Because the universe is contingent, it has a cause

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Parent debateThis argument is used in the debate Does God exist?.
Argument againstThis argument is an objection to The universe has no cause or reason for being.
Keywords: Cosmological argument, First cause, Causality, Reason for being, God, Contingency[ edit ].



“According to the absurdist thesis, the world, although contingent, has no explanation. The central proposition, then, is that a contingent being can have no explanation. We believe this proposition to be false. It is possible to show this, starting from a principle weaker than the principle of reason, acceptable even to the proponents of the absurdist thesis. We owe this idea to Richard Gale and Alexander Pruss: this principle consists in admitting that "every contingent being can have a cause" (and not that "every contingent being has a cause"). Everyone will agree that it's hard to argue against such a demanding principle. But it will take us quite far. Consider the universe in its primordial matter. Even if we assert that this universe has, in fact, no explanation, we are obliged to admit that it could have one (that metaphysically contingent beings have an explanation is indeed the general case, and we see no reason why the existence of a given quantity of energy should not have a cause). We therefore admit that it is logically possible for this being to have an explanatory cause. Now, we know that every effect makes its cause necessary (from the moment a singular event has a cause, we must recognize that it would have been impossible without it). We are therefore led to say that it is possible that the universe could not have existed without its cause. The standard rules of modal logic (S5 system) state that if a necessary fact is possible, it is real. So, if it's possible for a contingent fact to have an explanatory cause, it's possible that it necessarily needs this cause, and therefore it has a cause.”

Frédéric Guillaud, God exists, p.187-188, Éditions du Cerf, Paris, 2013.



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