Q: How can we debunk the argument from contingency for the existence of God? The hypothesis that this particular universe exists by the necessity of its own nature has also been refuted. [10] “Begging the Question,” Australian Journal of Philosophy, volume 77, no. You would have to admit that his nature COULD have been otherwise. Kreeft applies this analogy to existence. In 1252, Pope Innocent IV authorized them to torture dissenters. The only way out of this conclusion is for you to abandon your assertion that God’s nature is necessary. Tuesday, 11 March 2014 The Argument from Contingency - Refuted As impressive as that may sound to laypersons, philosophers recognize this as a trite statement. Craig’s switch from material to immaterial causes is worse than just a poor practice. Kreeft’s scenario makes sense when speaking of books, but it falls apart when he implies that “existence” is borrowed from past existences, as though existence were a commodity. Only one kind of cause is known: physical cause. Then why make the substitution? Most people probably never notice Craig’s guileful shift from material to immaterial causes. The argument’s conclusion is therefore contained in one of its premises. The apparent tension between these two definitions of contingency is resolved by recognizing definition 1 as speaking in epistemic rather than ontological terms. . [1] + Everything around us—every cloud, every puppy, every puppy poop—is contingent, said Aquinas, meaning that it didn’t have to exist; some … Your email address will not be published. The posts here describe conversations with Apologists & what I regard as their fallacious arguments. An immaterial cause might be transient or impermanent. Still, using a word in a context where the audience likely won’t recognize this switching back and forth between meanings is a poor practice. [1] Let's analyze the argument by premise: Premise 1: Every temporally contingent being possibly fails to exist at some time. Granted, it’s more in keeping with our experience than any alternative conjecture, but it’s still conjecture. Evidence for the external causes mentioned in premise 1 is drawn from our success in finding explanations within the natural realm, material explanations translatable into the language of physics. All the word contingent signifies is our ignorance. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God (a necessary being). Kreeft’s analogy surreptitiously transfigures this mystery about why anything exists into a presumption that there had to be a first cause. Craig denies equivocating between material and immaterial causes, saying that he meant efficient causes all along. The flock of friars called Dominicans were founded by the Spanish priest Saint Dominic de Guzman in France to preach against heresy. Once we understand that premise 1 refers to efficient causes, it’s obvious that premise 1 presupposes immaterial causation. Sometimes contingency is used in the sense of “it … I for one do not know if there is a logical incoherency in God or not, and so I withhold judgment. That inspired me to write up a refutation of the argument, and I'm happy to present it here. It is a form of argument from universal causation. Your email address will not be published. The argument from contingency is, ironically enough, sort of like an argument—I mean the structure of an argument. Since I found this abundance of material causes, there must be an immaterial cause!”, Craig, after relying solely on material causes to establish premise 1, suddenly switches to immaterial causes in premise 2, without alerting his audience that he’s made this switch. Given that all evidence supporting premise 1 consists of material causes, we might be tempted to conclude that, no matter how far back we look in the chain of causation, we will always find another material cause. All Craig is doing here is defining the material realm to include all material causes. [7] A formal fallacy is an error in the logic of an argument that is visible in the form of the argument: how the argument’s premises and conclusion are laid out. The argument from contingency is easily refuted when you remember Plantinga's ontological argument. Craig’s argument not only exploits deceptive wordplay, but it also incorporates fallacious logic. Here is the false premise: “God is an omnipotent being, who can do anything that is logically possible.” The reliance of the argument on this false premise makes the argument itself invalid. For those who came in late, the argument from contingency attempts to establish the necessity of a god given the idea that the universe is contingent on a god, that is, that the universe couldn’t exist without one. Argument from contingency. Wherever there are two possibilities, something must determine which of those possibilities is realized. We can call that necessary thing God.”, Amy: “Wait. [2] Aquinas does not seem prima facie to be speaking about temporal causal chains, but rather about a dubious ontological hierarchy of efficient causes. Don't be caught refuting old arguments - Robert E. Maydole's Temporal Contingency argument for God. Right? Whatever credibility premise 1 has is owed strictly to our experience of material causes. The Argument from Contingency The Argument from Contingency is one of the strongest arguments for the existence of God. [5] Craig often says his premises as “more probably true than false,” and that, this being so, we should embrace his conclusion. We can’t infer immaterial causes from having observed only material causes. To commit oneself to this conjecture would be a mistake. Extrapolating outside the relevant domain is an error well-understood by statisticians studying phenomena within the natural realm. Reply Delete Premise 4 commits this blunder in the worst imaginable way by assuming that we can extrapolate from premise 1 to draw conclusions beyond the natural realm. Craig’s approach, if adopted by a door-to-door salesman, would be classified by the legal profession as a bait and switch scam. The argument from contingency cannot be repudiated by some scientific finding in the future. This is a strength with the Leibnizian Cosmological Argument (also known as The Argument From … For more information, please visit www.religionrefuted.com. [6] Though Craig claims (falsely, I would argue) that he has arguments that prove the immaterial cause is a personal god, substituting “God” for “immaterial” still renders the form of his argument invalid. Craig smuggles in a portrait of Divinity by using the heavily freighted term God.[6]+. I shall then offer an explanation as to why Kant thought he needed a refutation such as this at all. You would have to admit that his nature COULD have been otherwise. Although in Western philosophy the earliest formulation of a versionof the cosmological argument is found in Plato’s Laws,893–96, the classical argument is firmly rooted inAristotle’s Physics (VIII, 4–6) andMetaphysics (XII, 1–6). As far as we know, there are no immaterial entities. [Variation of the Principle of Sufficient Reason.] To say that an entity is contingent can be interpreted to mean (1) the entity is physically possible but not necessary, or (2) the entity is causally dependent on something outside itself. It had to be some­thing within his mind.”, Amy: “There was something about the nature of God’s mind that caused his decision?”, Bob: “Right. That’s sheer conjecture. The Ontological Argument. I would like … What I mean is the argument for contingency can only tell us that there exists what it takes for anything to exist, and that thing is God, but it doesn’t tell us whether that God is the God of Christianity or Judaism or Islam, for example. [3] Bruce Reichenbach, The Cosmological Argument: A Reassessment, Charles Thomas, Springfield,1972, p. 102. www.plato.stanford.edu/entries/cosmological-argument, [4] Peter Kreeft, “Rationality of Belief in God”, 12/25/10, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK_71C3C-30. That’s one of the primary responses to Leibniz’s Contingency Argument: the universe is a brute fact — it just is. That’s not always the case. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence (either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause). I’m thinking about getting a tattoo that says that. Wherever there are two possibilities, something must determine which of those … Using definition 1, to say B is contingent is to say that we couldn’t predict with confidence the identity or existence of its causal antecedents. Imagine a believer (Bob) and atheist (Amy) discussing the contingency argument. The most common arg… 4. Premise 2 says, “If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.” Note that Craig has substituted the term “God” for “immaterial cause.” When challenged on the legitimacy of this substitution, Craig shrugs that these two terms are equivalent. It’s logical legerdemain. Kant's refutation of the ontological argument-which states that from the concept of a being containing every perfection it is possible to infer its existence-is well known: "In whatever manner the understanding may have arrived at a concept, the existence of its object is never, by any process of … Let’s get real. The most heavily debated aspects of Leibniz’s contingency argument are premises 1 … The acorn might have been eaten by a squirrel. In other words, definition 1 concerns what we know, whereas definition 2 deals with objects out in the real world. There are a lot of good arguments against atheism (like the argument from contingency).There are also some good ones which unfortunately have been used incorrectly so many times that they have been misidentified as bad ones (like Pascal’s Wager).Even more unfortunately, there are also some genuinely bad ones (like the argument from the banana), and some of these are quite popular. Using definition 2, when we say that B is contingent on A, we mean that A causes B. 1. For those among us who would hope that God’s defenders would not deliberately employ intellectual sleight-of-hand, this is a sad spectacle. On what grounds is thisassumption made? [1]+ Everything around us—every cloud, every puppy, every puppy poop—is contingent, said Aquinas, meaning that it didn’t have to exist; some cause made it exist. Let me emphasize that these explanations, these physical causes, are invariably found within the natural realm. It’s possible that the material realm has no cause, that material causes stretch back infinitely or to the beginning. For example, suppose I said to you, “Yesterday I saw a huge boa and took a fancy to it. The Modal Cosmological Argument, also known as the Argument from Contingency, suggests that because the universe might not have existed (i.e. Premise 1’s being about efficient causes raises problems for Craig’s argument. Dr. Craig told me that the Kalam Argument is weakened in its persuasive force on a b-theory, but it isn’t refuted. In other words, B is an inevitable consequence of A. But what if I snickered and told you that I meant snake in the first sentence and stole in the second? They engage with the public to spread Catholicism. From the The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, a newer generation of philosophical arguments have been released to apologists. Grow Successful Recommended for you Critics understandably accuse Craig of committing the informal fallacy known as equivocating.