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Encyclopedia > Cosmological argument

The cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of God or a "First Cause". It is traditionally known as an "argument from universal causation", an "argument from first cause", the "causal argument", and also as an "uncaused cause" or "unmoved mover" argument. Whichever term employed, there are three basic variants of the argument, each with subtle yet important distinctions: the arguments from causation, in esse and in fieri, and the argument from contingency. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Look up argument in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Arguments for and against the existence of God have been proposed by philosophers, theologians, and others. ... Categories: Wikipedia cleanup | Stub | Philosophy of science | Religious Philosophy | Theology ... Causality or causation denotes the relationship between one event (called cause) and another event (called effect) which is the consequence (result) of the first. ... This page lists English translations of several Latin phrases and abbreviations, such as and . ... This page lists English translations of several Latin phrases and abbreviations, such as and . ... In philosophy and logic, contingency is the status of facts that are not logically necessarily true or false. ...

Contents

History of the argument

Plato and Aristotle, depicted here in Raphael's The School of Athens, both developed first cause arguments.
Plato and Aristotle, depicted here in Raphael's The School of Athens, both developed first cause arguments.

Plato (c. 427–347 BCE) and Aristotle (c. 384–322 BCE) both posited first cause arguments, though each had certain notable caveats. Plato posited a basic argument in The Laws (Book X), in which he argued that motion in the world and the Cosmos was "imparted motion" that required some kind of "self-originated motion" to set it in motion and to maintain that motion.[1] Plato also posited a "demiurge" of supreme wisdom and intelligence as the creator of the Cosmos in his work Timaeus. For Plato, the demiurge lacked the supernatural ability to create ex nihilo (out of nothing). It was only able to organize the ananke (necessity), the only other co-existent element or presence in Plato's cosmogony. Download high resolution version (804x1052, 186 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (804x1052, 186 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... For other uses, see Plato (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... This article is about the Renaissance artist. ... The School of Athens or in Italian is one of the most famous paintings by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael. ... For other uses, see Plato (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... The Laws is Platos last and longest dialogue. ... The Ancient and Medieval cosmos as depicted in Peter Apians Cosmographia (Antwerp, 1539). ... Demiurge (from the Greek , Latinized , meaning artisan or craftsman, literally worker in the service of the people, from of the people + work) is a term for a creator deity, responsible for the creation of the physical universe. ... Timaeus (Greek: Τίμαιος, Timaios) is a theoretical treatise of Plato in the form of a Socratic dialogue, written circa 360 BC. The work puts forward speculation on the nature of the physical world. ... For other uses, see Supernatural (disambiguation). ... Ex nihilo is a Latin term meaning out of nothing. It is often used in conjunction with the term creation, as in creatio ex nihilo, meaning creation out of nothing. Due to the nature of this, the term is often used in philosophical or creationistic arguments, as a number of... Timaeus (Greek: Τίμαιος, Timaios) is a theoretical treatise of Plato in the form of a Socratic dialogue, written circa 360 BC. The work puts forward speculation on the nature of the physical world. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Aristotle also put forth the idea of a First Cause, often referred to as the "Prime Mover" or "Unmoved Mover" (πρῶτον κινοῦν ἀκίνητον or primus motor) in his work Metaphysics. For Aristotle too, as for Plato, the underlying essence of the Universe always was in existence and always would be (which in turn follows Parmenides' famous statement that "nothing can come from nothing"). Aristotle posited an underlying ousia (essence or substance) of which the Universe was composed, and it was this ousia that the Prime Mover organized and set into motion. The Prime Mover did not organize matter physically, but was instead a being who constantly thought about thinking itself, and who organized the Cosmos by making matter the object of "aspiration or desire".[2] The Prime Mover was, to Aristotle, a "thinking on thinking", an eternal process of pure thought. This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Aristotle, marble copy of bronze by Lysippos. ... Metaphysics is one of the principal works of Aristotle and the first major work of the branch of philosophy with the same name. ... For other uses, see Universe (disambiguation). ... Parmenides of Elea (Greek: , early 5th century BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher born in Elea, a Hellenic city on the southern coast of Italy. ... This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... For other uses, see Eternity (disambiguation). ...


Centuries later, the Islamic philosopher Avicenna (c. 980-1037 CE) initiated a full-fledged inquiry into the question of being, in which he distinguished between essence (Mahiat) and existence (Wujud). He argued that the fact of existence could not be inferred from or accounted for by the essence of existing things, and that form and matter by themselves could not originate and interact with the movement of the Universe or the progressive actualization of existing things. Thus, he reasoned that existence must be due to an agent cause that necessitates, imparts, gives, or adds existence to an essence. To do so, the cause must coexist with its effect and be an existing thing.[3] Islam (Arabic: ; ( ▶ (help· info)), the submission to God) is a monotheistic faith, one of the Abrahamic religions and the worlds second-largest religion. ... A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... For the lunar crater, see Avicenna (crater). ... In ontology, a being is anything that can be said to be, either transcendantly or immanently. ... For other uses, see Essence (disambiguation). ... For the philosophical movement, see Existentialism. ... Causality or causation denotes the relationship between one event (called cause) and another event (called effect) which is the consequence (result) of the first. ...


Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225–1274 CE), probably the best-known theologian of Medieval Europe, adapted the argument he found in his reading of Aristotle and Avicenna to form one of the most influential versions of the cosmological argument.[4] His conception of First Cause was the idea that the Universe must have been caused by something that was itself uncaused, which he asserted was God. Aquinas redirects here. ... Theology is literally rational discourse concerning God (Greek θεος, theos, God, + λογος, logos, rational discourse). By extension, it also refers to the study of other religious topics. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... This article is about the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ...


Many other philosophers and theologians have posited cosmological arguments both before and since Aquinas. The versions sampled in the following sections are representative of the most common derivations of the argument.


The argument

The cosmological argument could be stated as follows:

  1. Every finite and contingent being has a cause.
  2. Nothing finite and contingent can cause itself.
  3. A causal chain cannot be of infinite length.
  4. Therefore, a First Cause (or something that is not an effect) must exist.

According to the argument, the existence of the Universe requires an explanation, and the creation of the Universe by a First Cause, generally assumed to be God, is that explanation. In philosophy and logic, contingency is the status of facts that are not logically necessarily true or false. ... Causality or causation denotes the relationship between one event (called cause) and another event (called effect) which is the consequence (result) of the first. ...


In light of the Big Bang theory, a stylized version of argument has emerged (sometimes called the Kalam cosmological argument, the following form of which was set forth by William Lane Craig[5]): According to the Big Bang theory, the universe originated in an infinitely dense and physically paradoxical singularity. ... The Kalām cosmological argument is a version of the cosmological argument derived from the Islamic Kalam form of dialectical argument. ... William Lane Craig (born August 23, 1949) is an American philosopher, theologian, New Testament historian, and Christian apologist. ...

  1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
  2. The Universe began to exist.
  3. Therefore, the Universe had a cause.

A more detailed discussion of the argument

Modern thinkers sometimes cite evidence for the Big Bang to support the claim that the Universe began to exist a finite time ago.
Modern thinkers sometimes cite evidence for the Big Bang to support the claim that the Universe began to exist a finite time ago.

A basic explanation of the cosmological argument could be stated as follows: According to the Big Bang theory, the universe originated in an infinitely dense singularity. ... According to the Big Bang theory, the universe originated in an infinitely dense singularity. ... For other uses, see Big Bang (disambiguation). ...

Consider some event in the Universe. No matter what event you choose, it will be the result of some cause, or, more likely, a very complex set of causes. Each of those causes is the result of some other set of causes, which are, in turn, the results of yet other causes. Thus, there is an enormous chain of events in the Universe, with the earlier events causing the latter. Either this chain has a beginning, or it does not.

Currently, the theory of the cosmological history of the Universe most widely accepted by astronomers and astrophysicists today includes an apparent first event, the Big Bang, an expansion of all known matter and energy from an infinitely dense singularity at some finite time in the past. Although contemporary versions of the cosmological argument most typically assume that there was a beginning to the cosmic chain of physical or natural causes, the early formulations of the argument did not have the benefit of this degree of theoretical insight. The Big Bang theory, however, does not address the issue of the origin of the primordial singularity, so it does not address the issue of a First Cause in an absolute sense. For other uses, see Astronomy (disambiguation). ... Spiral Galaxy ESO 269-57 Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe, including the physical properties (luminosity, density, temperature, and chemical composition) of celestial objects such as stars, galaxies, and the interstellar medium, as well as their interactions. ... For other uses, see Big Bang (disambiguation). ... A gravitational singularity (sometimes spacetime singularity) is, approximately, a place where quantities which are used to measure the gravitational field become infinite. ...


Plato's demiurge and Aristotle's Prime Mover each referred to a being who, they speculated, set in motion an already existing essence of the Cosmos. A millennium and a half later, Thomas Aquinas argued for an "Uncaused Cause" (ex motu), which he called God. To Aquinas, it remained logically possible that the Universe had already existed for an infinite amount of time and would continue to exist for an infinite amount of time. In his Summa Theologica, he argued that, even if the Universe had always existed (a notion he rejected on other grounds), there would still be the question of cause, or even of First Cause. For other uses, see Plato (disambiguation). ... Demiurge (from the Greek , Latinized , meaning artisan or craftsman, literally worker in the service of the people, from of the people + work) is a term for a creator deity, responsible for the creation of the physical universe. ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... For other uses, see Essence (disambiguation). ... Aquinas redirects here. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Summa theologiae, Pars secunda, prima pars. ...

