Each of these three paradoxes are the same. The wording and semantics differ, but they are the same basic paradox.
- The second phrasing sums up all three the best. Something from Nothing.
This is the crux of the problem. It is impossible for us to conceive of nothingness. Nothingness in this case is a nothingness so total that it doesn't need somethingness to make it discernible. (Unlike darkness, which has no meaning without light and vice versa.) This is a nothingness that doesn't even require the preexistence of the idea of nothingness. So, we really can't call it nothingness, it is a misnomer. Whatever it is it can't really be named. A name implies a relative framework, and whatever this is, it must be absolute, not relative.1
- The first phrasing inquires into the manner in which something was arrived at from nothing.
Discussing cause and effect involving something that cannot be relative doesn't begin to make sense.
- The third phrasing simply tries to compare something and nothing.
The nature of comparison is to relate two things. If one cannot be relative, this too is meaningless. Not only is it meaningless but it is indistinguishable from the first phrasing, they are both simply offering comparisons.
In other words: First cause is the top down version of something from nothing, whereas infinite regress is the same thing just bottom up.
I would emphasize that Quantum Mechanics and Vacuum are still systems that can be seen to have causes, perhaps not yet, but undoubtedly science will look for and find them. Quantumet explained this though, so I don't need to go into any greater detail.
Logic, Reason, Thought, Existence. All of these are terms that are based in relationship. The one paradox of cosmogeny is ultimately how do we relate to something that cannot be related to? Any of these other paradoxes simply reiterate this. The three above paradoxes aren't so much different paradoxes as different attempts to get around the same paradox.
This doesn't mean that there is nothing out there beyond what we can relate to.2 It means the logics that serve us so well in this frame lose all meaning beyond it. Just as children need to develop abstract thought in order to solve complex puzzles or play advanced chess, perhaps we need to develop a new kind of abstract thought not based around the same certainties upon which traditional logic relies. QM looks like a good start. Even if we found whole other levels out there, of which we currently cannot even conceive, we couldn't escape from the basic cosmogenic paradox. It will continue to haunt us. It's like a carrot, or that bunny that the greyhounds chase at the track.
1. Apropos of quantumet's statement that sooner or later we have to accept that that is the way it is: The paradox of God (here I am calling him Nothingness for reasons we will see in a minute) is such that he exists, and from his vantage we do not exist. This is what I mean by absolute, from the vantage of the Nothingness it is all there is, there is nothing else. (Likutei Amarim) As long as we are discussing us relative terms are applicable, but as soon as you discuss the nothingness relative terms make no sense. It's a complicated paradox, more so I think than the cosmogenic one mentioned here.
2.Unless you like a good pun, and then it means exactly that.
Loosely based on Rambam's Yesodei HaTorah, and on the Likutei Amarim which builds on the aforementioned work of the Rambam. I think the only way out may be (I'm sorry to phrase it like this) "there is no spoon."
ps. If it seems I write here with a condescending tone, please overlook this, I don't mean to (I only added this because I've been told I do sometimes) and I'm more interested in what other people think about these ideas than in offending anyone or inviting others to offend me. if you find me offensive and you think others would benefit from your insight into my offensive nature, msg me your thoughts and i will post them in my home node so that their viewership won't be impeded by being in a single node, but rather available from any node I write in.