- Education and Science
The Cosmological Argument
The Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God
The Cosmological Argument, originally developed by Aquinas, is an argument for God's existence that starts from the Universe and works up to an intelligent being.
Think about how everything in the Universe has a cause and an effect. If everything has a cause and an effect, we could go back forever and ever and never stop - each cause has a prior cause, which has a prior cause, and so on. We could go back and back infinitely. his we call infinite regression.
Aquinas argued for God as an unmoved mover or uncaused cause. In other words, God is the first cause of the universe. God does not need a cause, because God is self-existing.
John Hick has produced one of the most comprehensive books on the arguments for God's existence. If you are studying this, I really recommend Hick's book. It helped me to understand the cosmological and ontological arguments at A-Level.
Duel Debate Module
Do you support or refute the Cosmological Argument for Gods existence?
Aquinas' Cosmological Argument
Aquinas' Cosmological argument was presented in the first three of his Five Ways.
The first argument that Aquinas presents is the argument from motion. This doesn't just argue from the movement of heavenly bodies or planets. It also argues from motion within this world from potentiality to actuality. For example, a cup of tea may be actually hot but could potentially be cold. This change in temperature is an example of the motion to which Aquinas is referring.
The second argument is from causation. This shows God as the first cause, which puts a stop to infinite regression. God is the uncaused cause.
The third argument is from contingency and necessity. Aquinas says that things within this world are contingent - they are dependent upon something else for their existence. However, in the beginning, if there was nothing, something cannot be created from nothing. Therefore there must be a necessary being to bring things into existence. this necessary being is God.