Criticisms of the Cosmological Argument

savanna q
Mind Map by , created almost 6 years ago

A-Level Philosophy and Ethics Mind Map on Criticisms of the Cosmological Argument, created by savanna q on 01/21/2014.

savanna q
Created by savanna q almost 6 years ago
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Criticisms of the Cosmological Argument
1 Hume
1.1 Hume thinks that the way we make assumptions about cause and effect can be mistaken. he argued that there is a relationship between cause and effect because our minds have developed a habit of seeing causes and automatically associating effects with them.
1.2 Hume stated that as a matter of logic one cannot always claim or assume that every effect has a cause. if this is true then it undermines ways 1 and 2 of Aquinas' argument which assumes there's a relationship between a cause and effect.
1.3 Hume says that it is not inconceivable that the world had no cause, or just always existed – he says “it is neither intuitively or demonstratively certain” that every object that begins to exist owes its existence to a cause. He also says that like causes produce like effects – this seems to be true in the case of parent rabbits producing baby rabbits, for example, so as many things in the universe seem to be the offspring of two parents, why should we assume that there is one male ‘parent’ of the universe – wouldn’t it make more sense to postulate a male and female creator God?
2 The Russell-Copleston debate
2.1 Copleston
2.1.1 Presented a reformulation of some of the ideas found in the 3rd Way of Thomas Aquinas
2.1.2 Argued that the universe can only be sufficiently explained by reference to God.
2.1.3 God is different from Contingent beings as he is 'his own sufficient cause'
2.1.4 Argued that explaining why there is a universe is important
2.2 Russel
2.2.1 Rejected Copleston's arguments and suggested that the universe was not explainable in the way Copleston wanted.
2.2.2 He argued that whether an explanation for the universe as a whole is possible or not, the explanation is beyond the reach of human beings
2.2.3 It is unnecessary for human beings to have a sufficient explanation of the universe that goes beyond the contingent universe.
2.2.4 "I should say that the universe is just there and that is all"
3 Kant
3.1 Immanuel Kant rejected the argument outright not only because he maintained that the idea of a ‘Necessary Being’ was incoherent but also because our knowledge is limited to the phenomenal world of space and time and it is not possible to speculate about what may or may not exist independently of space and time.
3.2 the argument is fundamentally flawed in that it works from empirical evidence (our observations of causality) to non-empirical suggestion (that there is a God). Since the conclusion is outside the boundaries of what we know and have observed, we cannot know if our presumptions from empirical evidence can extend beyond those boundaries, so they cannot support the conclusion, which must therefore be erroneous.
4 Hume argued that it was illegitimate to move from saying that every event in the universe has a cause to the claim that the universe has a cause. Bertrand Russell made a similar point by remarking that this was like moving saying that every human being has a mother. One cannot move from individual causes to the claim that the totality has a cause.

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