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In the Shaar Yichud of Chovos Halevavos, one of the premises for proving that God exists is that there cannot be an infinite chain of cause/effect hence there must be one Cause which had no previous cause (i.e. God)

Does anyone know the logic behind this? why can't there be an infinite chain of cause/effect?

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Not that it's off topic here, but you might get better answers on Philosophy.SE. They already have some questions on Aristotle's Prime Mover and infinite regression that pertain to this topic. – HodofHod Mar 24 '13 at 1:30

The proposition described resembles the second of five ways in which Thomas Aquinas proves the existence of God in his Summa Theologica, First Part, Second Question, Third Article.

He writes,

The second way is from the nature of the efficient cause. In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go on to infinity, because in all efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate cause, and the intermediate is the cause of the ultimate cause, whether the intermediate cause be several, or only one. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect. Therefore, if there be no first cause among efficient causes, there will be no ultimate, nor any intermediate cause. But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes; all of which is plainly false. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.

I post this because it helps answer your question, because, as I said, the resemblance is unmistakable. I'll refrain from posting any "Christian" links and leave it up to the reader to further investigate on the Internet if they are so inclined.

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