## Friday, June 14, 2024

### stable laws

If God did not exist, would the universe have stable laws. Minds prefer order, so we should expect stsble lsws if theism is true. But why doesn't the law of gravity quit on us ast some point? Since the laws are stable, doesn't that suggest a Bayesian argument for theism?

Kevin said...

If God did not exist, would the universe

If God did not exist, there would be no universe.

SteveK said...

This question is similar to asking "If our sun didn't exist, would you..."
There would be no you.

StardustyPsyche said...

"But why doesn't the law of gravity quit on us ast some point? Since the laws are stable, doesn't that suggest a Bayesian argument for theism? "
Why should it quit?

If rocks A and B attract each other
and if rocks C and D attract each other
and so forth for every pair of rocks we observe.

What is the prior probability that rocks P and Q will attract each other?

StardustyPsyche said...

""But why doesn't the law of gravity quit on us ast some point?"
Change calls for a changer.
No change does not call for a changer.

Supposing I have 10 gold coins on my table top.
An hour later I still have 10 gold coins on my table top.
That is an apparent lack of change, therefore no changer is called for.

If, after and hour, I only have 5 gold coins on my table top that is a change, so that calls for a changer, say, a thief.

If there is no change in the 10 gold coins I have on the table top then I can still speculate that a thief took the coins, but then had a change of mind and put them back. There is in principle no upper bound on the number of sorts of such unevidenced speculations. But none of such speculations are called for on the observation of no change.

Similarly, if an astronaut on a space walk throws a wrench out into space we expect that wrench to keep going unless something else gets in its way. Why would it stop here rather than there? The wrench is already moving so continuing to move is no change in its motion and thus calls for no changer. We would be surprised to find that the wrench suddenly stopped in space all on its own, as such a change in motion would call for a changer of that motion.
https://archive.org/stream/aristotle-physics-book-III-and-IV-clarendon/aristotle-physics-book-III-and-IV-clarendon_djvu.txt

CLARENDON ARISTOTLE SERIES
General Editors
J. L. ACKRILL and LINDSAY JUDSON

IV. 8 TRANSLATION 214 b

(4) Again, no one could say why some¬
thing moved will come to rest somewhere; why should it do so here
rather than there? Hence it will either remain at rest or must move 20
on to infinity unless something stronger hinders it.
*************************************************************

Thus, existent material persists without a call for a changer because continued existence is not a change in the existential nature of material.

If we were to observe material changing from existing to not existing that would call for a changer, but such a change is never observed.

Hence, persistence of that natures or properties of material are expected on no changer because continued natures or properties of materials is no change in their natures or properties.

If we observed a change in the natures or properties of materials that would be change calling for a changer.

The notion of a first sustainer to maintain materials in there existence and to maintain the properties or natures or essences of materials in there observed states has the very notion of change completely backwards.

The theistic arguments for a first sustainer are grossly erroneous, and have the call for a changer versus no call for a changer, completely back to front.

The theistic argument for a first sustainer of existence and essences of materials is a strange inversion of logic.

SteveK said...

"Thus, existent material persists without a call for a changer because continued existence is not a change in the existential nature of material"

The existence of a rock doing nothing but sitting at rest requires a force to keep it from breaking apart into something that isn't a rock, so "existence without change" is too low of a bar.

StardustyPsyche said...

SteveK,
"existence without change" is too low of a bar.

OP
" If God did not exist, would the universe have stable laws."

The OP asks, if god does not exist would we expect stability in general in the natures or properties or essences of materials?

Yes. In your own words, that is a "low bar". Of course we would expect stability in the absence of a changer.

Absent a first changer, absent a first sustainer, we would expect no change.

No change is stability.

So yes, on no god we expect stability.

SteveK said...

absent a first sustainer, we would expect nothing being sustained.

Fixed it for you.

StardustyPsyche said...

SteveK,
"absent a first sustainer, we would expect nothing being sustained"

Does material require a sustainer to maintain its existence?

Suppose X is a particular amount of existent stuff.

If X of t1 = X of t2 did X change in its aspect of an amount of stuff?

Is no change in the amount of stuff itself a change in the amount of stuff?

If no change is a change, in your view, then your notion of logic is unrecognizable to me.

To borrow a bit of Thomistic vernacular, material does not require a sustainer of its existential essence to actualize its future existential potential because material is already fully actualized in its existential essence.

To change from existing to not existing would be a change and would thus call for a changer.
To continue to exist is not a change and therefore does not call for a changer.

The argument for god to explain observed existential inertia is 180 out, backwards, back to front.

If we observed material blinking out of existence that would be a change in the existential essence of material calling for a first changer.
If we observed material popping into existence out of nothing that would be a change in the existential essence of material calling for a changer.

Observation of continued existence of material is no change in the existential essence of material and thus call for no changer at all, much less a first changer or first sustainer.

SteveK said...

"Does material require a sustainer to maintain its existence?"

Yes, we know this from physics. Material forms have forces that keep the form intact. These strong nuclear forces, and other forces, are not the particles - they are what sustains the particles.

SteveK said...

Bing Copilot says this in response to my question "what would happen if the 4 fundamental forces didn't exist?"

"In summary, without these fundamental forces, matter would disintegrate, stars wouldn’t shine, and life as we know it would be impossible. The universe would be a chaotic, unstructured place, devoid of the intricate order we observe today."

SteveK said...

It would be incoherent and contradictory to hold a worldview that believed both (a) the fundamental forces are the material form and (b) the material form changes while the fundamental forces remain the same. The only coherent, rational conclusion is that there exists something other than the material form that is creating these forces. Bing Copilot agrees, saying "physicists speculate that they might be manifestations of a single underlying force that remains undiscovered."

SteveK said...

RE: "physicists speculate that they might be manifestations of a single underlying force that remains undiscovered"

AT philosophy argues that the 4 statements below cannot possibly be true. Based on what I said in my previous comments, materialism would need them all to be true.

There exists a fundamental material form that:
1) does not change.
2) does not have a force that sustains/keeps the fundamental material form intact.
3) is by nature different than the non-fundamental material form.
4) is the sustaining force itself. In other words, the fundamental material form is identical to the "single underlying force" and responsible for sustaining the non-fundamental material form.

StardustyPsyche said...

SteveK said...
""Does material require a sustainer to maintain its existence?""

"Yes, we know this from physics. Material forms have forces that keep the form intact."
You are conflating the arrangement of material with the existence of material.

Arrangements change.

The amount of material in existence is static.

"Yes, we know this from physics."
We know from physics that material is never observed to pop into existence out of nothing.
We know from physics that material is never observed to disappear from existence into nothing.

StardustyPsyche said...

SteveK ,
"In summary, without these fundamental forces, matter would disintegrate, stars wouldn’t shine, and life as we know it would be impossible. The universe would be a chaotic, unstructured place, devoid of the intricate order we observe today."

Right, and the material would continue to exist.

The arrangement of the material would be chaotic, unstructured, and devoid of presently observed intricate order, but the existence of material would persist.

SteveK said...

"Arrangements change.
Arrangements are not the material. We are speaking of material changes.

"Right, and the material would continue to exist"
All material has a form and without the fundamental forces keeping the material form together all forms would disintegrate. Material without form doesn't exist. The only coherent, rational conclusion is that there exists something other than a material form that is creating these fundamental forces.

StardustyPsyche said...

SteveK,
"Material without form doesn't exist."
Then your hypothetical is not realizable, just something you imagined that can't actually happen.

" The only coherent, rational conclusion is that there exists something other than a material form that is creating these fundamental forces."
Then the same questions rationally apply to god, which thus needs god's god, on to an infinity of gods, which is irrational.

So one asserts a necessary being.

The necessary being is the material cosmos, wherein all the material of the cosmos is simultaneously co-necessary with its form.

That matches all our observations:
Material is never observed to disappear from existence into nothing.
Material is never observed to appear into existence from nothing.
Material is never observed without form.
Form is never observed without material.

The conclusion of these observations is, well, obvious.
Material with its simultaneously co-necessary form is the necessary being.

SteveK said...

“Material with its simultaneously co-necessary form is the necessary being.”

This is not true of all material. It has been demonstrated. We can break up material forms into smaller forms/particles. What you’re looking for is a different material form, one that is necessary. With that said, it appears that you agree with my list of requirements. This is what physicists are looking for

There exists a fundamental material form that:
1) does not change.
2) does not have a force that sustains/keeps the fundamental material form intact.
3) is by nature different than the non-fundamental material form.
4) is the sustaining force itself. In other words, the fundamental material form is identical to the "single underlying force" and responsible for sustaining the non-fundamental material form.

StardustyPsyche said...

SteveK,
"This is not true of all material. It has been demonstrated. We can break up material forms into smaller forms/particles."
I am differentiating between fundamental material versus a substance that is a composite arrangement of material.

I realize that "material" is often applied in common language to mean some very complex arrangements that can be called substances or structures. For example, to a carpenter lumber is sometimes called material, even though a piece of wood is really a highly complex structure itself.

"There exists a fundamental material form that:
1) does not change."
So, now it is that which does not change, which exists?

So, arrangement changes, therefore arrangement does not exist?

SteveK said...

“I am differentiating between fundamental material versus a substance that is a composite arrangement of material.”

I am too. That’s where the logic leads. The composite arrangement is all of the material that we’ve ever studied. We know it’s composite because we can break it down into other particles that are different. If you can break a thing apart then it’s not a necessary thing. You are looking for a fundamental material that cannot be a composite with the possibility of being broken down.

“So, now it is that which does not change, which exists?”

The fundamental material cannot be broken down or otherwise altered so it cannot change. If you can think of a way that it can change let me know.

“So, arrangement changes, therefore arrangement does not exist?”

The arrangement exists.

SteveK said...

"The necessary being is the material cosmos, wherein all the material of the cosmos is simultaneously co-necessary with its form"

Just wanted to point out that you are contradicting yourself yet again. The arrangement is the cosmos and you say that the arrangement is the necessary being. You also say the arrangement doesn't exist, only the material exists. You really need to figure this out.

StardustyPsyche said...

