The universe has to be either finite or infinite. It can’t be infinite because that would create an infinite regression of causation, which is a fallacy and therefore impossible, which leaves us with a finite universe that needs a cause.

Is an infinite regress of causes possible?

The mere existence of an infinite regress by itself is not a proof for anything. So in addition to connecting the theory to a recursive principle paired with a triggering condition, the argument has to show in which way the resulting regress is vicious.

Is infinite regress a fallacy?

The fallacy of Infinite Regress occurs when this habit lulls us into accepting an explanation that turns out to be itterative, that is, the mechanism involved depends upon itself for its own explanation.

Can there be an infinite chain of causes?

4. A chain of causes cannot be infinite. effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes; all of which is plainly false. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.

Why is infinite regress absurd?

Suppose that every finite and contingent being has a cause, and that every cause is a finite and contingent being. This yields a regress that is absurd. Hence: it is not the case that every cause is a finite and contingent being. There must be a first cause which is not finite or contingent, namely God.

What is infinite regress example?

For example, the statement “S is true” entails the infinite regress, (1) S is true; (2) (S is true) is true; (3) «S is true) is true) is true, etc. For it is impos- sible for (1) to be true and (2) to be false; it is impossible for (2) to be true and Page 14 216 Claude Gratton (3) to be false, etc.

What is a vicious infinite regress?

A vicious infinite regress occurs when an explanation is offered to solve some problem (e.g. in philosophy) and the very same problem recurs within the proposed explanation (though, at first, this defect might not be obvious).

Does Aquinas believe in infinite regress?

Thomas Aquinas often wielded the idea of an infinite regress in his theological and philosophical treatises. In the famous Five Ways, the notion of the impossibility of a regress of events or operations plays a key role in each of the first three proofs for God’s existence.

What does the author mean by the term infinite regression vicious circle in this passage?

What does the author mean by the terms ‘infinite regress’ or ‘vicious circle’ in this passage? A. Certain matters of fact and certain principles of inference should not stand in need of extraneous evidence.

What is the first premise of the skeptical regress argument?

In epistemology, the regress argument is the argument that any proposition requires a justification. However, any justification itself requires support. This means that any proposition whatsoever can be endlessly (infinitely) questioned, resulting in infinite regress.

What is Aquinas argument on infinite regress?

First, he argues, an infinite regress of motion, where one thing is moved by another, is impossible, and such a chain of motion must originate with a first mover. Second, an infinite regress of changes, where one thing is caused by another, is impossible, and such a chain of causes must originate with a first cause.

What does Aquinas reject in the first three ways?

Aquinas holds that the series at issue in the first three ways all have an ordering of ontological dependence or causality between every member such that each member is dependent on all the prior members for being the sort of cause that it is.

What is the epistemic regress problem?

The epistemic regress problem is an epistemological problem. Epistemology is the study of knowledge and related notions: the study of how and even whether we can have evidence- providing reasons for belief. The regress problem poses a problem about how and even whether we can have evidential support for propositions.

Is Foundationalism possible without regress?

Foundationalism is false; after all, foundational beliefs are arbitrary, they do not solve the epistemic regress problem, and they cannot exist without other (justified) beliefs.

What is the purpose of radical skepticism?

Radical skepticism (or radical scepticism in British English) is the philosophical position that knowledge is most likely impossible. Radical skeptics hold that doubt exists as to the veracity of every belief and that certainty is therefore never justified.

What is the difference between Foundationalism and Coherentism?

Foundationalism claims that our empirical beliefs are rationally constrained by our non‐verbal experience. Non‐verbal experience is caused by events in the world. Coherentism suggests that empirical beliefs are rationally constrained only by other, further empirical beliefs.

Does coherentism solve the epistemic regress problem?

Epistemic coherentism provides a solution to the regress problem that is most popular among contemporary philosophers.

What is coherentism justification?

According to the coherence theory of justification, also known as coherentism, a belief or set of beliefs is justified, or justifiably held, just in case the belief coheres with a set of beliefs, the set forms a coherent system or some variation on these themes.