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Weaknesses of the Cosmological Argument

Updated on February 13, 2013


The Cosmological Argument in simple terms is the idea that everything has a cause. The Cosmological argument is a theory that supports the idea that God created the universe.

Everything that exists has a cause
The universe exists
The universe must have a cause
This cause must be God


This is an A Postereori argument because the premises only imply the conclusion – it does not mean it is logically necessary. We rely on our senses to tell us that the conclusion is correct however, it can only ever be highly probable therefore this is already a weakness of the Cosmological Argument.
There are many opposing theories to the Cosmological argument such as Science, David Hume and Bertrand Russell. There are also flaws in theories for the cosmological argument such as Leibniz, Ockham and Aquinas’ theories.


Over the years, science has improved greatly and began to disprove the theory of God creating the universe or the fact he exists at all. The Big Bang Theory was a huge discovery in science and is still controversial to this day. Scientists discovered that atoms can pop out of nowhere which caused the Big Bang and meant that the universe is still expanding. This is called Quantum Physics. The idea that everything has a cause and effect may be used to strengthen the cosmological argument however, why should God not have a cause if it has an effect? This is not logic and denies scientific fact. Some philosophers and Christians argued that God created the particles and energy used to trigger the Big Bang. However, Stephen Hawking, a famous cosmologist and atheist, said that there was no before the Big Bang because time didn’t exist before that; The Big Bang was the start of everything and so Hawking argued there could not have been a God.


Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher who opposed the cosmological argument as he developed the Fallacy of Composition – this is when you infer something is true of the whole argument when in fact only a part of the argument is true. In terms of the cosmological argument, Russell said that Aquinas’s Three Ways (more specifically the 2nd way of causation) involved the Fallacy of Composition. The second way of causation is:


There exists things that are caused by other things


Nothing can be the cause of itself


There cannot be an endless string of objects causing other objects to exist


Therefore, there must be an uncaused first cause called God.


Russell said that this is a Fallacy of Composition because Aquinas made the whole argument seem true when in fact only the premises are. By saying that “there only exists things that are caused by other things” you cannot then go onto say “there is an uncaused first caused called God” as he is contradicting his previous premise.


David Hume was a famous atheist that argued that humans allow their imaginations to make a connection between cause and effect when in fact we have no proof as to whether one action has a cause and an effect. Hume believes that they are separate and unique actions and our imagination tries to make sense of this by believing they are connected and therefore Hume believes Aquinas is wrong in believing cause and effect is true. Hume also believes that Aquinas contradicts himself; he says he does not believe in infinite regress but also says God is an infinite being. This is not possible and by showing flaws in Aquinas’ theory, this proves the weaknesses in the cosmological argument. Aquinas’ five ways, three of which are cosmological arguments also have weaknesses. The first way says that nothing can move itself therefore God was the first unmoved mover, but this is an a posteriori argument therefore there can be many other solutions. For example the universe could be the first mover, not God. In Thomas Aquinas’ second way, he says nothing can cause itself. Yet the God of classical Theism caused himself therefore this is a weakness in Aquinas’ theory. God is described as a necessary being in the third way, but the universe or the laws of physics could be this necessary being. Many people would argue that The God of classical Theism would not create the universe as it is, if God was all loving then why is there evil within the universe?


Overall there are more weaknesses then strengths in The cosmological argument because it comes to a conclusion too quickly, it is an assumption that is not supported by evidence.


Stephen Hawking's opinion

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    • Philanthropy2012 profile image

      DK 4 years ago from London

      Awesome! :)

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 4 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      "Over the years, science has improved greatly and began to disprove the theory of God creating the universe or the fact he exists at all."

