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Sum-Styled Cosmological Argument

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posted on Oct, 28 2016 @ 09:24 PM
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A “Sum-styled” Leibnizian Cosmological Argument





(1): Everything not existing by necessity (i.e. everything that could fail to exist) owes its existence to something external to itself. (For example, planets, lightning, and humanity each owes existence to something else.)
(2): Something exists (call it “the Universe”) which is the sum of all these things which do not exist by necessity.
(3): Therefore, the Universe owes its existence to something external to itself.
(4): Whatever exists externally to the Universe obviously cannot itself be contingent (i.e. cannot be part of that sum).
(5): Therefore, whatever exists externally to the Universe is not contingent; by definition it exists of necessity. Conclusion: Therefore, the Universe owes its existence to something that exists by necessity.


I mentioned this to someone earlier in a thread, and realized that I have never shared this version with the ATS crew.

Normally, I would take the time to explain arguments but this one seems pretty straight forward. The Universe is the sum of all contingent things, from 1 and 2 we can draw the conclusion that the universe owes its existence to something external to itself, from 3 we can conclude that the external cause of the summation of all contingent things cannot be part of that sum, therefore we have "the Universe" owes its existence to something that exist by necessity.




posted on Oct, 28 2016 @ 10:58 PM
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Thanks for this... I'm more familiar with the Kalam cosmological arguments.

Have you used this argument in practice (witnessing)? Are any of these statements controversial or more difficult to defend? Just curious of your experience using it...

ETA ... I know William lane craig has been focusing some of his recent philosophy work on necessary objects and abstract objects. It's all a little over my head. Do you have a good book or other source that details this argument?
edit on 28-10-2016 by VegHead because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2016 @ 11:49 PM
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originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb

A “Sum-styled” Leibnizian Cosmological Argument





(1): Everything not existing by necessity (i.e. everything that could fail to exist) owes its existence to something external to itself. (For example, planets, lightning, and humanity each owes existence to something else.)
(2): Something exists (call it “the Universe”) which is the sum of all these things which do not exist by necessity.
(3): Therefore, the Universe owes its existence to something external to itself.
(4): Whatever exists externally to the Universe obviously cannot itself be contingent (i.e. cannot be part of that sum).
(5): Therefore, whatever exists externally to the Universe is not contingent; by definition it exists of necessity. Conclusion: Therefore, the Universe owes its existence to something that exists by necessity.


I mentioned this to someone earlier in a thread, and realized that I have never shared this version with the ATS crew.

Normally, I would take the time to explain arguments but this one seems pretty straight forward. The Universe is the sum of all contingent things, from 1 and 2 we can draw the conclusion that the universe owes its existence to something external to itself, from 3 we can conclude that the external cause of the summation of all contingent things cannot be part of that sum, therefore we have "the Universe" owes its existence to something that exist by necessity.


And to what does this "something outside the universe" (can you possibly get more vague??) owe its existence? Or does the infinite regression end there for an equally vague reason?



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 12:14 AM
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a reply to: VegHead




Thanks for this... I'm more familiar with the Kalam cosmological arguments. Have you used this argument in practice (witnessing)? Are any of these statements controversial or more difficult to defend? Just curious of your experience using it... ETA ... I know William lane craig has been focusing some of his recent philosophy work on necessary objects and abstract objects. It's all a little over my head.



Well I actually came across this the other day looking for a new version of the Cosmological argument, because I found that abstract objects were giving me a very hard time. I would have been a proponent of something like Divine Conceptualism had you spoken to me a few days ago, which takes the position that all abstract objects are propositions in the mind of God. This seems to have quite a few issues with it.

You see one thing I don't like about WLC response when it comes to God being a necessary being is that he uses numbers as an example of necessary entities when he doesn't believe numbers are necessary but rather are what he terms useful fictions. I am inclined to agree with Him, but if that is the case then I don't think we should use numbers as an example and try to avoid that if possible.

