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

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

Extracts from this document...

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.

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

    This again is very similar to Aquinas's CA especially the first way although it was written before Aquinas's time. Moving on to Thomas Aquinas's second way now, this way deals with the issue of existence. Aquinas said our common sense tells us that no object creates itself and is always

  2. "Religious experience is all in the mind of the believer" -Examine and comment on ...

    Swinburne carefully states his positive principal of credulity - if it seems to a subject that x is present, then probably x is present - so that it does not apply to experiences of absences. The negative principal - if it seems to a subject that x is not present then x is probably not present - he rejects.

  1. The Teleological Argument.

    Another argument placed is the 'Uncertainty Principle' and the 'Chaos Theory' (1961). This points to the idea that there is randomness on many levels of the world and the universe that we cannot explain. Our answer to this is 'How do we know that these things are actually random and have no significance?'

  2. Using Inductive and Deductive arguments, is it possible to prove the existence of God?

    God exists only in human minds or in reality 4. If God exists in human minds, He is not as great as a being that exists in reality 5. Therefore, God must exist in reality However, it could be argued that the Ontological argument is not valid is it does not have true premises.

  1. Outline the Design Argument for the Existence of God

    Within this he formulated his theory of natural selection. He said that we were not created as humans, with the characteristics we have now, we developed gradually. Darwin provided an alternative explanation for the design of the world, without reference to creation by God.

  2. Discuss the teleological argument for the existence of God. How viable is this argument?

    The universe is unique; therefore we have no basis for inferring that there is anything like a human designer behind it. (3) If there is a designer whose existence may be inferred from the way things are, would not such a designer also call for explanation?

  1. Arguments about god.

    a lifeless, insignificant piece of rock in the middle of a huge universe. Christians believe in the seven day theory where God created every organic life form within 7 days, (genesis) however these beliefs may not always be taken literally as there is significant evidence that the world must have taken millions of years to create.

  2. Explain how Thomas Aquinas attempts to prove the existence of God.

    But if there was nothing, nothing could come from it. Therefore something must necessarily exist. Everything necessary must be either caused or uncaused, yet a series of necessary things cannot go on eternally as there is no explanation for this.

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