Archived

Leibnizian Cosmological Argument

Read 3943 times

zyxwv

  • *
  • 1 Posts
    • View Profile
A Defense of the Leibnizian Argument
« on: May 14, 2014, 07:46:07 pm »
On my blog I posted a defense of Leibniz's cosmological argument. As always, I'm am looking to refine or reject my views whether they be true or false. So, in regard to my defense of this argument, I am looking for critiques, constructive criticism, objections or any other helpful or useful commentary.

You can read the argument here:
http://athoughtfulzephyr.blogspot.ca/2014/05/in-defense-of-leibnizs-cosmological.html

Please let me know what you think.

1

Way

  • ***
  • 2461 Posts
  • The way up and the way down are one and the same.
    • View Profile
Re: A Defense of the Leibnizian Argument
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2014, 10:45:51 am »
Objection to premise 1:
What about the existence of God? If it is possible for an inexplicable object like God to exist, what denies the possibility of other inexplicable objects to exist? If it is possible for inexplicable objects to exist, what denies the possibility that the universe is one of such inexplicable object or that the fundamental basics of the universe like time-space or matter-energy is one of such objects?

Objections to premise 2:
1. You are claiming that mind can cause matter into existence, when it is "powerful" enough, which is absurd. If there is a powerful mind, something like a bycicle could just "pop up" out of nowhere anytime whenever that mind wills so. Why is this not happening all the time?
2. The universe could just aswell explain itself by the necessity of its own nature. Think of it as an ideal closed system in terms of thermodynamics. There might be causal interactions inside of or immanent to the system, but the system does not change and stays permanent. Furthermore, think about the First Law of Thermodynamics, which postupates that energy-matter can neither be created nor destroyed, but is only transfered or transformed. In fact, all causal interactions in the physical world can be explained as transformation or transference and the term "creation" does not apply here, so where is the evidences that there ever was, is or will be anything defying current knowledge of fundamental physics like a creation or destruction of matter-energy?
« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 11:10:37 am by Wey »
Reason and emotion are what make us human. But reason without emotion is cruelty, emotion without reason is stupidity.

2

dylan_kittrell

  • **
  • 94 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: A Defense of the Leibnizian Argument
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2014, 06:07:08 pm »
Quote
What about the existence of God? If it is possible for an inexplicable object like God to exist, what denies the possibility of other inexplicable objects to exist?

Where does he say in his argument that an inexplicable object exists?

Quote
1. You are claiming that mind can cause matter into existence, when it is "powerful" enough, which is absurd. If there is a powerful mind, something like a bycicle could just "pop up" out of nowhere anytime whenever that mind wills so. Why is this not happening all the time?

It's true that this mind would have the power to create, say, bicycles whenever he feels like it. But, how does that undermine the second premise? Just the possibility of him doing so (i.e. creating the bicycle) does not entail that we should expect him to do so.

Quote
2. The universe could just aswell explain itself by the necessity of its own nature

But, we have good scientific evidence that point to the contingency of the universe. There is evidence that shows that the universe has not always existed, but rather came into existence a finite time ago. Does this not bespeak of contingency?

3

Way

  • ***
  • 2461 Posts
  • The way up and the way down are one and the same.
    • View Profile
Re: A Defense of the Leibnizian Argument
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2014, 06:20:30 pm »
Quote
What about the existence of God? If it is possible for an inexplicable object like God to exist, what denies the possibility of other inexplicable objects to exist?

Where does he say in his argument that an inexplicable object exists?


Then what explains the existence of God?

Quote
1. You are claiming that mind can cause matter into existence, when it is "powerful" enough, which is absurd. If there is a powerful mind, something like a bycicle could just "pop up" out of nowhere anytime whenever that mind wills so. Why is this not happening all the time?

It's true that this mind would have the power to create, say, bicycles whenever he feels like it. But, how does that undermine the second premise? Just the possibility of him doing so (i.e. creating the bicycle) does not entail that we should expect him to do so.

I am not convinced that an immaterial being like a powerful mind can explain the process of material coming out of nothing. How is it possible for an immaterial being to get the material beings out of "nothing"? If not out of "nothing" and material hasn't always been there,  where does all that material come from?

