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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