Sunday, October 15, 2017

Cosmological Argument

The Cosmological Argument as proof of God The Cosmological Argument is born out of premise that the world must have a cause and a reason for existing. The word ''cosmos'' comes the Greek word meaning concerned with cause. The argument is posteriori in its nature, meaning it is based on thing we experience in the universe, and takes a probabilistic approach to try and decipher how said evidence came to being. In this essay I will focus on arguments from Aquinas, Leibniz and Frederick Copleston, whilst also touching upon some weaker, not so significant arguments from Kalam.

These arguments attempt to prove how the Cosmological Arguments provides evidence of God. The first and most well known argument is that of Aquinas'' 5 ways, of which the first three focus on using motion, cause and contingency to aid the cosmological argument. St Thomas Aquinas, a second century philosopher with little knowledge of science, sought to prove God as an explanation for the universe. His first way, motion, argues that nothing can move without an external force, a prime mover. He also stated that everything in the universe is the result of a chain of causes and effects, started by the rime mover.

All causes come after their effect, but the concept of cause and effect cannot regress into infinity. Aquinas said that everything is contingent , at one point it did not exist, this created the question of who is the prime mover or first cause? Aquinas, being a second century Catholic, resorted to the bible. Concluding that the first cause must be the omnipotent God. The strength of this argument as evidence for God stems from the reality that imagining infinite regression is impossible, making Aquinas'' argument somewhat believable and logical.

Due to the reasonable ature of the argument it is easy to accept God as the first cause of the universe. Gotfreid Liebniz, although arguing the same point, takes a different approach. He states his principle of sufficient reason in support of the cosmological argument. His argument comes from the question as to "Why there is something rather than nothing? " Liebnez was confident that there must be a reason for the world''s existence and this reason must be external to the world, nothing can exist without a necessary reason. He took the external reason to be God.

Liebnez'' argument is strong in that he s coming from the angle that "the ultimate reason of things must lie in a necessary substance", meaning that his conclusion of God was not materialised out of religious beliefs or need for an answer. Rather that when looking at things within the universe it is clear that an omnipotent being, namely God, is needed to provide a sufficient reason for our existence. Views like that from the Kalam argument, deduced by a group of Arabian philosophers, evaluates the fact that the world could have easily not existed.

That when there are two equally possible events something has to will one of the possibilities into existence. William Lane Craig supported this, agreeing that the world could not have come about by random forces of nature. The Kalam argument agrees with this stating that "if the universe must have a cause for existence then it is God", hence "God exists". Personally, I think this argument raises too many questions such as why must the cause be God? The argument is too vague to have any impact on the cosmological argument, however does have some value in that it is a valid some external being.

Much like Aquinas'' third way, Frederick Copleston, takes on the view that "everything is contingent". That the world is "Just a totality of objects, for hich the reason for their totality exists outside itself", meaning that everything relies on something else to bring it into existence. Such as how society could not exist without the people in it. If it true that the cause of the universe must be external to the universe itself, a self causing, intelligent, necessary being must is needed as an explanation for the universe.

This being God. Copleston''s views are extremely hard to disprove. This is because it is impossible to say that he is wrong because, in the same way that we will never know if there is an external intelligent being, we can never now that there is not. His argument is also based on years of historians, philosophers and scientists work, not Just faith like that of Aquinas''. This provides more validity to his argument and the cosmological argument as a whole. That the necessary being that caused the universe was most likely to be God.

To conclude, the cosmological argument does in fact provide respectable evidence for God. This is because it considers the fact that an infinite regression of causes and effects is almost inconceivable and therefore it is most likely that is does not exist. Resulting in he conclusion that something all powerful, God, must have caused everything. It is valid to say that God is the necessary, external being that defies our laws of logic, being both dynamic and self causing. There must be a reason why all things exist and the cosmological argument provides decent evidence that this reason is God. t) Comment on the view that the CA fails to explain the existence of God Personally, I agree with the premise of the CA, that the universe is a result of a series of causes and effects. However I am not convinced a prime mover is necessary to explain them I m willing to accept other conclusions as an alternative to God. Such as scientific research, and the idea of Russell that the universe is Just "brute fact". The biggest weakness of the CA is that it does not comply with the laws of logic and science.

Science has discovered that the universe has not always been moving at the same rate, that it is in fact decelerating. Meaning that not every cause is having a rapid and evident effect, raising the question of where is the intelligent prime mover now? As a whole if the CA goes against logic, making it unbelievable and pathetic. Bertrand Russell, the prime oppose of Copleston, stated that the universe is Just "brute fact". That Copleston uses "faulty logic" in his argument, meaning that he based his views on faith rather than what was more probable and believable.

It is unbelievable as the idea of God goes against the entire premise for he CA, that everything must have a cause and effect. Thus contradicting itself. Russell failed to understand how in a world supposedly a result of a number of causes and effects, some external being for which there is little proof could have caused itself. He also questions why the niverse needs a cause at all, "l should say that the universe is Just there and that is all". This is a strong argument as, unlike Coplestons, it does require further investigation, proof or explanation.

However it is a catastrophic statement in that it goes against our human, inquisitive nature and completely destroys the need for the CA. I agree with Russell in that it is futile to look for an answer or cause for the universe, as no one will ever be able to prove whether or not it is God. Therefore it is easier to accept that there is no God at all. In a similar way Humes expresses that "l xperience of. Therefore we cannot make conclusions about creation, as no one experienced it.

He also questions "why does cause on a small scale need cause on a large scale? " Just because we can see small causes and effects in the universe, it does not call for a powerful external cause, like God, to be the cause of the universe. Through eliminating the need for a first cause, we eliminate the need for the CA at all. This is itself shows how weak the CA is, and it cannot be relied upon to give proof of God. To conclude I do not believe that the CA provides sufficient evidence for God. This is due to it being vague and contradictory.

The idea of cause and effect is evident in the universe however could be used to Justify many arguments, including scientific theories such as evolution. It can also be questioned that there is no actual, tangible, visual proof that there was a time when nothing existed. The CA also fails to explains how if everything needs a cause, what caused God? And why is God an exception to the rule? For me it is Ludacris to answer such an important and defining question with the answer of God, a supposed "uncaused", omnipotent being for which there is no genuine proof.

No comments:

Post a Comment