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Examine the key features of the Cosmological for the existence of God. For what reasons have some thinkers rejected the Cosmological argument? How far is it possible to regard the Cosmological Argument as a strong argument?

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Introduction

Cosmological Argument A) Examine the key features of the Cosmological for the existence of God. (10) B) For what reasons have some thinkers rejected the Cosmological argument? How far is it possible to regard the Cosmological Argument as a strong argument? (10) A) The Design Argument is based on the direct observation of the world. As such they are what philosophers call them empirical arguments. In contrast, the First Cause argument, otherwise known as the Cosmological Argument, relies only on the empirical fact that the universe exists, not on any particular facts about what it is like. The Cosmological Argument states that absolutely everything has been caused by something else prior to it: nothing has just sprung into existence without a cause. Because we know that the universe exists, we can safely assume that a whole series of causes and effects led to it's being as it is. If we follow this series back we find an original cause, the very first cause. This first cause, so the argument tells us, is God. The Cosmological Argument is a classical argument for the existence of God. Unlike the ontological argument, it derives the conclusion that God exists from a posteriori principle. The principle is a posteriori because it is based on what can be seen in the world and the universe. ...read more.

Middle

the rejection of infinite regression. Many argued that such a rejection has not been justified. Leibniz accepted the Cosmological Argument because he believed that there had to 'sufficient reason' for the universe to exist. He did not accept that it was uncaused. Leibniz is credited with having formulated one of the most fundamental of all metaphysical questions, which is: 'why is there something rather than nothing?' Leibniz went on to formulate his own version of the Cosmological Argument; he avoided the problem of infinite regression by reinterpreting the endless series, not of event but of explanations. Even if the universe had always existed, there is nothing to show why it exists. According to Leibniz everything has a sufficient reason, therefore the universe as a whole must have one and it must be outside the universe. This sufficient reason we call God. The Cosmological Argument has been reformulated and put into a more modern form by Professor F. Copleston. His argument is shorter than that constructed by Aquinas in the third of he 'Five Ways' of providing the existence of God, although the reasoning is very similar to that of Aquinas whilst avoiding some unnecessary steps. Copleston's version has the three points that Aquinas had; the first states that there are some things in the world, which are not contingent or not self-explanatory. ...read more.

Conclusion

One of the main criticisms of the argument is the suggestion that infinity is impossible and that the universe had a beginning. Many philosophers point out that Aquinas and Craig contradict themselves when they reject the possibility of the infinite. Supporters of the argument point out that God is unique and that the laws of nature do not apply to God. If one is willing to accept that the universe is just brute fact, then the question does not get posed and the answer, 'God', will not be required. David Hume argued that it was illegitimate to move from saying that every event in the universe has a cause to the claim that therefore the universe has a cause. Bertrand Russell made a parallel point by remarking that this was rather like moving from saying that every human being has a mother to the claim that the human race as a whole has a mother. One cannot move from individual causes to a claim that the totality of all has a cause. If we were to say to Russell, 'but everything requires an explanation, and so the universe must be therefore require an explanation', and Russell accepted this, then it may be possible to believe that God is the explanation for the universe's existence. However, Russell would probably reply by saying, 'if everything requires an explanation, what is the explanation for God?' ...read more.

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