Infinite regress

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An infinite regress is an infinite series of occurrences or concepts. It occurs in some philosophical concepts and is sometimes considered an unwanted or absurd implication. There is no a-priori reason why an infinite regress cannot occur.

Many arguments rely on the alleged fact that infinite regress does not occur.


Apologists sometimes fall into the trap of "fallacy of passing the buck", which is to explain something by an entity which in turn requires a similar explanation. [1] This means their explanation may suffer from infinite regress. Their explanation often raises more serious philosophical questions than the original problem they sought to address. Very often, an answer of "I don't know" is preferable to an explanation that suffers from infinite regress.


  1. What causes humans to sin? Human nature/original sin.
  2. What causes original sin/human nature to tend towards sin? The fall of man.
  3. What caused the fall? Adam and Eve eating from the tree of knowledge.
  4. What caused them to eat from the tree of knowledge? The serpent in the Garden of Eden
  5. What caused the serpent to enable sin? .... God?

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