Infinite Regression is a term that has come up in the Evolution/Intelligent Design debate. Reason Y is given. You would think that the decay of particles and increase of entropy in a system would be a micrcosmic example of the same process at a macrocosmic scale.. and yet the concept of a pure nothingness is senseless. If the truth of a premise P1 is proven by premise P2, and the truth of premise P2 is proven by premise P3, and this pattern continues without being resolved, this is infinite regress. Reason Y is given. This seemingly impossible regression is considered a fallacy when it means that the believer must then have an infinite number of ideas in his head; yet only God is said to be that infinite, so can it be true or is it a real fallacy? It looks like physics will actually get more fundamental than this, but the logic is the same; why is the ToE or GUT true? This seemingly impossible regression is considered a fallacy when it means that the believer must then have an infinite number of ideas in his head; yet only God is said to be that infinite, so can it be true or is it a real fallacy? However, there came a time when the creationist asked, "And what convinces you of that?" god. Some people saythat Intelligent Design is an example of infinite regression. Infinite regress of homunculus. The ‘infinite regress’ argument posits that we cannot have an infinite amount of preceding events or causes. If the reasons count as knowledge, they must themselves be justified with reasons for the reasons, and so on, ad infinitum. The cosmological argument, according to Edwards, commits the fallacy of composition because it assumes that because each part of the universe is caused that therefore the universe as a whole must have a cause, but that doesn't take into account the possibility of an infinite regress of events. A secularist can never rationally say that he or she knows anything. Infinite regressions are possible in reality. Go to 1:15.That's how I just said "exxxxactly" when I read that, James. If there is a first cause, that event necessarily must come from itself or from nothing in order to break the chain. So the refutal goes: What caused God?! It is a relevant in the discussion of Kalam. In folklore and in literature, homunculus often refers to a miniature fully-formed human. *(This fact is equivalent to the fact that the universe is mathematically describable. What does REGRESSION FALLACY mean? So the creationist again asked for the proof of the proof. This turns out the be the case, though in a somewhat interesting manner. For if we have an infinite amount of preceding events then we can never get to where we are now, that there must ultimately be a ‘first cause’ or ‘prime mover’. The universe naturally expands and contracts only to expand again. Logical Form: Phenomenon X needs to be explained. Proof of Infinite Regression's Fallacy The starting guess is that infinite regression is a contradiction, and like all contradictions assuming it is true results in finding that you can use it to prove anything. In other words, there was no proof of the proof. 1 A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. a simpler example would be: what created the universe? For if we have an infinite amount of preceding events then we can never get to where we are now, that there must ultimately be a ‘first cause’ or ‘prime mover’. And that brings us to the wholly unsupported assertion that infinite regression of causes is even a fallacy at all. An infinite regression is when we use one premise to infer another premise, and then we repeat that ad … Re: Infinite Regression by GreatandWiseTrixie » Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:11 am For this discussion, universe means the collection of galaxies we call "the universe" This fails to account for natural fluctuations. Alias: The Regressive Fallacy 1 Taxonomy: Logical Fallacy > Informal Fallacy > Non Causa Pro Causa > The Regression Fallacy Etymology: To "regress" is to go back, or revert to an earlier or more primitive state. then what created god? Well, it just is. Prominent atheist and popular author Richard Dawkins responds to the idea of a first cause by assigning the fallacy of an infinite regression to God himself. Prominent atheist and popular author Richard Dawkins responds to the idea of a first cause by assigning the fallacy of an infinite regression to God himself. File:Infinite regress of homunculus.png. The important thing here is that it's being claimed that asserting there is an infinite number of explanatory events is inherently fallacious – in particular this preacher asserted that it's a "vicious infinite regress," which I can only satisfactorily define as a regression that posits new explanations to account for a cause, explanations that themselves require explanations. We must prove that the proof is true before using the proof to prove that the conclusion is true. The Logical Fallacy of Infinite Regress / Homunculus Argument occurs when an argument forms an endless loop of dependent premises, never reaching a premise that can stand as true on its own. The argument that infinite regression into eternity past would never allow us to arrive at the present kind of sounds silly. 8. Infinite regress: Saying that infinite (without a beginning) number of past events must be concluded before any thing leaves the realm of existence leads to infinite regress. They can never rationally claim that there are laws of logic or laws of nature. The regression (or regressive) fallacy is an informal fallacy. We don’t try […] Infinite regress is one of the many smokescreens that are used to cover the fact that the reasoning is based on one of the three fallacies of Agrippa's trilemma. [6]:212,216,242,252,279, Argument from oh bloody hell that was years ago, Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur, Affirmative conclusion from a negative premise, Negative conclusion from affirmative premises, https://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Infinite_regress&oldid=2183521, ∴There does not exist a number that is infinite. . Infinite Regression versus Causality Because infinite regression is a fallacy, the fact that quantum mechanics isn't entirely deterministic should be completely unsurprising. Infinite regression in itself is not a fallacy. The Logical Fallacy of Infinite Regress / Homunculus Argument occurs when an argument forms an endless loop of dependent premises, never reaching a premise that can stand as true on its own. Whenever a logical fallacy is committed, the fallacy has its roots in Agrippa's trilemma. This creator must be complex in order to have created something complex. 'Traversing' is the act of counting. Infinite Regression is a term that has come up in the Evolution/Intelligent Design debate. (This is what the argument is postulating). Despite that, the response to this is an example of special pleading: creationists assert that every being needs a cause, but God is an eternal presence which did not need a cause. It can't be infinite because that would create an infinite regression of causation, which is a fallacy and therefore impossible, which leaves us with a finite universe that needs a cause. It is too large a leap from First Cause or Prime Mover to God. Idea of 'internal viewer' generates infinite regress of internal viewers.. The creationist answered again. We must prove that the proof is true before using the proof to prove that the conclusion is true. Example #1: Bert: How do eyes project an image to your brain? It assumes that something has returned to normal because of corrective actions taken while it was abnormal. An erroneous interpretation of regression towards the mean as being caused by something other than chance. So the argument goes: Everything has a cause, so the universe therefore must have a cause. Ix) reads "there exists an x such that x is a number and x is infinite," and is a supposition for the sake of argument. Another little man inside his head. This is the point where the theists respond "God is infinite, he wasn't created." Given the definitions of the terms and the logical validity of the argument, Aristotle concluded that there exist no infinite numbers. When asked why he believed in evolution, the evolutionist gave a good concise answer. So, if a number is countable, then counting the individual parts and finally reaching the number is traversing, which means the number is traversable. Because by definition infinite series of past events cannot be concluded (it doesnot end). The homunculus argument is a fallacy arising most commonly in the theory of vision.One may explain (human) vision by noting that light from the outside world forms an image on the retinas in the eyes and something (or someone) in the brain looks at these images as if they are images on a movie … This argument is often used against the ideas of creationism and intelligent design. (b) The Fallacy of Infinite Regression (c) The Fallacy of Composition 2 Hume attacking the link between causes and effects (a) You cannot see the link between causes and effect but we assume it based on what we have observed to happen in our past experience (b) Habit makes us link cause and effect together The evolutionist again gave a seemingly logical answer, but one that didn't prove the premises. The fallacy is a causation fallacy and an informal fallacy. Many of you, I think, I have heard of the argument against infinite regression. Without Divine revelation, neither logic nor math can be known. Aristotle regarded numbers as made up of composite parts. I don't think that that alone proves or disproves the existence of God. It is frequently a special kind of the post hoc fallacy Explanation. Do you think the fallacy of infinite regress proves there is an uncaused cause? Thus this "creator" must have … Causal infinite regress is featured in the uncaused cause and cosmological argument. Whether referring to the origins of the universe or any other regressive context, the answer simply moves the question back into infinite regress rather than answering it. It occurs in some philosophical concepts and is sometimes considered an unwanted or absurd implication. An infinite regress is where the validity of one proposition (A) depends on the validity of another (B), and the validity of B depends on C, infinitely down the line. Infinite regress definition is - an endless chain of reasoning leading backward by interpolating a third entity between any two entities. We don’t play mind games between the proof and the conclusion. It reminds me of the anecdote illustrating the infinite regression fallacy. And there is no end to it. Just because. The simplification of the argument is the following: Anything complex must have been created by something with intelligence. Source: Aristotle refers to the impossibility of an infinite regress in his proof of the unmoving mover (Physics, 8.1). An infinite regress is an infinite series of occurrences or concepts. The argument is based on many unsupported premises relating to free will, consciousness, animacy, being alive, having a nervous system, and existing, and their relationship to rights (right to ___ needs to … No evidence for this has ever been presented for peer review, or critical analysis of any kind. Infinity is a logical fallacy. This statement does not involve an infinite regress because being preceded by an event is not a necessary condition for being an event. This is the wrong way around. OK, … This does hold in a Secularist worldview. Whether all things must have a "first cause" or not, is a subject of debate. G. E. Moore maintained that "good" is an indefinable primitive, especially that it cannot be defined as something in the natural world, such as Bentham's pleasure, Mill's utility, the evolutionary theorists's survival, or even life itself.To identify good with something natural is called Moore's naturalistic fallacy. We don’t add unproven claims on the way to the conclusion, and the premise must prove that the conclusion is true. Whether all things must have a "first cause" or not, is a subject of debate. If the truth of a premise P1 is proven by premise P2, and the truth of premise P2 is proven by premise P3, and this pattern continues without being resolved, this is infinite regress. 