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Cosmological and Ontological Arguments, Essay Example
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Arguments for the existence of god are made by various philosophers. These arguments can be either cosmological or ontological in nature. These two arguments are fundamentally different forms. The more appealing of the two is the ontological for various reasons. This is due to the fact that the ontological argument simply requires the use of definitions and does not require the inclusion of notions of causality for it to make logical sense.
While the cosmological argument is predicated upon notions of the cosmos and requires the use of causality, the ontological argument relies upon notions of how ideas arise in the mind and the definition of God. While these ideas may seem similar at the surface, they have fundamental differences. The main disparities between the ontological and cosmological arguments are the notions of causality and the definitions used in applying the arguments.
The cosmological argument is based upon an understanding of the term cosmology. The idea of cosmology has to do the universe and its components. This refers to how the universe is made up and what its fundamental parts consist of. This conception of cosmology is used to form a logical argument for the existence of God.The heart of this argument has to do the fact that the world has being, and yet the reason for that being cannot be explained by the world itself. It relates to the idea of cosmology because it is rooted within the conception of reality.
According to Jeffcoat, this idea was further strengthened by St. Thomas Aquinas in his medieval exegesis. His argument, which has come to be called his cosmological argument, relies upon the definition of contingency. The idea of contingency has to do with the finite nature of beings within the cosmological framework. While the universe itself is eternal, the beings within it are not. Due to the fact that there is nothing within the universe to cause itself, there must be some sort of outside causality, that which the universe itself is contingent upon.
The ontological argument is based more upon a conception of ideas than of the cosmos. It relies upon how the mind’s perception of a concept is viewed as well as the definition of God itself. In this argument, the understanding of the idea of God itself becomes the argument for the being’s existence. If there is an intuition that is named ‘God’ then logically, due to the definition of the term, it must exist.
According to Plantinga, the ontological argument can be best understood as a series of logical arguments. First of all, God must be defined as ‘that which is greater than anything that can be conceived.’ With this in mind, if it assumed that existing in reality is greater than existing in the mind alone, then this conception must be attributed to God. Due to the fact that god must be greater than any conception, God’s existence in reality must be the case, since the definition of God inherently requires God’s existence within reality.
I find the ontological argument is more appealing. While the cosmological argument relies upon a notion of causation, the ontological argument relies more upon definitions. Bringing up causation seems to cause more issues than is necessary. In philosophy, the argument that has a simpler basis should be the one that is considered the more sound. Furthermore, the ontological can be built upon, and provides a more diverse framework for supporting its case.
Jeffcoat, W.D. M.A. The Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God. Apologetics PressApril 2014
Plantinga, Alvin. The Ontological Argument. Oxford University Press. April 2014
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Clarke’s Cosmological Argument Essay Example
The Cosmological Argument attempts to explain the existence of the world as we know it and the origin of all beings - the larger debate that many have attempted to encounter a resolution for. A myriad of versions to the Cosmological Argument possess variations of the origin of the universe; however, in this essay Clarke’s Cosmological Argument will be the one taken into consideration. His argument relies on the principle of sufficient reasoning which is defined as the need for an explanation to the existence of any being as well as any positive fact . At the beginning of his argument, Clark expresses that it is absolutely undeniable something has existed for all eternity; this statement sets the tone for his entire defense of his argument.
Subsequent to stating his primary claim, Clarke continues to further deepen the meaning of his argument; for something to exist, it signifies that another thing must have already existed. Otherwise, it would mean that all that exists must have been derived from nothing at all, thin air, and lack purpose. All existing beings as well as objects possess a purpose, a foundation which lead to the existence of this being requiring its existence for a greater purpose. Even atheists accept this proposition even though there is little to no proof in regards to the truth of the argument – yet, it is undisputed. The argument dictates as follows:
*All being that exists is either dependent or self - existent
Not all beings can be dependent
Therefore, there has to exist a self- existent being
In order to provide a better comprehension of the premises and argument, first it becomes imperative to define the terms self- existent and dependent being: A dependent being is a being whose existence is accounted by the casual activity of other things. On the other hand, a self- existent being is a being from which all others derived, example the theistic God.
