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12/13/2018 9:02 pm  #51

Re: Assuming PSR is false, in what other ways can we still prove God??

aftermathemat wrote:

Yes, you read the title correctly. And it's pretty much self-explanatory. Atheists often deny PSR on the basis that it's denial doesn't entail a contradiction and that brute facts are logically possible. But let's just grant the atheist this incorrect premise of denying the PSR for the sake of argument. What other ways are there that still end up proving the existence of God, even if the existence of contingent things were an actual brute fact so that arguments based on the PSR no longer work?

I already know of several, such as: Scotus's Triple Proof, the Weak-PSR, the Augustinian argument, the argument from logical possibilities, Aquinas's Third Way (maybe),  Aquinas's Fifth Way (perhaps), Aquinas's Fourth Way / The Transcendentals (though it can be argued that the Transcendentals can be used as a proof of PSR) and the Kalam Cosmological Argument (though the PSR denier could say that the beginning to exist of something is also a brute fact).

I also think there are other candidates such as: the Intelligibility Argument (arguing from the existence of even one explicable fact to the existence of a grounding of all explicability and intelligibility), the Rational Structure argument (the fact that reality has a minimally rational basis [it follows the laws of logic] to the existence of an underlying rational reality [this can also be used if PSR is true, since the underlying basis of reality would be explicable and thus we would have an underlying transcendent rational reality as well]).

What do you think?

Maybe not impossible per say, but anything that follows the "brute fact" would ultimately be explained by nothing. If this "brute fact" where to be the bottom layer of explanations, then nothing would have an explanations. Thats why I find it helpful to start with the premise "Some contigent fact(s) X have another fact Y that satisfies the question of why it (they) exist" or more simply "Explanations exist." These aren't really deniable, because you need an explanation for your denial. But I would also argue that to deny the PSR would entail a logical impossibility. If you define it as a principle that states every contigent fact X has a fact Y that satisfies the question of why it exists, simple because, a contigent fact can either be explained by nothing or something. Nothing can't explain anything (by definition of nothing. P.S. I could flesh out my two arguements for this proposition.), so all contigent facts are explained by something. But lets just say that the PSR is false. There is a multitude of arguements you could use. 

Arguement 1:

P(1) There is a possible world in which the totality of all contigent things had a beginning.
P(2) It is possible that the beginning of the totality of contigent things had a cause.
P(3) This cause must be necessary and conrete
C(4) Therefore, something necessary and concrete, possibly exists. 
P(5) If something necessary possibly exists, then it exists. (by definition of necessary)
C(6) Therefore, a necessary thing exists. 

Arguement 2:

P(1) Explanations exist.
P(2) Explanations create explanatory chains.
P(3) If an explanatory chain must regress infinitely, then that chain must have an explanation.
P(4) Explanatory chains must terminate in necessity.
C(5) Therefore, a necessary thing exists.

You may have heard these already but I would be happy to give more. 



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