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What are the key ideas of the cosmological argument?

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Introduction

Cosmological Argument A. What are the key ideas of the cosmological argument? The Cosmological Argument is an argument that attempts to conclude the existence of god, through reference to the existence of the universe. It's main principle, first suggested by Plato, then developed by Thomas Aquinas, is that there must be an uncaused causer or an unmoved mover. Its Aposteriori nature, with a conclusion coming after experience, provides evidence to support this argument, rejecting infinite regress. The principle of sufficient reason is linked to this and Aquinas' theory of contingency underlines the main principle for the existence of god. Thomas Aquinas developed upon the theory of causation, first suggested by Plato. It states that everything that has been moved has in itself been moved by something else. This means that everything must have a cause and therefore there is s chain of causes. This principle is concluded by looking at events and tracing them back and says there must be a first cause, an unmoved mover to start this all off. Aquinas' religious background most probably helped in his decision that this is god. Aquinas' theory of contingency explains why there is and must be a first cause, god. He says that because of the causation theory, everything in the world is contingent and conditional and co-dependant on something else. ...read more.

Middle

The second point within this argument that is strong is Leibniz and Aquinas' theory that everything has a cause, therefore the universe cannot 'just exist', it must have a cause or it would not exist. However it does exist and so the Cosmological Argument states a starting point for the universe. This is god and the theory of sufficient reason answers our questions to how and why god exists. Thirdly gods omnipotent nature is important is this argument. This means that he doe not need a cause, because there is nothing greater than him and so no power to give a cause to him. He is the final cause because nothing else in the world is omnipotent and this is strength for the Cosmological Argument because it states god does not need a cause. The Cosmological Argument fit in with what religion tells us, that god is omnipotent. Aquinas and Craig's rejection of infinite regress states that we can add to the present therefore there is a future. This would not be if infinity was true and the world would not move, with time staying still. Therefore the rejection of infinite regress fits in with common sense and therefore is strong to this argument. The last strength of this argument is the universe itself existing, provides evidence that the theory is strong. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another main weakness that is apparent is Bertrand Russell's suggestion that why does the universe need a cause? Why can't we just accept that "it just is"? Hume states "The world may be the cause of itself, and maybe part of the way things are and the way the universe exists". However the Cosmological Argument theory of causation suggests that this would not happen and so the strength here wins. Aquinas and Craig reject infinity in their theory of the universe. However they then contradict themselves by saying that god is infinite. Again this breaks a rule they set for the Cosmological Argument, so why can't other things break the rules? Leibniz however accounts for this loophole. He says that god is outside our cosmos so has different rules. Therefore God being infinite and the world potentially infinite is not breaking the rules, just following different rules. The main problem with this argument is that with each point, there are weaknesses and strengths. You can then end up accounting for this by explaining a certain theory and why it is apparent, evident with Leibniz's explanation above. With the Cosmological Argument you can keep going back and forth arguing the strengths and weaknesses. Therefore the Strengths outweigh the weaknesses, but the weaknesses also sometimes outweigh the strengths. It is an ongoing argument with no firm conclusion one can come to. ...read more.

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