A new cosmological argument undone

There is an intriguing recent effort to develop a valid cosmological argument on the basis of quite minimal assumptions.1 Indeed, the basis of the new cosmological argument is so slight that it is likely to make even a conscientious theist suspicious – to say nothing of our vigilant atheists. In Section 1 we present the background assumptions and central premises of the new cosmological argument. We are sympathetic to the conclusion that there necessarily exists an intelligent and powerful creator of the actual universe, but we show in Section 2 that the new cosmological argument cannot establish this claim. Specifically, we show by reductio ad absurdum that the new argument is unsound, and that every plausibly modified version of the argument is also unsound.2 We close our discussion with a diagnosis of what went wrong in the new cosmological argument. Our conclusion is that this intriguing new argument promises considerably more than it can show
Keywords Philosophy
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DOI 10.1023/A:1012754022592
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