• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Examine the main strengths and weakness of the Cosmological argument for the existence of God. Consider the view that the weaknesses are more convincing than the strengths.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Examine the main strengths and weakness of the Cosmological argument for the existence of God. Consider the view that the weaknesses are more convincing than the strengths. (20) Unlike the Design argument, which argues for the existence of God based upon the sheer complexity of the design of the world, the Cosmological argument approaches the debate from a different slant. The word 'cosmological' originates from the Greek language, and is translated to mean 'order'. The argument essentially argues that the universe's existence must be down to causes outside the universe itself, and that therefore the only explanation for this existence is that a first, primary cause (First Causer) must have existed to set off a chain of causes and effects in an orderly fashion to make up what we know today as the universe. Many philosophers have taken the argument on board, and over time it has developed. Plato, Aristotle, and through to F.C. Copleston have all had a role in expanding and building upon the original argument. One of the main strengths of the Cosmological argument is its logical reasoning. F.C. Copleston took the argument and reformulated it as three premises, all of which follow each other in logical steps. ...read more.

Middle

Quantum physics also brings about weaknesses in the argument. Some schools of quantum mechanics claim that the existence of particles is down to probability. Experiments have shown empty space swarms with ephemeral particles that exist for no longer than the time taken by a light beam to cross an atomic nucleus, with no apparent cause for their existence. This of course, hit's the Cosmological argument at its core. The premise that cause and effect are always linked, with reference to Quantum physics, fails flatly. When applied to the universe, Quantum physics removes the need for a necessary being to begin the chain of causes and effects, and indeed the existence of God. Whether such particles do actually have a cause or not is a matter of debate, and some have said that the cause has just not been discovered as of yet, and in fact when the cause is found, Quantum physics can only be a support to the Cosmological argument. Another problem of the argument is hit when the realism of its premises is considered. Aquinas in his first way "from motion" argument begins by making conclusions based on evidence, making the arguments a posteriori. ...read more.

Conclusion

makes the object move (effect) where a connection is obvious. Quantum physics is under much debate currently, as some argue that there must be a cause for such particles to come into existence, yet this cause is just currently not known. These reasons, then, argue against the idea that the weaknesses of the argument are more convincing that the strengths, because Hume's weakness can seem completely unreasonable especially in terms of Newton's first law of inertia, and the Quantum physics weakness can also seem unreasonable as lack of cause demonstrates a lack of knowledge, demanding scientists look further into the explanation. In conclusion, then, the view that the weaknesses are more convincing than the strengths can be supported by way of scientific evidence and the need for a more complex explanation. However, its strength as an a posteriori argument remains, as it takes its evidence from real everyday life, such as the domino example. Each domino depends on the other for its fall, and the first domino is dependant on an external force for its falling. Whether this real-life example can be applied to the seemingly far more complex formation of the universe, though, is still a matter of debate. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philosophy essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Examine the strengths and weaknesses of the design argument for the existence of God.

    4 star(s)

    Although, during Aquinas' time, Aristotle's work had been rediscovered and it is said his work was immensely impressive, both because of its range and its appeal to logic. Aquinas was amongst the first thinkers that believed it was necessary to find out where Aristolian thought and Christian thought could be

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Evaluate the weaknesses of design arguments for the existence of God

    3 star(s)

    Kant argued that the universe may be in chaos but, because of the way our minds organise experiences, the world around us appears to be ordered. We impose design on the world ourselves and cannot be certain of the reality of the situation.

  1. Explain Aquinas cosmological argument for the existence of God. Humes criticisms ...

    cause and effect, because our minds have developed a tendency of seeing causes and automatically associating effects with them - this is called inductive reasoning. Although I do not believe that Hume's criticisms completely discredit the argument I do agree that this is a constructive point as we cannot assume

  2. Outline the Cosmological Argument for the existence of God.

    This criticism was highlighted by an analogy proposed by Bertrand Russell, who remarked that just because every human has a mother doesn't mean that the human race as a whole has a mother.

  1. Describe the main strengths and weaknesses of the cosmological argument for the existence of ...

    Why is this ball moving? And what made the racquet hit it? And what brought the tennis player into existence? And so on. Anyone demanding a total explanation of anything, can, pursue the question further and further back, and has to arrive at an ultimate answer.7 The Third Way of Aquinas argues logically for the

  2. Explain the cosmological argument for existence of God

    It is therefore logical to see how the two fit together to give a greater understanding. For example wood has the potential to turn into fire, but it needs the cause of a spark in order to move from potentiality to actuality and turn into the fire.

  1. Assess whether religious experience demonstrates the existence of God?

    He said justification about God is "prima facie" this means one is justified in supposing unless there are strong enough reasons to the contrary. Both argued the religious experience should be innocent until proven guilty. A sceptic's retort to Alston and Swinburne would be one should always doubt.

  2. Assess whether the cosmological argument proves the existence of God.

    Furthermore, he makes an epistemological assumption in his second premise, which states that the universe began to exist, however how do we reliably know that the universe began to exist, as there was no one around to experience such a thing, also an good empiricist like David Hume would say, this takes us beyond experience, therefore being unreliable.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work