Premises and Conclusions from other Academics and Thinkers

Some logic premises from Scotus and Ross on the ontological and cosmological arguments. We’re getting into some heady stuff here. I’m not a strong proponent of any of these positions but I enjoy learning and considering all these viewpoints. God wants our hearts, souls, and minds so let’s exercise the grey matter. PSR in Ross’s argument is the Principle of Sufficient Reason (link to Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). As always I invite comments and discussion.

Also see The Kalam Cosmological Argument

Scotus’s Modal Cosmological Argument

1) Whatever cannot possibly exist from something else possibly exists
from itself.
2) It’s possible that a first causal potency exist.
3) The first causal potency cannot possibly exist from something else.
4) So, it’s possible that a first causal potency exists from itself. (1-3)
5) What is nonexistent cannot bring anything into existence.
6) Even if [per impossible] what is nonexistent could bring itself into
existence, it would not be altogether uncausable.
7) So, it is not possible for something to exist from itself which does not
actually exist from itself.
8) So, a first causal potency does exist from itself. (4, 7)

● Scotus, Tractatus De Primo Principio 3.1-19.
● Timothy O’Connor, “Scotus on the Existence of a First
Efficient Cause” International Journal for the Philosophy of
Religion 33 (1993), pp. 17-32.

James Ross’ Modal Cosmological Argument

1) It is impossible that anything prevent the existence of God.
2) For every individual x, if it is a fact that x exists or a fact that x does not
exist, it is possible that there is an explanation for the fact that x exists
of the fact that x does not exist. (PSR)
3) [Suppose] God does not exist.
4) It is possible that there is an explanation for the fact that God does not
exist. (1, 2)
5) It is not possible that there is an explanation for the fact that God does
not exist. (From 1)
6) It is and is not possible that there is an explanation for the fact that God
does not exist. [4, 5, contradiction)
7) It is false that God does not exist. (3-6)

● James F. Ross, Philosophical Theology (Bobbs-Merrill, 1969), pp.
173-181.
● Outline borrowed from Richard Gale, On the Nature and
Existence of God (Cambridge, 1991), pp. 203-205.

Christopher Weaver’s Modal Cosmological Argument

1) If there is a sum of purely contingent facts, it possibly has a cause.
2) There is a sum of purely contingent facts.
3) So, the sum of purely contingent facts possibly has a cause. (1, 2 MP)
4) If the sum of purely contingent facts possibly has a cause, then it has
a cause. (from (1))
5) So, the sum of purely contingent facts has a cause. (3, 4 MP)
6) If the sum of purely contingent facts has a cause, then there is a
necessary, concrete cause.
7) So, there is a necessary concrete cause. (5, 6 MP)

● Christopher Weaver, “Yet Another New Cosmological
Argument,” International Journal for Philosophy of Religion
80 (2016), pp. 11-31.

See also: Reasons for Intelligent Design