Quote
2. The universe could just aswell explain itself by the necessity of its own nature

But, we have good scientific evidence that point to the contingency of the universe. There is evidence that shows that the universe has not always existed, but rather came into existence a finite time ago. Does this not bespeak of contingency?

What scientific evidence do we have that matter-energy has a begin and an end, making it possible to literally create and destroy matter-energy? The Big Bang Theory says that the Universe was in a very hot and very dense state prior to the bang. Who knows what or if anything happened prior to that state? Correct me if I am wrong, but such a state of the Universe could possibly be past eternal or even considered timeless (in the sense of not defined by our current physical concept of time).
« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 06:23:20 pm by Wey »
Reason and emotion are what make us human. But reason without emotion is cruelty, emotion without reason is stupidity.

4

dylan_kittrell

  • **
  • 94 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: A Defense of the Leibnizian Argument
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2014, 06:58:56 pm »
Quote
Then what explains the existence of God?

The argument say that anything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of that things nature or in an external cause. The former is what applies to God. The explanation of God's existence is that he is a necessary being which has always existed and cannot cease to exist.

Quote
I am not convinced that an immaterial being like a powerful mind can explain the process of material coming out of nothing. How is it possible for an immaterial being to get the material beings out of "nothing"? If not out of "nothing" and material hasn't always been there,  where does all that material come from?

You ask a lot of questions, but I fail to see any arguments. The Leibnizian Argument is an argument for such an immaterial being, a "powerful mind." Whether or not it "convinces" you is irrelevant to soundness or validity of the argument. No one can know exactly "how" God brought the universe into being from nothing, but we do not need to know how he did so, in order to know that he did so.

Quote
What scientific evidence do we have that matter-energy has a begin and an end, making it possible to literally create and destroy matter-energy? The Big Bang Theory says that the Universe was in a very hot and very dense state prior to the bang. Who knows what or if anything happened prior to that state? Correct me if I am wrong, but such a state of the Universe could possibly be past eternal or even considered timeless (in the sense of not defined by our current physical concept of time).


Indeed you are wrong! There aren't any plausible models of the beginning of the universe that can be extrapolated back to past infinity. Besides, even if it the universe is infinitely old, it would still need an explanation for why it's their at all rather than not.

5

Way

  • ***
  • 2461 Posts
  • The way up and the way down are one and the same.
    • View Profile
Re: A Defense of the Leibnizian Argument
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2014, 07:27:18 pm »
Indeed you are wrong! There aren't any plausible models of the beginning of the universe that can be extrapolated back to past infinity. Besides, even if it the universe is infinitely old, it would still need an explanation for why it's their at all rather than not.

The same argument you use to explain God necessitates its own existence it can be argued that an eternal universe necessitates its own existence.
The explanation of the Universe's existence is that it is a necessary being which has always existed and cannot cease to exist. Yes, I'm paraphrasing your argument about God.
Reason and emotion are what make us human. But reason without emotion is cruelty, emotion without reason is stupidity.

6

dylan_kittrell

  • **
  • 94 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: A Defense of the Leibnizian Argument
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2014, 09:28:48 pm »
You could go that route, but virtually no philosopher holds such a position in academia. Of course, that doesn't make the position wrong, so let's look at it.

First of all, I think we have good reason to trust our modal intuition when we sense that the universe is contingent. That is to say, when I look around me I sense very strongly that the stars, planets, galaxies, could have failed to exist. In other words, there's nothing about them that makes me feel like they have to exist. Indeed, at one point in the history of the universe they didn't exist. So I think we can trust our modal intuitions with respect to the universe as well. If you want us to go against our modal intuitions, then you need to provide some sort of argument or justification for doing so.

Of course, since our intuitions can so often lead us astray, it would be nice if we could give more solid arguments for the universe's contingency. How about this one: in order to say that this universe is necessary you would have to say that it is not even possible for this universe to have not existed. But, according to modern cosmogony, we know that at one point in the past, the universe did not in fact exist. But if the universe did not exist at one point then it is by definition not necessary.

