Philosophy



Do Doomsday's Proponents Think We Were Born Yesterday?


Timothy Chambers 

Abstract

In a recent article, John Leslie has defended the intriguing Carter-Leslie ‘Doomsday Argument’ (Philosophy, January 2000). I argue that an essential presupposition of the argument—that ‘the case of one's name coming out of [an] urn is sufficiently similar to the case of being born into the world’—engenders, in turn, a parallel ‘Ussherian Corollary’. The dubiousness of this Corollary, coupled with independent considerations, casts doubt upon the Carter-Leslie presupposition, and hence, dooms the Doomsday argument.