Key Features of the Cosmological Argument

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Examine the key ideas of the cosmological argument.

The cosmological argument seeks to prove the existence of God on the basis that the universe has not always been in existence and so for it to be created, an external cause was necessary; this outside agent is viewed as God. It creates à posteriori knowledge which provides inductive explanations and makes conclusions on ideas based on actual experiences. It is a non-propositional argument so it cannot be proven but can be argued by offering experience as support.

Although the cosmological argument was expressed by Aquinas it was originally introduced and influenced by Aristotle. Aristotle stated ‘the series must start with something since nothing can come from nothing’. This suggests that Aristotle believed that the creation of universe is dependent on a supreme, ultimate primary mover, and is therefore an ‘unmoved mover’. Overall it is the vital cause of the creation of the universe, and is identified in Christianity as God. Aristotle persuaded this using the idea of planet motion which he highlighted as the cause of the change of seasons. For this transformation to happen, it required an ‘unmoved mover’ who would be capable of upholding order of the universe during the alterations. Aquinas used this concept as the labour of God.

Thomas Aquinas developed Aristotle’s ideas and offered the ‘Five Ways’ which have the aim to prove the existence of God. Three of the five form the cosmological argument. The first way is motion, the second is cause and the third is necessity and contingency.

Aquinas proposed the way of motion through the idea that in the world some things are in motion and whatever is moved is moved by another. He argued that it is impossible for something to be both mover and moved. Motion is therefore a change of state and is not just movement in time and space from one place to another. But motion requires an explanation since nothing can be in both potentiality and actuality in...
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