Single Idea 16595

[catalogued under 27. Natural Reality / E. Cosmology / 2. Eternal Universe]

Full Idea

If some one of the things 'which are' is constantly disappearing, why has not the whole of 'what is' been used up long ago and vanished away - assuming of course that the material of all the several comings-to-be was infinite?

Gist of Idea

If each thing can cease to be, why hasn't absolutely everything ceased to be long ago?


Aristotle (Coming-to-be and Passing-away (Gen/Corr) [c.335 BCE], 318a17)

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'The Basic Works of Aristotle', ed/tr. McKeon,Richard [Modern Library Classics 2001], p.480

A Reaction

This thought is the basis of Aquinas's Third Way for proving the existence of God (as the force which prevents the vicissitudes of nature from sliding into oblivion).

Related Ideas

Idea 14029 If disappearing things went to nothingness, nothing could return, and it would all be gone by now [Epicurus]