The controversial theme of the existence of God has been a prevailing subject throughout the history of philosophy. Pre-Socratic philosophers tried to directly and sometimes indirectly prove and explain the existence of God. The problem of determining the existence of God has not merely been a challenge to aristocrats, philosophers and scientists. It has also been the oldest challenge of theology. There has to be an existing supernatural being that has been a controlling force behind the series of events in the universe as this paper shall analyze using standard cosmological arguments on the existence of God.
Hence, based on the position the paper has taken, it can only be logical to assert that everything that exists has a cause and nothing brought itself into existence.
The concept of the existence of God
Craig (2006) indicates that one of the major issues that societies have been grappling with for many centuries is the puzzle surrounding the existence of God. Multiple layers of questions seeking meaning and answers have expressed the magnitude of concern that theologists, philosophers and scientists have had at variety of levels. Some of the key questions which they have sought answers to include why things exist the way they do, where they come from and whether their existence have any context or meaning to overall reality.
These questions have even taken a broader level to questions on reality such as the actual cause of the series of events being experienced and observed today. It is imperative to mention that cosmological arguments bear one key idea that everything in the universe did not just appear out of nothing, rather they came from a certain source. As such it is clear from the perspective given by this approach that nothing sprung from nothing, thus fairly justifying the existence of God.
As a matter of fact, this argument maintains that God must have been instrumental towards the origin of the universe.
Cosmological arguments on the existence of God is one among many strongly stated cases that seeks to provide evidence on the reality of God. The argument claims that the reality of events in the world as well as the very existence of the universe strongly points to and offers sufficient explanation that everything was created by God. Even so, certain philosophers have sharply countered the argument by citing inconsistencies and falsehoods by indicating that since everything exist because of a reason, then the very existence of God must have been caused by another entity.
Traditional form of cosmological argument
The argument presented by the cosmological perspective on the existence of God is based on the premise of an uncaused cause which explains the existence of a supreme and unconditioned being.
According to Craig (2006), this argument has been known to be a causal argument based on contingency and three variants namely infieri, in esse and in causa. As noted earlier in the discussion, Ancient Greek Platos, Aristotle as well as theologians and philosophers have in the past years used the premise of first cause found in the cosmological case to prove that God is the beginning of the existence of everything.
Cosmological arguments like all other arguments have their diverse forms some of which include the first cause argument and the modal contingency argument.
It is possible to derive from the argument posed by Aquinas the notion that the universe must have had no beginning based on universal causation. In nature, Aquinas demonstrates that certain things could have had contingent existence.
This means that it was possible for the universe not to exist and as such did not exist before. In fact, the argument can be best explained by indicating that there was a time when nothing existed. Hence, it is possible that there was nothing that could have brought something into existence.
The sophisticated nature of the position given by Aquinas on contingency presents a problem which proves that contingent being cannot express or even provide reasons for the very presence of contingent beings. Gottfried Leibniz posited that there can never be a true proposition or existence that is without a sufficient cause. This provides succinct evidence that supports the cosmological argument on the existence of God. While contingent things many or may not exist, necessary things must exist first for others to live and become reality. The current universe has also been expounded using the big bang theory which asserts that there must have been latent forces that led to the emergence of the universe. Using cosmological arguments, it was necessary for God to exist since every other creature was contingent and depended on a supernatural being to exist.
In my view, without the necessary existence of God, nothing else could have existed.
Plato’s cosmological argument
The book Laws published by Plato (428 BC-347 BCE) introduces a new aspect of cosmological argument by examining motions in the universe. One very strong point that Plato brings out to explain the evidence of God is that everything that exists (matter) requires the presence of a superior being to get into motion. The cosmic level interpretation of his argument points out to a universe that exist, but which requires certain power. In other words, the movement of the universe explains the existence of a cause. Since motion is time-based, there has to be a cause.
All series of events have a cause and can therefore not be infinite. In agreement with Aristotle and Plato, the motions of the universe must have had an eternal causer which points to God. In addition, there are various natural forces of nature that tend to dictate the natural occurrence of events which can all be attributed to the presence of a supernatural being called God.
it is worth considering the importance of moral realism when discussing the existence of God. The presence of morality provides evidence of the reality of God.
This is so true in the essence that the basis for ethics is founded on the existence of God without which human being would have been wallowing in the sea of moral relativism. Much of the support and moral realism by Christians is attributed to the fact that they believe in God. Hence, cosmological arguments are worth considering at this point of discussion since the existence of God has been brought out well.
While it may be true that the very existence of God is self-explanatory, there can be no event without a cause, one would be left in the dark on the self explanatory nature of the existence of God. The uncaused state of the universe as scientists explain differ in bits with the cosmological arguments as the latter does not distinguish between contingency and necessary things in terms of time.
Since cosmological argument by Kalam points out that the uncaused God is eternal, it is clear to point inconsistencies that cosmological argument brings out when indicating that the universe has a beginning that was caused by God. Using the first premise of cosmological arguments, it is imperative to highlight the gap it creates when citing that every existing thing must have a cause of existence. This raises the question on who was the cause of the first cause. Why is the first cause exempted from having a cause? As such, the first premise fails and is unsound when it suggests that God exists and his existence is uncaused. This offers a strong ground for rejecting cosmological argument as ramshackle. The above issue brings another problem of giving the true identity of the first cause. While some would think of it as a theistic God, some would regard it as an unarticulated first cause or even Big Bang. Arguments from Deism also indicate that even if there was a first cause, then it has no link with the continuing events that characterize the universe.
To sum up, the existence of a first cause to a series of events in the universe including the universe itself cannot be disputed. There has to be a supernatural being which can manage and control time and motions. As noted above, there have been counter arguments and rejections pointing towards weak areas that the cosmological arguments fail to explain.
L. (2006). J. Howard Sobel on the Kalam cosmological argument.
Canadian Journal of Philosophy 36(4), 565-633.