In natural theology and philosophy, a cosmological argument is an argument in which the existence of a unique being, generally seen as some kind of god, is deduced or inferred from facts or alleged facts concerning causation, change, motion, contingency, or finitude in respect of the universe as a whole or processes within it. It is traditionally known as an argument from universal causation, an argument from first cause, or the causal argument, and is more precisely a cosmogonical argument (about the origin). Whichever term is employed, there are three basic variants of the argument, each with subtle yet important distinctions: the arguments from in causa (causality), in esse (essentiality), and in fieri (becoming).
The basic premises of all of these are the concept of causality. The conclusion of these arguments is first cause, subsequently deemed to be God. The history of this argument goes back to Aristotle or earlier, was developed in Neoplatonism and early Christianity and later in medieval Islamic theology during the 9th to 12th centuries, and re-introduced to medieval Christian theology in the 13th century by Thomas Aquinas. The cosmological argument is closely related to the principle of sufficient reason as addressed by Gottfried Leibniz and Samuel Clarke, itself a modern exposition of the claim that "nothing comes from nothing" attributed to Parmenides.
Plato (c. 427–347 BC) and Aristotle (c. 384–322 BC) both posited first cause arguments, though each had certain notable caveats. In The Laws (Book X), Plato posited that all movement in the world and the Cosmos was "imparted motion". This required a "self-originated motion" to set it in motion and to maintain it. In Timaeus, Plato posited a "demiurge" of supreme wisdom and intelligence as the creator of the Cosmos.
Aristotle argued against the idea of a first cause, often confused with the idea of a "prime mover" or "unmoved mover" (πρῶτον κινοῦν ἀκίνητον or primus motor) in his Physics and Metaphysics. Aristotle argued in favor of the idea of several unmoved movers, one powering each celestial sphere, which he believed lived beyond the sphere of the fixed stars, and explained why motion in the universe (which he believed was eternal) had continued for an infinite period of time. Aristotle argued the atomist's assertion of a non-eternal universe would require a first uncaused cause – in his terminology, an efficient first cause – an idea he considered a nonsensical flaw in the reasoning of the atomists.
Like Plato, Aristotle believed in an eternal cosmos with no beginning and no end (which in turn follows Parmenides' famous statement that "nothing comes from nothing"). In what he called "first philosophy" or metaphysics, Aristotle did intend a theological correspondence between the prime mover and deity (presumably Zeus); functionally, however, he provided an explanation for the apparent motion of the "fixed stars" (now understood as the daily rotation of the Earth). According to his theses, immaterial unmoved movers are eternal unchangeable beings that constantly think about thinking, but being immaterial, they are incapable of interacting with the cosmos and have no knowledge of what transpires therein. From an "aspiration or desire", the celestial spheres, imitate that purely intellectual activity as best they can, by uniform circular motion. The unmoved movers inspiring the planetary spheres are no different in kind from the prime mover, they merely suffer a dependency of relation to the prime mover. Correspondingly, the motions of the planets are subordinate to the motion inspired by the prime mover in the sphere of fixed stars. Aristotle's natural theology admitted no creation or capriciousness from the immortal pantheon, but maintained a defense against dangerous charges of impiety.
Plotinus, a third-century Platonist, taught that the One transcendent absolute caused the universe to exist simply as a consequence of its existence (creatio ex deo). His disciple Proclus stated "The One is God".
Centuries later, the Islamic philosopher Avicenna (c. 980–1037) inquired into the question of being, in which he distinguished between essence (Mahiat) and existence (Wujud). He argued that the fact of existence could not be inferred from or accounted for by the essence of existing things, and that form and matter by themselves could not originate and interact with the movement of the Universe or the progressive actualization of existing things. Thus, he reasoned that existence must be due to an agent cause that necessitates, imparts, gives, or adds existence to an essence. To do so, the cause must coexist with its effect and be an existing thing.
