Philosophy Notes 9/2
Validity is determined only if the conclusion of an argument agrees with given
Begging the question
Formal Fallacy – Flawed logic conclusion does not entail premise(s).
Existence of God
Things DO exist. There must be a “being” capable of creating the physical universe.
(1)“The physical universe exists-the physical universe must have a cause-that cause
is God-therefore, God exists.”
(2)”The universe exists-everything that exists has a cause-there cannot be an
infinite series of past causes- soooo there must have been a first uncaused cause
(God)” There is a fundamental problem with this argument- the conclusion and the
second premise directly disagree with each other.
(3) “There are things which came into existence-whatever comes into existence is
caused to exist by something else-there cannot be an infinite series of past causes-
so, there must have been a first, uncaused, cause.
Four defenses of “There cannot be an infinite series of past causes.”
(1)“The Marble Defense” Infinite collection of marbles half white, half red—
eliminate have of white marbles-only red left….How many marbles are left?
Infinite amount. Shows some support for premise three. (pg. 100)
(2)“The terminus defense” An infinite series does not end, but the series of past
causes does terminate ( in the present). Problem: Series is infinite in the past
direction. (pg. 102)
(3)“The elimination defense” In order to have a causal series, there must be a start
point. So, Without a first cause every other point collapses. (pg. 103)
(4)“The countdown defense” If the series of past causes are infinite, then we could
not reach the present moment in time, as we have not “run through” all of the
past causes- as the are infinite. (pg. 104)
“The causal argument”-------------------------------------“Rowe’s cosmological argument”
a priori vs a posteriori
a priori- no experience can possibly falsify a belief
a posteriori- subject to falsification because of an experience.
9/5 Cosmomlogical continued---Said to be a poseriori …….3. There cannot be an infinite series of past causes. Why not?
Rowe- Is the problem with an infinite collection of anything? Or does it deal
specifically with past causes
1. Every Being is either a dependent being of a self-existent being.
2. Not every being can be a dependent being.
3. Therefore, there exists a self-existent being (God).
Dependent being- dependent on other beings for existence/ actions.
Self-existent being- One whos existence can be accounted for by its own nature.
(2) not everything can fall into the dependent being subcategory.
Brute fact- something that is the case, but did not have to be. When questioned there
may be no real explanation.
PSR(a.) There must be a complete explanation of the existence of any being.---
Agrees with premise (1)
PSR(b) There must be a complete explanation of every p