      A truly absurd and totally unscientific statement! Whether Science has improved greatly is actually an impossible statement to make because Science has demonstrated the more we learn the less we actually know. Sure we may know more than before but what we learn that is new reveals mountains of questions for which we do not have the answers, questions that earlier we may not have even had enough knowledge to ask. Another way to say it is for every step forward we take we take two backward, that the more we actually know of the whole the larger the whole becomes so there is no way to measure that science is progressing relative to the whole, the whole being the entire possibility of undiscovered scientific knowledge. The efforts of scientists to disprove the existence of God is not a pursuit of Science, but Scientism — a materialistic doctrine that (among other tenets of its creed) axiomatically excludes the possibility of a non-naturalistic origin of the universe, and which interprets all observation data regarding the natural realm only in line with its axiomatic assumption that there is no divine origin to creation. At the root of such delusional attempts to disprove the divine creation of the universe is an inherent contradiction: attempting to prove that God did not create the universe, the Scientistic theorist assumes the truth of that which he purports to attempt to prove. Theorizing based on the assumption there is no God, the “discovery” that one’s theorizing does not lead to the discovery of God is hardly a shocking result.

      There is no scientific evidence and can be no scientific evidence to disprove the existence of God, while if he does exist and created everything your very existence and all that exists is proof he exists. http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/faith-and-mo...

    • JessJoll profile image
      Author

      Jessica Jolliffe 4 years ago from Isle Of Wight

      Thankyou Dennis :)

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image

      DK 4 years ago from London

      JessJoll, allow me,

      @Tsadjatko

      ["Whether Science has improved greatly is actually an impossible statement to make because Science has demonstrated the more we learn the less we actually know. "]

      Knowing that we didn't know something in our past history does not negate the fact that, as you have already admitted, we know more.

      It is absolutely sound to say that science has advanced and failing to acknowledge that knowing more than we did before is not taking a 'step backward' is ignorance.

      [The efforts of scientists to disprove the existence of God is not a pursuit of Science]

      Please. You won't find many scientists who try to discover the undiscovered with the aim of trying to disprove God. Scientists are so confident in the fact that they have no reason to believe in a deity that pursuing the matter further would be a ludicrous waste of time!

      [axiomatically excludes the possibility of a non-naturalistic origin]

      You are axiomatically incorrect. Science is the study of the natural world, the very definition of science axiomatically excludes the possiblity of a non-naturalistic origin. If you wish to invent your own type of science that includes the non-naturalistic then you should use a different word - perhaps one that already exists like 'voodoo,' or, 'magic.'

      [Theorizing based on the assumption there is no God]

      Once again, no one is theorising anything about God. At most, people use scientifically sound ideas, like evolution, to make judgements about just how implausible religion really is.

      [while if he does exist and created everything your very existence and all that exists is proof he exists.]

      A blatant alteration of Pascal's Gambit.

      You shouldn't be so ignorant on HubPages, especially to those that have recently joined.

      Thanks for your time,

      Philanthropy.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 4 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      So when you can not refute the truth with a legitimate argument you come up with what amounts to spin and then, wala, the clincher from the ole' play book, name call your detractor to try to demean and personally attack me. While all the time you are displaying the height of igorance by failing to portray the opposition to your "beliefs" honestly, or for that matter even allow it to be presented. For the sake of hubpage newbies you are more interested in propagandizing them than presenting a balanced analysis of the topic. For example you feature a video of hawkings opinion - whoopie! - why don't you balance that with this recent video of the facts by Turek PhD, not opinion without maligning him first and allow your readers to decide for themselves...I'll tell you why because you and your "opinions" are a fraud. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIL3MFoMFH8

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image

      DK 4 years ago from London

      What 'truth' are you referring to? I debunked all of your arguments and you clearly are upset about that :( . If you are not satisfied with anything I have said, then please quote it and put forward your argument.

      I understand that it is difficult to reconcile the fact that the beliefs you were brought up with are now becoming obsolete in society, but like you said, things are getting refuted all the time - everyone must deal with this problem.

    • profile image

      harold 4 years ago

      I again was inspired by this hub and thoroughly enjoyed reading this, and yes Philanthropy2012 I agree with your statements and think that this hub offers an interesting argument, no need to for anger here.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 4 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      To begin with I presented opposing viewpoints to the statements made by Jessjoll who is I suspect a phantom writer for you as Jess cannot even respond to criticism of "its" own hub. This is weird to begin with. But be that as it may, I agree with Harold in that there was no need for anger and therefore no need for you to name call and invoke the accusation that I was ignorant or misleading hubbers.

      Yes I gave you the fact that science has advanced but the statement "science has improved greatly and began to disprove the theory of God creating the universe or the fact he exists at all" was made to give the implication that science advancement has brought us closer to a false premise that God doesn't exist. I made the point that this is absurd because scientific advancement to date, any scientist worth his salt will tell you, does not represent an advance in overall scientific knowledge when the advancement opens up more unknowns, infinitely more questions than was known before. If advancement creates astronomically more information science needs to explore are we advancing at all? The more we learn the more aware we are of how little we know, I don't know how to put it any simpler. If you cannot understand that point, and your response totally ignored it, there is nothing more I can say. So instead of addressing the point I actually made you spun your comment to totally ignore it and really answered nothing.

      You go on to say "Scientists are so confident in the fact that they have no reason to believe in a deity that pursuing the matter further would be a ludicrous waste of time!" You are simply reiterating the point I made, that science is a materialistic doctrine and to say scientists are confident is a ludicrous reason to site for support of anything scientific. At one time scientists were "so confident" about "their beliefs" they once declared the appendix is a vestigial organ of no value whatsoever and doctors routinely removed it from patients without reason. We now know, however, that the appendix serves an important role in the fetus and in young adults. Among adult humans, the appendix is now thought to be involved primarily in immune functions. It is no longer routinely removed and discarded if it is healthy and the appendix now appears to have a reason to be – as a "safe house" for the beneficial bacteria living in the human gut. Beneficial bacteria in the appendix that aid digestion can ride out a bout of diarrhea that completely evacuates the intestines and emerge afterwards to repopulate the gut.

      I suppose your answer to that is the same one you spew in your comment "people use scientifically sound ideas, like evolution" Yeah, right very sound evolutionary conclusion on the appendix.

      You say "Science is the study of the natural world, the very definition of science axiomatically excludes the possibility of a non-naturalistic origin." evidently you didn't read any of what I wrote or the link I provided because that is exactly what I said, Science should be called Scientism because it "axiomatically excludes the possibility of a non-naturalistic origin of the universe, and which interprets all observation data regarding the natural realm only in line with its axiomatic assumption that there is no divine origin to creation. “Bottom line is you are a fraud, you ignore the facts and distort the truth to support your world view that there is no God which is actually not supported by true science and you (or jess if jess exists at all) really write a hub to deceive the uninformed and recruit admirers of your beliefs which actually have nothing to do with science.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image

      DK 4 years ago from London

      [a phantom writer for you]

      If I owned Jess Joll's account I would have replied via Jess Joll's account - think it through.

      [cannot even respond]

      I said I'd take it, it's unfair to make newcomers have to deal with such levels of 'debate' straight away.

      [I agree with Harold in that there was no need for anger]

      Your comment: "A truly absurd and totally unscientific statement!"

      [implication that science advancement has brought us closer to a false premise that God doesn't exist.]

      True, she would better have put 'advancement in science has shown us that there is no reason to believe in a God' but for the purposes of this hub the point remains exactly the same: people stopped and still stop believing in God because of science.

      [does not represent an advance in overall scientific knowledge when the advancement opens up more unknowns] [infinitely more questions than was known before]

      Here is where you are most wrong. The questions have always been there, as have the answers: we just never considered them - we're not knowing any less. The more solutions we know do not work the more advanced we have become.

      [If advancement creates astronomically more information science needs to explore are we advancing at all?]

      The very knowledge that what we thought we knew was not known at all is an advancement. It is a great advancement to actually fill in that gap as we often do as the scientific community.

      [The more we learn the more aware we are of how little we know, I don't know how to put it any simpler.]

      And I don't know how to put this any simpler: knowing that we know little is knowledge in itself and to that point a great advancement.

      [and your response totally ignored it]

      I addressed it directly and even quoted you saying it the first time in square brackets.

      It was the first point I made to you:

      "Knowing that we didn't know something in our past history does not negate the fact that, as you have already admitted, we know more.

      It is absolutely sound to say that science has advanced and failing to acknowledge that knowing more than we did before is not taking a 'step backward' is ignorance."

