The Carriage Objection and the Creation of Logic

Abstract

In the last twenty years analytic philosophy has seen a rising interest in the philosophy of religion in general and in rational reconstructions of religion related arguments and Christian doctrines. In this short note I like to point to a problem that although cosmological arguments play a great role in the present discussion has not received the attention, I believe, it deserves.[1] An old objection to cosmological arguments, named “the Carriage Objection” by Schopenhauer[2], charges them as being arbitrary: the arguments are employed to carry you to the existence of God, but no further (as the carriage carries you to some destination to be dismissed then, therefore the name of the objection). A simple cosmological argument claims the existence of the universe to require explanation, and offers God as the cause of the universe. The Carriage Objection now asks why the principle of sufficient explanation that carried the argument forth to God will not carry us on to a sufficient explanation of God, and then on – ad infinitum . The regress is considered to be vicious. If one was to accept some brute fact (like the existence of God) then why not stop with the brute fact of the existence of the universe?

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Manuel Bremer
University of Cologne (PhD)

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