It may seem like a broad claim to say that everything within our experience is mutable, but I don’t think the claim is as broad as it might seem. For instance, does everything within our experience fall within time? If so, this means that it is subject to change and therefore mutable. However, this seems too simplistic a handling of the subject, so let us look at the issue with more depth.
In all of human experience, if we ignore the claims of experiencing God, then everything we have experienced is subject to change of some type. The most obvious experience is matter. In matter we see dirt, we see wood, we see televisions, we see ourselves, and we see everything else. All of what we see is “matter” or “material,” but is manifested in different forms, showing that there is a change within these forms. Some things are bigger than others and all matter can be duplicated, which shows an incomplete nature (or imperfect nature) that is subject to change.
Energy is also mutable within our experience. Some things can have more or less energy. The heat of the water in a bathtub is less than the heat of a nuclear explosion, indicating that a nuclear explosion has more energy built within it than a bathtub. In other words, within material objects, energy is dispersed in degrees. Whereas God is equally over all things (necessarily so and not as a case of special pleading and not in a pantheistic sense), energy can be in something to a different degree. This indicates that energy is mutable because its entire being is found in different degrees.
Even among sentient beings we see change. If a friend goes through a traumatic experience, we might say that he “doesn’t seem himself” after the experience. We get older, our features change, and everything about us changes. Some humans are more intelligent than others, they have a greater degree of goodness, and so on. Thus, in everything we experience, we experience change.
In all that we experience change is ever-present. We age, some of us have a greater degree of intelligent than others, but had to grow in that intelligence. We look at the cosmos and see starts being born and stars dying. We even see how energy is found in different forms and different degrees. Thus, everything we experience changes, meaning everything we experience requires a Creator.
But could we imagine a physical object that does not change? It could certainly be argued that we could picture a rock that has not changed for millions of years. In fact, we could argue that the rock has existed infinitely (ignore the problem of an infinite regress). Though we have not experienced this rock, it does exist and therefore there is a physical object that does not change, which could potentially negate “God” as a necessary conclusion to the Damascene Cosmology.
Such an analogy is problematic for two reasons. For one, material objects are mutable by their nature, so it is impossible to imagine that which must be impossible by nature. Secondly, an immutable physical object could not take part in creation, making it superfluous. But let us explore these two points further:
1) Material objects are mutable by their nature – if we imagine an object S as being immutable, but physical, then we have created a contradiction. If S is physical then let us say it holds property x. Thus we have Sx, but we can further imagine that S could hold the property to a lesser degree while still being S. We could have Sx-1 or any degree imaginable. If we suppose that S is a rock that x is the size of that rock, then we can imagine a bigger or smaller rock without losing the rock. Even if S has maintained x for infinity it is within S’s nature to have a greater or lesser degree of x.
In a more practical understanding of this issue, we can turn back to the rock and imagine it as infinite and unchangeable. We can say that this rock as infinitely had a ten-mile diameter. However, we can still imagine a rock with a greater diameter and a rock with a smaller diameter. If we came upon this rock and had the proper tools, we could chip away at it until it had a nine-mile diameter, because it has mutability within its nature.
Mutability is within the nature of all physical things. In all physical things we can think of them to a greater or lesser degree. The mere fact that physical things are contained to boundaries would indicate their mutability. By being contained to boundaries, they are not limitless and therefore could be lesser or greater than they currently are. Thus, if an object is physical it is by nature mutable.
2) Even if we ignore that an immutable physical object is impossible, the problem is an immutable physical object would be superfluous to creation. If a physical object is truly immutable, this means that it cannot duplicate itself. To duplicate itself that means that there could be more of it within its nature. If an atom duplicates itself and becomes two atoms, then we have duplication within the nature of “atom.” Instead of there being one there are now two.
If the object creates by extension, then whatever is extended from it is part of its nature, meaning that any participation this supposed immutable physical object has with creation would actually prove the object to be quite mutable. If the immutable object were to participate in creation then it would only prove that the object is not immutable, but rather mutable.
If the immutable physical object cannot partake in creation, then what is its use? What has the naturalist proven if he can successfully show that an immutable physical object is possible, all he has done is created an object of the mind that cannot participate in creation? If such an object actually existed in reality then it wouldn’t matter, because it could not have partaken in creation.
We can then believe that all that we experience and all possible physical objects are mutable. In order to disprove my claim, the naturalist would have to engage in question begging, asking us to assume naturalism in order to prove naturalism. Therefore, it is true that everything that falls within our experience (and even all possible physical objects) is mutable.
This was a scheduled post. I am currently out of town and subsequently have turned comments off since I cannot moderate or interact with commenters. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about this post, please feel free to contact me.