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

The Cosmological Argument is a classical argument for the existence of God. It attempts to show that the world that we live in must have a first cause, which is identified as God. St.Thomas Aquinas designed his argument to convince us that there is one un

Extracts from this document...


The Cosmological Argument. The Cosmological argument is a classical argument for the existence of God. It attempts to show that the world that we live in must have a first cause, which is identified as God. St.Thomas Aquinas designed his argument to convince us that there is one uncaused necessary and perfect being - God. Aquinas presents his cosmological argument in the first three ways of his 'Five Ways' (Summa Theologicae). This essay will determine just how successful Aquinas proves the existence of God. The first of Aquinas' three ways was motion or change. According to Aquinas, in the world there are things that are in motion and whatever is moving must have been moved by something else. Whatever caused these things to move must itself be most significant and important. Then Aquinas states that this chain of motion cannot go back to infinity, their must have been a cause at the beginning. This cause of change or motion was not caused to change by anything. ...read more.


There are many views from philosophers that give sufficient reason to believe Aquinas first of his three ways to justify the existence of God and there is sufficient evidence to reject his theory. Aquinas' second way to prove the existence of God is cause. He observed that nothing can be caused by itself as this would have to mean it had to exist before it existed. This was a logical impossibility, however Aquinas rejected an infinite series of causes and believed that their must have been a first, uncaused cause. This first cause started the chain of causes that have caused all events to happen. The first cause was God. It seems that Aquinas, in this argument contradicts himself. He states that everything appears to require a cause, but then there is an exception to this rule-God. This therefore is no logical, when reading this argument I find myself asking the question; why cannot God have been caused? Modern science again challenges Aquinas' argument. Subatomic physics states that particle have been observed to disappear and appear without any apparent cause. ...read more.


Russell observed that just because a child has a mother that doesn't mean that the universe had to have a mother. As, Russell stated, 'I should say that the universe is just there and that's all'. Also Leibniz criticises Aquinas' second way of the uncaused causer. 'Suppose the book of the elements of geometry to have been eternal, one copy having been written down from an earlier one. Even thought there is a reason for the present book out of the past one their will never be a full reason. If you suppose the world eternal, you will suppose nothing but a succession of states and you will not find in any of them a sufficient reason.' Leibniz also rejected that their was an infinite universe as he believed that the evidence for this was unsatisfactory. It is evident to me from studying the cosmological argument and the critics of it that St.Thomas Aquinas does not give sufficient evidence for his argument and that science objects to his theory. In two of Aquinas' ways modern science actually proves his argument wrong. Therefore it seems that Aquinas' argument for the existence of God is quite weak and unsatisfactory. ...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. Examine the key features of the cosmological argument for the existence of God St ...

    All of the cosmological arguments conclude that God is the ultimate explanation for the beginning of the universe. Aquinas believes that they show that only God has the necessary characteristics to create it. Aquinas rejected the idea that there could be an infinite chain of cause or movement rather then a necessary causeless being, God.

  2. The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Cosmological Argument

    The theory doesn't need the existence of God to support it as it states that random chemical reactions occured and a big bang occured where the universe began. Darwin believed in the theory of evolution where species evolved from their ancestors who had the fittest and healthiest genes to become

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

    "Paley's analogy of the watch conveys the essence of the argument. Suppose that while walking in a desert place I see a rock lying on the ground and ask myself how this object came to exist. I can properly attribute its presence to chance, meaning the operation of such natural forces as wind, rain, heat, frost and volcanic action.

  2. What does it mean to say that God is 'necessary?'

    A perfect being possesses all possible perfections; 3. Existence is a perfection; 4. Therefore, God necessarily possesses the quality of existence. Simply, God exists. Norman Malcolm, a twentieth century philosopher also attempted to strengthen the Ontological argument. Malcolm was very careful in his attempt to prove that God existed.

  1. The Cosmological Argument

    The second way is based on cause. Aquinas asserts that there is chain of cause and effect in the world. (He does not refer to the motion as cause and effect as in the first way, but there are similarities). Nothing can cause itself. Something must have started everything off however, or the chain of cause and effect would not have started.

  2. The Teleological Argument.

    we must admit that the whole vast amount of difference between these forms has primarily arisen simply from variability.' I believe that the 'Theory of Evolution' is inconsistent and haphazard. Darwin has failed to account for the mutations that have occurred in species over the use.

  1. Ontological Argument

    the thought of �100 is not as great as having �10 in reality. In the second part of Anselm's argument Anselm tries to prove God's existence as being necessary; as something which must exist, is greater than something which may not have existed.

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

    1 ? The Argument of the Unmoved Mover - In his first argument, Aquinas tries to prove that God must be the cause of motion in the universe. Aquinas defines, using Aristotle?s dichotomy of potentiality and actuality, that some things are in motion and others the potential to be in motion.

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