SteveK,
"You are looking for a fundamental material that cannot be a composite with the possibility of being broken down."
Which is it?
1.Not composite.
2.Not possible to break down.

The Thomistic Doctrine of Prime Matter
David P. Lang
https://www.erudit.org/en/journals/ltp/1998-v54-n2-ltp2161/401163ar.pdf
"Matter is that which of itself is not a determinate thing but is only in potency to be a particular thing.
Form is that by which it is already a particular thing in act.
Substance is the composite, which is a particular thing"

So, on that view, substance is a composite of matter and form. That seems similar to the idea that material has properties.

However, on the A-T view there are the ideas of matter being in potency, and form being in act, with the two notions (potency and act) being ontologically separable, with the assertion that god is pure act. With such ideas the materialist parts ways with the A-Tist.

"with the possibility of being broken down".
On my view material existence is simultaneously conjoined and ontologically inseparable from the material's properties by necessity.

We never observe material without properties.
We never observe properties without material.

What would that even mean, material with no properties, properties with no material?

So, referencing your phrase above, there is no ontological possibility of breaking down, or separating, existent material and its properties, since they are simultaneously conjoined and ontologically inseparable by necessity.

SteveK said...

LOL, you're a closet Thomist who just needs a little help understanding where he went wrong.

StardustyPsyche said...

SteveK,
"LOL, you're a closet Thomist"
I will absorb sound arguments from any source. I could not care less about the labels anybody might attach to me thereby.

The initial starting point of Aquinas in the First Way is highly respectable. Nowhere does he cite scripture, or threaten eternal punishment, or claim to have solved the riddle of the origin of existence, or anything of the sort.

Aquinas made at least 2 key errors.
1.He argued from the Aristotelian notion that sublunary motion is in a lossy medium such that absent some source of motive action an object in motion will slow and stop and its motion will be lost.
2.He argued from a linear hierarchical causal sequence perspective, thus neglecting the mutual multilateral and fundamentally circular case. Scotus tried to patch up that false dichotomy of Aquinas by explicitly denying circular causation, but his argument for the denial of circular causation depended on the unidirectional case, thus neglecting the real multilateral case.

Here (below) we can see that the A-T notion of material cause with a per se causal regression terminating in substance that is the combination of prime matter and form is quite similar to eliminative materialism.

Aristotle expressed some of the basics of eliminative materialism.

In eliminative materialism all apparent material and its processes are really composed of fundamental material that has properties.

For Aristotle one regresses in the present moment per se with material causation that terminates at the base of this per se material causal sequence with prime matter as it is actualized by form into substance.

In conceptual structure, at least to that extent, the two views are highly similar and comparable.

The Thomistic Doctrine of Prime Matter
David P. Lang
https://www.erudit.org/en/journals/ltp/1998-v54-n2-ltp2161/401163ar.pdf
"[...] in a certain respect matter is corrupted and in a certain respect it is not. For insofar as
privation is in it, it is corrupted when the privation ceases to be in it. [...] But in itself, insofar
as it is a certain being in potency, it is neither generated nor corruptible. This is clear
from the following. If matter should come to be, there would have to be something which
is the subject from which it comes to be. [...] But that which is the first subject in generation
is matter. For we say that matter is the first subject from which a thing comes to be
per se, and not per accidens, and is in the thing after it has come to be. [...] It follows,
therefore, that matter would be before it would come to be, which is impossible. And in
like manner, everything which is corrupted is resolved into primary matter. Therefore, at
the very time when primary matter already is, it would be corrupted ; and thus if primary
matter is corrupted, it will have been corrupted before it is corrupted, which is impossible.
Therefore, it is impossible for primary matter to be generated and corrupted. But by this
we do not deny that it comes into existence through creation.4"

Some differences between the Aristotelian view of per se material causation, compared to eliminative materialism, is that in A-T prime matter and form are separable, with god being pure act. Whereas, in eliminative materialism fundamental material is more like A-T substance, a conjoined association of existent material (prime matter) and its properties (form).

In A-T there is "But by this we do not deny that it comes into existence through creation". Whereas, in eliminative materialism fundamental material is simultaneously conjoined with its properties by necessity and is never created or destroyed.

SteveK said...

At least AT doesn't say that arrangements of matter don't exist, that perceptions, qualia and observations are hallucinations and that only the fundamental/necessary thing exists.

AT has a huge advantage over materialism in that respect. It's more congruent with human experience.

bmiller said...

Aquinas made at least 2 key errors.
1.He argued from the Aristotelian notion that sublunary motion is in a lossy medium such that absent some source of motive action an object in motion will slow and stop and its motion will be lost.
2.He argued from a linear hierarchical causal sequence perspective, thus neglecting the mutual multilateral and fundamentally circular case. Scotus tried to patch up that false dichotomy of Aquinas by explicitly denying circular causation, but his argument for the denial of circular causation depended on the unidirectional case, thus neglecting the real multilateral case.

#1. This is just an observable fact even though the First Way does not depend on that fact.
#2. Circular causation is impossible since if thing A causes thing B which causes thing A then thing A will have to be causing itself before it exists.

The First Way only requires a single observable instance of one thing causing another thing to move with the stock example being the hand moving the stick moving the stone. It is observable (to normal humans) that the stone and stick do not "mutually" cause this chain of moving things to move. This is called "violent motion" as opposed to the "natural motion" of things that are moved in virtue of the types of things that they are such as massive objects moving toward the center unless impeded.

To be clear, what is being discussed in the example is called "local motion" which is merely the translation of the objects from one spatial location to another. It is not talking about different physical concepts such as energy or momentum.

So to make it plain.
#1 is true, but irrelevant to the First Way.
#2 is also irrelevant since the First Way uses "violent motion" to illustrate exactly what type of motion is being discussed. Trying to provide examples of "natural motion" (which also cannot be circularly caused )is not only a red herring since it discusses a different type of motion, but also does nothing to counter the example of "violent motion" given.

However, the explanation for "natural motion" is what is known as the "formal cause". A things natural movement is due to the kind of thing it is (formal substance) and so is prone to its particular natural movement when it comes to be and ceases that movement when it ceases to be (obviously). So the cause of a things natural movement would be whatever was responsible for it becoming a formal substance in the first place and keeping it in existence.

SteveK said...

Materialism: Only the necessary thing exists, yet we cannot see it. Instead we only see our perception of it. We only see the arrangement, which is a hallucination created by the necessary thing. In summary: we come to know the necessary thing exists via hallucinations.

AT: The necessary thing exists and many other things exit, separately, including arrangements. We see the many things that exist and we study them so we can know them. What we learn about the many existing things helps us understand the necessary thing. In summary: we come to know that things exist via direct observation. We know the necessary thing exists via logical reasoning.

Which one makes sense? It’s not even close.

StardustyPsyche said...

SteveK,
"AT has a huge advantage over materialism in that respect. It's more congruent with human experience."
It is manifest and evident to the senses that the Earth does not move. Just go outside and sit on a big rock all day and night. That rock does not move nor does the surrounding landscape. Yet, the lights in sky arc across the sky again and again, so very obviously those lights move around us.

The belief in a geostationary cosmos has a huge advantage over modern cosmology, it is more congruent with human experience.

StardustyPsyche said...

bmiller,
*1.He argued from the Aristotelian notion that sublunary motion is in a lossy medium such that absent some source of motive action an object in motion will slow and stop and its motion will be lost.*
"#1. This is just an observable fact even though the First Way does not depend on that fact."
There we have it folks, the mind of ancient ignorance on full display. So doggedly entrenched on the reality of superficial observations, so very wrong, and so insistently so, in spite of all humanity has learned since ancient times.

This is the way a stubborn old man stuck in medieval superficiality thinks, intransigently insisting that the ancient errors somehow are obviously the case.

No bmiller, you and Feser and Aquinas and Aristotle are all wrong. None of us have so very many hours left, in this age of megabytes and gigahertz and trillion dollar budgets the number of hours in our lives seems like a very small number. All I can do is wish you all the best in gaining some realistic knowledge while you still can.

No medium is net lossy. Motion is never lost, only transferred or transformed.

Roll a ball and it seems as though it slows and stops and its motion is lost. That apparent loss is false.

The motion of the ball is transferred to the motion of the molecules around it.

Objects in sublunary motion are not in a lossy medium and they do not slow and stop such that their motion is lost. Such objects transfer their motion to surrounding molecules such that their motion is not lost and thus the sublunary medium is net lossless.

SteveK said...

“The belief in a geostationary cosmos has a huge advantage over modern cosmology, it is more congruent with human experience”

Your reply makes absolutely no sense because in your example you’re pitting a belief against what we know from experience. Obviously the belief is unwarranted because our experience informs us that it’s unwarranted. Contrast that with my statement. We don’t know what the necessary thing is so a belief is formed about it. Your belief results in a plethora of explanations that are not congruent with human experience.

bmiller said...

Stardusty,

Roll a ball and it seems as though it slows and stops and its motion is lost. That apparent loss is false.

Of course the ball will stop moving if the coefficient of rolling friction equals the force moving the ball. Which it does here on earth. Of course you claim to be hallucinating all the time so no telling what you think you are seeing.

I really don't know what you think you are accomplishing by deliberately confounding the spatial translation of an object from one location to another with concepts like the total momentum of a system. It doesn't change the fact that an object has moved from position A to position B which is all that needs to be observed for the example of the First Way to be true to reality. Which it is.

It is especially non-responsive since I expressly stated what "local motion" was and what it was not:
To be clear, what is being discussed in the example is called "local motion" which is merely the translation of the objects from one spatial location to another. It is not talking about different physical concepts such as energy or momentum.

Finally, Aristotle and Aquinas were discussing the motion of a particular object. Not a system. Not the universe. So even if you insist on confounding momentum with local motion, the momentum of a particular object can and does change.

StardustyPsyche said...

bmiller,
*1.He argued from the Aristotelian notion that sublunary motion is in a lossy medium such that absent some source of motive action an object in motion will slow and stop and its motion will be lost.*
"#1. This is just an observable fact even though the First Way does not depend on that fact."
Wrong.

Not a fact.

"Of course the ball will stop moving if the coefficient of rolling friction equals the force moving the ball. "
The coefficient of friction is just that, a coefficient, a ratio, not a force. The coefficient of friction is the apparent frictional force divided by the normal force. So..no.

And no, the ball does not slow and stop because of an equalization of forces. The force of friction can be very low and still the ball will slow down as its motion is transferred to the motion of surrounding molecules.

Once all the motion of the ball has been transferred the ball stops.
The process is net lossless.

The ball does not stop rolling because it is in a lossy medium. The ball is in a net lossless medium.

When the ball stops its motion is not lost. The motion of the ball is transferred to the surrounding molecules.

What you said was a fact is not a fact, it is false.

I don't think you are a bad or a stupid person because you manifestly do not understand the basics of motion, just an intransigently uneducated person on this subject.

StardustyPsyche said...

SteveK,
"Obviously the belief (in a stationary Earth) is unwarranted because our experience informs us that it’s unwarranted."
Really? Do you have the experience of the Earth moving?

Prior to modern science didn't pretty much everybody believe the Earth is stationary because we experience a stationary Earth?

I experience a stationary Earth. It is in our most basic language.
Sunrise
Sunset
Moonrise
Moonset

We experience the lights in the sky as rising, arcing across the sky, and then setting, all while we experience that the Earth is stationary.

Many nights I have laid out on the ground on my back. The Earth feels solid, still, hard, and motionless. The birds and the wind and the leaves and the lights in the sky move, but I experience the Earth as stationary, as the ancients did.

"Your belief results in a plethora of explanations that are not congruent with human experience."
Belief in a stationary Earth is highly congruent with human experience.

If congruence with human experience is your primary criteria for acceptance of a theory then the best cosmology is a geostationary system, since a geostationary system is so highly congruent with human experience.

bmiller said...

Stardusty,

When the ball stops its motion is not lost. The motion of the ball is transferred to the surrounding molecules.

You can keep on talking about momentum of a system all you want but that is a different subject than the local motion of a particular object. The momentum of a particular ball goes from non-zero to zero as the ball slows to a stop due to friction. And none of your purposely missing the point pertains to the First Way.

Perhaps you are happy hallucinating that you are defeating the First Way by talking about something different, so don't get me wrong, it's not that I want to make you unhappy, but I do think it is best not to feed people's delusions. In the long run it is best that people face reality and deal with it.

SteveK said...

My human experience includes knowing about and experiencing relative motion. My experience includes knowing about the science behind the motion of the planet. That’s why the belief is unwarranted, but please continue ignoring my statement so you can continue believing in your fantasy world.

StardustyPsyche said...

bmiller,
"You can keep on talking about momentum of a system all you want"
Ok, you made a false statement.

*1.He argued from the Aristotelian notion that sublunary motion is in a lossy medium such that absent some source of motive action an object in motion will slow and stop and its motion will be lost.*
"#1. This is just an observable fact even though the First Way does not depend on that fact."

You are wrong that the sublunary medium being lossy is a fact. The sublunary medium is net lossless.

You are wrong that motion of an object being lost in this sublunary medium is a fact. The motion of an object is never lost, only transferred or transformed.

StardustyPsyche said...

SteveK,
"My experience includes knowing about the science behind"
So, you experience a magnetic field right now because you know the science behind the Earth's magnetic field? You have an odd notion of "experience".

As you sit in your chair you have no experience of a magnetic field. I doubt you even think about it except on rare occasions.

Science educates us as to the reality of things we do not experience. If we could experience such things we would not need a scientific education.

bmiller said...

Stardusty,

As I said:
The momentum of a particular ball goes from non-zero to zero as the ball slows to a stop due to friction.

I notice you didn't dispute this fact. So I am satisfied.

Have a good laugh with yourself over whatever you imagine yourself to be pulling off. Maybe you're even hallucinating a second you to share your laughter.

SteveK said...

"Science educates us as to the reality of things we do not experience. If we could experience such things we would not need a scientific education"

Science hasn't discovered a necessary thing. You invented the fantasy below completely on your own.

Materialism: Only the necessary thing exists, yet we cannot see it. Instead we only see our perception of it. We only see the arrangement, which is a hallucination created by the necessary thing. In summary: we come to know the necessary thing exists via hallucinations.

StardustyPsyche said...

"Materialism: Only the necessary thing exists, yet we cannot see it. Instead we only see our perception of it. We only see the arrangement, which is a hallucination created by the necessary thing. In summary: we come to know the necessary thing exists via hallucinations."
Now you are at least getting closer to understanding the cosmos and your place in it.

Your statement has some inaccuracies and could be clarified, but you clearly are beginning to understand how we go about trying to find out the true nature of the underlying reality using just our senses, reasoning, and tools.

StardustyPsyche said...

bmiller,
"The momentum of a particular ball goes from non-zero to zero as the ball slows to a stop due to friction.

I notice you didn't dispute this fact. So I am satisfied."
I am still concentrating on your fundamental error. I don't always have time to correct every mistake you make.

You were wrong that the sublunary medium is lossy, it is net lossless.
You were wrong that when a ball slows and stops its motion is lost, motion is not lost, it is only transferred to the surrounding molecules.

"stop due to friction"
There is no such thing as friction at base. Friction is only apparent. Friction is a useful fiction, an approximation, an aggregate simplification.

The ball slows and stops as its motion is transferred to the surrounding molecules. That is why the sublunary medium is lossless. The motion of the ball is not lost, only transferred.

Aristotle was wrong.
Aquinas repeated his mistake.
Feser repeated his mistake.
You repeated his mistake.

"Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another,"
That is a core error.

If you had been correct, if the sublunary medium were lossy, if an object were to slow and stop and its motion lost then the argument from motion would make sense.

Since the sublunary medium is not lossy, motion is not lost, then the argument from motion breaks down and is false due to this false premise, among other reasons.
"Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another,"

OP
" If God did not exist, would the universe have stable laws."
Yes, if god did not exist we would expect, for example, moving object just keep on moving, which is what we do in fact observe.

After all, without god to stop them, why would they stop here rather than there?

SteveK said...

"Now you are at least getting closer to understanding the cosmos and your place in it"

Not really. I have a better understanding of why materialism should be rejected, and I owe a lot of my understanding to you - so thank you for teaching me.

SteveK said...

"The motion of the ball is not lost, only transferred."

Likewise, the money in your wallet is not lost, it only transferred to my hand as I take it from you. Money is net lossless.

bmiller said...

Stardusty,

I am still concentrating on your fundamental error. I don't always have time to correct every mistake you make.

Aristotle was wrong.
Aquinas repeated his mistake.
Feser repeated his mistake.
You repeated his mistake.

Since Aristotle, Aquinas, Feser and I were discussing local motion of an object and not momentum of a system the only mistake that was made was made by you by misunderstanding (doubly) what everyone else is talking about. I know you know this because you've been told before.

For other readers with an interest in physics, local motion is just the translation of an object from one location (hence "local") to another, for instance the change of an object's location in the x direction(dx).

On the other hand, the momentum of an object is its mass mulitplied by its velocity (m*v or m*dx/dt). So you can see they are completely different types of quantites but even so, when an object goes to zero velocity so does its momentum.

Stardusty desperately wants Aristotle to have not only have been talking about momentum rather than the local motion of a particular object, but momentum of a system as a whole rather than the momentum of a particular object.

It seems these atheist types have some sort of dysfunctional fascination with definitions and senses that a word can used in. It's as if they think if they cling onto a particular definition that is out of context that it changes reality in some way.

BTW, SteveK.

I like your demonstration of the net losslessness of money. If we hear Stardusty is in jail, we'll know why.

StardustyPsyche said...

SteveK,
"Likewise, the money in your wallet is not lost, it only transferred to my hand as I take it from you. Money is net lossless."
If by money you mean paper cash, that would be true if there was no printing and no destruction of paper cash money.

Once printed and distributed there is no net change in the total amount of money, absent additions and subtractions.

Yes, that is true.

In such a system there would be no call for a first unmoved mover of cash money. In every case of moving money one party would lose just as much money as the other party gained money.

In such a system there would be no such thing as a one way change of money. All change of money would be mutual. There would be no such thing as an unchanged changer of money.

Nor would there be a call for a first sustainer of money. Absent a mutual change the money would simply persist from moment to moment. If money disappeared, say from your wallet, you would go looking for a thief, a changed changer.

Absent a changed changer there would be no change in the amount of money in a particular location.

Good analogy. You have demonstrated the absurdity of asserting an unmoved mover, or and unsustained sustainer.

SteveK said...

Because you are a buffoon you think net lossless means you haven’t lost any money. You really are dumb.

StardustyPsyche said...

SteveK,
"you think net lossless means you haven’t lost any money"
If "you" is the general usage sense, then yes.

As in "when a star goes supernova you get the heavy elements".

"You" meaning the whole system, then yes.

Because all interactions in the whole system are net lossless then there is no call for a first unchanged changer.

In a net lossless system, given an observation of motion generally in the system in the present moment, then that motion will continue as a whole, ad infinitum.

In such a system there are changers, but there is no call for a first unchanged changer.

StardustyPsyche said...

Changed Changer

Unchanged Changer

In a net lossless system there is no call for an Unchanged Changer to account for observed continued motion.
In a net lossless system observed continued motion can be fully accounted for by Changed Changers.

In a net lossy system of continued motion there would be a call for either an internal Unchanged Changer or an External Changer of some sort.

StardustyPsyche said...

"Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other;"

The cosmos as a net lossless system of continued motion disproves the First Way.

The First Way is proved to be an unsound argument on a net lossless cosmos of continued motion.

In a net lossless system an unmoved mover is not necessary.

Moved Movers are necessary in a net lossless system, but an Unmoved Mover is not necessary.

Disproving the First Way is just that simple because the First Way is a very bad argument and very easily disproved.

bmiller said...

Except you have invented a different argument than the First Way and are attempting to refute that. AKA the Straw Man Fallacy. The distinctions have been pointed out to you for years but you simply ignore them and continue on arguing against something no one ever put forward.

