The Cosmological Argument

archiebw's version from 2016-05-18 20:47


Question Answer
What are Aquinas' arguments for the existence of God collectively called?The Five Ways.
What is Aquinas's First Way?Consult document.
What did most scientists think up until the middle of the twentieth century?The universe was ageless.
As what can the first two ways be respectively labelled?The argument for an unmoved mover, and argument for an uncaused causer.
A chain of events that goes backwards for ever is an infinite...Regression.
Aquinas said that to explain why there is any change of events at all, one needs not a potential cause but...?An actual cause that is 'pure act'.
Why should we beware the domino example?It allows the possibility that God does not exist any longer.
With which two points is Aquinas concerned?Why there is any motion or causation, and why there continues to be so.


Question Answer
Who analogises Aquinas's objective, and what are his analogies?F.C. Copleston, and winding up one's watch at night and writing on a piece of paper.
What does the Big Bang theory fail to explain?Why there continues to be a universe.
When did the universe begin?Around 15 billion years ago.
What could someone ask about an infinite regression?Why?
What could a person supporting an infinite regression ask about God?Who caused Him?
What might one say the initial unmoved mover was with today's knowledge?Gravity.
Which Latin phrase means 'nothing comes from nothing'?'Nihil fit ex nihilo'


Question Answer
Through what analogy can we understand Hume's criticism of Aquinas's First and Second Ways?The analogy of the bus.
How does Hume explain our belief in cause and effect? Use a key phrase.We expect experiences to conform to past experiences, and so mistakenly see 'uniformity in nature.'
Of what fallacy does David Hume accuse Aquinas in his argument of an ultimate cause, and what does this mean?The fallacy of composition, and assuming that something is true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole.
To Hume, what could be the cause of the universe, and with which theory does this fit?The universe itself, and the Big Bang Theory.
Who argues against Hume, what is her analogy, and about what does she say this tells us nothing?Elizabeth Anscombe, one involving a magician using magic to pull a rabbit out of a hat, and what can be supposed without "without contradiction or absurdity"


Question Answer
What is an important binary to remember here, and what is an example of the latter?Reality and speculation, and teleportation.
How could God be understood as a sustaining cause of the universe in line with Aquinas's argument?If causation implies keeping something going once it has begun.
What could one argue in favour of the apparent contradiction in Aquinas's Ways?There needs to be an exception to the general rule otherwise the universe wouldn't exist.
What does Bertrand Russell say about finding the reason for the universe?It requires no explanation but just is.
How can one make the idea of an infinite regression and God compatible, and who does this?By using an analogy of a train with an infinite number of carriages but only makes sense with the existence of a railway engine, and J.L. Mackie.


Question Answer
In line with Way 3, as to what does F.C. Copleston refer God?An 'ontologically necessary being."
Why does Kant reject Way 3, and why could this said to be unfair?It is analytic, and it is an 'a posteriori' argument.
What does J.L. Mackie say one could equally argue in addition to Way 3, and in which text?That there is "a permanent stock of matter whose essence did not involve existence from anything else", and 'The Miracle of Theism'
For what does J.L. Mackie say Aquinas does not give a reason, despite acknowledging Way 3 seems convincing?That God has to be the necessary being.
Why should this not be taken as an argument for a Christian God?Aquinas never intended it to be, and spends other parts in 'Summa Theologica' trying to demonstrate this, instead.
What does Bertrand Russell say the universe is?Brute fact.


Question Answer
Russell says: how can you dispute the existence of God...?Analytically.
What is Copleston's point referencing an infinite series? (QUOTE)"An infinite series of contingent beings will be [...] as unable to cause itself as one contingent being."
What is Copleston's response to Russell's 'mother' analogy? "If I were saying 'every object has a phenomenal cause, therefore, the whole series has a phenomenal cause,' there would be a parity; but I'm [...] saying, every object has a phenomenal cause [...] but the series of phenomenal causes is an insufficient explanation of the series. Therefore, the series has [...] a transcendent cause."


Question Answer
What is the principle of sufficient reason?The principle that at the heart of explaining the truth of an assertion requires explaining why it is like that and not different.
Who came up with the principle of sufficient reason?G.W. Leibniz.

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