Existence in God and creatures

-How does STA start with “existence” as said of the things around him, prove that God exists from it, and then say that “existence” doesn’t mean the same thing when said of both?

-Analogy! Right? But it would be odd to prove that there is a light of the intellect by starting with EM wave light. If I guy knew both existed he could compare them and perhaps see the fitness of the analogies we use to explain them, but there is no way to prove that one analogue exists because another does.

The objection breaks down if we use the analogy from accident to substance. But how are we visualizing God if we take him in this way?

-The universal testimony of mysticism* is that in the fullest awareness of self it is also true that the opposition of self and other falls away. This requires that what is most substantial in us is also what is most substantial in everything, while at the same time being distinct in such a way as to allow for the real existence of multiplicity.

-We can argue, as Carroll does, that metaphysics has to follow physics but this doesn’t go far enough. It has to follow all of our experience – mystical included. The aporia of the one and the many is an attempt to resolve the problem by “reason” alone apart from this sort of experience, and the problem of how there can be an order of causes without eliminativism or reductionism is just one variant of this problem.

Variant from metal health/ ethics. If there is no ultimate union between self and other that preserves the distinction of both, then narcissism is self-improvement.

-Consider these analogues of “the tire moves”:

a.) The tire moves because the axle moves it

b.) The tire moves because the driver’s skill (or the program Google wrote) moves it.

c.) The tire moves because kinetic energy moves it.

The interaction problem is a failure to think past (a), and if we didn’t use the “interaction!”as a taxicab against the soul we would see it made physical theory impossible too. (cf. Brandon).

-Unless the physicist wants to say that kinetic energy needs kinetic energy to move, which in turn needs kinetic energy to move ad infinitum, he’s appealing to exactly what STA calls equivocal causality, and such energy “moves” and “acts” or “changes states” by analogy.

-If the whole point of physics is “to unify multiplicity to unity” or “to maximally compress experience to simple law” then the whole point of physics is to find universal or equivocal causes and, if there is more than one, to find the one most primary and fundamental.

*You can even have a scientific presentation of it, if that’s your thing.



  1. Jeremy Daggett said,

    June 18, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    I have voiced the very objection you state. But I don’t think you address it in the way I conceived it. Look at it this way.
    It’s all good to get the doubter to believe, but then you come out and say, “Oh, btw, *exist*, *mover* and every other predicate I just used in my argument is not applied to God and creature the same.” The newly converted skeptic may very well think he’s just been had and be quite upset that you let him in on the little secret that the whole argument has trickily employed the fallacy of equivocation, but only after he converted. For analogy is a type of equivocation (obviously it is not a species of univocity… that were impossible!), and if ‘A’ cannot be used univocally all the way through the argument without becoming ‘A-ish’ then you have the so-called 4th term (or 12th or however many terms are used analogically/equivocally).
    Make sense?

    • June 18, 2016 at 9:40 pm

      That’s what I was driving at. We’re both giving Scotus’s objection in different ways.

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