Thomas Aquinas developed an argument from contingency.
Thomas Aquinas developed an argument from contingency.

Depiction of St. ... Depiction of St. ... Aquinas redirects here. ...

The argument from contingency

In the scholastic era, it was unknown whether the Universe had a beginning or whether it had always existed, at least in terms of that for which reason alone could account. As a matter of faith, the beginning of the world was believed by Christians. To account for both possibilities, Aquinas formulated the "argument from contingency", following Aristotle in claiming that there must be something to explain why the Universe exists. Since the Universe could, under different circumstances, conceivably not exist (contingency), its existence must have a cause - not merely another contingent thing, but something that exists by necessity (something that must exist in order for anything else to exist).[6] In other words, even if the Universe has always existed, it still owes its existence to an Uncaused Cause,[7] although Aquinas used the words "...and this we understand to be God."[8] Scholasticism comes from the Latin word scholasticus, which means that [which] belongs to the school, and is the school of philosophy taught by the academics (or schoolmen) of medieval universities circa 1100–1500. ... This article is about the religous people known as Christians. ... Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225 - March 7, 1274) was a Catholic philosopher and theologian in the scholastic tradition, who gave birth to the Thomistic school of philosophy, which was long the primary philosophical approach of the Roman Catholic Church. ... In philosophy and logic, contingency is the status of facts that are not logically necessary. ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... Causality or causation denotes the relationship between one event (called cause) and another event (called effect) which is the consequence (result) of the first. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...


Aquinas's argument from contingency is distinct from a first cause argument, since it assumes the possibility of a Universe that has no beginning in time. It is, rather, a form of argument from universal causation. Aquinas observed that, in nature, there were things with contingent existences. Since it is possible for such things not to exist, there must be some time at which these things did not in fact exist. Thus, according to Aquinas, there must have been a time when nothing existed. If this is so, there would exist nothing that could bring anything into existence. Contingent beings, therefore, are insufficient to account for the existence of contingent beings: there must exist a necessary being whose non-existence is an impossibility, and from which the existence of all contingent beings is derived. Causality or causation denotes the relationship between one event (called cause) and another event (called effect) which is the consequence (result) of the first. ... Causality or causation denotes the relationship between one event (called cause) and another event (called effect) which is the consequence (result) of the first. ...


The German philosopher Gottfried Leibniz made a similar argument with his principle of sufficient reason in 1714. "There can be found no fact that is true or existent, or any true proposition," he wrote, "without there being a sufficient reason for its being so and not otherwise, although we cannot know these reasons in most cases." He formulated the cosmological argument succinctly: "Why is there something rather than nothing? The sufficient reason [...] is found in a substance which [...] is a necessary being bearing the reason for its existence within itself."[9] Leibniz redirects here. ... The principle of sufficient reason states that anything that happens does so for a definite reason. ... Battle of Gangut, by Maurice Baquoi, 1724-27. ...


Aristotelian philosopher Mortimer J. Adler devised a refined argument from contingency in his book How to Think About God: Aristotelianism is a tradition of philosophy that takes its defining inspiration from the work of Aristotle. ... Mortimer Jerome Adler (December 28, 1902 – June 28, 2001) was an American philosopher and author. ...

  1. The existence of an effect requiring the concurrent existence and action of an efficient cause implies the existence and action of that cause.
  2. The Cosmos as a whole exists.
  3. The existence of the Cosmos as a whole is radically contingent (meaning that it needs an efficient cause of its continuing existence to preserve it in being, and prevent it from being annihilated, or reduced to nothing).
  4. If the Cosmos needs an efficient cause of its continuing existence, then that cause must be a supernatural being, supernatural in its action, and one the existence of which is uncaused, in other words, the Supreme Being, or God.

His premise for confirming all of these points was this:

The Universe as we know it today is not the only Universe that can ever exist in time. We can infer it from the fact that the arrangement and disarray, the order and disorder, of the present Cosmos might have been otherwise. That it might have been different from what it is. That which cannot be otherwise also cannot not exist; and conversely, what necessarily exists can not be otherwise than it is. Therefore, a Cosmos which can be otherwise is one that also cannot be; and conversely, a Cosmos that is capable of not existing at all is one that can be otherwise than it now is. Applying this insight to the fact that the existing Cosmos is merely one of a plurality of possible universes, we come to the conclusion that the Cosmos, radically contingent in existence, would not exist at all were its existence not caused. A merely possible Cosmos cannot be an uncaused Cosmos. A Cosmos that is radically contingent in existence, and needs a cause of that existence, needs a supernatural cause, one that exists and acts to exnihilate this merely possible Cosmos, thus preventing the realization of what is always possible for merely a possible Cosmos, namely, its absolute non-existence or reduction to nothingness.

