The cosmological argument

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  • Created by: Harriet
  • Created on: 23-03-13 18:09

The cosmological argument

The Cosmological arguement seeks to prove the existance of God based on the starting point that there is a universe. The CA is also known as the the 'First cause arguement', the arguement is a posteriori because it is based on what can be seen in the world and the universe.

Aristotle and the prime mover

  • Belived that all movement depends on there being a mover
  • Movement means more than travelling from A to B
  • Movement includes change, growth, melting, cooling and heating
  • Behind every movement there is a chain of events
  • 'Common source'- something/one was responsible for the beging of everything
  • The source is an eternal substance, which exists necessarily and immune to change,decay and death
  • Called the 'unmoved mover' who is the ultimate cause of the universe as if there were no ultimate cause to begin the chain of causes the cahin of cause and effects then there would be no chain at all
  • Aristole calls the unmoved mover the prime mover
  • Prime mover causes the movement of other things
  • Not as an effect cause but as a final cuase
  • The prime mover is God
  • Aristole argues that
  • God did not create the universe
  • God did not sustain universe
  • God did not act in the universe
  • God had no interest in the universe
  • God is supremely happy because he contemplates himself
  • God being supremely perfect and would have no interest at all in the universe
  • God thinks about and contemplates his own nature, and since God is supremely perfect this would make God supremely happy
  • Universe is in space and time but God is outside space and time
  • God is spaceless and timeless

St Thomas Aqunias (1224-74)

  • Summa Theologica
  • Felt that Aristole's system of logic and ethics was compatible with Christianity
  • Did not accept that the statment 'God exists' is self-evident
  • It is a proposition that requires demonstration
  • In the summa theologica he developed 5 ways tp prove the existance of God
  • Called demonstratio for the existance of God
  • His observations included that in the universe even inaimate objects move and change

Aqunias 3 ways's

Aqunias had three ways that support the cosmological argument are:

  • Motion and change
  • Cause
  • Contingency

The First way

  • Based on motion
  • Not only movement from one place to another, but also movement in the sense of change of quality or quantity
  • An object only moved when an external force was applied to it
  • This chain of movements or changes cannot go back to infinity
  • Must have been a first mover or prime mover which itself was unmoved
  • The unmoved mover began the movement in everything without actually being moved
  • The prime mover is GOD

The second way

  • Identified a series of causes and effects
  • Observed that nothing could be cause of itself
  • Mean that is would have had to exist before it existed
  • Rejected an infinite series of causes and believed that there must been a first, uncaused, cause
  • The first cause started the chain of causes that have caused


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