Steven Duncan writes that it "was first formulated by a Greek-speaking Syriac Christian neo-Platonist, John Philoponus, who claims to find a contradiction between the Greek pagan insistence on the eternity of the world and the Aristotelian rejection of the existence of any actual infinite". Referring to the argument as the "'Kalam' cosmological argument", Duncan asserts that it "received its fullest articulation at the hands of [medieval] Muslim and Jewish exponents of Kalam ("the use of reason by believers to justify the basic metaphysical presuppositions of the faith").
Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225–1274) adapted and enhanced the argument he found in his reading of Aristotle and Avicenna to form one of the most influential versions of the cosmological argument. His conception of First Cause was the idea that the Universe must be caused by something that is itself uncaused, which he claimed is that which we call God:
The second way is from the nature of the efficient cause. In the world of sense we find there is an order of efficient causes. There is no case known (neither is it, indeed, possible) in which a thing is found to be the efficient cause of itself; for so it would be prior to itself, which is impossible. Now in efficient causes it is not possible to go on to infinity, because in all efficient causes following in order, the first is the cause of the intermediate cause, and the intermediate is the cause of the ultimate cause, whether the intermediate cause be several, or only one. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect. Therefore, if there be no first cause among efficient causes, there will be no ultimate, nor any intermediate cause. But if in efficient causes it is possible to go on to infinity, there will be no first efficient cause, neither will there be an ultimate effect, nor any intermediate efficient causes; all of which is plainly false. Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God.
Importantly, Aquinas' Five Ways, given the second question of his Summa Theologica, are not the entirety of Aquinas' demonstration that the Christian God exists. The Five Ways form only the beginning of Aquinas' Treatise on the Divine Nature.
In the scholastic era, Aquinas formulated the "argument from contingency", following Aristotle in claiming that there must be something to explain why the Universe exists. Since the Universe could, under different circumstances, conceivably not exist (contingency), its existence must have a cause – not merely another contingent thing, but something that exists by necessity (something that must exist in order for anything else to exist). In other words, even if the Universe has always existed, it still owes its existence to an uncaused cause, Aquinas further said: "... and this we understand to be God."
Aquinas's argument from contingency allows for the possibility of a Universe that has no beginning in time. It is a form of argument from universal causation. Aquinas observed that, in nature, there were things with contingent existences. Since it is possible for such things not to exist, there must be some time at which these things did not in fact exist. Thus, according to Aquinas, there must have been a time when nothing existed. If this is so, there would exist nothing that could bring anything into existence. Contingent beings, therefore, are insufficient to account for the existence of contingent beings: there must exist a necessary being whose non-existence is an impossibility, and from which the existence of all contingent beings is derived.
The German philosopher Gottfried Leibniz made a similar argument with his principle of sufficient reason in 1714. "There can be found no fact that is true or existent, or any true proposition," he wrote, "without there being a sufficient reason for its being so and not otherwise, although we cannot know these reasons in most cases." He formulated the cosmological argument succinctly: "Why is there something rather than nothing? The sufficient reason ... is found in a substance which ... is a necessary being bearing the reason for its existence within itself."
Craig states that the only disputable statements are 1. and 2. He defended 1. from the question of "What caused God?" by saying that God cannot be caused by anything, as that would imply that there is something greater than him, which is logically contradictory. He also denied that the universe was an exception to the rule, claiming that such a proposition begs the question. He states  that saying 2. is wrong contradicts modern science, and that, far from not being specific to the God of Christianity, it actually leads to evidence specifically linking to a being outside of space and time, as well as one that is omnipotent and omniscient.
The difference between the arguments from causation in fieri and in esse is a fairly important one. In fieri is generally translated as "becoming", while in esse is generally translated as "in essence". In fieri, the process of becoming, is similar to building a house. Once it is built, the builder walks away, and it stands on its own accord; compare the watchmaker analogy. (It may require occasional maintenance, but that is beyond the scope of the first cause argument.)
