Above I pointed out that my existence is certainly necessary for my daughter’s existence to be a reality. If I get a phone call from a hospital, for instance, and on the calling end is the voice of a nurse telling me that my wife has been admitted to the emergency room, my emotions are needless to say going to be on high alert. An ontologically necessary being is one whose existence is necessary for the existence of contingent beings. The Difference Between Analytic and Synthetic Statements, God and a Priori vs. a Posteriori: Types of Knowledge. Necessary: must happen, cannot nothappen 2. Then again, many apologists define omnipotence as the ability to do anything that is “logically possible,” and such individuals would probably say that causing a “necessary being” to exist is “logically impossible.” But why? This necessary being is God. What the hell is going on? Contingency is an antonym of necessity. The nurse tells me that she twisted her ankle at work and her team lead insisted that she be brought to the ER for X-rays (more information). It seems that a “necessary being” which is not able to “cause [another] necessary being” would not be an omnipotent being. Perhaps so: in the case of my daughter’s existence, I was very much a necessary factor, just as my wife was. The point I also raised was that my father was both a necessary being and a contingent being at the same time. Objective vs. Subjective in Philosophy and Religion. (2): In this possible (even if non-actual) scenario, a non-contingent causer must exist to cause that first contingent thing. The distinction between contingent and necessary statements is one of the oldest in philosophy. The different beings which we observe in our daily experience are subject to beginning, to change, to perfection, and to destruction; existence is not essential to them and they have not in themselves the reason of their existence; they are contingent. A detailed response, thank you Dawson. Likewise my parents’ existence was necessary for me to exist. Argument for the truth of 2 to follow.… Other examples of “contingent being” certainly seem as dissimilar to the Christian god as one could get. tautologies) nor false under every possible valuation (i.e. The universe is a contingent being 3. Because God can cause anything to exist if He wanted to. This is an analysis of an argument which Justin Hall encountered in the field and brought to my attention in the comments section of my blog. A necessary being is one of which the existence is included in and identical with its very essence. The distinction is meaningless in contemporary nominalism-influenced schools. 1, 2, 3 (1): It is metaphysically possible for a first contingent thing's existing to be caused. Necessity is an antonym of contingency. For instance, both our daughter as well as my wife and I are biological organisms, we have physical bodies, we possess the capacity to perceive objects and are thus conscious of things in the world; as biological organisms we face a fundamental alternative (life vs. death) and thus can live only if certain conditions are met (e.g., food, water, shelter, protection from the elements, etc. My mind would consequently be racing: Was she in an auto accident? ً اميلع Him being All-Knowing He whose knowledge discloses all things that are necessary, possible, and impossible. Some add that what makes God perfect also makes him exist necessarily, and so trace his necessity to his immateriality (Aristotle), eternity (Plotinus) or simplicity (Aquinas). The trouble is, however, that the concept of a logically necessary being is a self-contradictory concept. It is so wrong it just leaves me wondering, have they even read Rand? The argument for God's existence based on the evidence of design in the world. As nouns the difference between contingency and necessity is that contingency is (uncountable) the quality of being contingent, of happening by chance; unpredictability while necessity is the quality or state of being necessary, unavoidable, or absolutely requisite. Only Necessary Being Can Cause a Contingent Being (Bn->Bc) = The Positive Principle of Modality. Teleological Argument Lawhead. What Is the Correspondence Theory of Truth? Copleston: Take the proposition "if there is a contingent being then there is a necessary being." Katholon: Rational Thinking for the 21st Century, Incinerating Presuppositionalism blog archives (in PDF format), Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year One, Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Two, Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Three, Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Four, Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Five, Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Six, Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Seven, Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Eight, Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Nine, Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Ten, Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Eleven, Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Twelve, Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Thirteen, Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Fourteen, Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Fifteen, Why logic does not presuppose the Christian god, A Thorough Refutation of Sye Ten Bruggencate's Poof of God's Existence, From the Horse's Mouth: Apologists Shooting Themselves in the Foot, The “Necessary Being” vs. “Contingent Being” Argument. The coffee grounds are not a biological organism; they do not possess consciousness; they do not face the fundamental alternative that I as a biological organism face; they do not need values in order to exist, etc. Really? things which are possible either to be or not be It is