Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

Author Item Excerpt Meta data

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Simons I 321
Cosmological proof of God/unconditioned existence/Bolzano/Simons: (circumvents the problem of being founded by referring to classes.
A) there is something real, e.g. my thoughts that it is like that.
B) Suppose there is some thing A that is absolutely essential in its existence, then we already have it
(B) Suppose A is conditional. Then form the class of all conditional real things A, B, C, ... This is also possible if this class is infinite
D) the class of all conditioned real things is itself real. Is it conditional or unconditional? If it is absolute, we already have it
(E) Suppose it is conditional: every conditioned presupposes the existence of something else, whose existence it determines. Thus even the class of all conditional things, if conditioned, presupposes the existence of something that determines it.
(F) This other thing must be unconditioned, for if it were conditioned, it would belong to the class of all conditioned things
G) Therefore, there is something unconditional, e.g. a god.

Simons: this makes no use of being founded: c) leaves the possibility of an infinite chain open.
RussellVsBolzano/Simons: one might have doubts about the "class of all unconditioned things" (> paradoxes).
Solution/Bolzano: it's about the real things from which we can assume spatial-temporal localization.
2. SimonsVsBolzano: Step f)
I 322
Why should the class of all conditioned things not be conditioned by something within? This would be conditioned itself, etc. but any attempt to stop the recourse would again appeal to being founded.
((s) the thing that conditions would be within the class of conditioned things, it would be conditioned and conditional at the same time).
Solution/Simons: we need additionally a conditioning principle.
Definition Conditioning Principle/Simons: if a class C is such that each dependent element of it has all the objects on which it depends within X, then X is not dependent. (Simons pro).

Simons: this allows infinite chains of dependencies. A kind of infinite dependence already arises e.g. when two objects are mutually dependent.
If the conditioning principle applies, why should the class X be still externally conditioned?
Ad Bolzano: Suppose we accept his argument until e). Then it can go on like this:
H) if the class of all conditioned things is conditioned, then there is an element of it that is dependent on something that is not an element of that class. (Contraposition to the conditioning principle)
I) then such an (unconditioned) object is not an element of the class of all conditioned things, and is thus unconditional.
J) Therefore, there is in any case something unconditioned.

SimonsVsAtomism: that is better than anything that an atomism achieves.
Conditioning principle/Simons: is the best extension of the strong rigid dependency (7), i.e.

(N) (a 7 x ↔ (Ey) [x e a u a 7 x] u ~ x e a)

SimonsVsBlack: with the strong instead of the weak dependency, we can counter Black.
I 323
God/Mereology/Ontology/Simons: in any case, the strong rigid dependence does not prove the existence of God. Only the existence of an unconditional, which Bolzano cautiously calls "a God".
Independence/Simons: does not include divinity.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

Si I
P. Simons
Parts Oxford New York 1987

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-06-25