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Leibnizian Cosmological Argument

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Does premise (2) beg the question?
« on: January 25, 2011, 08:53:04 am »
 

In Dr. Craig's formulation of the LCA, premise (2) is the following:

 

(2) If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.

 

I must be missing something, as I can't seem to see how, if the LCA is used to support the view that God exists, this premise does not beg the question.

 

Would someone with more insight than I help me understand why this is not a legitimate objection to the LCA? Thanks!



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Randy Everist

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Does premise (2) beg the question?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 09:03:55 pm »
achernar wrote:  

In Dr. Craig's formulation of the LCA, premise (2) is the following:

(2) If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.

I must be missing something, as I can't seem to see how, if the LCA is used to support the view that God exists, this premise does not beg the question.

Would someone with more insight than I help me understand why this is not a legitimate objection to the LCA? Thanks!

No prob! It's important to note an argument begs the question just in case the only or primary reason for affirming a given premise is accepting the conclusion. However, it may surprise you to know that even an atheist may (if he wishes) believe this premise without also affirming God's existence.

For this is logically equivalent to the sometimes-heard atheistic claim that "if atheism is true, then the universe has no explanation." The contrapositive of this last statement is "if the universe has an explanation, atheism is false." Which of course entails that God exists. Since the antecedent and consequent in a conditional are supposed to be related, it stands to reason the explanation in question is God (which is really quite trivial, since if the atheist assertion is accepted, then if the universe has an explanation, God exists.).

So how can an atheist believe this premise and not believe in God? Simple. By denying premise 1 of the LCA, a modified Principle of Sufficient Reason of sorts. In this way, believing (2) to be true in no way relies on acceptance of the conclusion. Hence, the reason no one ever brings it up when discussing with WLC. Hope that helped!

"Every great man was thought to be insane before he changed the world. Some never changed the world. They were just insane."

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Does premise (2) beg the question?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2011, 09:46:27 pm »
Thanks, RandyE! That clears it up for me. Thanks much!