Essay on radio debate between Russell and Copleston

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  • Created by: Lottie
  • Created on: 06-05-12 09:15

Explain the radio debate between Russell and Copleston

Russell and Copleston started off the radio debate over the existence of the universe Russell was agnostic and Copleston was theist.

Firstly,  Copleston started  off  the radio debate by reforming Aquinas’ third way about contingency and Leibniz sufficient cause. He claimed that God created the universe and that God was his own sufficient cause so caused himself and was a necessary being that could not not exist.In response, Russell said that there can never be a sufficient cause of something as this may depend on people’s opinions.

Copleston then said that he believed in a hierarchy of causes and that God was at the top and caused everything to have a cause but God himself was uncaused as he is his own sufficient cause.Russell replied that the universe did not necessarily have to have a cause as there is proof that quantum transitions cause themselves therefore the universe could possibility caused itself too.

Copleston then said that from observations we can see that all things are contingent and rely on something otherwise they would


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