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Explain the Cosmological Argument as described by Aquinas

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Introduction

a) Explain the Cosmological Argument as described by Aquinas (33marks) Thomas Aquinas developed the most popular version of the cosmological argument, in his Five Ways that proved the existence of God. Thomas Aquinas put forward 'five ways' for the existence of God and the first 3 are Cosmological arguments. The First Way is that everything in the Universe is moved by something else but there must have been a point where movement started. Aquinas observed that everything in the world is in motion, but for these objects to be in motion something must have first started it. Aquinas says there must be a Prime mover that began movement in the Universe and he believed that that was God. Aquinas believed that God was the unmoved mover and that he was the one who put the universe in motion. ...read more.

Middle

Aquinas argued that there must have been a very first cause and that this was God. God is a necessary being and if he didn't exist first then there would always have been nothing. b) The Cosmological Argument cannot withstand Hume's objections. Discuss. (17 marks) The cosmological argument is an a posteriori argument; this makes it strong because it means it is based on experience and observation of the world around us. However many people have rejected this theory due to its many flaws. David Hume, in his book-Dialogues, asked why we must conclude that the universe had to have a beginning. Even if the universe had a beginning, it does not mean that anything caused it to begin. He believed that the fact this argument was a posteriori, was a weakness as well as strength. Just because everything in the universe had a cause, it doesn't mean that the universe itself did, perhaps it didn't have a cause it just is? ...read more.

Conclusion

However taking these criticisms into consideration there are also reasons as to why the cosmological argument is a strong argument. It is also universal, it can appeal to everybody because it is based on the world - something which we all experience. This helps to give an explanation as to why anything exists and why there are certain 'laws' or type of order. When it comes down to it, it does all come down to personal interpretation, because after all, the questions to the universe' origins will never be answered, and we can only speculate and form opinions on things we know and experience in the world. However many have come to the conclusion that it is a strong argument in the sense that most of it is a posteriori (based on observation) and seems to be logical in that it states that the universe must have the same natural laws in which we live. In conclusion I think that the cosmological argument can't really withstand the objections put forward by Hume. ...read more.

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