cosmological argument


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Cosmological argument
cosmological argument:
The word `cosmos' refers to the universe as an ordered, harmonious and holistic entity. The Cosmological
argument therefore argues for the existence of God a posteriori based on the apparent order in the
THOMAS AQUINAS Central to Thomism ­ the life work of St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 ­ March 7, 1274) is
the idea that Philosophy can help us come to a better understanding of Theology ­ the study of God. Aquinas
thus asked the question: is it obvious that there is a God? His answer was no ­ since such a concept is beyond
all direct human experience. He then asked the question: can it be made obvious? Aquinas believed that,
since the universe is God's creation, evidence of God's existence can be found in his creation using intellect
and reason. Aquinas therefore devised his `Five Ways,' five a posteriori proofs for the existence of God
based on our empirical experience of the universe.
AQUINAS' FIVE WAYS The Cosmological argument is based on the first three of Aquinas' Five Ways
1) THE ARGUMENT FROM MOTION (The `Kalam' argument) · Everything in the world is moving or changing
· Nothing can move or change by itself · There cannot be an infinite regress of things changing other things
· Therefore there must be a Prime Mover (or changer) · This is called God
2) THE ARGUMENT FROM CAUSATION · Everything in the world has a cause · Nothing is the cause of
itself · There cannot be an infinite regress of causes · Therefore there has to be a first cause to start
the chain of causes · This first cause we call God
3) THE ARGUMENT FROM CONTINGENCY · Everything in the world is contingent (can either exist or not
exist) · If things can not exist, there must have been a time when they did not exist · If everything in the
world can not exist, there must have been a time when nothing existed · Things exist now so there must be
something on which we all depend which brought us into existence · This necessary being we call God
FREDRICK COPLESTON Fredrick Copleston reformulated Aquinas' argument by concentrating on
contingency. He proposed his argument in a BBC radio debate in 1947:
1) There are things in this world that are contingent ­ they might not have existed e.g. we would not exist
without our parents 2) All things in the world are like this ­ everything depends on something else for it's
existence 3) Therefore there must be a cause of everything in the universe that exists outside of it 4)
This cause must be a necessary being ­ one which contains the reason for it's existence inside itself 5) This
necessary being is God
Cosmological argument in a famous BBC radio debate with Bertrand Russell. Russell however refused to

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I am saying is that the concept of cause is not applicable to the total"
Just because each human has a mother does not mean the entire human race has a mother. He reduced the
universe to a mere, brute fact, of which it's existence does not demand an explanation.
"I should say that the universe is just there, and that's all."
Russell saw the argument for a cause of the universe as having little meaning or significance.…read more


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