The Cosmological Arguments
Cosmological arguments are based on the world itself, you cannot come up with these in your
`Cosmological' means having to do with the study of the world or universe
Whereas Anslem was conceptual these are based in the physical
Our text is just a summary of the arguments.
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