PHL235H1 Lecture Notes - Kalam Cosmological Argument, Cosmological Argument

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17 Nov 2011
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The Kalam Cosmological Argument
1. The premises of the argument:
a. The universal began to exist. (By “the universe” is meant everything that has
begun to exist.)
b. Whatever begins to exist has a cause that brings it into existence. Therefore,
c. The universe was caused either by a preceding event in accordance with a law of
nature (a cause as understood in natural science) or by a person acting
intentionally.
2. Objections to each premise
3. If there is a cause that brought the universe into existence, is that cause itself
uncaused?
Leibniz’s Cosmological Argument
1. An analysis of the argument
a. It is a contingent fact that the world exists. (The world is everything that exists
contingently).
b. There is a sufficient reason for the fact the world exists.
c. No contingently existing thing contains the sufficient reason for its own existence.
From (a) and (b) and (c) it follows that the existence of the world has a sufficient
reason in something that exists necessarily, apart from the world.
d. The existing world is one of the many possible worlds.
e. Only the choice of an intelligent being could be the sufficient reason for the
existence of one out of many equally possible worlds.
From the conclusion already reached above, together with (d) and (e), Leibniz
concludes that the sufficient reason for the existence of the world is the choice of a
necessarily existing intelligent being.
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