The Main Properties of the Cosmological Argument
The cosmological argument began with Plato and ever since been
defended and attacked by many great philosophers.
One of the supporters was Leibniz.
The cosmological argument is basically an argument about causation.
Its major supporter was Thomas Aquinas though Gotfried Leibniz also
put forward a simplified version of Aquinas's cosmological argument.
The major critics of the argument have included David Hume and
Bertrand Russell who question the basic principle that the argument
While the arguments of Aquinas assume that the universe cannot be
temporally infinite, there is a version of the cosmological argument
(supported by Leibniz (1646-1714) among others) that allows that the
universe is temporally infinite.
Leibniz regards the cosmological argument as a strong argument because
there has to be an explanation for life.
In 1710 Leibniz furthered Aquinas' third "way" (self existence) into
what he called the "Principle of Sufficient Reason". By 'Sufficient
Reason' he meant "complete explanation". He thinks it is logical that
there is a reason for existence.
Leibniz put forward a very simple and understandable version of the
cosmological argument, which states that there must be a reason, why
things exist because there must be a reason why anything happens and
why one thing happens rather than another. If something exists, it is
that something faced with the possibility of making it exist or not
making it exist chose to make it exist. Ultimately as things exist,
there must be a first-mover that itself was not caused to exist. This
first-mover is what we understand by God. As things exist, God must
Some great base must exist, he said, that was in itself the ultimate
reason, the ultimate "brute fact". Coppleston, in his famous debate
with Bertrand Russell, described Leibniz's logical end as a "necessary
being" or a "being, which must and cannot not exist".
However many major thinkers have rejected the cosmological argument
such as David Hume.
Hume states that it is illogical to think of God. God is just claimed
as an excuse because of the need for a first mover. God is just a name
to a process we can't define.
Hume is an empiricist (bases everything on experience).
Empiricists believe that if you can't see/ study something in this
world, you do not know it.
You cannot observe a universe starting, therefore we do not know about
Hume also suggests that we are here, and that is that. Why do we need
an explanation anyway?
Hume asks why, if everything has a cause, must one thing not.
As does Bertrand Russell. Russell believes that the universe is 'just
a brute fact', and it does not matter how, we are just here!'
The universe is not an issue.
Perhaps the most important...