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

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?

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Existence of God 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 GCSE Existence of God essays

  1. Examine the key features of the cosmological argument for the existence of God St ...

    They also relied on something else for their own existence; an example of this is man relying on reproduction to continue the human race. However if all beings were contingent then there would have been a time when nothing existed.

  2. Identify the main strengths of the Cosmological Argument

    They all believe that the first cause was God. However all the scholars who support the Cosmological Argument already believe in God which is fairly biased. Even though the link to God is not evidentially correct, the statement about a first being and a first non-contingent cause is true.

  1. For what reasons have some philosophers argued that religious language is meaningless?

    and that some human being is good because goodness in human beings can be said to... derive from God as the first cause of all things." Therefore words like 'just,' 'loving" and 'good' which are normally applied to man can be attributed to God because of the casual relationship between God and man.

  2. A summary of the Cosmological argument according to Thomas Aquinas and Copleston.

    an adjacent wheel, however the movement of the watch system itself is not self-explanatory, is all caused by the spring. The spring exists outside of the watch as God exists outside of the Universe.

  1. The Cosmological Argument

    Thus the fire is the cause of the motion of burning. This type of chain of cause and effect stretches back to a first example of motion, without a first mover we would have no movement now as movement always come from something. The second way is based on cause.

  2. The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Cosmological Argument

    (Al-Fatiha verse 2). Aquinas argued that if there were a time where nothing existed, then there would still be nothing as nothing can bring itself into existence. Therefore the cause of the universe must be external to it and must always have existed.

  1. The Teleological Argument.

    The animal that does have two eyes and ears has a better field of hearing and vision and therefore they have a better chance of survival. Darwin (1809-1982) 'The Origin of Species by Natural Selection', says, 'mammals, birds, fish and reptiles are all the descendants of one common progenitor and

  2. Using Inductive and Deductive arguments, is it possible to prove the existence of God?

    So a being than which no greater can be conceived - i.e., God - exists. The argument could be summarized as follows: 1. Everyone has the idea of God 2. This idea of God is of the greatesr possible being 3.

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