So I found with the Kalam Cosmological when ever someone would question the first premise I found my self wanting to give them examples of things that exist but didn't have a beginning. This I found was relatively hard to do. I think I am edging toward the position that God is the only necessary entity, which would seem again to be a quality of the Christianity God. This form of the argument does away with that by using language similar to that in math, and makes the logic far more obvious to a laymen imo.

This is Leibnizian Contingency Argument but the phrasing has been changed slightly.

I don't really see much controversy in these. The only thing I can think to rebut this argument is to argue that the universe is not contingent, but I don't see how one would prove the universe must exist in all possible worlds.




Do you have a good book or other source that details this argument?


To be honest I simply spend a few hours googling different key words and finding sources i find truth worthy and just read on the same topic for a few hours looking up things I don't understand.

I can tell you what I've learned so far though. The argument comes from Gottfried Leibniz, a German philosopher, mathematician, theologian, and scientist.

Leibniz started with the question, "Why is there world at all, and why is it the way it is?"

He came to the conclusion that this had an answer, and the only satisfactory answer implied God. He endorsed something known as the principle of sufficient reason. Basically, this was the idea that if something can fail to be the way that it is then then there must be some reason of why the world is that way.

So for example it is possible that the planets were stationary rather rotating around the sun, so there must be some reason why they rotate around the sun rather than sitting stationary. Apply this principle to the universe and we could say it is possible that the universe didn't exist, therefore the universe must have some reason for its existence.

The argument above seeks to make the case that the summation of all contingent things is the universe and since it is the sum of all contingent things it to is contingent, but what it relies upon cannot be part of that sum and as such must be necessary.

A necessary entity in my research seems to make the most sense using possible world semantics and is crucial to understanding the ontological argument.

Imagine this:

There are two circles on a sheet of paper. Inside one circle is the set of all possible worlds. A possible world would be any way the universe could have gone. For example there is a possible world in which the sky is red. Inside the circle of all the possible worlds is a world known as the actual world. That would be the world we observe. In the other circle is the set of all impossible worlds, so descriptions of the world that could never have been true. For example, there are no worlds with married bachelors. A necessary being exists in every possible world description due to the nature of the thing itself. Using the Anslemian conception of god as the greatest possible being, we can say that in order to be maximally great God would need to be maximally excellent in every possible world otherwise we could conceive of a being greater than God and that by definition would become God. So in order to be what we think of as God, God would need to be necessary. It just so happens that argument above tells us a necessary entity seems to be needed as an explanation of the universe. There are also other implications like if space time and matter are contingent then the necessary entity they rely upon must be spaceless timeless and immaterial.

The problem I have had with witnessing is people with any version of this argument is that they misunderstand causation. Aristotle speaks of four types of causation. In cosmological arguments we are saying the universe was caused efficiently by something. That would be a cause by some external agent, not necessarily a material cause.



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 12:17 AM
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a reply to: TzarChasm

Well we know you misunderstood the argument completely.

You need to go look into the idea of necessary existence.



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 12:23 AM
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a reply to: TzarChasm

The summation of all contingent things is the last possible contingent thing. It logically must rely upon something that is necessary. This is not a hard concept to grasp...



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 01:47 AM
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originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
(1): Everything not existing by necessity (i.e. everything that could fail to exist) owes its existence to something external to itself. (For example, planets, lightning, and humanity each owes existence to something else.)

If the primary assumption fails, as this one does, then the rest of the 'argument' fails.
Everything exists (by necessity)!
That something 'is', is evidence that it could never have been otherwise!
Not anything can 'fail to exist'.
If you can name it, it exists in your mind and words, if nowhere else!
Fail 1.

There is not anything that is 'external/autonomous' to anything else!
All that exists is 'interconnected', an inherent feature of the One Reality.
God/Universe is One!
Quantum mechanics demonstrates that all the time.
Even 'classical physics' has declared that there cannot be found, anywhere, where one thing definitively leaves off and another begins!
Fail 2.