I wonder if you actually think repeating the same fallacy over and over again will somehow make it become real. There must be some kind of mental worm that affects New Atheists that causes them to believe in "word magic" and the power of incantations.

SteveK said...

When you change an argument (aka: ignore the merits) it's easy to refute. SP does this constantly because she doesn't care about the merits.

StardustyPsyche said...

bmiller,
"Except you have invented a different argument than the First Way"
You might have a different argument, and that's fine, we could call it the bmiller Way.

But the First Way is an argument from motion, which is considered as a species of change.
The First Way claims NECESSITY of and UMOVED first mover.

Even Feser retreats to mere compatibility with inertia. Compatibility is the best even Feser can defend. Read his work on the subject carefully.

Even Feser states that inertial movement does not disprove the possibility of an unmoved first mover. And he is correct. You can speculate fairies, demons, goblins, god, a first unmoved mover, or any magical being you wish. Such speculations cannot be strictly disproved.

But such compatibility is not good enough for the First Way as it was written, because the First Way by Aquinas is an argument for NECESSITY.

Inertial motion makes the unmoved first mover UNNECESSARY, thus making the First Way unsound.

If you want to make a different argument then fine, go ahead. But the argument Aquinas actually made is provably false.

StardustyPsyche said...

II. The Argument in Syllogistic Format:

P1-A: Some things are in motion (m).
P2-A: If some things are in motion (m), then they are put in motion by another (a).
C-A: Therefore, they are put in motion by another (a).

[P1-B: If they are put in motion by another (a), then either this goes on to infinity (i) or it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other (f).]
P2-B: They are put in motion by another (a).
C-B: Therefore, either this goes on to infinity (i) or it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other (f)

P1-C: Either this goes on to infinity (i) or it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other (f)
P2-C: But this cannot go on to infinity (~ i).
C-C: Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other (f).

Note, P2-A is false under inertial motion.
Even Aristotle understood that with respect to motion in the void.
Aristotle said that motion will continue ad infinitum unless something greater gets in its way.
There is no need for another to move an object that is in inertial motion.

Since P2-A is unnecessary, C-C is false.

SteveK said...

Is there a kind of change that doesn’t involve inertia? Yes.

bmiller said...

StardustyPsyche,

You might have a different argument, and that's fine, we could call it the bmiller Way.

No, not different. The bmiller Way is merely being able to read and understand the argument of the First Way which is not an argument regarding the aggregate momentum of a system which is what you are arguing against.

I see that you've abandoned that argument for now and are attempting to change the subject.

Even Feser states that inertial movement does not disprove the possibility of an unmoved first mover. And he is correct.

Since you admit he is correct, then inertia does not disprove the First Way and your current argument has failed. I favor the argument he puts forward that inertia is a "natural motion" in the Aristotelian sense and that Aristotle merely mis-classified it originally. Since Aristotle proves that natural motion also requires Unmoved Mover, problem solved.

But as SteveK points out there are other kinds of local motion such as the hand moving the stick moving the stone which do not involve inertia and so must terminate in an Unmoved Mover more obviously.

StardustyPsyche said...

bmiller,
"Since you admit he is correct, then inertia does not disprove the First Way"
No, you are missing the key logic.

Inertial motion does not disprove the possibility of an unmoved first mover.

Inertial motion disproves the necessity of an unmoved first mover.

The First Way states:
"Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other"

Inertial motion disproves the First Way because the First Way asserts necessity, not mere possibility.

You can write an argument for possibility if you like, but Aquinas wrote an argument for necessity, and inertial motion disproves the argument made by Aquinas.

bmiller said...

Stardusty,

Inertial motion does not disprove the necessity of an unmoved First Mover for the various reasons Dr Feser listed in his paper. Let me just point out how Newton conceived on inertial motion.

Newtonian physics considers the motion of an object an inertial "state" once it reaches a stable velocity. There is a change of velocity and so a change state when a force is applied but no change of state when no external force is applied whether the velocity is zero or non-zero. So in order for there to be a change of state there must be an external changer leading to an ultimate Unchanged Changer. In fact the first example from the Summa Theologica says "Thus that which is actually hot, as fire, makes wood, which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it." Obviously, the wood remains hot after the match that started the fire is removed showing that what is being discussed is the external agent that initiates the change and not necessarily that an agent must act continuously once change as occurred, at least for this example. Just like Newton's concept of inertial motion.

StardustyPsyche said...

bmiller,
"Inertial motion does not disprove the necessity of an unmoved First Mover for the various reasons Dr Feser listed in his paper."
Feser never wrote a paper that shows inertial motion does not disprove the First Way necessity of an unmoved first mover.

Feser has written that inertial motion does not disprove the First Way possibility of an unmoved first mover.

You have been taken in by Feser's verbal slight of hand. He tricked you with very carefully chosen words.

But by all means, do go back to "his paper" and carefully parse the words he used. If you can find I am wrong on this point then by all means, please do provide a link and a paragraph reference that shows my error.

"...Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion..."
Note, Aquinas is speaking in the present tense, observing an object that is already in motion. Feser understands that inertial motion is this sort of motion.

Aquinas claims, and Feser understands this as his claim, that any object presently in motion must presently be moved by another to sustain its motion. That claim of Aquinas in the First Way is false, and Feser knows that.

Understanding that error of Aquinas, Feser uses very carefully parsed words to trick his target audience, his base. Feser retreats to the statement that inertial motion does not disprove an unmoved first mover, which is true, but irrelevant to the fact that inertial motion disproves the First Way as Aquinas actually wrote it.

Inertial motion does not disprove fairies, or angles, or Thor, or the wind god, or an unmoved first mover, or demons, or any other fanciful speculation. On inertial motion you can still make any of those fanciful speculations and they cannot be strictly disproved as the motive mechanism behind inertial motion.

But they are all unnecessary, making the First Way, as it was actually written by Aquinas, proved unsound.

You were tricked with a combination of your own pre-conceptions and the deceptive hair splitting word style employed by Feser. But by all means, again, please do locate "his paper", read it carefully with the above in mind, and link to me the exact words that show I am wrong on this precise point.

bmiller said...

Stardusty,

Feser never wrote a paper that shows inertial motion does not disprove the First Way necessity of an unmoved first mover.

The First Way proves the necessity of a first Unmoved Mover. Inertial motion does not disprove that an Unmoved Mover is necessary for change. His paper provides his reasons for saying that. I've provided you one of the reasons he gave.

Do you want to dispute Newton? Or do you want to maintain that Aquinas was arguing that a campfire only stays lit as long as you hold the lit match to the pile of wood in the example he gave in the First Way? You are long on assertions and short on logical arguments.

Regardless, as I mentioned above, Aristotle (and so Aquinas) never held that all motion required a continuous external mover. Only "violent" motion and not "natural motion".

From the paper:

[Aristotle] says, therefore, that what has been said is manifested by the fact that natural bodies are not borne upward and downward as though moved by some external agent.
By this is to be understood that he rejects an external mover which would move these bodies per se after they obtained their specific form. For light things are indeed moved upward, and heavy bodies downward, by the generator in as much as it gives them the form upon which such motion follows... However, some have claimed that after bodies of this kind have
received their form, they need to be moved per se by something extrinsic. It is this claim that the Philosopher rejects here.

StardustyPsyche said...

bmiller,
That is not a link to "his paper".

My points therefore stand unrefuted by you.

SteveK said...

Genetic fallacy. The paper means nothing. You were just criticizing im-skeptical for this.

SteveK said...

https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2021/07/schmid-on-existential-inertia.html

There are others. Search for “inertia”

StardustyPsyche said...

SteveK,
"Genetic fallacy. The paper means nothing"
Except when the point is specifically about a particular paper.

That is what bmiller cited above, an assertion that a particular paper demonstrated that inertial motion does not disprove the First Way as written by Aquinas.

SteveK can write SteveK's Way, bmiller can write bmiller's Way, and that's fine. Those would be different arguments with different wordings.

Feser did not write a paper that shows that inertial motion does not disprove the First Way by Aquinas. bmiller claimed Feser did in fact write such a paper but bmiller has thus far declined to link to that supposed paper. I have read Feser's arguments on inertial motion with respect to an unmoved first mover and I have never read anything by Feser that shows that inertial motion does not disprove the First Way by Aquinas.

StardustyPsyche said...

SteveK,
"https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2021/07/schmid-on-existential-inertia.html"
Irrelevant to the fact that Feser did not write a paper that shows that inertial motion does not disprove the First Way as written by Aquinas.

SteveK said...

I thought this paragraph did a good job very briefly outlining the AT argument for why eliminative materialism as SP conceives it cannot be true. SP claims that only EM exists and it forms various arrangements via mutual causation. Feser considers the EM arrangement labeled “water” and what AT would say about that.

“Consider a collection of particles of type P which constitute water at time t. Though they actually constitute water at t, there is nothing in the particles qua particles of type P that suffices to make them water rather than one of the other alternatives mentioned. Again, qua particles of type P they have the potential to constitute water, or separate quantities of hydrogen and oxygen, or some other substance or aggregate of substances. So, there must at t be something distinct from the collection which actualizes its potential to be water, specifically.”

Source: https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2021/07/schmid-on-aristotelian-proof.html

bmiller said...

My points therefore stand unrefuted by you.

I showed you the specific example from the Summa Theologica version of the First Way that refutes the idea that both Aristotle and Aquinas meant that all change requires a continuous extrinsic mover in order to maintain the changed state...just like the Newtonian theory of inertial motion.

I also provided you a quote from St Thomas' commentary on Aristotle's "On the Heavens and Earth" (the quote from the previous comment) showing that both Aquinas and Aristotle believed that natural motion does not require an extrinsic mover to continue, again just like inertial motion.

Since you have not interacted with the primary sourced quotes I provided that contradict your position I will consider your position adequately refuted.

SteveK said...

Here’s the paper that Feser wrote on inertia

https://faculty.fordham.edu/klima/SMLM/PSMLM10/PSMLM10.pdf

SteveK said...

Now that the link has been provided your points no longer stand. This conclusion is according to your logic in the comment above.

