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

Explain the Key features of the cosmological argument

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explain the key features of the Cosmological Argument In this essay, I am going to explore the key features of the Cosmological Argument. The Cosmological Argument is an argument that states that the universe is not explicable without reference to causes and factors outside itself. Although the Cosmological Argument was famously expressed as one of Thomas Aquinas' Five Ways (arguments for the existence it is grounded in the Greek metaphysics of Plato and Aristotle. Both argued that the fact of motion requires a mover. Aristotle once said, "The series must start with something for nothing can come from nothing". The key ideas are 'contingency' and 'necessity'. To say of something that it exists is to also point to other factors that have influenced, and caused, it to exist. The major features of the Cosmological Argument are that; the universe is contingent, things come into existence because something has caused them to happen, things are caused to exist, but they do not have to exist, there is an infinite chain of causes, and time began with the creation of the universe. There must have been a first cause, which brought the universe into existence and therefore this first cause must have necessary existence to cause the contingent universe. It is considered that God has aseity and in turn concludes that God is the first cause of the contingent universe's existence The Cosmological Argument has taken many forms and has been presented in many ways. ...read more.

Middle

The first cause sees God as a factual necessity as the causal explanation to the universe. This means that God is seen as a being of whom is not dependant on any other for his existence, where as the second argument sees God as a logically necessary being. The third way, possibility, and necessity gives the idea that some contingent beings exist. If any contingent beings exist then a necessary being must exist, therefore a necessary being could namely be God. Aquinas believed anything that had a property was a being; the world consists of contingent items that are beings that are generated and perish. If all beings were contingent then at one time nothing would have existed. This is because there would have been a time prior to the coming into the existence of contingent beings. By saying the universe is contingent; the argument means that the universe is dependent on something that created it. Many people believe the something that created it was God, however other people such as Bertrand Russell, a British philosopher (1872 - 1970) say "the universe is just there and that's all there is to say". By the argument saying that things come into existence because something has caused them to happen, refers to what I previously touched on earlier in the form of 'everything must have a beginning' i.e. ...read more.

Conclusion

However the argument still leaves many questions unanswered about what happened after the universe was created, such as the question of the role of God once he created the universe, and whether he not only created the universe but continues to sustain it. Another is that the law of the conservation of energy within the universe means that God could not be continually putting energy into the world, yet following the Cosmological Argument, he must have created it in the first place, as energy cannot be created from nothing. If God cannot be the cause for everything then this leads to the notion of deism in that God has had to withdraw from the world and merely observe it from a distance; no one knows. In conclusion, the Cosmological Argument is one of the main factors we need to consider if we wanted to try to explain the beginning of the universe, however the argument still leaves many questions answered so on that extent the argument isn't very useful as it doesn't finish what it started, as well as it could be perceived as being rather contradictory in parts. Many people are content to believe that God created the universe whereas others are content to believe that the universe was created by the Big Bang, however, there is still a percentage whom are not satisfied with the arguments they have heard and are still striving to find an answer. . ?? ?? ?? ?? Jodie Bradshaw ...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. Describe the main strengths and weaknesses of the cosmological argument for the existence of ...

    While this does include some key elements of the theistic conception of God, it obviously leaves out quite a few important ones. The conclusion is compatible with many views of God.

  2. St Thomas Aquinas and the Cosmological Argument

    * A further problem has been raised. The question was whether it makes sense to speak of a "necessary being". It seems impossible to argue that we have any concept of necessary being because what can be necessary? And if nothing but G-d is necessary and we cannot see necessity directly then there is no concept.

  1. Outline the main features of virtue ethic

    ultimate of all ends was the chief good, the greatest good, After the theories from Aristotle Finally, the ideas of Macintyre acted as a motivation for the increased interest in virtue ethics, Macintyre reinvented virtue ethics and gave a more modern outlook towards virtue ethics, and is a key feature within this.

  2. Outline the Cosmological Argument-

    And expects an answer. For them the principle of sufficient reason is true, for others the universe is just there. For some the cosmological argument is true is answers the questions they pose about their existence. Even if the Cosmological argument is upheld there are many limitations.

  1. Examine the key features of the cosmological argument

    There must therefore be a first mover that caused the first motion and this is what we call God. In simple terms, Aquinas argues that God is the initiator of change and motion in all things.

  2. What are they key features of the design argument for the existence of God?

    considerable strength to the argument, assuming of course one accepts that one really is being confronted with design in the first place. There is a danger of turning the argument from design on its head, for example, one must realise that human arms were not divinely designed to be at

  1. Analyze the distinctive features of the Ontological Argument

    The fool is right to demand proof that God is in fact, and not just by definition, the greatest conceivable being.Anselm stated in response that "there are necessary beings -things that cannot not exist - and contingent beings- things that may exist but whose existence is not needed".

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

    be a necessary being which causes and sustains all contingent and necessary things, which we call God. This God not only creates the universe but also sustains it, as contingent beings require a necessary being to maintain and preserve them.

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