Author Topic: Theological Argument for God's Existence taken from Divine Simplicity.  (Read 320 times)

Offline Xavier

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So lately I've been pondering if there's a legitimate argument from the fact that no creature can have its attributes identical to its essence (for e.g. when Our Lord says, Mk 10:18 "...None is Good but One, that is God", He shows that God alone is Good by Nature, whereas creatures can only be good by participation. In other words, no creature can be essential goodness, but Almighty God is; as Bp. Challoner comments on the passage, "[18] "None is good": Of himself entirely and essentially, but God alone; men may be good also, but only by participation of God's goodness.") to the fact of a Creator Whose Nature is Goodness, is Life etc. When Our Lord says He is Truth and He is Life, St. Thomas says, this is yet another way, by which Our Lord makes known to us, that He alone is essential Truth and essential Life, and thus we have and can have life only in union with Him.

I'll just take Life as an example for the syllogism. A contingent being is here defined as one (i) that depends on another being for its existence and (ii) whose non-existence is possible without affecting other all living beings.

I. Although we observe many living contingent beings in the world, yet it is certain that no contingent being is life itself.
II. If any contingent being were life itself, (i) no other being could live independent of it (ii) its non-existence would make life impossible

III. But II.i is contrary to the the first property of contingent existence, which is that the contingent being itself depended on another.
IV. And II.ii is likewise contrary even to both the properties. It should therefore be plain that a contingent being cannot be life itself.

V. Hence, no contingent being is life by itself, but received its property or attribute as a living being from a Necessary Being, i.e. God Who alone is Life, is Goodness, is Love, is Truth, etc and is all of these essentially in Himself, eternally, necessarily and independent of anyone below Him.

In a similar vein, many Thomistic Philosophers like Dr. Edward Feser have said Divine Simplicity, particularly God as Essential Goodness as opposed to a mere "divine command theory" is the only right response to the atheistic objection caled "Euthypro dilemma": "Thomist philosopher Edward Feser writes, "Divine simplicity [entails] that God’s will just is God’s goodness which just is His immutable and necessary existence. That means that what is objectively good and what God wills for us as morally obligatory are really the same thing considered under different descriptions, and that neither could have been other than they are. There can be no question then, either of God’s having arbitrarily commanded something different for us (torturing babies for fun, or whatever) or of there being a standard of goodness apart from Him. Again, the Euthyphro dilemma is a false one; the third option that it fails to consider is that what is morally obligatory is what God commands in accordance with a non-arbitrary and unchanging standard of goodness that is not independent of Him... He is not under the moral law precisely because He is the moral law."[131]" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthyphro_dilemma Discussed also here: https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/10/god-obligation-and-euthyphro-dilemma.html The "dilemma" as formulated by its proponents is to the effect that, "It is generally agreed that whatever God wills is good and just. But there remains the question whether it is good and just because God wills it or whether God wills it because it is good and just; in other words, whether justice and Goodness are arbitrary or whether they belong to the necessary and eternal truths about the nature of things"

Thoughts on all of this? Can there be a standard of goodness above or apart from God, or is God Himself Goodness by very Nature and the eternal standard of Goodness? And if God alone is Life in Himself, and we live, either naturally or supernaturally, only by participation and union with Him, can reason alone trace back its existence to Him Who is Life?
« Last Edit: November 15, 2019, 06:53:44 AM by Xavier »
My Personal Motto in Life, that of St. Maximillian Maria Kolbe, founder of the Militia Immaculatae: "I want to be a Saint, and a great Saint". Make it your motto too.

"Dignáre, Dómine, die isto sine peccáto nos custodíre" (Deign, O Lord, to keep us this day without any sin). Please pray this prayer many times every day to end all sin.

St. Padre Pio: "I have made a pact with the Lord: I will take my place at the gate to paradise, but I shall not enter until I have seen the last of my spiritual children enter."

