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Is it possible to update the cosmological argument for the existence of god

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Introduction

Is it possible to update the Cosmological argument for the existence of God? The term cosmological comes from the Greek language, meaning 'world' or 'universe.' The argument is based on facts about the world. The topic of cosmology refers to the study of the universe. The cosmological argument begins with a general claim about the physical universe e.g. that some events have causes and that there must be a supernatural agent to somehow explain this fact. The argument seems to say that there cannot be an infinite series of causes, they have to stop somewhere. One scholar who supports this idea is St. Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas invented the 'five ways' by which he tried to demonstrate god's existence philosophically. Aquinas' third way was the most thoroughly examined of all his ways. This way was his argument from contingency and necessity. It states that some things are contingent, and if everything were contingent there would have been a time when there was nothing. Something now exists and not everything is contingent, so there must be a necessary thing, which gets its necessity from itself. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore the reason why there is something at all rather than nothing must come from outside the world. For a sufficient reason to account for such things there must be a being, which is able to create existence. Such a being must exist of itself because there is something rather than nothing. Therefore a necessary being exists, which we call god. Copleston formulated three key premises. In his first premise, Copleston claims that all things in the universe are 'might not have beens' in that they are dependent on something else for their existence. Nothing in the universe is non-dependent. Copleston's second premise moves from saying that everything in the universe is contingent to the claim that the universe as a whole is contingent. He says it would be possible to argue that the universe as a whole is necessary and that everything within the universe depends on the universe as a necessarily existent totality. Copleston's third premise argues that whatever the universe depends on has to be necessary and that whatever this is, is the same as the god of religious belief. ...read more.

Conclusion

Perhaps matter is coming into existence all the time. The Kalam argument depends on the universe having a beginning whether the big bang is true or not. If the big bang didn't happen then the second premise fails. Some philosophers argue that even if there was a first cause of the universe, there is no proof that this cause is God. The first cause could be anything. For example, David Hume argued that the first cause could be the material physical world rather than god. This is just as satisfactory an explanation as God. The success of the different versions of the Cosmological Argument depend on a willingness to ask the question, 'Why is there a universe?' If you simply accept that the universe is just there and does not need an explanation, or that it is explained by an infinite regress, then the Cosmological Argument fails. God must also be shown to be a simpler or better ultimate explanation than the brute fact of the existence of the universe. Lindsay Graham U63 1 St. Thomas Aquinas, Teacher's notes 2 The Puzzle of God, Peter Vardy, Chapter 8 3 The Puzzle of God, Peter Vardy, Chapter 8 ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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