The Key Ideas of the Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God
A) The cosmological argument is to prove the existence of god. In this
type of argument we are looking at cause and not design. This type of
argument is an aposteriori argument because it is based upon
experience. Thomas Aquinas puts the key ideas into 3 ways. First way
is, motion/change. Nothing can move by itself or change itself. The
first thing to have moved must have been moved by something else and
that thing therefore must be God.
” It is certain and evident to our senses, that in the world some
things are in motion. Now whatever moves is moved by another. It is
therefore impossible that, a thing should be both mover and moved. If
that by which it is moved be itself moved, then this also must needs
be moved by another. But his cannot go on to infinity, because then
there would be no first mover and subsequently no other mover.
Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, moved by no
other, and this everyone understands to be god”
He calls God the unmoved mover because God did not have to be caused.
The second way in which he argues for the existence of god is by
saying that everything that exists has a cause. Nothing can come to
existence without being caused. Everything that exists depends on
something causing it; he concludes he’s argument by saying that God is
the first cause. He did not have to be caused as he was always there.
“The second way is from the nature of efficient cause. In the world.
We find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case know
(neither is it indeed possible) I which a thing is found to be the
efficient cause of itself, for so it would be prior to itself, which
is impossible. Therefore it is necessary to admit to a first efficient
cause, to which everyone gives the name God”
Aquinas rejects the idea of infinite regress as there can be no first
cause in an infinite regress. The third way he describes God is by
saying that God is necessary and he has the quality of aseity.
“The third way is taken from possibility and necessity. We find in
nature things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are
found to be generated, and to be corrupted, and consequently, it is
possible for them to be and not to be. Therefore if everything an
not-be then at one time there was nothing in existence. (And) it would
have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist and thus even
nothing would be in existence, which is absurd. Therefore we cannot
but admit the existence of some being having of itself its own
necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in
others their necessity. This all men speak of God”.
He is saying that all living creatures depend on something else for
its survival. He says that God is not contingent but...