The Cosmological Argument

  1. Who came up with the allegory of the cave?
  2. What is an a priori argument?
    Attempts to establish a conclusion absolutely. Deductive argument
  3. What is an a posteriori argument?
    Aims to make a conclusion probable. Inductive argument
  4. What are the advantages to an a posteriori argument?
    • Premises are based on experience
    • Conclusion is probable - easier to convince people
  5. What are the disadvantages of an a posteriori argument?
    • Human experience is fallible
    • If we don't agree on a premise then the argument fails
    • The conclusion is only probable
  6. What is the Kalam argument?
    Everything that has a beginning has a cause. Since the universe has a beginning it must have a cause outside the universe
  7. What is the 'chain of causes' argument?
    Every event is caused by some previous event, creating a chain of causes. This chain of causes must have a First Cause, which it itself is not caused
  8. What is the argument for contingency?
    Events in the universe are contingent (they need not have occurred) so must be in a chain of events caused to occur. This chain must have its origins in a necessary being/event
  9. What is the principle of sufficient reasoning?
    Nothing is the way it is without sufficient reason for being so(Gottfried Leibniz)
  10. What does infinite regress mean?
    Goes back forever
  11. Did Plato believe that God was in esse or in fieri?
    In fieri
  12. Did Aristotle believe that the Prime Mover was in esse or in fieri?
    • In esse
    • Believed the universe had existed for an infinite amount of time
  13. What was Aquinas' First Way?
    • Based on movement (change)
    • Nothing can move itself
    • Everything requires something to move it
    • Causes don't go back infinity so there must be a Prime Mover
  14. What is Aquinas' second way?
    • Everything has a cause
    • Nothing is its own cause
    • You cannot have an infinite no. of causes
    • Therefore there must be an uncaused causer
  15. What is Aquinas' third way?
    • Nothing lasts forever
    • Therefore it is possible the universe has not lasted forever
    • Nothing can be made from nothing
    • Therefore there must be something eternal - God
  16. What are Hume's criticisms to Aquinas' argument?
    • No reason to believe everything has a cause - could be infinite regress
    • Human experience is limited and subjective
    • The fallacy of composition
    • If God can be his own cause then why can't the universe?
    • Even God existed it would not prove he is omnibenevolent etc
  17. What is the difference between the Kalam argument and Aquinas' Three Ways?
    • Kalam argument suggests that the universe is finite and therefore there must be a God
    • Three Ways suggests the universe is not infinite because there is a God
  18. What does the infinite hotel show?
    If there are an infinite amount of guests and another guest turns up then it wasn't infinity in the first place
Card Set
The Cosmological Argument
Flash cards for the cosmological argument