commonplace to distinguish between contingent truths - I am sat in a chair - and necessary truths - 2 + 1 = 3. A being who contains the reason for its existence within its own nature. Being a mammal is part of a cat's essence, but having claws is an accident. Truth is necessary if denying it would entail a contradiction. Do they even understand the concept proof? A “Start-styled” Contingency Argument. The opposite of this is a “necessary” being - one which must exist and therefore exists in all possible worlds. There must be a necessary being 5. Of course I agree that “nonbeing cannot cause being” or that something which does not exist cannot cause existence to exist. My understanding of the principle of causality has to do with the relationship between an entity and its own actions, and according to the principle of causality this is a necessary relationship, since the actions of an entity necessarily depend on the acting entity’s nature. etc. But this is not the case for everything that I cause. There cannot be a necessary being because it has unique characteristics but these are contingent. Contingent: could happen or not, possible 3. Well, that’s a lot less serious than some of the alternatives I could imagine, which is all I’d have to go on if more information were not forthcoming. So perhaps it would be educational to know why the defender of this argument thinks that “nonbeing cannot cause being.” Would it be for similar reasons? There exists a contingent being (you) 2. I am a parent and I know that both I and my wife played our respective roles in bringing our daughter into the world. Biological organisms have the ability to reproduce. The thing is, if something can't exist at all ever, it by default assumes there is a Being that causes it to be that way. If there exists a contingent being, there exsary Being 3. You and I are contingent creatures because we only exist because our parents met and conceived us. Notes - The Sanusi Creed: The Foundational Proofs 14 14 The principle of causality makes a positive affirmation, while the conception of causality given here is purely negative. Necessary being, therefore, ontologically and objectively precedes the contingent, since the latter has the sole ultimate reason both of its intrinsic consistency (possibility) and of its actual existence in the former — actus absolute prœcedit potentiam. Really? Austin Cline, a former regional director for the Council for Secular Humanism, writes and lectures extensively about atheism and agnosticism. Is she injured in some way? The new information (the call from a nurse at a hospital telling me that my wife has been admitted to the emergency room) measured against my values (I am deeply in love with my wife) would immediately and automatically cause a spike in my emotions. Is she going to be okay? So it’s up to the defender of such an argument to untangle this imbroglio. A necessary fact is one that hasto be the case, whereas contingent facts could have been different. Yes, coffee grounds are physical and have a specific nature, just as I have. Was she the victim of a crime? Non-Cognitivism or Metaphysical Primacy: What’s the Better Strategy? There cannot be an infinite regress of dependent beings 4. Contingency means the outcome was the result of events that might have occurred differently, whereas necessity means the outcome could only ever have gone one way. This is, in part, what God means 6. Premise 1 is a form of the principle of sufficient reason stating that all contingently true propositions are explained. A contingent being is an object that cannot exist without a necessary being causing its existence. Would a human parent be an example of a “contingent being”? This explanation must involve a necessary being. Now this is not what I understand the principle of causality to say. There is a long history in philosophy of distinguishing between truths that are "necessary" and truths that are "contingent." If you notice a fact about the world, you can put it in one of two categories: necessary or contingent. The same is the case with me with respect to my parents, and my wife with respect to her parents. Nonbeing Cannot Cause Being (Non-B>B) The Principle of Causality. (3): So this non-contingent (necessary) causer exists in this possible scenario. Cats are, by definition, mammals, so saying that they are reptiles is a contradiction. This means, therefore, that the necessary being can’t be composed of parts. As alluded to above, if L can’t be explained by a contingent object outside of L, which it clearly can’t, then it follows that the explanation for L must be a non-contingent, necessary being (or group of beings). Whenever I mull over whether any given object is a necessary being, I do two things. Dawson you should have a look at the Conservapedia page on objectivism has to say. Antonyms for contingent include predictable, certain, definite, designed, essential, impossible, inevitable, necessary, planned and real. Necessary Being Cannot Cause a Necessary Being (Bn>Bn) = The Negative Principle of Modality. I consider that that proposition hypothetically expressed is a necessary proposition. Therefore, there exists Necessary Being, which all call God. First of all, for this to make sense, you will need to be coming at it from an Aristotelian (or derived from him) metaphysics. But of course, theists like to call their god both a “necessary being” as well as an omnipotent being. Emotion is an automatic reaction to new information as it concerns one’s values. I exist and so do my parents. Antonyms for necessary include unnecessary, inessential, optional, nonessential, dispensable, needless, peripheral, redundant, superfluous and unessential. necessary being. But why has she been admitted to the ER? For if there is a reality in essences or possibilities, or