Adler concludes that there exists a necessary being to preserve the Cosmos in existence. God must be there to sustain the Universe even if the Universe is eternal. Beginning by rejecting belief in a creating God, Adler finds evidence for a sustaining God. Thus, the existence of a sustaining God also becomes grounds for asserting the creating activity. The idea of a created Universe with a beginning an, most likely, an end now becomes more plausible than the idea of an eternal Universe. Adler believes that "to affirm that the world or Cosmos had an absolute beginning, that it was exnihilated at an initial instant, would be tantamount to affirming the existence of God, the world's exnihilator."[10] For other uses, see Eternity (disambiguation). ...


"In esse" and "in fieri"

The difference between the arguments from causation in fieri and in esse is a fairly important one. In fieri is generally translated as "becoming", while in esse is generally translated as "in existence". In fieri, the process of becoming, is similar to building a house. Once it is built, the builder walks away, and it stands on its own accord. (It may require occasional maintenance, but that is beyond the scope of the first cause argument.) This page lists English translations of several Latin phrases and abbreviations, such as and . ... This page lists English translations of several Latin phrases and abbreviations, such as and . ...


In esse (in existence) is more akin to the light from a candle or the liquid in a vessel. George Hayward Joyce, SJ, explained that "...where the light of the candle is dependent on the candle's continued existence, not only does a candle produce light in a room in the first instance, but its continued presence is necessary if the illumination is to continue. If it is removed, the light ceases. Again, a liquid receives its shape from the vessel in which it is contained; but were the pressure of the containing sides withdrawn, it would not retain its form for an instant." This form of the argument is far more difficult to separate from a purely first cause argument than is the example of the house's maintenance above, because here the First Cause is insufficient without the candle's or vessel's continued existence.[11] Seal of the Society of Jesus. ...


Thus, Aristotle's argument is in fieri, while Aquinas' argument is both in fieri and in esse (plus an additional argument from contingency). This distinction is an excellent example of the difference between a deistic view (Aristotle) and a theistic view (Aquinas). Leibnitz, who wrote more than two centuries before the Big Bang was taken for granted, was arguing in esse. As a general trend, the modern slants on the cosmological argument, including the Kalam argument, tend to lean very strongly towards an in fieri argument. For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225 - March 7, 1274) was a Catholic philosopher and theologian in the scholastic tradition, who gave birth to the Thomistic school of philosophy, which was long the primary philosophical approach of the Roman Catholic Church. ... In philosophy and logic, contingency is the status of facts that are not logically necessarily true or false. ... Historical and modern deism (from Latin: deus) is defined by the view that reason and logic, rather than revelation or tradition, should be the basis of belief in God. ... Theism is the belief in one or more gods or goddesses. ... Leibnitz is a town in the Austrian province of Styria and has about 6,892 inhabitants (census of population 2001). ... For other uses, see Big Bang (disambiguation). ... The Kalām cosmological argument is a version of the cosmological argument derived from the Islamic Kalam form of dialectical argument. ...


Objections and counterarguments

Existence of a First Cause

One objection to the argument is that it leaves open the question of why the First Cause is unique in that it does not require a cause. Proponents argue that the First Cause is exempt from having a cause, while opponents argue that it is not.[12] The problem with arguing for the First Cause's exemption is that it begs the question of why the First Cause is indeed exempt.[13] Attempts to resolve this problem often, though not necessarily, lead to ad hoc hypotheses and/or special pleading fallacies. Begging the question, in modern popular usage, is often used synonymously for raising the question. However the original meaning is quite different: it described a type of logical fallacy (also called petitio principii) in which the evidence given for a proposition as much needs to be proved as the proposition... Ad hoc is a Latin phrase which means for this [purpose]. It generally signifies a solution that has been tailored to a specific purpose, such as a tailor-made suit, a handcrafted network protocol, and specific-purpose equation and things like that. ... Special pleading is a form of spurious argumentation where a position in a dispute introduces favorable details or excludes unfavorable details by alleging a need to apply additional considerations without proper criticism of these considerations themselves. ... A logical fallacy is an error in logical argument which is independent of the truth of the premises. ...


