This argument says that transient or contingent change of the world requires a non contingent source, a bedrock or substrate.
Every contingent thing has an explanation of its existence. If the universe has an explanation of its existence. That explanation is a transcendent, personal being.
There is a lot of begging the question here. More questions need to be asked for this argument to make any sense.
For example, There has to be an non-contingent basis. No, there doesn’t; the cosmos doesn’t have to make sense. It’s only our insecure neediness that says it must. Maybe the cosmos is inexplicable and always changing?
Why is it necessary to have an explanation? Why does it matter that we have an answer for everything? It points to self-absorption, where feeling matter more than facts. Accepting the cosmos doesn’t have an explanation in no way undermined abut the ability to reason, to search for truth in our lives, to work, love and play.
The belief is there has to an Atomos, an uncuttable basis to existence mirrors materialistic attitude towards the cosmos. It’s proposing a bedrock/foundation (a Hypostasis) to existence that makes everything else up. Reality has to be made of something.
But where is the evidence? It seems more a claim from values or tradition than anything else. There doesn’t have to be a non-contingent foundation to reality. That’s a claim made by western philosophy and religious tradition.
Other traditions say differently, in Buddhism there is no fixed basis for reality; all is impermanent (Pali: Annica, Sanskrit: Anitya). In Buddhism all existence is dependently arises, its all contingent.
To say there’s a necessary existence outside the universe. What does it mean to exist outside of the universe?
Theists claim a dualistic cosmos. As if the universe is a box with an inside and outside because that’s the only way to put it into words. But that’s doesn’t mean it true. The cosmos is not a box. There is no inside or outside. A wave is not inside the ocean nor inside say a quantum field.
What we have here is more a argument from insecurity than facing facts.
It’s resorting to dualistic thinking; a potter, the Subject object dualism, makes a pot. Yet we know objects are not separate; such thinking gives us an answer but is an imaginary answer. Those who desperately need an explanation or an answer will only think in these terms.
It’s Maslow’s Hammer; ‘He who is good with a hammer sees everything as a nail.’ Because rationality provides answers we like, we, therefore, use reason.
If you can’t accept mystery or ambiguity, then rationality becomes the slave to emotion. Rationality is used to drive us toward only those answers we can intellectually understand, and can emotionally accept.
Is the cosmos contingent?
Is the cosmos contingent? It might turn out that our universe, the small reality we live in, is impermanent, but the cosmos may be infinite without beginning or end.
The Big bang, maybe called the ‘Big Bounce; the cosmos is cyclical, oscillatory, with a universe emerging one after the other. The start of this universe resulted from the collapse of the previous one.
Failed to exist?
Contingency is looked upon as the possibility there something could have failed to exist. Circumstances mean that alternative could have happened.
Maybe this person would not have been born; this object becomes broken in another universe if events had led to it.
This idea of ‘failure to exist’ puzzles me. It implies that the universe has to live up to our expectations.
How can we ever know if alternatives are possible or not?
It implies there is a path ahead to follow, and the cosmos didn’t follow it, it failed. The Cosmos doesn’t fail or succeed; such terms are subjective. Things that arise and pass is what the Cosmos does; it’s not right or wrong.
But to say an object might fail to exist makes no sense, and what failure did the cosmos commit? By who’s standards, what metric? Failure implies values, a neglect, mistake.
Just because something fails to a materialist or appear doesn’t imply a flaw. The Cosmos doesn’t make mistakes.
For change to happen, destruction has to take place as well as creation, non-existence is therefore necessary for existence (See Ontological argument).
‘One does not need a supernatural guide to nature when studying nature.’
What we seem to have is a lot of questions, following of breadcrumbs to an answer the theist wants. Ignoring the alternative answer, and uncertainty found along the way, leaping to conclusions that are unsupported.
Even if the argument is sound is still doesn’t imply agency or the god they propose. Agency requires a mind requires a brain.
What this argument seem to show more than most is just how much God claims are influenced by values.