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

Is the cosmological argument successful?

Extracts from this document...


Is the cosmological argument successful? The Cosmological Argument, also known as the First Cause Argument, is one of the most important arguments for the existence of God, not only because it is one of the more convincing, but also because it is one of the most used. The thought that everything that happens must have a cause and that the first cause of everything must have been God, is widespread. The cosmological argument is the argument from the existence of the world or universe to the existence of a being that brought it into and keeps it in existence. The idea that the universe has an infinite past, stretching back in time into infinity is both philosophically and scientifically problematic. All indications are that there is a point in time at which the universe began to exist. This beginning was either caused or uncaused. The cosmological argument takes the suggestion that the beginning of the universe was uncaused to be impossible. The idea of an uncaused event is absurd; nothing comes from nothing. The universe was therefore caused by something outside it. ...read more.


It would have to explain itself as well as everything else, for if it needed something else as its explanation, its reason, its cause, then it would not be the first and uncaused cause. Such a being would have to be God, of course. If we can prove there is such a first cause, we will have proved there is a God. If, on the one hand, God were thought to have a cause of his existence, then positing the existence of God in order to explain the existence of the universe wouldn't get us anywhere. Without God there would be one entity the existence of which we could not explain, namely the universe; with God there would be one entity the existence of which we could not explain, namely God. Positing the existence of God, then, would introduce as many problems as it solved, and so the cosmological argument would leave us in no better position than it found us. If not, then there is an infinite relapse of causes, with no first link in the great cosmic chain. ...read more.


that the universe could have not existed. Everything exists contingently, the argument from contingency claims, has a cause of its existence, just because we establish that there must be a cause to the order in the universe doesn't mean we have proven that God exists. The uncaused existence of God, whose existence is not reliant but rather is necessary, is consistent with this claim, and so does not present the problem encountered in the discussion of the cosmological argument above. The Cosmological Argument doesn't necessarily have the qualities normally ascribed to God (omniscience, omnipotence, omnibenevolence) by the people who offer the argument in the first place (Christians, Jews, Muslims). The first cause/ cosmological argument states, "Everything has a cause and every cause is the result of a previous cause. There must have been something to start off this chain of events, and that something is God." This argument is self-contradictory. The premise is that everything has a cause; the conclusion is that something exists, namely God, which does not have a cause. If we are going to allow something to exist which is uncaused, it is much more sensible to say that the universe itself is uncaused than to assume the existence of God and say that God is uncaused. Danielle Hilton Page 1 of 2 ...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. The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Cosmological Argument

    Aquinas states that 'everthing must have a cause'. He makes God the exception to this. However, a critic might come back with the response if we're going to allow for exceptions than couldn't we just as well make the universe the exception?

  2. The Cosmological Argument

    If it did you would be implying that time existed before time could have been measured. He said even if the universe had a beginning it does not mean that something started it. His last point was that we have no experience of what takes place when a universe is created.

  1. The Cosmological Argument

    It was he who at the beginning turned the gases into the world; he was the motus for the creation of the universe. 2. The Second Way - The uncaused Causer (The first Cause Argument). If we trace back our origins from generation to generation we can always establish what caused us to come into existence.

  2. A Big Bang Cosmological Argument for God's Nonexistence

    Among physicists, the most notorious example is Fred Hoyle, who vehemently rejected the suggestion of a big bang that seemed to imply a Creator and unsuccessfully attempted to construe the evidence for a big bang as evidence for an evolving 'bubble' within a larger unchanging and infinitely old universe (I am referring to his 1970s post-steady-state theory5).

  1. Explain the Ontological argument.

    Recently Smith has used quantum mechanics to demonstrate the ability of things existing without a direct cause. Even if the universe had a beginning there is no suggestion that is God. Kant argued that the idea that something had a first cause could only be applied to the world of the sense experience.

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

    A being is maximally excellent in a world W if and only if it is omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect in W; and 2. A being is maximally great in a world W if and only if it is maximally excellent in every possible world.

  1. Explain the Ontological argument from Anslem and Gaunillo's objection 9s?

    Take a modern example: If someone were to offer you a dollar, but you had to choose between the dollar that exists within their mind or the dollar that exists both in their mind and in reality, which dollar would you choose?

  2. What is the cosmological argument?

    In Aquinas second way he noted that nothing could be the cause of itself, because it would have to exist before it existed which is a logical impossibility. Things are caused by an external influence in a succession of events, however these events cannot go back to the beginning of

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