Slides in this set
· Background of Aquinas' Cosmological Argument
· Aquinas' Cosmological Argument
· Challenges to the Cosmological Argument
· Scientific theories Supporting/ Opposing the
· The Kalam Cosmological Argument
· How successful?
· Cosmological Argument for Religious Faith
· Key Terms
· Past Questions…read more
The Classical Cosmological argument
· An argument based on experience
· Our observations of the world (our experience)
show things move and change and things are "to speak a chance for a universe which
caused by actions affecting them. presents such a complex organization its
elements ... would be giving up the search for
· The cosmological argument (also known as "first
an explanation of the world as it appears to
cause" argument. us. This would be equivalent to admitting
· Aims to provide proof that the universe is created effects without a cause."- Pope John Paul II
· Argument is used to support the God of classical To say the world is complex by chance would
theism, who has necessary existence. be similar to saying war just randomly starts.
Aristotle (384- 322 BC) and the Prime
Aquinas' Three Ways Mover
God of classical theism- only one God · Whatever happens in the universe is
which is eternal and separate from the caused by a chain of events.
universe and is transcendent. Other · There must be a person who started it.
attributes being immutable · Someone eternal and is immune to
(unchanging), omnipotent, omniscient death, decay and change.
· This is the unmoved mover
Necessary existence- even though God is · The unmoved mover Prime mover.
transcendent. He's able to create all · Aristotle believed for the prime mover
things in the universe. If God does not to be perfect and that this was God.
exist than neither do we.…read more
Aquinas' Cosmological Argument
Aquinas felt that Aristotle's system of logic and ethics is compatible with religion
but did not accept the statement "God exists" without demonstration. Aquinas used
three of his five ways to support the cosmological argument and the existence of
st 2nd Way= Cause
1 Way= Motion/ Change
1. Everything in the world has a cause
1. Everything in the world is changing
2. It would be illogical for something to have a
2. Nothing can change/move by itself
cause of itself
3. There cannot be an infinite regress of
3. There cannot be an infinite regress of causes
4. There has to be a first cause to start the chain
4. Therefore there must be a first prime mover
which in itself in unmoved.
5. The first cause we call GOD
5. This unmoved mover we call GOD
3rd Way= Contingency (An event or condition depending on something else)
1. Everything in the world in contingent
2. Given inite time, there must be a time where all contingent things did not exist
3. Nothing can come from nothing
4. There must be a bing outside time and space to bring things into existence
5. This being must have necessary existence
6. This being we call GOD…read more
Challenges to the Cosmological
Argument "The universe is
there, and that's all"
Hume, Kant and Russell have
all opposed the cosmological Russell in 1947 BBC
argument and that it's proof David Hume radio broadcast with
· There is no direct experience Copleston
for the existence of God.
to the existence of the
· All knowledge and ideas can
be reduced to the experience Bertrand Russell
of the universe · Fallacy of Composition
· Humans make mistake of · This is that you cannot
making connections between ascribe parts of a whole to
Immanuel Kant cause and effect. a whole
· The idea of everything having a · This is what Aquinas has done · For example objects in the
first cause is limited to the (Cause= God Effect= universe were created
experiences we've had Universe) therefore so was the
· We haven't experienced the · These two events are separate universe.
beginning of the universe but it's the habit of the mind · In other words just
· Therefore I would be to make these connections. because humans have a
impossible for people to have · Therefore the cosmological mother does not mean
any knowledge of what God argument is not proof that the universe has to have a
created or of God himself. God exists. mother…read more
Anthony Kenny, the Big bang Theory and The Scientific Theories
steady state theory all give criticisms to the
cosmological argument. Some of these could Supporting/ Opposing the
be countered for support. Cosmological Argument
Anthony Kenny Anthony Kenny
· This can be countered by many · Aquinas' 1st way (motion) goes against
philosophers saying that Aquinas also the fact that all people and animals
meant motion as in change. mover by themselves.
· A human could be at rest but still under · Newton's 1st law of motion states that
go change such as Ageing we move because of the body's own
inertia from previous motion.
The Big Bang Theory The Big Bang Theory
· This could be countered by saying that if · Could be accepted as a random event
accepted with the view that it was without cause or reason
caused by something. · In this case it would criticise Aquinas'
· This would give support for a God of 2nd Way (Cause)
The Steady State Theory
· The universe is Eternal and denies
beginning of the universe.
· Disagrees with Aquinas' 3rd way
Support for the cosmological argument, the
Kalam cosmological is a modern version of
The Kalam Cosmological
the argument developed by William Lane Argument
Craig does not accept that if the universe
1. the present would not exist in an actual infinite did not have a beginning then the past
events consist of an infinite series of events
because successive additions cannot be added to an
and not a potential infinite. He concluded
actual infinite. that:
2. The present exists as a result of past events 1. The history of the universe consisted of
one event following another-
3. The universe must be finite successive addition.
2. A collection formed by successive
addition cannot be actually infinite.
4. A finite universe has a beginning 3. The universe therefore must have a
beginning of time.
5. Whatever began to exist has a cause as things cannot
cause themselves. Supporters of the argument that that
because the laws of nature did not exist
before the universe began, it must
6. The universe therefore has a first cause therefore not have natural causes.
7. This first cause being GOD If the universe was created ex nihilo then
the beginning of the universe was the
beginning of time. There must have been a
personal agent outside time to start the
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeKavDdRVIg process of creation.…read more