The conclusion coheres with the premises making the argument valid; however, are these premises true? As mentioned prior, according to Clarke no-one seems to have disputed the argument where he states all existing beings are required to be derived from a self existing being. In the second part of the explanation of his claim, Clarke explains that necessity dictates whether a being is dependent or independent. If the being’s necessity is imperative this makes it independent from which the rest dependent being derive from.
In the third and last part of the argument, he states that something arising out of nothing is an absolute contradiction, “ to have been produced by some external cause cannot possibly be true to everything, but something must have existed eternally and independently, as has likewise be shown already” (Clark, 3). One of the main objections to Clarke’s Cosmological argument is Rowe, he questions the truth of Clarke’s premises as well as his lack of specificity in them, for example: to say that something has been produced out of nothing is saying that it hasn’t been produced at all, which is contradictory in itself.
In response to the question, do Clarke’s premises lead to the conclusion and does the conclusion directly follow the premises? The answer is yes. Since not all beings can be dependent and there are both dependent and self existing being, there must in fact be a self- existing being. Clarke does mention atheism in his argument; however, he does not mention the existence of a theistic God which could be the answer to the argument. If a theistic God that created the whole universe exists then all things that derived from this God are dependent beings.
Although the requirement of a foundation for all existence to be built upon is mentioned throughout Clarke’s argument, he does not specifically express the foundation or whether the possibility of it being a theistic God or not exists. However, I do believe a theistic God gave rise to the entire universe along with the existence of everything in it. Humanity did not come about out of thin air. Science solely is unable to answer all the questions that arise from our existence. If that were the case, philosophical arguments would not hold any validity nor truth.
In conclusion, my response to the first premise: all beings that exist are either dependent or self existent is true because as humans we are not self-existent, neither were our parents, or their ancestors. This computer I am typing on did not create itself and neither did the table on which I have it standing on. However, there is a God that gave rise to the first living organism which then gave rise to the rest allowing for today to occur. Secondly, not all beings can be dependent because then what would explain the existence of the universe? As Clarke mentioned, we need that foundation which leads to the conclusion that there exists a self- existing being.
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Research Paper on Cosmological Argument
The cosmological argument is philosophical reasoning that seeks to seek a first cause (or a cause without cause) for the Universe. The argument is mostly used to explain the existence of a supreme deity recognized as God. The argument starts from the general premise that everything that came into existence has a cause. Now, the Universe came into being, it did not always exist, so it has a cause. In fact, each entity has a cause, which also has a cause, and so on. However, it is not possible to go back infinitely in a series of causes, because thus the Universe could not even begin. Since infinite regression is impossible, there must be a first cause, which is necessarily uncaused (James, 2009).
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For hundreds of years, believers have formulated demonstrations that conclude the existence of a deity. Some of these are part of a family of arguments that are called "cosmological." These can be grouped by convenience into three types:
- Thomistic cosmological arguments, which conclude that there is a being sustaining the existence of the universe second by second.
- The Leibnizian cosmological arguments, which conclude in the existence of a being that represents a sufficient reason for something to exist instead of nothing.
- The cosmological arguments of the first cause, which conclude in the existence of a being that explains why the universe had a beginning in its existence.
The Kalam cosmological argument is of the third type and constitutes evidence in favor of the existence of a deity, which as a cause, explains why physical reality had a beginning in its existence. His greatest exponent today is the Christian philosopher and theologian of the United States of America, William Lane Craig. (1), which calls this argument "Kalam", for the contributions it received in the theological tradition of Islam (especially for the philosophical arguments presented by al-Ghazali, philosopher, theologian, and Persian jurist).
The Kalam presents three crucial dilemmas:
- The things that had a beginning in their existence: they had some cause, or they did not have any cause.
- Physical reality had a beginning in its existence or did not have a beginning in its existence.
- If physical reality had a beginning in its existence: its cause is personal or impersonal.
Cosmological arguments appear in two stages with the first stage proving the existence of a being which is the origin or cause of everything else and other beings, features identified with God. The second phase expounds other characteristics ascribed to God such as omnipotence, omniscience, kindness, etc. In his argument, Clarke reasoned that because the universe exists in the present, then by logical deduction it must have existed in the past.