Come offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted and pluralized: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, and for All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"I bless thy holy Name, I praise thine exalted privilege of being truly Mother of God, ever Virgin, conceived without stain of sin, Co-Redemptrix of the human race." [Indulgence of 100 Days, 22 January 1914] https://www.piercedhearts.org/hearts_jesus_mary/heart_mary/mystery_coredemptrix_papal_magisterium.htm Pray, "Mother of God, Co-Redemptrix of the world, pray for us: http://www.jesusmariasite.org/jesus-pray-my-children-that-the-fifth-marian-dogma-be-proclaimed/
 

Offline Daniel

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Re: Theological Argument for God's Existence taken from Divine Simplicity.
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2019, 08:43:57 AM »
Some of the problems I see:

Re: III. I don't see the contradiction, unless you are presupposing that the necessary being is itself alive.

Re: IV. Again, I don't see how this contradicts the first criterion of the definition of contingency.
I do see that II.ii contradicts the second criterion of the definition of contingency. But I say that the problem is in the definition: the second criterion just seems false. Because you can have multiple levels of contingency, and, obviously, if the more fundamental level is destroyed then the less fundamental level is affected. e.g. You can't destroy the bricks in a wall without affecting the whole wall. You can't destroy the mortar in the brick wall without affecting the whole wall. etc. None of this proves that bricks and mortar are necessary beings... all it proves is that they are more fundamental (i.e. necessary relative to the wall, yet nevertheless contingent). Similarly, if you destroy Life then you're going to affect all living things (since their life depends on Life), but this doesn't show that Life is necessary... only that living beings cannot live without Life.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2019, 08:46:43 AM by Daniel »
 
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Offline Xavier

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Re: Theological Argument for God's Existence taken from Divine Simplicity.
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2019, 09:01:25 AM »
Hi Daniel. Regarding III.i doesn't it seem contrary to the nature of contingent existence that no living being could exist independent of it?

Let's take you as an example. You are a living being, and you exist contingently, because the universe and other living beings existed before you got here. The same for me and everybody else. Therefore, both of us have life and are living beings, but life isn't dependent on us. Are we agreed on that much?

Let's try it like this: (1) Every living contingent being depends on another being for its existence. (2) Suppose every being in existence was only contingent. Then, if every living being in existence existed contingently, the series would never end, and no existence would be possible (3) Therefore, it is necessary that some living Being exists not contingently, but necessarily, and this Being would be Life itself.

Your thoughts on that syllogism, Daniel? God bless.
My Personal Motto in Life, that of St. Maximillian Maria Kolbe, founder of the Militia Immaculatae: "I want to be a Saint, and a great Saint". Make it your motto too.

"Dignáre, Dómine, die isto sine peccáto nos custodíre" (Deign, O Lord, to keep us this day without any sin). Please pray this prayer many times every day to end all sin.

St. Padre Pio: "I have made a pact with the Lord: I will take my place at the gate to paradise, but I shall not enter until I have seen the last of my spiritual children enter."

Come offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted and pluralized: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, and for All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"I bless thy holy Name, I praise thine exalted privilege of being truly Mother of God, ever Virgin, conceived without stain of sin, Co-Redemptrix of the human race." [Indulgence of 100 Days, 22 January 1914] https://www.piercedhearts.org/hearts_jesus_mary/heart_mary/mystery_coredemptrix_papal_magisterium.htm Pray, "Mother of God, Co-Redemptrix of the world, pray for us: http://www.jesusmariasite.org/jesus-pray-my-children-that-the-fifth-marian-dogma-be-proclaimed/
 

Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Theological Argument for God's Existence taken from Divine Simplicity.
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2019, 11:17:37 AM »
I. Although we observe many living contingent beings in the world, yet it is certain that no contingent being is life itself.

Firstly you've reified life. What do you mean by "life" and why should we believe life is a thing?

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II. If any contingent being were life itself,

Then life would be a contingent being. Identity is reflexive. And it's also transitive.

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(i) no other being could live independent of it

You need to establish that, namely, that something living depends upon an existing thing you call "life".

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(ii) its non-existence would make life impossible

The non-existence of life would make the existence of life impossible for as long as life did not exist. That's tautologous, unless you're now using "life" in two distinct senses.

