NB: All previous chapters can be found here.
You will note that this chapter is well out of order. It was bound to happen….
In all cultures and throughout all times, man has been searching for God. We see this in traditions stretching from the Far East to the sub-continent to the ancient Greek world; this search was not limited to a small tribe located on a speck of land in the far eastern Mediterranean.
Plato’s disembodied Form of the Good became embodied through Aristotle. Christianity is unique in that it has given us the living example of this embodied Form of the Good, in Jesus. But this was long after Aristotle. What was it that Aristotle saw?
Aristotle offers the unmoved-mover. A is in motion because B has moved it, which is in motion because C has moved B...and so on. At some point there must be something that is not moved by something else – the unmoved-mover.
Such a mover could not act as an efficient cause, because that would involve a change in itself, but it can act as a final cause—an object of love—because being loved does not involve any change in the beloved.
Aristotle is prepared to call the unmoved mover “God.” The life of God, he says, must be like the very best of human lives.
I am not so sure about this. With the embodied Form of the Good – Jesus – from a human perspective we cannot say that He lived the very best of human lives. But maybe this says something about the wrong-headedness of our human perspectives; maybe it says something about what should be our proper ends and purposes.
To further develop Aristotle’s thought:
…Aristotle believed an entity to be most fulfilled and loved when it is actualizing its potential. This would seem to imply that the unmoved mover is constituted by eternal love, wisdom and fulfillment.
Is this starting to sound familiar? It indeed begins to sound like an explanation for the existence of a God. And sure enough, Aristotle does make reference to a God as the unmoved mover within Metaphysics.
Many sources will flatly state that Aristotle’s concept has been disproven – requiring stars and planets to feel love, etc. I am not so sure. There was a time that wind and breath were synonymous; even today, a new wind is taken as sign of a coming change – think of your reaction to such a scene in a movie. How would the wind “know” of a coming change? Why do we react as if the wind does know?
Motion and emotion come to us from the same place:
Motion: from Latin motionem (nominative motio) "a moving, a motion; an emotion," from past-participle stem of movere "to move" (from PIE root *meue- "to push away").
Emotion: from Latin emovere "move out, remove, agitate," from assimilated form of ex "out" (see ex-) + movere "to move" (from PIE root *meue- "to push away").
The idea that physical science is the end-all of proof is failing, it is losing support. It was born in the Renaissance and took full fruit in the Enlightenment and it is dying in the meaninglessness of the West – its death blow came in 1914, and its limp body will soon be a corpse.
In any case, anything Aristotle offered regarding God would inherently be imperfect. We have, in the meantime, been offered the perfect.
Aristotle’s unmoved-mover is constituted by eternal love, wisdom, and fulfillment. We have seen this in the life of Christ. This should answer the question of the end, or purpose, for humans: love, wisdom, fulfillment. We know the attributes of love, from 1 Corinthians 13. Paul concludes this:
11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Libertarianism without a proper foundation under it is like the thought of a child; for liberty, we must put such ways behind us.