This is Essay LVI of Mr. Stolyarov’s series, “A Rational Cosmology,” which seeks to present objective, absolute, rationally grounded views of terms such as universe, matter, volume, space, time, motion, sound, light, forces, fields, and even the higher-order concepts of life, consciousness, and volition. See the index of all the essays in “A Rational Cosmology” here.
The action-reaction force pair between two entities is the most fundamental acceleration-causing interaction there is. Every multi-entity process involving forces, no matter how complex, can always be interpreted as a set of action-reaction force pairs.
To illustrate, three similarly charged metal spheres arranged in a triangular shape and touching each other will be repelled simultaneously in what seems to be a single process. However tempting it might be to attribute this phenomenon to a single force “triple,” the repulsion will in fact be the result of three force pairs, the pairs involving, respectively, A and B, A and C, and B and C.
Thus, it is true of all force relationships that they occur between two entities, that each entity involved both originates a force and is affected by one, and that this mode of interaction is the root of all acceleration in the universe.
As brilliant and worthy of admiration as the deliberations of Aristotle might have been, they were not error-free. One of the cosmological fallacies espoused by this thinker was the idea that all motion and acceleration in the universe could ultimately be traced to a single “master” entity, the so-called prime mover, which had originated the motion and acceleration of all other entities.
Subsequent theologians have made the argument that the Aristotelian prime mover function is fulfilled by God, and have used Aristotle’s reasoning to support their theism. While this is one of the least egregiously flawed religious viewpoints, it nonetheless deserves to be addressed here, as it is a cosmological claim, and an analysis of the proper nature of forces will refute it.
We have seen that a system of two entities of a proper nature requires no forces external to it to bring about the acceleration of its constituents. Since the fundamental origin of all forces is within two-entity systems in which action-reaction pairs arise, this is where our causal chain can stop, with no need for the origin of acceleration to be traced to some outside “prime mover.”
Furthermore, because we observe multiple two-entity pairs originating forces, we can conclude that forces have no single central origin. Rather, the beginnings of all forces are as localized, numerous, and diverse as the number of two-entity pairs that have ever interacted in a manner that gave rise to acceleration.
This is further reinforced by the truth that the universe is not a single entity, nor do all the entities in the universe behave in a coordinated fashion according to some “master plan.” Rather, they act in accordance with their own individual natures, and interact accordingly, with neither need nor possibility for a master mechanism that could coordinate such varied and discrete entities so as to have a single overarching effect upon them.
Read other parts of “A Rational Cosmology” by clicking here.