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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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