Saturday, April 13, 2013

Problems for Clarke's Version of the Cosmological Argument

1.  Clarke does not show that there must be one necessary being.

2.  Clarke does not show that the necessary being (s) must be omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent.

3.  Clarke does not show that the necessary being (s) cannot be natural, the big bang itself, or some other physical phenomena.

4.  Clarke does not show that the necessary being (s) cannot be the universe or matter itself.

5.  Clarke does not address the reason or explanation for God's existence.  The PSR has no exceptions, he maintains.

6.  It looks like Clarke commits the Fallacy of Composition any way you interpret him.  He has to argue that what is not true of the parts (they are not necessary) must also fail to be true of the whole.  Or, he must assume that what is true of the parts must also be true of the whole, which is not the case for many properties.

7.  The PSR does not apply to whole sets, or subsets, only to individuals.  5 eskimos.  Beyond explaining the individuals, no further explanation is needed or makes sense.

8.  The Problem of Evil.  Even if Clarke argues that it would take infinite power and knowledge to build a universe, an objective assessment of the pain and suffering in the world does not make it clear that the creator must also be infinitely good.

(Most theodicies attempt to show that the existence of God is possible or logically compatible  with the existence of evil.  Clarke needs to argue that the existence of good and evil in the universe shows that the creator actually is infinitely good.  Arguing that God could have reasons for allowing pain and suffering falls far short of the cosmological arg strategy of arguing that in fact things in the universe make it clear that there is a god)

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