Cosmological Argument

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  • Created by: ewragg
  • Created on: 22-04-16 13:38

Unit One (Paper One)

Philosophy of Religion

Philosophy of religion concerns itself with exploring religious beliefs and concepts to see if they can stand up to a rational argument. Religious ideas are examined using logic and reasoned criticism in an attempt to find a deeper understanding of the idea.

Inductive arguments are arguments drawn to a general conclusion from specific examples. The reasoning is from observation and previous experience to make general predictions. A posteriori arguments rely on experience and evidence to support them - much like inductive arguments.

Deductive arguments are those that depend on logic only and not experience, if the premise is true then the conclusion is proved. A priori arguments are much like deductive arguments as they use logical thought to come to a conclusion.

Cosmological Arguments

The basis of these arguments are that the universe cannot account for its own existence. There must be a reason for everything’s existence and this reason must be something that is not in the physical world of time and space.

Plato, in Timaeus, argued that everything must have been created by a cause. Aristotle argued that there was a series of cause and effect in the world so there must have been an unmoved mover to start the chain reaction of causation. The Kalam argument in Islam attempts to show that the universe must have cause and effect and it is not the result of an infinite regress (endless chain of events going back forever).

Arguments for

-Cosmological Arguments-

Aquinas and Aristotle

He based much of his work on Aristotle’s theories, Aquinas used the 5 ways, summa theologica, to try to prove God. The first three are all CosmologicalArguments with the assumptions that:

  • the universe exists

  • there must be a reason for its existence

  • there is no infinite regression

Most would agree with the first point but many people like Russell and Dawkins believed that the universe could just simply exist.

First Way - The Unmoved Mover

Key Points - Change and Motion

Aquinas focused on the existence of change or motion in the world. He looked at how things moved, grew, and changed in state (evaporation, condensation…). This argument closely followed the argument raised by Aristotle who believed that:

  • all changes in the universe came from an ultimate source, this was the UnmovedMover (Prime Mover) that existed outside of the material universe due to it being unable to fit into physical laws.

  • The Prime Mover, in Aristotle’s view, was eternal and has the power to change and move themselves and others.

  • The Prime Mover exists by necessity - it cannot not exist - and is thereby the First Cause.

  • ‘The series must start from something since nothing can come from nothing’ Metaphysics. (supports the arguments above ^^)

Aristotle did not believe that God created, acted or sustained the universe. He commonly used the analogy of a cat and milk to explain this. There is milk on one side of the


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