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Outline the Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God (21 Marks)

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Outline the cosmological argument for the existence of God (21 marks)
The cosmological argument aims to prove the existence of God whilst also providing an explanation for the beginning of the universe, with different views coming from various scholars. It is an a posteriori argument, meaning we can draw conclusions from experiences based on what we see around us, although it is not a fact. Despite the separate interpretations, the cosmological argument revolves around a first cause which started the universe. This cause is what we come to know as God, and the scholars mainly focus on different ways of proving his existence by looking at the world around us.
When looking at the argument, Thomas Aquinas is the driving force behind most of its foundations and ideas. His first way from five in his book ‘Summa Theologica’, he outlines the need for a first cause because of the motion we see in the world. Nothing inanimate can move itself, and requires another force in order for it to go from potentiality to actuality. But everything has to be moved by something else which would go on infinitely, so something must have been the first mover. This first mover is understood to be God, who set the world in motion when he created it. This mirrors Aristotle’s ideas about planetary motion, and Aquinas believed God continues to keep the world functioning and moving.
Furthermore, Aquinas’ second way also represents the cosmological argument as the way of causation. When you look at everything around you in the universe, we can understand that it had a cause for it to be there because you can’t have effect without the cause/efficient cause. Nothing appears to be the cause of itself. Aquinas believed there could not be an infinite regress of cause and effect, so the original being must have been an uncaused cause which is God. The logic of what we already know has been applied...

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