The Reasons Why Some Thinkers Rejected the Cosmological Argument
Aquinas’s argument was as follows: If the universe was infinite, it
would have an infinite number of days. The end of an infinite series
of days can never be reached, so today would never arrive. However,
today has arrived, so the past cannot be infinite. Time began when the
universe began, which was an event. Events are caused; therefore there
must have been a first cause. This first cause was God.
Tennant said there are things in the world which are contingent. These
are "might not have beens" because they might have not existed.
Secondly, "The world is a real or imagined totality of individual
objects, none of which contain within themselves a reason for their
own existence." Here, he is saying that everything within the universe
is not self explanatory. He moves from saying that some things depend
on others, to saying that all things depend on others. All things can
only be explained by something external to them.
Third he said that the explanation for the existence of everything in
the universe must be external to the universe. If we accept both the
second premise, and the theory of Sufficient Reason, then it says that
outside the universe there must be a cause for everything inside the
universe. He then goes on to say that this explanation must be an
existent being which self explanatory is. This, Copleston refers to as
a necessary being. If everything within the universe is contingent or
dependant, then if we have accepted his ideas, the final explanation
must not be necessary. In other words, the final explanation could not
not exist. It could not fail to exist; it is not dependant on anything
else. This is what Copleston considers to be God.
One other supporting idea for the Cosmological argument is that of the
Big Bang theory. The idea that the universe was created by natural
causes, such as a large explosion, is considered frequently, but
thinkers and philosophers would then argue that the explosion could
have been as a result of a divine being, who wished it to happen, and
this was simply its way of completing its task.
However, amongst all the supporting...