A transcendental agent is a cause that explains the beginning in the existence of physical reality, and as such, it is an argument that can and has been defended by monotheists of different currents, such as Muslims, Jews, Christians and some Deists. In Christianity, it is held that God is the creator of physical reality, so that this argument, although it cannot discern the identity of the creator of physical reality, can raise the probability of the conclusion: the Christian God exists. This is because the likelihood that the Christian God exists is more significant if there is a personal being creator of physical reality, and conversely, the likelihood that the Christian God would be much less if there is no particular creator of the physical reality (Bruce, 2012).
In the Kalam, it is reasoned that because all things within physical reality have a beginning in their existence, the physical reality as a whole must also have an origin in its existence. This is an error known as the informal logical fallacy of composition, the equivalent of saying that if a refrigerator is made of atoms, and atoms are invisible to the human eye, then, the fridge is invisible to the human eye as well. In the cosmological argument, these three requirements should be met, so that the guarantee of deductive reasoning can be claimed.
The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR)
PSR asserts that there is a reason or explanation for everything in existence and that in that effect there exist a reason or justification for each positive fact. PSR provides sufficient explanation through the use of reasons and causes (Kara, 2014). This principle supports the cosmological argument by claiming that there exists an explanation for everything in existence. It offers a notion of dependability where one thing is related to another.
The cosmological argument can be expounded to include six premises:
- Nothing would be in existence today if nothing existed in the past
- Something exists in the present
- Something has always been in existence
- If something has always been in existence, it means that the reality has been existing as an independent being or successive dependent beings
- The reality could not have been a series of successive dependent beings
- By deductive reasoning, an independent being (God) has always been in existence
The third premise gives an explanation to the first premise as per PSR; that something actually existed in the past because something does exist in the present. The fourth premise is based on PSR's assertion of the existence of a reason or explanation for why things exist.
Humean Objection to the Cosmological Argument
There are criticisms; the first is that the premises are not necessarily right, it cannot be said that everything must have cause and that the Universe has a beginning. The second is that causality itself is not a concept pacified in philosophy, as David Hume explained. There are also nonlinear causal models, as in chaos theory, in which each event is cause and effect of another (Pruss, 2007). David Hume mentions that the causal principle is not valid by logical necessity, for if a brick suddenly appeared in existence, without cause or reason, we would not have any violation of any of the three classical principles of logic. Then, although this is true, it does not show that the causal principle is false if it shows that it is not necessarily true.
The first premise of the cosmological argument, despite what the objection says, does not implicitly or explicitly create two categories to classify the things that exist. The first premise, what it does, is to mention the requirement that must be met to affirm that something has a cause, in this case: that something has had a beginning in its existence. The categories that the objection mentions have nothing to do with the first premise. In fact, both categories are the result of the existence of a principle of classical logic called the "principle of the excluded third." If something exists, that something had a beginning in its existence or it did not. There is no third option, so how is it possible that a logically necessary truth is a request for principle
If the first premise did not exist, these categories would still exist, since they are derived from a principle of classical logic, not from the premises of the Kalam cosmological argument. Second, if the objection was right, then the first premise and the affirmation "everything had a beginning in its existence" should not be compatible and therefore could not lead to a coherent and comprehensible conclusion. This is because according to the objection, the first premise is holding that there is something that did not have a beginning in its existence (the deity), and pointing to that, accuses the argument of committing a request for principle, therefore, a premise that argues that something exists without having had a beginning in its existence, would collide with the idea that everything had a start in its presence.
Many unbelievers accept that the existence of some deity might be possible. However, it does not follow that they admit that a god ever existed, that a deity exists, or that a deity will exist. In the same way, we can agree that the notion of a brick appearing in existence without cause or reason is a logically possible idea, without this compromising us to reject or doubt the causal principle. Accepting that something could happen, does not commit us to recognize that something happened, happens or will happen. The argument that the first premise is correct is not by logical necessity. Instead, what is held is that the proposition of the first premise is a contingent truth; it could be right, and it might not be true.
Craig, William Lane; Sinclair, James D. (May 18, 2009). "The Kalam Cosmological Argument." In Craig, William Lane; Moreland, J. P. The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology. Wiley-Blackwell. Pp. 101-201.
Reichenbach, Bruce (2012). "Cosmological Argument." The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2006 Edition, Edward N. Zalta (ed.) ed.).
Richardson, Kara (June 2014). "Avicenna and the Principle of Sufficient Reason." The Review of Metaphysics. 67 (4): 743-768.
