Consider the view that the cosmological argument provides clear proof of the existence of God. (50 Marks)

The Cosmological argument seeks to answer the question ‘Why does anything exist?’ It claims that this question is only answerable if God exists. There are many cosmological arguments; I will focus upon the Kalam argument, a deductive version of the cosmological argument and Richard Swinburne’s inductive version of the cosmological argument.

The Kalam argument states that everything that begins to exist has a cause. I began to exist so it is reasonable to ask what caused me to exist, I could answer and say that my parents caused me to exist however it still remains reasonable to ask what caused them to exist. We can continue this chain of questions until we arrive at what caused the universe? The Kalam argument states that if the universe came in to existence in the same way that I did then it too must have a cause as something cannot arise from nothing. Whatever caused the universe must have caused the universe without being caused itself. The Kalam argument arrives at the conclusion that only God could be the answer as God does not have a cause but is able to cause other things for instance the universe.

Does everything really have a cause? Hume argues that we cannot know if every event has a cause as it is not an analytic truth, this also applies to the principle of something cannot come from nothing. Since synthetic truths are known a posteriori we would have to make an assumption to say that our knowledge of cause and effect applies to the beginning of the universe as we do not have first-hand experience of the beginning of the universe and beginning of the universe is different from events that happen within the universe as it does not take place within space and time because they are only existent after the beginning of the universe making it wrong to apply events from within the universe to the universe as a whole. If the notion of cause does not stand the Kalam argument does not work.

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Hume provides another criticism of the argument he states that if we agree that the notion of cause and effect is real we must accept that causes resemble their effects. Our world is limited and if our world is an effect this leads to the conclusion that it was caused by a limited God. However, this is not always the case; sometimes causes don’t resemble their effects. For instance take avalanches they are great in size and impact however they can be caused by the smallest of things, maybe God created an limited world on purpose, maybe it was indeed ...

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