The Cosmological Argument - the Key points

A summary sheet of the key points of the Cosmological Argument for AS Philosophy of Religion (AQA Religious Studies) 


- The premises of the Cosmological Argument

- Aquinas' Cosmological argument (the 3 ways)

- The Kalam Cosmological Argument (William Lane Craig - potential/actual infinite)

- Liebniz's Sufficient reason

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  • Created on: 19-03-12 20:25
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The Cosmological Argument
The Argument Premises:
P1 ­ Everything that exists has a cause of its existence (our experience of cause and effect)
P2 ­ The Universe exists
P3 ­ The Universe has a cause of its existence (because its cause cannot be infinite therefore must have a first
C ­ The first cause is God, so God must exist
A Posteriori argument ­ based on our experience of cause and effect
Rejects infinite regress ­ it is impossible to have an endless series of caused causes!
1. The cosmological argument according to St Thomas Aquinas: The 3 ways
The First Way ­ argument Motion ­ the reduction of potentiality to actuality
from motion
The potential for the universe was actualised through an efficient cause, namely God, who was the Actus Purus (a pure act
and the prime mover) for creating the universe. The reason and will of God for creating the universe is the final cause...
Potency ­ the potential for the Universe
Efficient cause ­ God caused the Universe into existence
Actus Purus ­ prime mover: God, who caused the Universe into existence
Actuality ­ the actualised Universe
Final Cause ­ the reason for God to have actualised the potentiality
The Second Way ­ argument P1 ­ Every effect has a cause
for the uncaused causer P2 ­ Infinite regress is impossible
C ­ There must be a first cause which is uncaused (God)
A being cannot precede itself (Jack Wilshere did not cause himself into existence)
Therefore there must be an uncaused causer, an external agent who has the ability to self-cause themselves, who has
necessary existence to have caused the universe...
Infinite regress is impossible because you cannot have an endless series of caused has to stop somewhere! To
deny infinite regress is to accept that there was a first uncaused cause of the Universe (God)
Everything that begins to exist must have a cause ­ therefore something must have started off the Universe
The Third Way: argument
from contingency Necessary being (God) ­ a self-causing, non-contingent necessary being who causes contingent beings into existence

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Contingent being (natural world) ­ cannot cause themselves because ultimately they rely on a necessary being to cause them
into existence
Because contingent beings DO exist in the Universe (the natural world, e.g. us humans) than God must exist as a necessary
being who is self-causing and non-contingent to have brought the natural world into existence...…read more

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