A response to Oppy, and to Davey and Clifton

Religious Studies 38 (1):89-99 (2002)
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Our paper ‘A new cosmological argument’ gave an argument for the existence of God making use of the weak Principle of Sufficient Reason (W-PSR) which states that for every proposition p, if p is true, then it is possible that there is an explanation for p. Recently, Graham Oppy, as well as Kevin Davey and Rob Clifton, have criticized the argument. We reply to these criticisms. The most interesting kind of criticism in both papers alleges that the W-PSR can be justifiably denied by the atheist, and constitutes no improvement on the strong Principle of Sufficient Reason (S-PSR) which claims that every true proposition in fact has an explanation. The criticism is predicated on the fact that it can be shown that the W-PSR entails the S-PSR. We argue that the W-PSR's plausibility remains despite the criticisms. From this it can be seen to follow that the entailment relation between the W-PSR and the S-PSR gives one reason to believe the S-PSR.



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Alexander R. Pruss
Baylor University

Citations of this work

Cosmological arguments.Graham Oppy - 2009 - Noûs 43 (1):31-48.
From states of affairs to a necessary being.Joshua Rasmussen - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (2):183 - 200.
From a necessary being to god.Joshua Rasmussen - 2009 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 66 (1):1-13.
The recent revival of cosmological arguments.David Alexander - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (3):541–550.

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