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

The Cosmological Argument

Extracts from this document...


Philosophy Of Religion The Cosmological Argument A) Outline the key ideas of the Cosmological Argument for the existence of God and identify at least TWO of its strengths (14) "Cosmologial" is the name given to a group of arguments fot the existance of God, or some underlying cause of the universe, which are based on the simple fact that there is an universe! The Cosmological Argument seeks to prove the existence of God by looking at the universe. It is an a posteriori proof based on experience and the observation of the world not logic so the outcome is probable or possible not definite. The argument is in three forms; motion, causation and being.The basic concept of cosmological arguments is that the world and everything in it is dependent on something other than itself for its existence. Cosmological Argument 1. Things exist. 2. It is possible for those things to not exist. 3. Whatever has the possibility of non-existence, yet exists, and has been caused to exist. Something cannot bring itself into existence since it must exist to bring itself into existence, which is illogical. 4. There cannot be an infinite number of causes to bring something into existence. Because an infinite regression of causes ultimately has no initial cause, which means there is no cause of existence - since the universe exists, it must have a cause. 5. ...read more.


Clearly there will be those who claim the world is just a 'brute fact'. The world simply exists and possibly has always existed -infinite! Against this theists usually argue that it is contrary to our human instincts to simply accept that the world 'just is'. They say that humans need to have an ultimate meaning in their life and need to find answers to such questions as, "Where did I come from?" and, "Why am I here?" But for a theist to answer these questions they need to assume that the world and universe is the work of God. This is an assumption, which not everyone is going to happy to adopt. The strengths of the Cosmological Argument lie in both its simplicity and easily comprehensible concept that there cannot be an infinite number of causes to an event. Some arguments for God's existence require more thought and training in terms and concepts, but this argument is basic and simple. Also, it is perfectly logical to assert that objects do not bring themselves into existence and must, therefore, have causes. It is an inductive argument that starts from an inductive first premise - The Universe exists! Another strength of the cosmological argument is the expansion of the universe - the big band theory- Kalam argument! ...read more.


A more powerful case against the cosmological argument depends on the difficulty of seeing God as "a necessary being", the cause of Himself. We don't know that necessary existence is a meaningful concept. Even if it is, why shouldn't the Universe or the Big Bang, the most basic, earliest thing we actually know about, itself be considered the first, necessary cause? Bertrand Russell defended the idea of the universe as a "brute fact." Surely this makes more sense. In this worldview, the universe, not God, would be put forward as self-causing. Claiming that God is instead of just a brute fact shifts the problem to why He has no cause, rather than the universe - which we at least know exists - has no cause. But probably the most important objection that can be made to the cosmological argument is that even if it succeeds completely and shows the existence of some first cause of the universe, outside the universe, it does not in any way show the existence of God. It is surprising the number of people who use it as their proof for God without acknowledging that the first cause could be anything. Some philosophers however would say the most critical flaw in the cosmological argument, lies in its faulty understanding of time and causality. Modern cosmological theory states that the beginning of the Universe is, by definition, also the beginning of time. Danielle Hilton Page 1 of 4 ...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 ...

    Aquinas wishes to establish that the world depends on God now, God did not just create the universe and then leave.31 If you are not convinced by Aquinas' view that the existence of the universe is caused by God then any argument consequent on that on the nature of the conservancy of the world, by God, is irrelevant to you.

  2. Explain the cosmological argument for existence of God

    Hume believed that all knowledge comes from experience, and thus the experiences we have had are not adequate for us to know if G-d created the universe. Hume's views are also supported by Russell, who argued that just because we see individual things as having a cause; it doesn't mean that the universe also has a cause.

  1. Examine the strength of the cosmological argument for the existence of god

    'Who caused god?' This then leads to questions being unanswered. Also Occam's razor is a main weakness of the cosmological argument as he believes that 'We should not multiply causes beyond necessity' so we should go for the simplest answer.

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

    Because the universe is complex, there must be some ultimate being creating it, it cannot simply 'be', This fits is with Swinbourne's principle that the world is dependent on a superior being- god. The Cosmological Argument gives a reason how this complex universe was created, how and why god exists.

  1. Outline the Cosmological Argument-

    The first way of Aquinas' argument says that things move and therefore change, but they do not change themselves and therefore something must cause them - God the unmoved mover. The second talks of the uncaused causer, it says God is necessary; He is needed, as infinite regression is impossible.

  2. St Thomas Aquinas and the Cosmological Argument

    * NECESSITY AND CONTINGENCY: - Aquinas observed that, in nature, there were things with contingent existences. Since it is possible for such things not to exist, there must be some time at which these things did not in fact exist.

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

    If this is right, then Aquinas? argument is undermined as he is wrong to claim that a first cause started the chain and the cosmological argument fails. Aquinas presents a further version of the cosmological argument; the argument from contingency.

  2. The Cosmological Argument

    Plato believed this mover must be a soul, intelligent, must not be physical, and must be a higher order of the human soul. Aristotle took this further in his book Metaphysics, believing that the prime mover could not be part of the ordinary chain of physical and material causes, and so must lie outside the universe.

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