My paper will present the Cosmological Argument for God"s existence, and show that its underlying principle, the Principle of Sufficient Reason, fails to establish it as a sound argument for the existence of God. To accomplish this, I will, first, define the Cosmological Argument and the Principle of Sufficient Reason; then explain the argument, and how it is based on the Principle of Sufficient Reason; and finally, show that there is not enough evidence to prove that the Principle of Sufficient Reason is true, which in turn leads to the flaw in the Cosmological Argument. .
There are many versions of the argument. Saint Thomas Aquinas (in the thirteenth century) and Samuel Clarke (in the eighteenth century) are the dominant contributors in the development of the argument. Though their arguments differ slightly, both men based their arguments on the observation that the world is rooted on causal relationships. Their arguments can be summarized into one argument as follows: Either the world is made up of things that depend on others for their existence (dependent beings), or things that are self-existent (independent beings). Not everything can depend on another for its existence. Therefore, there is some self-existing being, and that being is God. The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR) maintains that there must be an explanation of the existence of any being, and of any positive fact what so ever. Premise 1 stems from Anselm's division of beings into the three cases: 'explained by another [dependent beings],''explained by nothing,'' and explained by itself [independent/self-existing being]." .
The first rule of PSR holds that every being must have an explanation for its existence. A being that is explained by nothing violates this first rule, and as a result, is left out of the first premise. This allows for only two possible types of beings -- either dependent or self-existent.