Secondly, the premise of causality has been arrived at via a posteriori (inductive) reasoning, which is dependent on experience. David Hume highlighted this problem of induction and showed that causal relations were not true a priori (deductively). Even though causality applies to the known world, it does not necessarily apply to the Universe at large. In other words, it is unwise to draw conclusions from an extrapolation of causality beyond experience.[12] On a similar note, while it is true that the Universe as we know it had a beginning (the Big Bang), that does not necessarily imply that our Universe is all that is. Thus, opponents argue that the argument has not been sufficiently established so as to vindicate the existence of a First Cause, and, therefore, is an argument from ignorance, specifically a God-of-the-gaps argument. Causality or causation denotes the relationship between one event (called cause) and another event (called effect) which is the consequence (result) of the first. ... A Posteriori is the title of the musical project Enigmas sixth studio album, released in September 2006. ... Aristotle appears first to establish the mental behaviour of induction as a category of reasoning. ... For other persons named David Hume, see David Hume (disambiguation). ... The problem of induction is the philosophical issue involved in deciding the place of induction in determining empirical truth. ... Causality or causation denotes the relationship between one event (called cause) and another event (called effect) which is the consequence (result) of the first. ... The terms a priori and a posteriori are used in philosophy to distinguish between two different types of propositional knowledge. ... Deductive reasoning is reasoning whose conclusions are intended to necessarily follow from its premises. ... For other uses, see Big Bang (disambiguation). ... The argument from ignorance, also known as argumentum ad ignorantiam (appeal to ignorance [1]) or argument by lack of imagination, is a logical fallacy in which it is claimed that a premise is true only because it has not been proven false or is only false because it has not... The God of the gaps refers to a view of God deriving from a theistic position in which anything that can be explained by human knowledge is not in the domain of God, so the role of God is therefore confined to the gaps in scientific explanations of nature. ...


Additionally, it is argued that Occam's razor can be used against the argument, showing how the argument fails using both the efficient and conserving types of causality.[14] For the House television show episode, see Occams Razor (House episode). ...


Identity of a First Cause

Another objection is that even if one accepts the argument as a proof of a First Cause, it does not identify that First Cause with God. The argument does not ascribe to the First Cause some of the basic attributes commonly associated with, for instance, a theistic God, such as immanence or omnibenevolence.[13] Rather, it simply argues that a First Cause must exist. Despite this, there exist theistic arguments that attempt to extract such attributes.[15] Theism is the belief in one or more gods or goddesses. ... Immanence, derived from the Latin in manere to remain within, refers to philosophical and metaphysical theories of the divine as existing and acting within the mind or the world. ... Omnibenevolence is sometimes used to describe the property of being perfectly or absolutely good. ...


Furthermore, if one chooses to accept God as the First Cause, God's continued interaction with the Universe is not required. This is the foundation for beliefs such as deism that accept that a God created the Universe, but then ceased to have any further interaction with it.[16] For other uses, see Ceremonial Deism. ...


Scientific positions

"Gas molecules may bounce against the walls of a container without requiring anything or anyone to get them moving."
"Gas molecules may bounce against the walls of a container without requiring anything or anyone to get them moving."

The argument for a Prime Mover is based on the scientific foundation of Newtonian physics and its earlier predecessors — the idea that a body at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. However, while Newton's ideas survive in physics today, since they conveniently and easily describe the movement of objects at the human (that is, not cosmic or atomic) level, they no longer represent the most accurate and truthful representations of the physical Universe. Some scientists feel that the development of the laws of thermodynamics in the 19th century and quantum physics in the 20th century have weakened a purely scientific expression of the cosmological argument.[17] Image File history File links Gas_particle_movement. ... Image File history File links Gas_particle_movement. ... For other uses, see Gas (disambiguation). ... In science, a molecule is the smallest particle of a pure chemical substance that still retains its chemical composition and properties. ... Classical mechanics is a model of the physics of forces acting upon bodies. ... For other uses, see Newton (disambiguation). ... A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... The laws of thermodynamics, in principle, describe the specifics for the transport of heat and work in thermodynamic processes. ... Fig. ...


Modern physics has many examples of bodies being moved without any moving body, seriously undermining the first premise of the Prime Mover argument: every object in motion must be moved by another object in motion. Physicist Michio Kaku directly addresses the cosmological argument in his book Hyperspace, saying that it is easily dismissed by the law of conservation of energy and the laws governing molecular physics. He quotes one of many examples — "gas molecules may bounce against the walls of a container without requiring anything or anyone to get them moving." According to Kaku, these particles could move forever, without beginning or end. So, there is no need for a First Mover to explain the origins of motion.[18] It does not provide an explanation for the reason those molecules exist in the first place, though. Michio Kaku (加來 道雄 Kaku Michio, born January 24, 1947 in the United States) is an American theoretical physicist, tenured professor, and co-founder of string field theory, a branch of superstring theory. ... Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension (1994) is a book by Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist from the City College of New York. ... Conservation of energy (the first law of thermodynamics) is one of several conservation laws. ... Molecular physics is the study of the physical properties of molecules and of the chemical bonds between atoms that bind them into molecules. ... For other uses, see Gas (disambiguation). ... In science, a molecule is the smallest particle of a pure chemical substance that still retains its chemical composition and properties. ...


