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The Cosmological Arguments Semester 1

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Western University
Philosophy 1022E
Cathy Thorpe

The Cosmological Arguments Cosmological arguments are based on the world itself, you cannot come up with these in your armchair. `Cosmological' means having to do with the study of the world or universe Greek kosmos Whereas Anslem was conceptual these are based in the physical Thomas Aquinas 1225- Dominican Monk Our text is just a summary of the arguments. September-19-13 7:30 AM 1. The First Way: Change Whatever is moved is moved by another This cannot go to infinity Therefore, there is a first mover •This argument suggests that all things were started by a singular first "push" Problem with the First Way (The scholastic idea of 'motion': change) Why not an infinite regress? •The world is not infinitely old •We might not think the world goes back to infinity but in theory, why not? 1. The Second Way: Causation Things have efficient causes Nothing can be the cause of itself The chain of causes cannot go back to infinity Therefore, there is a first cause •Very similar to the first argument •However he attempts to prove that it cannot go back to infinity Problem with the Second Way The first two first in his argument simply mean 'earlier' The second two mean 'unpreceded' Because he slides the first, the argument is fallacious. A better argument There might be a better argument for the conclusion that the world is not infinitely old: The impossibility of actual infinites. 1. The Third Way: Necessity If everything that exists exists contingently, there will have been a time at which nothing existed If that were so nothing could have come to exist, and nothing would exist now But things exist now Therefore some thing(s) must exist not contingently but necessarily • The first premise relies on what is known as the principle of plenitude: Given infinite time, anything that is possible is at some time actual Problems with the Third Way First premise presupposes an infinite past for the universe (Is this a defect or a strength, is he
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