Faulty reasoning about default principles in cosmological arguments

Faith and Philosophy 21 (2):242-249 (2004)

Abstract

Robert Koons claims that my previous critique of his “new” cosmological argument is vitiated by confusion about the nature of defeasible argumentation.In response, I claim that Koons misrepresents—and perhaps misunderstands—the nature of my objections to his “new” cosmological argument. The main claims which I defend are: (1) that the move from a non-defeasible to a defeasible causal principle makes absolutely no difference to the success of the cosmological argument in which it is contained; and (2) that, since it is perfectly well understood that non-theists have many reasons for rejecting the defeasible causal principle, it is pointless to claim that the move to a defeasible principle brings about a shift in the “burden of proof”. (Since some people may have forgotten—or may choose to ignore—the fact that non-theists do have reasons for rejecting the defeasible causal principle, I also provide a discussion of a modest sample of these reasons.).

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Citations of this work

From States of Affairs to a Necessary Being.Joshua Rasmussen - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (2):183 - 200.
Cosmological Arguments From Contingency.Joshua Rasmussen - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (9):806-819.
Are cosmological arguments good arguments?Bruce R. Reichenbach - forthcoming - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion:1-17.
The Recent Revival of Cosmological Arguments.David Alexander - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (3):541–550.
Epistemological Foundations for Koons' Cosmological Argument?Graham Oppy - 2010 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 2 (1):107 - 125.

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