The Cosmological attempts to prove that God exists by showing that there cannot be an infinite number of regressions of causes to things that are in existence. It states that there has to be a final uncaused-cause of all things. This uncaused-cause that is asserted is God. The cosmological argument is identified by several other names like an argument from universal causation, an argument from first cause, the argument from existence or the causal argument.
The Cosmological argument can take quite a number of forms. However, there are basic ones as represented below:
- Things exist
- It is possible for those things to be out of existence or not to exist
- Whatever has got the possibility of non-existence, yet exists, has been caused to exist. Something cannot bring itself into existence since it must exist to bring itself into existence.
- There cannot be an infinite number of causes to bring something into existence. An infinite regression of causes ultimately has no initial cause, which means there is no cause of existence. Since the universe is in existence, it does not have a cause.
- There must be an uncaused cause of all things.
- The uncaused cause must be God.
Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274) had a version of the Cosmological argument called the Argument from motion. He stated that things in motion could not have brought themselves into motion but must have been caused to move. There cannot be a regression of movers that is infinite. Hence, there must be an Unmoved Mover that is God.
The strengths of this attempt to prove the existence of God lie in the argument’s simplicity and easily comprehensible concept that there cannot be an infinite number of causes to an event. Some arguments for the existence of God require more thought and training in both concepts and terms, however, the argument is basic and simple. Besides, it is logical to claim that objects do not bring themselves into existence and must, thus, have causes.
This argument has got three basic assertions, each with subtle yet important distinctions. They are: the arguments from causality (in causa), becoming (in fieri) and essentially (in esse).
Despite the strengths of the Cosmological argument, it also has certain weaknesses. One of them is that if all things need a cause of existence, then God himself must also; by definition, need to have a cause of existence. Its simplicity leaves a lot to be questioned. However, this only pushes causation back and implies that there must be an infinite number of causes, which cannot be.
The basic premise of all these is that something caused or continuously causes the Universe to exist, and this First Cause is what religious people correlate to God. Skeptics and non-religious people often point at the Big Bang to be the most likely cause. The Cosmological argument has been used for centuries by theologians and philosophers from the times of Plato, Aristotle to medieval like St. Thomas Aquinas and beyond. It is also the main argument for the existence of God in the Spiritist Doctrine.
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