Philosophy the Cosmological Disagreement Can Take Many Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :


The cosmological disagreement can take many forms, but it works with the basis since the cosmos (universe) exists, there must be a God. How can the information that the universe exist point to any other conclusion than that the universe exists? The first argues that God must exist because He is "The Temporal First Cause" of the universe. The second argues that God must exist because He is "The Ontological First Cause" of the universe.

Wainwright states:

It is by no means clear that the logical relations between sense experiences and physical objects are significantly different from the logical relations between mystical or numinous experiences and an object like God. It is thus not clear that some sort of special justification is needed in the one case, which is not needed in the other. If a special justification is not needed in the case of sense experience, and it does not seem to be, then it is not needed in the case of mystical experience."

God - The Temporal First Cause

This argument is also called the cosmological argument. Here is a basic formulation of the argument:

1. Everything that has a beginning has a cause.

2. The universe has a beginning.

3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

The first principle seems indisputably true. All things that begin have incredible that caused it to begin. In other words, things do not just pop into continuation without a cause. This works out rather nicely for the theist, since God at least prior to creation is timeless at least in relation to our time. Therefore the universe must have a cause, but God does not.

Wainwright argues:

The nature of an object should (at least partly) determine the tests for its presence. Given the nature of physical objects it is reasonable to suppose that genuine experiences of those objects can be confirmed by employing appropriate procedures and obtaining similar experiences, and that non-genuine experiences can be disconfirmed by employing the same procedures and obtaining different experiences. God's nature, on the other hand, is radically different from the nature of physical objects. It is therefore not clearly reasonable to suppose that (apparent) experiences of God can be confirmed or disconfirmed in the same fashion."

The second premise - the universe had a beginning - is a bit more notorious. Ultimately there are good scientific and philosophical grounds to suppose the universe had a beginning. Ever since the findings of the Hubble telescope, science has been forced (sometimes under great protestation) to confess that the universe has a beginning. This is what the Big Bang Theory support. The universe had a beginning; therefore the age of universe can be uttered by a finite measure of time. Now there are rival theories against the Big Bang Theory. Some presume that the universe works on an Oscillating Universe Model. Under this theory the universe eternally exists contracting and expanding. Our "Big Bang" is just part of the universe's cycle of contracting and expanding. Stephen Hawking is a famed advocate of this system. However, his equations only can work with imaginary numbers in place for convinced time variables. While having imaginary time is mathematically possible, it is extremely absurd and unimaginable in real life. Another criticism includes this model's incapability to predict the future behavior of the universe.

In addition to the support of science, there are good philosophical basis to suppose the universe had a beginning. If the universe has an infinite regress into the past (which is required if one denies the universe has a beginning), then this inflates several philosophical problems. First, there is the problem with actual infinites and potential infinites. If the universe is in fact infinite in its past, then we would never reach the present. It would require an infinite amount of time to pass in order to reach our current moment. However, this is impossible because no matter how much time passes, it would always be a finite amount of time. Proposition the past time of universe is like an actual infinite is philosophically untenable.

In a second line of philosophical protection (with the help of one scientific principle) a universe with an infinite past seems strange given the second law of thermodynamics. The second law states that all energy, given enough time, will attain a state of equilibrium. Unless the universe is given more energy, it will fall into a "hot death" state. Without energy, there is no change or movement in the natural universe. The universe would exist but nothing could occur. How does this relate to an infinitely regressing universe? If the past is infinitely long in time, then enough time has passed for the universe to achieve a full state of equilibrium and therefore we should be in a "hot death." However, as we can see, the universe is not at an equilibrium state, therefore, not enough time has passed for us to reach equilibrium and "hot death." Furthermore, this involve that the universe had to be injected with energy from its beginning, which does not seem to have a solution in purely natural terms.

Therefore, from the logic of the argument it follows that God must exist because the universe had a beginning, and all things that have a beginning have a cause. God fits the bill as the only body capable of causing the universe that is full of energy. Likewise, one cannot ask, "What caused God?" because God did not have a beginning, and therefore, He does not require a cause.

God - The Ontological First Cause

Rowe has developed this argument:

1.God exists in the understanding.

2.God might have existed in reality (God is a possible being).

3.If something exists only in the understanding and might have existed in reality, then it might have been greater than it is.

4. Suppose God exists only in the understanding.

5. Then (by 2, 4, and 3) God might have been greater than he is.

6.Therefore (by 5), God is a being than which a greater is possible.

7.By 6 and the meaning of 'God', the being than which none greater is possible is a being than which a greater is possible. But this is absurd.

8.Therefore, by 4 and 7, it is false that God exists only in the understanding.

9.Therefore, by 1 and 8, God exists in reality as well as in the understanding.

Not everybody is ready or able to do astrophysics. Likewise, some find such arguments questionable. Personally, I find such arguments to be compelling, but even before modern astrophysics; people have disagree the cosmological argument for the existence of God.

Why is there a universe in the first place? In other words, why is there incredible instead of nothing? If there was nothing, then they would require no explanation, but there is in fact something, so there needs to be some explanation. Here are a few unlike formulations of the cosmological argument that do not unavoidably assume God to be temporally prior to the universe:

1.Some contingent creatures exist.

2.All contingent creatures depend upon something for their existence.

3.Therefore there must exist some creature, which is not contingent.

4.God is the only possible non-contingent being.

A dependent being is simply one that depends upon another being for its survival. I am contingent because I relied upon my parents to come into existence. Furthermore, a contingent being could or could not perhaps exist. On the contrary, a non-contingent being does not depend upon anything for its continuation, nor could such a being possibly not exist. All matter in the universe is contingent. Even if the universe is infinite, it needs some non-contingent foundation. The only potential non-contingent thing would be something outside of the universe, and such a suitable candidate would best be described as God. Here is another similar argument:

1.Something exists.

2.This something cannot sufficiently be the cause of its own existence.

3.Either this something came from nothing or from something else.

4.Something cannot come from nothing, so it must have come from something else.

5.That which brought about our something, must exist in such a way that it is sufficient for its own existence.

6.Therefore, such a being must exist, and this being is what we call God.

The fact that something exists points to the realism of another kind of being to bring about our existence. If nothing existed, then there would be no superior reason to suppose their is a God, however, since something does exist (and it cannot exist just on its own) there must be a God that can account for the universe.

Some people argue: We do not need a Necessary Being. There could be an endless chain of things commonly keeping each other in organism. An endless chain of possible beings does not ground the survival of anything. In this case, every member of the chain would concurrently be in a state of potentiality with regard to its own being, and yet be the cause of another. But whatever…

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