One Man’s Modus Ponens…Part 6

In Chapter 3 of Handbook of Christian Apologetics (hereafter: HOCA), Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli present twenty arguments for the existence of God. The very first argument is one of the Five Ways of Aquinas. This is not surprising, since Kreeft is a Catholic:

The universe is the sum total of all these moving things, however many there are. The whole universe is in the process of change. But we have already seen that change in any being requires an outside force to actualize it. Therefore, there is some force outside (in addition to) the universe, some real being transcendent to the universe. This is one of the things meant by “God”.

Briefly, if there is nothing outside the material universe, then there is nothing that can cause the universe to change. But it does change. Therefore there must be something in addition to the material universe. But the universe is the sum total of all matter, space and time. These three things depend on each other. Therefore this being outside the universe is outside matter, space and time. It is not a changing thing; it is the unchanging Source of change. (HOCA, p.50-51)

There may be more than one argument in this passage, but one line of reasoning here goes something like this:

1. If there is nothing outside the material universe that can cause the material universe to change, then there is nothing outside the material universe that is causing the material universe to change.

2. If there is nothing outside the material universe that is causing the material universe to change, then the material universe is not changing.

Thus:
3. If there is nothing outside the material universe that can cause the material universe to change, then the material universe is not changing.

4. But the material universe IS changing.

Thus:
5. There is something outside the material universe that can cause the material universe to change.

6. The statement “There is something outside the material universe that can cause the material universe to change” means the same thing as “God exists”.

Therefore:
7. God exists.

The intermediate conclusion is premise (5), but (5) does not say anything about God, so another premise is required in order to get the desired conclusion (7) that God exists. Premise (6) provides a logical bridge between (5) and (7) by asserting that two different statements have the same meaning.

Read the Full Article at The Secular Outpost.

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

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About Trite Static

I enjoy coffee with cream and tea with sugar and am only able to knit in squares.
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