Alexander R. Pruss (2007) "Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit: Augments new and old for the Principle of Sufficient Reason" in Explication Topic in Contemporary Philosophy Ch. 14
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God Existence: The Cosmological Argument
Introduction, opposing view, works cited.
The Cosmological Argument for the existence of God, as propounded by Thomas Aquinas, hinged on the five general principles. This, in Aquinas’ masterpiece was entitled “The Summa” (The Five Ways). In what follows, we would be critically discussing the first, second, fourth and the fifth pillars of his argument while reserving a more elaborate discussion on the third premise as it contains the composite argument of the entire thesis and because it was practically, reinforced and embodied the very paradigm of his cosmological arguments. This paper would explain the Cosmological Argument and present the opposing view to the argument with an evaluation of the argument in conclusion.
The first one, derived from the argument of motion, stipulates that for bodies to be in motion, they have to be moved by other bodies. Since it is contended that the two states of being ‘potential’ and ‘actual’ are mutually exclusive, it is not possible for a “mover” and the “moved” to be the same, i.e. automated movement is axiomatically ruled out. The second postulate is in terms of the nature of ‘efficient causes’. This posits that, it is not possible for a thing to become an efficient cause for itself. For an efficient cause, there has to be a ‘first’ cause, proceeding an ‘intermediate’ cause. Hence, if there were no first cause, there would be no intermediate or ultimate causes. (Aquinas, 100-101) The fourth principle hinges on the gradation of different things in the world from less good to good, noble etal. Just as there are gradational conditionality in different physical properties of things, (from being in the states of hot, hotter and hottest), Aquinas, held ‘God’ to be ultimate something, which was the cause of other beings down the causal order, as the primordial embodiment of ‘goodness’ and other means of perfection. The fifth principle was based on the idea of ‘governance’ in that, Aquinas argued, just as natural bodies, bereft of knowledge, acted in terms of an underlying objective. This actually is ‘the design’, to achieve a best end, there existed some intelligent being, as the repository of all the superior knowledge and perception, referred to as God, who directed natural things, down the physical order, to move towards their respective ends.
The third postulate is ideated in terms of the twin pillars of ‘necessity’ and ‘possibility’. Aquinas premised that in nature, things are ‘possible’ to be or not to be, i.e. they are ‘contingent’ viz., they are generated, mutated/corrupted and may or may not necessarily exist. Following this principle of ‘contingency’, it may be argued that if all things can go out of existence and do not necessarily exist, and then there must be a time when all things would go out of existence. Here, Aquinas appealed to the ‘Principle of Plentitude’. This principal stated that if something was a real possibility, then allowing the passage of an infinite amount of time, it was eminently possible as per the logical conclusion.
In his refutation of the Cosmological Proof of the Existence of God, Kant had, in effect, contended that extraction of a commensurate object from a purely arbitrary idea was an unnatural procedure and an exercise in “scholastic subtlety”. The fulcrum of the cosmological proof of God’s existence rested, according to Kant, on two essential components. The first one is the advocate of the argument initially sought to establish the existence of a necessary being viz., “ If something exists, then an absolutely necessary being must also exist ”. (Kant, 507) The rational cosmologist then sought to infer that this necessary being is the ‘ ens realissimum ’ (the idea of supremely real being). According to Kant, the above automatic identification, somewhat surreptitiously introduced the (dialectical) ontological argument.
The chain of command of essential continuation itself would need a rationalization for its continuation. This conclusion states that everything could go out of existence at once, such as ‘now’, if the same was taken as a snapshot splice in the eternal flow of time. However, such a thought was empirically incongruous since we have the confirmation of existent elements which could be sensually professed. Even if someone argued that it could be because everything vanished out of existence, only to come back into existence, Aquinas contended this from the principle of ‘ex nihilo, nihil fit’. In other words, if something vanished out of existence; it could not pop back into existence. Therefore, not all things could be contingent. (Craig, 201)
The Cosmological Argument’s Third Way of Aquinas argued logically for the existence of a God, but did not emphasize on the customary benevolent perception of a ‘Judeao-Christian God’. Aquinas tried to even out this imbalance by contending that by dint of being self-explaining, necessary existence would by nature embody the attributes of nobility suggested to epitomize the very point of perfection (Fourth Point) and chart everything lower down the order according to a grand system of design (the teleological principle of the Fifth Point).
Aquinas, Thomas. The Cosmological Argument. NY: Pocket, 1995.
Craig, William Lane; The Kalam Cosmological Argument. LA: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2000.
Kant, Emmanuel. “The Impossibility of a Cosmological proof of Existence of Good”. Chapter III. Kant’s Reason of Pure Reason. Westport: IBL, 1989, pp 507-519.
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Home — Essay Samples — Religion — Faith — Cosmological Argument: St. Thomas Aquinas
Cosmological Argument: St. Thomas Aquinas
- Subject: Religion
- Category: Religious Concepts
- Essay Topic: Faith , God
- Published: 11 February 2019
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Thomas Aquinas Cosmological Argument
From the arguments discussed in class, I choose to evaluate Thomas Aquinas’ Cosmological Argument. Aquinas offers a believable case for the existence of God through five arguments. The arguments are “a posteriori arguments” with five strategies. The first argues that there is an unmoved mover that originated all motion but the mover, itself, does not move. The second argument concludes: “there must be a first cause to explain the existence of cause”. The third argument says dependent beings means there are independent and necessary beings on whom the dependent has to rely on. The fourth argument supports the principle of excellence by proposing that there must be a perfect being from whom all perfection stems from. The last argument claims there is a divine designer who created the harmony of nature. Although all these arguments make strong cases for the existence of God, I will focus on the first three. For each of the three arguments, I will explicitly present the argument, what the premises mean and what type of validity the argument aligns with. I will also propose objections there are and then prove them wrong. This assessment is to reaffirm my agreement with Aquinas’ Cosmological Argument.
The first argument from change is built of eight premises. It starts by stating that things are in motion (1) and this motion is moved by another force. Also, things that are not in motion have the potential to be in movement (3). Movement is the act of transforming potentiality to actuality. This leads to the fact that one thing cannot be in the stage of potentiality or the stage of actuality at the same time. Potentiality is the state of being possible. Actuality is the state of existence. The stages clarify that “it is impossible, therefore, that…anything should both cause movement and be caused, or that it should cause itself to move”. Therefore, motion is only possible if it is moved by something else. There is not infinity of those who cause motion after motion because if that were true, there would be no first mover. But if there is no first mover, there were would no movers at all because who would cause the initial movement. Infinity means there is no beginning or an ending. Therefore, since there had to be a beginning, the first mover is God. A reason for believing in the first three premises is that nothing is able to move without another source energizing it. For instance, clocks can only give us the correct time and be in motion if batteries power them. Once the batteries run out, the clock will no longer operate. But as the third premise states, if the clock is reloaded with batteries, it can function again and tell time. One example of the sequence of the states of potentiality to actuality is the creation of fire. Since it is possible to make fire with wood, wood is equivalent to potentiality. Once wood turns into fire, it has passed its potentiality and became into existence, an actuality.
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As mentioned, the two states cannot be happening simultaneously, as wood deteriorates when burning. The seventh premise is believable because of the aforementioned examples of the clock and the fire. The best example of infinity is the sky. It is not possible to determine where the sky starts and where it ends. It is feasible to believe that movement is not infinite because there is always something that precedes it. To further substantiate, another reason for believing that God is the first mover is that the first mover cannot move itself. God moves others but is not moved by anything else. To finalize, reasons for believing that God is the first mover are through the clock (another power source), fire (potentiality to actuality), and sky (infinity) examples. This is a good argument because the conclusion is worthy of acceptance. Based on this argument, I believe that God is the first mover. All the premises are true so the inference is solid. Since the premises are true, the conclusion, that God is the first mover, is also true. It is impossible for the conclusion to be false according to the true premises so the argument is also deductively valid. This all further validates it to be a sound argument.
