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The Main Properties of the Cosmological Argument

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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

works from.

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 under...

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...infinite. If the past stretches back

infinitely, then there never was a Prime Cause. If there have been an

infinite number of causes in the past then logically there cannot have

been a first cause.

One of the weaknesses of the argument is that if all things need a

cause to exist, then God Himself must also, by definition, need a

cause to exist. But this only pushes causation back and implies that

there must be an infinite number of causes, which cannot be. This is

paradoxical.

The cosmological argument does however assist with the question of

existence and many philosophers observe the theory as a strong one.

Therefore, the cosmological argument, although able to be understood

easily and useful in some cases, is not sustainable argument and

cannot be regarded as a logical explanation for the existence of God.
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