indeed in eternal truths, this reality must be grounded in something existent and actual, and consequently, it must be grounded in the existence of the necessary being, in whom essence involves existence, that is, in whom possible being is sufficient for actual being. Aquinas believed that the existence of contingent beings would ultimately neccesitate a being which must exist for all of the contingent beings to exist. If this is the only possible world, all beings in it are necessary. "a being whose non-existence is inconceivable in the sort of way that a triangle's having four sides is inconceivable." But this is because I start with the fact that existence exists rather than with nothing and then need to explain the fact that existence exists. So if you read it before 9:00 PM Pacific Time today (May 22, 2009), please re-read it. While I have no problem deducing the fact that there is at least one necessary being, I have a hard time wrapping my mind around anything actually being a necessary being. And isn’t a human parent the cause of his child’s existence? A twisted ankle? “Is the universe contingent or not? Thread by @AStratelates: Argument From Contingency : 1. Their actual wording is "nothing can be provably real" How did this meme get going, it is so far off from what Rand really said. But then it wouldn’t really be a necessary being after all, just another contingent being. But I do not see any premise in this argument which allows something that was at one time a “contingent being” to become a “necessary being.” There seems to be no permission to switch sides, as it were. In the order, however, of man's knowledge, the contingent falls primarily under experience. Many think that God is perfect, or free from defect, and that being able not to exist is a defect. Argument from Contingency The Argument from Contingency is different. On my view, the use of the concept ‘necessary’ in this manner is valid; how would my daughter be able to exist without my existence and participation in her conception? (4) If no contingent object in the actual world could explain L and (2) is true, L is possibly explained by a necessary being or group of necessary beings (N). As nouns the difference between contingent and necessary is that contingent is an event which may or may not happen; that which is unforeseen, undetermined, or dependent on something future; a contingency while necessary is (archaic|british) bathroom, toilet, loo. In this blog, I will post my criticisms of presuppositionalism as it is informed and defended by apologists such as Greg Bahnsen, John Frame, Cornelius Van Til, Richard Pratt, and their latter-day followers. So I think the concept ‘necessary’ has a context to it which is being dropped or ignored in the proposed argument. Some of the edits were necessary to correct a few points, and others helped strengthen my analysis of the argument.Regards,Dawson. 1. "Presuppositionalism" is the name given to a special branch of Christian apologetics. The Christian god is supposed to be a “necessary being,” while everything it has created (i.e., “caused” to exist) is “contingent being.” Naturally the arguer has in mind the “contingent being” known as man. Well, what is emotion? Contingent Being Can't Cause Contingent Being (Bc>Bc) Dependency. Necessary Being. A contingent truth is a proposition that is true, but is capable of being false. So, if "One plus one equals two," is a necessary truth, then the statement "One… If I make a mess in the kitchen – say I spill the coffee grounds on the kitchen floor, is what I caused similar to me? What Does it Mean to Say "I Believe" Something Is True. Cats are, by definition, mammals, so saying that they are reptiles is a contradiction. So presumably my daughter is a “contingent being,” since she has not existed eternally and her existence was caused by some factor prior to her existence. Again I don’t think this is always the case. In the order, however, of man's knowledge, the contingent falls primarily under experience. The concepts of necessary and contingent are essential concepts in the history of philosophy. But the similarities pretty much end there. What if the “necessary being” is omnipotent? Necessary existence is the opposite of contingent existence. The first statement is a necessary truth because denying it, as with the second statement, results in a contradiction. One factor is its being, and another distinct factor is the condition of … So you can think of it as a sliding scale: 1. Would an Omniscient Mind Have Knowledge in Conceptual Form? These infer that God is not able not to exist – that is, that God exists necessarily. A necessary truth is a true statement whose negation must imply a contradiction in reality, such that the negation would be impossible. Necessary being, therefore, ontologically and objectively precedes the contingent, since the latter has the sole ultimate reason both of its intrinsic consistency (possibility) and of its actual existence in the former - actus absolute prœcedit potentiam. Im… And isn’t the child another example of a “contingent being”? So did I as an originally “contingent being” somehow turn into a “necessary being” at some point before fathering my daughter, so that I could be in compliance with this argument’s premises? Of course, if a necessary being is dependent on something else for its existence, that something else must also be a necessary being. un, does NOT flow from one premise to another. Islamic philosophy enriches thetradition, developing two types of arguments. It seems that, if we accept the “necessary existence vs. contingent existence” dichotomy, that I as an offspring of my parents am a “contingent being” and my daughter as an offspring of both my wife and me is yet another “contingent being.”