Friday, November 2, 2012

A Defense of Classical Theism #10: Causal Regularity as a Sign of Intelligence

In part 8, we saw that something that is purely actual must be intelligent because it is the basis of all facts and things that occur. More accurately, something purely actual is knowledge itself, rather than merely having knowledge like we do. But this might feel a bit unsatisfactory, so there are two more arguments for the intelligence of the purely actual being we are calling "God." We'll take a look at one of them in this post.

Remember from post 1, we saw that there must be causal regularity in the universe in order for science to proceed. Not only that, but something must have it's effect by it's very nature, which means that it points to that effect even if that effect is never realized. That is to say:

  • Cause A points to effect B, even if B is never in fact realized.

So what we can say is that things act for an end. That is, they "point to" or "aim" at specific ends or goals. They don't arrive at those goals by chance, because then they would sometimes have that effect or goal, but sometimes some other effect. In other words, there wouldn't be causal regularity. So if not by chance, then these things must be directed to their ends by intelligence

But many of these things are not intelligent. The rock always moves towards the greatest mass, but the rock is not intelligent and thus not consciously trying to do that.

So there must be an intelligence located somewhere else that directs these things to their ends.

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