Cosmological argument

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What is natural theology?
A branch of theology based on reason and experience. it aims to prove that God exists based on our experience of the world. To prove that God is the best explanation for what we see.
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Name some Natural theologians
William Paley, Plato, Zoroaster
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How is it different from Revealed Theology?
Revealed theology is based on scripture and religious experiences of different kinds.
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Define A priori knowledge
comes through reason & logic, no need for science or experience. Like "all bachelors are unmarried"
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Define A posteriori Knowledge
Knowledge gathered entirely through experience, Empirical.
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What is Aristotle's idea of Primary power?
If the chain of causes has no beginning, with no ultimate cause, nothing caused the chain. So then there would be no chain at all. but there is clearly a causal chain, so the only other possibility is an ultimate cause/primary power, with no cause.
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What is the cosmological argument?
The cosmological argument seeks to prove God's existence through the premise that everything in existence, including the universe, has a cause for existing. It seeks to prove that God is the cause for the universe.
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What is Leibniz's argument from sufficient reason?
Lots of predicated some together, like "contact with a virus" and "Illness" And while they might be arbritrary, they seem to explain one another-"exposure to virus" explains "Sickness" and so on.
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For every predicate that is true of a subject, there must be a set of other true predicates which constitute sufficient reason why it is true. Sufficient reason- there must be sufficient reason why things are the way they are and not otherwise.
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Why must things be this way?
The universe wouldn't make sense; it would be impossible to account for something like identity unless there were sufficient reason why one person, with their specific predicates, is so different to tthem a week prior with such different predicates.
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What is Kalam's Cosmological argument?
Everything in the universe has a beginning for its existence and a cause for its existence. 2. the universe began to exist. 3. Therefore the universe had a cause for existing 4. If the universe has a cause for existing,that cause is God.5. God exists
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Name a critique of this argument
Again, why does God have to be the only explanation?
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name a reason why it is a good argument?
It points out that everything begins to exist- modern scientists have to agree with this part, they just name different causes.
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What is William Lane Craig's Cosmological argument?
1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause for its existence 2. The universe began to exist 3. the universe has a cause for its existence
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Why is this better than Kalam's?
He doesn't say that God is the cause in his argument though he believes it himself. this means that you can agree regardless of belief- his argument is versatile. Also, is it is deductive. The conclusion necessarily follows from the premises.
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Think of a critique
If you really wanted to find something to argue here, you could say that all that we say about the universe is based on experience of what happens on earth and within our solar system. we can't compare the milky way with the whole universe.
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Throw in Hume's general contradictions of this sort of thing
1. Cause and effect- no necessary link. 2. If we can imagine something coming from nothing, it can happen. the universe needs no cause. 3. Bit of a leap to go from "things we see have a cause" to "The whole universe has a cause"
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Hume Cont.
4. it is impossible to know the nature of a being that is un-knowable and existentially different from all others- You can't prove his existence analytically, because his nature is un-knowable.
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Also, Why might Craig be subjective?
He is Christian and inclined to believe in God.
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What is Kan't contradiction of the cosmological argument?
The causal chain cannot be set in motion by something outside of the physical universe. Cause and effect are observed within the spatio temporal world. it is non-nonsensical to say that is extends beyond the empirical world.
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What is Martin Lee's contradiction?
God: something or nothing. nothing- cannot be the cause for the universe.something- logical to ask what he is and why he is that.he can't be the cause; you can't ask "Why" questions about him any more than you can ask them about the universe.
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name Aquinas's five proofs:
1. The argument from motion. 2. The argument from efficient causes. 3. argument from necessity and possibility 4. Argument from gradation of being 5. argument from design.
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Which of The Three are identifiable as Cosmological arguments?
motion, Efficient cause and Contingency
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outline the argument from motion
1.our senses prove that some things are in motion.2.things move when potential motion becomes actual motion.3.only an actual motion can turn a potential motion into actual motion.4. nothing can be both actual and potential in the same
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5. so nothing can move each thing that is in motion is moved by something else.7.This cannot extend ad is necessary to come to a first, unmoved mover, which is God.
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Name a critique
Why is the unmoved mover God?
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Outline the argument from efficient causes
1. we perceive a series of efficient causes for things in the world.2.Nothing exists prior to itself.3.Therefore nothing is the efficient cause for itself.4.if the cause does not exist, neither does the effect.5.this cannot extend ad infinitum-
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7. Therefore there must be an un-caused cause, that being God.
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how is this different from the previous argument?
The argument from motion talks about things moving, like the world spinning. The argument from causality talks about how they came to exist
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Outline the argument from possibility and necessity
1. we perceive contingent things in nature- Things that are possible to be and not to be, and come in and out of existence.2.assume that everything is contingent.3.For every contingent thing, there was a time it didn't exist. cont.
