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Sunday, April 22, 2012

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Contingent existence (that is, the existing of contingent beings) is a phenomenon in need of explanation. For contingent existence is certainly a 'fact', a reality, but it does not explain itself, being contingent: if it explained itself, if anything could explain itself at all, then it would not be contingent but necessary. On the other hand, it cannot be entirely unexplained, for then there would be being from non-being (i.e., some reality which cannot account for itself and yet is unaccounted for by anything else, a sort of "incompleteness" of reality). Therefore there must be something necessary.

For the second argument that everything concrete is contingent, I'm unsure about the first premise. It seems to me that the conceiving of the nonexistence of a necessary being _is_ a contradiction, since that would be holding that a necessary being could be nonexistent. But that might already be skipping ahead to endorsing the second premise, which you deny. It still, however, appears to me that (1) is not thinkable without contradiction (a necessary being not being necessary, that is, nonexistent?), otherwise (1) and (2) might be equivocating on 'conceive'.

I can also 'conceive' of the possibility that I've totally butchered the argument. I hope that's not the case.

Pardon what i suspect is obtuseness on my part, but how can we be sure that no physical being is necessary?
Why could not the physical universe as whole be both eternal and necessary?

regards

Chris

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