• 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. Outline the Design Argument for the Existence of God

    * The world can be analysed in a rational manner. * The inorganic world has provided basic necessities for survival. * The progress of evolution towards the emergence of human life. Tennant believed that it would be possible to imagine a chaotic universe in which no rules applied.

  2. Outline the key features of the Cosmological Argument for the existence of God

    - 'why is there something rather then nothing.' * Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) - the 5 ways. * Al Ghazali (1058-1111) - The Kalam Argument. Although it takes many different forms, it seems to be asking the same questions again and again: * 'How did the universe begin'?

  1. Analyse the key concepts of Religious experience as an argument for the existence of ...

    said that religion must derive from a being separate from this world, he claimed that a religious experience was a personal experience of the 'numinous' which is God. He states that the object of religious experience can be described as, "Mysterium tremendum et fascinans".

  2. How far does Swinburne's argument for the existence of God based on religious experience ...

    Davies went on to say that for example if we consider Buddhism we will find that we are ignoring a sizeable area of interesting testimony. Some people may feel that God may be revealed to them through nature, so therefore they have encountered a religious experience.

  1. The Nature of God Religious Studies Coursework. I am going to explain, discuss and ...

    For example we learn the meaning of the word pain because we hear the word being used in context when someone is experiencing pain and we can tell whether someone knows what a word means if they use the word correctly.

  2. "Modern visions of the Ontological Argument are more successful than early versions"

    This statement is analytic but doesn't state anything new. 1 Even a] fool, when he hears of ... a being than which nothing greater can be conceived ... understands what he hears, and what he understands is in his understanding.... And assuredly that, than which nothing greater can be conceived, cannot exist in the understanding alone.

  1. Man and the Universe

    With the discovery of the ever expanding universe, the theory of the Big Bang seemed more sensible than other existing theories, both scientific and mythodic. The Big Bang is the theory that the universe started from a tremendously dense and hot state exploding outwards to form the universe.

  2. The design argument depends on key assumptions, in particular that the order in the ...

    The watch demands a watchmaker, likewise the order and purpose in world demands a designer. He concluded the designer to be God. Paley used a second analogy; this time he used the intricate mechanisms of the human body to draw the same conclusion.

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