Cosmological Argument

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Examine the cosmological argument for the existence of God. The cosmological argument is an a posteriori argument which intends to prove that there is an intelligent being that exists; the being is distinct from the universe, explains the existence of the universe, and is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent and omnibenevolent. The basic notion of cosmological arguments is that the world and everything in it is dependent on something other than itself for its existence. It explains that everything has a cause, that there must have been a first cause, and that this first cause was itself uncaused. Many philosophers have explored the cosmological argument, including Aquinas, in much depth, through his Five Ways in the Summa Theologica.…show more content…
Frederick Copleston was a priest, and historian of philosophy who supported Aquinas’ rejection of infinite regress. Copleston reformulated the argument by concentrating on contingency, which he discussed in depth during a radio debate with Bertrand Russell in 1947. Copleston, like Aquinas, argued that there are things in the universe which are contingent, for example, us – we would not have existed if our parents had not met. All things in the world are similar to this, nothing in the world is self-explanatory, and everything depends on something else for its existence. Therefore, we are forced to search for an external explanation. The explanation must lead us to a cause which is self explanatory, i.e. one which contains within itself, the reason for its own existence – a necessary being. The conclusion must be God. Copleston argues that if we don’t accept the existence of an ‘unmoved mover’, like Aquinas suggested, there is no explanation for the universe at all. Copleston believes the universe is gratuitous without a first cause, because without an explanation, nothing has meaning – “Everything is gratuitous. This garden, this city, and myself; when you suddenly realise it, it makes you feel sick and everything begins to drift… that’s nausea”. Leibniz, who wrote ‘On the Ultimate Origination of Things’, also supported the cosmological argument; his argument is sometimes called the ‘argument from
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