The Cosmological Argument

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  • The Cosmological Argument
    • Aquinas
      • Believed the world around us provided evidence for God's Existence
      • Set out five ways from this evidence to prove the existence of God - First three are cosmological
      • The First Way- Argument from Motion.
      • The second way- Argument from causation.
        • Everything in the world has a cause. There cannot be an infinite chain of causes. There had to be something right at the start (a first cause) to start a chain of causes, a being that was not caused by anything else to exist. This uncaused cause is God.
      • The Third Way- The argument from Contingency.
        • Everything in the universe is contingent - dependent on something else to exist. Experience teaches that something cannot come from nothing. Therefore a contingent being or object cannot exist without a necessary being causing its existence. This being is therefore said to have a necessary existence- the world would not exist without it. This being is God
    • Kalam Argument
      • Everything that has a beginning if its existence has a cause of its existence.
      • The universe has a beginning therefore has a cause
      • If the universe has a cause of its existence then that cause is God therefore God Exists
    • Hume's Criticisms of Aquinas
      • If we can explain the causes of individual things we needn't explain the cause of the entire universe.
      • Argument for causation is foolish  as humans can easily incorreThe ctly assume the cause of something
      • The universe may be on a state of permanent regress so an uncaused cause is not required.
      • If it does prove the existence of an uncaused cause it doensnt prove the existence of an all powerful, loving and infinite God
    • Criticisms from scholars.
      • Kant - God and the universe are beyond what humans can observe and understand
      • J.L. Mackie - No proof that it is the God of Christianity or even a God at all.
      • Bertrand Russel-  If all things in the universe are contingent, then we cannot reasonably claim that God is not contingent
      • Richard Dawkins- Postulating God as the first cause is an unnecessarily complicated step. Ockhams razor - the simplest explaination for the existence of the universe is the universe itself
      • Richard Gale- Everything in the universe has a cause but God doesn't - Illogical.
      • Anthony Kenny- The concept of motion is flawed. People and animals have the ability to move themselves.
    • What is the Cosmological Argument?
      • It is an argument which attempts to prove the existence of God
      • A posteriori - Based on what we can see in the world and universe
    • Strengths and Weaknesses
      • Strengths
        • Science supports a finite universe.
          • As  we are constantly adding events to time, time cannot be infinite as you cannot add to infinity
            • We do see movement and cause
              • It leads to a logical conclusion
                • It answers the question- 'why is there something rather than nothing?'
      • Weaknesses
        • Not necessarily the christian God
          • What if the universe has simply always existed
            • Contradictory- everything has a cause but God doesn't
              • Fallacy of composition- It assumes that because each part of the universe was caused, that the universe as a whole was caused
                • There is no reason why the chain of cause and effect cannot be infinite
                  • Causation could be an illusion
                    • Principle of entropy and theory of evolution disprove it
    • Leibniz
      • Rejected idea of universe having infinite regress
      • Principle of sufficient reason - everything must have a cause.
      • Universe must have a first cause
      • First cause= a being that is uncaused and not contingent
      • First cause = God


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