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

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

Extracts from this document...

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.

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 ...

    assumption that the universe has a cause because everything within it does is absurd. Hume's arguments show that the cosmological theory cannot be called a strong argument. Hume also believed that everything requires evidence. This meant that because we are unable to step out of the universe in order to

  2. The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Cosmological Argument

    We would be saying that everything that occurs within the universe must indeed have a cause, but the universe as such doen't. The existence of the universe requires no further explanation as it simply is. This would rule out the need to posit God.

  1. The Cosmological Argument

    Therefore we cannot talk about the universe being created. He said that we have no experience of universes being made, and so we cannot speak meaningfully about the creation of the universe. To move from 'everything we observe has a cause' to 'the universe has a cause' is too big a leap in logic.

  2. Examine the key features of the Cosmological for the existence of God. For what ...

    The third part says that if we accept Leibniz's Principle of Sufficient Reason, it follows that outside the universe there must be a cause for everything in the universe. The Kalam argument has its origins in Islamic philosophy. The Muslim scholars al-Kindi and al Ghazali developed the Kalam argument, it

  1. Does God Exist?

    The second statement argues that if God does not exist, his existence is impossible. However, since we cannot say that God's existence is impossible, his existence is therefore necessary. Another argument which sets about trying to prove the 'necessary' existence of God is the cosmological argument.

  2. Bertrand Russell and Atheism.

    I cannot predict what we become when we die, however, I do believe that we still exist, only our new existence is nothing like our physical existence. I am sure the caterpillar could never dream it was going to take flight one day, and become a butterfly.

  1. Explain the Ontological argument.

    designer because of the way that the world sits together for a purpose, for example the intricate mechanisms of the body such as the eye, in which parts adapted to enable the eye to complete its purpose of sight. The complex arrangement suggests a designer, which Paley believes is God.

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

    And if one refuses to even sit down at the chessboard and make a move; one cannot off course be checkmated' F.C. Coplestone (1961) Aquinas, Penguin. One of the earliest forms of the CA was originally bought about by a very popular philosopher: Plato.

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