7

Way

  • ***
  • 2461 Posts
  • The way up and the way down are one and the same.
    • View Profile
Re: A Defense of the Leibnizian Argument
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2014, 04:35:30 am »
You could go that route, but virtually no philosopher holds such a position in academia. Of course, that doesn't make the position wrong, so let's look at it.

First of all, I think we have good reason to trust our modal intuition when we sense that the universe is contingent. That is to say, when I look around me I sense very strongly that the stars, planets, galaxies, could have failed to exist. In other words, there's nothing about them that makes me feel like they have to exist. Indeed, at one point in the history of the universe they didn't exist. So I think we can trust our modal intuitions with respect to the universe as well. If you want us to go against our modal intuitions, then you need to provide some sort of argument or justification for doing so.

It depends on what academia you are referring to. Perhaps the theological academia will never agree to this view, but the scientific academia does not hold a conclusive position yet.

Our intuition tells us that there cannot be something coming out of nothing. But creation ex nihilo is suggesting right that. Even if an immaterial mind is supposed to evoke creation, it still goes counter intuition that there was once nothing and that the material something just popped out of nowhere. Furthermore, all these stars, planets and galaxies you have mentioned are just energy and matter in motion, if you reduce them to their fundamental parts. The sum of them makes up our universe. No one has ever observed that such parts have ever been created or destroyed. So it does not violate intution to assume that they could have been eternal.

Of course, since our intuitions can so often lead us astray, it would be nice if we could give more solid arguments for the universe's contingency. How about this one: in order to say that this universe is necessary you would have to say that it is not even possible for this universe to have not existed. But, according to modern cosmogony, we know that at one point in the past, the universe did not in fact exist. But if the universe did not exist at one point then it is by definition not necessary.

Curently there are many different models and some models break down after some time. But no one today can say for certain that the Universe did not exist in some way or another before the Big Bang. Perhaps according to some models our physical space-time may have begun at some point, but that does not mean that possibly another space-time existed prior to our space-time. But even if there was another universe before our universe, which is part of the multiverse theory, it is still part of the Universe, that is the sum of all material existence. So even in case the singularity that existed prior to the Big Bang existed past infinitely or beyond our concept of time, the existence of such a singularity means that material existence was there rather than nothing was there, so the Universe (the sum of material something) also existed.

I have heard of models that show how the our current concept of time would not apply to some singularities anymore, but I don't know any model/academia that support the view that there was no material existence (in other words actual "nothing") prior to the Big Bang, could you fill me up on this?
Reason and emotion are what make us human. But reason without emotion is cruelty, emotion without reason is stupidity.

8

javedshafiq1

  • *
  • 2 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: A Defense of the Leibnizian Argument
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2014, 09:21:15 am »
We have been getting many new users lately who don't seem to know the finer points of our rules.
ipad repair plano
cellphone repair is affordable with cellphones4sure. iphone repair dallas and DFW area. We repair all types of cell phones

9

Rob Heusdens

  • **
  • 179 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: A Defense of the Leibnizian Argument
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2014, 06:33:52 pm »
But, we have good scientific evidence that point to the contingency of the universe. There is evidence that shows that the universe has not always existed, but rather came into existence a finite time ago. Does this not bespeak of contingency?

Please be aware that this statement is dependend on what you define as "the universe". For the sake of argument it is better to distinguish between  "observable universe" (and we have plenty of reasons to think that there is more 'universe' outside our cosmological horizon) and the universe at large.

You should think of the universe at large as a container term (and not an object itself!), which is itself nothing, only what it contains is something. As long as conservation of matter/energy holds, every form of matter can be contingent, but the universe will always exist.

That the "observable universe" has a starting point (13,4 billion years ago) is nothing more special as to say that the earth had a starting point. In both cases, they did not start in or from nothing, but were formed by previous material causes.

The starting point of the "observable universe" was not a singularity. GR has indeed a singularity, but as you know, gravity is not the only force in the universe, and you need quantum mechanics also to describe the universe. GR is not complete and can only make good predictions when QM effects don't play a role (i.e. when the distances between material objects are large).
Because the early universe was very hot, dense and compac, QM comes into play, and then predicts something else as a singularity.