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The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Cosmological Argument

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Introduction

a) Examine The Main Strengths and Weaknesses of the Cosmological Argument (12) b) Consider the view that the weaknesses are more convincing then the strengths (6) a) The Cosmological argument is based on the belief that there is a first cause behind the existence of the universe (Cosmos). The cosmological argument has taken many forms and has been presented in many ways. In each case the argument focuses on upon the causes that lead to the existence of the universe and everything inside it. The argument is set out to answer the following questions: * How did the universe begin? * Why was the universe created? * Who created the universe? Aquinas argues that an object only moved if an external force was applied to it and this chain of movements cannot go back to infinity as there must have been a prime mover which itself was unmoved. This unmoved mover began the movement of everything without actually being moved and therefore Aquinas argued that this was ultimately God. This is a major strength to Aquinas' argument as Aquinas believed that this prime mover was God and is therefore agreeing with all major religions such as Islam, Christianity and Judaism. ...read more.

Middle

If God is His own cause, than why can't we say the same for the universe, that it was its own cause due to random chemical reactions between particles that caused our existence over time? Scientific evidence is growing stronger with technology being so advanced today. Scientists believe in the Big Bang theory where the universe came into existence due to random chemical reactions resulting in a Big Bang where the universe evolved from. This theory doesn't need the explanation of a design or even a creator of the universe and can support itself. Darwin also believed in the theory of evolution where species have evolved from their ancestors to become better and well adapted in the environment we live in for the survival of the fittest. This is another possible scientific theory that doesn't mention a supreme being from where we came from. Aquinas' third way is from a different tradition of cosmological arguments; ones that are based on the contingeny of the universe and of everything in it. Contingency has a close connection with the idea of dependancy. For example, the existence of human beings are contingent upon the existence of their parents, the existence of a forest is contingent upon the existnece of the availablilty of water to the trees' roots etc. ...read more.

Conclusion

It can also be asked of the cosmological argumet, why must God be the ultimate cause and why is God the point at which our search for an explanation for the existence of things must end? Why does the existence of the God not require any further explanation? This criticism links with that of J.L. Mackie of infinite regress. He uses the example of firstly a finite series of hooks each one hanging one above the other until we reach the all. Take away the wall attachment and the hooks fall. This is how Aquinas seems to describe his version of infine regress. However, Makie uses the example of infinte regress where the series od hooks is one on top of the other with no limit. An infinite regress after all maybe possible; therefore there is no need to posculate a first cause. I believe that Aquinas does an excellent job in trying to prove the existence of God by motion and change, cause and contingency. He agrees with all the major religions as he believes that God exists. This argument will be persuasive for the believer to take into consideration as it is trying to prove the fact that God exists. However, there are too many criticisms to take into account for the non-believer to take into consideration that God does exist. ...read more.

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