Kevin said...

No, he will simply say that the paper provided fails to show that inertial motion does not disprove the First Way. I've not even read the paper, but that will be the claim.

SteveK said...

Feser: “When the Newtonian principal states that the body in motion will tend to stay in motion it isn’t saying that a potency which is being actualized will tend to continue being actualized”

This is true, and because it is true the scientific principle of inertia isn’t forcing itself into a conflict with the AT argument. Bmiller quoted Aristotle where he said that an external mover isn’t necessary. Where’s the conflict, SP?

StardustyPsyche said...

Kevin,
"No, he will simply say that the paper provided fails to show that inertial motion does not disprove the First Way. I've not even read the paper, but that will be the claim."
Indeed, I read that paper multiple times years ago. I expected it to be among the writings that might be cited. I already knew that the paper fails to show that inertial motion does not disprove the First Way.

It tricks the credulous, Feser's base. Feser actually either confirms or omits my points.

That which he addresses confirms my points.

That which he fails to address would show that inertial motion disproves the First Way. I can only suppose that Feser understands that fact and intentionally omitted those points, since it would be likely he would argue in support of the First Way, but he did not, so he likely understands that he must omit those portions that disprove the First Way.

To quote a recent ruling, the paper has the "odor of mendacity".

"Aquinas’s First Way of arguing for the existence of God famously rests on the Aristotelian
premise that “whatever is in motion is moved by another.” Let us call this the “principle of
motion.” Newton’s First Law states that “every body continues in its state of rest or of
uniform motion in a straight line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces
impressed upon it.” Call this the “principle of inertia.”"

Note that Feser confirms my point made above that in the First Way the phrase “whatever is in motion is moved by another” is properly understood as juxtaposed to inertial motion.

Feser confirms that philosophers well understand, that phrase is at issue with inertial motion.

"There are at least five reasons to think that any appearance of conflict between the two
principles is illusory:
Here Feser retreats to mere compatibility, again confirming my point. It is true that one can speculate fairies nudge everything along lest they stop moving, or the boogyman, or god, or whatever, and as a matter of descriptive form such speculations are compatible with the appearance of inertial motion.

What Feser glaringly fails to point out is that the First Way is not an argument for mere compatibility.

The First Way is an argument for NECESSITY.

The First Way states:
"Therefore it is NECESSARY to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other"

Inertial motion makes the UNMOVED first mover UNNECESSARY, and thus disproves the First Way claim to NECESSITY.

Inertial motion disproves the First Way as Aquinas wrote it, period, slam dunk, full stop.

bmiller said...

Stardusty,

That which he fails to address would show that inertial motion disproves the First Way. I can only suppose that Feser understands that fact and intentionally omitted those points, since it would be likely he would argue in support of the First Way, but he did not, so he likely understands that he must omit those portions that disprove the First Way.

To quote a recent ruling, the paper has the "odor of mendacity".

So much for condemning internet mind-reading.

"There are at least five reasons to think that any appearance of conflict between the two
principles is illusory:
Here Feser retreats to mere compatibility, again confirming my point.

The First Way establishes that an Unmoved Mover is necessary for change to occur. If there is no contradiction between inertial motion and the First Way, then inertial motion simply does not contradict the argument. Therefore that an Unmoved Mover is necessary for change to occur (ie the First Way) has not been disproven. The argument that the Unmoved Mover is necessary for change to occur "just is" the First Way.

What more is there to be said? Inertial motion really, really, really doesn't contradict the First Way?

bmiller said...

An apt analogy in 4 parts:

A:
Air is necessary for humans to breathe.

B:
Fish breathe under water so your theory is disproven.

A:
I said for humans. Fish aren't humans so the theory has not been disproven.

B:
You are being deceptive by not arguing for the necessity of air! You big cheater!

SteveK said...

“Inertial motion makes the UNMOVED first mover UNNECESSARY, and thus disproves the First Way claim to NECESSITY”

Change that doesn’t involve inertia requires a necessary unmoved mover. The AT argument is successful in that respect. Your logic is deeply flawed.

Ironically, if inertia is when EM undergoes change then “nothing” is causing EM to change. You’re now adopting the same position as im-skeptical, which is hilarious.

Also, how can EM change when EM is necessary, EM is unchanging, and EM is neither created nor destroyed? The cosmos is net changeless and net lossless. You are now contradicting yourself.

SteveK said...

Your analogy makes the point perfectly, bmiller. Too bad SP is incapable of understanding it.

StardustyPsyche said...

"Change that doesn’t involve inertia requires a necessary unmoved mover."
You can make that argument if you want to, but that is not the argument in the First Way as Aquinas wrote it, and Feser acknowledges that, as does Francisco J. Romero Carrasquillo and David Haines

This is the actual argument Aquinas actually wrote:

Premise P2-A is false, which makes the conclusion unsound, full stop, period, end of this argument.

P1-A: Some things are in motion (m).
P2-A: If some things are in motion (m), then they are put in motion by another (a).
C-A: Therefore, they are put in motion by another (a).

[P1-B: If they are put in motion by another (a), then either this goes on to infinity (i) or it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other (f).]
P2-B: They are put in motion by another (a).
C-B: Therefore, either this goes on to infinity (i) or it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other (f)

P1-C: Either this goes on to infinity (i) or it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other (f)
P2-C: But this cannot go on to infinity (~ i).
C-C: Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other (f).

The key premise, P2-A is false, that destroys the argument as written. That's how arguments work. When the premise is false the argument fails.

You can rewrite the argument in order to try to patch up that failure, if you want, and we can call it whatever you want to call it, but that is no longer the First Way written by Aquinas.

Feser even acknowledges the issue of necessity:
" the principles of motion and inertia more carefully, the assumption that they are
necessarily in conflict can readily be seen to be unfounded."
By his own words Feser acknowledges that the principle of motion is not necessary for the principle of inertia.

Feser even acknowledges what I have been telling you guys all along, that the First Way is based on the false idea that Aquinas had that continued motion requires a continued force acting upon the object:
"Obviously, the Aristotelian notion of an object having some specific place toward which it
tends naturally to move is obsolete, as is Aquinas’s view that projectile motions require a
continuously conjoined mover. "

Feser acknowledges that Aquinas thought that inertial motion requires a conjoined mover, and that such an idea is obsolete.

P2-A requires that inertial motion requires a conjoined mover. That makes P2-A false.

When the premise is false the argument is unsound. Pretty simple.

Go ahead and reword the First Way into your own Way, and that's fine, nothing wrong with that at all, but then it is no longer the First Way by Aquinas.

SteveK said...

“nothing wrong with that”

Agreed, there’s nothing wrong with the argument for a necessary unmoved mover.

SteveK said...

However there is something very wrong about your belief that necessary matter undergoes change.

bmiller said...

Stardusty,

This is the actual argument Aquinas actually wrote:

No it isn't. There are 2 versions of the First Way written by St Thomas found in the Summa Theologica and the Summa Contra Gentiles and what you posted is neither one of them.

The version from the Summa Contra Gentiles is more detailed and discusses the distinction between natural motion and violent motion, something that Dr Feser also points out in his paper. You have been shown the passage more than once, so you shouldn't appeal to ignorance (even though it is something you are ignoring). Since the First Way demonstrates a necessary Unmoved Mover for both types of motion and since inertial motion must be one or the other then an Unmoved Mover is necessary.

Even Feser states that inertial movement does not disprove the possibility of an unmoved first mover. And he is correct.

If Dr Feser is correct that inertial movement does not disprove the possibility of an Unmoved First Mover then you've contradicted yourself when you claim that your premise P2-A is false. But you base your claim that it is false by adding something to your own premise that is not contained in your own premise. That's not how logic works.

Feser even acknowledges the issue of necessity:
" the principles of motion and inertia more carefully, the assumption that they are
necessarily in conflict can readily be seen to be unfounded."
By his own words Feser acknowledges that the principle of motion is not necessary for the principle of inertia.

This makes no sense. Dr Feser points out that the First Way and inertia are not in conflict and you seem to agree. Yet somehow this proves that they are in conflict?

bmiller said...

For those interested in following along. Here is the section from the Summa Contra Gentiles in which Aquinas explains the difference between violent/accidental motion and natural motion. This is the distinction Dr Feser mentions in his paper. If inertial motion is considered a natural motion, like the motion of a stone falling to the ground, then Aristotle claims that no external mover is required to continuously "push" it.

[8] In the second way, Aristotle proves the proposition by induction [Physics VIII, 4]. Whatever is moved by accident is not moved by itself, since it is moved upon the motion of another. So, too, as is evident, what is moved by violence is not moved by itself. Nor are those beings moved by themselves that are moved by their nature as being moved from within; such is the case with animals, which evidently are moved by the soul. Nor, again, is this true of those beings, such as heavy and light bodies, which are moved through nature. For such beings are moved by the generating cause and the cause removing impediments. Now, whatever is moved is moved through itself or by accident. If it is moved through itself, then it is moved either violently or by nature; if by nature, then either through itself, as the animal, or not through itself, as heavy and light bodies. Therefore, everything that is moved is moved by another.

This version of the First Way is much more detailed than the bare summary in the Summa Theologica.

SteveK said...

I can’t wait to hear SP say that changeless matter undergoing change is actually a hallucination - that physical matter is actually an abstraction. Her constant stream of incoherent nonsense is entertaining.

bmiller said...

Didn't Stardusty already claim that things like running don't exist? Then it follows that change does not exist and so the First Way is finally defeated.

StardustyPsyche said...

bmiller,
*This is the actual argument Aquinas actually wrote:*
"No it isn't."
Yes, actually it is.

Both Francisco J. Romero Carrasquillo and David Haines are fluent in Latin and PhD scholars of Aquinas who went to the Latin and did their own translations, which match with other sources.

Aquinas made many other arguments in many ways, but the First Way is in fact found at the link above, and shown more explicitly in symbolic form below.

Note that the argument requires that P2-A be true, but P2-A is false, as Feser acknowledges by acknowledging that Aquinas was wrong about projectile motion and wrong about the necessity of an object in inertial motion being moved by another.

