The Cosmological Argument from Sufficient Reason

G. W. F. Leibniz 


G. W. F. Leibniz

Gottfriend Wilhelm Frederick von Leibniz (1646-1716) was a German philosopher and prodigious scholar. He invented the infinitesimal calculus independent of Newton. Today we still use his notation. He invented the binary system which makes possible all modern computer code. He designed the first purpose built library. He organised the mining of the material for the linseed oil lamps that would line the streets of Venice. Plus much more info here at wikipedia

He wrote,

The first question which should rightly be asked is this: why is there something rather than nothing?

Based on that question he formulated the following argument for God’s existence from the principle of Sufficient Reason. 


1) Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either by necessity of its own nature of by an external cause. 

2) If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.

3) The universe exists

4) Therefore, the universe has an explanation for its existence

5) Therefore, the explanation for the existence of the universe is God. 


Instead of defending it myself I’ll just point you to a video of Dr. William Lane Craig presenting at the Philosophy department of Wake Forest University in North Carolina the annual Carswell Lecture for 2008.

Here is the full video.

Here it is on Youtube 


Welcome all intelligent discussion.

4 replies
  1. Bnonn
    Bnonn says:

    I’ve been reading through Greg Welty’s examination of theistic activism, and Leibniz’s name has come up a lot. It’s odd, because I’d only heard of him in relation to mathematics before that. He seems to be an under-appreciated Christian philosopher, at least in the circles I frequent. Would you say that’s fair, or is it just me having a one-sided education?

  2. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    I wouldn’t know of him at all had it not been for Craig. I think he’s under-appreciated everywhere for according to his wiki, there has been no single publication chronicling all his work and achievements.

  3. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    Actually that not true, I’ve heard his name in connection with this argument before I ever heard Craig mention him, but I still knew very little about him.

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