Moreover, it is argued that a challenge to the cosmological argument is the nature of time. The Big Bang theory states that it is the point in which all dimensions came into existence, the start of both space and time. Then, the question "What was there before the Universe?" makes no sense; the concept of "before" becomes meaningless when considering a situation without time, and thus the concepts of cause and effect so necessary to the cosmological argument no longer apply. This has been put forward by Stephen Hawking, who said that asking what occurred before the Big Bang is like asking what is north of the North Pole.[19] However, some cosmologists and physicists do attempt to investigate what could have occurred before the Big Bang, using such scenarios as the collision of branes to give a cause for the Big Bang.[20] According to the Big Bang theory, the universe originated in an infinitely dense and physically paradoxical singularity. ... Dimension (from Latin measured out) is, in essence, the number of degrees of freedom available for movement in a space. ... This article is about the idea of space. ... This article is about the concept of time. ... Stephen William Hawking, CH, CBE, FRS, FRSA, (born 8 January 1942) is a British theoretical physicist. ... For other uses, see North Pole (disambiguation). ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ...


Arguments in Islamic theology and philosophy

Ibn Rushd, better known in the west as Averroes, was an Islamic thinker who developed the Kalam cosmological argument.
Ibn Rushd, better known in the west as Averroes, was an Islamic thinker who developed the Kalam cosmological argument.

Image File history File links AverroesColor. ... Image File history File links AverroesColor. ... Ibn Rushd, known as Averroes (1126 – December 10, 1198), was an Andalusian-Arab philosopher and physician, a master of philosophy and Islamic law, mathematics, and medicine. ... The Kalām cosmological argument is a version of the cosmological argument derived from the Islamic Kalam form of dialectical argument. ...

God as the First Cause

Ash'ari theologians rejected cause and effect, in essence, but accepted it as something that facilitated humankind's investigation and comprehension of natural processes. These medieval scholars argued that Nature was composed of uniform atoms that were "recreated" at every instant by God. The laws of Nature were only the customary sequence of apparent causes (customs of God), the ultimate cause of each accident being God himself.[21] The Kalām cosmological argument is a version of the cosmological argument derived from the Islamic Kalam form of dialectical argument. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Causality or causation denotes the relationship between one event (called cause) and another event (called effect) which is the consequence (result) of the first. ... This article is about the physical universe. ... Properties For alternative meanings see atom (disambiguation). ...


As argued by Avicenna, the Universe consists of a chain of actual beings, each giving existence to the one below it and responsible for the existence of the rest of the chain. Because an actual infinite is deemed impossible, this chain as a whole must terminate in a being that is wholly simple and one, whose essence is its very existence, and is therefore self-sufficient and not in need of something else to give it existence. Because its existence is not contingent on or necessitated by something else, but is necessary and eternal in itself, it satisfies the condition of being the necessitating cause of the entire chain that constitutes the eternal world of contingent existing things.[3] For the lunar crater, see Avicenna (crater). ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... In theology, the doctrine of divine simplicity says that God is without parts. ... In philosophy and logic, contingency is the status of facts that are not logically necessarily true or false. ... Causality or causation denotes the relationship between one event (called cause) and another event (called effect) which is the consequence (result) of the first. ... For other uses, see Eternity (disambiguation). ...


God as the Necessary Existent

The ontological form of the cosmological argument, which was put forward by Avicenna, is known as the contingency and necessity argument (Imakan wa Wujub). This article is about the philosophical meaning of ontology. ...


Avicenna's proof for the existence of God, in the "Metaphysics" section of The Book of Healing, was the first ontological argument.[22][23] This was the first attempt at using the method of a priori proof, which utilizes intuition and reason alone. Avicenna's proof is unique in that it can be classified as both a cosmological argument and an ontological argument. It is ontological insofar as "necessary existence" in intellect is the first basis for arguing for a Necessary Existent. The proof is also cosmological insofar as most of it is taken up with arguing that contingent existents cannot stand alone and must end in a Necessary Existent.[24] Arguments for and against the existence of God have been proposed by philosophers, theologians, and others. ... The Book of Healing (in Arabic, Kitab ash-Shifa) is a scientific encyclopedia written by the great Iranian peoples Muslim polymath Abū Alī ibn Sīnā (Avicenna) from Afshana, near Bukhara in Central Asia (now Uzbekistan), in the 1000s. ... An ontological argument for the existence of God is one that attempts the method of a priori proof, which utilizes intuition and reason alone. ... The terms a priori and a posteriori are used in philosophy to distinguish between two different types of propositional knowledge. ... Look up Intuition in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Reason (disambiguation). ... Causality or causation denotes the relationship between one event (called cause) and another event (called effect) which is the consequence (result) of the first. ...