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III. But II.i is contrary to the the first property of contingent existence, which is that the contingent being itself depended on another.

No it isn't. You haven't shown that  the being you call "life" couldn't be contingent upon a being that isn't life and doesn't depend upon life.

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IV. And II.ii is likewise contrary even to both the properties.

No, and for the same reason. And this property

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whose non-existence is possible without affecting other all living beings.

is a questionable one, for tough you're certainly entitled to define "contingent being" this way, it would open to question anything such as a "contingent being" actually exists, for one can contend that there isn't anything which doesn't affect everything in some way.

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It should therefore be plain that a contingent being cannot be life itself.

So, no. It's not even clear what "being life itself" means.

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V. Hence, no contingent being is life by itself, but received its property or attribute as a living being from a Necessary Being,

Hence this doesn't follow.

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i.e. God Who alone is Life,

If "God" is just another word for the "necessary being" you call "life".

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is Goodness, is Love, is Truth, etc and is all of these essentially in Himself, eternally, necessarily and independent of anyone below Him.

The rest certainly doesn't follow. Not if those words actually mean something.

 

Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Theological Argument for God's Existence taken from Divine Simplicity.
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2019, 11:57:10 AM »
Quote
In a similar vein, many Thomistic Philosophers like Dr. Edward Feser have said Divine Simplicity, particularly God as Essential Goodness as opposed to a mere "divine command theory" is the only right response to the atheistic objection caled "Euthypro dilemma": "Thomist philosopher Edward Feser writes, "Divine simplicity [entails] that God’s will just is God’s goodness which just is His immutable and necessary existence. That means that what is objectively good and what God wills for us as morally obligatory are really the same thing considered under different descriptions, and that neither could have been other than they are.

No, what this means is that you've just defined a word, "good", in terms of another word, "God's will". All these "facts" are just tautologies. And " the question whether it is good and just because God wills it or whether God wills it because it is good and just" has certainly been "answered" by affirming the first option, albeit the caveat that this will, which  is equivalently called "good", is necessarily what it is.

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There can be no question then, either of God’s having arbitrarily commanded something different for us (torturing babies for fun, or whatever)

No. The attempted trick doesn't work. The equation good = God's will = his immutable and necessary existence doesn't tell us anything about what these are and, in particular, that his immutable and necessary existence, which is his will, which is "good", doesn't entail torturing babies for fun ...

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or of there being a standard of goodness apart from Him.

... unless, that is, we sneak in another sense of "good" to use an equivocation to reveal something about this "immutable and necessary existence" of his.

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Again, the Euthyphro dilemma is a false one; the third option that it fails to consider is that what is morally obligatory is what God commands in accordance with a non-arbitrary and unchanging standard of goodness that is not independent of Him... He is not under the moral law precisely because He is the moral law."[131]"

Even then, it's only "obligatory" in the sense that God desires it of one.

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Thoughts on all of this? Can there be a standard of goodness above or apart from God, or is God Himself Goodness by very Nature and the eternal standard of Goodness?

First define the word "goodness".

Quote
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euthyphro_dilemma Discussed also here: https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2010/10/god-obligation-and-euthyphro-dilemma.html The "dilemma" as formulated by its proponents is to the effect that, "It is generally agreed that whatever God wills is good and just. But there remains the question whether it is good and just because God wills it or whether God wills it because it is good and just; in other words, whether justice and Goodness are arbitrary or whether they belong to the necessary and eternal truths about the nature of things"

Neither. "Good" is a word and we need to know what is meant by it before answering any such questions.

As for how the Bible uses it, "good" is a descriptor of God's nature. What God wills, which is of a particular unchanging nature, is called "good". So, yes, in the Biblical sense, whatever God wills is "good" precisely because God wills it, but that would never involve "torturing babies for fun" because that is contrary to God, which is known to the nous through the divine energies. Of course this falls apart for the likes of a Feser who depends upon the analogia entis for alleged knowledge of God, so he must scrabble about in natural law theory trying to discover and prove the "good" through natural law theory.