In the notation below the conclusion "C-A: a" depends on the truth of premise P2-A, but P2-A has already been proved to be false, by Feser's own words in his paper that was kindly referenced to me above.

So, you can find other bits and pieces of the First Way or other writings and re-arrange them into another argument if you want to, but that is not the First Way as written by Aquinas.

The First Way as written by Aquinas was proved false long ago, as Feser explains by acknowledging the error of Aquinas that makes premise P2-A false, and thus conclusion C-A false, and therefore by the logic of the actual argument as actually written the conclusion C-C is thus proved to be false.

III. The Argument in Symbolic Format:

P1-A: m
P2-A: m ® a
C-A: a

[P1-B: a ® (i V f)]*
P2-B: a
C-B: i V f

P1-C: i V f
P4-C: ~ i
C-C: \ f.

* This premise is implicit and necessitated by the text (which means the argument is an enthymeme).

IV. Legend:

V = either... or... (but not both)
~ = it is false that
\ = therefore
m, a, i, f = variables representing propositions
P1-A, P2-A, etc. = numbers assigned to premises 1 and 2 of arguments A and B, etc.
C-A, C-B, etc. = the conclusions of arguments A, B, etc.

StardustyPsyche said...

"If Dr Feser is correct that inertial movement does not disprove the possibility of an Unmoved First Mover then you've contradicted yourself when you claim that your premise P2-A is false."
Wrong, because premise P2-A is a claim of necessity. On inertial motion that claim of necessity is proved false, and thus P2-A is proved false on inertial motion.

"Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another"
That premise is a claim of necessity. If the claim is mere possibility then premise P2-A cannot support a later claim of necessity in C-C.

StardustyPsyche said...

*" the principles of motion and inertia more carefully, the assumption that they are
necessarily in conflict can readily be seen to be unfounded."
By his own words Feser acknowledges that the principle of motion is not necessary for the principle of inertia.*

"This makes no sense. Dr Feser points out that the First Way and inertia are not in conflict and you seem to agree."

You are conflating "the principle of motion" with "the First Way"

I never said inertia disproves an unmoved mover.
I said inertia disproves the First Way.

On inertia an unmoved First Mover is speculatively possible, not logically impossible.
On inertia the First Way is logically impossible, because the First Way claims that an unmoved first mover is necessary, whereas inertia relegates the unmoved first mover to be a mere speculative possibility.

That's how logic works.

SteveK said...

X is necessary for Y
X is not necessary for Z
X is necessary

bmiller said...

Stardusty,

Yes, actually it is.

No it actually isn't. You may be trying to claim it is a translation into some formal logic of some sort, but where exactly is the the sentence "Thus that which is actually hot, as fire, makes wood, which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it." translated in your rendition? Or the section I quoted from the SCG? You're plainly wrong.

"If Dr Feser is correct that inertial movement does not disprove the possibility of an Unmoved First Mover then you've contradicted yourself when you claim that your premise P2-A is false."
Wrong, because premise P2-A is a claim of necessity. On inertial motion that claim of necessity is proved false, and thus P2-A is proved false on inertial motion....

I never said inertia disproves an unmoved mover.
I said inertia disproves the First Way.

As I've pointed out before, the First Way establishes the necessity of the Unmoved Mover, the being that is necessary for all motion in the universe. If you want to claim the argument is disproven by inertial motion, then you will have disproven the existence of the Unmoved Mover, the being necessary for all motion in the universe. So it makes no sense to claim that there can both be an Unmoved Mover necessary and responsible for all motion in the universe but the Unmoved Mover is not necessary and responsible for all motion in the universe. It is an obvious contradiction.

But inertial motion does not disprove an Unmoved Mover as you admit and so you are correct in that respect.

Now, whatever is moved is moved through itself or by accident. If it is moved through itself, then it is moved either violently or by nature; if by nature, then either through itself, as the animal, or not through itself, as heavy and light bodies. Therefore, everything that is moved is moved by another.

So is a body moving in a straight line at a constant velocity with no external being force applied to it moving itself? If so, then it could stop itself or change directions and that is clearly not its movement is clearly due to another.

Let's look at the first example St Thomas uses in the First Way from the ST (the match starting a fire but not being needed for the fire to remain hot), and compare to this example from the linked SCG section:

[19] But, if the proposition that every mover is moved is true by itself, something impossible or awkward likewise follows. For the mover must be moved either by the same kind of motion as that by which he moves, or by another. If the same, a cause of alteration must itself be altered, and further, a healing cause must itself be healed, and a teacher must himself be taught and this with respect to the same knowledge. Now, this is impossible. A teacher must have science, whereas he who is a learner of necessity does not have it. So that, if the proposition were true, the same thing would be possessed and not possessed by the same being—which is impossible.

Clearly the ignorant student does not require the teacher to be continuously teaching him once he has learned just like the fire does not require the match to continuously burn. The teacher and match are required to change their respective objects but are not required to keep them in their new state similar to how something external to an object starts it in motion but is not necessarily needed to keep it in motion. Something however is necessary to keep it being the kind of thing it is in existence.

StardustyPsyche said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
StardustyPsyche said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
StardustyPsyche said...

"If you want to claim the argument is disproven by inertial motion, then you will have disproven the existence of the Unmoved Mover,"
That is not how logic works.

That is the fallacy of denying the antecedent.

The fallacy of denying the antecedent means to conclude the negation of the consequent having denied the antecedent.

If (First Way) then (Unmoved Mover)
Not (First Way)
Therefore Not (Unmoved Mover)

That's not how logic works.

StardustyPsyche said...

"As I've pointed out before, the First Way establishes the necessity of the Unmoved Mover,"

If M then A
M
Therefore A

That means
If M is true then necessarily A is true
M is true
Therefore A is necessarily true

That's how logic works

But Feser told you the first line is actually a mere possibility.
If M then possibly A
M is true
Therefore necessarily A

That is not how logic works, but that is the structure of the First Way.

Feser told you why the First Way fails, because:
"Obviously, the Aristotelian notion of an object having some specific place toward which it
tends naturally to move is obsolete, as is Aquinas’s view that projectile motions require a continuously conjoined mover. "
--Edward Feser

Aquinas thought that ALL motion required a conjoined mover. That is why he wrote
If M then A

For Aquinas, if there is motion, then there necessarily must be a mover.

Feser told you, Aquinas was wrong about that, which makes his key premise false.

So, if you take what Feser said the First Way fails.
If M then A (False Premise, A is merely possible on M)
M
Therefore A (Unsound Conclusion)

That is how logic works

bmiller said...

Stardusty,

But Feser told you the first line is actually a mere possibility.

No he didn't. He said there was "no formal contradiction" between inertial motion (IM) and the principle of motion (POM) put forward in the First Way. The fact that there is no contradiction between 2 propositions says nothing about the possibility or necessity of either. Both could be true or both could be false or one could be true while the other is false. Any of those could be the case and it be true that the 2 proposition did not contradict each other.

If A does not contradict B, then necessarily B is not contradicted by A.
If IM does not contradict POM, then necessarily POM is not contradicted by IM.

Aquinas thought that ALL motion required a conjoined mover.

No he didn't and I've shown you explicitly that he didn't think that and provided several different quotes from 2 versions of the First Way proving it. Dr Feser pointed it out in his paper also. You simply choose to ignore the facts. Oh well, sometimes people block out reality if it upsets them.

For Aquinas, if there is motion, then there necessarily must be a mover.

Feser told you, Aquinas was wrong about that, which makes his key premise false.

No. Dr Feser told you that Aquinas was right about that.

Do you think nothing causes inertial motion? Just "poof"?
Or if do you think a thrown rock is moving itself. If so, then why can't it stop itself or change directions?

SteveK said...

Below is the entire quote from the Summa. Nowhere does the argument say anything about a continuous mover or anything related to "continuous". Nowhere is inertia said to be "motion" as it is defined below in the bold section. SP is injecting her own opinions into the argument.

"The first and more manifest way is the argument from motion. It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion. Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another, for nothing can be in motion except it is in potentiality to that towards which it is in motion; whereas a thing moves inasmuch as it is in act. For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality. But nothing can be reduced from potentiality to actuality, except by something in a state of actuality. Thus that which is actually hot, as fire, makes wood, which is potentially hot, to be actually hot, and thereby moves and changes it. Now it is not possible that the same thing should be at once in actuality and potentiality in the same respect, but only in different respects. For what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot; but it is simultaneously potentially cold. It is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved, i.e. that it should move itself. Therefore, whatever is in motion must be put in motion by another. If that by which it is put in motion be itself put in motion, then this also must needs be put in motion by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover; seeing that subsequent movers move only inasmuch as they are put in motion by the first mover; as the staff moves only because it is put in motion by the hand. Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God."

SteveK said...

If an object is in constant, unchanging, motion then it is not potentially in unchanging motion, it is actually in unchanging motion. The reduction of something from potentiality to actuality is not happening, therefore this situation is not part of the argument.

StardustyPsyche said...

SteveK,
"Nowhere does the argument say anything about a continuous mover"

"Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another" -- Aquinas
"Aquinas’s view that projectile motions require a continuously conjoined mover." -- Edward Feser

Feser told you that Aquinas thought even what we call inertial motion, that is, projectile motion, requires a "continuously conjoined mover"

It's right in the paper you linked to me July 06, 2024 8:34 AM

bmiller said...

SteveK:
"Nowhere does the argument say anything about a continuous mover"

Stardusty:
It's right in the paper you linked to me July 06, 2024 8:34 AM

I checked. The argument of the First Way SteveK posted does not say anything about a continuous mover. Stardusty loses.

Kevin said...

So reading that paper, Feser says the claim that Aristotle and Aquinas believed that objects cannot continue local motion without a continuously conjoined mover was "something of an urban legend".

But he also says that Aquinas held an obsolete view that projectile motion required a continuously conjoined joined mover.

Is the difference there whether or not motion is "projectile motion"? I assume this was because "projectile motion" is against gravity?

SteveK said...

SP first says the original first way argument written by Aquinas is undermined by inertia.

