Friday, August 16, 2013

An atypical cosmological argument

1. One cannot give what one does not possess. (Premise)

2. Whatever is most fundamental to reality gives intelligence. (Premise)

3. Therefore, whatever is most fundamental to reality possesses intelligence. (From 1 and 2)

The argument is logically valid, so the question remains: are premises (1) and (2) correct?  (1) appears obviously true.  I cannot give someone a million dollars if I don't have a million dollars.  I can envisage premise (2) being challenged by asserting that there is nothing most fundamental to reality.  It's all an infinite regress of smaller and smaller particles.  Still, the whole of these particles would suggest that panpsychism is true.  If this is so, then Naturalism is false.  On the other hand, if there is no infinite regress, or the regress is sustained by Pure Actuality, then theism is true.  Naturalism is even more obviously false on this supposition.

This is one of those arguments I'm not entirely sold on, but I see a lot of intuitive support for it.  It's an argument that I'm presenting to see whether it sticks: whether it passes philosophical muster.


  1. What if there's an infinite regress of intelligent designers?

  2. It's squashed by the argument from change. ;)

  3. Truth is, I think both premises can be reasonably doubted, and that they're in need of some revision. An acquaintance of mine pointed out that he could give himself a black eye, which would undermine (1) as currently stated. I suggested that we revise this premise to something like this:

    1'. One cannot cause something without the power to do so.

    However, I'm not sure how to proceed from there.