Bruce Reichenbach has formulated a fairly typical version of the. Thomist cosmological argument based on the principle of efficient causality.1 More recently. be advanced against my version of the cosmological argument, 2 two of which 2 Bruce R. Reichenbach, The Cosmological Argument: A Reassessment. Cosmological Argument. Bruce Reichenbach. The cosmological argument is less a particular argument than an argument type. It uses a general pattern of.

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It is possible that it is necessary that there exists a supernatural being who is a very powerful and intelligent designer-creator of the universe. It is not that God’s existence is logically necessary, but that if God exists, he cannot not exist. The New Cosmological Argument: And until such reasons are produced Hume has a right to trust it. This entry has no external links.

But, as Pruss notes Explaining the Individual Constituents Is Sufficient Whereas Russell argued that the universe just is, David Hume held that when the parts are explained the whole is explained. Hence, he concludes, the appeal to a vacuum as the initial state is misleading. But then, since there is a possible prior or possible posterior event in any past or future series respectively, the universe, although finite in time, is temporally unbounded indefinitely extendible ; both beginning and cessation are ruled out.

If it is true in some possible world that a being X necesssarily exists, then it is true in every possible world that X necessarily exists. Similarly, theists argue, we may never know why and how creation took place.

But this leads to the paradox that Koons recently developed, employing reasoning that parallels the Grim Reaper Paradox. His version of PSR violates the underlying spirit and intent of the strong version of this principle, which, at a minimum, wants every absolutely contingent being to have an actual explanation for the fact that it exists.

In contrast to analyticity, self-evidence holds in relation to the knowers themselves, and here diversity of intuitions varies, perhaps according to philosophical or other types of perspectives. A necessary being is one that if it exists, it neither came into existence nor can cease to exist, and correspondingly, if it does not exist, it cannot come into existence Reichenbach It makes probable the existence of the complex universe because God could have reasons for causing such a universe, whereas we would have no reasons at all if all we had was the cosmologicsl fact of the material universe.


Everything that begins to exist has a cause of atgument existence. Defenders of the cosmological argument suggest two possible kinds of explanation. Hence, although the principle of sufficient reason is still true, it applies only to the components of the material universe and not to the universe itself.


My reasons for preferring to work with this more limited God is not just that I am able to prove his existence but not that of the super-deluxe one. This contingent being [i. Among these initial facts are that the world came into being, that the world is contingent in that it could have been other than it is, or that certain beings or events in the world are causally dependent or contingent.

Nelson – – American Philosophical Quarterly 35 1: But since I am actual, there is at least one possible state of affairs S. If from another, then we have an unsatisfactory infinite regress of explanations. Most important, it results in God not being omnibenevolent in every world in which he exists. Whereas the contingency of particular existents is generally undisputed, not the least because of our mortality, the contingency of the universe deserves some defense see section 4.

Among these initial facts are that particular beings or cosmologicwl in the universe are causally dependent or contingent, that the universe as the totality of contingent things is contingent in that it could have been other than it is, that the Big Conjunctive Contingent Fact possibly has an explanation, or that the universe came into being.

Rowe suggests that the cosmological argument has two parts, one to establish the existence of a first cause or necessary being, the other that this cosmologicxl being is God6.

For example, the argument that since all the bricks in the wall are small, the wall is small, is fallacious.


But if something is to occur that is not explained, it is more likely that what occurs will be simple aegument than complex.

Cosmological Argument

As indestructible, then, matter is the necessary being This feature is due to i the nature of the number of elements of an actual infinite set, which is an essential property of such a set, and ii the process of counting one element after another. But if the universe can cease to exist, it is contingent and requires an explanation for its existence Reichenbach So we return to what constitutes the best explanation of the existence of the universe.

We addressed objections to the Causal Principle from a philosophical perspective earlier in 3. But this raises in turn the falsifiability problem.

Interestingly enough, this approach was anticipated by Aquinas in his third way in his Summa Theologica I,q.

If something has cosmologkcal finite past, its existence has a cause. Hence, it is possible that there are no dependent beings; i.

Third, why are there these particular contingent beings? We can simply work with brute facts. If they were, they would not be events either. But since the ontological argument is defective, the cosmological argument that depends on it likewise must be defective Kant, A; Smart, in Haldane and Smart, 36—8. For greater bibliographic reicbenbach, see Craig and Sinclair It uses a general pattern of argumentation logos that makes an inference from certain alleged facts about the world cosmos to the existence cosmologicak a unique burce, generally identified with or referred to as God.

That the universe once exploded into existence provides no evidence that the event could reoccur once, if not an infinite number of times, should the universe collapse.

If the universe is finite, the first moment would be a brute fact because no scientific causal account could be given for it.

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