The Cosmological Argument
The cosmological argument is the argument that the existence of the world or universe is strong evidence for the existence of a God who created it. The existence of the universe, the argument claims, stands in need of explanation, and the only adequate explanation of its existence is that it was created by God. Like most arguments for the existence of God, the cosmological argument exists in several forms; two are discussed here: the temporal, kalam cosmological argument (i.e. the first cause argument), and the modal argument from contingency. The main distinguishing feature between these two arguments is the way in which they evade an initial objection to the argument, introduced with a question: “Does God have a cause of his existence?” [Robin Le Poidevin, Arguing for Atheism, Routledge 1996, Chapter 1] To explain this objection, and how the two forms of cosmological argument evade it, I‘ll use a simple, generic statement of the cosmological argument: The Simple Cosmological Argument
(1) Everything that exists has a cause of its existence.
(2) The universe exists.
(3) The universe has a cause of its existence.
(4) If the universe has a cause of its existence, then that cause is God. Therefore:
(5) God exists.
This argument is subject to a simple objection, introduced by asking, “Does God have a cause of his existence?” The Kalam Cosmological Argument
The uncaused existence of God, who does not have a beginning in time, is consistent with the initial claim of this argument: “Everything that has a beginning in time has a cause.” God’s uncaused existence therefore does not give rise to the problem encountered in the discussion of the simple cosmological argument above. The Argument from Contingency
In the case of the argument from contingency, the distinction drawn between the universe and God is that the existence of the universe is contingent, i.e. that the universe could have not existed. Everything that exists...
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