A False Inference About

A False Inference About Infinite Regress

We prove the existence of God By showing the impossibility of certain things having an infinite regress (Motion, causality, contingency…etc.)

One of the most common inferences from this is that God’s causality in things must be very far away. After all, we are only sure that the causes are not infinite How many are there then? Billions?

When I was discussing this proof with a class yesterday, everyone in the class was quietly convinced that this God, even if he existed, must be very far away. If God acted on the here and now, he only did so with a very long pair of fire tongs, or through a universe of middle men.

But this is to profoundly misunderstand the proof. If we actually follow out lines of causality are probably not more than five intermediate causes between any action or being and God (very often there are none). All things which reduce to some natural motion or desire are in immediate contact with the Divine causality, for nature is nothing other than an openness to be moved by the divine mind in a certain way.

This is only to say that if there are intermediate causes, there usually are not many between the first and the final. To deny an infinite regress is not to assert an immense one.
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