Discussion: The Argument from Contingency

Next Thursday I’ll be hosting an exciting live discussion between Christian philosopher Josh Rasmussen and atheist Lance Hannestad on the Argument from Contingency. There are two steps in the contingency argument. The first step is to establish the existence of a necessary being. The second step of the argument involves arguing that this necessary being is God. The first half of the show will be dedicated to step one, and the second half to step two.

The discussion goes live at 8pm Central (6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern) on Thursday, November 16, 2017. Here’s the link to view live (and watch later):

Click Here to View the Live Event

Josh Rasmussen, Ph.D., is an American philosopher who works on aspects of fundamental reality, with an emphasis on mind and necessity. His latest book, Necessary Existence, is co-authored with Alex Pruss and forthcoming this spring with Oxford University Press. View his website here and his YouTube channel here.

Lance Hannestad is a software engineer, who has enjoyed debating and discussing and thinking about philosophy as a hobby for the past decade. His main interests are philosophy of religion and metaethics.

The Argument from Contingency

As it happens, I’ve defended my own version of the contingency argument (largely based on Josh’s work). See it here. The basic idea is this. Contingent things have explanations for their existence (where contingent things are just things that could have failed to exist). Imagine that we could put all the contingent objects in our world in a cardboard box. It follows that our box of contingent objects has an explanation. But that explanation can’t itself be contingent, otherwise it would be in the box. Thus, the explanation has to be a necessary being (or set of beings).

The second step of the argument, as noted above, involves arguing that this necessary being (or set of beings) is God. This is the so-called “Gap Problem” in contingency arguments. Each divine attribute has to be established, including the idea that this necessary being is a single entity. Really looking forward to this discussion!



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