More on Grim Reaper

Wait a second – if it is plausible to have an actually infinite number of things existing at the same time then why couldn’t an actually infinite number of Grim Reapers exist at the same time t0, and be set to go off at some time t1=1/n minute? Wouldn’t an actually infinite number of concrete things existing simultaneously be just as problematic as an actually infinite series of past events?

I need to think about this a little bit more. If so, then the Grim Reaper argument does not help us establish a Kalaam argument, or else at least it seems to imply something stronger: namely that an actually infinite number of concrete individual things cannot exist simultaneously (and one must wonder, if one is a B-theorist, how precisely to qualify ‘simultaneity’).

About tylerjourneaux

I am an aspiring Catholic theologian and philosopher, and I have a keen interest in apologetics. I am creating this blog both in order to practice and improve my writing and memory retention as I publish my thoughts, and in order to give evidence of my ability to understand and communicate thoughts on topics pertinent to Theology, Philosophy, philosophical theology, Catholic (Christian) Apologetics, philosophy of religion and textual criticism.
This entry was posted in Apologetics, Infinities, Natural Theology, Philosophical Theology, Philosophy, Theology and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to More on Grim Reaper

  1. dexekias says:

    Just wondering what the Grim Reaper argument is and the Kaalam argument. I’m interested to hear more.

    • The kalam cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of God which is typically popular in the Muslim tradition, and is more controversial in the Christian tradition. Basically it is an argument which goes something like this: 1) Everything which has a beginning has some cause of it’s beginning to exist. 2) The universe has a beginning. 3) Therefore the universe has a cause of it’s beginning to exist.
      Now, the controversy comes in the second premise, since it isn’t clear that reason is able to demonstrate that the universe has a beginning. Science today seems to indicate precisely that; at least given standard big-bang cosmology. However, this is not strictly satisfactory for the philosopher’s higher standard of proof (since it isn’t a rational proof, and the argument depends on scientific contingency, and could possibly be abandoned as the more widely recognized model, etc). William Lane Craig is one of the Christian philosophers who popularizes the Kalam argument by giving two arguments for the second premise: the first argument is philosophical, and is intended to demonstrate the impossibility of any actual infinity (as opposed to potential infinity), and the second argument is an argument from science (i.e. an argument from Big Bang Cosmology).

      The problem is that most people don’t accept his argument against any actual infinite, because it leads to a number of grave problems (such as the impossibility of any infinite set of true propositions). Alexander Pruss, a Catholic analytic philosopher, tried to establish the second premise of the Kalam without arguing against any actual infinity, but arguing only against an actually infinite series of past events by invoking something he calls the Grim Reaper Paradox. For more on that, read Pruss here:

      Hope that helps point you in the right direction.

  2. Pingback: Grim Reapers, Times and Events | Third Millennial Templar

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