When we show that isn’t true by quoting the entire text of the argument, SP then says the comments made by other people undermine the original argument even though those people say the argument is valid. LOL, okay.

SteveK said...

“For what is actually hot cannot simultaneously be potentially hot“

Likewise, what is actually moving cannot simultaneously be potentially moving in the same respect. Inertia is an example of moving in the same respect all of the time. There is no change. There is no reduction of something from potentiality to actuality.

bmiller said...

Kevin,

Is the difference there whether or not motion is "projectile motion"? I assume this was because "projectile motion" is against gravity?

It's an urban legend because Aristotle and Aquinas believed that all objects can be moved by gravity and gravity does not require a "continuously conjoined mover" in the sense of something pushing it in some direction. Also things like animals are not pushed around by a "continuously conjoined mover". Those types of motions are called "natural" and are due to the nature of the thing.

When things are moved in a non-natural way it is called violent motion. So if someone is pushing a stone on the ground or throwing a stone (projectile motion), those would be considered violent motions. This type of motion is not necessarily "against" gravity but is not due to gravity or due to animal motion.

So yes, A and A held that some motions but not all required a "continuously conjoined mover" and and classified "projectile motion" as needing the conjoined mover. If an object is in "projectile motion" and does not need a "continuously conjoined mover" that does not mean that it is moving itself, or that nothing is moving it, it only means that A and A misclassified what type of motion it is.

Newton classified it as an inherent property of a massive object like how gravity is associated with massive objects and so like a natural motion in Aristotle's scheme.

bmiller said...

SteveK,

SP first says the original first way argument written by Aquinas is undermined by inertia.

When we show that isn’t true by quoting the entire text of the argument, SP then says the comments made by other people undermine the original argument even though those people say the argument is valid.

You noticed the strategy too. Make a bold claim and see if anyone notices, then change the claim when there is a challenge and act like you didn't.

StardustyPsyche said...

bmiller,
*Stardusty:
It's right in the paper you linked to me July 06, 2024 8:34 AM*

"I checked. The argument of the First Way SteveK posted does not"
Are you familiar with how date stamps work?

SteveK said...
Here’s the paper that Feser wrote on inertia

https://faculty.fordham.edu/klima/SMLM/PSMLM10/PSMLM10.pdf

July 06, 2024 8:34 AM

StardustyPsyche said...

Kevin,
Ok, that seems like a reasonable approach to discussing it.

"Kevin said...
No, he will simply say that the paper provided fails to show that inertial motion does not disprove the First Way. I've not even read the paper, but that will be the claim."
Indeed, Feser does not claim that inertial motion does not disprove the First Way.

Now that you have read the paper that is clear to you, correct?

Feser only claims that inertial motion does not disprove the general notion of an unmoved first mover. He is correct about that very narrow and very weak claim.

Feser is well known to make some hair splitting and subtle distinctions and then go on at length defending his precise position, which is fine and reasonable for a professional philosopher.

The point of that paper is to address the notion that inertial motion would somehow rule out an unmoved first mover at least as a speculative possibility. He goes on at length to show that the observation of inertial motion can still be speculated to be caused by an unmoved first mover.

Clearly, by reading the paper it is obvious.
Feser does not claim that inertial motion does not disprove the First Way.

bmiller said...

Stardusty,

Are you familiar with how date stamps work?

Yes I am. Do you know how to read English?

Here is what I wrote:
I checked. The argument of the First Way SteveK posted does not say anything about a continuous mover. Stardusty loses.

He is correct. You lose.

SteveK said...

“You get nothing! You lose! Good day, sir!” - Willy Wonka

bmiller said...

Feser does not claim that inertial motion does not disprove the First Way.

Yes Dr Feser does claim that inertial motion does not disprove the First Way. I guess you don't know how to read English.

It's interesting to watch as someone grapples with some truth that shatters their world-view. This looks like one of 7 stages of grief:

Shock.
Denial.
Anger.
Bargaining.
Depression.
Acceptance and hope.
Processing grief.

It looks like Stardusty is in the Bargaining stage and perhaps the early stages of Depression, the darkest stage. But don't worry after this darkness the light of acceptance and hope will shine.

SteveK said...

Feser: “Does Newton’s law of inertia undermine Aquinas’s First Way? The short answer is No. I gave a longer answer at pp. 76-79 of Aquinas. I give a much longer answer still in my paper “The Medieval Principle of Motion and the Modern Principle of Inertia,”

Source: https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2012/12/aquinas-versus-newton.html

SteveK said...

One thing that I find strange in this debate is that SP has contradicting opinions about inertia.

(a) From the modern perspective SP believes that an object in motion under inertia does not require a cause to keep it in motion.

(b) From the medieval perspective SP believes that an object in motion under inertia has some potential that is constantly being actualized, because that is the only situation where a constant unmoved mover is necessary. But that means SP believes that a cause is required to keep it in motion.

Conflicting opinions, (a) vs. (b)

Now, if SP says she doesn't actually believe (b) is true then she is saying that potential is NOT constantly being actualized. In that case SP is saying that motion in the AT sense is not occurring constantly while under inertia and SP agrees with Feser and Aquinas.

StardustyPsyche said...

SteveK,
" I give a much longer answer still in my paper “The Medieval Principle of Motion and the Modern Principle of Inertia,”"
In that paper he fails to claim that inertial motion does not disprove the First Way.

Kevin said...

In that paper he fails to claim that inertial motion does not disprove the First Way.

Well he claims that the First Way rests on what he calls the "principle of motion". He claims it is widely thought that this "principle of motion" is contradicted by the "principle of inertia". And he claims that this widespread notion is mistaken and unfounded.

So, he claims that the view that inertial motion is in conflict with the foundation of the First Way is wrong. Or, to rephrase, inertial motion does not disprove the First Way.

This is the first three paragraphs of the paper, as well as the subject of the rest of the paper.

SteveK said...

SP agrees that a potential is not constantly being actualized, and thus SP agrees that motion in the sense that the First Way defines it is not occurring under inertial motion.

bmiller said...

Stardusty:
In that paper he fails to claim that inertial motion does not disprove the First Way.

Kevin:
Or, to rephrase, inertial motion does not disprove the First Way.

This is why I think Stardusty is in the Bargaining/Depression phase of grief. He wants to bargain with us that if the precise, magically worded phrase "inertial motion does not disprove the First Way" is not in the paper it doesn't matter that the same thing is said in different words. He also realizes that this is not going to work and hence the Depression.

StardustyPsyche said...

Kevin,
"Well he claims that the First Way rests on what he calls the "principle of motion". He claims it is widely thought that this "principle of motion" is contradicted by the "principle of inertia". And he claims that this widespread notion is mistaken and unfounded."
Correct. The paper addresses the notion that inertial motion rules out the speculative possibility of an unmoved first mover generally.

The paper makes clear that upon observation of inertial motion one can still speculate that an unmoved first mover makes the inertial motion go.

"So, he claims that the view that inertial motion is in conflict with the foundation of the First Way is wrong."
Correct, the basic idea of an unmoved first mover is not disproved by inertial motion.

"Or, to rephrase, inertial motion does not disprove the First Way."
That is a logically invalid rephrasing.
Here you have gotten to the key error being made on this thread by others.

If M then A
M
Therefore A

Of course you realize that is a common form of elementary deductive logic. It is a shorthand that means
If M is true then always and necessarily A is also true
M is observed to be true
Therefore it must always and necessarily be the case that A is also true

Consider by contrast
If M then you can't say A isn't true
M
Therefore A is necessarily true.

Does that make sense to you?
Or would you consider that to be invalid logic?

I highly recommend
Victor, some years ago, posted a derivative of this work, done by David Haines, now of Bethlehem College and Seminary.

P1-A: Some things are in motion (m).
P2-A: If some things are in motion (m), then they are put in motion by another (a).
C-A: Therefore, they are put in motion by another (a).

Feser, in the cited paper, turns P2-A into
If some things are in motion (m), then you cannot prove they are not put in motion by another (a).

That destroys the logic of the First Way, which concludes
C-C: Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other (f).

"Or, to rephrase, inertial motion does not disprove the First Way."
Feser does not express that rephrasing in the cited paper, probably because it is so obviously logically invalid that it would be academically preposterous to make such a rephrasing. Instead, he remains silent, knowing that others will perform such invalid rephrasing for him.

Kevin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SteveK said...

Shock.
Denial.
Anger.
Bargaining. <--- SP is here
Depression. <--- soon to be here
Acceptance and hope.
Processing grief.

SteveK said...

"put in motion" is not the same as "keep in motion"

SteveK said...

SP
Do you agree that a potential is not constantly being actualized under inertial motion?

Kevin said...

Feser does not claim that inertial motion does not disprove the First Way.

But you agreed that Feser claims, in the paper, that inertial motion does not undermine the foundation of the First Way, which is the "principle of motion".

If your position is that undermining is not the same as disproving, then whatever I suppose.

Edited*

StardustyPsyche said...

Kevin,
"But you agreed that Feser claims, in the paper, that inertial motion does not undermine the foundation of the First Way, which is the "principle of motion"."
Depends what you mean by the "foundation of the First Way"

A foundation of the First Way is that objects are observed to move.
"It is certain, and evident to our senses, that in the world some things are in motion."
Inertial motion does not undermine that foundation of the First Way.

Inertial motion does not disprove a first mover generally.

Inertial motion makes a key premise of the First Way false.
"Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another"
Carrasquillo shows that premise as"
P2-A: If some things are in motion (m), then they are put in motion by another (a).
P2-A: m -> a

Inertial motion makes that premise of the First Way false. Feser only shows
If (m) then you can't disprove (a).

Aquinas said
If (m) then necessarily (a)
Feser said, on inertial motion
If (m) then you can't disprove (a)

Thus that key premise of the First Way is made false on inertial motion.

Further, the First Way ends (almost) with:
C-C: Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other (f).

It is logically invalid to claim a necessary conclusion based on a false premise, which is what the First Way does, rendering the First Way logically invalid.

"If your position is that undermining is not the same as disproving, then whatever I suppose."

Inertial motion does not disprove the general speculation of an unmoved first mover.

