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The Cosmological Argument

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Amy McCormick

on 30 April 2013

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Transcript of The Cosmological Argument

The Cosmological Argument By Amy and Sam Extras (good to mention, but not necessary)
J. L. Mackie
G. W. Leibniz Aquinas Main Facts
1225 - 1274
Summa Theologiae
Was influenced by Plato and Aristotle Nothing comes from nothing
The universe exists, so something must have made it
That can only have been God Cake Analogy
• You can't make a cake without ingredients
• But the cake exists, so there must be a cook who has bought the ingredients and made the cake
• (Because the cake cannot make itself)

This theory can be related to the universe -> it cannot be made without hydrogen, so something must have created the hydrogen. This must be God. Second Way Things in this world exist
However, nothing can cause itself to exist
This means that there must be an UNCAUSED CAUSE who caused everything to exist Aquinas' Three Ways Third Way Hume Things in the world can or can't exist (everything is CONTINGENT)
If everything at one time didn't exist, there would be nothing in existence
This means that there must be something to cause these existences a NECESSARY BEING ("This all men speak of as God" - Aquinas, Summa Theologiae) First Way Things in this world change, or as Aquinas put it, move
They cannot change by themselves
Therefore, there must be an UNMOVED MOVER who is changing (moving) these items 1711 - 1776
Required facts, not just senses Criticised Aquinas' first and second ways "Does every event have a cause?"
Felt one cannot always claim or assume that every effect has a cause
The Fallacy of Composition PUNCHING ANALOGY
• Amy pretends to punch Sam, and Sam falls over
• Everyone thinks that Amy pushed Sam over, but actually Sam made herself fall over
• So just because you've seen an action before, the effects are not always the same The Russell - Copleston Debate COPLESTON RUSSELL Did NOT believe in INFINITE REGRESS; said there must be something to start a chain of events 1948 Put forward own cosmological theory
Said world can only be sufficiently explained with reference to God
God is his own sufficient cause
“An adequate explanation must be a total explanation, to which nothing further can be added”
Felt that a sufficient explanation of the universe must also explain why there is anything at all agreed with Copleston that an important point in the cosmological argument is the principle of sufficient reason
Asked when an explanation is adequate
Said that whether an explanation for the universe is possible or not, it is beyond our reach
Also felt that it was unnecessary for it to have a reason: "The universe is just there, and that's that" THE EXTRAS G. W. Leibniz J. L. Mackie Immanuel Kant developed a new version of the cosmological argument

basically said that in an explanation of any item or fact, must come with a reason of why it is like that and not different -> PRINCIPLE OF SUFFICIENT REASON

a SUFFICIENT REASON explaining the universe's existence therefore also includes how and why it exists explaining how a thing came to exist (good to mention w/ Russell and Copleston) explaining how a thing came to exist asked why there needed to be a necessary being (Aquinas gives no reason for there to be a God)

felt that Aquinas jumped to the conclusion that anything without a the predicate of existence, requires a necessary being (God)

also felt that while Aquinas did have a logical argument, there was no reason for the necessary being to be God (might just as well be a random necessary alien)

chain of hooks from a wall - a case of infinite regress

Catholic priest & Professor of History/Philosophy Member of English aristocracy (Lord) & philosopher criticized Aquinas' third way

said the the necessary being couldn't be something we haven't experienced, as a first cause could only be something applied to sense experience
Full transcript