The rest, and the conclusion, fails in the same manner.
Your house is built on sand...
Fail 3.

Even a logically valid argument (yeah, there is one...) will not replace Faith.



edit on 29-10-2016 by namelesss because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 05:19 AM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb




(1): Everything not existing by necessity (i.e. everything that could fail to exist) owes its existence to something external to itself. (For example, planets, lightning, and humanity each owes existence to something else.)


Why are you starting your argument with "everything NOT existing" or, "everything that could FAIL to exist". rather than than everything that exists?

This is an ancient argument that is based on ignorance, that assumes to know or understand the parameters of existence. It ignores the first law of thermodynamics, that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. So in reality, nothing ceases to exist, only the perimeters of identity and observation change.



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 08:09 AM
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a reply to: namelesss




If the primary assumption fails, as this one does, then the rest of the 'argument' fails. Everything exists (by necessity)! That something 'is', is evidence that it could never have been otherwise! Not anything can 'fail to exist'. If you can name it, it exists in your mind and words, if nowhere else! Fail 1.


My god people. Premise one is the very definition of contingency. If something is contingent, then it is not necessary and it is not impossible. No everything does not exists by necessity. You are taking the necessity mentioned here to be necessity de dicto when you should be reading it necessity de re.

Yes if something exist then it exist. This is in the realm of temporal possibility. Temporally, things that exist would be necessary, but a metaphysically necessary being cannot fail to exist. You and I exist but we exist contingently. If our parents did not exist then you nor I could exist. We owe our existence to some external cause, this immediately disproves your idea that everything exist by necessity. That is a truth claim and one you definitely cannot back up. If DNA didn't exist my body couldn't exist. If the great galaxy seed variations varied in 1 part in 100000 then galaxies wouldn't have formed. So galaxies are contingent. The idea of contingent things is not in question by an philosopher that I know of and none of them argue that all things are necessary.....




There is not anything that is 'external/autonomous' to anything else! All that exists is 'interconnected', an inherent feature of the One Reality.


I mean your entitled to your opinion but I see no reason to think that this is true. Are you saying that programmers are external to their programs? Carpenters aren't external to the table ? A watchmaker not external to their watch? I simply don't understand what you think you know, but it seems completely false.




God/Universe is One! Quantum mechanics demonstrates that all the time.


Are you getting stuff off the new age bs generator?
sebpearce.com...#/

THE UNIVERSE IS ONE!

How do you know?

QUANTUM MECHANICS!! Consciousness consists of electrical impulses of quantum energy. “Quantum” means a redefining of the sensual. Beauty is the driver of life-force. We exist as electromagnetic forces!!!!!

I'm sorry but I think you are just misunderstanding quantum physics.




Even 'classical physics' has declared that there cannot be found, anywhere, where one thing definitively leaves off and another begins!


Well jeez. I bet I get the nobel prize for showing the separation between an artist and his art.



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 08:51 AM
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a reply to: windword




Why are you starting your argument with "everything NOT existing" or, "everything that could FAIL to exist". rather than than everything that exists?


Because in philosophy you have the idea of necessary entities. Even though I don't agree with them, many mathematicians think that numbers exist in this way as did Plato. This isn't a new idea. Things that aren't necessary, but exist, exist contingently meaning they are dependent upon some prior set of circumstances. Leibniz called this the principle of sufficient reason. If something could have been different than it is then there must be a reason that it is the way it is. This is simply rephrasing what it means to be contingent. So the first premise is simply saying things that aren't necessary are contingent which is completely uncontroversial although some people may not accept it.




This is an ancient argument that is based on ignorance, that assumes to know or understand the parameters of existence. It ignores the first law of thermodynamics, that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. So in reality, nothing ceases to exist, only the perimeters of identity and observation change.