Inertial motion disproves a particular argument for an unmoved first mover, the First Way by Aquinas.

You can still find some bits and pieces of what Aquinas said that are either still true, or cannot strictly be disproved. If you or anybody wants to take those bits and pieces and make some other argument, fine, go right ahead.

In the cited paper Feser does not claim that inertia does not disprove the First Way.

Recall, that paper was in an academic setting with the opportunity to be critiqued. The fact that inertial motion disproves the conclusion of the First Way is incontrovertible as a a matter of academic logical argumentation analysis.

Inertial motion simply does disprove the First Way, so any attempt by Feser to show otherwise would have necessarily employed unsound arguments that would have made him look silly to his peers.

So, to avoid looking like a fool in an academic setting Feser only made the very narrow and week claim that the general idea of an unmoved first mover is not strictly disproved by inertial motion.

SteveK said...

I want to do a consistently check. Would you agree with im-skeptical if he said your argument for a necessary cause is made false on quantum events?

If (quantum event) then you cannot disprove (cause)

SteveK said...

If you would answer my question below then we would know what you think about the first way argument.

Q: Do you agree that a potential is not constantly being actualized under inertial motion?

bmiller said...

Stardusty,

Kevin:
"But you agreed that Feser claims, in the paper, that inertial motion does not undermine the foundation of the First Way, which is the "principle of motion"."
Stardusty:
Depends what you mean by the "foundation of the First Way"

Let me help you out with your reading here since it seems you are having a crisis. When Kevin says "which is the "principle of motion"" he is explaining that this is what he means by "the foundation of the First Way".

What is this "principle of motion" he is referring to from Dr Feser's paper?

Here is the quote from the paper that explains it:

Aquinas’s First Way of arguing for the existence of God famously rests on the Aristotelian
premise that “whatever is in motion is moved by another.”1 Let us call this the “principle of motion.”2.....

What is it that Dr Feser argues is not contradicted by the principle of inertia? Why it's the principle of motion as just defined:

When we consider what medieval philosophers actually said about the principle of motion and what modern physicists have actually said about the principle of inertia, we will see that they do not contradict one another

The "principle of motion" from Dr Feser's paper is what you are calling P2-A and it is this that he specifically claims is not undermined, disproved, contradicted, etc by the "principle of inertia".

You've twisted yourself around the axle. Several times.

StardustyPsyche said...

SteveK,
"I want to do a consistently check. Would you agree with im-skeptical if he said your argument for a necessary cause is made false on quantum events?

If (quantum event) then you cannot disprove (cause)"

I don't recall expressing a syllogism on that subject. Maybe I implicitly did, somehow.

I suppose you had something in mind that is more complete, but what you have written so far seems rather fragmentary on this attempt to test my consistency.

"If (quantum event) then you cannot disprove (cause)"
That seems like a premise as opposed to an argument.

My point was more like:
If (causal process not yet described) then that does not disprove that there is a causal process at work.

For example, we don't know what causes the effects attributed to so-called dark energy and dark matter. Does that mean that no causal process is at work that accounts for those observed effects? There are many effects for which the causal process is not yet identified, but in science that does not mean we therefore conclude no such causal process is the case, rather, that the causal process is thus far unidentified due to human ignorance.

StardustyPsyche said...

SteveK,
"Q: Do you agree that a potential is not constantly being actualized under inertial motion?"
Actualization of a potential is a useless conceptual framework.

Feser told you Aquinas believed in a conjoined mover for inertial (projectile) motion, and that Aquinas was wrong about that.
" is obsolete, as is Aquinas’s view that projectile motions require a
continuously conjoined mover. " -- Edward Feser

Somewhat ironically Aristotle understood that fact for motion in a hypothetical void. Kind of a pity, because Aristotle described the basics of Newtonian inertial motion as he considered motion in a void. Unfortunately Aristotle rejected the notion of a void for other reasons and considered the sublunary medium to be a lossy medium, which led to the erroneous A-T argument for an unmoved first mover.

What Aristotle did not realize is that space is for motion the functional equivalent of the void, a lossless medium, and all motion is in space. You are in space. Everything is in space.

Inertial motion in a net lossless medium of space disproves the First Way.

Feser did not argue that inertial motion does not disprove the First Way, in the cited paper, most likely because he would have had to employ obviously invalid reasoning in an academic setting, which would have made him look foolish among his peers.

Kevin said...

In the first paragraph of the paper, Feser says Aquinas' First Way of arguing for the existence of God famously rests on the Aristotelian premise that "whatever is in motion is moved by another". Let us call this the "principle of motion".

So, Feser says that the First Way rests on the "principle of motion".

In the last paragraph, he says this principle upon which the First Way rests is not undermined by the Newtonian principle of inertia.

SteveK said...

“Actualization of a potential is a useless conceptual framework”

Then you don’t understand the argument. I have no reason to think your criticism has any relevance.

“Feser told you Aquinas believed in a conjoined mover…”

Feser told everyone, including you, that the Newtonian principle of inertia doesn’t undermine the argument.

StardustyPsyche said...

Kevin,
"In the last paragraph, he says this principle upon which the First Way rests is not undermined by the Newtonian principle of inertia."
That does not mean the First Way is not disproved, it just means that one of the principles upon which the First Way is rests remains not disproved.

"Not undermined" just means "not disproved".

If (m) then (a) is not disproved
(m)
Therefore necessarily (a)

Does that make sense to you?
Are you familiar with invalid versus valid logical structures in deductive arguments?

Kevin said...

That does not mean the First Way is not disproved, it just means that one of the principles upon which the First Way is rests remains not disproved.

And here I thought we were discussing what Feser claimed. Silly me.

StardustyPsyche said...

SteveK,
"Feser told everyone, including you, that the Newtonian principle of inertia doesn’t undermine the argument."
No, he told everyone that the principle of inertia does not disprove (a), that is, moved by another.

Feser never stated that POI did not disprove the First Way, he said the POI did not disprove the POM.

The observation of motion is compatible with both the POI or the POM.
The POI means (not a)
The POM means (a)

Feser said
If (m) then (a) or (not a) --- this is "compatibility"

The first way says
If (m) then (a)
(m)
Therefore (a)

Based on what Feser told us that becomes
If (m) then (a) or (not a)
(m)
Therefore (a)

Which is clearly logically invalid. If Feser had made such an argument he would have appeared foolish to his peers, so he remained silent on the effects compatibility has on the conclusion of the First Way, likely realizing his base would be easily tricked by his silence and their susceptibility to logical fallacies and their inability to identify invalid deductive logical structures.

StardustyPsyche said...

Kevin,
"And here I thought we were discussing what Feser claimed. "
Right, Feser did not claim the conclusion of the First Way is not disproved by inertial motion.

Feser claimed that the observation of motion is compatible with both POI and POM.

That compatibility destroys the logic of the First Way.

For the First Way to be sound there can be no compatibility of motion with POI.

For the First Way to be sound POM must be necessary on the observation of motion, and the POI must be ruled out on the observation of motion.

Silly you indeed.

Kevin said...

The issue is whether Feser claimed something in the paper, not whether Feser was right about what he claimed. And Feser did indeed claim that POI presents no problem to POM, upon which the First Way rests.

He also called mistaken and unfounded the notion that inertia wrecks the argument of the First Way, and at length explained his view how it does not defeat the idea of an Unmoved Mover.

A reasonable person would conclude that Feser claimed, in the paper, that POI does not disprove the First Way. But, to be charitable, perhaps you are again creating and using new definitions of which I am unaware, and holding everyone else to your new standard, and this is the disconnect. In that case, please identify the word and its new definition so I can communicate with you, as common English has clearly not worked.

StardustyPsyche said...

Kevin,
"Feser did indeed claim that POI presents no problem to POM,"
Because his so called "POI" is really just a subset of inertial motion.

On inertial motion as stasis there is a conflict between the POM and inertial motion.

"He also called mistaken and unfounded the notion that inertia wrecks the argument of the First Way, and at length explained his view how it does not defeat the idea of an Unmoved Mover."
False. Feser makes no such explanation.

Feser only discusses one of the initial principles in the First Way.

Feser does not go on to show how the logical argument of the First Way remains valid in the case that inertial motion is the case.

Feser only makes a very narrow and weak definition of POI, which is a subset of inertial motion, and shows that his arbitrary subset is not in conflict with the POM.

At no time does Feser claim or show that inertial motion as stasis (which is what is meant in modern terms by "inertial motion") does not disprove the First Way.

"using new definitions of which I am unaware"
Indeed, Feser creates definitions to suit his verbal slight of hand.

The title of the paper is "The medieval principle of motion and the modern principle of inertia".

He clearly is not setting out to support the First Way, and fails to do so, or lay out any such argument.

Here is his conclusion"
"So, neither the Newtonian principle of inertia nor the existence of material substances which behave in accordance with that principle either undermine the Aristotelian principle of motion or obviate the need to explain the existence and operation of material substances in accordance with the latter principle. Physics provides genuine explanations, but not complete or ultimate explanations. Only metaphysics can do that."

Note, no mention of the First Way.

Kevin said...

Because his so called "POI" is really just a subset of inertial motion.

Irrelevant. He claimed it.

False. Feser makes no such explanation.

I just read it, so clearly he does. Either you didn't read it and are depending on the search tool finding specific phrases, or you have no idea what you read.

Feser does not go on to show how the logical argument of the First Way remains valid in the case that inertial motion is the case.

Nor does he need to in order for you to be wrong about whether he makes a claim.

At no time does Feser claim or show that inertial motion as stasis (which is what is meant in modern terms by "inertial motion") does not disprove the First Way.

He does, in fact, make that claim. I just read it. Clearly you did not read it or you didn't understand what you read.

Indeed, Feser creates definitions to suit his verbal slight of hand.

Why do you complain about others ascribing motivations to you when you do the same thing? Did Anil Seth also change the definition of hypocrisy?

He clearly is not setting out to support the First Way

Wow.

bmiller said...

Kevin,

Looks like you reduced Stardusty to throwing spaghetti on the wall hoping something will stick.