Philosophy and Psychology
Submitted By lrosson
Cosmological Argument Many philosophers have provided their arguments for the existence of God. Their arguments are a priori or a posteriori. A posteriori is based on experience of how the world is. In which the Cosmological view of William L. Rowe comes from. This paper will show how Rowe took the cosmological argument and its principle of sufficient reason and failed to make it an established argument of the existence of God.
Cosmological Argument has been taking by many and divided into parts of their argument. Rowe was influenced by the Philosophers Saint Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century and Samuel Clarke in the eighteenth century. All men have similar view points, also are slightly different, and can be translated into one viewpoint of causal relationship. These viewpoints of their arguments are listed as follows: (1) The world is made up of either dependent beings, or independent beings. (2) Not every being can be a dependent being. (3) Therefore, there exists a self-existent being, and that being is God.
In Rowe’s argument he reflects on the thought of principle of sufficient reason and it states that there must be an explanation of the existence of any and every being, and of any positive fact whatever. For example, this is the explanation for my existence and every feature of my life. Principle of sufficient reason give Anselm’s three cases: explained by another, explained by nothing, and explained by itself holds Anselm’s principles as false. For Anselm’s theory of “explained by nothing” violates the principle of sufficient reason and as a result is left out of premise one. Dependent or self-existent beings are the only two possible types of beings left. If we hold principle of sufficient reason to be true, then premise one is not up for argument, because only one of the two types of beings need to exists in order to follow as a true statement. Now let’s look into the second premise in which is stated that everything cannot be a dependent being. Rows goes into explaining why the principle of sufficient reason is true along with premise two also be to true. Rowe states that there has only been an infinite series of dependent beings and none of the self- existing beings. In this theory every being has an explanation of its existent because of the being before it and that in which caused its existence. Suppose one would say what cause the series to start in the first place. In the principle of sufficient reason states that doesn’t need for an explanation because it’s made up of all dependent beings, and dependent beings does not need to be explained. “It won’t do to say A’s have always been a producing of other A’s we can’t explain why there have always been A’s by saying that there have always been A’s. (Rowe 51) In which a self-existing being comes into play for the start of the series, and premise two is a true statement. For this to be true is simply because of premise one showing that there are only two beings a self- existing and dependent, and not everything can be a dependent being, therefor there must be an a self-existing being.
So far we follow the Cosmological Argument to be a true statement that proves the existence of a self-being which is God. But yet if we look into this a little deeper into Rowe’s ground for his argument which is the Principle of Sufficient reason we can see some fault. The only way the two premises can both be true, is if the Principle of Sufficient Reason must be true. If we look into Rowe’s suggestions of the reason to accept the trust of principle of sufficient reason we find first, “some have held the principles of sufficient reason is (or can be) known intuitively to be true” (Rowe 55) As we know for three plus three to equal six is true, the person for principles of sufficient reason say that the same is true about it. If one understands the principle of sufficient reason then it understands the truth about itself and it must be true. While some look to the principle of sufficient reason to be true others do not do so and thus comes a faulty way to prove the existence of God. For the ones who know three plus three equals does and must equal six, are not always for the principle of sufficient reason and “some even claim that the principle is false” (Rowe 55). Thus I believe that there are things and positive facts that do not need explanation.
The second of which Principles of sufficient reason is defended is by “claiming that although it is not known to be true, it is, nevertheless, a presupposition of reason, a basic assumption that rational people make” (Rowe 55). A person for principle of sufficient reason says that all of us already think that principle of sufficient reason is true. The problem with this is that even if we do believe that principle of sufficient reason is true, us believing in it does not make it true. I believe in one thing and another person might believe in something completely different. Holding ones belief in some subject does not make it true nor does it make it false.
In conclusion if one wants to hold the Cosmological Argument to prove the existence of God, then the proof of the principle of sufficient reason needs to have more evidence. The principles of sufficient reason are what make up the premises of Cosmological Argument in which have no evidence of being true. Therefore one cannot use the Cosmological Argument to prove the existence of God, until the principle of sufficient reason has more evidence to back its statements.