Explain Key Criticisms of the Cosmological Argument. (30 Marks)

537 Words3 Pages
Explain key criticisms of the Cosmological argument. (30 marks) The are many criticisms of St. Thomas Aquinas’ cosmological argument, many that arose after his death so naturally there are more of them than the strengths. Aquinas spoke of three ways in his argument. The first is from motion, the second through cause and the third from contingency. One key criticism of these arguments is the they all commit to Bertrand Russell’s fallacy of composition- Aquinas said that everything he could see was moved by something else (first way, caused by something (second way) and relied on something else for its existence (third way) so this must mean it is true for the universe as well. This is the same principle that if every brick in a house weighs a pound then the whole house must weigh a pound and as you can see this is an absurd observation, however one can argue that is every part of pure silver is silver then the whole thing must be silver which makes more sense. This can be looked at in both ways. Also Aquinas faces David Hume’s concept of induction. Aquinas generalizes everything in the universe based on the small amount of things he has actually seen or experienced. These generalizations should not be made without strong evidence. It can also be argued that not taking your surroundings into account whilst considering the universe is a huge error of over simplification, which makes the argument of induction seem week. David Hume however had a very strong empiricist view on the universe and can say that the assumptions based on what’s around us can only be applied to the present and do not provide any information on the past or future of the universe. Bertrand Russell also put forth the argument that the universe is a brute fact and it created itself. He believes that there is no more reason to explain this that there is to explain that God is the prime mover
Open Document