In esse (essence) is more akin to the light from a candle or the liquid in a vessel. George Hayward Joyce, SJ, explained that, "where the light of the candle is dependent on the candle's continued existence, not only does a candle produce light in a room in the first instance, but its continued presence is necessary if the illumination is to continue. If it is removed, the light ceases. Again, a liquid receives its shape from the vessel in which it is contained; but were the pressure of the containing sides withdrawn, it would not retain its form for an instant." This form of the argument is far more difficult to separate from a purely first cause argument than is the example of the house's maintenance above, because here the First Cause is insufficient without the candle's or vessel's continued existence.
Thus, Leibniz' argument is in fieri, while Aquinas' argument is both in fieri and in esse. This distinction is an excellent example of the difference between a deistic view (Leibniz) and a theistic view (Aquinas). As a general trend, the modern slants on the cosmological argument, including the Kalam argument, tend to lean very strongly towards an in fieri argument.
The philosopher Robert Koons has stated a new variant on the cosmological argument. He says that to deny causation is to deny all empirical ideas – for example, if we know our own hand, we know it because of the chain of causes including light being reflected upon one's eyes, stimulating the retina and sending a message through the optic nerve into your brain. He summarised the purpose of the argument as "that if you don't buy into theistic metaphysics, you're undermining empirical science. The two grew up together historically and are culturally and philosophically inter-dependent ... If you say I just don't buy this causality principle – that's going to be a big big problem for empirical science." This in fieri version of the argument therefore does not intend to prove God, but only to disprove objections involving science, and the idea that contemporary knowledge disproves the cosmological argument. 
William Lane Craig gives this argument in the following general form:
Craig explains, by nature of the event (the Universe coming into existence), attributes unique to (the concept of) God must also be attributed to the cause of this event, including but not limited to: omnipotence, Creator, being eternal and absolute self-sufficiency. Since these attributes are unique to God, anything with these attributes must be God. Something does have these attributes: the cause; hence, the cause is God, the cause exists; hence, God exists.
Craig defends the second premise, that the Universe had a beginning starting with Al-Ghazali's proof that an actual infinite is impossible. However, If the universe never had a beginning then there indeed would be an actual infinite, an infinite amount of cause and effect events. Hence, the Universe had a beginning.
Duns Scotus, the influential Medieval Christian theologian, created a metaphysical argument for the existence of God. Though it was inspired by Aquinas' argument from motion, he, like other philosophers and theologians, believed that his statement for God's existence could be considered separate to Aquinas'. His explanation for God's existence is long, and can be summarised as follows:
Scotus deals immediately with two objections he can see: first, that there cannot be a first, and second, that the argument falls apart when 1) is questioned. He states that infinite regress is impossible, because it provokes unanswerable questions, like, in modern English, "What is infinity minus infinity?" The second he states can be answered if the question is rephrased using modal logic, meaning that the first statement is instead "It is possible that something can be produced."
One objection to the argument is that it leaves open the question of why the First Cause is unique in that it does not require any causes. Proponents argue that the First Cause is exempt from having a cause, while opponents argue that this is special pleading or otherwise untrue. Critics often press that arguing for the First Cause's exemption raises the question of why the First Cause is indeed exempt, whereas defenders maintain that this question has been answered by the various arguments, emphasizing that none of its major forms rests on the premise that everything has a cause.
William Lane Craig, who famously uses the Kalam cosmological argument, argues that, as the infinite is impossible, whichever perspective the viewer takes, there must always have been one unmoved thing to begin the universe. He uses Hilbert's paradox of the Grand Hotel and the question 'What is infinity minus infinity?' to illustrate the idea that the infinite is metaphysically, mathematically, and even conceptually, impossible. Other reasons include the fact that it is impossible to count down from infinity, and that, had the universe existed for an infinite amount of time, every possible event, including the final end of the universe, would already have occurred. He therefore states his argument in three points- firstly, everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence; secondly, the universe began to exist; so, thirdly, therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence. A response to this argument would be that the cause of the universe's existence (God) would need a cause for its existence, which, in turn, could be responded to as being logically inconsistent with the evidence already presented- even if God did have a cause, there would still necessarily be a cause which began everything, owing to the impossibility of the infinite stated by Craig.