[7]+. It is impossible for science to show that universe can exist in every possible world, because possible worlds are not actual. So now you believe in God, right?”, Amy: “Not so fast! Craig simply presumes the plausibility of immaterial causation, even though no immaterial cause has ever been identified or even adequately defined. Deriving the conclusion requires a conjunction of premises, as opposed to a direct reading of one premise. I might be talking about a snake. One might say, for instance, that a child’s guardian angel was the efficient cause of the child’s stepping onto the sidewalk just in time to avoid a speeding car. As I see it, the argument from contingency simple says that something had to, necessarily, exist in order for all that now exists to exist. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is … If there’s a chain of causation from A to Z, then Z is inevitable if any preceding entity in the causal chain is inevitable. but the universe is not itself a necessary explanation of its existence. Theists regularly talk about a place "beyond" the universe, a transcendent realm where God exists "outside of time."". Leibniz wrote about many subjects in natural theology and philosophy of religion, including the problem of evil, the cosmological argument… This is a pretty long post, but I think it's no more than such an important subject deserves. The formal argument comes in many forms, so here for instance is the one William Lane Craig uses in his book … Using the term “efficient boa,” I could argue as follows: We have seen efficient boas (by which I mean snakes) within the park; therefore, an efficient boa (by which I mean a stole) exists outside the park. [3] What does it mean, however, to say something is contingent? Clearly this is a claim that God exists in *something*, whatever that something may be, and that the something that God exists in is not identical with … Pope Gregory IX authorized the Dominicans to carry out the Inquisition. Friday, 11 October 2013 Argument from Time and Contingency - Refuted / Leibniz’s Contingency Argument / Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence (either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause). Amy: “No. Amy: “Why not? Craig demonstrates with this argument that if the material realm has a cause, it must be immaterial. reason why this or that has happene… The posts here describe conversations with Apologists & what I regard as their fallacious arguments. The heart of the argument is the denial of true contingency. Reply Delete it is contingent, as opposed to necessary), we then need some explanation of why it does exist. His disjunctive syllogism is a hand-waving distraction from this reality. And your whole contingency argument … The philosopher Walter Sinnott-Armstrong puts it this way: “…to avoid begging the question, one’s reason to believe the premise must be independent of both (a) one’s belief in the conclusion and also (b) one’s reason to believe the conclusion.”[10]. [1] A friar dresses in a cloak, much like a monk, but friars don’t stay tucked away in monasteries. [8] If we accept that defense, and I do, then Craig isn’t guilty of equivocating. My argument argues that the Argument from Contingency is sound. Craig engages in precisely this sort of wordplay. The Argument from Contingency Copleston sets out his argument for the existence of God - an argument from contingency that is a type of Cosmological Argument. It seems that Reichenbach is using the term contingent ontologically, per definition 2, asserting that each entity has a cause outside itself. false. All it means is this: if both material and immaterial causes exist, and if we filter out all material causes, we’re left with only immaterial causes. He has free will. But the conclusion is, in Craig’s words “All the more obvious on an A-theory than on a B-theory”. It was God’s nature, just the way his mind works, that led to his decision to create the universe.”, Amy: “Let me get this straight. In a valid deductive argument, the conclusion is derived by combining the logic of the various premises. In support of premise 2, Craig points out that if a cause is a material cause then it is, itself, part of the material realm. If the critic seeks to deny premise #1, this would be an absurdity, since it would mean the universe is eternally self existent, which is refuted by science, including such principles as the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, and the expansion of the universe. That seems incontrovertible. Critics of the argument from contingency have sometimes questioned whether the universe is contingent, but it remains at least plausible to think that it is so. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. As the philosopher Willard Van Orman Quine observed, physical necessity and contingency are empty terms; there is only what is. Craig is pulling a fast one. The Christian philosopher Bruce Reichenbach, like Aquinas, argued that if every part of a whole is contingent, then the whole must be contingent. 3. Denzel Washington's Life Advice Will Leave You SPEECHLESS |LISTEN THIS EVERYDAY AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE - Duration: 10:18. I might be talking about a fluffy pink stole made of ostrich feathers. Friday, 11 October 2013 Argument from Time and Contingency - Refuted Craig’s crafty (though futile) effort to slither a course between these two fallacies demonstrates that he is mindful of his predicament. Whichever I’m talking about, I should try to be clear. Contingency Argument. To say that something is contingent means that it is not necessary. It couldn’t have been any other way.”, Amy: “Why not? This is probably the most important passage in … It is the belief that "everything happens for a reason", that there is actually sufficient (and, indeed, good!) I shall show in this paper that this refutation, while it is frequently taken to be valid,' is in fact fallacious. The structure of an argument goes from initial premise to conclusion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtfVds8Kn4s. Definition 1 emphasizes our uncertainty about whether the contingent entity will exist: the entity’s existence is conditional. Yet these efficient causes could be implemented, as far as we know, only by force carrier particles that cannot exceed the speed of light and would therefore manifest as a temporal causal chain. . (So-called final causes are more accurately identified as motives.) Peter Kreeft presents the contingency argument by way of a homey analogy. Science can only show what happens in the actual world. We all know that God is taken by most people in Craig’s audience to be a conscious being, whereas “immaterial cause,” to the extent that it has meaning, doesn’t imply any such thing. Yet Craig commits himself to a far more extravagant conjecture and thereby makes a far more egregious mistake by saying that premise 1 supports the speculation that the cosmos has an immaterial cause. You would probably think I was being purposely deceitful. The efficient cause of the painter’s sunburn was a defect in her sunscreen. My writing differs from Aquinas’s writing not only in volume, but also in tone. It makes no sense to cry out, “Ooh, I found a material cause! It is based on a false premise. Otherwise, all deductive arguments would be fallacious. Craig is arguing that if there’s a cause of M, then (1) M or Not-M is the cause, (2) M is not the cause; therefore, Not-M is the cause. No, I’m not. Aquinas, a member of this order, spent most of his life writing an estimated 8 to 11 million words. Craig himself, in defense of premise 1, provides examples only of material causes, never of immaterial causes. But if you say God’s nature is contingent on something else, then God is a contingent entity. The analogy’s exploitation of scientific illiteracy exemplifies a much broader principle manifest throughout apologetics: Every argument for the supernatural realm is rooted in ignorance of the natural realm. The argument against the existence of God offered by this gentleman is not a valid one. A lot of people conflate the argument from contingency with the so-called “cosmological” argument (a.k.a. That something must not have been a contingent thing, but a necessary thing. An informal fallacy, in contrast, can’t be detected by examining the structure of the argument. The debate starts with a lengthy discussion of the Cosmological Argument.Copleston presents a version of the argument based on contingency, which is based on Aquinas' 'Third Way' and Leibniz's Principle of Sufficient Reason.Russell responds by questioning whether necessary existence (aseity) is a … Sometimes it’s called petitio principii or circular reasoning. What we call today the Kalam Cosmological Argument, was first made by Aristotle and then by Islamic scholars in the 9th century. The conclusion of his argument (statement 5) is that immaterial causation (God) exists. Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence (from 1 and 3). Craig, however, doesn’t want to talk only about material causes. it is contingent, as opposed to necessary), we then need some explanation of why it does exist. The Modal Cosmological Argument, also known as the Argument from Contingency, suggests that because the universe might not have existed (i.e. In other words, if we trace back through all the causes within the material realm, and if we encounter the very first material cause, which we can call M, then if we find the cause of M, that cause must be immaterial. Explain the premises of the argument of contingency. The first argument that I would like to consider with you is the argument from contingency. To the pragmatic atheistmany of these arguments remain unpersuasive, ranging from defining something into existence, to at best arguing for some form of … Craig is mired in a catch-22 predicament. For perspective, 10 million words is equivalent to over 60 books the size of the one you’re reading now. The posts here describe conversations with Apologists & what I regard as their fallacious arguments. True, but so is God. Notice that the weakness of this argument would be less apparent if I strike all references to efficient boas, snakes, and stoles and use only the word boas, by which I still mean efficient boas: We have seen boas within the park; therefore, boas exist outside the park. Craig is speaking of the Kalām argument, not contingency argument, but the objections and defenses largely overlap. From the The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, a newer generation of philosophical arguments have been released to apologists. But if you say God’s nature is contingent on something else, then God is a contingent entity. That tells us nothing of theological significance. The argument against the existence of God offered by this gentleman is not a valid one. I've been thinking more and more about the Cosmological Argument lately and I noticed there was a recent thread on it in this forum. All Rights Reserved. Cosrx Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser Review, Bdm Main Quest, Marvel Premiere Featuring Iron Fist, Millet Ski Pants, Baby Gherkin Pickles, Insurance Sales Agents Salary, Whale Template Sewing, Calea Chocolate Cake Recipe, Nivea Express Hydration Body Lotion 400ml, Project Portfolio Example For Interview, Makita Circular Saw Parts Diagram, Nikon P1000 Bird Photography, Heinz Seriously Good Mayonnaise, Esper Stoneblade Legacy, " /> Q: How can we debunk the argument from contingency for the existence of God? The hypothesis that this particular universe exists by the necessity of its own nature has also been refuted. [10] “Begging the Question,” Australian Journal of Philosophy, volume 77, no. You would have to admit that his nature COULD have been otherwise. Kreeft applies this analogy to existence. In 1252, Pope Innocent IV authorized them to torture dissenters. The only way out of this conclusion is for you to abandon your assertion that God’s nature is necessary. Tuesday, 11 March 2014 The Argument from Contingency - Refuted As impressive as that may sound to laypersons, philosophers recognize this as a trite statement. Craig’s switch from material to immaterial causes is worse than just a poor practice. Kreeft’s scenario makes sense when speaking of books, but it falls apart when he implies that “existence” is borrowed from past existences, as though existence were a commodity. Only one kind of cause is known: physical cause. Then why make the substitution? Most people probably never notice Craig’s guileful shift from material to immaterial causes. The argument’s conclusion is therefore contained in one of its premises. The apparent tension between these two definitions of contingency is resolved by recognizing definition 1 as speaking in epistemic rather than ontological terms. . [1] + Everything around us—every cloud, every puppy, every puppy poop—is contingent, said Aquinas, meaning that it didn’t have to exist; some … Your email address will not be published. The posts here describe conversations with Apologists & what I regard as their fallacious arguments. An immaterial cause might be transient or impermanent. Still, using a word in a context where the audience likely won’t recognize this switching back and forth between meanings is a poor practice. [1] Let's analyze the argument by premise: Premise 1: Every temporally contingent being possibly fails to exist at some time. Granted, it’s more in keeping with our experience than any alternative conjecture, but it’s still conjecture. Evidence for the external causes mentioned in premise 1 is drawn from our success in finding explanations within the natural realm, material explanations translatable into the language of physics. All the word contingent signifies is our ignorance. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God (a necessary being). Kreeft’s analogy surreptitiously transfigures this mystery about why anything exists into a presumption that there had to be a first cause. Craig denies equivocating between material and immaterial causes, saying that he meant efficient causes all along. The flock of friars called Dominicans were founded by the Spanish priest Saint Dominic de Guzman in France to preach against heresy. Once we understand that premise 1 refers to efficient causes, it’s obvious that premise 1 presupposes immaterial causation. Sometimes contingency is used in the sense of “it … I for one do not know if there is a logical incoherency in God or not, and so I withhold judgment. That inspired me to write up a refutation of the argument, and I'm happy to present it here. It is a form of argument from universal causation. Your email address will not be published. The argument from contingency is, ironically enough, sort of like an argument—I mean the structure of an argument. Since I found this abundance of material causes, there must be an immaterial cause!”, Craig, after relying solely on material causes to establish premise 1, suddenly switches to immaterial causes in premise 2, without alerting his audience that he’s made this switch. Given that all evidence supporting premise 1 consists of material causes, we might be tempted to conclude that, no matter how far back we look in the chain of causation, we will always find another material cause. All Craig is doing here is defining the material realm to include all material causes. [7] A formal fallacy is an error in the logic of an argument that is visible in the form of the argument: how the argument’s premises and conclusion are laid out. The argument from contingency is easily refuted when you remember Plantinga's ontological argument. Craig’s argument not only exploits deceptive wordplay, but it also incorporates fallacious logic. Here is the false premise: “God is an omnipotent being, who can do anything that is logically possible.” The reliance of the argument on this false premise makes the argument itself invalid. For those who came in late, the argument from contingency attempts to establish the necessity of a god given the idea that the universe is contingent on a god, that is, that the universe couldn’t exist without one. Argument from contingency. Wherever there are two possibilities, something must determine which of those possibilities is realized. We can call that necessary thing God.”, Amy: “Wait. [2] Aquinas does not seem prima facie to be speaking about temporal causal chains, but rather about a dubious ontological hierarchy of efficient causes. Don't be caught refuting old arguments - Robert E. Maydole's Temporal Contingency argument for God. Right? Whatever credibility premise 1 has is owed strictly to our experience of material causes. The Argument from Contingency The Argument from Contingency is one of the strongest arguments for the existence of God. [5] Craig often says his premises as “more probably true than false,” and that, this being so, we should embrace his conclusion. We can’t infer immaterial causes from having observed only material causes. To commit oneself to this conjecture would be a mistake. Extrapolating outside the relevant domain is an error well-understood by statisticians studying phenomena within the natural realm. Reply Delete Premise 4 commits this blunder in the worst imaginable way by assuming that we can extrapolate from premise 1 to draw conclusions beyond the natural realm. Craig’s approach, if adopted by a door-to-door salesman, would be classified by the legal profession as a bait and switch scam. The argument from contingency cannot be repudiated by some scientific finding in the future. This is a strength with the Leibnizian Cosmological Argument (also known as The Argument From … For more information, please visit www.religionrefuted.com. [6] Though Craig claims (falsely, I would argue) that he has arguments that prove the immaterial cause is a personal god, substituting “God” for “immaterial” still renders the form of his argument invalid. Craig smuggles in a portrait of Divinity by using the heavily freighted term God.[6]+. I shall then offer an explanation as to why Kant thought he needed a refutation such as this at all. You would have to admit that his nature COULD have been otherwise. Although in Western philosophy the earliest formulation of a versionof the cosmological argument is found in Plato’s Laws,893–96, the classical argument is firmly rooted inAristotle’s Physics (VIII, 4–6) andMetaphysics (XII, 1–6). As far as we know, there are no immaterial entities. [Variation of the Principle of Sufficient Reason.] To say that an entity is contingent can be interpreted to mean (1) the entity is physically possible but not necessary, or (2) the entity is causally dependent on something outside itself. It had to be some­thing within his mind.”, Amy: “There was something about the nature of God’s mind that caused his decision?”, Bob: “Right. That’s sheer conjecture. The Ontological Argument. I would like … What I mean is the argument for contingency can only tell us that there exists what it takes for anything to exist, and that thing is God, but it doesn’t tell us whether that God is the God of Christianity or Judaism or Islam, for example. [3] Bruce Reichenbach, The Cosmological Argument: A Reassessment, Charles Thomas, Springfield,1972, p. 102. www.plato.stanford.edu/entries/cosmological-argument, [4] Peter Kreeft, “Rationality of Belief in God”, 12/25/10, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK_71C3C-30. That’s one of the primary responses to Leibniz’s Contingency Argument: the universe is a brute fact — it just is. That’s not always the case. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence (either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause). I’m thinking about getting a tattoo that says that. Wherever there are two possibilities, something must determine which of those … Using definition 1, to say B is contingent is to say that we couldn’t predict with confidence the identity or existence of its causal antecedents. Imagine a believer (Bob) and atheist (Amy) discussing the contingency argument. The most common arg… 4. Premise 2 says, “If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.” Note that Craig has substituted the term “God” for “immaterial cause.” When challenged on the legitimacy of this substitution, Craig shrugs that these two terms are equivalent. It’s logical legerdemain. Kant's refutation of the ontological argument-which states that from the concept of a being containing every perfection it is possible to infer its existence-is well known: "In whatever manner the understanding may have arrived at a concept, the existence of its object is never, by any process of … Let’s get real. The most heavily debated aspects of Leibniz’s contingency argument are premises 1 … The acorn might have been eaten by a squirrel. In other words, definition 1 concerns what we know, whereas definition 2 deals with objects out in the real world. There are a lot of good arguments against atheism (like the argument from contingency).There are also some good ones which unfortunately have been used incorrectly so many times that they have been misidentified as bad ones (like Pascal’s Wager).Even more unfortunately, there are also some genuinely bad ones (like the argument from the banana), and some of these are quite popular. Using definition 2, when we say that B is contingent on A, we mean that A causes B. 1. For those among us who would hope that God’s defenders would not deliberately employ intellectual sleight-of-hand, this is a sad spectacle. On what grounds is thisassumption made? [1]+ Everything around us—every cloud, every puppy, every puppy poop—is contingent, said Aquinas, meaning that it didn’t have to exist; some cause made it exist. Let me emphasize that these explanations, these physical causes, are invariably found within the natural realm. It’s possible that the material realm has no cause, that material causes stretch back infinitely or to the beginning. For example, suppose I said to you, “Yesterday I saw a huge boa and took a fancy to it. The Modal Cosmological Argument, also known as the Argument from Contingency, suggests that because the universe might not have existed (i.e. Premise 1’s being about efficient causes raises problems for Craig’s argument. Dr. Craig told me that the Kalam Argument is weakened in its persuasive force on a b-theory, but it isn’t refuted. In other words, B is an inevitable consequence of A. But what if I snickered and told you that I meant snake in the first sentence and stole in the second? They engage with the public to spread Catholicism. From the The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, a newer generation of philosophical arguments have been released to apologists. Grow Successful Recommended for you Critics understandably accuse Craig of committing the informal fallacy known as equivocating.[7]+. It is impossible for science to show that universe can exist in every possible world, because possible worlds are not actual. So now you believe in God, right?”, Amy: “Not so fast! Craig simply presumes the plausibility of immaterial causation, even though no immaterial cause has ever been identified or even adequately defined. Deriving the conclusion requires a conjunction of premises, as opposed to a direct reading of one premise. I might be talking about a snake. One might say, for instance, that a child’s guardian angel was the efficient cause of the child’s stepping onto the sidewalk just in time to avoid a speeding car. As I see it, the argument from contingency simple says that something had to, necessarily, exist in order for all that now exists to exist. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is … If there’s a chain of causation from A to Z, then Z is inevitable if any preceding entity in the causal chain is inevitable. but the universe is not itself a necessary explanation of its existence. Theists regularly talk about a place "beyond" the universe, a transcendent realm where God exists "outside of time."". Leibniz wrote about many subjects in natural theology and philosophy of religion, including the problem of evil, the cosmological argument… This is a pretty long post, but I think it's no more than such an important subject deserves. The formal argument comes in many forms, so here for instance is the one William Lane Craig uses in his book … Using the term “efficient boa,” I could argue as follows: We have seen efficient boas (by which I mean snakes) within the park; therefore, an efficient boa (by which I mean a stole) exists outside the park. [3] What does it mean, however, to say something is contingent? Clearly this is a claim that God exists in *something*, whatever that something may be, and that the something that God exists in is not identical with … Pope Gregory IX authorized the Dominicans to carry out the Inquisition. Friday, 11 October 2013 Argument from Time and Contingency - Refuted / Leibniz’s Contingency Argument / Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence (either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause). Amy: “No. Amy: “Why not? Craig demonstrates with this argument that if the material realm has a cause, it must be immaterial. reason why this or that has happene… The posts here describe conversations with Apologists & what I regard as their fallacious arguments. The heart of the argument is the denial of true contingency. Reply Delete it is contingent, as opposed to necessary), we then need some explanation of why it does exist. His disjunctive syllogism is a hand-waving distraction from this reality. And your whole contingency argument … The philosopher Walter Sinnott-Armstrong puts it this way: “…to avoid begging the question, one’s reason to believe the premise must be independent of both (a) one’s belief in the conclusion and also (b) one’s reason to believe the conclusion.”[10]. [1] A friar dresses in a cloak, much like a monk, but friars don’t stay tucked away in monasteries. [8] If we accept that defense, and I do, then Craig isn’t guilty of equivocating. My argument argues that the Argument from Contingency is sound. Craig engages in precisely this sort of wordplay. The Argument from Contingency Copleston sets out his argument for the existence of God - an argument from contingency that is a type of Cosmological Argument. It seems that Reichenbach is using the term contingent ontologically, per definition 2, asserting that each entity has a cause outside itself. false. All it means is this: if both material and immaterial causes exist, and if we filter out all material causes, we’re left with only immaterial causes. He has free will. But the conclusion is, in Craig’s words “All the more obvious on an A-theory than on a B-theory”. It was God’s nature, just the way his mind works, that led to his decision to create the universe.”, Amy: “Let me get this straight. In a valid deductive argument, the conclusion is derived by combining the logic of the various premises. In support of premise 2, Craig points out that if a cause is a material cause then it is, itself, part of the material realm. If the critic seeks to deny premise #1, this would be an absurdity, since it would mean the universe is eternally self existent, which is refuted by science, including such principles as the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, and the expansion of the universe. That seems incontrovertible. Critics of the argument from contingency have sometimes questioned whether the universe is contingent, but it remains at least plausible to think that it is so. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. As the philosopher Willard Van Orman Quine observed, physical necessity and contingency are empty terms; there is only what is. Craig is pulling a fast one. The Christian philosopher Bruce Reichenbach, like Aquinas, argued that if every part of a whole is contingent, then the whole must be contingent. 