The Cosmological Argument

Miranda  Daniel
Mind Map by Miranda Daniel, updated more than 1 year ago
Miranda  Daniel
Created by Miranda Daniel about 4 years ago


Mind Map on The Cosmological Argument, created by Miranda Daniel on 01/12/2016.

Resource summary

The Cosmological Argument
1 Everything that exists has a cause. The universe exists. So, the universe was caused.
2 Aquinas
2.1 His 5 ways
2.1.1 'Summa Theologiae'
2.1.2 Related ways demonstrating the existence of God
2.1.3 1= unmoved mover; 2= uncaused causer; 3= contingency; 4= gradation; 5= teleology
2.2 Way 1:
2.2.1 1. We can observe that things in world= in process of motion
2.2.2 2. Everything in motion is changing from a potential state to an actual state
2.2.3 3. The same thing can't be at the same time potentially & actually the same thing
2.2.4 4. E.g. If something's hot, it cannot be potentially hot, but it can be potentially cold
2.2.5 5. So, everything in state of motion must be put into this state by another thing
2.2.6 6. But chain of movers 'cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no 1st mover, &, consequently, no other mover'- Aq in ST
2.2.7 7. Conclusion: 'It is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other; and this everyone understands to be God'- Aq ST
2.3 Way 2:
2.3.1 1. Nothing is an efficient (necessary) cause of itself
2.3.2 2. Efficient causes follow in order: a 1st cause causes a 2nd cause, a second a third, etc
2.3.3 3. X possible for efficient causes to go back infinitely, because if there's not 1st cause, there won't be any following causes
2.3.4 4. Conclusion: 'It is necessary to admit a first efficient cause to which everyone gives the name of God'- Aq ST
2.3.5 CAN'T be infinite regress; must be cause- Aristotle= unmoved mover; Aq= God
2.4 Infinite Regresssion
2.4.1 IR= chain of events that goes backwards forever e.g. dominoes; one causes the next to fall Every domino= potentially the cause of the fall of the next
2.4.2 To explain a chain of events, need an actual cause that's a PURE act, not potential, because if the cause of everything= only potential, then it needs to be acted on to achieve its potential
2.4.3 Difference between winding up watch at night, and writing on a piece of paper: the writing activity stops if you stop writing, whereas the watch continues on its own once wound up. Copleston claims Aq is making argument more like the writing, and didn't mean like the watch in his ways 1 & 2
2.4.4 Is Aq correct in saying you can't have infinite regression of causes? 1. In maths; If infinite regressions= possible in reality, then there could be an infinite series of causes & effects which had no beginning, thought it would be questions- equally, if God is proposed as the explanation for why there's something not something, a person supporting I.R. could ask who caused God? 2. Criticisms of Aq's arg that if every contingent things at one time didn't exist, nothing would come to exist- but, philosophers say, its possible for all contingent things at diff points in time to X exist & later exist, but this X mean at some time nothing existed
3 David Hume
3.1 Questioned the idea that every event has a cause- humans may assume it, but we can't prove it
3.1.1 Bus e.g. We may make mistaken assumptions about cause and effect; its a human habit; we take for granted because that's the way we see things
3.1.2 If there's an explanation for every event in a series, its not necessary to ask what caused the whole series
3.1.3 We expect future experiences to conform to past experiences; enforces belief in A causes B
3.1.4 This undermines ways 1 & 2 In way 2, Aq states: 'In the world of sense we find that there's an order of efficient cause
3.2 The Fallacy of Composition
3.2.1 Is it necessary for the whole universe to have a cause just because everything within the universe could be explained by reference to a preceding cause?
3.2.2 To Hume, X reason why God should be the first cause; the 1st cause could just be the universe itself
3.2.3 Fits in with idea of world evolving from primordial matter & so effectively actualizes itself, thus possible to come into being w/o cause, or had always existed & had not beginning
3.2.4 Bertrand Russell: "Obviously the human race hasn't a mother, that's a different logical sphere" ('Why I'm Not a Christian')
3.2.5 You can't deduce universe has a cause just because you can identify the cause of contingent things within the universe
3.3 Is he right?
3.3.1 Yes, we can't demonstrate that every effect is caused, believing that effects are caused is a reasonable working approach to everyday life
3.3.2 Elizabeth Anscombe ('"Whatever has a beginning of existence must have a cause": Hume's Argument Exposed')- points out you could conclude 'existence must have a cause' w/o believing/ knowing that 'such particular effects must have a cause' Even if you can imagine something coming into existence w/o a cause, this X tell you anything at all about what's possible in reality
4 Reality & Speculation
4.1 Reality= our experience of the universe; speculation= thinking of logical possibilities regarding issues
4.2 Is discussion of possibility of infinite regression logical speculation, or does it relate to reality?
4.3 Analysis of Aq's 1st & 2nd ways
4.3.1 God existed once, but X exist now?
4.3.2 God= sustaining cause of universe?
4.3.3 1st & 2nd rely on contradiction- he says everything must have a cause, then says something must exist that is the cause of itself?
4.3.4 If there wasn't an exception to this general rule, then the universe would have no cause? Similar to Anselm's reply to Gaunilo, that God is that God is a being who must exist Can be countered by saying the universe needs no explanation; it just is
