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Monday, April 04, 2005

The First Intention-Giver Argument

This entry seeks to use the First Cause Argument to prove the existence of a higher transcendent creator than God. And the identity of that creator will not be a surprise for atheists...

The greatest mystery of religion is, and has always been, "who created God ?". Christians claim that such a question "begs the question", so to speak, because it assumes that God has a cause. This point is well taken. However, there is a specific fact about God which does require a cause : God's intentionalities.

Now, there are a couple of things we have to establish about intentionality. The first is that intentionality is a necessary prerequisite of action. In fact, Christians claim that God acts by pure intentionality.

The second is that intentionality arises from internal or exterior stimuli. We act either because an exterior entity - such as a threat - prompts us to act, or because we have internal needs, emotions or other motivation of this sort. A being floating around in space, with no stimuli and no need of any sort, would have no motivation to act.

Given these facts, where does God's intentionality for Creation comes from ? Obviously, God at that point cannot have any exterior stimuli, since there is nothing outside of him. He also cannot have any internal stimuli, since he is an infinite being : an infinite being by definition can have no limits such as needs, emotions, or any other such motivation. Finally, God could not have created his own intentionality, simply because such creation would itself require intentionality.

The only possible conclusion left is that God's intentionalities came from a transcendent creator. We can formulate the argument as such :

(1) God is defined as Creator. (premise)
(2) God is defined as an infinite being. (premise)
(3) God had intentionality at the act of Creation. (from 1)
(4) Before the act of Creation, God had no external stimuli. (by definition)
(5) Before the act of Creation, God had no internal stimuli. (from 2)
(6) The source of God's intentionality for Creation must come from a creator transcendent to God. (from 3, 4 and 5)
(7) There is a First Intention-Giver. (from 6)

Before I continue into the nature of this First Intention-Giver, I must address objections that would naturally be raised by Christians.

First of all, the First Intention-Giver Argument is not the equivalent of the question "what caused God ?". We accept that the god of Christianity has no cause, but his intentionalities must have some cause. God could very well exist without any intentionalities, indeed this would seem to be God's natural state. What, therefore, started God's intentionalities ? This is the question we must answer.

Another possible objection would be to say that God's intentionalities have no beginning. But this entails infinite regress, which is unacceptable. God's intentionalities must have a beginning, and therefore a cause.

Now, just as we can determine the attributes of the Creator by looking at the limits of the universe, we can determine the attributes of this FI by looking at the limits of God. What are the limits of God ? Well, God is not material, caused, or temporal (one can argue that he was such in Jesus, but reconciling the Trinity with basic logic is an insurmountable obstacle to this line of reasoning). God is also not the origin of his own intentionalities, therefore the FI must be an intentionality that originates God's intentionalities, and therefore God's actions.

We know that the only material intentionalities that we know are those of human minds. And there is only one faculty of the human mind that can affect the supernatural, and that is the imagination - by imagining supernatural actions. Therefore, our conclusion is that God's actions are caused by the human imagination. QED.

Furthermore, we can prove that there is no infinite regress of creators based on this argument. As we said before, Christians believe that intention is the sole prerequisite for God's actions. This means that no other concept can be used to undermine the superiority of the human imagination, which is automatic. One may argue that the human imagination itself depends on causality, but we have already accounted for this by God's actions on the universe.

One may argue that this is circular, but if we equate God with the human imagination, the circularity disappears. Since God did not really create the universe at all, neither did the human imagination. This also leads us to the counter-intuitive conclusion that imagining God is in fact impossible. Explaining this conclusion is left as an exercise for the reader.

Post a Comment


3 Comments:

At 4/15/2007 10:26 AM, Blogger Michael declaimed...

Don't you think that your argument here is more than a bit weak? This is the same problem that I have with Dawkins, that he just makes statements that we are supposed to accept. However, what if your assumptions are rejected?

First, any argument, whether from design or not from design suffer from infinite regress problems. Although some great minds have tried to use reason and math to create hypothesis about space time folding over, etc., these are not events that are being observed or that are testable. Aristotle used reason as well to explain many things without experiment, and he was largely wrong. Even Dawkins admits that from an evolutionary standpoint our minds are adaptive and not necessarily made for this type of intelligence, and therefore we might never be overall correct about the origins of the universe. I am satisfied that species on Earth developed through a Darwinian process, but that is only because of a great deal of study of the fossil record. I am not willing to make such other great leaps no matter how cosmic and amazing the particular physicists of the day may seem. I also question the sociological pressure that physicists are under to be atheist in their view, and how much this subconsciously taints their work.

As for your argument that a noncausal being would have no motivation to act, I do not understand why you would assume that something so outside our reality, noncausal intelligence, could be so easily negated by assuming that it would need to be motivated in the same way a human would be motivated. You too easily put labels on things. Unfortunately, non-caused events, whether with a God or without, are so outside of our experience that I doubt this will ever be something that our minds can truly grasp. This thought, however, does not make for a nice movement, as atheism must be shown to believe in something in order for people to really want to follow it.

 
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