The Cosmological Argument-2

The Cosmological Argument-2 - The Cosmological Argument...

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The Cosmological Argument Like the Argument from Design, the Cosmological Argument [sometimes known as the First Cause Argument] comes in different versions. One [which I will call Cosmo] begins with the assumption that each contingent thing has a cause, and goes like this: (1) Something exists (2) Each contingent thing has a cause. (3) For something to be a cause of something that exists it has to exist. (4) Nothing causes itself. (5) Nothing is caused by anything that it causes. (6) The cause of any contingent thing is itself either contingent or necessary. (7) There cannot be an infinite series of causes and effects (8) Some necessary thing exists. The further conclusion is drawn that God is the necessary cause of every contingent thing. Before going on to examine whether Cosmo is sound we need to clarify the distinction between a contingent thing and a necessary thing. A contingent thing is something that exists, but might not have existed. A necessary thing is something that must exist. Examples of contingent things are you and I. Had our parents never me, neither of us would have existed. So, even though we do exist, we might not have. Aside from God, what would be an example of something that is necessary? The number two exists. Could the number two have failed to exist? It would seem not. If so, the number two [indeed, any number] is an example of a necessary thing. 1
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So, is Cosmo1 sound? Let us begin by asking whether it is valid. Suppose, we assume that the conclusion of Cosmo, (8), is false. If, having made that assumption, we can allow that all of the premises of Cosmo1 are true, it follows that Cosmo is invalid. On the other hand, having assumed that (8) is false, if we are forced to
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This note was uploaded on 02/27/2012 for the course PHI 107 taught by Professor Mattskene during the Spring '08 term at Syracuse.

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The Cosmological Argument-2 - The Cosmological Argument...

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