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7/12/2018 3:49 am  #31


Re: Answering Challenges to "Five Proofs"

Is it not just a mere assertion to say the universe is contingent? How can we prove the statement "the universe could have been otherwise?" We've never seen it be otherwise, and just because we can imagine it having different laws, constants etc. does not mean that it could, in actuality, been any different.

 

7/12/2018 5:39 am  #32


Re: Answering Challenges to "Five Proofs"

mnels123 wrote:

Is it not just a mere assertion to say the universe is contingent? How can we prove the statement "the universe could have been otherwise?" We've never seen it be otherwise, and just because we can imagine it having different laws, constants etc. does not mean that it could, in actuality, been any different.

Why? Hume says otherwise and who is to dispute him.

 

7/12/2018 11:52 am  #33


Re: Answering Challenges to "Five Proofs"

mnels123 wrote:

Is it not just a mere assertion to say the universe is contingent? How can we prove the statement "the universe could have been otherwise?" We've never seen it be otherwise, and just because we can imagine it having different laws, constants etc. does not mean that it could, in actuality, been any different.

 
Most people would accept the claim by intuition. I think the fact we can conceive of no-universe, etc, gives us a defeasible reason to accept the universe is contingent. And a quite strong one. I also don't think it's impossible for Big Bang to be correct. But if someone thinks the universe is necessary then they must think it was *impossible* for it to have had a beginning, not just that it didn't have one.

But one can also adapt the other arguments. If something is potential with respect to existence then it is contingent, since it could fail to exist, having only potential existence without actualization. Or, going by the real distinction, if a thing's essence is distinct from existence then it exists contingently, as its existence has to be added to the essence. As I said, the same arguments from potency and essence/existence etc can be adapted to contingency/necessity.

There's also, I think, an issue with modal continuity. Since all physical things we see are contingent, the burden is on the objector to argue that the necessary being is physical.

Last edited by Miguel (7/12/2018 11:53 am)

 

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