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

Explain the cosmological argument for existence of God

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explain the cosmological argument for existence of God The cosmological argument is an a posterior argument which has a long history, going back to the great classical philosophers of Plato, Aristotle, Leibnitz and Kant. All of them believed that the universe was the result of a transcendent being called G-d. Although these philosophers may have had different ideas about G-d, they all agreed that the universe was not self explanatory and must have had a sole cause in order for it to come into existence. Although the cosmological argument had various forms, each version focused on a key fundamental question: Why the universe began, why it was created and who or what created it. The case for the Cosmological Argument is best and most famously put forward by St Thomas Aquinas in his book Summa Theologicae which contained the 'Five ways' The argument starts off with his rejection of the ontological argument, as he says "[...] an argument that says G-d's existence is self-evident we cannot use [...] as we can't see the self evidence." He argued that one first needs to argue about G-d from evidence we find in the world today. This is quite an Aristotelian concept; Aristotle was a philosopher who Aquinas studied in Cologne and translated his works. His first argument was the "Unmoved mover" argument. The argument is concerned with things which change. ...read more.

Middle

The universe has a beginning of its existence. The universe has a cause of its existence. If the universe has a cause of its existence then that cause is G-d, therefore G-d exists. What distinguishes the kalam cosmological argument from other forms of cosmological argument is that it rests on the idea that the universe has a beginning in time. Modal forms of the cosmological argument are consistent with the universe having an infinite past. According to the kalam cosmological argument, however, it is precisely because the universe is thought to have a beginning in time that its existence is thought to stand in need of explanation. In conclusion, all three arguments are interconnected to form the cosmological argument. The unmoved mover is concerned with the things themselves that change whilst the uncaused cause is focused on the things which cause them to change and the necessity and contingency argument explains the theory behind, all have the same consistency about the universe not being infinite, that it has a beginning which G-d caused, because G-d is the necessary being which causes all things contingent to exist in a chain of causes. To what extent is the cosmological argument convincing The philosopher Leibniz supports Aquinas and his argument that there must be a necessary reality or being "We assume that things in the world happen for a reason, why can't we assume this about the world as a whole?" ...read more.

Conclusion

The continuous questioning is part of human nature; we cannot accept that the universe may be a reality itself as it has not been proved. We therefore need to believe in some external intelligent creator. Aquinas' argument is the product of this human belief that we are the subject of design, in a series of causes and effects that can be traced to a definite cause which itself is uncaused. Aquinas is logical and his argument understandable, but it is in human logic and experience which it is trapped and ultimately flawed where it fails to look beyond human experience, something that we cannot ourselves image but rather to speculate over, as we will never know what there was before the universe. Hume's criticisms consider these possibilities, making sense logically and outlining limitations of human experience. "We are prepared to argue that because there are causes of things within the universe, there is a cause for the universe as a whole?" we do not know because there is no way of knowing. Furthermore, the advances made in recent years in science shows that an effect does not follow on from a cause from the advances in quantum physics, particles can come into existence with no explanation. Aquinas' logic is understandable, and the argument believable, but it is the expansion of human understanding and discovery that will eventually disprove logic as we encounter the unbelievable and so his argument will become less convincing over time. ...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. Explain Aquinas cosmological argument for the existence of God. Humes criticisms ...

    The third way is Aquinas' belief of a necessary being. Nothing in our world is permanent - everything is contingent which means it exists but could equally well not exist. Considering this it means it is possible that there was a time when nothing existed but since we know it

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

    no way of moving from this to showing that God is the most perfect possible being.33 Another form of the cosmological argument is the Kalam Cosmological argument which was first put forward by Islamic theologians and philosophers. Kalam means 'discourse' or 'argument'.34 Instead of arguing that the universe depends on

  1. What are the key ideas of the cosmological argument?

    Even is the principle that god is outside the world so does not need a cause and follow normal rules, developed by Leibniz, was apparent, this would not work.

  2. Examine the strengths and weaknesses of - The Thomist Cosmological Argument of the Existence ...

    The Muslim scholars, al-Kindi and al-Ghazali, propounded the Kalam Argument, however William Lane Craig and Ed Miller have since developed the argument. They both use the idea of actual infinite, as opposed to potential infinite. A potential infinite can be defined as existing if it is always possible to add one more to a series of things or events, e.g.

  1. Examine the main strengths and weakness of the Cosmological argument for the existence of ...

    However, Hume's criticism of the cause-effect connection seems illogical and irrational. Isaac Newton's first law of inertia dictates that an external force must be applied to an object in order for that object to move, and hence states that the external force (cause)

  2. Is active citizenship necessary to the achievement of eudaimonia?

    Aristotle's assertion that a state has as its primary goal the creation of eudaimonia may seem vacuous (particularly when viewed from a modern context), but he gives this goal a practical motive in The Politics by offering the state an incentive to pursue such happiness.

  1. Discuss the concept of Natural Law with reference to the ideas of Aristotle and ...

    law to try them, as the laws of their own country (Nazi Germany) at the time permitted them to do evil. ?Natural Law leads to unjust decisions.? I agree with this statement, this is because natural law can be contradictory and is often applied inconsistently.

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

    which states that on a quantum levels things come into existence without a cause, however it should be mentioned that just because something happens on a minute level does not mean it will happen on a grand universal scope. Al-Ghazali probably was not expecting his arguments to be scrutinised a

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