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.4. So it is impossible for these things to always exist.5.So there could have been a time where nothing existed.6.At that time there would have been nothing to bring the contingent beings we see today into existence.7.nothing would exist now.Cont.
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8. The result reached is absurd.9. So not everything is a contingent being.10. So tehre is a necessary being that does not receive its existence from anything else, and gives existence. We call this God.
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Outline the argument from gradation of being
1. there is gradation to be found in things- some things are better or worse than others.2.predications of being make a reference to the uttermost of something- the "hot thing" refers to that which is the hottest.Cont.
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3.the maximum of any genus is the cause for all within that genus- the hottest thing causes all hot things.4. so there must exist a being that is the cause for all being, goodness and other perfections. we call this guy god.
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Outline the argument from design
1.We see that all natural bodies work towards something and do not do so by chance.2.most natural things lack the arrow and the archer, things without intelligence reach their goals by the hand of those with intelligence. Cont.
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So an intelligent being exists which gives direction to all natural beings towards their goals.
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What is a critique of the arguments from motion and causation?
Aquinas says that everything must have a cause/mover, then says that there is a being without one? If we're going to allow for exceptions to the rule, why make God the exception? couldn't we just make the universe the exception?
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name another one
Why does the causal chain/chain of motion end with god? Why can't it extend further?
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Why can't an infinite regress be possible? like a long chain of hooks hanging from one another- if the first is attached to a wall then the whole thing goes **** up, but with an infinite chain of little hooks sustaining each other,what's the problem?
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I like this critique- Another!
Russell- since the 1920's theoretical physicists have been questioning whether bthere are intermediate events taking place at a subatomic, quantum level that have no cause at all. if this is true, the universe needs no cause.
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Find a critique of the argument from contingency
Like JL Mackie Says- Aquinas is committing a fallacy when he jumps from "everything at some time does not exist" to "At some time, everything does not exist" There could be an infinite regress of overlapping yet contingent things in the universe.
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Another one.
Something is only necessary if there is a contradiction implied by its denial. "God Doesn't exist" is logically possible.
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outline Russell's standpoint on all of this
It is meaningless to ask the question "What caused the universe"It is a fallacy to argue that because parts of the universe have a cause,t he whole universe must have one. he feels no personal need for ultimate answers. The universe just is.
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Quote from Russell:
"I should like to say that the universe is just there, and that's all"
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Outline Coppleston's opinion on all this
1.WE know that there are things within the world that do not contain a reason for existing within themselves.2.The world is simply the real or imagined totality of individual objects, none of which contain within themselves the reason for themselves.
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therefore the explanation for the existence of everything in the universe must be external to the universe.4. This explanation must be and existent being which is self-explanatory- a being which contains within itself the reason for its own existence
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That being is a necessary being.
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Quote from Copleston:
necessary being " a being that must and cannot not exist."
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Summarise the radio debate
Coppleston: argument from contingency (Aquinas) and the argument for sufficient reason (Leibniz)-Everythint we see has a cause. This chain can't go back infinitely. There must be an external cause of the universe or else there is not cause at all.
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in order to explain the universe's existence we must come up with a being whose existence is contained within it- a necessary being.
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this is russel's bit now.
Russell questions the term necessary or contingent and states that this only applies to analytic propositions. only accepts something as necessary if it is self-contradictory to claim it doesn't exist. necessary can't apply to anything a posteriori.
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turn over. or don't, who cares.
Copleston argues that the acceptance of contingent beings leads logically to a recognition of the need for a necessary being.
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Russell insists this is the ontological argument and that as such it is meaningless; the term "god exists" is not analytic
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they discuss the principle of sufficient reason- Russell questions what is meant by the term sufficient
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copleston explains that by sufficient he means a total explanation to which nothing need be added
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I hate Bing. use Google
Russell replies that he is looking for something he will never find
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And Apple. You're paying upwards of £300 for a piece of ruit with a bit already taken out.
Copleston's reply is that just because he may not find it, does not mean he shouldn't look
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Copleston sounds like a tumblr girl
Russell suggests that doing so is beyond out epistemological limits
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thats about it as far as I know. used the Content checklist. if I missed anything let me know. also, I'll be deleting these within 2 months of exams for revision purposes, but they're be back up within a few days of the exam.
Badgers are eating my face.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Name some Natural theologians


William Paley, Plato, Zoroaster

Card 3


How is it different from Revealed Theology?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Define A priori knowledge


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


Define A posteriori Knowledge


Preview of the front of card 5
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