There have been various arguments in philosophy that deal with the existence of God. Cosmological Argument is one of those arguments that discusses about God’s existence on the basis of some proofs that verify the existence of God. The Cosmological Argument gives an explanation about the existence of God, and is built around that explanation and experience as opposed to the Ontological Argument that is based on an a priori argument which states that when one believes on the notion of God, he will start believing on His existence independent of the experience.
The Cosmological Argument has got its basis from St. Thomas Aquinas, who in his book “Summa Theologica” has proved the existence of God in five ways. However, it is the first three proofs that are Cosmological and explain about the existence of God. These three Cosmological proofs are: a) the theory of First Mover, b) the theory of First Efficient Cause, and c) the theory of First Existence. The Cosmological Argument is also presented by another philosopher Samuel Clarke who takes a slightly different route from Aquinas to prove the existence of God. Clarke has based his argument on the existence of dependent and independent being, proving that the infinite chain of dependent being has to start from an independent being. This paper will give a brief explanation on the Cosmological Arguments and analyse the argument to provide a standing on the Cosmological Argument.
Cosmological Argument: St. Thomas Aquinas
St. Thomas Aquinas has given a posteriori argument on the existence of God and provides five reasons that prove His existence. His argument to prove the existence of God is based on explanation and experience. The first three arguments given by Aquinas are the Cosmological arguments and have been discussed here. The first argument, i.e. the First Mover, is based on motion and states that for something to be moved it should be moved by someone, and the mover can be moved the same time for the mover itself to be moved, he has to be moved by someone else. He gives logic for this argument telling that a potentiality and actuality can’t co-exist, and for potentiality to come to actuality, it has to be brought by some existing actuality. Like a fire is actually hot, and the wood is potentially hot. Thus, the fire that is actuality brings the wood from potentially hot to actually hot. Similarly, for the moved there has to be a mover, and if the movers in turn are itself moved then it goes to infinity. So, there has to be a prime mover, and that prime mover is God.
The second argument by Aquinas is the First Efficient Cause which states that for everything there has to be an efficient cause and nothing can be an efficient cause for itself as that thing would have to exist before itself which would not be possible. So, each cause is an intermediate cause that has been caused by some other cause. However, this efficient cause cannot go until infinity. Hence, there has to be the first efficient cause that started the intermediary causes, and that first efficient cause is called as God.
The third argument given by Aquinas is theory of First Existence. In this argument, Aquinas states that there is a possibility that certain things exist and certain things don’t exist. There must have also been a time when nothing existed; however, it is not possible that from nothing existing, something existed on its own. For everything that is existing, there is a cause, and for that cause to exist there is some other necessary cause. However, it cannot go to infinity, and there has to be the first thing that does not need a cause for existence, and this is named as God.