It would be quite interesting if Aristotle initially had no belief in God, yet assumed God exists, and set out to prove that God existed. Look at the assumptions Aristotle had to make throughout his proof.anonymous66 wrote: ↑January 16th, 2020, 2:07 pmAssuming for the sake of argument that your narrative of how Aristotle changed his views about God is correct (and I'm not convinced it is)- what do you mean by "unimpressive and useless?" The narrative you use suggests that Aristotle changed his view of God from that of merely accepting what his culture believed, to using logic to determine what God must "really be like". Shouldn't we look to see if Aristotle's later view of God (according to your narrative) is coherent and logical? What do you take Aristotle's later view to be? And what, in your estimation, are the problems with that view?
I'm also curious- if Aristotle had no view of God to begin with, and then attempted to formulate a view of God using logic and reason- Does that change anything for you? What would you make of Aristotle's efforts? (What do you make of people have no preconceived notions of God, and then who go on to formulate a view of God using logic and reason?)
First, a Prime Mover who exerts a force of attraction that initiated the causal chains of reality doesn't make sense, because attraction is not what accounts for the motions that we observe. If anything, the evidence suggests that there is a universal force of propulsion/repulsion that exceeds what we would expect to see from gravity or other attractive forces in the universe.
Second, if the function of the Prime Mover is to initialize the causal chains that all motion in the universe is a result of, why assume that God is eternal? After the moment of initialization, God has served his one and only function. Nothing about Aristotle's definition of God requires eternal persistence.
Finally, the conclusion Aristotle implies by his definition of God is that God unintentionally created the universe through its own self-contemplation. How is that a God worth thanking, worshipping, or for that matter believing in? The universe coming into existence by accident is precisely the type of argument theists ridicule atheists for implying. No theist would be impressed by or have any admiration for such a God.
What we see in Aristotle's proof is not starting off with a notion that there was no God. Aristotle believed in God from the onset. However, he was a true philosopher. He recognized that truth can only exist in the realm of possible, and can never be at odds with logic. So all the illogical attributes of God, such as knowledge, wisdom, care for humanity and nature, intention, intervention, creativity, etc are stripped away, and what remains is a God no theist had any desire to adopt.