- George Berkeley
Sean Carroll has a great article on God, physics, and explanation up on his web-site. I've posted some comments regarding it over at Prosblogion.
Hi Kenny, nice review. So you really think the ontological arguments and contingency arguments are better than first cause and fine tuning arguments? It seems that the general opinion of the ontological arguments is that they seem to define God into existence, and in general are not compelling. Is there some further reading I can do? Also, I have not explored the argument from contigency, where should I start?
You are certainly right that the general opinion among philosophers of religion is that the fine-tuning argument does much better than the ontological argument. I am in the minority here. On the other hand, the view that the argument from contingency is one of the better arguments is a pretty mainstream position, I think.
I have explored all of these issues in my series of posts on Sobel's Logic and Theism. Also, for my view of the ontological argument, see here.
On the argument from contingency, my favorite classical presentation is Leibniz's "On the Ultimate Origination of the Things," which can be found in his 'Philosophical Essays,' ed. and tr. Ariew and Garber. The best recent treatment of the surrounding metaphysical issues is Pruss's The Principle of Sufficient Reason, which I mentioned in the post. It's not directly a defense of the argument from contingency, but it is a defense of the central premise of that argument, namely, the principle of sufficient reason. I don't know your level of background; some parts of Pruss's book are fairly technical. I don't know a shorter or less technical treatment off the top of my head.
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