References

  1. ^ "Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God", in Macmillan Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1967), Vol. 2, p232 ff.
  2. ^ "Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God", in Macmillan Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1967), Vol. 2, p233 ff.
  3. ^ a b "Islam". Encyclopedia Britannica Online. (2007). Retrieved on 2007-11-27. 
  4. ^ Scott David Foutz, An Examination of Thomas Aquinas' Cosmological Arguments as found in the Five Ways, Quodlibet Online Journal of Christian Theology and Philosophy
  5. ^ Craig, William L. "The Existence of God and the Beginning of the Universe." Truth Journal. Leadership University. 22 Jun. 2008 <http://www.leaderu.com/truth/3truth11.html>.
  6. ^ Summa Theologiae, I : 2,3
  7. ^ Aquinas was an ardent student of Aristotle's works, a significant number of which had only recently been translated into Latin by Ibn-Rushd, also known as Averroes.
  8. ^ Summa Theologiae, I : 2,3
  9. ^ Monadologie (1714). Nicholas Rescher, trans., 1991. The Monadology: An Edition for Students. Uni. of Pittsburg Press. Jonathan Bennett's translation. Latta's translation.
  10. ^ Science in Christian Perspective
  11. ^ Joyce, George Hayward (1922) Principles of Natural Theology. NY: Longmans Green.
  12. ^ a b Reichenbach, Bruce, "Cosmological Argument", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2006 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2006/entries/cosmological-argument/>.
  13. ^ a b Cline, Austin. "Cosmological Argument: Does the Universe Require a First Cause?" About.com: Agnosticism/Atheism. 20 Jun. 2008 <http://atheism.about.com/od/argumentsforgod/a/cosmological.htm>.
  14. ^ Kaye, Sharon. "William of Ockham." The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 20 Jun. 2008 <http://www.iep.utm.edu/o/ockham.htm>.
  15. ^ Craig, William L. "Initial Arguments: A Defense of the Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God." Leadership University. 20 Jun. 2008 <http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/craig-smith1.html>.
  16. ^ "deism." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. Answers.com 20 Jun. 2008. http://www.answers.com/topic/deism
  17. ^ * Michio Kaku. Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. ISBN 0-19-286189-1
  18. ^ * Michio Kaku. Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. ISBN 0-19-286189-1
  19. ^ Transcript of Stephan Hawking's lecture "The Origin Of The Universe" in the Hebrew University In Jerusalem, December 14th, 2006
  20. ^ Britt, Robert R. "'Brane-Storm' Challenges Part of Big Bang Theory." Space.com. 18 Apr. 2001. 21 Jun. 2008 <http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/astronomy/bigbang_alternative_010413-3.html>.
  21. ^ Robert G. Mourison (2002)
  22. ^ Johnson (1984), pp. 161–171.
  23. ^ Morewedge, P., “Ibn Sina (Avicenna) and Malcolm and the Ontological Argument”, Monist 54: 234-49 
  24. ^ Mayer, Toby (2001), “Ibn Sina’s ‘Burhan Al-Siddiqin’”, Journal of Islamic Studies (Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Oxford Journals, Oxford University Press) 12 (1): 18-39 

Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 331st day of the year (332nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Averroes (1126 - December 10, 1198) was an Andalusi philosopher and physician, a master of philosophy and Islamic law, mathematics and medicine. ... Ibn Rushd, known as Averroes (1126 – December 10, 1198), was an Andalusian-Arab philosopher and physician, a master of philosophy and Islamic law, mathematics, and medicine. ... Nicholas Rescher (born July 15, 1928 in Hagen, Germany) is an American philosopher, affiliated for many years with the University of Pittsburgh, where he is currently University Professor of Philosophy and Chairman of the Center for the Philosophy of Science. ... Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension (1994) is a book by Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist from the City College of New York. ... Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension (1994) is a book by Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist from the City College of New York. ... The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS) is a Recognised Independent Centre associated with the University of Oxford, England. ... Oxford University Press (OUP) is a highly-respected publishing house and a department of the University of Oxford in England. ...

See also

It has been suggested that Biblical astronomy be merged into this article or section. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A creation myth is a supernatural mytho-religious story or explanation that describes the beginnings of humanity, earth, life, and the universe (cosmogony),[1] usually as a deliberate act of creation by a supreme being. ... THIS IS A FACT Creation is a doctrinal position in many religions and philosophical belief systems which maintains that a single God, or a group of or deities is responsible for creating the universe. ... Cultures throughout history have believed the world formed or was formed at some time in the past, so methods of dating Creation have involved analysing scriptures and some physical data. ... This article is about the general notion of determinism in philosophy. ... Infinitism is a theory in epistemology, the branch of philosophy that treats of the possibility, nature, and means of knowledge. ... An infinite regress is a series of propositions arises if the truth of proposition P1 requires the support of proposition P2, and for any proposition in the series Pn, the truth of Pn requires the support of the truth of Pn+1. ... According to St. ... Temporal finitism is the idea that time is finite. ... This box:      A graphical timeline is available here: Graphical timeline of the Big Bang This timeline of the Big Bang describes the events according to the scientific theory of the Big Bang, using the cosmological time parameter of comoving coordinates. ... Aristotle, marble copy of bronze by Lysippos. ...

