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AQA A Level RS (ethics and philosophy) > Cosmological Argument > Flashcards

Flashcards in Cosmological Argument Deck (6)
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Everything necessary must be caused or uncaused

Series of necessary beings cannot be infinite, or there would be no explanation of series

Thus, must be something uncaused which exists of its own necessity

By this we all understand God
“This all men speak of as God”



Everything in natural world is contingent

Must have been a time when nothing existed
“Out of nothing, nothing can come”

Nothing can not exist as vast numbers of contingent things now

Therefore, something must exist necessarily otherwise nothing would exists which is false


Critique: Hume

Universe may be a necessarily existent being:
Logic conforms to Occam’s razor (conc most likely if it requires fewer assumptions). Ie, universe could exist necessarily rather than contingent upon an unseen and necessarily existent God.

Infinite regress:
An indefinite sequence of causes or beings which does not have a first member of series.
What caused God?

Nothing can be said about the nature of God as a necessarily existent being


Critique: Russell

Fallacy of composition:
What is true in parts isn’t necessarily true for the whole
ie just because what we see in world is caused does not mean that the universe itself is caused

Russell and Hume:
Rejected concept of a necessary being
Statement about existence= synthetic (empirically verifiable ie senses) not analytic which is based on logic.
No contradiction in stating that god doesn’t exist.

Universe= brute fact. Simply unexplainable. Needs no explanation.
“I should say that the universe is just there, and that’s all”


Not valuable for religious faith:

Kant: idea of god as necessary being is dependent upon ontological argument

Barth: rejected all attempts to prove gods existence through reason, instead revelation

Aquinas: not sufficient on its own. Natural theology cannot give knowledge of doctrines such as trinity. Revealed through bible and church.

Stephen Evans and Gerry Hughes: limited value as does not indicate god of classical theism



Reasonable hypothesis. Other explanations have no greater probability

Concept easy to understand

Supported by design argument