multiple numbers, but I do not agree that there are unique and multiple "me's" like the numbers on a number line. It is the same me that changed from a baby into a teen, into an adult, and eventually into a corpse.

            Sure, you are your worldtube. A thing's existence is its worldtube.

            And, ultimately, there must be an ontological distinction between different states that an object is in because an effect cannot precede its cause. So if the effect is the existence of the paper being on fire which is brought about by the lit match being brought close to proximity to it, then this effect cannot exist until the match is lit and brought close to paper.

            Correct, and in the direction entropy increases, meaning, in the direction we call the future, the worldtube of the paper on fire doesn't precede the worldtube of the match. But they both exist - at different times of course.

          • Phil

            Well yes, in the sense that there is no separate substance of "spacetime" that exists in addition to the things in spacetime.</blockquote<

            Perfect, yes. So because space-time is not a substance, things "existing in space-time" is not literally true. Space-time is merely a description of how material entities interact with each other.

            Correct, and in the direction entropy increases, meaning, in the direction we call the future, the worldtube of the paper on fire doesn't precede the worldtube of the match. But they both exist - at different times of course.

            But the paper on fire cannot equally exist in the past, present, and future, which is the point I've been making that past, present, and future are valid ontological distinctions that denote different ways that things exist that are not perfectly the same.

            At one point the paper exists in one way, and at another point in another way. To say "past" is simply to say the way that something did exist, such as the paper existing as not on fire. If the paper exists as 'on fire' it cannot also exist as 'not on fire', as that would be a contradiction.

          • Rob Abney

            How does "science" explain this:

            “When the needle moves from its rest position it loses one attribute and gains another (namely a particular spatial location), and it is one and the same needle that loses and gains these attributes and one and the same dial of which the needle is a component. If there were no gain or loss of attributes, or if the needle or dial were not the same, the observation would be completely useless

          • Well, physics explains that there's no requirement for true movement because the needle is a 4 dimensional worldtube in spacetime and along that worldtube it is not in the same position relative to other things, nor does it have the same exact attributes. But the worldtube as a whole is a static entity, as is spacetime. Hence there is no movement in the way that Feser and Bonnette are naively defining it.

            Let me ask you this: is Thomism compatible with eternalism?

          • Rob Abney

            Let me ask you this: is Thomism compatible with eternalism?

            No, because Thomism is based on realism, and it is based on the principle of non contradiction and other first principles. And your description of eternalism violates those basic principles. You have assumed that the mathematical model is true then used that to reject first principles. But your model doesn't account for change so you assume that change doesn't exist. You have accepted an anti-realist position.

          • Jim the Scott

            Anti-realism and "weak" scientism.

            One has to make a philosophical defense of these views. Good luck getting that from "Thinker".

          • No, because Thomism is based on realism, and it is based on the principle of non contradiction and other first principles.

            Eternalism is based on realism, and there are no contradictions in it at all. Only people ignorant of SR think eternalism has contradictions. And as first principles, some of yours are false, like the PSR, but non-constradiction is not violated in eternalism because it's not violated in SR.

            And your description of eternalism violates those basic principles.

            You must have some trouble understanding SR then to incorrectly think this.

            You have assumed that the mathematical model is true then used that to reject first principles. But your model doesn't account for change so you assume that change doesn't exist. You have accepted an anti-realist position.

            I haven't assumed any mathematical model is true. If fact I don't base my reasons for eternalism on math, I base it primarily on the fact that SR requires a relativity of simultneity and eternalism allows for such a phenonena. "Change" has numerous definitions, there's a presentist way of defining it, and an eternalist way of defining it.

            So back to the question then, given how eternism is true, Thomism must therefore be false.

        • Rob Abney

          I agree that these great thinkers all conceived of motion that assumes presentism. They just don't have any good arguments to assume presentism.

          This is from Dr. Maudlin, it may not support presentism but it specifically denies eternalism:
          "I further believe that physicists have been misled by the mathematical language they use to represent the physical world. Temporal structure is part of (maybe all of!) the geometry of space-time, and the standard mathematical description of geometrical structure was developed with purely spatial structure in view. Space, unlike time, has no directionality and the mathematics developed to describe spatial geometry does not easily or naturally represent directionality."

          • This is from Dr. Maudlin, it may not support presentism but it specifically denies eternalism:
            "I further believe that physicists have been misled by the mathematical language they use to represent the physical world. Temporal structure is part of (maybe all of!) the geometry of space-time, and the standard mathematical description of geometrical structure was developed with purely spatial structure in view. Space, unlike time, has no directionality and the mathematics developed to describe spatial geometry does not easily or naturally represent directionality."

