Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Terminology Tuesday: Principle of Sufficient Reason

Principle of Sufficient Reason: The claim that there must be an explanation for every positive fact, some reason why that fact obtains rather than not obtaining. This principle is generally attributed to Gottfried Leibniz, for whom it took the form of the assumption that God has a sufficient reason for every choice he has made. The principle, or some variation on it, often plays a key role in cosmological arguments for the existence of the finite universe. Those who deny the principle of sufficient reason are committed to the claim that some facts obtain for no reason, and thus that there is a surd (nonrational) element to the universe.1

1. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 112.

What was last year’s post? See here: James White’s debate with Bart Ehrman.


  1. RkBall January 27, 2010

    I believe this principle, or a variant of it, i.e., the Principle of Sufficient Cause, has applicability as a general principle of Christian Apologetics. It applies not only to cosmology, but to teleology as well — including the debate over darwinism. Simply put, drab, shabby, darwinian mechanisms are an insufficient cause for consciousness. The atheist has explanations — but they are insufficient. They are weighed in the balance, and found wanting.

  2. Ex N1hilo March 19, 2013

    Great point, RkBall. The attempts that Darwinists come up with to explain everything about living organisms–from the physiology of worms to human intellect and morality–consist of fanciful "just so stories." Evolution really does not have a reasonable explanation for much of anything.