AS Philosophy essay

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a) Explain Hume's criticisms of the cosmological argument.

b) To what extent was Hume successful in his critique of the cosmological argument?

a) The cosmological argument is an argument set up by St Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century where he deductively explains that God exists usuing his 5 ways (the first 3 are the most important). He derived his 5 ways from Aristotle's teachings including The Prime Mover.

The first way is motion. Everything is in motion and motion is caused by other moving things, like a domino effect. This cannot lead to infinite regression. There must've been someone to tip over that first domino and start the chain, or something must've moved the first thing to kickstart the universe. This thing is uncaused and unmoved and this must be God. His second way is causation. Everything has an efficient cause and doesn't exist prior to itself so nothing can by it's own effiecient cause. There cannot be an endless string of objects that cause other objects because that would lead to infinite regression and we know that can't happen. Therefore there must be an uncaused cause and this is God. His third way is contingency. Contingent means not eternal and can change, like humans. We are all caused therefore there could've been a time when there was nothing in existence. We know this isn't true because nothing be come from nothing (ex nihilo) thereofre there must be a nessacary being that caused all contingent beings, which is God.

Hume was a 17th century athiest who disagreed with Aquinas' argument. One of his couter-arguments is The Fallacy Of Composition. Aquinas says that there must be one uncaused cause that caused us all, but from nature we know this is not true. For example, everyone has a mother that give birth to them, but there isn't one mother of all of us…


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