3. Denzel Washington's Life Advice Will Leave You SPEECHLESS |LISTEN THIS EVERYDAY AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE - Duration: 10:18. I might be talking about a fluffy pink stole made of ostrich feathers. Friday, 11 October 2013 Argument from Time and Contingency - Refuted Craig’s crafty (though futile) effort to slither a course between these two fallacies demonstrates that he is mindful of his predicament. Whichever I’m talking about, I should try to be clear. Contingency Argument. To say that something is contingent means that it is not necessary. It couldn’t have been any other way.”, Amy: “Why not? This is probably the most important passage in … It is the belief that "everything happens for a reason", that there is actually sufficient (and, indeed, good!) I shall show in this paper that this refutation, while it is frequently taken to be valid,' is in fact fallacious. The structure of an argument goes from initial premise to conclusion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtfVds8Kn4s. Definition 1 emphasizes our uncertainty about whether the contingent entity will exist: the entity’s existence is conditional. Yet these efficient causes could be implemented, as far as we know, only by force carrier particles that cannot exceed the speed of light and would therefore manifest as a temporal causal chain. . (So-called final causes are more accurately identified as motives.) Peter Kreeft presents the contingency argument by way of a homey analogy. Science can only show what happens in the actual world. We all know that God is taken by most people in Craig’s audience to be a conscious being, whereas “immaterial cause,” to the extent that it has meaning, doesn’t imply any such thing. Yet Craig commits himself to a far more extravagant conjecture and thereby makes a far more egregious mistake by saying that premise 1 supports the speculation that the cosmos has an immaterial cause. You would probably think I was being purposely deceitful. The efficient cause of the painter’s sunburn was a defect in her sunscreen. My writing differs from Aquinas’s writing not only in volume, but also in tone. It makes no sense to cry out, “Ooh, I found a material cause! It is based on a false premise. Otherwise, all deductive arguments would be fallacious. Craig is arguing that if there’s a cause of M, then (1) M or Not-M is the cause, (2) M is not the cause; therefore, Not-M is the cause. No, I’m not. Aquinas, a member of this order, spent most of his life writing an estimated 8 to 11 million words. Craig himself, in defense of premise 1, provides examples only of material causes, never of immaterial causes. But if you say God’s nature is contingent on something else, then God is a contingent entity. The analogy’s exploitation of scientific illiteracy exemplifies a much broader principle manifest throughout apologetics: Every argument for the supernatural realm is rooted in ignorance of the natural realm. The argument against the existence of God offered by this gentleman is not a valid one. A lot of people conflate the argument from contingency with the so-called “cosmological” argument (a.k.a. That something must not have been a contingent thing, but a necessary thing. An informal fallacy, in contrast, can’t be detected by examining the structure of the argument. The debate starts with a lengthy discussion of the Cosmological Argument.Copleston presents a version of the argument based on contingency, which is based on Aquinas' 'Third Way' and Leibniz's Principle of Sufficient Reason.Russell responds by questioning whether necessary existence (aseity) is a … Sometimes it’s called petitio principii or circular reasoning. What we call today the Kalam Cosmological Argument, was first made by Aristotle and then by Islamic scholars in the 9th century. The conclusion of his argument (statement 5) is that immaterial causation (God) exists. Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence (from 1 and 3). Craig, however, doesn’t want to talk only about material causes. it is contingent, as opposed to necessary), we then need some explanation of why it does exist. The Modal Cosmological Argument, also known as the Argument from Contingency, suggests that because the universe might not have existed (i.e. In other words, if we trace back through all the causes within the material realm, and if we encounter the very first material cause, which we can call M, then if we find the cause of M, that cause must be immaterial. Explain the premises of the argument of contingency. The first argument that I would like to consider with you is the argument from contingency. To the pragmatic atheistmany of these arguments remain unpersuasive, ranging from defining something into existence, to at best arguing for some form of … Craig is mired in a catch-22 predicament. For perspective, 10 million words is equivalent to over 60 books the size of the one you’re reading now. The posts here describe conversations with Apologists & what I regard as their fallacious arguments. True, but so is God. Notice that the weakness of this argument would be less apparent if I strike all references to efficient boas, snakes, and stoles and use only the word boas, by which I still mean efficient boas: We have seen boas within the park; therefore, boas exist outside the park. Craig is speaking of the Kalām argument, not contingency argument, but the objections and defenses largely overlap. From the The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, a newer generation of philosophical arguments have been released to apologists. But if you say God’s nature is contingent on something else, then God is a contingent entity. That tells us nothing of theological significance. The argument against the existence of God offered by this gentleman is not a valid one. I've been thinking more and more about the Cosmological Argument lately and I noticed there was a recent thread on it in this forum. All Rights Reserved. Cosrx Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser Review, Bdm Main Quest, Marvel Premiere Featuring Iron Fist, Millet Ski Pants, Baby Gherkin Pickles, Insurance Sales Agents Salary, Whale Template Sewing, Calea Chocolate Cake Recipe, Nivea Express Hydration Body Lotion 400ml, Project Portfolio Example For Interview, Makita Circular Saw Parts Diagram, Nikon P1000 Bird Photography, Heinz Seriously Good Mayonnaise, Esper Stoneblade Legacy, " />

contingency argument refuted

There are a lot of good arguments against atheism (like the argument from contingency).There are also some good ones which unfortunately have been used incorrectly so many times that they have been misidentified as bad ones (like Pascal’s Wager).Even more unfortunately, there are also some genuinely bad ones (like the argument … Craig goes on to say that for something to be the cause of the material realm, that cause must be immaterial. the universe came from a point of no time, so no causative process can sufficiently explain it. Write down the necessary concomitance of matter and change regarding the argument of contingency along with its refutation. The rule against equivocation prohibits speakers from tricking listeners by surreptitiously switching between alternate meanings of a word that has multiple meanings. We, in theory, trace particles from the present backward, ultimately to the plasma of the early universe and to the quantum fluctuation. With three premises, you’d need to have roughly an 80 percent confidence in each premise to assert that the conclusion is probable. The implication is that at least one entity in the cosmos must have a cause outside the cosmos. God’s decision to create the universe was contingent on God’s mental functioning, which was contingent on God’s nature, which could be no other way than the way it is. Leibniz’s Argument from Contingency. I could mimic Craig’s defense and say that I was talking about “efficient boas,” a term that encompasses both snakes and stoles. His only defense from the charge of circularity is to insist that a plain reading of premise 1 doesn’t stipulate immaterial causation, in which case Craig is guilty of equivocation. This string of contingent events can’t trace out endlessly. 3. Your email address will not be published. Here is the false premise: “God is an omnipotent being, who can do anything that is logically possible.” The reliance of the argument on this false premise makes the argument itself invalid. That’s begging the question. Source: Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, First Part, Q2, A3. The suggestion that “something must exist but nothing exists necessarily” has been disproven in this specific blog. Everything must have an explanation - that some fact holds means that it holds because of its own nature (necessarily) or because it was brought about by some external cause (it is contingent on that cause). What lies prior to that remains a mystery. everything that exists has an explanation, either through a causative chain, or through some necessity in its coming to be. I for one do not know if there is a logical incoherency in God or not, and so I withhold judgment. Islamic philosophy enriches thetradition, developing two types of arguments. The Magazine Basic Theme by bavotasan.com. There must have been something that started this whole causal sequence. [8] William Lane Craig, “Objections So Bad I Couldn’t Have Made Them Up (Worst Objections to Kalām Cosmological Argument)”, posted 2/2/2012. Equivocating is a major no-no in philosophical circles. [9]If they had evidence for God, they wouldn't need the Cosmological Argument at all. And another! Arabic philosophers(falasifa), such as Ibn Sina (c. 980–1037), developedthe argument fro… But suppose an argument has three premises, each of which we judge to be true with 51 percent confidence—more probably true than false. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God. This is an informal fallacy known as begging the question. Required fields are marked *. Reichenbach has simply found an alternative way to express the principle of sufficient reason, which, as explained earlier, fails by committing an extrapolation error. We might say, for instance, that the efficient cause of a painting is the painter. 174-191; June 1999. Aquinas's argument from contingency allows for the possibility of a Universe that has no beginning in time. Or a drought might have killed off the sapling.”, Bob: “And Earth itself is contingent, right?”, Bob: “But we can’t trace backwards forever, always saying that everything is contingent. Copyright © 2020 Religion Refuted. Even the famous French atheist, Denis Diderot, gushingly praised Leibniz as on par with Plato. The probability of the conclusion (the conjunction of all three premises being true) equals .51 X .51 X .51 = 13.2651 or roughly 13 percent. 