Saturday, April 13, 2013

Outline of cosmological arguments

I.  Cosmological Arguments
1.Defined:  cosmological arguments typically reason that that the universe, or the chain of causes and effects in the world, or the objects that we see existing around us  require a first cause or a supernatural cause to account for their existence.
Something could not have come from nothing.
Everything has to have a cause.
The chain of events or causes cannot go back infinitely in history—there must be a starting point.
2.  Some Terms.  A number of basic concepts and tools are explained on a handout:Some Logical Basics linked towards the bottom of our syllabus.
Necessary beings
Contingent beings
Principle of Sufficient Reason
A priori truths
A posteriori truths
2.Aquinas:  Dominican monk  (1225-1274).  One of the greatest theologians in history.  He argues that essential claims like God exists can be known and demonstrated through the use of reason.  He gives 5 ways.  In your text.
Notes in WebCT Cosmological Arguments folder
3.  The Second Way
a.  efficient cause.
b.  problems:
i. circular?
ii.  not everything has a distinct cause
iii.  if everything must have a cause, then the first cause appears to violate the rule
iv.  no divine attributes
v.  A series cannot be infinite, but God can?
4.  The Third Way
a.  necessary and contingent beings
b.  problems:  Fallacy of Composition
c.  No Divine attributes
d.  Not all things are contingent is not equiv. to A single nec. being, God, exists.
5.  Samuel Clarke's Cosmological argument Anglican minister, 1675-1729.
6.  Problems—see notes in WebCT
7.  What is the domain of the PSR?
a.  Five Eskimos Problem
7.  William Lane Craig:  The Kalaam Cosmological Argument

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