Based on Thomas Aquinas
arguments, here's a simple rendition of the argument
, an attempt to prove that the JCI God
- Either things have existed for an infinite amount of time, or they have existed for a finite amount of time.
- If things have existed for an infinite amount of time, every possible sum total of things has occurred before now.
- If everything is contingent, then one possible sum total is zero. (In which there is nothing in the universe).
- So, if things have existed for an infinite amount of time, and everything is contingent, then the state of there being nothing has existed before now.
- If things have existed for a finite amount of time, and everything is contingent, then the state of there being nothing has existed before now.
- So, if everything is contingent, the state of there being nothing has already happened.
- If the state of 'nothing existing' had happened in the past, there would be nothing here now. (Ex nihilo nihil fit)
- So, if everything was contingent, there would be nothing around now.
- But there is something around now.
- So, not everything is contingent. There is at least one necessary being.
- This non-contingent thing is, of course, God.
So now I get to list the problems with this argument.
The Big One: the problem with 11 There's a big difference between 'a necessary being' and 'God'. God is usually given many more properties than 'has to exist'.
The problem with 2. It's not absolutely clear that all things had to happen before now. It's implicitly (explicitly?) assumed that there would be times where there is something existing. Obviously, this is one of those times. Maybe the nothing existing time is in the future.
And another problem with 2. If there are infinite possibilities, it is possible that we will never cover all the possibilities, even given a infinite amount of time.
The problem with 3. Aquinas seems to be assuming that contingent beings have finite life spans. This doesn't seem to follow. In fact, it's kindov weird to say that 'Nothing Can Come From Nothing' (7), but then allow for something to become nothing.