Cosmological Argument

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  • Cosmological argument
    • Aquinas
      • 1st way: MOTION - Everything is in motion and everything is moved by something else. Must be a prime mover [God]
        • Aquinas believed that everything was changing from potentiality to actuality. e.g. a hot cup of coffee is ACTUALLY hot but is POTENTIALLYcold but cannot be both. This first efficient cause comes from Aristotle.
      • 2nd way: CAUSE - Everything has a cause and there cannot be an infinite regress of causes. There must be a first cause that is not caused [God]
      • 3rd way: NECESSITY - Something that is contingent relies on other factors for its existence whereas something necessary relies on itself, must be a necessary being [God]
      • "ex nihilo, nihil fit" - nothing comes from nothing
    • Hume (criticism)
      • Human beings assume that every event has a cause but we cannot prove this and we make assumptions which may be mistaken [putting your hand out for the bus and the bus stopping]
      • The Fallacy of Composition: Hume questioned whether it was necessary for the whole universe to have a cause because everything can be explained from the preceding cause
      • Why is the prime mover associated with God? If we base our argument on human experience of cause and effect then surely it is more logical to suggest a world created by male and female gods who are born and die
    • a posteriori - based on sensory experience
    • J.L. Mackie also criticised saying that Aquinas regarded the causes as a series of hooks hanging off a wall. If the wall was taken away, the chain would fall apart. It is possible mackie believed for the chain to be infinite without a prime mover




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