The Scientific Criticisms of the Cosmological Argument

AQA Religious Studies - Philosophy of Religion

A01 Essay on The Cosmological Argument; 

Explain the scientific criticisms of the cosmological argument.

- The steady state theory, The big bang theory and Anthony Kenny.

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AQA AS LEVEL ­ RELIGIOUS STUDIES ­ Philosophy of Religion
A01 - Explain the scientific criticisms of the Cosmological Argument
30 Marks
The cosmological argument was proposed by St. Thomas Aquinas which seeks to prove God's
existence. There are numerous scientific theories and arguments which undermine many aspects of
the argument, and also provide alternate explanations for some it its flaws. The body of this essay
will explain some of these criticisms including: The steady state and the big bang theory, and will also
explain the argument of British philosopher Anthony Kenny.
The Big Bang theory undermines the idea of God being the first cause and having necessary
existence, if interpreted as a random, spontaneous event without cause. It states that a small,
condensed matter exploded to form the universe. The recent discovery of the `God' particle further
undermines Aquinas' argument as it provides an origin for the theory. Therefore, God could not have
created the universe.
The steady state theory further undermines the argument as it counters Aquinas' third way of
contingency. The theory states that the universe has always been there and will always are there; the
opposite view to creationism. Davies states that the universe is a `huge self-regulating,
self-sustaining mechanism, with the capacity to self-organise'. Therefore, the universe is not
sustained nor affiliated with God in any way.
British philosopher Anthony Kenny counters Aquinas' first way of motion and change. He argues that
as humans and animals can move without any external influence the first way is invalid. He supports
his argument using Newton's first law of motion which explains the movement of humans through the
body's own inertia. Kenny states that this "wrecks the first way" as it explains motion "without the
appeal of any agent" i.e. God.
To conclude, the scientific criticisms put forward provide a convincing argument and also present
flaws within it. One could easily use these arguments as a means of rejecting his way of thinking and
relating the cosmological argument to God.


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