The Metaphysics of Theism

Print ISBN 9780199246533, 2001 pp. [101]-[105]

being. In other words, I'm supposing, for the sake of argument G6, that there actually is a beginningless series of dependent beings generated by earlier dependent beings. I'll call that series S. Theories of biological, geological, and cosmological evolution have given us good reasons to think that the uncountably many concurrent generatively causal series of dependent beings tend to converge as they are traced back in time, that these series branch only in one 'direction'—from past to future. For simplicity's sake I will suppose that we are dealing with just one many-branched causal series S, in which can be found the answer to Q1 for

any and every dependency existent thing to which Q1 applies.

23 This sort of convergence is at least in keeping with an Aristotelian proposition Aquinas invokes as an unsupported premiss in 18.147: 'Prior to every multitude [of things some] unity must be found.'

S contains the hypothetical^ beginningless history of the natural world.

But Q1 obviously couldn't apply to the series S itself, because, by hypothesis, S never came into existence. If S itself is in some respect a dependently existent being, it isn't a doubly dependent being as I've been using that designation, because the question 'What explains S's having come into existence?' has no application.

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