Secondly, it is argued that the premise of causality has been arrived at via a posteriori (inductive) reasoning, which is dependent on experience. David Hume highlighted this problem of induction and argued that causal relations were not true a priori. However, as to whether inductive or deductive reasoning is more valuable still remains a matter of debate, with the general conclusion being that neither is prominent. Opponents of the argument tend to argue that it is unwise to draw conclusions from an extrapolation of causality beyond experience. Andrew Loke replies that, according to the Kalam Cosmological Argument, only things which begin to exist require a cause. On the other hand, something that is without beginning has always existed and therefore does not require a cause. The Cosmological Argument shows that there cannot be an actual infinite regress of causes, therefore there must be an uncaused First Cause that is beginningless and does not require a cause.
The basic cosmological argument merely establishes that a First Cause exists, not that it has the attributes of a theistic god, such as omniscience, omnipotence, and omnibenevolence. This is why the argument is often expanded to show that at least some of these attributes are necessarily true, for instance in the modern Kalam argument given above.
A causal loop is a form of predestination paradox arising where traveling backwards in time is deemed a possibility. A sufficiently powerful entity in such a world would have the capacity to travel backwards in time to a point before its own existence, and to then create itself, thereby initiating everything which follows from it.
The usual reason which is given to refute the possibility of a causal loop is it requires that the loop as a whole be its own cause. Richard Hanley argues that causal loops are not logically, physically, or epistemically impossible: "[In timed systems,] the only possibly objectionable feature that all causal loops share is that coincidence is required to explain them." However, Andrew Loke argues that causal loop of the type that is supposed to avoid a First Cause suffers from the problem of vicious circularity and thus it would not work.
If the existence of every member of a set is explained, the existence of that set is thereby explained.
Nevertheless, David White argues that the notion of an infinite causal regress providing a proper explanation is fallacious. Furthermore, Demea states that even if the succession of causes is infinite, the whole chain still requires a cause. To explain this, suppose there exists a causal chain of infinite contingent beings. If one asks the question, "Why are there any contingent beings at all?", it does not help to be told that "There are contingent beings because other contingent beings caused them." That answer would just presuppose additional contingent beings. An adequate explanation of why some contingent beings exist would invoke a different sort of being, a necessary being that is not contingent. A response might suppose each individual is contingent but the infinite chain as a whole is not; or the whole infinite causal chain to be its own cause.
Severinsen argues that there is an "infinite" and complex causal structure. White tried to introduce an argument "without appeal to the principle of sufficient reason and without denying the possibility of an infinite causal regress". A number of other arguments have been offered to demonstrate that an actual infinite regress cannot exist, viz. the argument for the impossibility of concrete actual infinities, the argument for the impossibility of traversing an actual infinite, the argument from the lack of capacity to begin to exist, and various arguments from paradoxes.
Some cosmologists and physicists argue that a challenge to the cosmological argument is the nature of time: "One finds that time just disappears from the Wheeler–DeWitt equation" (Carlo Rovelli). The Big Bang theory states that it is the point in which all dimensions came into existence, the start of both space and time. Then, the question "What was there before the Universe?" makes no sense; the concept of "before" becomes meaningless when considering a situation without time. This has been put forward by J. Richard Gott III, James E. Gunn, David N. Schramm, and Beatrice Tinsley, who said that asking what occurred before the Big Bang is like asking what is north of the North Pole. However, some cosmologists and physicists do attempt to investigate causes for the Big Bang, using such scenarios as the collision of membranes.
Philosopher Edward Feser states that classical philosophers' arguments for the existence of God do not care about the Big Bang or whether the universe had a beginning. The question is not about what got things started or how long they have been going, but rather what keeps them going.
Alternatively, the above objections can be dispelled by separating the Cosmological Argument from the A-Theory of Time and subsequently discussing God as a timeless (rather than "before" in a linear sense) cause of the Big Bang. There is also a Big Bang Argument, which is a variation of the Cosmological Argument using the Big Bang Theory to validate the premise that the Universe had a beginning.