 

Offline Xavier

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Re: Theological Argument for God's Existence taken from Divine Simplicity.
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2019, 06:34:33 AM »
Dear Kreuzritter,

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Firstly you've reified life. What do you mean by "life" and why should we believe life is a thing?

Well, what does the Son of God mean by Life? Twice, Our Lord and Savior declares He is the Life, "Jesus said to her: I am the Resurrection and the Life: he that believeth in Me, although he be dead, shall live:" (Jn 11:25) and “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (Jn 14:6), the Bible earlier said man became a living being after God breathed the Spirit of Life into him. Life here denotes a being that has the property of being self-conscious, animated by a soul, and capable of self-reflection.

It would be absurd for anyone to deny he doesn't perceive that some things are dead and some beings are alive or living in the world. Some biologists enlist 8 properties of life. Those beings that exhibit those properties are said to have life.

Elsewhere, Our Lord Jesus teaches us He is the Bread of Life, for man does not live by bread alone, but by the Word that proceeds from the Mouth of God, and by that Word made Flesh for us, especially in the Holy Eucharist. Our Lord explains supernatural Life based on natural life. We don't believe Life is a "thing" but we believe a Personal Being is Life, because He has revealed it to us.

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II. If any contingent being were life itself ...Then life would be a contingent being. Identity is reflexive.

Yes, and that is impossible. When Jesus says, "I AM ... the Life", He is declaring Himself to be Divine. Life cannot be a contingent being, as we will see.

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You need to establish that, namely, that something living depends upon an existing thing you call "life".

First, it's not I who call Him so, it's God Himself who reveals Himself as such in Sacred Scripture. Second, Scripture also says "For in him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28), so are you denying that, or do you believe it? I hold that this si true of God alone.

Let's reflect a little on what makes beings contingent, and how a Necesssarily Existent Eternal Being, on Whom contingent beings depend, would differ from them. I gave the example of you and I as contingent beings, life and the universe existed well enough before we go here. Therefore, life and the universe does not depend on us. But this cannot be true of God, everything under Him depends on Him. So, how does He differ from us. We may "live and move and have our being" in Him, but He has Life in Himself and is Life Himself.

Otherwise, He would be dependent on something apart from or outside of or independent of Him in order to live, just as creatures are.

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You haven't shown that  the being you call "life" couldn't be contingent

Read the response to Daniel - "(1) Every living contingent being depends on another being for its existence. (2) Suppose every being in existence was only contingent. Then, if every living being in existence existed contingently, the series would never end, and no existence would be possible (3) Therefore, it is necessary that some living Being exists not contingently, but necessarily".

Now, this is the key proposition, let's call it DS: "if a necessary Being merely "has Life" (or some attribute/property) but is not the very Source of Life, or of that property, then it would become contingent." Why? Because, by definition, it is dependent on another source for it. That is why a contingent or dependent being must necessarily not be simple, and a necessary or independent Being surely will be.

This is the methodology intuited in the fourth way St. Thomas says reason can arrive at knowledge of God's Existence and Infinite Perfection, "Among beings there are some more and some less good, true, noble and the like. But "more" and "less" are predicated of different things, according as they resemble in their different ways something which is the maximum ... Therefore there must also be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this we call God." The same considerations apply to goodness.

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First define the word "goodness".

God said, "There is none Good but One, that is God ..." which means He shows we can and must naturally distinguish good from evil by our conscience as easily as we can distinguish light from darkness by our natural sight. We know "torturing babies for fun" is evil and we can know by nature that loving God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves is good. I'm not going to play a definition game, goodness is manifest by its properties.

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As for how the Bible uses it, "good" is a descriptor of God's nature

Then, I can easily ask the same to you. Define "good". And define "God's Nature".

