From Aesthetic Virtues to God:
Augmenting Theistic Personal Cause Arguments
I argue that the aesthetic theoretical virtues of beauty, simplicity, and unification, as well as the evidential virtue of explanatory depth, can transform theistic-friendly personal cause (PC) arguments—like the kalām cosmological argument (KCA) and the fine-tuning argument—into stand-alone arguments for monotheism. The aesthetic virtues allow this by providing us with the grounds to rationally accept a perfect personal cause (i.e., God) as the best PC to believe in given the success of some PC argument. Using the KCA as an example, I argue that, once the KCA is accepted and a PC believed in, then a theory that posits a perfect PC as the cause of the universe is more beautiful, simpler, and has more unification and explanatory depth than the imperfect PC normally posited by the KCA’s standard conceptual analysis. And the same would hold true for any imperfect PC. Thus, once a PC argument has been accepted, the perfect PC theory is preferable to hold over any other PC theory. Finally, I address various objections to this reasoning.
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