Aristotle and Infinity: The Force of God
Aristotle offers a famous argument that has been used to justify the existence of God. This argument is often called “The Unmoved Mover” and goes as follows:
Everything we observe that is in motion was put in motion by something else. If we work backward and follow the series of motion and movement, either this regress will go into infinity or we will arrive at a force/object that set everything into motion that itself was unmoved.
Aristotle argues that there cannot be an infinite regress of motion or “moved movers.” Instead, he argues that the logical answer is that there must be an unmoved mover to set the cosmos into motion.
This unmoved mover has been understood by religious thinkers as God.
But why is it that there cannot be an infinite series of movement going back forever? Of course, we know our universe had a beginning marked by the Big Bang. We can trace the series of motion in our universe back to its creation, but what about before that? We also know that matter can’t be created or destroyed, and that all the matter in the universe was present at the Big Bang. So what happened before the Big Bang? Matter was there; it always existed. Could there have been movement happening prior to the formation of our universe? Perhaps this motion was in another universe that eventually collapsed in on itself, which then expanded outwards to form another universe during the Big Bang. Is it unreasonable to think this process has been happening for eternity?
If this is the case that matter and motion have been around forever, then there can be an infinite series of motion or “moved movers.” Some people might think this challenges the religious idea of God, but I don’t think it does.
If there is a force of motion that has been around literally forever and is responsible for the motion of the entire cosmos, doesn’t this also sound like God? Perhaps infinity as an object is the unmoved mover.
*For those interested in the idea of a universe before the Big Bang that collapsed in on itself and an infinite cycle of universe creation, look into the Big Crunch Theory.