Talk:Cosmological argument

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And they avoid the "Who created God" by...?DocSock 20:06, 4 June 2007 (CDT)

As I understand it, people using this argument define God to be "the first cause" or "the un-caused cause", then just handwave and blow smoke if you point out that they're using at least two definitions for one word and intentionally being confusing about which is being used when. Much like all the other arguments for the existence of God, really -- "prove" the existence of something, call that something "God", then just jump to "and that, my liege, is how we know you have to accept Jesus as your personal savior in order that the world be banana-shaped". Or something like that, it's been a while since my philosophy courses. --jtltalk 20:19, 4 June 2007 (CDT)
My puppeter was planing to bring up exactly those points but his mother forced him off the computer. He is planing to finish that article in the future but his mind has wanderd and he wont be getting to it right now. Sock Puppet 20:36, 4 June 2007 (CDT)

Trying to get my brain around this.[edit]

I've had a few beers - so my brain may not be working the way that it should, but I've got some problems with this one. What exactly does "contingent" mean in point one? A google search gives me: but it doesn't help me a lot. I've got a second problem with points two and three. What is the difference between them? And why should they be related to point one? Could someone who feels they understand this logic put it in such a way that its comprehensible to an idiot like me? But if it is simply saying "If everything is caused by something else, then something must have come first." then the argument seems to contradict itself.--Bob_M (talk) 11:24, 28 August 2007 (CDT)

I think you've got it about right. It is a sort of "mobius strip" of reasoning. The extrapolation brings one (supposedly) back to First Cause (God). Usually the argument is waylaid into philosophy, at this point, to talk about God instead of getting into the "who created God" conundrum.
I guess a materialist (Sagan, perhaps?) would imply that if there is a god then it is the self-same universe we find ourselves living in, which according to most religions is where we ought to be living anyways. CЯacke® 11:46, 28 August 2007 (CDT)
Isn't this another example of a creationist "begging the question/assuming the answer?" You assume that the universe is contingent/designed/intelligently designed/insert adjective here, therefore it must be contingent/deisned/intelligently designed/etc. Sterileblah, blah, blah 14:25, 28 August 2007 (CDT)
Well, thanks for the responses. :-) But I still don't understand what "contingent" means in point one. And I still don't understand the difference between points two and three. Any offers?--Bob_M (talk) 14:30, 28 August 2007 (CDT)
Firstly: 13th century, gentlemen! This is from the 13th century, so please try to understand the argument in its proper context, rather than a 20th century one. I know it's fun to poke fun at creationists and all, but in all fairness, it was pretty difficult to be anything else at the time.
Secondly, I'd really suggest reading what the man himself actually had to say about it - he's much less obscure than Theopedia, plus you get his other four arguments free in the bargain! --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 17:25, 28 August 2007 (CDT) EDIT: Here's a pretty good run-down of the essentials.
I've heard of this guy many times but never bothered to read him (under the impression that he was just a primitive Godbotherer). He was so effing good - he prenewtons Newton. If he'd been born fifty years ago he'd be outhawking Hawking & out dawwkinsing Dawkins. Thanks AKJ.
Well - all I can say is that the lurkers agree with him in p-mail. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 18:52, 29 August 2007 (CDT)

I'm not trying to poke fun at anyone. I'm simply trying to understand the thing. The first point says: 1.What we observe in this universe is contingent (i.e. dependent, or conditional) and I was wondering what "contingent" meant in this context. I followed your link AKjeldsen and it took me - after another click - to the WP definition which is: In philosophy and logic, contingency is the status of facts that are not logically necessarily true or false.- and another paragraph along the same lines. . Now it may be that I'm simply a bit dense - but if we're going to have this shouldn't it be written in a way that the average Joe should at lest have some chance of figuring what the issue is?--Bob_M (talk) 13:46, 30 August 2007 (CDT)

Just trying to head off the inevitable. ;-)
Anyway, it is pretty complex and philosophy is not my strong side, but basically: In this case, that something is contingent means that it is possible for that thing either to exist or to not exist. In other words, that the universe is contingent means that it exists now, but if circumstances had been different, it might not have existed. The opposing property is necessity, which means something that must exist under all circumstances.
Now, Thomas' argument is essentially that if something is contingent, there must have been one time at which it did in fact not exist, because otherwise, it would effectively exist by necessity. Further, if we assume that all things in the universe are contingent, and that these things are "caused" by other things (i.e. that they do not appear out of nothing), then there must have been some point at which nothing existed at all. But this leads to the problem that if everything is contingent, then nothing would exist even now, because something does not ever appear out of nothing. Thus, we have to assume that there is an entity which exists by necessity, and which in turn is the cause of all the contingent material, and Thomas of course identifies this entity as God. So it's sort of a variation on the prime mover argument, but with some important differences. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 14:21, 30 August 2007 (CDT)


It does not solve the problem: if the universe was made by god because nothing can exist then something must have made god. If something were to make god then he would not be god any more.

I don't pretend to be a philosopher but the above maketh no sense. Should there be "without a cause" or some such after "exist"? SJGsjg 10:00, 21 September 2007 (EDT)

Time and other dimensions[edit]

What if time is circular ? Cause and effect would then feedback on each other. Or spherical (giving another dimension). Or chicken shaped... Streona 17:42, 19 February 2008 (EST)

for comment?[edit]

"It is non-specific: Even if the universe was devised by some creative force, there is no evidence that this creative force was a religious god. There are an infinite number of causes other than a human-inspired god that could have caused the creation of the universe. The creator of the universe need not even be supernatural, or sentient or intelligent to satisfy this argument of "first cause"."

Above, quoted from the wiki leading to Thomistic reference is fallacy. It introduces an outside, unrelated (if common) misconception as part of the argument. Whether or not the universe was "devised (ie created) by some creative force" has nothing to do with "religious god". The latter ("religious god") being a bunch of attributes made up and/or marketted by humans/church-businesses from their own desires. The following sentences build on that fallacy, and have no relevance to the initial proposition (What is God IS *the* creative force. This is effectively setting up a strawman and then hitting at the strawman as "supporting claims". eg to illustrate; Under the theory that what is truly "God" is the Creative Force, would be not require to be supernatural... in fact such a Creative Force would possibly be very natural, and possibly be the definer (creator) of what we experience as natural forces.

Also the link to this page: God as a sensation (even the delusion of a sensation) only truly proves a "my God". However logically a "my God" counts as, at least one God (true). Leaving only the nature of such a "God" to be questionable (and unproofable)

Gödel's second[edit]


It tries to achieve the impossible: According to Gödel's second incompleteness theorem an axiomatic system cannot be proven by its own axioms. Yet this is what this argument longs to achieve. It tries to prove God by its definition which has been proven to be impossible by Gödel. The ontological argument suffers from the same problem.

I'm taking this out; it's a pretty bad misunderstanding of what Gödel's result actually says, and simply doesn't make sense. We're rightfully making fun of creationists trying to invoke the laws of thermodynamics to argue against evolution, so let's not make similar mistakes. AbelianGrape (talk) 10:26, 18 October 2011 (UTC)