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

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

Extracts from this document...


Examine the key features of the Cosmological Argument for the existence of God? The Cosmological Argument (CA) is essentially an argument that argues with the intention of proving the existence of the world or universe is strong evidence for the existence of a God who created it (It derives from the word 'cosmos'- the Greek word for the world). So it is based on the belief that there is a first cause behind the existence of the universe, as it assumes the universe has not always been in existence. It goes like this: everything that exists in the universe exists because it was caused by something else, and that something was caused by another thing, and then another something was caused by another thing and so on... so if this keeps going back, something must have started this all off, gave it all the first push, something which did not need to be caused and therefore needed to be a necessary being. This the CA argues is God. It is a traditional argument for the existence of God, and is also recognized as the First Cause Argument or the Prime Mover Argument. It is basically a posteriori, synthetic, and inductive- given that the CA is a truth or evidence which is arrived at by observing the world. It is a posteriori argument because it is based upon experience. Its premises involve gathering evidence from experience and reasoning from that experience because it is based on what can be seen in the world or the universe. So as a result the premises of the CA on purpose consider the existence of the universe and aspects of it. It attempts to prove that god must exist as the creator of the universe or as the organizer of the universe (a necessary being). ...read more.


There is no case known (neither is it indeed possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go onto infinity, because in all efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate cause, and the intermediate is the cause of the ultimate cause...therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God' Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theoligica. > Things are caused by other things > Nothing can cause itself. > There can not be an endless string of objects causing other objects to exist. > Therefore, there must be an uncaused first cause called God. This leads us onto Aquinas's third way, which was to do with contingency and necessity. This way talks about two different types of beings, contingent and necessary. A contingent being is a being which cannot come into existence without something making it come into existence and a necessary being is a being that does not depend on anything else for its existence. So if all these contingent beings go back and back and back there must have bee a time when there was nothing, so there then must have been a necessary being to start everything off. Therefore there must have been a necessary being which points towards the existence of God. So if God did not exist then nothing would exist. > Contingent beings are caused. > Not every being can be contingent. > There must exist a being which is necessary to cause contingent beings. > This necessary being is God. ...read more.


When asked to explain she said that 'the world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise'. The scientist asked what the tortoise stood on and she replied 'you're very clever young man, very clever, but its tortoises all the way down' so this raises the question on the universe being finite. There can be a series of uncaused causes that go onto infinite, therefore making the world infinite another criticism on this issue has been raised scientifically, if the world is finite then at one time everything must not be, but according to the principle of the conservation of energy where a object can change its shape or form and still not go out of existence, this also maybe points toward an infinite world. However one could respond o this by saying that science also supports the idea of a finite universe via the big bang theory. The Big Bang theory clearly states that the world was bought into existence, and therefore has a starting point. You could also respond to the idea of infinity mathematically, as if the world was infinite we wouldn't have reached today. So these are the main reasons for why some thinkers have rejected the CA, but in conclusion I believe the CA is a strong argument for the existence of God, as it answers key questions about the universe, although some will say science does it better, the odds are to big to suggest that everything could have jus fitted into its own place by mere chance, or by science, it seems unlikely. Surely everything couldn't just have come about by scientific chance, God must exist. Reference: Student Workbook. Philosophy of Religion for A-level- Chapter 5 RS Textbook. The Puzzle of God- Peter Vardey. -Pg 103 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_argument ?? ?? ?? ?? 07/05/2007, Mohsin Ali Raja, 12MD ...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

    Mackie argues that Aquinas is committing a fallacy if he thinks that he can jump from 'every thing at some time does not exist' to 'at some time everything does not exist'. It may be a case that there is an infinite series of overlapping, yet contingent, things in the universe.

  2. Jewish concepts of God ...

    The Euthyphro dilemma can be sumarised as: (1) If divine command theory is true then either (i) morally good acts are willed by God because they are morally good, or (ii) morally good acts are morally good because they are willed by God.

  1. Examine the key features of the cosmological argument for the existence of God St ...

    In which case there must be a necessary being which is dependent on nothing buts itself to bring all else into existence, to have brought the contigent beings into existence in the first place. Aquinas firmly believed and argued that this necessary being was God.

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

    out' any unnecessary belief, and deal with pure reality rather than 'fantasy'. Kierkegaard was a famous anti-rationalist, who said that Christianity is self-contradictory, and we believe because of faith and not reason.

  1. Describe and explain the main features of Freud and Jung 's teachings about the ...

    Both resulted in highly specific ritual behaviour. In both cases, the behaviour is filled with symbolic meaning for its followers. It was from this that Freud derived that religion was a form of neurosis caused by trauma deep within the psyche.

  2. What are the key features of the design argument for the existence of God? ...

    In general the teleological argument is rather Swinburne's argument: it has a skeletal frame, the design qua regularity and the design qua purpose, on which the arguments grow and develop to its present state. The argument evolves and develops along with scientific theory5 and history.

  1. The Existence of God - questions and answers.

    1. No I don?t agree with the statement above as these answered prayer could be just chance and may have nothing to do with God. For example if someone prays for a cancer victim to get well, they could just go into remission.

  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