The contingency argument is an argument for the existence of God. The argument is as follows:
1. Every contingent thing has an explanation of its existence.
2. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is a transcendent, personal being.
3. The universe is a contingent thing.
4. Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence.
5. Therefore, the explanation of the universe is a transcendent, personal being (which is what everybody means by God).
As we can see, the argument starts from the Principle of Sufficient Reason (i.e. Premise 1 of the argument) and tries to conclude with God’s existence.
One might first object to this argument by questioning whether our cosmos is contingent.
In addition, if the universe/cosmos (i.e.multi-verse) is eternal, what exactly is the problem? Because, if every single thing is explained by some other thing, then there doesn’t seem to be an issue. Someone might object that the series as a whole isn’t explained, but so what? Why does that matter?
Now, let’s look at the necessary being (God) upholding the cosmos from eternity past. Is that act necessary or contingent? If it is necessary, then one is committed to saying that the cosmos necessarily exists. But if we grant that the universe necessarily exists, then we don’t need God at all.
But suppose that God upholding the cosmos is contingent. Then, what explains why we have this specific cosmos rather than another cosmos? If there’s no explanation, then we do we need to invoke God at all? Why not just go with the simpler explanation by saying the cosmos just exists, end of story. But, even if there is a reason for God to uphold this cosmos, that explanation is still contingent.
The main problem with the argument is the version of the PSR that it endorses. This version presupposes that there is no possible world where there exists contingent things that exist eternally and independently. But why is this impossible? What exactly is the issue? In a world where there exists an eternal and independently existing (contingent) universe, there is nothing to knock it out of existence. In other words, the universe is factually necessary. As a result, invoking the PSR is not needed.
Finally, there doesn’t seem to be any support for the PSR, which most supporters of the PSR seem to grant quickly. Or, they will either say the PSR is self-evident and/or it can be supported indirectly. However, claiming something is self-evident does not make it so. And what about supporting the PSR indirectly? Well, the only argument I’ve seen for this says that if the PSR is false, then nothing requires explanation. But, this is a bad argument because it’s a non-sequitur. Just because some things don’t have an explanation, that doesn’t mean no thing has an explanation. One could think that most things require explanation, or one could think that non-eternal things require further explanation.
#Objections to the argument from contingency #refutation of the contingency argument