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Outline the cosmological argument for the existence of God

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i) Outline the cosmological argument for the existence of God. (20) The cosmological argument, also known as the first cause argument, is an a posteriori argument. This means that the evidence used to prove the argument can be observed by anyone which makes the argument more accessible and user friendly. The argument is also inductive which means that it can have many possible conclusions; not necessarily God. The cosmological argument is a strong argument which tries to infer the existence of God through cause and effect; it's based upon the principle that everything must have been caused by something in order to exist, and that the First Cause which caused all the other causes is God. Cole says that "the cosmological argument attempts to infer the existence of God from the existence of the cosmos or from phenomena within it. The claim is that the universe cannot account for its own existence." The main weakness of the argument is causation because Hume argues that because no one has actually experienced the cause of the universe, it is beyond human understanding and so it's impossible and pointless to compare our own experiences of the causation of events to the causation of the universe. There are many weaknesses to the cosmological argument which appear to outweigh the strengths. ...read more.


Another important feature of the cosmological argument is the second of Aquinas' ways. In this way, he argues that while all events are triggered by other events happening, God is not. This makes the second way important because it means that all other events are caused by an uncaused causer, which one can argue to be God. Aquinas argued that the world is made up of a series of events which are caused by other events, and equally cause other events. He furthered this argument by saying that it's logically impossible for an event to cause itself because in order to do that it would have had to precede itself. He said that there must be a first cause from which all other causes are created from and are dependant on. This cause would have to be uncaused, and he concluded from there that the uncaused causer must be God. Aquinas said that "The first efficient cause is the cause of the intermediate cause...it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause to which everyone gives the name God." The second way is also important because of its influence. Many scholars support the cosmological argument and use Aquinas' second way as a basis for their own arguments. One argument that has been produced using Aquinas' second way as a basis is the Kalam argument which was originally put forward by Muslim ...read more.


Inanimate causation occurs when something has the power to act under certain circumstances, and intentional causation is motivated by beliefs and purposes which proves the reason for the event happening. Swinburne argues that this is vital to theistic thinking about the world in relation to humans because theists believe that one of characteristics of God is that he is personal, and causation shows God's personal involvement which helps to allow humans to feel a sense of purpose in their lives. Another important feature of the cosmological argument is the idea of the principle of sufficient reason. Leibniz argues that the universe is a specific, finite thing and so needs an explanation. In his book "Theodicy" he argues that "if you suppose the world eternal, you will suppose nothing but a succession of states and will not find in any of them a sufficient reason." This is important because it suggests that there is no evidence showing why the universe exists within the universe, and so the reason must lie outside of it. However none of the arguments have found an explanation as to why God created the world. Also, Leibniz's argument helps to strengthen the cosmological argument because it shows that we don't know why the world is created so there must be a superior being which created the world and has its own reasons for creation which only it knows. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 of 3 ...read more.

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