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natural law theory

is perfectly Biblical, Rom 2:15 "Who shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness to them, and their thoughts between themselves accusing, or also defending one another," and in fact lifted from St. Paul. It's irrelevant if some of the Greek Stoics got some things right, like that (1) there is One God, a fundamental Truth of our holy religion, which the God of the Hebrews had revealed to the Prophet Moses almost a millenia before scientific philosophy gradually caught up, and, for instance, (2) the Truth of His Eternal Law, or the immortality of the human soul, which is correct. These Truths of Philosophy the holy Doctors and ancient Fathers happily advance and develop, because it is good, useful and true for the cause of Christ. That's why they so successfully evangelized and kept nations in the Faith for centuries and more than a millenium. On other points, which we know to be falsehoods, also held by some Greeks, the Church Fathers and the Scholastic Doctors reject, e.g. (1) polytheism, (2) reincarnation etc. The Sacred Science of Theology is greatly advanced by philosophical proofs of God's Nature and God's Goodness that is known through Natural Law.

In Jesus and Mary,
Xavier.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 06:46:35 AM by Xavier »
My Personal Motto in Life, that of St. Maximillian Maria Kolbe, founder of the Militia Immaculatae: "I want to be a Saint, and a great Saint". Make it your motto too.

"Dignáre, Dómine, die isto sine peccáto nos custodíre" (Deign, O Lord, to keep us this day without any sin). Please pray this prayer many times every day to end all sin.

St. Padre Pio: "I have made a pact with the Lord: I will take my place at the gate to paradise, but I shall not enter until I have seen the last of my spiritual children enter."

Come offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted and pluralized: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, and for All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"I bless thy holy Name, I praise thine exalted privilege of being truly Mother of God, ever Virgin, conceived without stain of sin, Co-Redemptrix of the human race." [Indulgence of 100 Days, 22 January 1914] https://www.piercedhearts.org/hearts_jesus_mary/heart_mary/mystery_coredemptrix_papal_magisterium.htm Pray, "Mother of God, Co-Redemptrix of the world, pray for us: http://www.jesusmariasite.org/jesus-pray-my-children-that-the-fifth-marian-dogma-be-proclaimed/
 

Offline Daniel

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Re: Theological Argument for God's Existence taken from Divine Simplicity.
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2019, 12:34:13 PM »
Hi Daniel. Regarding III.i doesn't it seem contrary to the nature of contingent existence that no living being could exist independent of it?

Let's take you as an example. You are a living being, and you exist contingently, because the universe and other living beings existed before you got here. The same for me and everybody else. Therefore, both of us have life and are living beings, but life isn't dependent on us. Are we agreed on that much?
Agreed.

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Let's try it like this: (1) Every living contingent being depends on another being for its existence. (2) Suppose every being in existence was only contingent. Then, if every living being in existence existed contingently, the series would never end, and no existence would be possible (3) Therefore, it is necessary that some living Being exists not contingently, but necessarily, and this Being would be Life itself.

Your thoughts on that syllogism, Daniel? God bless.
My problem is in the conclusion. I agree that Being exists necessarily, but it doesn't seem to follow that Being must be a 'living being'. (By this same logic we must conclude that the existence of red beings proves that Being is Redness itself; and that the existence of green beings proves that Being is Greenness itself; and thus that Redness and Greenness are the same thing, which is absurd. We must also conclude that Being is simultaneously both a red being and a green being, which, even if we set aside the contradiction, doesn't even make sense since Being isn't the kind of thing that can have a color--at least not in the same sense that red beings and green beings "have" color.)

I'm not entirely sure that the Platonistic/Augustinian model is even correct, but if we grant that it is then I think all we can say is that Life (and Redness, and Greenness) depends on Being, not that it is Being.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2019, 12:37:07 PM by Daniel »
 
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Offline Xavier

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Re: Theological Argument for God's Existence taken from Divine Simplicity.
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2019, 11:32:19 AM »
Hi Daniel,

Hi Daniel. Regarding III.i doesn't it seem contrary to the nature of contingent existence that no living being could exist independent of it?

Let's take you as an example. You are a living being, and you exist contingently, because the universe and other living beings existed before you got here. The same for me and everybody else. Therefore, both of us have life and are living beings, but life isn't dependent on us. Are we agreed on that much?
Agreed.

