I have from time to time argued that this or that indispensable aspect of our lives presupposes in its partiality and incompleteness the prior exhaustive comprehension and completeness of the eternal divine act, so that absent that act we could not do what we do in fact constantly do. The Pragmatic Argument from Verisimilitude and The Argument from Truth both come to mind. The basic motion of such arguments is this: you can’t get a posteriori partiality or finitude of any sort unless wholeness and infinity have been accomplished a priori. More simply, the a posteriori as such presupposes the a priori, and cannot come to pass without it. No infinity, then no finite thing whatever.
The invaluable Chastek comes now with another version of this argument, which – it being (as is his wont) so succinct as to pucker – I now quote in full:
Hume: Just because the universe came from a mind does not mean it came from an infinite mind.
Objection: A finite mind could account for the universe as a fiction but not as real; but the universe is real, therefore, etc.
Ad minorem: Even an omnipotent mind cannot determine any information that falls outside of the text or script or shot. No degree of textual insight, for example, can tell us on what day of the week Othello killed Desdemona, how many plants they had in their house, whether the floor was covered or with what, whether the killer was right or left handed, ad infinitum. But any detail that a finite mind can know is present to someone who sees a real husband kill his wife. And so if the real proceeds from a mind, it proceeds from one that can determine every possible way that every possible finite mind could consider the details outside of any one account or story. But any mind capable of producing, and therefore accounting for all that can be known by any possible finite mind is not itself finite, therefore, etc.
The first premise might of course seem problematic to some. Why should we think that the universe came from a mind of any sort? This question turns out to be easier than at first it seems, for under the principle nemo dat quod non habet, a thing cannot give rise to another thing utterly unlike itself in any given respect. So, minds can’t be generated by mindless stuff. Minds can’t “emerge” from “mindless” stuff if they aren’t in it to begin with – so that, after all, it is not truly mindless stuff.
The universe has minds, so it must have come from something that has mind. Whatever else we may or may not say about the cause of this world, then, we may say that it is a mind, or rather is mindful.
Convicted atheists will balk at this sort of thing, of course. But not for any reason good enough to warrant their doing so (Romans 1:18-23).