The second argument from causation has six premises. It uses the common concept of cause and effect as the way material things interact with each other. There is regular order so it is not possible for anything to cause itself. There is also no infinity of causes. The regular order is: the first causes the intermediate and the intermediate causes the last. But if causes are removed, there is no first and if there were infinity of causes, there would be no first. So, it is verified that the first cause does exist and it is God. A reason for believing the first two premises, that nothing can cause itself, is because causes come before their effects. But nothing can come before itself so nothing is its own cause. A car accident is an ideal example of causation. A car accident can happen because of irresponsible driving. Once there is a crash, there can be car damages or passenger injuries. The car accident came before the unfortunate effects. The car accident also cannot come before itself because it requires either another driver to hit your car or for you to hit their car. Therefore, a car accident cannot cause itself. A reason for believing that there is no infinity of causes, as seen in the car accident example, is that there is an order. First, one car has to hit another car and only then will it lead to one becoming injured. As mentioned in the fourth premise, there can be many intermediate causes. In the car accident example, in order to heal those injuries, one must go to the hospital.
After getting treatment, it finally leads to recovery. The fifth and sixth premise are plausible because none of the causes would have been caused without the first cause, the car accident. It is necessary for there to be a first cause so I believe that the first cause is God. To conclude, the reason for believing that God is the first cause is through the car accident example. All the premises are true so the inference is solid. Since the premises are true, the conclusion, that God is the first cause, is also true. It is impossible for the conclusion to be false according to the true premises so the argument is also deductively valid. This all attests it to be a good and sound argument. The third argument from contingency also consists of six premises. Contingency is the state of uncertainty for actuality to happen; there is uncertainty because dependency exists. The first premise is that things “consequently are capable of being or not being” which means that some things are contingent in existence. The second furthers the first premise by saying that the “or” is not an option and that if something is capable of not existing it is because each contingent thing does not exist at some time. Since it was capable for everything to not exist, there was a time when there was nothing.
But then, how do things exist now? It is necessary that there was an origin of existence. For the existence of the Universe, there is a necessary force. All necessities are caused by an outside source. But relating back to the second argument, since there is no infinity of causes, necessities are not caused by an outside source but rather a first cause. The first cause is “necessary in itself” and leads to the intermediate “cause of necessity in others”. The first cause is again God. A reason for believing the first premise is that things either do exist or does not. Corroborating the principle of contingency, the life of one is dependent on one’s parents. There is a chance that two people could not have met and given birth to you. The second premise is realistic because the life of someone does not exist when one’s parents have not yet met each other. Since there is a possibility of one’s parents never meeting, there is also the possibility of one never becoming born. There is a fifty percent chance of existence. That further validates that there was a time when nothing existed. But if that is a possibility according to contingency, things should not exist now. Since I am living, I do know that things do exist though. My existence and as well as the presence of the Universe I am living in now, validates that not all things are contingent. From that, I believe there must have been a necessary force that created the Universe. So, in order for everything to exist, it is dependent on a necessary force. According to my above-mentioned example, one’s birth is dependent on one’s parents.
It is believable that necessities are caused by an outside source because in order for the necessary marriage between one’s parents, there had to have been external factors that influenced it. For instance, one’s parents could have been introduced to each other through a mutual friend. Or, they could have met each other in a class in college. But not every necessary thing can get its necessity from another necessary thing because according to the third premise of the second argument, infinity of causes is not a possibility. There must be a sequence of order. Another appropriate example is the rain. This leads to the intermediate cause of the necessity to cover oneself with an umbrella. The rain gear allows for the last cause, dryness. The weather, not controlled by humans, is an ideal example for believing that God is “necessary in itself” and so is the first necessity as well as the first cause. To end, the reasons for believing that God is the first necessity are through the birth by parents and weather example. It is also supported by the second argument, which further fortifies my belief in this third argument. The argument is good and sound because of the provided evidence that backs it. All the premises are true so the inference is solid. Since the premises are true, the conclusion, that God is the first necessity, is also true. It is impossible for the conclusion to be false according to the true premises so the argument is also deductively valid.
The main objection to Aquinas’ Cosmological Argument is against the second argument that the first cause is God. There are already too many theories for the first cause. Some of the most widely received ideas are the big bang, a committee of supernatural beings or a less than perfect being. The big bang theorizes that the Universe was once so blazingly hot that the heat caused it to expand. It is also speculated that supernatural beings like aliens could exist and be controlling our universe. Some believe that a less than perfect being rather than the perfect being, God, created the earth. Others challenge this belief by asking why is God specially the first cause? Another objection is against the third argument of contingency. Contingency, the state of uncertainty leaves things up to chance. The concept of free will counters chance. Free will is ability to make choices that are not limited by anything, including contingency. Chance does not exist because one has control over what happens. Contingency can also be challenged by the theory of determinism. Determinism is the notion that the past sets way for the present and the present decides the upcoming future. In determinism, there is no room for chance to affect an event. These are the two most known objections to the Cosmological Argument. There are rebuttals against the objections that further affirm Aquinas’ Cosmological Argument.