3. . But since infinite regression is a fallacy, the chain of causation must stop at the most basic levels. So, even if your opponent could establish (which he cannot) that infinite regression of causes is a fallacy (take a look at this list of fallacies), he cannot reject the conclusion that the universe could be infinite as impossible. This cause is God. Infinite regress is one of the many smokescreens that are used to cover the fact that the reasoning is based on one of the three fallacies of Agrippa's trilemma. It's a fallacy because it is begging the question that is to say that it is a circular argument. (b) Explain in your own words the problem with using the idea of infinite regression to criticise the Cosmological argument Challenges to the Cosmological Argument—Ways 1 & 2 This isn't an infinite regress. Infinite regression is one of the three possible invalid basis for secularist thinking, the other two are circular reasoning and assumption. Unless explicitly noted otherwise, all content licensed as indicated by. Some have claimed that only logic and math can be known without Divine revelation; however, that is not true. An infinite regression follows the form: P 1 causes Q 1; Q 2 causes P 1; P 3 causes Q 2; Q 4 causes P 3; And so on, forever An infinite regress arises when we ask what are the justifications for the reasons themselves. Those, my friend, are the questions of questions. If it ends then it is a contradiction of terms. An example that has been used to explain the problem is that of the soldier waiting for orders to fire. Because by definition infinity does not end. Phenomenon X needs to be explained. Explore discussion on the topic - Is the paradox of infinite regress a fallacy? An infinite universe dissolves this causal regression The second ring of the doorbell could just as well have been … Ernie: Think of it as a … This raises the question of what set the original chain in motion--in short, what was the "first cause." If the reasons count as knowledge, they must themselves be justified with reasons for the reasons, and so on, ad infinitum. Some people saythat Intelligent Design is an example of infinite regression. This creator must be complex in order to have created something complex. The "Turtles all the way down" anecdote illustrates a popular example of infinite regress: The term "homunculus" first appeared in Paracelsus' writing on alchemy, De Natura Rerum (1537),[3] referring to what later became known as sperm after the invention of the microscope. This series of numbers could continue positively and negatively forever. For example, in mathematics we can think of a series of numbers without end: …–3,–2,–1,0,1,2,3 . Whenever a logical fallacy is committed, the fallacy has its roots in Agrippa's trilemma. An infinite regression is a proposed chain of causation in which each purported cause itself requires another event of exactly the same type to cause it. A frequently quoted example reported in 1973 by the Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman (born 1934) and Amos Tversky (1937–96) comes from the experience of flying instructors. Science is also limited to the pragmatic because of the weakness on human reasoning, which is known as Agrippa's trilemma. That it is a logical fallacy does not mean X or Y is not true. An infinite regression results when one asserts that a given event caused another, and yet that first event requires another, identical event, to cause it. This series of numbers could continue positively and negatively forever. G. E. Moore maintained that "good" is an indefinable primitive, especially that it cannot be defined as something in the natural world, such as Bentham's pleasure, Mill's utility, the evolutionary theorists's survival, or even life itself.To identify good with something natural is called Moore's naturalistic fallacy. An infinite regress arises when we ask what are the justifications for the reasons themselves. so it is tempting to apply the explanation to itself. Yes. This example is a true story. This is what he means by 'countable'. Objection: The Fallacy of Infinite Regression. The point of infinite regression is … This problem is known as Agrippa's trilemma. 1 Example; 2 Explanation; 3 See also; 4 External … There is no a-priori reason why an infinite regress cannot occur. Whether all things must have a "first cause" or not, is a subject of debate. Now, 'countable' and 'traversable' need to be defined. . Then, he blurted out, "I guess I'm making the whole thing up.". It's embarrassing. He suggests that God is part of the chain, so he would need to be part of an infinite regression. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and … Reason Y depends on phenomenon X. This turns out the be the case, though in a somewhat interesting manner. These three possibilities are infinite regression, circular reasoning, or axiomatic thinking. Homunculus fallacy. That's the real question. a fallacy in which the argument proposes an explanation, but the mechanism proposed stands just as much in need of explanation as the original fact to be explained — and indeed it stands in need of the same kind of explanation. This is why Aquinas rejects the idea of infinite regress, as he believes, that something must have set the whole chain of reactions off, for example something has to push the first domino for the chain reaction to start, and this being for Christians is the unmoved mover or in other terms God. One example of a viciously infinite regression arises in intelligent design creationism, which states that there are problems in the theory of Darwinian evolution by natural selection which can only be resolved by invoking a designer or first cause without proposing a solution to the immediate question, "Who designed the designer?" You could say another god ad infinitum, which is essentially what the regressive explanation for the origin of the universe does. (see Agrippa's Trilemma). The creationist asked for the reason that the evolutionist thought that the premise of his answer was true. so it is tempting to apply the explanation to itself. This went on for over an hour, which a tribute to this evolutionist. Proof of Infinite Regression's Fallacy The starting guess is that infinite regression is a contradiction, and like all contradictions assuming it is true results in finding that you can use it to prove anything. Contents. An infinite regression is a proposed chain of causation in which each purported cause itself requires another event of exactly the same type to cause it.. @solacyon please note that the comments section is not for discussion. If unsupported assertion, infinite regression, or circular reasoning were the only three options, no matter which of these three are chosen, nothing can be known. He states, “They [cosmological arguments] make the entirely unwarranted assumption that God himself is immune to the regress.” 1. 1 An example 2 Another Example: Who created the creator? In a similar … Moore's naturalism has much in common with that of David Hume. We don’t try […] Logical Fallacy of Infinite Regress / Homunculus Argument, The Logical Fallacy of Unsubstantiated Inference, Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Worldview / Appeal to Fake-Reality / Appeal to Paradigm / Appeal to Confirmation Bias, Fantasy Projection / Worldview Projection / Fake-Reality Projection / Paradigm Projection / Context Projection, The Logical Fallacy ofAmazing Familiarity, Stolen Concept Fallacy / Smuggled Concept Fallacy, Logical Fallacy of Proof by Theoretical Stories, The Logical Fallacy of Anecdotal Evidence Presented as Scientific Evidence / Personal Testimony Presented as Scientific Evidence, Logical Fallacy of Dismissing All Personal Testimony, Logical Fallacy of Rewriting History / Have it Your Way, Logical Fallacy of Argument from Personal Incredulity / Personal Belief / Personal Conviction, Logical Fallacy of Argument by Lack of Imagination, Logical Fallacy of Argument by Imagination, The Logical Fallacy of Capturing the Naive / Argumentum ad Captandum / Argumentum ad Captandum Vulgus, Logical Fallacy of Argument from Personal Astonishment, Logical Fallacy of Unintended Self-Inclusion, Logical Fallacy of Proof by Assertion / Proof by Repeated Assertion, Logical Fallacy of Proof by Understatement / Misunderstanding by Understatement, Logical Fallacy of Proof by Logical Tautology, Logical Fallacy of Proof by False Declaration of Victory, Logical Fallacy of Assumption Correction Assumption, False Criteria Fallacy / Fallacy of Questionable Criteria, Logical Fallacy of Cutting Off Discussion / Summary Dismissal, Logical Fallacy of Thought-Terminating Cliche / ClicheThinking, Logical Fallacy of the Perfect Solution / Nirvana Fallacy / Perfect Solution Fallacy / Perfectionist Fallacy, Just In Case Fallacy / Worst Case Scenario Fallacy, Logical Fallacy of Unwarranted Extrapolation, Logical Fallacy of Subjectivity / Relativist Fallacy / Subjectivist Fallacy, Logical Fallacy of Bizarre Hypothesis/Theory / Far-Fetched Hypothesis/Theory, Logical Fallacy of Least Plausible Hypothesis, Logical Fallacy of Extravagant Hypothesis / Complex Hypothesis Fallacy, Logical Fallacy of Privileging the Hypothesis, Logical Fallacy of False Appeal to Heaven / Appeal to Heaven / Gott Mit Uns / Manfest Destiny / Special Covenant, Logical Fallacy of Hedging / Having Your Cake / Failure to Assert / Diminished Claim / Failure to Choose Sides / Talking out of Both Sides of Your Mouth / If by Whiskey, Preacher's "We" / Salesman's "We" / Politician's "We" Fallacy, Logical Fallacy of Argument from Hearsay / Telephone Game / Chinese Whispers / Anecdotal Evidence / Volvo Fallacy, Logical Fallacy of Ad Hoc Rescue / Ad Hoc Hypothesis, The Logical Fallacy of Hindsight Bias / Knew-it-all-Along Effect / Creeping Determinism, Logical Fallacy of Continuum / Argument of the Beard / Fallacy of the Beard / Heap Fallacy / Heap Paradox Fallacy / Bald Man Fallacy / Continuum Fallacy / Line Drawing Fallacy / Sorites Fallacy, Logical Fallacy of Argument from Fallacy / Argumentum Ad Logicam, The Logical Fallacy of Reification / Anti-Conceptual Mentality Fallacy / Attributing Concreteness to the Abstract / Concretism / Hypostatization Fallacy / Objectification, Logical Fallacy of Reification / Personification, Logical Fallacy of Superstitious Thinking / Magical Thinking, Appeal to the Untested / Appeal to the Unknown Fallacy, Appeal to Pragmatism Fallacy / Pragmatic Fallacy / Appeal to Convenience / Pragmatism / Appeal to Utility / Argumentum Ad Convenientiam, How can we know anything about anything? 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