Cosmological Arguments from Contingency

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Abstract

Cosmological arguments from contingency attempt to show that there is a necessarily existing god-like being on the basis of the fact that any concrete things exist at all. Such arguments are built out of the following components: (i) a causal principle that applies to non-necessary entities of a certain category; (ii) a reason to think that if the causal principle is true, then there would have to be a necessarily existing concrete thing; (iii) a reason to think that the necessarily existing thing would be god-like. In this essay, I discuss various ways of developing each of these components to produce an argument from contingency, and I point out classic objections and replies along the way. I also make note of some of the most recent developments in arguments from contingency and point out avenues for future research.

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