- Slides: 12
The Cosmological Argument • The Cosmological Argument refers to a collection of arguments from ancient Greek – modern times. • In Timaeus, Plato puts forward a version. So does the 4 th Greek thinker Aristotle. Rene Descartes and Leibniz also support. • William Lane Craig and Richard Swinburne are modern proponents. • Cosmological arguments are a posteriori and inductive. • CA’s argue from features in the world and inductively infer there must be a God behind it. • The conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premises. • David Hume, Immanuel Kant and Bertrand Russell main critics.
• St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 -1274) philosopher & theologian - one of most famous exponents. • Massively influenced by Aristotle. • In the ‘Summa Theologica’ (Greatest things of theology) – known as ‘five ways’ – ‘way’ means ‘method’. • He proposed 5 methods or ways of demonstrating the existence of God. • All 5 are a posteriori, inductive arguments. • The first 3 are cosmological arguments (propose similar arguments), the 4 th is a form of the ontological argument or even a moral argument, the 5 th is a ______? ? ?
Proving God inductively…. • P: Every event must have a cause. • P: The universe is an event. • C: God is the cause of the universe. Idea in all 3 way everything depends on something else…. .
1. The unmoved mover • Everything that is moved or changing (i. e. more or less everything) is moved or changed by something outside itself. • The instigator of the motion or change in a thing is also changing or in motion. • And so on …. • And so on…. (Aquinas ‘actualising potentials’ Aristotle) Wood has potential/fire actualise it. • This process cannot go back infinitely, since then there would be no “First Mover”. Therefore there must be a First Mover, independent of any thing else. This is what everyone understands to be God.
2. The uncaused cause • Argument from Causation. • Every effect has a cause – c, d etc. • Nothing that we experience can be caused by itself. • As with 1 there cannot be an infinite regression of causes. Therefore there must be a First Cause. This is what everyone understands to be God
3. Contingency & Necessity • Referred to as ‘The Cosmological Argument’. • All things in nature are subject to change. • It is possible for a thing not to be, then to come into existence, and then to cease to exist. The universe is contingent. • If this is so, then at sometime there was nothing at all. • If this is so, then there must be something that brings contingent things into existence, since nothing can come from nothing. Therefore there must be a being that necessarily exists (not dependent on other beings) to bring the contingent world into being. This is what everyone understands to be God.
4. Excellence • Everything in the world that exists is more or less good. There are varying degrees of excellence. • There cannot be an infinite scale of good. Therefore there must be something that is perfection. This is what everyone understands to be God.
5. Purpose (a teleological argument) • Everything works to some purpose or other. • This cannot just be luck, since things that have no rational powers still have purpose. They must be directed by some external power. Therefore there is an intelligent being which directs everything towards a purpose. This is what everyone understands to be God.
Tasks: 1. Give an outline of Aquinas’ version of the cosmological argument. 2. Do you find this argument appealing? ? Explain carefully.
a priori a posteriori The proof of the statement does not rely on external evidence. The proof of the statement relies on external (empirical) evidence. For example: All bachelors are unmarried. John is a bachelor John is unmarried. Analytic – Deductive For example: the girls in year 11 achieved higher grades than the boys. Synthetic Inductive –
Cause and effect