The Cosmological Argument is an a posteriori argument which attempts to prove that there is a rational basis for the belief in God. The argument attempts to prove that God exists by evaluating the scale and nature of the cosmos. Most supporters of the cosmological argument argue that the universe could only have come into existence if it were caused by an uncaused cause. There is evidence to suggest that the universe is contingent (for example the big bang). However the success of the cosmological argument is debatable due to numerous arguments and criticisms from philosophers such as Hume and Kant.
Thomas Aquinas, known for his rational beliefs in God. Aquinas states that, everything has a cause, nothing is its own cause, a chain of causes cannot be infinite, therefore there must be a first cause and god is the first cause. The first cause is described as a ‘necessary being’ also known as God. Aquinas does not believe in Infinite Regress as he believe God does not need an explanation. That sometimes ‘things just are’ we need something to believe that that something made us. But if that thing is the creator, what could of made him. That is the question.
For example, something can’t be moved without something or someone moving it. That is the same as God. This theory encourages the reader to consider that there may actually be a God. How are we here? And why? God. Aquinas represents his opinion as the five causes which represent standard form: P1-Everything has a cause P2-Nothing is its own cause P3-A chain of causes cannot be infinite IC4-Therefore, there must be a ‘First Cause’ C-God is the final cause Cause two, nothing is its own cause, suggests that an effect doesn’t happen before the cause.
Meaning, something can’t just happen without something happening to it. For example, your eyes can’t just turn from brown to blue; you have to get blue contacts. This contradicts the first cause, everything has a cause. So if nothing is its own cause but everything has a cause. Then what is God. Aquinas reveals that God is the first cause which means he doesn’t need a cause, but then suggests that nothing is its own cause. So how can it be both? The third cause, a chain of causes can’t be infinite. Why can’t a chain of causes not be infinite?
For something to function properly, it must have a beginning a middle and an end. Aquinas uses the chain theory, if you take out the first chain (beginning) then there will not be a middle as we don’t have a beginning. So nothing will exist. Aquinas refutes by saying the universe appears to have a finite beginning which suggests there must have been an initial cause. But what caused the big bang. Something must have caused it, because if not then why would we be here? No one knows what caused the big bang, the same as no one knows or what or why God is.
Aquinas then goes on to state his fourth cause, therefore, there must be a ‘First Cause’ this is the main conclusion of the causes. How can there be a first cause when everything has a cause? Aquinas has yet again contradicted himself and could end up in Infinite Regress. Why can a chain of causes not be infinite? Why is God the first cause? If nothing is its own cause then what is God? The Cosmological Argument argues that something must be responsible for starting everything, that there must be an ultimate cause.
These inductive arguments allows us to locate God spiritually and mentally and what may have caused or not have caused this necessary being. The Cosmo Argument is based on the claim that everything existing was caused by something else, the something was also caused by another something. But why? This is what Thomas Aquinas concentrates on throughout his arguments, most importantly focussing on God. Immanuel Kant a well known Philosopher, argues against Aquinas. Stating that an infinite chain of causes could never be completed.
That the beginning has to have a cause which has a cause which has a cause, and would merely be impossible to simple pick a ‘chain’ or a cause and question whether it was in fact was the first cause or not. Kant argues that if the causes that led us to being here stretched to infinity they could never be completed and the present state (us) could never come into existence. This is contrasting to Aquinas who only believes there is a beginning middle and an end, where Kant is convinced there is no beginning to anything. It just is. So how do Philosophers come to a conclusion?
They all agree that God is the first cause, well, in philosophical terms anyway. After Aquinas all philosophers believed God was the first cause and that God does in fact exist. That is, until Richard Swinburne came along. Swinburne argues FOR God through reason. This theory was called, Ockhams Razor. Which basically tears away hypothesis’ that are just ridiculous or just don’t make any sense. Swinburne thought by using this theory he would have the answer to the existence of God. That he could answer all questions. But obviously this did not succeed as how could anyone know?
No one was here to witness anything, how could we assume such things happened when we ourselves do not know. What/Who caused God is the typical School Boy objection, which misses the point of God being a ‘necessary being’ and is therefore, as we know of, the start of the chain. If God was to be found as contingent, then he would not be the First Cause. For something to be the First Cause it must be caused on its own, with no explanation or reason. He is therefore the creator. But since God cannot be proved or unproven, then he is the only justified answer we can narrow it down to. But what else could be the First Cause.
What could be greater than God. We do not know. I believe the Swinburne argument is most accurate. He narrows it down to the possibilities of ‘what if’ and doesn’t carry on with an argument if he does not believe it is true. The Aquinas argument is an Infinite Regress, as the answer is always, ‘how do you know that’ or ‘why’ but really, even Aquinas doesn’t know, so what he is stating in his claims he is not 100% knowledgeable about either. Therefore I agree with Swinburne, even though God has not yet been proven, I think Swinburne has changed a lot of peoples perspective on the trending topic.