Saturday, October 19, 2013

Common Misconceptions

Here are common misconceptions about Aristotle's proof for the existence of God, based on the fact that motion exists.

Misconception 1: The Big Bang theory completely discredits this proof.

We can confidently say that the Big Bang is the source of all motion in the known universe.  However, Aristotle's questions about motion still apply here.  Namely, what set the Big Bang in motion?

Modern science has no definitive answer to that question.  Therefore, Aristotle would continue to conclude that there must be an immobile mover responsible for movement.

Misconception 2: Aristotle proved the existence of a creator god.

No, Aristotle proves the existence of a god, who is the source of all movement.  Aristotle did not believe in a creator god, because he though the world exists forever.  Those two notions of God were separate in Aristotle's mind.

As a side note, when St. Paul preached in Athens (the town where Aristotle lived for many years), he made the connection between "God as creator" and "God as source of all movement".  Specifically, he said, "The God who made the world and all that is in it...gives to everyone life and breath and everything...In him we live and we move and we have our being" (Acts 17:24-8, emphasis mine).

Misconception 3: The primary mover only caused movement once.

Aristotle's proof shows that there is a god, who is the source of all movement.  This god is responsible for the first movement, ever.  However, Aristotle did not believe this was a one-time thing.  He believed that this god continues to create movement, while remaining unmoved.

Aristotle theorized that each planet has its own unmoved-mover god, who makes the planet move. In part, this is why all the planets in our solar system are named after Greek gods.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I take issue with this because Aristotle is basically saying, “we don’t know, therefore God did it.” That’s illogical. It is essentially the simplest possible explanation for everything that happens in the universe - why bother with complex equations, evidence or anything, when “Goddidit” will, in one word, sufficiently explain everything in the known universe? It’s true, we don’t know what the catalyst for the Big Bang was, right NOW, but 500 years from now, maybe we will. We used to not understand gravity either, and “Goddidit” was used then too. I’m sorry but it’s a lazy man’s answer. Why can’t we just say, “We don’t know at this time,” instead of making ideas up and trying to fit a round peg into a square hole?

Goddidit said...

God Did It

Anonymous said...

Anonymous@10:21 is, "We don't know at this time" an even lazier man's answer. Think about it, we don't know at this time, why don't they know at this time; should they not be trying to learn why whatever it is they are talking about happened. An answer, no matter how credible you think it is, is better than none

Vast Universe said...

Perhaps this is when we have to keep an open mind to all possibilities.

Anonymous said...

Honestly? We wouldn’t even have a concept like the Big Bang if people didn’t question instead of just putting answers in. What was it before the Big Bang? God did it. God created the world. End of story, not more need to question. Now, we know at least a part of how the universe happened because we question and learned, and we are still learning. I’m sorry if you think answers will just happened out of thin air without working for them, but they don’t. The Super Collider in Switzerland was built, in part, to understand why the Big Bang happened. Do they have a definite answer? No, but they are WORKING on it. Nobody is stopping the experiment to say, “God did it, everyone. Go home.” They are trying to find the answer, and maybe one day they will. Until then, they aren’t going to declare an answer without support just to have a place holder

James said...

@Annoymous 11:15

So, if any answer is better than none, it's okay to say that the Flying Spaghetti Monster created everything with his Holy Noodle? It's better than no answer, right, and just as credible?

William D said...

+ Where did the stuff that went "bang" come from? :P

Vast Universe said...

I think it's interesting how people are so attached to their version of God. Are we defining a specific "true" God (which is highly subjective), or are we considering the essence of a God from a more abstract perspective? If we continue to discuss any version of God doing something or anything- it might help to think of this in more abstract and objective manner (rather than getting all preachy and/or passive aggressive in the comments).

Anonymous said...

Y'all should read 'Calculating God'. Short book. It's not a textbook, it's a story. Interesting read, though maybe not very informative. It argues on the side of there being a God, but a different God than Christians are used to.

Anonymous said...

""We don't know at this time" an even lazier man's answer. Think about it, we don't know at this time, why don't they know at this time; should they not be trying to learn why whatever it is they are talking about happened. An answer, no matter how credible you think it is, is better than none"

Are you serious?? You don't think science is an ongoing thing? Science does not stop. Scientists have never paused their research trying to understand the universe.

Whether or not it's a lazier answer, it's a more objective, MORE OPEN-MINDED answer. You do NOT state a conclusion until you have enough evidence. We do not have enough evidence, therefore we are not giving an answer. YET.

Anonymous said...

Guys, seriously quit arguing about it will never truly know until it's the end of time.

William D said...

Ahh, words of wisdom xD