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Rational argument for the existence of a Supreme Being
12-30-2012, 03:55 AM, (This post was last modified: 12-30-2012, 04:01 AM by macfadden.)
#1
Rational argument for the existence of a Supreme Being
Quote:This is an excerpt from the famous BBC Radio debate between Father Frederick C. Copleston and Bertrand Russell. In this section, they discuss Leibniz's Argument from Contingency, which is a form of the Cosmological Argument. It differs from other Cosmological arguments (e.g. Kalam) in that it is consistent with an eternal universe, as it doesn't appeal to first causes, but rather the principle of sufficient reason. It can be summarized in this way:

(1) Everything that exists contingently has a reason for its existence.
(2) The universe exists contingently.
Therefore:
(3) The universe has a reason for its existence.
(4) If the universe has a reason for its existence then that reason is God.
Therefore:
(5) God exists.





Quote:The principle of sufficient reason states that anything that happens does so for a reason: no state of affairs can obtain, and no statement can be true unless there is sufficient reason why it should not be otherwise. The principle is usually attributed to Gottfried Leibniz, although the first person to use it was Anaximander of Miletus. Also Alexander R. Pruss argued the principle of sufficient reason relating with "ex nihilo nihil fit".

The principle has a variety of expressions, all of which are perhaps best summarized by the following:

For every entity x, if x exists, then there is a sufficient explanation for why x exists.
For every event e, if e occurs, then there is a sufficient explanation for why e occurs.
For every proposition p, if p is true, then there is a sufficient explanation for why p is true.

A sufficient explanation may be understood either in terms of reasons or causes for like many philosophers of the period, Leibniz did not carefully distinguish between the two. The resulting principle is very different, however, depending on which interpretation is given.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sufficient_reason
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