The cosmological argument notes

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  • One of the oldest argument
  • Attempting to prove the existence of God
  • Answering questions such as, 'Why is there something rather than nothing?'
  • 'Cosmological' - Greek word meaning order
  • A posteriori - draws upon observationand empirical evidence
  • Inductive - conclusion only probable

St Thomas Aquinas

  • Proposed five ways proving the existence of God
  • First three support cosmological argument
  • First way - based on motion - object acquires a new form.
  • Nothing can move itself - nothing can be mover and moved, yet things are in motion.
  • Infinite chain of movers cannot have a first mover - cant go back forever without arriving at a first cause.
  • God as the first cause
  • Second way - based on the uncaused causer.
  • World is series of events - All events are caused an nothing can cause itself
  • Must be a first cause - all other causes depend on - known as the uncaused causer
  • Arrive at infinate regression - no uncaused causer - impossible
  • God as the cause of all that exists
  • Third way - observation of necessity and contingency
  • Contingent beings exist, and while they exist, there non-existence is always possible
  • Contingent beings must depend on another being for their existence
  • We exist - depend on another for our existence
  • Being must be necessary - God


  • Principle of sufficient reason
  • World has always been in existence - need an explanation or sufficent reason for its existence
  • Need to establish something rather than nothing
  • Infinite regression is impossible - universe is a specific thing - needs to be explained
  • Cannot go back forever
  • Nothing within the universe to show why it exists - not self-expanatory.
  • Argument - why do things come into existence
  • God is the explanation of the universe


  • 'Radio debate' was a broad cast - Russell discussed the…


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