Danielle Hilton  

Philosophy Of Religion

The Cosmological Argument

  1. Outline the key ideas of the Cosmological Argument for the existence of God and identify at least TWO of its strengths (14)

“Cosmologial” is the name given to a group of arguments fot the existance of God, or some underlying cause of the universe, which are based on the simple fact that there is an universe! The Cosmological Argument seeks to prove the existence of God by looking at the universe. It is an a posteriori proof based on experience and the observation of the world not logic so the outcome is probable or possible not definite. The argument is in three forms; motion, causation and being.The basic concept of cosmological arguments is that the world and everything in it is dependent on something other than itself for its existence.    

Cosmological Argument

  1. Things exist.
  2. It is possible for those things to not exist.
  3. Whatever has the possibility of non-existence, yet exists, and has been caused to exist. Something cannot bring itself into existence since it must exist to bring itself into existence, which is illogical. 
  1. There cannot be an infinite number of causes to bring something into existence. Because an infinite regression of causes ultimately has no initial cause, which means there is no cause of existence - since the universe exists, it must have a cause.
  2. Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause of all things.
  3. The uncaused cause must be God.

Although the cosmological argument was famously expressed in three of '  (rational arguments for the existence of God but his theology rests on scientific assumptions which are no longer valid today), There is an early form of the cosmological argument in the writings of , and the argument is also largely grounded in the thoughts of . Both Plato and Aristotle argued that the fact of motion (i.e. things move) requires a mover ('... the series must start with something for nothing can come from nothing' (Aristotle)).                                                                                                                                         The key idea is that if something exists there must be starting factors that have influenced/caused it to exist. An example of this might be to say that if the computer I am using to write these words on; exists then there must have been individuals who were responsible for the computers design. It is certainly true that if they had not lived (existed) then this computer would quite possibly not be in front of me today.                                                                                                            Although Aquinas is the most well known follower of the Cosmological Argument other forms have also been explored. For instance,  attempted to explain why there was something rather than nothing in the universe. (Leibniz’s theory is also known as ‘The Principle of Sufficient Reason’)  In the modern era, those who have wanted to question the notion of causation and medieval physics have argued that the fact the universe has existence means it must have had a beginning

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The widely accepted forms the cosmological argument asks questions about the origin of the world. If we accept the idea that everything depends on something else for its existence; then by continually regress back we will surely arrive at the first cause behind all things, which exist today - What if the history of the world, each successive event formed a circle or a figure of eight?                                                                   ...

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