Friday, June 30, 2017
Note that on the classical theist view of ultimate explanation, there are no inexplicable “brute facts.” Things that require causes require them because they have potentials that need to be actualized and parts that need to be combined. To say of a thing that it has parts and yet lacks any cause which accounts for their combination, or has potentiality yet lacks any cause which actualized that potentiality, would be to make of it a “brute fact.” But that is precisely what the classical theist does not say about the ultimate cause of things. It says instead that, since it is purely actual (and thus devoid of potentials that could be actualized) and absolutely simple (and thus devoid of parts that could be combined), it not only need not have a cause but could not in principle have had one. It, and it alone, has its source of intelligibility in itself rather than in some external cause.