Atheism-Theism – Contingency Argument for God

This argument for God 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 a non-contingent basis. No, there doesn’t; the cosmos doesn’t have to make sense. The cosmos may be inexplicable and constantly 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 feelings matter more than facts. Accepting the cosmos doesn’t have an explanation and in no way undermines our ability to reason and search for truth in our lives.

The belief that there has to be an Atomos, an uncuttable basis to existence, mirrors a materialistic attitude towards the cosmos. It’s proposing a bedrock/foundation (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; it’s 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 doesn’t mean it is 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 an argument from insecurity than facing facts. 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.’ The need for answers means theists will only accept an answer.

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 emotionally accept.

‘There has to be an answer because I can’t bear the possibly or reality that there isn’t.’

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 can be seen as the possibility that something could have failed to exist. Circumstances mean that alternatives could have happened.

This person may 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 again 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 if the Cosmos didn’t follow that path, it failed.

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, neglect, and mistakes.

Just because something fails to a materialist or appears doesn’t imply a flaw. The Cosmos doesn’t make mistakes; it doesn’t fail or succeed.

‘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, natural forces and working of nature could be a play here.

What this argument seem to show more than most is just how much God claims are influenced by values.