|Rationality Rules vs. Craig’s Causal Premise|
|< Prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Next >|
Craig’s First Justification, Part 2: Denying Premise 1’
In one of Woodford’s clips William Lane Craig says:
To claim that something coming into being from nothing is worse than magic. When a magician pulls the rabbit out of a hat, at least you’ve got the magician, not to mention the hat. But if you deny premise 1’ you’ve got to think the whole universe just appeared at some point in the past for no reason whatsoever. But nobody sincerely believes that things, say, a horse or an Eskimo village can just pop into being without a cause.At around 5:47 to 6:33 Woodford addresses the claim that denying premise 1’ means you’d have to believe the whole universe came into being sometime in the past for no reason at all (i.e. came into being uncaused), to which Woodford promptly replies, “Except no, we don’t.” Except logic says, “Yes, we do.” Seriously, one can rigorously prove this using symbolic logic. For those who are logic savvy (if you’re not, see parts 1 and 2 of my introductory logic series which contains all the information needed to follow the proof I will show; otherwise I will come back to plain English in a little bit), here are the propositional variables:
- B = the universe began to exist.
- C = the universe has cause of its beginning.
- ¬(B → C)
- ¬(B ∧ ¬C) indirect proof assumption
- ¬B ∨ ¬¬C 2, De Morgan’s Law
- ¬B ∨ C 3, double negation
- B conditional proof assumption
- ¬¬B 5, double negation
- C 4, 6 disjunctive syllogism
- B → C 5-7 conditional proof
- ¬(B → C) ∧ (B → C) 1, 8 conjunction
- B ∧ ¬C 2-9 indirect proof
If you had trouble with the symbolic logic showing that denying the first premise meant you’d have to believe the universe began to exist uncaused, here’s one way to think about it: denying “Everything that begins to exist has a cause” commits you to believing there is something that began to exist that had no cause; denying “Every universe that began to exist had a cause” commits you to believing there’s a universe that began to exist without a cause, and if you narrow that claim to just this universe as 1’ does, denying 1’ commits you to believing our universe began to exist without a cause. Craig was absolutely right and Woodford just didn’t understand the logic of the situation.
< Prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Next >