Re: Stereotypes and reputations

From: Pim van Meurs <>
Date: Sat Aug 06 2005 - 01:01:57 EDT

One may point out that the concept of necessary explanation is somewhat
philosophical and seems to depend on the following


It is commonly accepted that there are two sorts of existent entities:
those that exist but could have failed to exist, and those that could
not have failed to exist. Entities of the first sort are /contingent
beings/; entities of the second sort are /necessary beings/.^[1
<>] We
will be concerned with the latter sort of entity in this article.

There are various entities which, if they exist, would be candidates for
necessary beings: God, propositions, relations, properties, states of
affairs, possible worlds, and numbers, among others. Note that the first
entity in this list is a /concrete entity/, while the rest are /abstract
Many interesting philosophical questions arise when one inquires about
necessary beings: What makes it the case that they exist necessarily? Is
there a grounding for their necessary existence? Do some of them depend
on others? If so, how might one understand the dependence relation?

If they exists would be candidates for necessary beings. THat begs the
question of course of do they exist. If that one can be answered
affirmative, then they are argued to have been necessary, not contigent.

Or in other words

Some suggest that to call God's existence "metaphysically necessary"
means that God, by definition, is an uncaused, indestructible, and
eternal being. So if God exists, then he has no cause; there's nothing
outside of himself that his existence depends on. And if God doesn't
exist, then nothing could bring him into existence (since anything that
was brought into existence would not be God). So God's existence
couldn't be a contingent matter.

What am I missing here?

The following argues?

   1. Contingent beings are caused.
   2. Not every being can be contingent.
   3. There must exist a being which is necessary to cause contingent
   4. This necessary being is God.

Is this closer? I see some problems with this argument however. Could
the necessary being not just be the universe?

An interesting position

   1. The creation of the world is the most marvelous achievement
   2. The merit of an achievement is the product of (a) its intrinsic
      quality, and (b) the ability of its creator.
   3. The greater the disability (or handicap) of the creator, the more
      impressive the achievement.
   4. The most formidable handicap for a creator would be non-existence.
   5. Therefore if we suppose that the universe is the product of an
      existent creator we can conceive a greater being namely, one who
      created everything while not existing.
   6. Therefore God does not exist.

        ("Gasking's Proof", /Analysis/ 60:4 (2000), pp 36870.)

Seems mostly philosophers disagreeing

janice matchett wrote:

> At 01:26 PM 8/5/2005, Pim van Meurs wrote:
>> janice matchett wrote:
>>> *Tim wrote:* /"...Another major reason for ignoring creation also
>>> has to do with whether it is a necessary explanation. .."
>>> /## I assume you've been able to provide a cogent rebuttal to Alvin
>>> Plantinga's arguments such as can be found in
>>> *Warranted Christian Belief*
>>> **
>>> <>*
>>> - Theism, Atheism and Rationality:
>>> * - etc., etc. I would
>>> love to see them.
>> How does this relate to Tim's statement about 'necessary explanation'?
> Tip of the iceberg:
> Janice
Received on Sat Aug 6 01:03:37 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sat Aug 06 2005 - 01:03:38 EDT