4.3.5 Infinite regress= possible? BUT Mackie= agrees w/ Aq, using analogy of a train- can be an infinite no. of carriages, but it only makes sense if there's a railway engine (but not very useful argument because he questioned if Aq's 3 ways good be related to his analogy) If yes, then do we need a prime mover?
4.3.6 They X work if we aren't satisfied with the idea of God as a being who requires no further explanation
5 Way 3:
5.1 Argument from contingency
5.2 1. Things which exist in nature at one time did not exist and in the future won't exist; these things at any time may/may not exist (contingent existence)
5.3 2. If everything at one time didn't exist, there would have been nothing in existence, there would have been nothing in existence
5.4 3. If point 2= true, then there would be nothing in existence, because there would be nothing to bring anything into existence
5.5 4. Interim conclusion: 'there must exist something the existence of which is necessary' (Aq, ST)
5.6 5. But every necessary thing either has its necessity caused by another or not
5.7 6. An infinite regression of necessary things is impossible, as shown in Way 2.
5.8 7. Final conclusion: There exists 'some being having of itself its own necessity... causing in other their necessity. This all men speak of as God' (Aq, ST)
5.9 Developments
5.9.1 Contingent Existence If everything exists contingently, its poss to have a time when nothing existed If there was a time w/ no contingent beings existing, none would come into existence, and there would be no contingent beings around to cause them Must be a necessary being that can't fail to exist
5.9.2 Links w/ ways 1 & 2 Links with the rejection of infinite regresssion Concept of necessary being fits w/ Copleston's interpretation of the first 2 ways Copleston: world = sum of all objects; none of the objects contain within self the reason for their own existence; everything object depends on another for existence; if everything in world requires something else to exist, the cause of the entire universe must be external to the universe, w/ self explanatory existence- 'ontologically necessary being'
5.9.3 Criticisms Kant rejected 3rd way for same reason he rejected concept of necessary existence w/ respect to the ontological argument But Onto & Cosmo= fundamentally diff; Comso= a posteriori! Starts from idea that universe exists, and then WHY; Onto= starts w/ God's existence Mackie: Aq assumes that anything that X have a predicate/'essence' of existence requires existence of ness. being- God. M questions why we should accept this assumption; could equally argue there's a permanent stock of matter whose essence didn't involve existence from anything else' ('The Miracle of Theism') Aq X reason why God should be the ness being But, Aq believed that the existence of contingent beings would ultimately necessitate a being which must exist for all of the contingent beings to exist. BUT, this means the criticism of the idea of a logically necessary being from the ontological argument applies to Aq's arg Michael Palmer suggests what my be meant is a 'factual necessity'- God exists independently of everything else, which is diff. from idea of log. ness, so avoids this weakness
6 What do ways 1,2,3 show?
6.1 Aq: they demonstrate there's a 1st efficient cause & prime mover of the universe that is pure actuality not potentiality, w/ necessary existence; God
6.1.1 Aq's God= v diff to personal attributes often given to Christian God
6.2 A Christian philosopher H. McCabe, said: 'What I have been saying may seem to make God both remote and irrelevant. He's not part of the universe & he makes no difference to it'
7 The Russell-Copleston debate
7.1 'The Existence of God- a Debate' 1948
7.2 Copleston's argument
7.2.1 Reformulation of Aq's
7.2.2 1. There are thing in this world that are contingent- might not have existed (like us w/o our parents)
7.2.3 2. Everything in the world = like this- depends on something else for existence
7.2.4 3. Therefore there must be a cause of everything in the universe that exists outside of it
7.2.5 4. This cause must be a necessary being- one which contains the reason for its existence within itself
7.2.6 5. This necessary being is God
7.3 Russell's argument
7.3.1 Refused to accept idea of a necessary being as one that cannot be thought not to exist, & concluded that the regress of casual events didn't lead to the existence of everything in the universe
7.3.2 "What I am saying is that the concept of cause is not applicable to the total"
7.3.3 Just because each human has a mother doesn't mean the entire human race has a mother
7.3.4 The universe is a brute fact; its existence X demand an explanation "I should say that the universe is just there, and that's all"
7.3.5 Argument for cause of universe has little meaning/ significance, a 'question that has no meaning'- "Shall we pass on to some other issue?" Copleston's response: "If one refused to sit at the chess board and make a move, one cannot, of course, be checkmated"
7.4 p. 112-113= important
7.5 Summary: C put forward defence of Cosmo arg, centred on reformulation of Aq's THIRD way R rejected his arguments & suggested the universe X explainable in the way that C wanted. At heart of debate= contingency & necessity, & what's sufficient reason for anything to exist
7.6 The principle of sufficient reason- comes from Leibniz (dev.'d a new version of the Cosmo arg). At heart= idea that explaining the truth of a fact/ existence of a thing, includes an explanation of why its like that and X different
7.6.1 "In virtue of which we hold that no fact could ever be true of or existence, nor statement correct, unless there were sufficient reason why it was thus and not otherwise" -Leibniz Must give an example
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