Nothing about this contradicts the first law of thermodynamics. According to Noether's Theorem, the conservation law is dependent upon what she called time symmetry. This is the simple idea that as time goes by the universe doesn't change the way it works. If you don't have one spatial dimension, nor a time dimension there is no energy. Also take a look at the Joule:

J = (kg.m^2)/s^2.
No space = no metres.
No time = no seconds.

The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem tells us that inflationary models, oscillating models, and multiverse models are not infinite into the past. There is a good video on youtube of VIlenkin himself explaining this. Not to mention the second law of thermodynamics tells us that entropy is always increasing in an isolated system, the first law and Noether''s theorem tell us that under spacetime energy cannot be created nor destroyed which tells us spacetime is an isolated system. If the universe was eternal that would mean it extends indefinitely into the past, and the universe would have reached a state of thermodynamic equilibrium and there would be no usable energy left in the universe. Seeing as how we do observe usable energy I'd say its most likely not eternal.

The oscillating model of the universe does not circumvent this problem with the second law. In every oscillation entropy increases, again you can go listen to Vilenkin explain this if you don't want to take my word for it. If the universe were eternally expanding and contracting then we would still be in a state of thermodynamic equilibrium, we aren't, so again it seems most likely that the universe is not eternal.
edit on 29-10-2016 by ServantOfTheLamb because: typo

edit on 29-10-2016 by ServantOfTheLamb because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 08:55 AM
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originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
a reply to: TzarChasm

Well we know you misunderstood the argument completely.

You need to go look into the idea of necessary existence.


Yeah, you're right. I don't think anything exists necessarily, but 'necessary existence' is necessary for your argument, so cest la vie I suppose...

Incidentally...


Another objection to the argument is also quite simple: one could change the possibility premise, and flip the argument on its head:

A being has maximal excellence in a given possible world W if and only if it is omnipotent, omniscient and wholly good in W; and

A being has maximal greatness if it has maximal excellence in every possible world.

It is possible that there isn’t a being that has maximal greatness. (Premise)
Therefore, possibly, it is necessarily true that an omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly good being does not exist.

Therefore, it is necessarily true that an omniscient, omnipotent and perfectly good being does not exist. (axiom S5)

Therefore, an omniscient, omnipotent and perfectly good being does not exist.


You also fail to clarify the superiority of monotheism to polytheism or deism. Your argument does nothing to address this. Odin and allah and hotep and lugh and cthulu deserve love too. Surely this argument could be applied to their benefit as well? Yet you only talk about one god. A little odd, that.
edit on 29-10-2016 by TzarChasm because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 09:07 AM
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a reply to: TzarChasm

Then you think that all things are contingent or impossible. Impossible things don't exist. So everything that you think exist is contingent. Now take the summation of everything you think exist and lets call it the Universe. If there is a summation of contingent things the resulting entity is also contingent as without any contingent things it could not be. If it the universe is the summation of all contingent things then by definition it must owe its existence to something that is not a part of the summation of all contingent things. This would be a necessary entity.

You see by rejecting that there are necessary things you prove that all things in your world view are contingent. So you fall right into the argument. If we take the sum of all things from your position, we would have the summation of all contingent things. This to would be contingent, but there are no more contingent things to sum as that is what we are discussing the summation of all contingent things.... So the summation of all contingent things must rely upon something necessary. The position defeats itself, and proves the very things stated in premise 1 and 2 of my argument. From 1 and 2 we draw 3 from 3 we draw 4 and from 4 the conclusion. You gave me the two premises I needed in rejecting the existence of necessary entities.
edit on 29-10-2016 by ServantOfTheLamb because: typo



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 09:22 AM
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originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
a reply to: TzarChasm

Then you think that all things are contingent or impossible. Impossible things don't exist. So everything that you think exist is contingent. Now take the summation of everything you think exist and lets call it the Universe. If there is a summation of contingent things the resulting entity is also contingent as without any contingent things it could not be. If it the universe is the summation of all contingent things then by definition it must owe its existence to something that is not a part of the summation of all contingent things. This would be a necessary entity.