      [At one time scientists were "so confident" about "their beliefs" they once declared the appendix is a vestigial organ of no value whatsoever]

      If you are going to cite the very few examples where scientists have made mistakes in medicine, perhaps I should cite the millions of medical advancements that we can confidently say keep billions of people healthier than they were, say, 5000 years ago? Penicillin, anaesthetic, aspirin...

      Your point that scientists sometimes make mistakes does in no way, shape or form negate the fact that as a society we have made clear and measurable advancements in science.

      [I suppose your answer to that is]

      That science will make mistakes because some things, especially those to do with the intricate human organism, are very complicated and difficult to scientifically measure? At least we didn't all dance around our sick patients and chant at him.

      [Science should be called Scientism]

      No. Science is a word that we have invented to define something that we use. If you are unhappy with the definition of 'science' then you are unhappy with what science is. That is why I suggested you use your own, unnatural world included, version of science with a different name: magic, voodoo etc.

      [distort the truth to support your world view that there is no God]

      Never have I said that there 'is no god.' I have however stated on many occasions that there 'is no reason at all to believe that there is a god.' These are different statements.

      [which actually have nothing to do with science.]

      A magical, sentient, being in the sky that has the phenomenal power to create worlds has nothing to do with science, better, his place lies in Marvel comics.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 4 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      My sincere condolences to Jessjol for creating a hub that jessjol (who ever that is) has the ability to express but is totally incapable of supporting or answering comments for ?him/her? self. Maybe jessjol should wait to participate on hubapages until she/he develops the ability to actually think for him/herself self and comeup with lies and distortions to support what is said in the hub. But for objective readers of this hub with respect for the truth I am thankful she/he has not deleted these comments as they are in and of themselves the best demonstration of the mistake I made in not followng Proverbs 26:4 "Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself." To translate that in "scientific ease" for jessjol's apparent interpreter and guide: Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image

      DK 4 years ago from London

      The bitter sound of insecurity, surrender and the incapability to defend your ground.

      When resorting to such blatant Ad Hominem you admit to your recoil from the argument - thank you for embarrassing yourself and making the conversion to atheism for passers by that much easier.

      Philanthropy.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 4 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      No recoil, just calling a spade a spade and wouldn't do it if I was insecure - I'm glad these comments remain visible for all to see - good luck on finding converts if that is your goal, almost no one converts to atheism, hatred feeds atheists beliefs and is the only justification there is for such a "conversion" which is evident not only in the fact that less than 2% of the U.S. population describes itself as atheist but many more atheists convert to religion every year than religious people convert to atheism. An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. So there are 13 times more mentally ill people in the US than atheists, that is if you leave atheists out of the number of mentally ill which maybe a big gimme. 2%, not exactly a big contingency in the freest country in the world....maybe you'd fit in better in Soviet Union or why don't you try Communist China, there you'll find many more who share your beliefs.

    • JessJoll profile image
      Author

      Jessica Jolliffe 4 years ago from Isle Of Wight

      I believe there are flaws in the Cosmological argument as it comes to conclusion far too quickly and that is just my opinion. I created this hub for school work purposes only, therefore i am still learning. I would also prefer not to be referred to as "it" and i agree completely with Philanthropy2012.

    • Ellie Morris profile image

      Ellie Morris 4 years ago from Isle of Wight

      Clearly we have a classic case here of an internet bully. @tsadjatko there is no need to be rude, and pick on people who have a different opinion than yourself. Forcing your views and ideas down others throats, and getting angry when they don't stop and agree with you, is childish and embarrising.

      People are allowed to disagree, and argue their point, but you have taken it too far.

      Jess has written a very good, insightful argument, and by all means disagree, but there is no need to speak to people they way you do. You sound like a child having a tantrum because he has not got his own way.

    • profile image

      harold 4 years ago

      Ellie Morris your view is completely true and at the end of the day it's only a hub page. Get ova it.

