More of the basics in the cosmological argument series. It’s worth your time to study on Leibniz, a philosopher that was ahead of his time. Conceptually, the cosmological and ontological mix it up here.
Offered by Samuel Clarke
1) There are dependent beings.
2) For any dependent being, it either depends on itself, or it depends on another.
3) Nothing can depend on itself.
4) So, all dependent beings depend on another. (1, 2)
5) The series of beings which depend on another can’t be inﬁnite.
6) If the series of beings which depend on another can’t be inﬁnite, then the series of beings which depend on another must ultimately depend on an independent being.
7) The beings which depend on another must ultimately depend on an independent being. (5, 6)
● Clarke, A Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God.
● William Rowe, The Cosmological Argument (Princeton, 1975)
● Richard Gale, On the Nature and Existence of God (Cambridge, 1991), pp. 244ﬀ.
● Bruce Reichenbach, The Cosmological argument: A Reassessment (Charles C. Thomas, 1972).
Leibniz’s Sufficient Reason
1) Anything that exists has a suﬃcient reason it exists, either in another contingent being or in a necessary being.
2) The world exists.
3) Therefore, the world has a suﬃcient reason it exists, either in another contingent being or in a necessary being.
4) But the suﬃcient reason the world exists cannot be in another contingent being, since (a) the world just is the collection of all contingent beings, and (b) the suﬃcient reason for the collection cannot be in its parts, individually or collectively.
5) So, a suﬃcient reason for the world must be in a necessary being outside the world.
6) Therefore, there is a necessary being outside the world
Davis-Craig Leibnizian Explanation
1) Everything that exists has an explanation.
2) The universe exists.
3) So, the universe has an explanation.
4) If the universe has an explanation, its explanation is God.
5) So, God exists.
● Stephen T. Davis, “The Cosmological Argument and the Epistemic Status of Belief in God,” Philosophia Christi 1/1
● William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith (Crossway, 2008), pp.106-111.