Cosmological Argument as a Philosophical Concept

Words: 1678
Topic: Philosophy
Updated:

Introduction

Numerous arguments have been advanced to validate the claim that science can explain the existence of everything in the physical and metaphysical world. However, given the limited scope covered by science, it becomes controversial to claim that humanity can have a theory on everything. Some physicists argue that it is possible to have a theory of everything in the future, while theists refute these claims by holding that it is impossible to have a theory to explain everything. Debates taking this form are referred to as cosmological arguments.

The believers of naturalism claim that everything can be defined as being dependent on the natural forces of the universe. Creationists strongly believe that God is part of the explanation of why things happen. Since God is needed for the comprehensive analysis of the world, science cannot provide a theory of everything without recognizing the presence of God. The objective of this article is to analyze this type of argument by showing that everything that happens has an independent cause coupled with providing some of the objections developed against this position and the relevant answers.

Argument for

The occurrences that happen in life have dependent causes. A dependent clause is defined as a totality that depends on other factors or something else. On the other hand, the independent cause does not rely on other factors to happen. Science continues to formulate theories to explain the mechanisms of all that is experienced. For instance, the Big Bang theory was developed to explain how the Earth came to existence.

However, do all dependent causes need an independent cause for them to happen? With the rising popularity of atheism, it becomes difficult for mots individual to realize that atheists barely recognize the substantial evidence for theism as demonstrated in physics and philosophy. New evidence on the existence of God seeks to link these gaps by using quantum physics and mathematical cosmology on infinity (Spitzer 10). Such evidence creates the rationale for the existence of transcendent and powerful beings, which is necessary when explaining the origin of the universe.

The world has existed for centuries without substantial evidence to explain its existence, but something definitely caused it. In a bid to avoid creating more unexplained totalities, the so-referred ‘something else’ must be independent. Such an independent being is only God who acts as the cause for all existence. Rowe suggests that Thomas Aquinas’ argument on the existence of God provides a cosmological perspective by giving the evidence that God is the independent cause (24). Aquinas developed the idea that a necessary being caused by the existent of contingent beings.

This being has to be “contingent because everything depends on other causes to change” (Rowe 28). This process develops a series of caused beings, and since no one can determine its own cause, nothing could be without the existence of one determining the cause. Such a non-contingent being is necessary for proving the existence of dependent beings.

The third response focuses on the works of Leibniz and Montgomery, who claims that the existence of the world is a clear demonstration that there exists an independent cause (75). The authors suggest that there is no original dependent cause of anything, but only God. The response to this claim is that there has to be an independent cause for all totalities. This assertion holds because God does great works, and creating the universe is part of His awesome deeds.

Those who claim that God should have done better in His creation just present inconsistent claims to justify their beliefs (Leibniz and Montgomery 75). Saying that an artist could have done better amounts to finding mistakes in the artwork. Having obtained the evidence of the existence of a necessary being, viz. God, this paper will focus on different objections on the issue.

Arguments against

The first objection, which is attracting the attention of many atheist scholars, is that of infinite regression. Cosmological arguments claim that infinite regression of causes lacks initial cause of existence, but given that the universe exists, it has a cause. Based on this claim, this objection argues that if the process is infinite, there is no need for an independent cause because the series itself owns the cause. Dawkins (101) supports this objection by claiming that there is a causal closure, hence there is no need to rely on immaterial entity, which is referred to as God, to give the explanation about the universe.

The material universe is the necessary being that theist philosophers refer to in cosmological arguments, and thus there is no logic in claiming that God is the necessary being. Some of the answers to this objection can be that infinite connections lack the initial cause, as it only extends its distance from the cause, thus failing to justify the absence of an independent cause.

As shown by Rowe, the cosmological claim by Aquinas, which is referred to as the argument from motion, holds that anything in motion must be caused to move, and thus it is illogical to assume there is an infinite regression of movers (63). The uncaused mover is God. Dawkins’ argument that the material universe is necessary raises several conceptual challenges; for instance, if the universe is non-contingent, then it must be eternal. Given that the material universe is composed of caused entities, then it is dependent.

The second objection is by Russell Bertrand, who expounds the atheists’ view, which points to the lack of an independent cause of existence. Russell argues that it is indecisive about thinking that science cannot explain some things (34). He holds that science has so far explained so many things, and given the time, it will explain everything. In addition, he reckons Aristotle’s claim that an impersonal ‘something’ existed, and it caused things to happen, but not a personal God. He goes further to claim that this impersonal something is the material universe, thus implying that the entire nature is an uncaused cause.

This assertion implies that cosmological arguments prematurely provide a theist answer that God is the necessary being, thus denying science the opportunity to provide a logical answer in the future based on its record of progress. The argument raised by Russell about quantum cosmology implies a lack of independent cause, which explains why electrons assume certain forms without being caused (67).

The idea of indeterminacy, as referred to as in quantum physics, holds that electrons do not necessarily travel through all stages. Based on this claim, it is inadequate for proponents of this theory to conclude that there is no cause for the existence of everything. In response to this objection, the claim that the necessary being is impersonal being is “illogical since it leads to infinite regress; in addition, atheists have failed to prove, mathematically or by scientific procedures, that there is progress in proving that God does not exist” (Leibniz and Montgomery 83). Therefore, calling for more time is irrational.

The relevance of the opinions

This cosmological argument agrees with the God described by theists as omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. Human experiences are all dependent on certain causes, which fit the argument that there is an independent cause to all totalities. God’s existence cannot be determined by scientific experiments, and science has not proved the non-existence of God; hence, this aspect backs theism (Rowe 43).

There cannot be infinite number of causes to totality; hence, it is logical to claim that objects are moved into existence, which points to causes. Unless critics come up with substantial evidence that God does not exist, then the cosmological argument remains the most rational option. In addition, critics contradict themselves when they claim that science will eventually generate answers for the cause of everything. This aspect means that science will also provide an explanation of why electrons are the way they are and their cause for taking certain states.

It is ethically wrong and misleading for scientists to assume that if science fails to generate an explanation for something, then that thing has no alternative explanation, or it does not exist in the first place.

If scientists can believe that electrons are not caused, they should also submit that God is the independent clause. Theists believe that God can be understood through divine revelation like the Christianity belief of God being eternal. God, as the independent cause, uses science to offer an explanation to humanity about the universe. The argument about the electron provides enough evidence that God uses science to manifest Himself, coupled with how he can create an electron out of nothing.

Reflection

In general, naturalism is viewed as the scientific explanation of events relying on natural forces. This study questions why people still talk about God as offering answer to events in the world. Therefore, according to the text, naturalism hugely inhibits faith in God as the necessary being. Many people believe that experiences and rationality cause people to develop a feeling that there is an independent cause for all the existence.

This assertion is true since what scientists have experimented, and generalized so far has failed to explain the existence of everything. Historically, there is no reason why everything appears as it is. Scientists claim to come up with a theory of everything in the near future, and thus they will argue that such development is a dependent clause, but the cosmological claim will show that such claims lack a comprehensive explanation. Therefore, the cosmological argument affirms one’s faith to refute the emerging difficulties of naturalism (Spitzer 97).

Conclusion

Logical ambiguity arises in the argument that things exist without a cause. This paper has demonstrated that an independent cause is behind events that occur. It is illogical to claim that the universe just existed out of nothing simply because individuals lack the experience of its being caused. The universe has a beginning, which can only be caused by the necessary being, viz. God. The concept of the universe is the outcome of God’s plan. Since science has failed to prove that God does not exist, theism is the most convincing argument as opposed to naturalism.

Works Cited

Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006. Print.

Leibniz, Gottfried , and George Montgomery. Discourse on Metaphysics, and the Monadology, Mineola: Dover Publications, 2005. Print.

Rowe, William. Philosophy of Religion: An Introduction, Belmont: Wadsworth, 2007. Print.

Russell, Bertrand. The Problems of Philosophy. Radford: Wilder Pub, 2008. Print.

Spitzer, Robert. New proofs for the existence of God: Contributions of contemporary Physics and Philosophy, Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2010. Print.