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1 1 LECTURE 3 THE COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT 2 - MODERN VERSION INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY 2 Samuel Clarke’s argument was part of his 18th century work A Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God . [Also Demea in Hume's Dialogues , Section IX] Important Point - Clarke’s argument does NOT depend on the impossibility of an infinite series. CLARKE’S COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT 3 A Dependent Being = a being the existence of which is explained by the causal activity of other things. A Self-Existent/Independent Being = a being the existence of which is explained by its own nature. SOME DEFINITIONS
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2 4 [1] Every being (that exists or ever did exist) is either a dependent being or a self-existent being. [2] Not every being can be a dependent being. _____ [3] Therefore, there exists a self-existent being. Deductively valid. Are the premises true? SHORT VERSION OF THE ARGUMENT 5 Premise [1] claims that every being is either [i] explained by another thing [dependent] or [ii] explained by itself [self-existent] So, no being is [iii] explained by nothing [brute] PREMISE [1] 6 The Principle of Sufficient Reason: There must be an explanation of (a) the existence of any being, and (b) any positive fact.
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