Challenges to Cosmological Argument

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Bertrand Russel #1

Universe is a brute fact, it 'just is.'

To ask for an explanation of the universe is to ask for an answer that we cannot fully understand.

We cannot provide informed answers, we can only speculate.

Therefore, CA is meaningless as there is no point in having a theory that you cannot prove.

The existence of the universe requires no explanation, it just is.

Fallacy of Composition

Rejected the idea that everything in the universe has a mother so the universe must have a mother bc it is wrong to falsely ascribe the properties of parts of a whole to the whole itself.

This means it is wrong to think the O was created just bc everything in the O was created.

Rejected CA bc it is wrong to say the things you see in the O are created bc you see them.

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Bertrand Russel #2

Rejected the idea of a Necessary Being

Bc it put God in a special category of his own.

This would lead to questioning where this category came from so the term 'necessary being' has no relevance.

However, in a radio debate Frederick Copleston suggested that Russel was honouring the term bc he undertsood the meaning of it in order to talk about it.

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David Hume

Empriricist - all knowledge comes from the senses.

Imagination made the connection between cause and effect.

Aquinas = wrong to make a connection between cause and effect bc he can only know what can be verified by the senses. Aq thinks he knows more about O than he actually does.

Cause and effect are two seperate events, it is the mind that has made the connection.

It is not based on fact so Aq has made an inductive leap.

There was no need to go back to a creator when we could just stop at the material world.

It is simpler to argue for a world without an outside creator.

It is easier not to suggest a creator God as a basic fact bc there is no need to,.

We could just see O as it is.

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Immanuel Kant


The idea of everything having a cause can only be applied to the world of sense experience.

It is wrong to apply the theory that everything has a cause to something we cannot experience, such as God who is outside time and space.

Therefore, we cannot talk about the existence of the universe or the potentiality of there being a God bc we have not experienced it.

It cannot be proven that God created the universe bc we cannot apply sense experience to God.

Therefore, we may as well not talk about it bc we cannot prove it.

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Anthony Kenny

Undermined Aq's 1W that nothing moves itself by arguing that people and animals move themselves.

He believed that Newton's first law of motion - that movement can be explained by the body's own inertia from a previous movement - disproved Aq's 1W.

It is possible for objects to have uniform motion and be at a state of rest.

The rectilinear uniform motion of a body can be explained by the principle of inertia in terms of the body's own previous motion without any appeal to any other agent.

God is unnecessary and is not required to move things. He is not the Unmoved Mover.

HOWEVER for Aq, movement meant any change of state.

A human could be at rest but still undergoing change.

E.g. ageing.

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