Bertrand Russell's First Cause Argument

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Bertrand Russell's First Cause Argument

By | August 2002
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The First-Cause Argument
In Bertrand Russell's "Why I am Not a Christian" in the first-cause argument he states that If everything has a cause, why do we assume God has no cause. If God has no cause then we can not assume that everything has a cause. For instance the universe might as well not have a cause if God does not have one. He also states that it is possible to imagine the world beginning to exist and it is also possible to imagine that the world did not exist. We simply choose to think that the world had to have a beginning. Our lack of imagination, however, blinds us to the fact that perhaps there was no beginning. Although I agree vehemently with the fact that the world may not have existed and it may not have a beginning and I also agree that if God does not have a maker then why should we believe he is our maker?

However, after making a list of he good and bad parts of his argument I must lean more toward the bad. He seems to be more opinionated rather than showing factual evidence or even strong support of his thoughts. He also uses examples without explaining them. He expects the reader to know what he is talking about. For me, I do not know anything about philosophy, other than what I learned this semester. Therefore, I did not understand some of his examples and was left confused. I reread the example of the elephant and the tortoise more than 5 times and I still do not understand it. He did however have a very clear claim. Some other philosophers beat around the bush. He, on the other hand, came right out and said his. I also think he gave a good rebuttal as far as coming up with his own solution and ideas but it lacked that substance that made it truly convincing.

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