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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And if we cannot ask that question, then we cannot inquire whether the Big Bang was an effect, for nothing temporal preceded it. The Universe Just Is 4. It is not that the universe arose out of some prior state, for there was no prior state. Defenders of the argument affirm that only a personal explanation can provide the sufficient reason for the existence of the universe.

Cosmological Argument (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

This version of the argument enters the medieval Christian tradition through Bonaventure —74 in his Sentences II Sent. In The Existence of God he presents a cosmological argument that he claims falls in the category of C-inductive arguments. Critics contend that coskological have no reason to think that just because something is finite it must have a cause of its coming into existence.

For the principle is not one that is vouchsafed by science. Although Aquinas understands the uncaused necessary being to be God, Rundle takes this to be matter-energy itself. But although to count events from present to the past always means the event is a finite time-distance from the present, to get to the present from the beginningless past one would have to traverse an actual infinite without a starting point.

Morriston thinks that premise 1 fares equally poorly if Craig attempts to justify it empirically, for we have many situations where the causes of events have not been discovered, and even if we could find the causes in each individual case, it provides no evidence that causation applies to the totality of cases the universe. Indeed, most of the available interpretations of the mathematical formulation of [Quantum Mechanics] are fully deterministic. Similarly, in the future at any finite point in time, there is a possible subsequent event, so that though the future is finite, it does not require an end to the universe Some force in the universe not only counteracts gravity but pushes the galaxies in the universe apart ever faster.


It might be wondered why I did not avail myself of the robust version of the S5 modal ontological argument, in which the first premise asserts that it is possible that it is necessary that there exists a being that is essentially omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, and so on for all the other essential divine perfections. This accords with the Principle of Conservation of Mass-Energy, according to which matter and energy are never lost but rather transmute into each other.

The reason why it is not fallacious to deduce 6 from 5 is because propositions, like other abstract entities such as properties and numbers, enjoy necessary existence, existing in every possible world. Cambridge University Press, Hence, God is a logically contingent being and so could have not-existed. Hence, there must be something whose necessity is uncaused.

But if one compares the probability of there being a complex universe reeichenbach there being no universe at all, it is 50 percent Martin Cambridge University Cosmologcial, — As Kenny points out, Aquinas understands this necessity in terms of being unable to cease to exist Kenny Therefore, the temporal series of events cannot be an actual infinite Craig And, if there is an infinite regress of worlds in respect to goodness, as seems reasonable, God cannot be faulted for not actualizing the best possible world.

In essence, it cosmollgical be arguing that it is cognitively rational to believe a proposition p because it is pragmatically rational to believe some proposition q, from which p follows or which is needed for the deduction of p.


The more this indeterminacy has merely epistemic significance, the less it affects the Causal Principle. Whereas the contingency of particular existents is generally undisputed, the contingency of the universe deserves some defense see 3.

Nelson – – American Philosophical Quarterly 35 1: This contingent being has a cause of or explanation [ 1 ] for its existence. This is a file in the archives of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Explanation and the Cosmological Argument

Although there is this important difference between absolute and Reichenbachian necessity, it does not adequately explain what the latter is. The theist responds that the Cosmologiccal does not address logical contingency but metaphysical contingency. If they are explained in terms of something else, they still remain unaccounted for, since the explanation would invoke either an infinite regress of causes or a circular explanation.

Recihenbach things should be obvious from this discussion. One might wonder, as Rundle Pace the principle of the agglomerativity of explanation, it is possible that it is a mere coincidence that p and q are true together, even when each of them has some explanation.

Russell correctly notes that arguments of the part-whole type can commit the Fallacy of Composition. For Craig, an actual infinite is a determinate totality or a completed unity, whereas the potential infinite is not.

Quantum accounts allow for additional speculation regarding origins and structures of universes.

On the quantum level, the connection between cause and effect, if not entirely broken, is to some extent loosened. Third, appeal to God as an intentional agent leads us to have certain expectations about the universe: For another, a difference exists between predictability and causality. The first is conditional necessity: