Key Criticisms to the Cosmological Argument

805 Words4 Pages
Explain key criticisms of the Cosmological Argument Although with each of his ‘ways’ in the Cosmological argument Thomas Aquinas gave what he believed to be evidence to back his points up, the argument was still open to criticism and did receive it. One of the first criticisms of the argument was around the ideology of infinite regress. Aquinas believed that the idea of infinite regress was not possible – the cause and effect chain had to have a beginning, which would have been caused by God (the first cause.) William Lane Craig (1949-) agreed with this idea, stating that infinite regress cannot exist in actuality. For example, if a library was to house an infinite number of books and a book was taken off the shelf, or the library was completely emptied, it would still have to contain an infinite number of books, which therefore shows that infinite regress cannot exist within our living universe. Linking to the idea of a chain of cause and effect, a criticism is put forward by David Hume (1711-1776). His studies led him to believe that humans seem to think they know more about the “external world” than they actually do. He believes that we can only understand things we can experience, and therefore it is impossible for us to understand a form of God, who would have to exist outside of time and space. He thinks that Aquinas had made an error in linking cause and effect – as have any other humans that have done the same. Cause and effect are two completely different things, linked incorrectly in the mind by induction. Hume argues that because of this error, there is no cause and effect chain and therefore, no first cause. He argues that we have no direct experience of the creation of the universe and so we cannot speak meaningfully about it. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) agrees with the idea that we cannot try to comprehend something outside of our reach – we can
Open Document