AS Religious Studies Revision: Everything in the universe has a cause.
The first of these give ways make similar points based on the idea that infinite regression is not possible; there must have been one thing that started off everything that happened. Aquinas argues that this must be God.
The efficient causes of a thing follow in order meaning that there was a first cause which caused a second cause and so on and so forth. However, Aquinas does not mean to argue that God is merely the being that started off the chain of events which lead to cause the universe and everything in it.
He is rather claiming that he must still exist; Coppleston used the example of winding up a pocket watch every night rather than knocking over the first domino in a chain.
One such strength is the way in which it is a satisfying argument for Humans to understand. It is true that, by human, a posteriori logic, things must indeed have a cause which exists outside its own essence or self.
We as humans were caused by our parents and the universe was caused by the big bang. However, if the big bang required matter to take place, then that matter, logically, had to have been caused by something and put into the correct environment for the event to take place.
Aquinas argues that this causer must have been God.
Seeing as the argument is hinged upon the assumption that this is impossible, disregarding this assumption therefore dramatically reduces the strength of the argument. The philosopher David Hume questioned the very notion of cause and effect. He argued that we make assumptions about the relationship between Cause and Effect which are by no means necessarily true.
While it is true that, according to human logic, infinite regression does not seem logical, in mathematics, it is possible to have an infinite series of regression; numbers can keep increasing or decreasing in size infinitely, thereby proving that infinite regression is entirely possible.
Using a posteriori knowledge, it may seem apparent that every effect has a cause. However, if you use a priori knowledge, you could easily reason that, not everything which exists has a cause.
It is impossible to claim that this is analytically true. By this logic, while it is possible imagining the universe coming into existence without a cause, that does not mean that it is logical or reasonable to think so. Aquinas goes on to attempt to further strengthen his Cosmological Argument in his Third Way: The Argument from Contingency.
In this way, Aquinas argues that all things which exist in nature are contingent; they did not exist, in the future will cease to exist and, as well as this, it is possible for them never to have come into existence. Aquinas believed that, using this logic, the fact that everything used to not exist must mean that there was a time when nothing at all existed because there would be nothing to bring anything else into existence.
In other words, seeing as how there was once a time when nothing contingent existed, there must have been a non-contingent, necessary being which is necessary in itself to cause the existence of contingent things. This third way could be argued to be either strong or weak.
One strength which the argument holds is that, as with the first two ways, this argument appeals strongly to human reason and logic, leading it to be widely accepted by empiricists.
In accordance with human logic, things in existence are indeed caused by other things; we are made by our parents, mountains are made by tectonic plate movement etc. Aquinas draws on this logic when putting forward his third way, meaning that it is a fairly satisfying argument.
However, there are also several strengths which are pointed out by philosophers including Immanuel Kant and J.
He entirely rejects the idea of the existence of a subject being necessary; existence could not possibly be a defining predicate of a sunject as it adds nothing to the definition of the subject. In other words, nothing can be necessary. However, this criticism could be weakened by arguing that Kant is just rehashing his criticism of the Ontological differences despite the obvious differences in the Ontological and Cosmological Arguments Ontological Argument is a priori, Cosmological argument is a posteriori.
Another weakness of the Cosmological Argument is put forward by J. Mackie in his The Miracle of Theism. One clear strength of the arguments is its appeal to human logic and reason. As an a posteriori argument which is based on human experience, it satisfies human assumptions.
It is illogical to humans to think of an infinite chain of regression in regards to anything, let alone to creation of the universe. However, this strength does not necessarily add to the arguments ability to prove the existence of God, but more to the accessibility of the argument to a wide range of people.
Conversely, perhaps the most severe and damaging criticism of this argument is the idea that an infinite chain of regression is in fact possible.
In terms of mathematics, infinite regress is entirely possible as it is always possible to increase or decrease a number. Therefore, it is definitely possible to infinitely regress.
This hugely takes away from the strength of the argument as it is upon this assumption which Aquinas bases his entire premise.Evaluate the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Cosmological Argument for Proving God Exists.
(40) This essay, of A grade standard, has been submitted by a student. PB. The Cosmological argument is an argument put forward by the Christian Philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas () in an attempt to prove God’s existence. The Cosmological argument is an argument that starts from the existence of the universe, and from this attempts to prove the existence of God.
The argument is a .
These arguments include: the cosmological argument, teleological argument, and ontological argument. These arguments seek to provide a logical rationale as to the existence of God.
The paper will, therefore, discuss the arguments at length. The Cosmological Argument or First Cause Argument is a philosophical argument for the existence of God which explains that everything has a cause, that there must have been a first cause, and that this first cause was itself uncaused.
The cosmological argument is less a particular argument than an argument type. It uses a general pattern of argumentation (logos) that makes an inference from particular alleged facts about the universe (cosmos) to the existence of a unique being, generally identified with or referred to as God.
This thing must be external to the causal chain (uncaused) and is known as God. The Cosmological argument: The world consists of contingent things (things which rely on things external to them for existence) Everything is a result of a cause.