it!”, you’d either think that he was crazy or figure that he just wanted you to keep moving. No one would take seriously the suggestion that the ball existed there with literally no explanation.”
“Now suppose you increase the size of the ball in this story so that it’s the size of a car. That wouldn’t do anything to satisfy or remove the demand for an explanation. Suppose it were the size of a house. Same problem. Suppose it were the size of a continent or a planet. Same problem. Suppose it were the size of the entire universe. Same problem. Merely increasing the size of the ball does nothing to affect the need of an explanation.”
Dr. Craig offers a simple, yet precise analogy: It is most probable that the red ball has an explanation for its existence (a manufacturer perhaps). Therefore, it follows that the universe, although larger in size, most probably has some explanation for its existence as well (a creator perhaps). Merely increasing the size of something does not remove the need for an explanation.
A possible objection could be the assertion that, “the principle of contingency is true of everything in the universe, but may not be true of the universe itself”. Indeed. Philosophically speaking, I think this is correct. After all, there is no empirical evidence to the contrary. However, there is no empirical evidence in support of this either.
So, rather than arguing from things we don’t know, I find it much more profitable to argue from thing we do know. Appealing to our ignorance will hardly advance the discussion. It is a conversion stopper. Therefore, in the absence of any empirical reason to doubt the principle of contingency, I believe I am very justified in concluding that the universe was indeed contingent upon a preexisting, independent cause.
On the “Self-Contingency” of the Universe
A skeptic may object to the argument above by stating, “Perhaps the universe created itself”. This however, is as close to metaphysically impossible as one can get. Consider the following syllogism:
- In order for a thing to bring itself into existence it must act
- Whatever has the ability to act already exists
- Therefore, in order for a thing to bring itself into existence (act) it must already exit
Here is an irreconcilable paradox. Arguing that the universe is “self-contingent” is to actually argue that the universe possessed the ability to create itself prior to its existence! Simply stating of this position should be sufficient to eliminate it from intelligent discourse.