A critical evaluation on the cosmological argument for the existence of god

AS Religious Studies Revision: Everything in the universe has a cause. The universe itself must have a cause. To avoid infinite regress of causes there must be an uncaused cause.

A critical evaluation on the cosmological argument for the existence of god

Islamic philosophy enriches the tradition, developing two types of arguments.

A critical evaluation on the cosmological argument for the existence of god

Arabic philosophers falasifasuch as Ibn Sina c. The world is composed of temporal phenomena preceded by other temporally-ordered phenomena.

Since such a series of temporal phenomena cannot continue to infinity because an actual infinite is impossible, the world must have had a beginning and a cause of its existence, namely, God Craig This version of the argument enters the medieval Christian tradition through Bonaventure —74 in his Sentences II Sent.

Enlightenment thinkers, such as Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Samuel Clarke, reaffirmed the cosmological argument. The principle of sufficient reason is likewise employed by Samuel Clarke in his cosmological argument Rowe We could admit an infinite regress of causes if we had evidence for such, but lacking such evidence, God must exist as the non-dependent cause.

For example, since God is immobile and has no body, he cannot properly be said to cause anything. The cosmological argument came under serious assault in the 18th century, first by David Hume and then by Immanuel Kant.

Hume attacks both the view of causation presupposed in the argument that causation is an objective, productive, necessary power relation that holds between two things and the Causal Principle—every contingent being has a cause of its existence—that lies at the heart of the argument.

Kant contends that the cosmological argument, in identifying the necessary being, relies on the ontological argument, which in turn is suspect. We will return to these criticisms below. Both theists and nontheists in the last part of the 20th century and the first part of the 21st century generally have shown a healthy skepticism about the argument.

Richard Gale contends, in Kantian fashion, that since the conclusion of all versions of the cosmological argument invokes an impossibility, no cosmological arguments can provide examples of sound reasoning However, Gale seems to have changed his mind and in recent writings proposed and defended his own version of the cosmological argument, which we will consider below.

Similarly, Michael Martin Yet dissenting voices can be heard. There is quite a chance that if there is a God he will make something of the finitude and complexity of a universe. It is very unlikely that a universe would exist uncaused, but rather more likely that God would exist uncaused.

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The existence of the universe…can be made comprehensible if we suppose that it is brought about by God. Typology of Cosmological Arguments Philosophers employ diverse classifications of the cosmological arguments.

Swinburne distinguishes inductive from deductive versions. Craig distinguishes three types of deductive cosmological arguments in terms of their approach to an infinite regress of causes. The first, advocated by Aquinas, is based on the impossibility of an essentially ordered infinite regress.

Craig notes that the distinction between these types of arguments is important because the objections raised against one version may be irrelevant to other versions.

Another way of distinguishing between versions of the argument is in terms of the relevance of time to the argument.

The relationship between cause and effect is treated as real but not temporal, so that the first cause is not a first cause in time but a sustaining cause. Complexity of the Question It is said that philosophy begins in wonder. So it was for the ancients, who wondered what constituted the basic stuff of the world around them, how this basic stuff changed into the diverse forms they experienced, and how it came to be.

Those origination questions related to the puzzle of existence that, in its metaphysical dimensions, is the subject of our concern. First, why is there anything at all? Why is there something, no matter what it is, even if different or even radically different from what currently exists?The cosmological argument fits in with the God of classical theism (omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omniscient).

It makes sense to think that there is an initial cause to the universe: this fits with our experience of events within the universe. THE COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENT FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD by W.D. Jeffcoat, M.A. the existence of the world.

Historical Overview

Arguments of this type are referred to as “cosmological” arguments. It will be that the cosmological argument is simply the claim that . Answer: The cosmological argument attempts to prove God’s existence by observing the world around us (the cosmos).

It begins with what is most obvious in reality: things exist. It begins with what is most obvious in reality: things exist. Cosmological arguments begin with the bare fact that there are contingently existing things and end with conclusions concerning the existence of a cause with the power to account for the existence of those contingent things.

Anselm: Ontological Argument for God's Existence One of the most fascinating arguments for the existence of an all-perfect God is the ontological argument. While there are several different versions of the argument, all purport to show that it is self-contradictory to deny that there exists a .

Now, one very common argument against the existence of God is the argument from evil. And it goes like this-- if God exists, God is both all powerful and perfectly good. If God is all powerful, God is able to prevent any evil he wishes to prevent.

What is the Cosmological argument for the existence of God?