Brandeis University, Philosophy Department
PHIL 1A
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Cosmological
Argument

Professor Andreas Teuber
Prof. Teuber


Four of Aquinas' Five Ways and Samuel Clarke's Version:

1. The Argument from Motion.

2. The Argument from Causality.

3. The Argument from Contingency.

4. The Argument from Degrees.

5. Samuel Clarke's Version of the Argument.

1. The Argument from Motion

(1) Objects are in motion.

(2) If something is in motion, then it must be caused to be in motion by something outside itself.

(3) There can be no infinite chain of objects in motion (of movers and movees).

(4) Therefore, there must be a first unmoved mover.

So, G-D exists.

2. The Argument from Causality

(1) Some events cause other events.

(2) If an event happens, then it must have been caused by something outside itself.

(3) There can be no infinite chain of causes and effects.

(4) Therefore, there must be a first, uncaused cause.

So, G-D exists.

3. The Argument from Contingency

(1) Contingent things exist.

(2) Every contigent thing has a time at which it fails to exist.

(3) If everything were contigent, there would be a time at which nothing exists, an "empty" time.

(4) Such an empty time would have been in the past.

(5) If the world were empty at some time, it would be empty forever after that.

(6) Therefore, if everything were contigent, nothing would exist now.

(7) But things exist now.

(8) Therefore, there must be a non-contigent being.

So, G-D exists.

4. The Argument from Degrees

(1) Objects have properties to greater or lesser extents.

(2) If an object has a property to a lesser extent, then there exists some other object that has the property to the maximum possible degree.

(3) There is an entity that has all the properties to the maximum possible degree.

So, G-D exists.

Samuel Clarke's Version of the Cosmological Argument

(1) Every being that exists or ever did exist is either a dependent being or a self-existent being.

(2) Not every being can be a dependent being.

(3) Therefore, there must exist a self-existent being.

So, G-D exists.

 

 


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