Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Video: Argument from Contingency

In this creative video, philosopher Josh Rasmussen presents the following version of the argument from contingency:

1. Something exists
2. Everything either (1) depends on something beyond itself, or (2) does not.
3. Whatever is purely contingent depends on something beyond itself.

Conclusion: Something cannot fail to exist.

This is an excellent presentation!  

Courage and Godspeed,

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Anonymous said...

Are there things that can fail to exist even though they do not depend on anything beyond themselves? If so, your argument is invalid. If not - then why not? Why can't there be things that both can fail to exist and do not depend on anything beyond themselves?

Chad said...

Hello Anonymous One,

Thank you for taking the time to comment! We greatly appreciate it! I confess that I am not 100% sure I understand what you are asking.

I believe you are essentially calling into question what philosophers and other thinkers have dubbed the "Principle of Sufficient Reason" (PSR). One form of the PSR states, "Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external case." This is also Premise 1 of William Lane Craig's version of the Leibnizian Cosmological Argument. To learn more about that, see here.

You asked "Why can't there be things that both can fail to exist and do not depend on anything beyond themselves?"

For clarity purposes, can you explain what you mean here a bit more? It seems to me, if I am understanding you properly, you are suggesting that something can come into existence out of nothing (i.e. non-dependent on anything else) and then cease to exist. Is that correct? If I am misunderstanding you, please correct me.

However, I also understand that you could mean "Can something exist in the necessity of it's own nature and then fail to exist?" Is that what you mean? Any further explanation would be helpful and greatly appreciated.

Thank you