. ً ايح Him being Living He who can be described with having the attribute of perception. Some examples illustrating a few of the difficulties of these concepts are as follows. I accept scientific and philosophical arguments.” Well, that’s decent of you, but it’s not a scientific question, but rather a philosophical question, specifically a metaphysical question. Therefore, there is an explanation of this fact. The argument just does flow from one premise to another, does not define key terms and throws out bold unargued for assertions. In philosophy and logic, contingency is the status of propositions that are neither true under every possible valuation (i.e. Contingent objects or creature might not have existed because they are dependent ( contingent ) upon something else for their existence. By contrast a necessary truth is a proposition that is true and is incapable of being anything but true. The first statement is a necessary truth because denying it, as with the second statement, results in a contradiction. There is a contingent fact that includes all other contingent facts. Or perhaps I was born a “necessary being” from the very get-go, and did not have to undergo any kind of transformation from a “contingent being” to a “necessary being.” It’s not clear to me, because the argument strayed from my understanding of the universe well before we got to this point. This is similar to the distinction between essential and accidental qualities. So again, my daughter is a being whose existence was caused by something prior, thus presumably making her a “contingent being.” Both I and my wife are the cause of her existence (I don’t know how anyone could argue against this), which, according to what we’re told by the premises of this argument, means that both my wife and I are each a “necessary being.” But both my wife’s and my existence were caused by our parents, which would mean that we’re “contingent beings,” which defies our necessary role in the “contingent existence” of our daughter. The third statement is a contingent truth because it is possible that cats could have evolved without claws. If a necessary being was made up of parts, it would depend on those parts to exist, and on someone or something to put them together. By definition, it possesses properties opposite those which make a being contingent–e.g., it is uncaused, independent, indestructible, incorruptible. One thing stands out and I have seen this accusation before. As for existence, I don’t think it is caused; the concept of causality presupposes the concept of existence, and causality as a metaphysical phenomenon is only possible if things exist in the first place. Yes, my daughter is similar to my wife and me in various respects, some of them fundamental. I have no idea where they get this idea from. And by "a necessary being" the cosmological argument means "a logically necessary being," i.e. In other words, we need values in order to exist. When the nurse tells me that my wife is okay (new information), my emotions are calmed a bit. Although in Western philosophy the earliest formulation of a versionof the cosmological argument is found in Plato’s Laws,893–96, the classical argument is firmly rooted inAristotle’s Physics (VIII, 4–6) andMetaphysics (XII, 1–6). The universe is composed of contingent beings 2. It seems to me that the concept “necessary” here has no contextual basis or meaning. As an Objectivist, I’m sure glad these aren’t my problems! Or is omnipotence not allowed by these premises? A crow can fly because it has wings and can use them to achieve lift; a crow cannot be poured into a glass and conform to its shape like water or orange juice can. During my original discussion where I encountered this argument, I to brought up the parent child relationship and the necessary contingent nature. Why is this? And that's my position here: the cosmological argument for necessary/contingent proves the necessary being cannot exist. The third statement is a contingent truth because it is possible that cats could have evolved without claws. 4. They state that we "objectivists" claim that nothing can be proven real. To put causality prior to existence, then, would commit the fallacy of the stolen concept. This being, called a necessary being… My daughter does in fact exist, so this is a fact which needs to be dealt with. A truth is contingent, however, if it happens to be true but could have been false. ... if the characteristics of a Necessary Being are contingent and not necessary, ... Every virtue that Christianity holds up and Christ taught Donald Trump was the opposite… I see no reason why the thing caused should be expected to be similar to the thing that caused it. contradictions).A contingent proposition is neither necessarily true nor necessarily false. Every Contingent Being is Caused by a Necessary Being (Bn->Bc) = The Principle of Existential Causality. ), etc. First, I try to conceive of it not existing. The Necessary Being is similar to the similar contingent being it causes = The Principle of Analogy (Bn-similar->Bc), I am a rational, emotional and spiritual person.Therefore, the one prior to me must also be rational, emotional and spiritual since we are similar (#12), I made some minor edits to this post this evening. Consequently, it must be contingent due to itself and necessary due to the condition (shart) that its cause exists, whereas it is an impossiblity due to the condition that its cause does not exist. In one respect he was necessary for my existence, in another respect without oxygen for more then a few minutes my father would die, thus his existence was contingent on a continual supply of oxygen. So there seems to be a defect here. God exists Contingent Being. Him being Willing He who decides on one contingent possibility over another 3. 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