            Thanks for the quote. The mathematical language is not all physicists use to come to eternalism. So Mauldlin is not showing eternalism is false in any way.

          • Richard Morley

            I further believe that physicists have been misled by the mathematical language they use to represent the physical world.

            It is equally possible that those philosophers who lack the mathematical language to understand what the physicists are saying are thereby misleading themselves. In principle, why would formal rigorous and precise mathematical language be more likely to lead to misunderstanding than natural language that is not well adapted to the job?

            Or maybe we should just get over who has the biggest discipline and just try to understand what the other side is saying.

          • Rob Abney

            I don't think that we have any reason to expect that Maudlin misunderstands the mathematical language.

          • Richard Morley

            No more than we have reason to expect a priori that any other scientist or mathematician has been misled by mathematics.

            But we should bear both possibilities in mind, and gauge whether it is more likely that all the philosophers and scientists are misled by maths, or that the other side of philosophers and theologians have been misled by natural language.

            Or, again, maybe we should just get over who has the biggest discipline and just try to understand what the other side is saying.

      • Richard Morley

        As such, this is not a matter to be decided by physicists, but either by philosophers or by physicists who are acting as philosophers, outside their own proper discipline.

        On an issue such as the implication of special relativity for the theory of time, purephilosophers are as much 'outside their own proper discipline' as are pure physicists. Which may be why "Physics and Philosophy" is (or was, at least) a popular course at Oxford.

        I have offered an extensive philosophical defense of the reality of motion or change in the OP, precisely as I have defined it in the OP – most of whose philosophical points you have not directly addressed.

        He seems to be damned if he does, damned if he does not. If he replied in detail to each point, he would be accused of argument by inundation.

        • Dennis Bonnette

          Thinker already made that last point for himself below! :-)

          • Richard Morley

            Ah, I had not seen that. I am way behind on reading comments, so was responding on the fly. Happy Xmas if you read this in time.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            And a Happy Christmas to you as well! I suspected you might be in the UK from the hours you seemed to be on the thread, but the "Happy" is a clear sign. I know because I had an Australian good friend who also said "Happy Christmas" instead of "Merry Christmas." Of course, they are perfectly interchangeable!

    • Rob Abney

      What motion is - given the fundamental laws of physics that say there is no motion or change - is the fact that worldtubes are angled with respect to one another.

      It seems absurd to define motion while at the same time saying that motion doesn't exist, what you should say is that your mathematical model cannot represent change.

      • Jim the Scott

        >It seems absurd to define motion while at the same time saying that motion doesn't exist, what you should say is that your mathematical model cannot represent change.

        "Thinker" believes in something called "weak scientism".

        It causes him to think metaphysics can contradict science.

        Also it causes him to think metaphysical question as they pertain to God involve science and he rejects the idea the existence of God is purely a philosophical question.

        He pleads he believes the existence of God is a philosophical question and some knowledge is not scientific BUT he ad hoc insists God is subject too science.

        At best we can easily concede there may be some God concepts out there that do make scientific claims as well as philosophical/metaphysical ones. But Thomists don't believe in such a God.

        I get the feeling he is that funny species of Atheist you argue with who stamps his feet crying "No fair you are not a Fundamentalist".

      • There's no reason for me to say that actually since it's untrue. Given eternalism, things have to be defined in more nuanced ways. But let's be honest: most people can't handle nuance. They like simplicity, black and white.

        See, if the eternalist says there's no motion, then how does he explain the fact that things are not all in the same place all time time? This can make the eternalist position seem absurd. And this is all Dr Bonnette's argument is based on - literally that's it. But the answer lies in the fact that worldtubes are angled with respect to one another. That's why things are in different places at diferent times. But nothing flows from one thing into another.

        • Rob Abney

          From our previous discussions, I cannot understand your position against God and Jesus Christ based on your ideas about time. God can exist outside of the Spacetime worldtubes and Jesus could occupy one of the angled worldtubes. There is nothing else that could be outside of the Spacetime other than a transcendent being. The angled worldtubes are simply your representation of change over time.

          • If you need presentist-defined motion to conclude that god exists, you can't just assert god exists on eternalism.

        • Phil

          See, if the eternalist says there's no motion, then how does he explain the fact that things are not all in the same place all time time? This can make the eternalist position seem absurd. And this is all Dr Bonnette's argument is based on - literally that's it. But the answer lies in the fact that worldtubes are angled with respect to one another. That's why things are in different places at diferent times. But nothing flows from one thing into another.

          How do you measure a "before" and "after" on your view to even show that SR or eternalism is true?

          It is only possible to measure time and distance--and therefore velocity--with a "before" and "after". (One cannot measure time or distance with a motionless snapshot.) But a before and after assumes that something persisted during the entire process to make it even possible to name a "before" and "after".

          But if changes don't ever flow one into the other, how does anything persist to even be able to name a "before" and "after"?

          • How do you measure a "before" and "after" on your view to even show that SR or eternalism is true?

            Before and after are determined by the direction over all entropy increases. The direction entropy increases is what we consider the future.

            It is only possible to measure time and distance--and therefore velocity--with a "before" and "after". (One cannot measure time or distance with a motionless snapshot.) But a before and after assumes that something persisted during the entire process to make it even possible to name a "before" and "after".

            That persistence would be the worldtube. The worldtube is a thing's 4 dimensional existence through space and time.

            But if changes don't ever flow one into the other, how does anything persist to even be able to name a "before" and "after"?

            I feel like we've been over this a dozen times now, and you're just still not getting it. That persistence would be the worldtube. The worldtube is a thing's 4 dimensional existence through space and time. You are your worldtube.

          • Phil

            That persistence would be the worldtube. The worldtube is a thing's 4 dimensional existence through space and time.

            Correct me if I'm wrong, but world tube and world line are referencing the same thing, correct? So when you say world tube you are simply saying the path that I take in moving through space-time, correct?

            If so, "moving through space-time" still speaks of a movement/change and a flow connecting one thing to the other. Maybe explaining it where we don't pre-suppose movement would help me understand this view?

            And there is a an obvious persistence of my self-consciousness, yet my specific self-consciousness is only in the present. What is the eternalistic account of this?

            Part of what I'm trying to figure out is what is the eternalist account of the fact of the simultaneous existence of persistence (no change) and non-persistence (change). Because both of these are necessary to label a "before" and "after" and account for how the world exists; and even to do science and SR.

            --------

            Maybe you explaining an example would help:
            Say I sit here for 2 years watching a cat be born, be a kitten, and grow into a mature cat. What is happening on the eternalist view as I sit watching these changes that appear to be moving one right into the other? It would appear to be the same substance growing and changing.

            I feel like we've been over this a dozen times now, and you're just still not getting it.

            That's why I am asking questions, so to make sure I do understand what you are trying to say. You can't persuade me that you are correct if I don't understand exactly what your view is because I don't believe things on blind faith.

          • Phil

            I will say, that part of what seemed to become clear as we talked is that we were dealing with some language issues.

            You have said that myself as dead does not exist in the present. And of course, the answer is, 'duh', because that would violate the PNC.

            What you have said is, "You exist as dead in the future". In that way past, present, and future all equally exist.

            ----
            But let's break down the sentence: You exist as dead in the future.

            We start with the phrase: "You exist as dead".
            This phrase already assumes present tense. When we say, "You exist", that means it exists right now in the present. So what this is trying to do is bring the future into the present. So if we interpret the sentence this way, we come to the contradiction that I both exist as dead and not dead right now. (Again, the contradiction.)

            But if we interpret this as actually saying: You will exist as dead in the future
            That means that I do not exist as dead right now and will exist as dead in the future. We then come to the commonsense view that the way I will exist in the future only exists in the future and does not exist in the present. My future states do not yet exist, but they will in the future. So my future states are less real right now than my present state.

            And to that we should all say...of course!

            And in that sense, I don't think that eternalism would be saying anything real interesting about reality. It would be saying that my future states do not exist right now, but will exist in the future. Great, that is exactly what I mean when I say that the future does not exist right now; my future states do not exist right now.

            That is exactly the distinction between past, present, and future. The past exists in the past, the present exists in the present, and the future exists in the future.

            In that way, I think the only true radical thing you would be claiming is that the present states don't become the future states, is that correct?
            Because there is no flow from one state into another? I don't turn from alive into dead, there is nothing that persists under than change, correct?

          • This phrase already assumes present tense.

