The Instigator
Lucky_Luciano
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
Anti-atheist
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument is Sound

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Lucky_Luciano
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/25/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,360 times Debate No: 32782
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (3)

 

Lucky_Luciano

Pro

Resolved: The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument is Sound.

Rounds:

1. Presentation of the LCA/Initial Refutation
2. Clash
3. Weighing/Clash

No new arguments should be presented in round 3 unless in direct response to a new argument presented in round 2.

God is defined as the
necessary, personal first cause of the universe.

We should rationally accept an argument as sound if the affirmation of its premises is more plausible than the negation.


The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument
  1. Every existing thing has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
  2. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.
  3. The universe is an existing thing.
  4. Therefore the explanation of the universe is God.

Premise 1

An Overview of Modal Logic

Modal logic is a typology of argumentation that bases its premises in the contingency or necessity of their content. Something is necessary if it could not have failed to exist. The laws of mathematics are necessarily true; it seems reasonable that mathematical truths such as one plus one making two hold true irrespective of how the world may function. The world could exist in the exact opposite manner as it does now and one plus one would still make two. God is also a necessary being, a being that logically could not have failed to exist. It is in the very nature of God that he essentially possess all compossible perfections. Necessary existence is in itself a perfection, and thus God must possess it. That is to say that the very nature of God necessarily explains his existence.

Something is contingent if it could have failed to exist. Most things exist contingently. Each human might not have existed, their respective parents may not have met or had children. Thus, our existence is contingent. The universe appears to exist contingently as well. It seems that the universe may have developed in such a way that the planets were created in different positions, with different respects to habitability. The stars we observe may have been blindingly bright or too dim to see. The Earth itself may not have come into existence. As the universe is contingent, it cannot explain its own existence, for if its own nature entails its existence then it must have necessarily existed.

The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)

The Principle of Sufficient Reason claims that all contingent beings must have explanations. I will defend several arguments that support the PSR.

First, it would seem that the PSR requires no defense. All evidence gathered by our sense perception seems to support the universal and undeniable affirmation of this principle. Indeed, if we admit the first premise to be invalid, then there seems to lack any logical reason that things do not simply pop into and out of existence. However, it appears that there is no evidence to prove that this happens. For every existing thing there must also be an explanation of its existence.

I would also like to present a seemingly stronger argument in support of the PSR: The Explanation of Negative States of Affairs. I feel this argument is best articulated by Alexander R. Pruss [1] in his book The Principle of Sufficient Reason: A Reassessment:

Here is a pattern of explanation we all accept [...]“Why did the yogurt fail to ferment? It failed to ferment because none of the usual explanations of fermentation, namely, the presence of bacteria, were there to explain it, and there was no unusual cause. Why did the dog not bark? It did not bark because no stranger approached it and none of the other possible causes of barking caused it to bark.” These are perfectly fine explanations, and they are not elliptical for longer explanations, though of course they are not ultimate explanations since one may ask why no stranger approached the dog.

In these explanations, we explain a negative state of affairs by noting that the positive state of affairs that it is the denial of lacked an explanation. But now observe that this form of explanation presupposes a PSR, at least for positive states of affair, for if such a PSR does not hold, then one has failed to explain the negative state of affairs. If it is possible that a dog should bark without cause, then in saying that there was no cause for the dog to bark we have not explained why the dog did not bark. We may have explained why a nonbrute barking did not occur, but we have not explained why a brute, or unexplained, barking did not occur.

Our acceptance of the preceding explanations as nonelliptical is thus a sign of our tacit acceptance of the PSR.

With these arguments, I hold that the PSR is sound.

Underview of Premise 1

It seems apparent through modal logic that things exist either necessarily or contingently. Necessary existence is explained by its own nature. The same cannot be said for that which exists contingently. However, the PSR successfully provides that all things which exist contingently must have an explanation. Thus, premise 1 holds true.

Premise 2

If the universe exists, it must exist contingently as detailed in my overview of modal logic. The PSR holds that all contingent beings must have explanations. The existence of a contingent being cannot be explained solely by other contingent beings, for those contingent beings would require explanations from other contingent beings ad infinitum. Thus, there must be a first cause, a necessary being that explains the existence of all contingent beings. Bruce Reichenbach [2] argues, "the necessary being cannot provide a natural explanation for [the universe], for we know of no natural, non-contingent causes and laws or principles from which the existence of the universe follows. What is required is a personal explanation in terms of the intentional acts of some eternal supernatural being. Since the argument proceeds independent of temporal considerations, the argument does not propose a first cause in time, but rather a first or primary sustaining cause of the universe."

