Classes 28-31 Hume pt. 2 Discussion "The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless." –Stephen Weinberg, The First Three Minutes Book 4: Cleanthes v. Demea Cleanthes “How do you mystics, who maintain the absolute incomprehensibility of the deity, differ from skeptics or atheists, who assert, that the first cause of all is unknown and unintelligible” Demea “Anthropomorphite is an appellation as invidious, and implies as dangers consequences as mystic” “What is the soul of man? A composition of various faculties, passions, sentiments ideas…How is this compatible with the perfect immutability and simplicity, which all true theists ascribe to the deity.” Cleanthes A mind without thoughts is no mind at all. “It is an abuse of terms to give it that appellation” Discussion: Is a mystic really an atheist? Discussion: Is anthropomorphism a blasphemy? Book 4: Philo v. Cleanthes Philo Under Cleanthes’ definition, he is the only theist in the world. As far as reason and experience are concerned, both ordered matter and ordered mind are equally in need of explanation. Therefore appealing to God as a creator is not an explanation. If we say the regress of explanation stops here, why don’t we stop it earlier? Cleanthes I do not need to answer every causal question put to me. I do not care what is the cause of God. I have found my deity and that is all I need. Discussion: Does the theist need to answer the question “who created God?” Book 5: Philo v. Cleanthes Philo If god is like humans, then how could he have made all that he made. Causes must be in proportion to effects. God cannot be infinite. Causes must be in proportion to effects. God cannot be perfect How can you prove the unity of the deity on this argument? Many people work together to build a ship, why not a universe? Cleanthes Throughout this rant, you have assumed that design must have a designer, and that concedes my main point. Discussion: Can an anthropomorphic God have created the universe? Books 6 & 7: Philo v. Cleanthes Philo: “A new species of anthropomorphism” Why not say the universe is a body, and God is its soul. Soul and body never exist apart. Cleanthes: The universe seems more like a vegetable than an animal. Philo: Why not say the universe is eternal, but wrecked by periodic catastrophes set by eternal law? Cleanthes: That implies the universe is eternal. But if humans have been around forever, how come they only recently did things like bring the cherry tree from Asia. Philo: Why not say the universe is a plant, and was made by a plant-God. Book 8: Philo’s Why-Not-Say-O-Rama Philo Why not say that the universe has finitely many particles and infinite duration. Then over time, every possible arrangement of particles will occur infinitely many times Why not say the particles in the world move by chance. When they hit on a stable configuration, that configuration supports itself. Gradually order just accumulates in the world. Cleanthes But we have more order than simply what we need to survive. The world could exist even if there were not a magnetic north pole and loadstones to guide our ships. We have been given these conveniences by the grace of a generous designer. Discussion Does Philo’s ability to come up with theories of the universe at the drop of a hat prove anything? Book 9: Demea The Regress of Causes Argument Everything is either caused by something else, or is its own cause Therefore there is either an infinite regress of causes, or a single first cause. There cannot be an infinite regress of causes Therefore there must be a single first cause. This being must be itself pure necessity, because the universe cannot exist by chance Therefore there is a God. An a priori argument: it relies only on the nature of ideas, not facts about the world. Similar to stuff we saw in Boethius. Explains why the first cause must be somewhat God-like Book 9: Cleanthes’ Replies to Demea Matters of fact cannot be proven a priori. The opposite of an a priori proposition is a contradiction What is contradictory cannot be conceived of. We can conceive of the non-existence of anything existing. Therefore the existence of any object cannot be known a priori. If you must talk of a necessary existence, why not make it the universe.