            Right there is your first problem - because you're relying on human language to determine reality, when human language as we know is not always good at capturing reality. And that's why this quote from physcist Brian Greene is so important:

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/01fa3665def1ab8d4b84a1503e17c32dfa199a2a914c61032648413ae8a49f25.png

            The problem is a limitation of language, not a limitation of or contradiction of eternalism. Once you understand time to be another dimension like space, the phrase "You exist as dead in the future" makes perfect sense with no contraction. Forget about the present tenseness of the word like "exist" and make it tenseless. That way you can exist in the past, and the future.

            In other words, do not let language limit yourself.

            That is exactly the distinction between past, present, and future. The past exists in the past, the present exists in the present, and the future exists in the future.

            Yes, and past, present, and future all exist.

            In that way, I think the only true radical thing you would be claiming is that the present states don't become the future states, is that correct?

            Not really. Depends on what's radical for you. If you're a presentist, past, present, and future all existing is radical, and that's what I'm saying is true.

            Because there is no flow from one state into another? I don't turn from alive into dead, there is nothing that persists under than change, correct?

            There is no flow from state to another, and you don't flow from alive to dead, your world tube at one end is your dead body after you'd died, in the morge or funeral home or whatever.

          • Phil

            You might have missed this before, but I'll repost it:

            That persistence would be the worldtube. The worldtube is a thing's 4 dimensional existence through space and time.

            Correct me if I'm wrong, but world tube and world line are referencing the same thing, correct? So when you say world tube you are simply saying the path that I take in moving through space-time, correct?

            If so, "moving through space-time" still speaks of a movement/change and a flow connecting one thing to the other. Maybe explaining it where we don't pre-suppose movement would help me understand this view?

            And there is a an obvious persistence of my self-consciousness, yet my specific self-consciousness is only in the present. What is the eternalistic account of this?

            Part of what I'm trying to figure out is what is the eternalist account of the fact of the simultaneous existence of persistence (no change) and non-persistence (change). Because both of these are necessary to label a "before" and "after" and account for how the world exists; and even to do science and SR.

            --------

            Maybe you explaining an example would help:
            Say I sit here for 2 years watching a cat be born, be a kitten, and grow into a mature cat. What is happening on the eternalist view as I sit watching these changes that appear to be moving one right into the other? It would appear to be the same substance growing and changing.

          • Correct me if I'm wrong, but world tube and world line are referencing the same thing, correct? So when you say world tube you are simply saying the path that I take in moving through space-time, correct?

            Yes, worldtube and worldline basically mean the same thing. A worldline is just a 1 dimensional path of a thing's existence through spacetime that is just a line, and a worldtube is just a more 2 dimensional representation of that that gives depth. Same concept.

            If so, "moving through space-time" still speaks of a movement/change and a flow connecting one thing to the other. Maybe explaining it where we don't pre-suppose movement would help me understand this view?

            Not really, movement in an eternalistic context means that a thing is not always in the same place and the same time, and a thing is its worldtube. And movement is of course always relative to something else.

            So here, the blue object is moving relative to the red one because its worldtube (or wordline) is angled. So at each moment blue is a different distance away from red, even though nothing flows from one thing to the next.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0dfd9a555f0eaf4b147984d35f4ece1cbd71c22100789a94d8ab61171425d5ee.png

            I want to make sure you understand this because the naive person would think that if there's no "movement" on eternalism then everything should be the same exact distance from everything else at every time, which is clearly not the case.

            And there is a an obvious persistence of my self-consciousness, yet my specific self-consciousness is only in the present. What is the eternalistic account of this?

            Not sure I understand this question. Every conscious moment at any given time can only be your "now" just like every place you are at any given time can only be your "here."

            Say I sit here for 2 years watching a cat be born, be a kitten, and grow into a mature cat. What is happening on the eternalist view as I sit watching these changes that appear to be moving one right into the other? It would appear to be the same substance growing and changing.

            The worldtube of the cat is not the same in every location. It starts out as a kitten and then matures into an adult cat. Also entropy is increasing, and that's actually what gives us the illusion of time flowing. The directionality of time is the direction entropy increases.

          • Phil

            The worldtube of the cat is not the same in every location. It starts out as a kitten and then matures into an adult cat. Also entropy is increasing, and that's actually what gives us the illusion of time flowing. The directionality of time is the direction entropy increases.

            This again, seems to make it clear that change happens, no matter what one simply calls it such as "entropy increasing", something exists which did not exist. I agree it doesn't make sense to speak of "time flowing" because time is not a thing. The flow of time is simply what we experience as things change states.

