Cosmological Argument

Name 2 pre-Christian philosophers who wrote about the Cosmological Argument(CA)
Plato and Aristotle
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What did Plato propose about the 'first mover'?
Believed that a soul (not a soul of a human but of a higher being). Did not think the mover was the creator but just something which existed outside of the world
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What did Aristotle claim the 'Prime Mover' to be?
An intelligence that activates the world by its presence. Non-spatial, eternal, good and perfect. Could not be part of the material universe. All things are encouraged towards this/ the ultimate good
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Which Islamic scholars proposed the Kalam Argument?
al-Kindi and al-Ghazali
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Describe the Kalam Argument
Whatever comes into being must have a cause, the universe came into being, the universe must have a cause, if the universe has a cause of its existence, it must be God. C=God exists
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Which 3 of Aquinas' 5 ways referred to the CA?
First Way= Argument from Change, 2nd way=argument from causation, 3rd way= argument from contingency
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Describe Aquinas' first way
things in the world are observed to change, nothing changes itself, that thing is cause to change by something else(a series of change causers), cannot go back to infinity, must be an unchanging original initiator that starts the series (God)
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Describe Aquinas' second way
things in the world are observed to begin to exist, nothing begins to exists by itself (caused to exist by something else), series of existence causers, cannot go back to infinity, original cause of existence (God)
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Describe Aquinas' third way
things that exist are such that either they could have not existed, if everything could have not existed then at one time nothing existed, if this was true nothing would exist now, things do exist now, false that everything could have not existed, at
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least one thing could not have not existed, this is God (necessary being)
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What did Gottfried Leibnix propose?
The Principle of Sufficient Reason
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Describe the Principle of Sufficient Reason
Even if the Universe has always existed it would need an explanation bc we need to establish why there is something rather than nothing, universe is not self-explanatory, must be a cause that explains the universe as a whole, this is God
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What are the premises of Frederick Copleston's argument?
things exist that do not contain within them he reasons for their existence, the world consists of the totality of such objects, none of which contain the reason for their own existence, the explanation for existence must be outside the universe cont
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this explanation must be a self-explanatory being that contains the reason for its own existence (God)
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What is Richard Swinburne's view on the CA?
More likely that there is nothing than there is something, however there is something, if we can explain this something by one simple being we should- even if we can't explain that being
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How does the CA work with science?
the fact that the universe had a beginning is well supported in science (Big Bang Theory), provides a starting point rather than infinite regress( Steady State Theory discredited in the 1960s)
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Why is Ockham's razor used support strengths of the CA?
Ockham's razor= simplest answer usually correct due to the lack of assumptions. CA is quite simple and straightforward. Supported by Aquinas and Swinburne
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How is the a posteriori nature of the CA a strength?
Draws on evidence we can all experience
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What does the philosopher J.L. Mackie say about the links between CA and science?
Science can prove infinite regress is illogical
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Why did F.C. Copleston reject infinite regress?
He believed that an infinite chain could only ever exist of contingent beings which could never have brought about their own existence
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Give some criticisms proposed by Hume
notion of necessary beings is incoherent, if there is such a being why does it have to be the God of classical theism? Aquinas is guilty of an 'inductive leap' in logic which the the premises don't lead to (establishes a need for an uncaused cont
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cont causer, then says this is God), if God is a necessary being why can't the universe be necessarily existent? argument starts with the assumption that there is a God
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Which scholar argues that the universe is just 'brute fact'?
Bertrand Russell
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What points did Russell have against the CA?
Some things are 'just there' and require no explanation, its not possible to reach an 'adequate explanation', why does the universe as a whole need an explanation?
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What objections does Richard Dawkins have to the CA?
A posteriori and inductive arguments are weak bc only based on evidence currently available so the conclusion may not be reliable, offering 'mythological explanations is intellectually degrading' , 'God of the Gaps'
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What criticism does Stephen Hawking have of the CA?
Even if there was a first cause, there is no evidence to prove it was a monotheistic God
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Which scholar used Newton's First Law of Motion to disprove Aquinas' First Way?
Anthony Kenny
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How does Kenny use Newton's First Law of Motion against the CA?
Newton's Laws of motion 'clearly shows that things can cause themselves to move, hence there is no need for an uncaused causer'
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Which 2 philosophers were involved in the famous 1948 radio debate?
Copleston and Russell
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What did Plato propose about the 'first mover'?


Believed that a soul (not a soul of a human but of a higher being). Did not think the mover was the creator but just something which existed outside of the world

Card 3


What did Aristotle claim the 'Prime Mover' to be?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Which Islamic scholars proposed the Kalam Argument?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Describe the Kalam Argument


Preview of the front of card 5
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