    • JessJoll profile image
      Author

      Jessica Jolliffe 4 years ago from Isle Of Wight

      Thankyou Ellie, this hub was only for school purposes and not necessarily my view. Although i do believe there is not enough evidence to support The Cosmological Argument. Therefore believe it is a weak theory and Science is in fact much stronger. There is no need to be aggressive about opinions

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 4 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      Ellie, you obviously are not an objective observer - I'll explain to you exactly what has happened here so possibly reason can override your emotions.

      To begin with I originally provided facts and links to address the premises of this hub - supposedly the ideas of jessjoll who never responded to my points but instead the real bully, Philanthropy2012 jumps in spinning my comment and effectively usurping Jessjoll's right (or desire?) to respond to a comment so philanthropy2012 can be jess's shill (because philanthropy knows Jess has been taught these things and has not come up with this reasoning on Jess's own) by answering my comment with spin, insults to my beliefs ('voodoo,' or, 'magic') and name calls me ignorant. A shill btw, also called a plant or a stooge, is a person who publicly helps a person without disclosing that he has a close relationship with that person"

      Now we know from what's been said that jessjoll is not expressing anything that jess has not been brainwashed to believe, probably by philanthropy2012 or others like philanthropy2012...”I created this hub for school work purposes only, therefore i am still learning.... I agree completely with Philanthropy2012." LATER JESS SAYS, “this hub was only for school purposes and not necessarily my view" DUH? Does the truth come out?

      Jess has not presented both sides to this issue, has not responded to the links I provided (nor has Philanthropy) which if this is a school project any good teacher would be quick to point out this is nothing more than propaganda.

      Bottom line what we have here is Philanthropy2012 actually trying to further Philanthropy2012's own prejudiced atheistic viewpoint by using a child and then hiding behind the child. Ellie, if you were an objective observer you'd realize that is what a bully would do. My entire discussion was with Philanthropy2012, not jess so don't accuse me of being the bully when everything I provided is just the facts including prov. 26:4. And Jess if you wish not to be called "it" maybe it would help if you spoke for yourself when defending what is supposed to be your opinion in a hub page, however I understand it is hard to defend words that are put in your mouth by someone else.. Welcome to the real world.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image

      DK 4 years ago from London

      I won't care to waste anymore time with responding to your asinine opinions, but since you mentioned the "real world" I feel it necessary to educate you:

      ['the fact that less than 2% of the U.S. population describes itself as atheist']

      [but many more atheists convert to religion every year than religious people convert to atheism]

      Phahahah.

      Atheism in the USA has risen from 1% to 5% in an incredibly short time:

      http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-08-13/nati...

      Whilst "the number of Americans who say they are 'religious' dropped from 73 percent in 2005 (the last time the poll was conducted) to 60 percent."

      Consider now that this change happened in exactly the same time frame.

      If you're unhappy with that poll then maybe see wiki's 'in the years 1990-2008, the percentage of Christians in the population fell from 86.2% to 76%.'

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_Unite...

      Meanwhile for atheism and non-believers:

      "Figures are up from 14.3 million in 1990 to 34.2 million in 2008, representing an increase from 8% of the total population in 1990 to 15% in 2008.[3] Another nation-wide study puts the figure of unaffiliated persons at 16.1%"

      So it seems that even your "freest country in the world" is coming to its senses. Your understanding of your own country is truly shameful, I guess the education system really does need reform.

    • JessJoll profile image
      Author

      Jessica Jolliffe 4 years ago from Isle Of Wight

      No one has brainwashed me, or put words in my mouth. This piece of work was schoolwork set by a teacher which was an essay for ideas against The Cosmological argument. Philanthropy2012 is not a bully, but is just standing up for what he believes in and another class member. I don't like the patronizing manner in which you talk to and about students such as myself.

    • profile image

      jac 3 years ago

      f******* hobos

    • profile image

      Bill 3 years ago

      No need for TIGHT ness "jac without the K

    • profile image

      Bennydog 19 months ago

      The salt, I smell SALT! To be honest, we cannot make any assumptions on whether God exists or not. We do not have the ability to. We've got one here say God doesn't exist and We've got another that says God does exist. Both of these are possible, even the presence of deities from other religions may be possible. Or we could even look at parallel words, or known as multiverse and that our world is just one made out of pure coincidence.

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