          • Nothing flows into anything else. So A doesn't change into B. There is just A at one point in time on a worldtube, and then B at one point in time on a worldtube, Both A and B exist. A could be the cat as a kitten and B could be the cat as a mature cat.

          • Phil

            Nothing flows into anything else. So A doesn't change into B. There is just A at one point in time on a worldtube, and then B at one point in time on a worldtube, Both A and B exist. A could be the cat as a kitten and B could be the cat as a mature cat.

            So what is actually happening as one "moves" from one point on the world tube to another point on the world tube? Is it simply an illusion of movement, such as the cat turning from a kitten into a mature cat?

            Because our job is to explain what we experience. If we start saying that pretty obvious things are an illusion, then we better have evidence that matches it. Great claims require great evidence.

            Because one could literally sit here watching something become another thing. What is actually happen to create that illusion of movement from one state to another?

          • So what is actually happening as one "moves" from one point on the world tube to another point on the world tube? Is it simply an illusion of movement, such as the cat turning from a kitten into a mature cat?

            In a way yes, just like how in a movie we have the illusion of movement when everything is actually still.

            Because our job is to explain what we experience. If we start saying that pretty obvious things are an illusion, then we better have evidence that matches it. Great claims require great evidence.

            I agree, which is one of the things that is fascinating me right now: why is it that what science tells us seems to be so out of line with what we experience? The answer to this is long and complicated, and I'd recommend reading Sean Carroll's book The Big Picture to get some insight as to the answer. The amazing thing is that entropy increasing explains the arrow of time, of why time seems to have a direction, and why the past is different from the future. It's amazing how such a scientific concept as the 2nd law of thermodynamics can explain the human condition of why we experience time the way we do.

            Because one could literally sit here watching something become another thing. What is actually happen to create that illusion of movement from one state to another?

            It's the 2nd law of thermodynamics dude.

          • Phil

            In a way yes, just like how in a movie we have the illusion of movement when everything is actually still.

            There is movement in a movie. One frame is replacing another frame.

            Can you go through again how do you would account for us observing change/movement with no actual change or movement happening?

          • Phil

            And can you explain again how if the future events exist just as much as the present events, how the future events are not determined? In other words, is there an indeterminate future in your eternalist view?

          • The future is determined on eternalism in that because future events already exist (and again don't read that to mean they exist right now recall what I wrote here about semantics), but we may not be able to predict them perfectly. Future events physically exist just as much as the present, they just exist in another part of spacetime. I feel like you should understand this by now since we've been over this for more than a month.

          • Phil

            The future is determined on eternalism in that because future events already exist (and again don't read that to mean they exist right now recall what I wrote here about semantics). Future events physically exist just as much as the present, they just exist in another part of spacetime. I feel like you should understand this by now since we've been over this for more than a month.

            And that's the key. Either I exist as dead right now, or I do not. If we say that the future state of me being dead does not exist right now, then, in my current state, that future state is less existent than the me as alive state.

            This must be the case because me of true casual relationships between me being alive, and then at some point being dead. We simply label them "past", "present", and "future". The fact remains that I do not exist as dead right now, which means that state is less real than me as live.

            Sure the future state will exist...in the future, but it doesn't exist right now.

          • Sure the future state will exist...in the future, but it doesn't exist right now.

            Rather it does exist in the future, but it does not exist right now. In the exact say way how when you're driving to a destination, the destination already exists - it doesn't come into being once you get there - it just doesn't exist "right here" in the location you're in before you get there. Future events re the same exact way. They exist, they just don't exist "right now" is the say way that other locations don't exist "right here" where you currectly are.

            Just think of time as if it is a dimension of space where there is a past direction, and a future direction. Just like how in a landscape all of land exists spread out, in a timescape, all of time exists spread out. It's not that complicated.

          • Phil

            In the exact say way how when you're driving to a destination, the destination already exists - it doesn't come into being once you get there - it just doesn't exist "right here" in the location you're in before you get there. Future events re the same exact way.

            And that would be a shortfall with the road analogy. Because the destination does exist right now. But with time, the future does not exist right now. It is the assumption that time is actually a type of spatial dimension that would need to be shown to be true and more than just an analogy.

            Just think of time as if it is a dimension of space where there is a past direction, and a future direction. Just like how in a landscape all of land exists spread out, in a timescape, all of time exists spread out. It's not that complicated.

            I don't think the analogy is complicated, but that doesn't make it true.

