I was asked on Twitter if I can see a false dichotomy in this http://dougbeaumont.org/2011/01/06/does-god-exist-the-vertical-cosmological-argument/

This is an argument that keeps coming up & folk tweet responses but my thoughts don’t fit in a tweet so here’s my ramblings on the topic. 

I see this as a rather futile attempt to “prove” there is a god by a logic that depends upon definitions of the terms.  The key words here are ‘being’ and, not surprisingly, ‘god’.  If we substitute these words the futility is exposed.

  1. A widget exists
  2. Widgets cannot spontaneously come into existence, they have to be “made” by something that came beforehand.
3. If our widget was made by or evolved from another, and so on, where did the first widget come from?
4. Some none-widget-like-process made the first widget
5. I’m calling that “f’narg”
6. What do we know about F’narg? Nothing except it isn’t a widget by definition.  Is it god?  You could call it that, I’ll stick to f’narg; it has NO connotations.  So, we now know exactly what we already did, all this widgety universe started with something and now it has a name, f’narg

But, is it a false dichotomy?  As described, no;  it’s just futile.  But put the words ‘being’, ‘beings’ & ‘god’ in there & there are connotations that change the meaning.  The connotation of sentience and intent; that beings are different to widgets and god is different to f’narg – if you think that then you’re bringing the thought from somewhere else because it doesn’t come from this “logic”.

This “infinite regression” v “a sentient god” is the false dichotomy that theists get stuck on.