2. It means that something is the case but it doesn’t have to be the case. The universe was contingent on God’s decision to create the universe. And another! (As an aside, if we replace the term A with God, we see that if God is inevitable, then everything else further down the causal chain must also be inevitable.). This supporting argument takes a form philosophers label as a disjunctive syllogism. The argument also mentions "all beings and things in time and space", as part of premise #2. The cosmological argument for the existence of God is the proof from the contingency of the world (a contingentia mundi). Therefore, the explanation of the existence of the universe is God (from 2 and 4). That is the only conclusion maximally congruent with our experience. Something must have triggered his decision if it was contingent.”, Bob: “Well, there was no envi­ronment to trigger him, since he hadn’t created anything yet. In recent times, Dr. William Lane Craig has refined it to make it the cornerstone of his argument for the existence of the god of Christianity. Debunks contingency argument presented by William Lane Craig in debate with Lawrence Krauss. The theologian William Lane Craig presents a version of Wilhelm Leibniz’s contingency argument as follows:[5]+. So, Craig’s argument to support premise 2 rings hollow. An argument is sound if and only if the argument is valid and all of its premises are true. Returning to the boa example, suppose you complained that I misled you about whether I was talking about a snake or stole. The narrow range within which life-supporting planets may exist is sometimes called the "Goldilocks Zone" since planets within it are neither "too hot" nor "too cold" to sustain life forms and the conditions they need. Therefore, some necessary cause (God) made it exist.[2]+. Aquinas was a sophisticated savage. The argument also … All Rights Reserved. While my writings intellectually critique Aquinas’s philosophical arguments, his writings defended the public execution of dissenters like me. It is based on a false premise. The only adequate explanation of the existence of the contingent universe, the argument from contingency suggests, is that there exists a necessary being on which its existence it rests. The most common form is the argument from biological design, paradigmatically presented by William Paley in his Watchmaker Argument. Tuesday, 11 March 2014 The Argument from Contingency - Refuted It is the opposite of necessity. As you’d expect, people unschooled in physics are more apt to find Kreeft’s book-borrower analogy persuasive. And your whole contingency argument collapses.”, Bob: “Jesus loves you, Amy, but he’s probably getting pretty fed up with you right about now.”, Your email address will not be published. He stipulates that premise 1 refers to efficient causes, a concept introduced by Aristotle. Yet premise 4 presumes that the natural realm itself must (via premise 1) have an explanation as well. Required fields are marked *. Reichenbach’s argument can therefore be rephrased as follows: No entity within the cosmos can cause itself or be uncaused. Debunks contingency argument presented by William Lane Craig in debate with Lawrence Krauss. Our ignorance in this regard does not justify our concluding that B must, might, or couldn’t happen. For more information, please visit www.religionrefuted.com. He chose to create the uni­verse.”, Amy: “Okay, so God, a necessary being, chose to create the universe, which is contingent?”, Bob: “Pre­cisely. They were sometimes called the Hounds of the Lord. I. Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican friar, presented a version of a cosmological argument known as a contingency argument. Therefore it cannot count as the cause of the material realm. Aquinas observed that, in nature, there were things with contingent existences. Sure, common-day objects such as tables and chairs "begin to exist" inthe sense that the arrangement of matter that people agree are "tables" and"chairs" begin to "exist" when someone arranges … Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a German mathematician, scientist and philosopher who made important contributions in logic, metaphysics, physics and mathematics. But to refute this argument, as you claim to do, requires you to show that God cannot possibly be exemplified, i.e., he contains a logical contradiction. If this chain of borrowing never reaches a beginning with someone who possesses the book, then no one can possess the book. The whole point and basis of the Argument from Contingency is that the universe, and everything in it, does indeed consist exclusively of contingent beings, events and … Rewording the argument like this doesn’t make it sound, just cunning. To quote Bertrand Russell, the universe is “just there, and that’s all.” Stephen Hawking went on to echo this point in the 1980s, agreeing with Russell that the universe “just is.” But to refute this argument, as you claim to do, requires you to show that God cannot possibly be exemplified, i.e., he contains a logical contradiction. To the pragmatic atheistmany of these arguments remain unpersuasive, ranging from defining something into existence, to at best arguing … [4] He asks us to imagine someone who borrows a book from someone who borrows a book, and so on backward in time. The term efficient cause is broad enough to encompass both material and immaterial causes. Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican friar, presented a version of a cosmological argument known as a contingency argument. Anything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause. Today I bought a boa.”. You said that God has free will and that his deci­sion to create the universe was therefore contingent.”, Amy: “What led to God’s decision to create the universe? Is Kalam Self Refuting? Definition 2 emphasizes the inevitability of the entity given the presence of its cause. You’re saying a necessary God had to create the universe?”, Bob: “Yes, except that God technically didn’t HAVE to create the universe. The posts here describe conversations with Apologists & what I regard as their fallacious arguments. The classical Kalam cosmological argument for the existence of God consistsof six statements: This first premise has two major flaws: 1) It assumes that things can begin to exist. 'Necessarily, God exists in every possible world.' The narrow range of the Goldilocks Zone, and shortage of planets comparable to Earth, is a common theme in modern creationism, in both its young Earth and old Earth variations. In contrast, Craig’s conclusion (immaterial causation exists) is directly encompassed by the term “efficient cause.” Premise 1 flat-out stipulates his conclusion. The most basic form is as follows: ... which is refuted by science, including such principles as the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, and the expansion of the universe. This premise may be true. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Write down the argument of contingency in the words of the late ‘Allāmah al-Ṭabāṭabā’ī. It seems to me that if there are no degrees of freedom in God’s nature, then everything down the causal stream is strictly determined. Craig defends himself from the charge of circular reasoning by protesting that all deductive arguments are circular, “In a deductive argument, the conclusion is implicit in the premises.”[9] Craig’s contention that all deductive arguments are circular is false. The Magazine Basic Theme by bavotasan.com. Don't be caught refuting old arguments - Robert E. Maydole's Temporal Contingency argument for God. The only way out of this conclusion is for you to abandon your assertion that God’s nature is necessary. Copyright © 2020 Religion Refuted. The Teleological Argument attempts to show that certain features of the world indicate that it is the fruit of intentional Divine design.. You must investigate how the terms in the argument are used. 2, pp. His statement that a deductive conclusion is “implicit in the premises” is accurate but irrelevant. If we trace the train of existence backward (“this was caused to exist by that, which was caused to exist by that, and so forth”), we must eventually terminate with an original source of existence. I have chosen the word legerdemain, drawing a comparison of Craig’s argument to a magician’s trick, because his argument, like many magicians’ tricks, incorporates clever distraction. You may recognize this claim (that everything must have a cause) as an implicit appeal to the principle of sufficient reason, debunked in Chapter 1 of Religion Refuted. the universe has a cause. 4. Physicists tell us that entities are made of particles that assemble and disassemble, migrating from one entity to another. It may sound as though “efficient” cause is simply another name for “material” cause. It breaks his argument. As noted earlier, all evidence for premise 1 consists of material causes. This argument has been refuted by the Theory of … > Q: How can we debunk the argument from contingency for the existence of God? The hypothesis that this particular universe exists by the necessity of its own nature has also been refuted. [10] “Begging the Question,” Australian Journal of Philosophy, volume 77, no. You would have to admit that his nature COULD have been otherwise. Kreeft applies this analogy to existence. In 1252, Pope Innocent IV authorized them to torture dissenters. The only way out of this conclusion is for you to abandon your assertion that God’s nature is necessary. Tuesday, 11 March 2014 The Argument from Contingency - Refuted As impressive as that may sound to laypersons, philosophers recognize this as a trite statement. Craig’s switch from material to immaterial causes is worse than just a poor practice. Kreeft’s scenario makes sense when speaking of books, but it falls apart when he implies that “existence” is borrowed from past existences, as though existence were a commodity. Only one kind of cause is known: physical cause. Then why make the substitution? Most people probably never notice Craig’s guileful shift from material to immaterial causes. The argument’s conclusion is therefore contained in one of its premises. The apparent tension between these two definitions of contingency is resolved by recognizing definition 1 as speaking in epistemic rather than ontological terms. . [1] + Everything around us—every cloud, every puppy, every puppy poop—is contingent, said Aquinas, meaning that it didn’t have to exist; some … Your email address will not be published. The posts here describe conversations with Apologists & what I regard as their fallacious arguments. An immaterial cause might be transient or impermanent. Still, using a word in a context where the audience likely won’t recognize this switching back and forth between meanings is a poor practice. [1] Let's analyze the argument by premise: Premise 1: Every temporally contingent being possibly fails to exist at some time. Granted, it’s more in keeping with our experience than any alternative conjecture, but it’s still conjecture. Evidence for the external causes mentioned in premise 1 is drawn from our success in finding explanations within the natural realm, material explanations translatable into the language of physics. All the word contingent signifies is our ignorance. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God (a necessary being). Kreeft’s analogy surreptitiously transfigures this mystery about why anything exists into a presumption that there had to be a first cause. Craig denies equivocating between material and immaterial causes, saying that he meant efficient causes all along. The flock of friars called Dominicans were founded by the Spanish priest Saint Dominic de Guzman in France to preach against heresy. Once we understand that premise 1 refers to efficient causes, it’s obvious that premise 1 presupposes immaterial causation. Sometimes contingency is used in the sense of “it … I for one do not know if there is a logical incoherency in God or not, and so I withhold judgment. That inspired me to write up a refutation of the argument, and I'm happy to present it here. It is a form of argument from universal causation. Your email address will not be published. The argument from contingency is, ironically enough, sort of like an argument—I mean the structure of an argument. Since I found this abundance of material causes, there must be an immaterial cause!”, Craig, after relying solely on material causes to establish premise 1, suddenly switches to immaterial causes in premise 2, without alerting his audience that he’s made this switch. Given that all evidence supporting premise 1 consists of material causes, we might be tempted to conclude that, no matter how far back we look in the chain of causation, we will always find another material cause. All Craig is doing here is defining the material realm to include all material causes. [7] A formal fallacy is an error in the logic of an argument that is visible in the form of the argument: how the argument’s premises and conclusion are laid out. The argument from contingency is easily refuted when you remember Plantinga's ontological argument. Craig’s argument not only exploits deceptive wordplay, but it also incorporates fallacious logic. Here is the false premise: “God is an omnipotent being, who can do anything that is logically possible.” The reliance of the argument on this false premise makes the argument itself invalid. For those who came in late, the argument from contingency attempts to establish the necessity of a god given the idea that the universe is contingent on a god, that is, that the universe couldn’t exist without one. Argument from contingency. Wherever there are two possibilities, something must determine which of those possibilities is realized. We can call that necessary thing God.”, Amy: “Wait. [2] Aquinas does not seem prima facie to be speaking about temporal causal chains, but rather about a dubious ontological hierarchy of efficient causes. Don't be caught refuting old arguments - Robert E. Maydole's Temporal Contingency argument for God. Right? Whatever credibility premise 1 has is owed strictly to our experience of material causes. The Argument from Contingency The Argument from Contingency is one of the strongest arguments for the existence of God. [5] Craig often says his premises as “more probably true than false,” and that, this being so, we should embrace his conclusion. We can’t infer immaterial causes from having observed only material causes. To commit oneself to this conjecture would be a mistake. Extrapolating outside the relevant domain is an error well-understood by statisticians studying phenomena within the natural realm. Reply Delete Premise 4 commits this blunder in the worst imaginable way by assuming that we can extrapolate from premise 1 to draw conclusions beyond the natural realm. Craig’s approach, if adopted by a door-to-door salesman, would be classified by the legal profession as a bait and switch scam. The argument from contingency cannot be repudiated by some scientific finding in the future. This is a strength with the Leibnizian Cosmological Argument (also known as The Argument From … For more information, please visit www.religionrefuted.com. [6] Though Craig claims (falsely, I would argue) that he has arguments that prove the immaterial cause is a personal god, substituting “God” for “immaterial” still renders the form of his argument invalid. Craig smuggles in a portrait of Divinity by using the heavily freighted term God.[6]+. I shall then offer an explanation as to why Kant thought he needed a refutation such as this at all. You would have to admit that his nature COULD have been otherwise. Although in Western philosophy the earliest formulation of a versionof the cosmological argument is found in Plato’s Laws,893–96, the classical argument is firmly rooted inAristotle’s Physics (VIII, 4–6) andMetaphysics (XII, 1–6). As far as we know, there are no immaterial entities. [Variation of the Principle of Sufficient Reason.] To say that an entity is contingent can be interpreted to mean (1) the entity is physically possible but not necessary, or (2) the entity is causally dependent on something outside itself. It had to be some­thing within his mind.”, Amy: “There was something about the nature of God’s mind that caused his decision?”, Bob: “Right. That’s sheer conjecture. The Ontological Argument. I would like … What I mean is the argument for contingency can only tell us that there exists what it takes for anything to exist, and that thing is God, but it doesn’t tell us whether that God is the God of Christianity or Judaism or Islam, for example. [3] Bruce Reichenbach, The Cosmological Argument: A Reassessment, Charles Thomas, Springfield,1972, p. 102. www.plato.stanford.edu/entries/cosmological-argument, [4] Peter Kreeft, “Rationality of Belief in God”, 12/25/10, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK_71C3C-30. That’s one of the primary responses to Leibniz’s Contingency Argument: the universe is a brute fact — it just is. That’s not always the case. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence (either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause). I’m thinking about getting a tattoo that says that. Wherever there are two possibilities, something must determine which of those … Using definition 1, to say B is contingent is to say that we couldn’t predict with confidence the identity or existence of its causal antecedents. Imagine a believer (Bob) and atheist (Amy) discussing the contingency argument. The most common arg… 4. Premise 2 says, “If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.” Note that Craig has substituted the term “God” for “immaterial cause.” When challenged on the legitimacy of this substitution, Craig shrugs that these two terms are equivalent. It’s logical legerdemain. Kant's refutation of the ontological argument-which states that from the concept of a being containing every perfection it is possible to infer its existence-is well known: "In whatever manner the understanding may have arrived at a concept, the existence of its object is never, by any process of … Let’s get real. The most heavily debated aspects of Leibniz’s contingency argument are premises 1 … The acorn might have been eaten by a squirrel. In other words, definition 1 concerns what we know, whereas definition 2 deals with objects out in the real world. There are a lot of good arguments against atheism (like the argument from contingency).There are also some good ones which unfortunately have been used incorrectly so many times that they have been misidentified as bad ones (like Pascal’s Wager).Even more unfortunately, there are also some genuinely bad ones (like the argument from the banana), and some of these are quite popular. Using definition 2, when we say that B is contingent on A, we mean that A causes B. 1. For those among us who would hope that God’s defenders would not deliberately employ intellectual sleight-of-hand, this is a sad spectacle. On what grounds is thisassumption made? [1]+ Everything around us—every cloud, every puppy, every puppy poop—is contingent, said Aquinas, meaning that it didn’t have to exist; some cause made it exist. Let me emphasize that these explanations, these physical causes, are invariably found within the natural realm. It’s possible that the material realm has no cause, that material causes stretch back infinitely or to the beginning. For example, suppose I said to you, “Yesterday I saw a huge boa and took a fancy to it. The Modal Cosmological Argument, also known as the Argument from Contingency, suggests that because the universe might not have existed (i.e. Premise 1’s being about efficient causes raises problems for Craig’s argument. Dr. Craig told me that the Kalam Argument is weakened in its persuasive force on a b-theory, but it isn’t refuted. In other words, B is an inevitable consequence of A. But what if I snickered and told you that I meant snake in the first sentence and stole in the second? They engage with the public to spread Catholicism. From the The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, a newer generation of philosophical arguments have been released to apologists. Grow Successful Recommended for you Critics understandably accuse Craig of committing the informal fallacy known as equivocating.[7]+. It is impossible for science to show that universe can exist in every possible world, because possible worlds are not actual. So now you believe in God, right?”, Amy: “Not so fast! Craig simply presumes the plausibility of immaterial causation, even though no immaterial cause has ever been identified or even adequately defined. Deriving the conclusion requires a conjunction of premises, as opposed to a direct reading of one premise. I might be talking about a snake. One might say, for instance, that a child’s guardian angel was the efficient cause of the child’s stepping onto the sidewalk just in time to avoid a speeding car. As I see it, the argument from contingency simple says that something had to, necessarily, exist in order for all that now exists to exist. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is … If there’s a chain of causation from A to Z, then Z is inevitable if any preceding entity in the causal chain is inevitable. but the universe is not itself a necessary explanation of its existence. Theists regularly talk about a place "beyond" the universe, a transcendent realm where God exists "outside of time."". Leibniz wrote about many subjects in natural theology and philosophy of religion, including the problem of evil, the cosmological argument… This is a pretty long post, but I think it's no more than such an important subject deserves. The formal argument comes in many forms, so here for instance is the one William Lane Craig uses in his book … Using the term “efficient boa,” I could argue as follows: We have seen efficient boas (by which I mean snakes) within the park; therefore, an efficient boa (by which I mean a stole) exists outside the park. [3] What does it mean, however, to say something is contingent? Clearly this is a claim that God exists in *something*, whatever that something may be, and that the something that God exists in is not identical with … Pope Gregory IX authorized the Dominicans to carry out the Inquisition. Friday, 11 October 2013 Argument from Time and Contingency - Refuted / Leibniz’s Contingency Argument / Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence (either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause). Amy: “No. Amy: “Why not? Craig demonstrates with this argument that if the material realm has a cause, it must be immaterial. reason why this or that has happene… The posts here describe conversations with Apologists & what I regard as their fallacious arguments. The heart of the argument is the denial of true contingency. Reply Delete it is contingent, as opposed to necessary), we then need some explanation of why it does exist. His disjunctive syllogism is a hand-waving distraction from this reality. And your whole contingency argument … The philosopher Walter Sinnott-Armstrong puts it this way: “…to avoid begging the question, one’s reason to believe the premise must be independent of both (a) one’s belief in the conclusion and also (b) one’s reason to believe the conclusion.”[10]. [1] A friar dresses in a cloak, much like a monk, but friars don’t stay tucked away in monasteries. [8] If we accept that defense, and I do, then Craig isn’t guilty of equivocating. My argument argues that the Argument from Contingency is sound. Craig engages in precisely this sort of wordplay. The Argument from Contingency Copleston sets out his argument for the existence of God - an argument from contingency that is a type of Cosmological Argument. It seems that Reichenbach is using the term contingent ontologically, per definition 2, asserting that each entity has a cause outside itself. false. All it means is this: if both material and immaterial causes exist, and if we filter out all material causes, we’re left with only immaterial causes. He has free will. But the conclusion is, in Craig’s words “All the more obvious on an A-theory than on a B-theory”. It was God’s nature, just the way his mind works, that led to his decision to create the universe.”, Amy: “Let me get this straight. In a valid deductive argument, the conclusion is derived by combining the logic of the various premises. In support of premise 2, Craig points out that if a cause is a material cause then it is, itself, part of the material realm. If the critic seeks to deny premise #1, this would be an absurdity, since it would mean the universe is eternally self existent, which is refuted by science, including such principles as the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, and the expansion of the universe. That seems incontrovertible. Critics of the argument from contingency have sometimes questioned whether the universe is contingent, but it remains at least plausible to think that it is so. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. As the philosopher Willard Van Orman Quine observed, physical necessity and contingency are empty terms; there is only what is. Craig is pulling a fast one. The Christian philosopher Bruce Reichenbach, like Aquinas, argued that if every part of a whole is contingent, then the whole must be contingent. 3. Denzel Washington's Life Advice Will Leave You SPEECHLESS |LISTEN THIS EVERYDAY AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE - Duration: 10:18. I might be talking about a fluffy pink stole made of ostrich feathers. Friday, 11 October 2013 Argument from Time and Contingency - Refuted Craig’s crafty (though futile) effort to slither a course between these two fallacies demonstrates that he is mindful of his predicament. Whichever I’m talking about, I should try to be clear. Contingency Argument. To say that something is contingent means that it is not necessary. It couldn’t have been any other way.”, Amy: “Why not? This is probably the most important passage in … It is the belief that "everything happens for a reason", that there is actually sufficient (and, indeed, good!) I shall show in this paper that this refutation, while it is frequently taken to be valid,' is in fact fallacious. The structure of an argument goes from initial premise to conclusion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtfVds8Kn4s. Definition 1 emphasizes our uncertainty about whether the contingent entity will exist: the entity’s existence is conditional. Yet these efficient causes could be implemented, as far as we know, only by force carrier particles that cannot exceed the speed of light and would therefore manifest as a temporal causal chain. . (So-called final causes are more accurately identified as motives.) Peter Kreeft presents the contingency argument by way of a homey analogy. Science can only show what happens in the actual world. We all know that God is taken by most people in Craig’s audience to be a conscious being, whereas “immaterial cause,” to the extent that it has meaning, doesn’t imply any such thing. Yet Craig commits himself to a far more extravagant conjecture and thereby makes a far more egregious mistake by saying that premise 1 supports the speculation that the cosmos has an immaterial cause. You would probably think I was being purposely deceitful. The efficient cause of the painter’s sunburn was a defect in her sunscreen. My writing differs from Aquinas’s writing not only in volume, but also in tone. It makes no sense to cry out, “Ooh, I found a material cause! It is based on a false premise. Otherwise, all deductive arguments would be fallacious. Craig is arguing that if there’s a cause of M, then (1) M or Not-M is the cause, (2) M is not the cause; therefore, Not-M is the cause. No, I’m not. Aquinas, a member of this order, spent most of his life writing an estimated 8 to 11 million words. Craig himself, in defense of premise 1, provides examples only of material causes, never of immaterial causes. But if you say God’s nature is contingent on something else, then God is a contingent entity. The analogy’s exploitation of scientific illiteracy exemplifies a much broader principle manifest throughout apologetics: Every argument for the supernatural realm is rooted in ignorance of the natural realm. The argument against the existence of God offered by this gentleman is not a valid one. A lot of people conflate the argument from contingency with the so-called “cosmological” argument (a.k.a. That something must not have been a contingent thing, but a necessary thing. An informal fallacy, in contrast, can’t be detected by examining the structure of the argument. The debate starts with a lengthy discussion of the Cosmological Argument.Copleston presents a version of the argument based on contingency, which is based on Aquinas' 'Third Way' and Leibniz's Principle of Sufficient Reason.Russell responds by questioning whether necessary existence (aseity) is a … Sometimes it’s called petitio principii or circular reasoning. What we call today the Kalam Cosmological Argument, was first made by Aristotle and then by Islamic scholars in the 9th century. The conclusion of his argument (statement 5) is that immaterial causation (God) exists. Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence (from 1 and 3). Craig, however, doesn’t want to talk only about material causes. it is contingent, as opposed to necessary), we then need some explanation of why it does exist. The Modal Cosmological Argument, also known as the Argument from Contingency, suggests that because the universe might not have existed (i.e. In other words, if we trace back through all the causes within the material realm, and if we encounter the very first material cause, which we can call M, then if we find the cause of M, that cause must be immaterial. Explain the premises of the argument of contingency. The first argument that I would like to consider with you is the argument from contingency. To the pragmatic atheistmany of these arguments remain unpersuasive, ranging from defining something into existence, to at best arguing for some form of … Craig is mired in a catch-22 predicament. For perspective, 10 million words is equivalent to over 60 books the size of the one you’re reading now. The posts here describe conversations with Apologists & what I regard as their fallacious arguments. True, but so is God. Notice that the weakness of this argument would be less apparent if I strike all references to efficient boas, snakes, and stoles and use only the word boas, by which I still mean efficient boas: We have seen boas within the park; therefore, boas exist outside the park. Craig is speaking of the Kalām argument, not contingency argument, but the objections and defenses largely overlap. From the The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, a newer generation of philosophical arguments have been released to apologists. But if you say God’s nature is contingent on something else, then God is a contingent entity. That tells us nothing of theological significance. The argument against the existence of God offered by this gentleman is not a valid one. I've been thinking more and more about the Cosmological Argument lately and I noticed there was a recent thread on it in this forum. All Rights Reserved.

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