External links

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (hereafter SEP) is a free online encyclopedia of philosophy run and maintained by Stanford University. ... Arguments for and against the existence of God have been proposed by philosophers, theologians, and others. ... An ontological argument for the existence of God is one that attempts the method of a priori proof, which utilizes intuition and reason alone. ... A teleological argument, or argument from design, is an argument for the existence of God or a creator based on perceived evidence of order, purpose, design and/or direction in nature. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Christological argument for the existence of God is a relatively modern argument. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Argument from Consciousness is an argument for the existence of God against naturalism. ... The Argument from love is an argument for the existence of God, as against materialism. ... The Argument from Beauty is an argument for the existence of God, as against materialism // Its logical structure is essentially as follows: There are compelling reasons for considering beauty to exist in a way which transcends its material manifestations. ... The argument from degrees or the degrees of perfection argument is an argument for the existence of God first proposed by Thomas Aquinas as one of the five ways to prove God in his Summa Theologica. ... The Argument from Desire is an argument for the existence of God. ... The Argument from religious experience is an argument for the existence of God, as against materialism. ... The Argument from Miracles is an argument for the existence of God relying on eyewitness testimony of impossible (or extremely improbable events) to establish the active intervention of a supernatural supreme being (or supernatural agents acting on behalf of that being). ... Pascals Wager (or Pascals Gambit) is the application by the French philosopher Blaise Pascal of decision theory to the belief in God. ... NDE redirects here. ... In the philosophy of religion and theology, the problem of evil is the problem of reconciling the existence of evil or suffering in the world with the existence of a god. ... The problem of Hell is a variant of the problem of evil, applying specifically to religions which hold both that: An omnipotent (all-powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), and omnibenevolent (all-loving) God exists. ... The argument from nonbelief, also known as the argument from divine hiddenness, is a recently-developed argument against the existence of God. ... The Argument from Inconsistent Revelations, also known as the Avoiding the Wrong Hell Problem, is an argument against the existence of God. ... The argument from poor design or dysteleological argument is an argument against the existence of God, specifically against the existence of a creator God (in the sense of a God that directly created all species of life). ... The Transcendental Argument for the Non-existence of God (also called TANG) was first explicitly formulated by Michael Martin in a 1996 article in New Zealand Rationalist & Humanist [1]. It was first intended as a reply to the Transcendental argument for the existence of God, which argues that logic, science... Theological noncognitivism is the argument that religious language, and specifically words like God (capitalized), are not cognitively meaningful. ... Listen to this article ( info/dl) This audio file was created from an article revision dated 2007-09-04, and may not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... The argument from free will is an argument against the Existence of God which contends that omniscience and free will are incompatible, and that any conception of God which incorporates both properties is therefore inherently contradictory. ... An editor has expressed a concern that the subject of the article does not satisfy the notability guideline or one of the following guidelines for inclusion on Wikipedia: Biographies, Books, Companies, Fiction, Music, Neologisms, Numbers, Web content, or several proposals for new guidelines. ... The Ultimate Boeing 747 argument has been known to go straight over peoples heads The Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit is an argument for the improbability of the existence of God introduced by Richard Dawkins in chapter 4 Why there almost certainly is no God of his book The God... For the House television show episode, see Occams Razor (House episode). ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Cosmological Argument (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) (9529 words)
Kant held that the cosmological argument, in concluding to the existence of a necessary being, argues for the existence of a being whose nonexistence is absolutely inconceivable.
Accordingly, the cosmological argument presupposes the cogency of the ontological argument.
Rowe suggests that the cosmological argument has two parts, one to establish the existence of a first cause or necessary being, the other that this necessary being is God (1975, 6).
Cosmological argument - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3102 words)
The cosmological argument is an argument for the existence of God, traditionally known as an "argument from universal causation," an "argument from first cause," and also as the "uncaused cause" argument.
Though contemporary versions of the cosmological argument most typically assume that there was a beginning to the cosmic chain of physical, or natural causes, the early formulations of the argument did not have the benefit of this degree of theoretical insight into the apparent origins of the cosmos.
Monotheistic innovations of the argument distinguish themselves by postulating that the dualism is supernatural and that whatever the "uncaused cause", it is the Divine.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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