The Leibnizian Cosmological argument:
- Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause
- If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is something that is Uncaused, Personal, beginningless, Immaterial, Enormously Powerful, and Timeless, and Spaceless
- OBJECTION: I would argue that this is a pretty lofty assumption. I guess timeless and spaceless make sense. I don’t know, I would need more information on why it’s ‘uncaused, personal beginningless, immaterial, and enormously powerful’
- ANSWERS TO OBJECTION:
- It is not merely an unwarranted assumption.
- Timeless and spaceless are derived from the fact that “it” had to exist before time and space existed, which you concede.
- Uncaused because it is physically and philosophically impossible to have an infinite regress of causes.
- What caused the causer? That question is irrelevant because at some point in the past something had to initiate all causes. Otherwise the chain of causes would go back for infinity. It is impossible for an infinite past or series of events to exist because we would never arrive at today if that was true. In other words, an actual infinite implies that there is an infinite number of events or time behind us and an infinite amount ahead. The problem is that one cannot traverse an infinite number of events or time.
- Personal: there are only two things that can be conceived of that could have existed before the universe: 1) an abstract object. Eg. A number or proposition (idea), or 2) an unembodied mind. An abstract object has no causal power. The number 7 cannot cause anything to happen. An unembodied mind has free will and choice. It chose to cause the universe.
- Beginningless: this returns to the irrational idea of an infinite regress of causes. There has to be something that caused everything.
- Immaterial: before time began, according to big bang theory, there was nothing. No time, space, matter, or energy. Not even fields of fluxuating forces (espoused in quantum mechanics theory). If it was a personal cause as mentioned above it can be described as an unembodied immaterial mind. This is kind of like our minds. When we die, can our minds live on? Many people think it can and does.
- Enormously powerful: I guess this depends on if you think power is required to create the universe.
3. The universe exists
4. Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence (from 1,3)
5. Therefore, the explanation of the existence of the universe must be described as uncaused, personal, beginningless, immaterial, enormously powerful, and timeless and spaceless. (from 2, 4)
I first heard this argument by William Lane Craig (http://www.reasonablefaith.org/) and it is greatly expanded upon in his book “The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology”