Talk:Argument from first cause

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This religion related article has been awarded BRONZE status for quality. It's getting there, but could be better with improvement. See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.


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Problem with the Criticism of the Argument from Necessity (4.8)[edit]

This section reads like the author is purposely being obtuse about understanding Necessity in this case. Clearly the "need" for a car referenced is not the same thing in the Cosmological argument. The necessity in the argument is saying if they are where they needed to get to then a way for them to get there must have existed. Since the section is clearly wrong, I recommend removing it from the page. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Error in 'Prohibition of infinite regress'[edit]

Infinite regress can occur in finite time; therefore a finite universe does not make the assumption valid without at least one other assumption being made in support. I'd just yank that whole bit out, but there are some nice references it would be a shame to lose. Queexchthonic murmurings 15:25, 30 May 2020 (UTC)

I've made the change as it bothered me. Queexchthonic murmurings 17:25, 23 June 2020 (UTC)

Russian translation of page is much more thoroughly developed[edit]

If anyone has the time and tools, you could real over the Russian ratwiki's version of this article. It's much better developed (at 120k bytes compared to english version's 10k) and is way more detailed than what the english version provides. I recommend that we take a look at what that page can provide and then move it over to the english version.

I've put together a basic outline which we could go by, though it's of course up for changes:

  • 1 Argument structure
  • 1.1 Other forms
  • 1.2 Assumptions
  • 2 Problems
  • 2.1 Special pleading
  • 2.2 Proving causality
  • 2.2.1 For the universe itself
  • 2.2.2 Within the universe
  • 2.2.3 Fallacy of composition
  • 2.2.4 Effect without cause
  • 2.3 Other causation models
  • 2.3.1 Self-causation
  • 2.3.2 Multiple causes
  • 2.4 The cause doesn't have to be God-like
  • 2.4.1 Argument from probability
  • 2.4.2 A rational God can't be timeless
  • 2.5 Equivocation error
  • 3 What about an infinitely long past?

Scuter (talk) 18:46, 22 January 2021 (UTC)

Who caused God is a silly objection[edit]

Out of all the possible objections which are actually valid, this one is pretty silly. Asking this question hand waves the problem of the infinite regress. It's like asking who came before the person who won the marathon. Spinoza rephrased this in better manner. Using this line of reasoning to end the regress, one would have to arrive at an impersonal cause which he called "substance” with an infinite number of attributes. Herr Doktor Enter into the rabbit hole 11:56, 27 June 2022 (UTC)

This is in fact one of the very few arguments from theists I can respect. Does the very idea that everything needs a cause also need a cause? Who created the fact that everything needs a cause? I'm an atheist, but other than God I don't have any answer for this question. GeeJayK (talk) 12:34, 27 June 2022 (UTC)
I'm a theist and I think that the kalam cosmological argument misses the point. It tries to demonstrate the impossibility of an infinite regress by referring to an accidentally ordered series(such a series can extend to infinity).I should elaborate on the who caused God objection. It came from Russell who got it from John Stuart Mill. Mill asked his father who created the creator without a reference to this argument. He reasoned if God doesn't need to be created then the universe doesn't need to be created. Russell misapplied this objection to this argument. It wasn't changed from everything has to everything that begins to exist but vice versa.Herr Doktor Enter into the rabbit hole 19:37, 27 June 2022 (UTC)

Dan Barker's argument is poor[edit]

The saying that nothing comes from nothing refers to physical objects. God, in for example the Kalam argument, is argued to be first in order of causation before the universe and therefore must be non-physical. In fact, this cause is argued to also be personal, a mind or consciousness that can transcend the universe. Now, one can argue if that is an incoherent idea, but his objection seems to sidestep that issue.-- (talk) 17:24, 18 February 2023 (UTC)


If I recall correctly, Aquinas does give, somewhere, arguments to the effect that the first cause necessarily has various features characteristic of God (omnipotence, omniscience, goodness, unity, simplicity, etc), following an approach that goes back to Aristotle, which would make it a bit of a misrepresentation to treat him as merely assuming that the first cause is God. (He does also believe in revelations, and takes it that other features of God can be known only through faith, but the range of attributes he thinks he can derive for the first cause make it look pretty godlike already.) 𝒮𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝑒 talk 22:51, 16 November 2023 (UTC)