Great!

Quote
My problem is in the conclusion. I agree that Being exists necessarily, but it doesn't seem to follow that Being must be a 'living being'.

Gotcha. Thanks for explaining your thought process to me. Now, let's see if we can break this down. (1) Only a Cause of a higher order can give rise to a lower order thing. (2) But living beings are plainly a higher order of beings than dead things. (3) Hence, only a Living Being could give rise to other living beings. (4) But the Necessary Being gave rise to contingent living beings, as we saw above. (5) Hence, the Necessary Being is the Living Being.

Would you doubt this? It seems to me the only premise that may be controversial is (1). 2,3,4 & 5 are fairly straightforward. For instance, man can create a sculpture, because he is a living being, whereas a dead or non-living being cannot cause a living one. Granted therefore that God caused living beings and that living beings are of a higher order than non-living entities, God must be the Living Being.

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(By this same logic we must conclude that the existence of red beings proves that Being is Redness itself

Disagree. Different grades of color are not necessarily perfections of a lower or higher order. Hence, the comparison with living and non-living beings doesn't stand. But now that you brought it up, here's an analogy from science: We know that white light is one in its source and is dispersed into the seven colors of the vibgyor spectrum, including both green and red that you mentioned, in a rainbow, or by a prism for e.g. "The colours of the spectrum of white light are violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red (VIBGYOR). The white light is a mixture of different colours" https://www.gktoday.in/gk/wavelengths-of-vibgyor-colors/

Now, by analogy with this natural phenomenon, many Theologians say, that the divine attributes that are One in their Source (in God, sometimes called "ad intra", or internally), are manifest ("ad extra" or externally) as multiple perfections, e.g. Goodness, Truth, Beauty etc when they are predicated of creatures. E.g. someone may be beautiful, but not good, or someone may have one perfection, but not the other etc. So these are different in their manifestation, but One in their source. This is, admittedly, a complicated area of theology.

Your thoughts on it, Daniel?

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all we can say is that Life (and Redness, and Greenness) depends on Being, not that it is Being.

I would say, in contingent creatures, whether living or non-living, we all depend on the Living Being, because we are caused by Him. But in God Himself, neither of His attributes or perfections were caused by any other attribute, but all are co-eternal with His Essence.

Peace and Grace,
God bless, Daniel.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2019, 12:58:12 PM by Xavier »
My Personal Motto in Life, that of St. Maximillian Maria Kolbe, founder of the Militia Immaculatae: "I want to be a Saint, and a great Saint". Make it your motto too.

"Dignáre, Dómine, die isto sine peccáto nos custodíre" (Deign, O Lord, to keep us this day without any sin). Please pray this prayer many times every day to end all sin.

St. Padre Pio: "I have made a pact with the Lord: I will take my place at the gate to paradise, but I shall not enter until I have seen the last of my spiritual children enter."

Come offer your Life to Jesus and Mary: TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted and pluralized: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For His Eminence Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, His Excellency Metropolitan Hilarion, as well as His Eminence Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, that they may re-unite their flocks with the Roman Catholic Church, and there may soon be but One Fold and One Shepherd. For all the 220+ Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all 6000+ Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for the 400,000+ Priests, the 700,000+ Nuns, 50,000+ Monks, 100,000+ seminarians, that they may all become the Saints the Divine Will wishes them to be; for all the 1.35 Billion Members of the Church, the Millions of Catholic Catechumens and Children to be born and baptized in this Decade; we pray for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, and for All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/

"I bless thy holy Name, I praise thine exalted privilege of being truly Mother of God, ever Virgin, conceived without stain of sin, Co-Redemptrix of the human race." [Indulgence of 100 Days, 22 January 1914] https://www.piercedhearts.org/hearts_jesus_mary/heart_mary/mystery_coredemptrix_papal_magisterium.htm Pray, "Mother of God, Co-Redemptrix of the world, pray for us: http://www.jesusmariasite.org/jesus-pray-my-children-that-the-fifth-marian-dogma-be-proclaimed/
 
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