why is infinite regress impossible

I've reworded a question I submitted earlier which was never selected. Is it because according to quantum mechanics things at the subatomic world do not have causes? Aquinas does not explain why there cannot only be secondary causes. But if you agree that i have proven that an infinity cannot be reached, then you must agree that we couldn’t possibly have reached an infinite number of events in actual reality, so what sense does it make to say there is an actually infinite past? The problem is that each prior reason is not really sufficient unto itself. Powered by Discourse, best viewed with JavaScript enabled, : The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. There’s an infinite number of infinitely small discrete steps within a finite period of time, thus implying infinite series of secondary causes within that same finite amount of time. Because there is no such thing as an actually infinite number of something. Of course, if that is done, then eternalism as a whole collapses, since all “events” in the cosmos suddenly fall into normal time sequences with the past no longer existing and the future not yet existing, even though absolute simultaneity for spatially separated events is still denied. The regress ends in self-evident truths, the axioms of geometry, for example (Foundationalist view) Aquinas rejected it because it is a flaw. Infinite regress is impossible because infinity is an irrational term when appled to a finite universe. To speak of an an actually infinite quantity or number is to speak of something that is made of finite parts or irreducible points that add up to an actual infinite. Whether the intermediate causes are limited or unlimited in number, they cannot alone explain the causal process that runs through the entire chain. (The reductio ad absurdum technique.) The reason is that an instrumental chain of causes (a chain of sticks used to push a rock) can’t get started by itself. But there is no otherwise. which this leads to infinite regress. But if the series were literally infinite, there ... 4 The infinite regress argument will not, however, work for Humean causes. But that is impossible. In philosophy, the infinite regression phenomenon frequently … We could have infinite intermediate causes, so there is no need for first cause. Sorry, I have to correct myself. Several versions of the Cosmological Argument (Motion and Causality) make it one of their premises that infinite regress is impossible. Again, this is not presented as proof of God’s existence, but merely as proof that an infinite regress among essentially subordinated causes is metaphysically impossible. I’m not familiar with Zeno’s paradox. Aristotle first tackled this problem in his own philosophy, and it had a great influence on St. Thomas Aquinas’ cosmological arguments. He was looking for the *first* cause, something that is 'necessary'. Not unless the assumption that ”in order for something to exist there must be a beginning when it was created” can be demonstrated to be true. For official apologetics resources please visit. If yes then 1/x is an actual infinity. Apologetics. There is no sufficient reason in an infinite chain of causality and there is no need for it so it is meaningless to argue based on it. Infinite regress is the idea of a process going back into the past with no beginning. Explain. Imagine a simple situation in which there exists a first cause and one intermediate cause. Why infinite sum of things is impossible? Infinite regression suggests that the dominoes fell on their own, which is impossible. We can only go back as far as time allows us to go in our known universe. Continue adding intermediate causes, and there is still an invalid causal series if the first cause is removed after each intermediate is added to the chain ad infinitum. That is, since each premise is contingent on some reason, we then require another premise to justify that reason. Why not just conclude the universe as the uncaused cause. But there is no otherwise. Well our known universe had a definite start time. If one looks for the sufficient reason of A, it is not fully in B, since B depends on C to fulfill its own reason. For the sake of argument, a person could disbelieve in the infiniteness of God and still believe that an infinite regress is impossible (and thus use it in proving God's existence). Infinite regress is impossible because infinity is an irrational term when appled to a finite universe. and since finite amounts cannot possibly add up to a point that can be defined as actually infinite it is meaningless to speak of an infinite regress because the addition of numbers only ever allows a potential infinite; never an actual infinite. Solely a first cause that initiates the entire chain can do that – a first cause uncaused. and since finite amounts cannot possibly add up to a point that can be defined as actually infinite it is meaningless to speak of an infinite regress because the addition of numbers only ever allows a potential infinite; never an actual infinite. There is only ever the potentially infinite number. When St Thomas dismissed an infinite regress of causes, he did so, not because he thought there could never be an actual infinity of ‘things’ or ‘events’ (he was much smarter than that); he dismissed it on account of the fact that an infinite series of things, events, causes, or whatever, cannot explain something existing currently. to wit, if god made the universe, then who made god, then who made the maker of … In these cases, an infinite regress argument can show us thatwe have reason to reject a theory, but it is not because the theoryyields a regress per se, but rather because it has this otherbad feature, and the regress has revealed that. Dr. Craig, I cannot thank you enough for your apologetics work. It is infinite otherwise it is bounded with by a boundary and that boundary is bounded by… etc. - Isaiah 1:18. For Plato, infinite regress is an impossibility. Philosophy. Therefore there must be a first cause of everything. The reason philosophy avoids any “infinite regress” is that it leaves us with situations which are redundant, unanswerable, impossible, or useless. 2. Is it possible to reach from 1 to zero? To halve something a potentially infinite amount of times is not the same thing as saying that you have an actually infinite amount of something. The Infinite causal regress is an important issue in dealing with the cosmological argument, especially the Kalam version, and the argument form final cause. He made the point that the big bang theory is the simpler explanation for the origin of the universe and that refutes God's existence. Now, to reconsider that chain of intermediate reasons described above, we see that the same problem arises. Each one leaves some of the needed reason lacking. Can you conceive of an infinite series stretching back in time or forward to the future? This we call "God". There is only ever the potentially infinite number. Gorgias June 28, 2018, 5:01pm The regress is infinite but virtuous. What Is the True Understanding of Causality? This means that any proposition whatsoever can be endlessly (infinitely) questioned, resulting in infinite regress.It is a problem in epistemology and in any general situation where a statement has to be justified. What makes infinite regress impossible? You can have actual infinity. However brief, this summarization provides one of the first contexts for the cosmological argument and its use of infinite regress. Is There a Link Between Atheism and Skepticism? This article assumes the evident truth that real causes produce real physical effects in time, as human beings normally conceive it, that is, with the past no longer existing and the future not yet existing. From a Thomist perspective, an infinite regress of secondary causes is possible. Perspective, an infinite regress is impossible simply by virtue of the first cause ; Therefore C! 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