You see by rejecting that there are no necessary things you prove that all things in your world view are contingent. So you fall right into the argument. If we take the sum of all things from your position, we would have the summation of all contingent things. This to would be contingent, but there are no more contingent things to sum as that is what we are discussing the summation of all contingent things.... So the summation of all contingent things must rely upon something necessary. The position defeats itself, and proves the very things stated in premise 1 and 2 of my argument. From 1 and 2 we draw 3 from 3 we draw 4 and from 4 the conclusion. You gave me the two premises I needed in rejecting the existence of necessary entities.


K then. Hope you feel accomplished. Hope Jesus remembers your birthday. Or is it cuchulain? Thor? ....dammit.



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 09:28 AM
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a reply to: TzarChasm

First off, I love when people flip the argument on its head because they don't realize what they are doing. Lets call the normal version argument 1, and your version argument 2. The ontological argument is a circular argument that is meant to inform listener that the first statement is equivalent to the conclusion. So the circularity is a good thing in this case.

Argument 1 shows that the statement It is metaphysically possible that God exist is equivalent to the statement It is metaphysically necessary that God exist.

Argument 2 shows the statement it is metaphysically possible that God does not exist is equivalent to the statement It is metaphysically necessary that God does not exist.

Argument 2's conclusion is that God is metaphysically impossible. The two arguments taken together show that God is either necessary or impossible. The problem is that if you are presenting this as an ontological disproof you need to show that God is indeed an impossible being by showing there to be a metaphysically possible world that lacks a maximally great being. If you aren't stating it as a disproof then the burden of proof would rest on me to show that it is possible God exist.




You also fail to clarify the superiority of monotheism to polytheism or deism. Your argument does nothing to address this. Odin and allah and hotep and lugh and cthulu deserve love too. Surely this argument could be applied to their benefit as well? Yet you only talk about one god. A little odd, that.



Well I don't think you can have more than one maximally great being because it would lead to contradictions in reality. So that is why I reject polytheism in this argument. Nor do polytheistic religions describe there Gods as maximally great, obviously there may be an exception I am not aware of. I talk about 1 God because I think that the history around Jesus and the rise of Christianity are extremely strong reasons to believe the Abrahamic God to be the one true God. Then we come to the idea of creation needs to be ex nihilo from our perspective. This rules out a large number of religions.



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 09:28 AM
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Duplicate post please remove
edit on 29-10-2016 by ServantOfTheLamb because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 10:19 AM
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originally posted by: ServantOfTheLamb
a reply to: TzarChasm

First off, I love when people flip the argument on its head because they don't realize what they are doing. Lets call the normal version argument 1, and your version argument 2. The ontological argument is a circular argument that is meant to inform listener that the first statement is equivalent to the conclusion. So the circularity is a good thing in this case.

Argument 1 shows that the statement It is metaphysically possible that God exist is equivalent to the statement It is metaphysically necessary that God exist.

Argument 2 shows the statement it is metaphysically possible that God does not exist is equivalent to the statement It is metaphysically necessary that God does not exist.

Argument 2's conclusion is that God is metaphysically impossible. The two arguments taken together show that God is either necessary or impossible. The problem is that if you are presenting this as an ontological disproof you need to show that God is indeed an impossible being by showing there to be a metaphysically possible world that lacks a maximally great being. If you aren't stating it as a disproof then the burden of proof would rest on me to show that it is possible God exist.




You also fail to clarify the superiority of monotheism to polytheism or deism. Your argument does nothing to address this. Odin and allah and hotep and lugh and cthulu deserve love too. Surely this argument could be applied to their benefit as well? Yet you only talk about one god. A little odd, that.