To reply to the opposition that first cause could be a multiple of theories, these theories are only speculations. The big bang theory is unbelievable because it is not reasonable that climate could’ve produced the earth we live in now. Supernatural beings like aliens have still not been discovered despite the many outer space ventures the US has funded. Lastly, the idea that a less than perfect being is the first cause is not plausible because humanity itself is already so flawed. But, since humanity is so inadequate, it is even more believable that God must be the first cause. God is synonymous with perfection because He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. The religion Christianity and Catholicism is devoted to God. These religions have a countless following. If so many people believe in these religions, God must exist and must be the first cause. To reply to the counterargument against contingency, free will and determinism does not exist. Free will suggests that we have the power to decide our lives. But there are exterior targets that always affect our choices. If it were to rain, we would not be able to choose to wear certain things or abide by certain plans. Our choice would be limited by an outside factor, which means that free will does not exist. Determinism states that the past determines the present and the present leads to the future. Although it is possible for the three timelines to be linked to each other, things do not happen just because of what happened in the past. Since every outcome is dependent on chance, the past does not control what happens. God is a necessary force because he is the controller of life. He is the first cause and so determines everything that happens. Previously, in terms of religion, I believed that God was the first mover, the first cause, and a necessary force. It was interesting to see these familiar beliefs in a different context in the philosophical stance. After evaluating Aquinas’ Cosmological Argument through its supporting three arguments and through an opposite viewpoint, two objections, I still am sure of belief in the existence of God.
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Compare and Contrast the Cosmological and Ontological Arguments Essay Example
- Pages: 2 (282 words)
- Published: September 6, 2017
- Type: Essay
"Why do I exist? What created the universe? Does God exist? " Questions which have challenged philosophers for many years. The Cosmological and Ontological arguments attempt to answer these questions. Through this essay I hope to explore the methodology and formation of the arguments in their early stages, and their development through the years.
I will also explore the extension of the arguments in the modern era, for both supporters and critics of the arguments. The modern era provides a wide range of developments to the arguments, and I will explore the ideas and thoughts of many 20Th Century philosophers.At the core of this essay is the two very different approaches of the arguments, the a posteriori based Cosmological, and the a priori based Ontological 1. The two approaches of the arguments are based around
the a priori and a posteriori reasoning.
An a priori arguments is one where the truth of the proposition does not depend on prior experience. It relies on knowledge collected outside of our own experiences. This is said by some to be an innate knowledge. The ontological argument is based around this reasoning.The basis of the argument itself depends on ones understanding of the nature of God. The argument attempts to prove Gods expistence through the meaning of the word GOD.
The Cosmological argument on the other hand, is a a posteriori based argument. They argue that the truth of a proposition may only be known to be true after empirical knowledge is utilised to prove the statement true or false. 2 The two arguments were both first begun by the classical Greek Philosophers Aristotle and Plato. Plato argued on
of the Cosmological arguments earliest forms. Learn the difference between scientific management and administrative management He argued that "the power to produce movement logically comes before the power to receive it and pass it on"3 This basically means that if there if movement, then something has to have caused this. This could not logically go on for infinity, so there has to be a single solitary being that caused this chain of events. This he calls the First Mover. Aristotle also believed in the Prime mover, the uncaused cause, the original cause.
In this respect the two arguments are very similar. The main thing that Aristotle really contributed towards the Ontological argument was Syllogisms.He developed the concept, and the use of deductive arguments. The argument is deductive also, and completely rational, so therefore Aristotles Syllogism was the choice to use. So both arguments take with them the ideas and concepts of classic Greek philosophers, albeit in very differing ways.
The ontological argument attempts to suggest the existence of there being a creator, or God. There are two main contributors to the Classical Ontological argument for the existence of God. These were St Anselm and Descartes. The main creators of the Cosmological were Aquinas and Leibniz.
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