The Cosmological argument key people.

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Created by brookemarie2604 almost 5 years ago


Religious studies AS.

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The Cosmological argument key people.
1 The CA seeks to prove the existance of God, it does this based on the starting point that there is a universe.
1.1 Seeks to prove why there is a universe and a world we live in rather than nothingness.
1.2 The argument focuses on the cause that leads to the existence of things.
1.2.1 There are three main questions the CA seems to answer. How did the universe begin? Why was the universe created? Who created the universe?
2 The Classic CA.
2.1 Also known as the firt cause argument.
2.2 Exists from an A posteriori premise. This is as it can be seen in the world and universe.
2.3 Starting point of this argument is observation of our world.
2.3.1 Shows that things move and change
2.3.2 Things are caused to happen as a result of how actions affect them.
2.3.3 We can see that things come into existence then cease to exist.
2.3.4 However there is always something in our universe. There is never nothing. The CA seeks to prove that the universe (cosmos) and all that is in it has a cause. And that cause is God.
2.4 Aristotle and the Prime Mover.
2.4.1 Ancient Greek Philosopher (384-322 BC).
2.4.2 Believed that all movement depends on there being a mover. Argues that behind every movement there must be a chain of events that made the event are brought about. There is a common source of all substance- something or someone who was responsable for the beggining of everything. This being is immune to death, change and decay. Eternal substance. Exists necassarily. Aristotle Argues that there must be an un moved mover who is the ultimate cause of the universe as if there was no ultimate cause to begin the chain of causes and effects then there would be no chain at all. Nothing would have came into existence. Aristotle calls this being the Prime mover. The PM is perfect and all in this universe desire to be such and are attracted to God as a result of this. Aristotle argues that God/PM did not.. Create the universe. Sustain the universe. Act in the universe. Had no interest in the universe. God is supremely happy as God contemplates himself. Spaceless and timeless.
2.4.3 Movement means change- growth, heating, melting, cooling and heating.
2.4.4 The PM causes movement of other things, not as an efficient cause, but as a final cause. The PM does not start off the movement by giving a push, but is the end purpous or Telos of the movement. Aristotle meant that he thought an effective cause , giving a push itself would need a cause. He believed that the PM moved things by attraction the same way a cat is attracted to a saucer of milk.
3 St Thomas Aquinas's cosmological argument. God of Classical Theism.
3.1 Wrote Summa Theolagicia.
3.2 Felt that Aristotles system of logic and ethics was compatible with Christianity and often quoted Aristotle to support his arguments..
3.3 Aquinas did not accept the statement "God exists" is self-evident. He states that this proposition requires demonstation.
3.4 Developed his "five ways" to prove the existence of God.
3.4.1 He called the demonstratio for the existence of God.
3.5 His argument was based on things that could be observed.
3.5.1 His observations included that even inanimate objects could move and change
3.6 He reached the conclusion that there is a God following his observations.
3.7 Three of Aquinas's ways to support the CA.
3.7.1 Motion/change. The first way. Speaking of motion in the broadest sense. Not only movement from place to place but movement in sense of quality or quantity. Aquinas believed that objects are only ever moved if an external force was applied to it. However this chain of movement cannot go back infinatly. There must have been an unmoved mover who began the chain of events. The need of an external influince. Objects only change because some external force had brought about the change. Achieve goals through external influince. In order for something to change it requires actuality. Rejects infinate regress. Must be a first movement/change brought about by a first mover. This is God.
3.7.2 Cause. The second way. Identified a series of cause and effects in the universe. Nothing can be the cause of itself as that would mean it existed before it existed. This would be a logical impossibility. Rejected an infinate series of causes and believe there must be a first, uncaused cause. This first cause started the chain of cause that caused all events to happen. The first cause was God. Rejection of infinite regress. Aquinas proposed that there had to be an 'uncaused cause' that began the universe. Rejected that motion and change or cause and effect went back to infinity. Aquinas rejceted motion and change cannot go on into infinity , because there would be no first mover and as a result no other mover. There must be a first mover which is how we define God as there cannot be an infinate regress of movers putting objects into motion.
3.7.3 Contingency. The third way. Something MUST have started off the universe. This is based on the fact that everything begins to exist to have a cause. The universe began to exist therefore it must have a cause. Based on the fact that the universe came into existance and that things in the universe come into and out of existance he considered the possibility of infinite time. But if time is infinite then there must have been a time when nothing existed. This is due to CONTINGENCY. The very fact that things are contingent means they cannot last forever. If there were a time when nothing existed then there would still be nothing as nothing can bring itself into existance. Therefore the cause of the universe must be external to it and must have always existed. There must have always been a "necassary being" to bring everything else into existence. He concluded that if God didnt exist then nothing would exist.
4 Challenges to the CA.
4.1 David Hume.
4.1.1 1711-1716.
4.1.2 Believed that all knowlage and ideas however complex, can be reduced to some experience that our senses have provided. Led him to humans know a great deal more about the external world than is warrented. Hume argued that the mistakes human makes is to allow imagination to make a connection between cause and effect. Therfore Hume believes Aquinas is wrong in making the connection frombetween cause and effect. According to Hume, Aquinas's error was that cause and effect should be observed seperatly rather than together as they are two different events. Its just a habit of the mind to link the two things and therfore there is no proof for the universe to begin.
4.2 Immanuel Kant.
4.2.1 German Philosopher 1724-1804.
4.2.2 Examined the argument of the existance of a supreme being as the first cause of the universe. He argued that idea that every event must have a first cause of only applied to the world of sense experience. It cannot apply to something we have not experienced. Kant did not accept any justification for the conclusion that God caused the universe to begin. Kant would not accept any justification for the conclusion that God caused the universe to begin. He would not accept it as valid to extend our knowlage we do posseses to questions that transend our experience. God- be as a casual being outside space and time as we understand it. Therefore it would be impossible for God to have any knowlage of what God created, or God himself.
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