By Averroes, Simon Van Den Bergh
The Incoherence of the Incoherence, Volumes I and II, translated from the Arabic.
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Extra resources for Averroes' Tahafut Al-Tahafut (The Incoherence of the Incoherence) Volumes I and II
But you, reader of this book, you have already heard the arguments of the philosophers to establish the eternity of the world and the refutation of the Ash'arites. Now hear the proofs of the Ash'arites for their refutation and hear the arguments of the philosophers to refute those proofs in the wording of Ghazaliif I say. This is in brief that, if you imagine two circular movements in one and the same finite time and imagine then a limited part of these movements in one and the same finite time, the proportion between I he parts of these two circular movements and between their wholes will be the same.
When we have read the long discussions between the philosophers and theologians we may come to the conclusion that it is sometimes more the formula than the essence of things which divides them. Both philosophers and theologians affirm that God creates or has created the world. For the philosophers, since the world is eternal, this creation is eternal. Is there, however, any sense in calling created what has been eternally? For the theologians God is the creator of everything including time, but does not the term 'creation' assume already the concept of time?
An accidental infinite, not an essential infinite, is admitted by the philosophers; nay, this type of infinite is in fact a necessary consequence of the existence of an eternal first principle. 3 For it is necessary that the series of temporal productions of one individual man by another sho uld lead upwards to an eternal agent, for whom there is no beginning either of his existence or of his production of man out of man. The production of one man by another ad infinitum is accidental, whereas the relation of before and after in it is essential.