Slides in this set
The Cosmological argument:
The world consists of contingent things
(things which rely on things external to them
Everything is a result of a cause, in a long
causal chain (chain of causes)
Infinite regression the chain of causes going
back forever cannot happen.
So something MUST have set this chain into
motion. This thing must be external to the
causal chain (uncaused) and is known as God.…read more
Three of his five ways (published in his Summa
Theologica) outline versions of the Cosmological
First Way: Change/Movement change in an object is
always caused by an external movement nothing
can change itself. These movements go back in a
causal chain, but Aquinas said this chain cannot be
infinite so there must be something which `set off'
this chain of movements, an unmoved mover
Prime Mover (God).
Things change to fulfil their potential. If things could
change themselves they would be both actual and
potential. Aquinas believed this to be contradictory.
God has no potentiality, just actuality as he is all he
can be.…read more
All effects can be accounted for by causes
to cause itself something must pre-exist
itself which is impossible. Each cause has a
cause, which has a cause, and so on. This
causal chain cannot regress infinitely, so
there must have been an uncaused cause, i.
e. God.…read more
The third way addresses the Cosmological
Argument from the point of contingency:
All things are contingent; they rely on
external things for their existence.
Contingent things come in, then out, of
existence whereas time is infinite (which is a
supposition made by Aquinas) therefore there
must have been a time when there was
nothing. Nothing comes from nothing, so
there must have been something to bring all
contingent things into existence A
necessary being, known as God.…read more
Coplestone: Nothing has within itself a sufficient
reason to explain it's existence the sufficient
reason is always external to the object. So, the
Universe must have an external sufficient reason
Russell: Just because an object within the world
needs a sufficient reason, doesn't mean the
Universe should as well. That is like saying we all
have a mother so the Universe must have a
mother. Some things don't need a reason, they
just are and require no explanation.
Coplestone: Famously replied "one cannot be
checkmated if one refuses to sit at the