Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Plato's Cosmological Argument

A look at Plato's cosmological argument for the existence of God, which can be read here, about a third of the way down the page.

There are two kinds of motion or activity: transmitted, and self-generated. Something can either move itself, or must be moved by something else. Matter is a passive transmitter of motion. An electron, or atom, or molecule...they are all passive recipients and transmitters of motion. These particles must be pushed or pulled by something else, such as other matter or a force, in order to move:

We see matter all around us, and this matter is in motion. Trees are growing, rivers are flowing, birds flying, planets and stars moving and burning, orbiting, electrons orbiting atoms. In other words, activity:

But if everything is a passive transmitter of motion, then there would be no motion. Just like if all there is in a town are passive transmitters of electricity with no source of electricity. A passive transmitter can only transmit, and cannot be a source. If they are transmitting electricity, then there must be a source of electricity:

So the presence of all this activity implies something capable of self-motion, just like the presence of electricity being transmitted implies a power plant. What is capable of self motion? Life. So the source of all this activity must be something:
  • Alive
  • Not material
Or in other words, Soul:

We see "bad" activity, like destruction and strife, so there must be a Soul responsible for these bad and irregular events. And we also see good activity, like the beautiful regularity of the universe in general. Consider how we can rationally investigate the workings of the universe and how it displays astonishing intricacy and regularity:

So on the level of the Universe in general, there must be a good Soul, responsible for the regularity we observe.