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Outline the Cosmological Argument for the existence of God, and assess its claim to prove that God exists.

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Introduction

Outline the Cosmological Argument for the existence of God, and assess its claim to prove that God exists. The Cosmological Argument was first proposed by the philosopher Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theological in which he outlined his five propositions for the existence of God. The Cosmological Argument argues from the existence of the world, and its perceived state of order, to the existence of a creator, God. The argument has encountered several challenges, most notably from fellow philosophers David Hume and Bertrand Russell, and various vies discussed by modern day scholars. The Cosmological Argument is an a posteriori based on experience and observable phenomena. It infers the existence of God from the existence of the cosmos, Greek word for universe. The Cosmological Argument seeks causes since, "The universe cannot account for its own existence". Aquinas first set out his theory of the unmoved mover as an argument for the existence of God. Aquinas believed that everything is moving or changing is moved or changed by something outside itself, therefore the instigator of the motion or change in a thing is also changing or in motion and so on. This process cannot go back infinatly, since then there would be no "First Mover". ...read more.

Middle

This is what everyone understands to be God. The philosopher F.C. Copleston supports Aquinas theory of God being an "uncauses cause" or First Cause. He argues that Aquinas was not speaking of a temporal first cause, rather an ontologically ultimate cause. Copleston draws attention to two different kinds of causes. The in fieri cause is one which causes an effect, and the in esse cause which sustains the being of that effect. In essense he is distinguishing that God is only the in fieri cause of the world, and a God who's existence os necessary, the in esse cause of the world. In these terms God is described as an ontologically ultimate cause, since it is his permanent existence that sustains our existence. This distinction clarifies Aquinas' argument of God being the uncaused cause. The Cosmological Argument has faced criticism for proving the existence of God. Nothing occurs without a sufficient reason for why it is, whenever we ask a question "why", we automatically presume there is an explanation. Looking for the reason for existence is not going to be part of continguent things. The sufficient reason for the world must be beyond this world. ...read more.

Conclusion

Kenny believed that "a body's velocity would remain unchanged unless some other force, such as friction, acted upon it." Kenny believes that it is possible for an object to be in one of two states, stationary or moving at a constant rat, without any external force acting upon it. This would appear to mean that Aquinas' statement that nothing moves itself is wrong, and so argues against the existence of God and the First Cause or Mover. Recent scientific theories and challenges argued by philosophers have begun to question whether God was the ultimate creator, responsible for the universe. Modern cosmology allows for an infinite past history of the universe since it is consistent with the universe since it is consistent with the evidence to have an infinite series of expanding and contracting universes. This is know as the Oscillating Universe Theory. If there was no starting point, then from any specific point in past time there is only a finite stretch that needs to be traversed to reach the present. Given that the universe had a beginning, some philosophers question whether God must be the cause. Even if God did start it, God could then cease to be. This is very far from the argument sustained in the Cosmological Argument, that God not only began the world but sustains it, and that without God things would cease to be. ...read more.

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