Clarke’s Cosmological Argument Essay Example


The Cosmological Argument attempts to explain the existence of the world as we know it and the origin of all beings - the larger debate that many have attempted to encounter a resolution for. A myriad of versions to the Cosmological Argument possess variations of the origin of the universe; however, in this essay Clarke’s Cosmological Argument will be the one taken into consideration. His argument relies on the principle of sufficient reasoning which is defined as the need  for an explanation to the existence of any being as well as any positive fact . At the beginning of his argument, Clark expresses that it is absolutely undeniable something has existed for all eternity; this statement sets the tone for his entire defense of his argument. 

Subsequent to stating his primary claim, Clarke continues to further deepen the meaning of his argument; for something to exist, it signifies that another thing must have already existed. Otherwise, it would mean that all that exists must have been derived from nothing at all, thin air, and lack purpose. All existing beings as well as objects possess a purpose, a foundation which lead to the existence of this being requiring its existence for a greater purpose.  Even atheists accept this proposition even though there is little to no proof in regards to the truth of the argument – yet, it is undisputed. The argument dictates as follows: 

*All being that exists is either dependent or self - existent 

Not all beings can be dependent 

Therefore, there has to exist a self- existent being 

In order to provide a better comprehension of the premises and argument, first it becomes imperative to define the terms self- existent and dependent being: A dependent being is a being whose existence is accounted by the casual activity of other things. On the other hand, a self- existent being is a being from which all others derived, example the theistic God.

The conclusion coheres with the premises making the argument valid; however, are these premises true? As mentioned prior, according to Clarke no-one seems to have disputed the argument where he states all existing beings are required to be derived from a self existing being. In the second part of the explanation of his claim, Clarke explains that necessity dictates whether a being is dependent or independent. If the being’s necessity is imperative this makes it independent from which the rest dependent being derive from.

In the third and last part of the argument, he states that something arising out of nothing is an absolute contradiction, “ to have been produced by some external cause cannot possibly be true to everything, but something must have existed eternally and independently, as has likewise be shown already” (Clark, 3). One of the main objections to Clarke’s Cosmological argument is Rowe, he questions the truth of Clarke’s premises as well as his lack of specificity in them, for example: to say that something has been produced out of nothing is saying that it hasn’t been produced at all, which is contradictory in itself. 

In response to the question, do Clarke’s premises lead to the conclusion and does the conclusion directly follow the premises? The answer is yes. Since not all beings can be dependent and there are both dependent and self existing being, there must in fact be a self- existing being. Clarke does mention atheism in his argument; however, he does not mention the existence of a theistic God which could be the answer to the argument. If a theistic God that created the whole universe exists then all things that derived from this God are dependent beings.

Although the requirement of a foundation for all existence to be built upon is mentioned throughout Clarke’s argument, he does not specifically express the foundation or whether the possibility of it being a theistic God or not exists. However, I  do believe a theistic God gave rise to the entire universe along with the existence of everything in it. Humanity did not come about out of thin air. Science solely is unable to answer all the questions that arise from our existence. If that were the case, philosophical arguments would not hold any validity nor truth. 

In conclusion, my response to the first premise: all beings that exist are either dependent or self existent is true because as humans we are not self-existent, neither were our parents, or their ancestors. This computer I am typing on did not create itself and neither did the table on which I have it standing on. However, there is a God that gave rise to the first living organism which then gave rise to the rest allowing for today to occur. Secondly, not all beings can be dependent because then what would explain the existence of the universe? As Clarke mentioned, we need that foundation which leads to the conclusion that there exists a self- existing being.

 

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