Well I don't think you can have more than one maximally great being because it would lead to contradictions in reality. So that is why I reject polytheism in this argument. Nor do polytheistic religions describe there Gods as maximally great, obviously there may be an exception I am not aware of. I talk about 1 God because I think that the history around Jesus and the rise of Christianity are extremely strong reasons to believe the Abrahamic God to be the one true God. Then we come to the idea of creation needs to be ex nihilo from our perspective. This rules out a large number of religions.


Life is just too short for such boring threads. I suggest you go for a walk with a coffee and clear your head to make room for the finer things in life. Deuces.



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 10:23 AM
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a reply to: TzarChasm

I see it is a common tactic of yours to simply bury your head in the sand when you actually have to think about the fact that you could be wrong.



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 11:00 AM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb

This still makes no sense to me.



....in philosophy you have the idea of necessary entities.


You have an idea, not a fact.
Time symmetry, an oscillating model of the universe, these are not facts, and have nothing to do with the question of the existence of "God".



If the universe were eternally expanding and contracting then we would still be in a state of thermodynamic equilibrium, we aren't,


Can you give me example of an extant "state of thermodynamic equilibrium"? Does it, or has it ever existed in our universe?


so again it seems most likely that the universe is not eternal.


If that is true, then neither is "God" eternal, because "God" is the sum total of all that is.

If all things exist only out necessity, then so does God, if it exists. If all things in our universe exist out of necessity, like "me", then God has needs, needs me to exist, and is not a whole entity.



edit on 29-10-2016 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 12:18 PM
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a reply to: windword




You have an idea, not a fact.


Do you understand the purpose of language? The purpose of language is to communicate an idea from one person to another. You asked me why the argument was phrased in the way that it was. It is phrased that way because sound arguments must come from true premises.

(1b): Everything existing owes its existence to something external to itself.

Is not a premise we can know to be true because it fails to take into account the things that may exist due to the nature of the thing itself. It also falls prey to the paradoxical nature of an infinite regress. So in order to avoid these issues the premise needs to be phrased as follows in order to be true without question:

(1): Everything not existing by necessity (i.e. everything that could fail to exist) owes its existence to something external to itself.




Time symmetry, an oscillating model of the universe, these are not facts, and have nothing to do with the question of the existence of "God".


I think you need to pay closer attention. I mentioned all of that to explain that irrespective of which model of the universe you choose you are faced with the problem of a finite universe.




Can you give me example of an extant "state of thermodynamic equilibrium"? Does it, or has it ever existed in our universe?


Thermodynamic equilibrium is an axiomatic concept in thermodynamics. Has our universe ever existed in this state? No, because it wouldn't have changed from this state....which is why I am saying the fact that we are not in this state already shows that we don't live in an eternal universe.

A collection of matter may be isolated from its surroundings. If it has been left undisturbed for a long time, classical thermodynamics postulates that it is in a state in which no changes occur within it, and there are no flows within it. This is a thermodynamic state of internal equilibrium.




If that is true, then neither is "God" eternal, because "God" is the sum total of all that is. If all things exist only out necessity, then so does God, if it exists. If all things in our universe exist out of necessity, like "me", then God has needs, needs me to exist, and is not a whole entity.


I have no idea what you are trying to say here. Maybe you can clarify



posted on Oct, 29 2016 @ 12:43 PM
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a reply to: ServantOfTheLamb



(1): Everything not existing by necessity (i.e. everything that could fail to exist) owes its existence to something external to itself....(For example, planets, lightning, and humanity each owes existence to something else.)
...
It is phrased that way because sound arguments must come from true premises. Can you give an example of something that doesn't fail to exist?


This is not a sound argument or true premise.

Everything that is is in an ever changing temporary state. Nothing ever ceases to exist, it just transforms, depending on the boundaries of perceptions of an observer.



I mentioned all of that to explain that irrespective of which model of the universe you choose you are faced with the problem of a finite universe.


Says who? You? Nobody knows the boundaries or mechanism of the universe, in total.
edit on 29-10-2016 by windword because: (no reason given)



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