a. Explain how the cosmological argument tries to prove that there must be a God (30) b. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the cosmological argument. Part B
Even though Aquinas puts forth a convincing argument about the existence of the universe; some critics have opposed to this claim as they do not believe it is sufficient evidence. One argument against Aquinas is the fact that he seems to contradict himself in the second way by saying that nothing can be the cause of it self. Thus saying that God cannot be the cause of himself, but to Aquinas, God is the exception? If you accept that there could possibly be an exception, then why must God be it? Why can’t the universe be the exception?
British philosopher, Bertrand Russell, argued his point that just because every human has a mother, does not mean that in effect the human race has a mother. In saying this he means that just because things in the universe have causes does not signify that the universe itself has a cause. “I should say that the universe is just there, and that’s all” he commented.
More over, David Hume questioned the fact that we have no experience of the universe being made so we therefore cannot come to the assumption that everything we observe has a cause. He believed this was a too big a leap in logic.
Even though many people seem to criticise the cosmological argument there were others who supported Aquinas’ theory. John L. Mackie alleged that there cannot be an infinite regression of causes, which is what Aquinas also mentioned in the first way. John L. Mackie used the example that a railway train cannot consist of an infinite number of carriages; it must have an engine to drive it. In terms of the universe, God is the engine that is ultimately required.