Nick McNeely

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It's actually pretty obvious if you make a branching tree diagram. Every explanandum has an explanans. Either those explanans are themselves explanada in which case they have their own explanans, or they're not. If they are explananda, then their explanans either are explananda or not. Etc. We have an explanatory chain.

So, the chain either terminates or it doesn't. If the chain doesn't terminate, then we have a network of contingent facts explaining each other. In that case, LCA fails.

If it does, it either terminates in all necessary facts or it terminates in a set of explanans one of which is a brute fact.

If the latter, then PSR is false and thus LCA fails.

If the terminal set of explanas is composed of only necessary facts, then all facts are necessary facts. This implies modal collapse.

So, could you have done anything differently in your life? If so, LCA fails.

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Nick McNeely

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Re: Either PSR is false, the Leibnizian Argument fails, or Modal collapse.
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2015, 08:42:37 am »
No response? :(

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Lion IRC

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Re: Either PSR is false, the Leibnizian Argument fails, or Modal collapse.
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2015, 12:18:28 pm »
I don't see how the PSR fails based on your terminal chain. Doesnt the LCA also work in reverse?

When something terminates - when its existence comes to an end - isnt that equally explained by Leibnitz?

The same God who is given as the explanation for a thing's existence is also offered as the ultimate explanation for why anything does not exist - because if God wanted it to exist, it would.

 

This user will NEVER be posting at Reasonable Faith Forum again.

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Nick McNeely

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Re: Either PSR is false, the Leibnizian Argument fails, or Modal collapse.
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2015, 08:47:31 pm »
I don't see how the PSR fails based on your terminal chain. Doesnt the LCA also work in reverse?

When something terminates - when its existence comes to an end - isnt that equally explained by Leibnitz?

The same God who is given as the explanation for a thing's existence is also offered as the ultimate explanation for why anything does not exist - because if God wanted it to exist, it would.

If the chain terminates, then there are precisely two options. One is that it terminates in a set of facts with at least one member being a non-necessary fact. The other is that it terminates in all necessary facts.

In the former, there is at least one brute fact and PSR is false. PSR is a premise of LCA, so LCA fails.

In the latter, it follows that all facts are necessary facts. This means modal collapse. You couldn't have done otherwise. So, LCA doesn't fail, but there's tons of other undesirable consequences. Moral arguments fail. You don't have free will. Fine tuning arguments fail. etc

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HIJ

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Re: Either PSR is false, the Leibnizian Argument fails, or Modal collapse.
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2015, 09:05:44 pm »
Have you looked at Alex Pruss's response to this van Inwagen style objection? You can find his papers online for free, I think you can find it in his "Leibnizian Cosmological Argument" (or something, it's also in his "Principle of Sufficient Reason").

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Stephen

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Re: Either PSR is false, the Leibnizian Argument fails, or Modal collapse.
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2015, 09:36:38 am »
Seems to me it is perfectly possible for all causal chains- of contingent facts- to terminate in only one necessary fact. That is at least possible, logically.

In which case, we have a scenario where the LCA is sound upon a termination of a causal chain/all causal chains- when it does so upon a single necessary entity (tracing all the "branches" backwards), indeed, God.

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aleph naught

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Re: Either PSR is false, the Leibnizian Argument fails, or Modal collapse.
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2015, 10:25:37 am »
The only answer I'm aware of is to say explanations don't entail that which they explain. But then it's quite unclear what they're supposed to be.

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Miles_Donahue

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Re: Either PSR is false, the Leibnizian Argument fails, or Modal collapse.
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2016, 08:29:35 pm »
I think your objection misses the essence of Stephen T. Davis' reformulation of the argument from contingency (this is the version that Craig defends).
  • Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
Premise (1) clearly has to do with things, not facts. It is completely consistent with there being brute facts about the world. Perhaps the causal series of contingent entities terminates with a necessary being, and that necessary being freely wills the existence of contingent things. Likely, the fact describing the will of the necessary being is simply brute, and the argument, as Davis formulates it, is unaffected. In short, we still come to a theistic conclusion even if we do not affirm a strong formulation of Leibniz's principle of sufficient reason.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2016, 11:25:49 am by Miles_Donahue »
- Socrates said the unreflective life is not worth living. I say the indecisive life is not worth living, because even if you choose wrongly, at least you chose.

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alex1212

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Re: Either PSR is false, the Leibnizian Argument fails, or Modal collapse.
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2016, 01:02:33 pm »
I think your objection misses the essence of Stephen T. Davis' reformulation of the argument from contingency (this is the version that Craig defends).
  • Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
Premise (1) clearly has to do with things, not facts. It is completely consistent with there being brute facts about the world. Perhaps the causal series of contingent entities terminates with a necessary being, and that necessary being freely wills the existence of contingent things. Likely, the fact describing the will of the necessary being is simply brute, and the argument, as Davis formulates it, is unaffected. In short, we still come to a theistic conclusion even if we do not affirm a strong formulation of Leibniz's principle of sufficient reason.

Correct. Nick is conflating two different formulations of the PSR. The argument that Craig uses endorses the formulation of the PSR that deals with THINGS, NOT facts.