Douglas Groothuis

Defending Christian Faith, September 28 2004




part 1



I.          Cosmological Arguments


A.        Distinguish from other theistic arguments


1.         Ontological (a priori)


2.         Design (a posteriori)


3.         Moral (a posteriori)


4.         Religious experience (a posteriori)


B.         There are various forms of the cosmological argument (a posteriori arguments)


1.         Leibniz/Richard Taylor:  principle of sufficient reason/explanation


2.         Thomistic or neo-Thomistic arguments:  contingency and necessity (see Winfried Corduan, No Doubt About It and elements from Nash, Faith and Reason)


a.         Something exists


b.         It is either contingent (caused, dependent, determined) or necessary (self-existent); not both


c.         The universe is contingent, not necessary


d.         An infinitely long series of contingent states is impossible, Or; unless there is a necessary being, there can be no contingent beings


e.         Therefore, a First Cause is required to begin the series


f.          Therefore, there is a Necessary/non-contingent Being  (NB)


g.         There is one NB, contra Hume/Nash (explanatory simplicity; metaphysical coherence)


h.         The NB cannot cease to exist (contra Hume/Nash)


i.          This NB is God (possesses attributes necessary for deity and unique to deity—whatever others it may possess), contra Hume/Nash