The argument is not that God must exist because we do not currently have evidence of natural, non-contingent causes but rather that the idea of natural non-contingent causes is irrational. Consider this: a completely material cause is the first cause. This cause, known as N1, or the first natural cause, sparked the creation of the entire universe. N1 is a necessary being because as previously explained, an infinite number of contingent beings cannot explain their own existence. N1 is the reason the spacio-temporal world as we know it was created. It is the reason matter came into existence. But how is this possible? How can N1 create space and time? By definition, natural beings require space to exist within and are temporal. Also by definition, natural beings are composed of matter. How can that which is composed of matter also account for the creation of matter? On the other hand, suppose P1 is a necessary, personal first cause. Now we can logically explain the creation of space, time, and matter because a personal being may posses the qualities of being eternal, and may transcend the physical. Its will allows for the creation of that which it is not, the physical world. As demonstrated a necessary, natural first cause is logically contradictory. Due to the inability for it to be anything but God, God himself must serve as the explanation of the universe's existence.

Premise 3

I do not believe that this premise will be contested by my opponent. If he, however, decides to raise the question of whether the universe exists I will gladly provide evidence in the following round.

Conclusion

The conclusion that the explanation of the universe is God cannot be logically denied if the 3 premises in support of it hold true. Thus for my opponent to reject the conclusion he must ascertain the negation of any of the 3 premises of the LCA. Indeed, this will be a challenging task for my opponent and if I succeed in defending all of the LCA's premises I shall win this debate.
Anti-atheist

Con

Ill take the position of the godless souless heathen for this debate

Modal logic was shown false in the 1940s so the argument based on modal logic is false.

"Every existing thing has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause."

Give an explanation for everything in the universe! You dont know everything.

"The universe is an existing thing."

It could be an illusion. We don't really know

"Therefore the explanation of the universe is God."

were you there? So you can't really say this
Debate Round No. 1
Lucky_Luciano

Pro

I will grant my opponent round 3 to provide some semblance of reason for his arguments, to provide warrants for his claims, and to address this debate properly.
Anti-atheist

Con

Pro lost. Comeone my arguments are simple to refute like everyother atheist argument. Fail Pro
Debate Round No. 2
Lucky_Luciano

Pro

If my opponent does not provide warrants then there is no reason to doubt my claims.
Anti-atheist

Con

you will vote con.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by toxicmaniac 3 years ago
toxicmaniac
Your opponent is "anti-atheist"

Con was clearly bias and trying to make atheists look bad.
Posted by Lucky_Luciano 3 years ago
Lucky_Luciano
Typo, I meant to say, "I grant my opponent round 3..."
Posted by Lucky_Luciano 3 years ago
Lucky_Luciano
I seriously don't know what to do. Do I continue as normal, or do I not respond at all? Is this when I troll? If so then I may need imabench's help.
Posted by Smithereens 3 years ago
Smithereens
condolences Pro, this is not your lucky day. hehe.
Posted by Lucky_Luciano 3 years ago
Lucky_Luciano
I must say that I have been caught off-guard. How does one even approach R2 of this debate from my position? I am at a loss for words...
Posted by Logic_on_rails 3 years ago
Logic_on_rails
Anti-atheist rigorously and vigorously demolishes this (un) Lucky character. Just look at that epistemological crusade, attacking the very foundations of the affirmative's thoughts. How can he 'know' things? Of course, the enlightened Anti-atheist continues his jaw-dropping revelations by positing that we weren't there to observe the universe's existence, and that 'it could be an illusion' . Such strength behind his words. Who would deny his claims?

We shall look upon this speech's likeness again... or so I desperately hope so.
Posted by Lucky_Luciano 3 years ago
Lucky_Luciano
Yeah. I should have put "Opening Arguments/Clash."
Posted by Noumena 3 years ago
Noumena
So do I post refutations this round?
Posted by Lucky_Luciano 3 years ago
Lucky_Luciano
And here I was thinking that I was going to ease through my first few wins before noobs stopped debating me. Time for plan B.
Posted by Noumena 3 years ago
Noumena
Didn't realize that was you buddy. Ill definitely put some thought into my respond then.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Billdekel 3 years ago
Billdekel
Lucky_LucianoAnti-atheistTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I dont think an RFD is needed.
Vote Placed by Vulpes_Inculta 3 years ago
Vulpes_Inculta
Lucky_LucianoAnti-atheistTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's objections were simply terrible. None of them were significant or important at all. Where was the justification for his counter-arguments? And what the hell does 'modal logic was disproved in the 1940s' even mean? Besides, Con's excuse for an argument could be used against this. Was Con *there* when modal logic was disproven?
Vote Placed by Magicr 3 years ago
Magicr
Lucky_LucianoAnti-atheistTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Obvious vote