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CARM Failure: First Cause Argument

CARM Failure: First Cause Argument

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CARM Failure: First Cause Argument

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  1. Below is an example of the Cosmological (first cause) argument. Copied from CARM.org 1. Things exist. 2. It is possible for those things to not exist. 3. Whatever has the possibility of non existence, yet exists, has been caused to exist. A. Something cannot bring itself into existence, since it must exist to bring itself into existence, which is illogical. 4.There cannot be an infinite number of causes to bring something into existence. A. An infinite regression of causes ultimately has no initial cause, which means there is no cause of existence. B. Since the universe exists, it must have a cause. 5.Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause of all things. 6.The uncaused cause must be God. CARM Failure: First Cause Argument

  2. Only two forms of “first cause”: There are really only 2 forms of the “First Cause” argument. One form fails because it has a conclusion that explicitly contradicts one of the premises. The other form fails because it has a hidden premise, which is really the conclusion cleverly worded, which fails by pettito princippi (begging the question). The above example from CARM is of the second form.

  3. First Cause: Critical Analysis When dealing with first cause arguments, there are only 4 possible primary premises that can be used. Below is a list of them all: A. All things have a cause B. Some things (at least one thing but not all things) do not have a cause. C. Some things (at least one thing, but not all things) do have a cause. D. No things have a cause. (We can set aside D since no cosmological argurer will use it as a premise.)

  4. Critical analysis: And from one of these primary premises, the cosmological argurer (in this case Matt Slick) concludes (from above): Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause of all things.

  5. Form One of First Cause failure: If the Cosmological argument form uses premise A: (All things have a cause), then the conclusion: (Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause of all things.) explicitly contradicts this premise.

  6. Pettito Princippi failure: If the Cosmological argument uses B: (Somethings do not have a cause); or C: (Somethings have a cause); Their conclusion is nothing more a reiteration of that premise. Which is pettito princippi (begging the question).

  7. Hidden Premise exposed: Premise 2 and 3 from above are a cleverly worded form of B or C: Some things do not have a cause. Or: Some things do have a cause.

  8. Responding to objection: If the first cause arguer disagrees with this analysis, then the following question must be answered: What is the difference between: Whatever has the possibility of non existence, yet exists, has been caused to exist. And: Some things (at least one thing but not all things) do not have a cause.

  9. Critical analysis: Clearly, when the first cause arguer (in this case Matt Slick) posits: “Whatever has the possibility of non existence, yet exists, has been caused to exist..” This premise is excluding that which does not have the possibility of non-existence (which is God). Which is exactly the same thing as saying: “Some things (but not all things) does not have a cause” Which is exactly the same thing as saying: Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause of all things.

  10. Conclusion: What occurs in between the primary premises and conclusion doesn't matter. The arguments still fail for the same reasons.

  11. Additional information: For more information about CARM inaccuracies, Matt Slick inaccuracies, and Matt Slick fallacies; please visit: WWW.CARMFALLACIES.COM WWW.MATTSLICKFALLACIES.COM WWW.WHYCARMSUCKS.COM