Philosophy Lecture Day 12
• The basic idea of the argument from causality is that there must be a first efficient cause:
1. An efficient cause is an agent that brings about change in something else
a. Nothing can be prior to itself
b. An efficient cause in nature is prior to its effect
c. So, no efficient cause in nature is the effect of itself
d. For any effect x in nature x has an efficient cause
e. So, for any effect x in nature there is an efficient cause y that is distinct from x.
f. If there is no efficient cause that is not an effect, then there is an infinite chain of
g. There is no infinite chain of efficient causes.
h. So, there is an efficient cause of an effect in nature that is not itself an effect.
i. An efficient cause that is not an effect is God
j. So, God exists.
• Question: Would God be a form since he is perfect and if forms are perfect the he must be
• Argument of Contingency
a. What is the contingent or might not exist at any time.
b. Suppose everything is contingent.
c. Then it is possible for nothing to exists at all
d. Nothing can come to exist from nothing
e. So, it is possible that nothing ever exists
f. The possibility of nothing ever existing is absurd
g. So, not everything is contingent, and something is necessary.
h. There cannot be an infinite chain of causality by necessary things.
i. So there is a being that is necessary in itself and the cause of all necessity
j. Such a being is God.
k. So, God exists.
• Argument of Governance