          • And that would be a shortfall with the road analogy. Because the destination does exist right now. But with time, the future does not exist right now. It is the assumption that time is actually a type of spatial dimension that would need to be shown to be true and more than just an analogy.

            Well then you ignored the whole point I made here when I wrote: "When using the road analogy, you have to imagine that the road is like a timeline where each section of it corresponds to a different time. So let's say each mile of the road is like a year's worth of time, mile 1 is like year 1, mile 2 is like year 2, etc. All miles exist, hence all years exist, hence all time exists."

            I don't think the analogy is complicated, but that doesn't make it true.

            The truth of the analogy, that all time exists was already made for you in the numerous logical arguments I've given you (that you still in no way have refuted) and now we're at the point where I'm just trying to get you to understand eternalism, despite the fact that I've been doing so for over a month with videos, diagrams, analogies, you still can't get it.

            The reason why you can't get it is obvious: you don't want to get it. You want to insist there some incoherency there, that really isn't, and that way you can reject it, because you know eternalism shatters your Thomistic metaphysics to pieces, and that is something you just can't allow yourself to accept because you're way too heavily invested in it by now. So we will go around and around in circles where I explain the same things over and over again and you pretend to not understand them so you can avoid what you don't want. Or you really are as ignorant as you appear to be. I don't know what's worse.

          • Phil

            "When using the road analogy, you have to imagine that the road is like a timeline where each section of it corresponds to a different time. So let's say each mile of the road is like a year's worth of time, mile 1 is like year 1, mile 2 is like year 2, etc. All miles exist, hence all years exist, hence all time exists."

            I did read it, which is why I commented on it. Because all miles of the road exist right now. Whereas, all "times" would not exist right now. The time and road thought experiment is purely analogical, not equivocal (i.e., perfectly equal in how the road exists).

          • Yes of course it is not perfectly equal, that's why it's called an analogy Phil. I use that as an analogy solely so that you can understand a certain concept within SR. But you go ahead and take it literally.

          • Phil

            Yes of course it is not perfectly equal, that's why it's called an analogy Phil. I use that as an analogy solely so that you can understand a certain concept within SR. But you go ahead and take it literally.

            The point I've been trying to make, but I guess not well, is that the analogy is false.

            This is because all points of time do not exist like a road. All the points on a road exist right now, while all the points in time do not exist right now. Which is why traveling down a road is not like traveling through time.

          • Phil

            The point I'm trying to make is what is brought up here:

            Applied to physics, time always accompanies some movement. For this reason, we cannot regard the point-like “now” as time, for there would be no movement, and we would paradoxically regard time as static. Aristotle, no less than Henri Bergson, recognized that time is essentially dynamic, so he does not allow time to be a point. For there to be movement, there must be some measurable continuous change in quantity, quality or place. For it to be measurable, it must be finite, and therefore numerable. Thus time accompanies movement insofar as it is countable, as Aquinas correctly notes. [Comm. on Physics, 580] The temporal order of before and after likewise comes from movement, so that the correspondence of the direction of time with that of causality arises naturally.

            This would suggest that proposing a 4D static block universe is incompatible with time as it actually exists because time is necessarily dynamic.

          • This would suggest that proposing a 4D static block universe is incompatible with time as it actually exists because time is necessarily dynamic.

            Not at all because recall that on eternalism "movement" is the fact that worldtubes are angled relative to others, meaning that they change distance over time. And when you have repeated events, like the earth's worldtube going around the sun, or the moon around the earth, as in the right side of this image below, that's what you use to measure events.

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d2a17aa0a6f09a5c782448428a297b61e32f1da5771eb2ccb4fe32f934674029.png

            Basically stop letting language be your barrier. Stop letting words like "exist" or "move" or "change" limit your thinking by assuming that the only way they can be defined is that way it is done under the assumption of presentism. Language does not capture reality the way it really is. That's because languages were developed when we didn't understand reality.

            Seriously, take this Briane Green quote to heart because it is so relevant to the subject matter:

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/01fa3665def1ab8d4b84a1503e17c32dfa199a2a914c61032648413ae8a49f25.png

          • Rob Abney

            "When every moment considers itself to be special" That seems to give some special power to moments.

          • I don't see how you got that.

          • Rob Abney

            From the gif you posted, did you read it?

          • Phil

            A Merry Christmas to you!

            I couldn't agree more about the fact we are using imprecise words to express precise ways that things exist. But language is all we have, so you must use language to show me that your view is correct, as I don't take things on blind faith. Good luck!