Three Mormons and I

Part 15

Another question is whether God the Father presently depends on the one whom he once called God the Father. If not, then is he absolutely autonomous? If so, then he must be Existence Itself. But we have already shown one cannot become existence itself.

So, he must in fact presently depend on the one whom he called God. And that one on the one he called God. And that one on the one he called God. Etc., unto infinity. And in this chain we never get the True God. Now, this picture contradicts reason.

For, when you have a vertical chain of presently-dependent causes, nothing lower in the chain can act unless enabled to act by that upon which it is dependent. Now, a vertical chain of presently-dependent causes is not a temporally sequenced set but a simultaneous series of causes. Here is a picture example: The water is drawn by the vacuum; The plunger draws a vacuum in the pipe (We are speaking of a well of water); the shaft draws the plunger; the lever draws the shaft; the hand draws the lever; the arm draws the hand; the brain draws the arm; the mind draws the brain; etc. This is a series of vertically or simultaneously dependent causes.

Classical philosophy calls this a series of per se ordered causes. Observe that this chain of causes has absolutely no temporal dispersal. It obtains at the same instant. It has nothing to do with father begetting son, with genealogy, etc. This is not a chain in the backward direction.