This implies that there is an "infinite" and complex causal structure behind each disease, and that the disease mechanism would have to encompass the whole structure.
My intention is to show that a cosmological argument for God's existence (not that of a first cause simpliciter) can be constructed without appeal to the principle of sufficient reason and without denying the possibility of an infinite causal regress.
Agent causation, or Agent causality, is an idea in philosophy which states that an agent can start new causal chains not determined by prior events. This is in contrast to causal determinism.Defenders of this theory include Thomas Reid and Roderick Chisholm.Agnostic theism
Agnostic theism, agnostotheism or agnostitheism is the philosophical view that encompasses both theism and agnosticism. An agnostic theist believes in the existence of a god or gods, but regards the basis of this proposition as unknown or inherently unknowable. The agnostic theist may also or alternatively be agnostic regarding the properties of the god or gods that they believe in.Existence of God
The existence of God is a subject of debate in the philosophy of religion and popular culture.A wide variety of arguments for and against the existence of God can be categorized as metaphysical, logical, empirical, or subjective. In philosophical terms, the question of the existence of God involves the disciplines of epistemology (the nature and scope of knowledge) and ontology (study of the nature of being, existence, or reality) and the theory of value (since some definitions of God include "perfection").
The Western tradition of philosophical discussion of the existence of God began with Plato and Aristotle, who made arguments that would now be categorized as cosmological. Other arguments for the existence of God have been proposed by St. Anselm, who formulated the first ontological argument; Ibn Rushd (Averroes) and Thomas Aquinas, who presented their own versions of the cosmological argument (the kalam argument and the first way, respectively); René Descartes, who said that the existence of a benevolent God is logically necessary for the evidence of the senses to be meaningful. John Calvin argued for a sensus divinitatis, which gives each human a knowledge of God's existence.
Philosophers who have provided arguments against the existence of God include Immanuel Kant, David Hume, Friedrich Nietzsche and Bertrand Russell. In modern culture, the question of God's existence has been discussed by scientists such as Stephen Hawking, Francis Collins, Lawrence M. Krauss, Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, John Lennox and Sam Harris, as well as philosophers including Richard Swinburne, Alvin Plantinga, William Lane Craig, Rebecca Goldstein, A. C. Grayling, Daniel Dennett, Edward Feser and David Bentley Hart.
Scientists follow the scientific method, within which theories must be verifiable by physical experiment. The majority of prominent conceptions of God explicitly or effectively posit a being which is not testable either by proof or disproof. On these bases, the question regarding the existence of God, one for which evidence cannot be tested, may lie outside the purview of modern science by definition. The Catholic Church maintains that knowledge of the existence of God is the "natural light of human reason". Fideists maintain that belief in the existence of God may not be amenable to demonstration or refutation, but rests on faith alone.
Atheists view arguments for the existence of God as insufficient, mistaken or weighing less in comparison to arguments against whereas some religions, such as Buddhism, are not concerned with the existence of gods at all and yet other religions, such as Jainism, reject the possibility of a creator deity.Five Ways (Aquinas)
The quinque viae (Latin "Five Ways") (sometimes called "five proofs") are five logical arguments regarding the existence of God summarized by the 13th-century Catholic philosopher and theologian St. Thomas Aquinas in his book Summa Theologica. They are:
the argument from metaphysical motion;
the argument from efficient causation;
the argument from contingency;
the argument from degrees of being;
the argument from final causality ("teleological argument").Aquinas expands the first of these – God as the "unmoved mover" – in his Summa Contra Gentiles.Index of philosophy of religion articles
This is a list of articles in philosophy of religion.
A Grief Observed
A History of God
A Letter Concerning Toleration
A New Model of the Universe
A Secular Humanist Declaration
A. H. Almaas
Abd al-Karīm ibn Hawāzin al-Qushayri
Abraham Joshua Heschel
Abu'l Hasan Muhammad Ibn Yusuf al-'Amiri
Abu Sulayman al-Sijistani
Age of Enlightenment
Alice von Hildebrand
All Truth Is God's Truth
American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly
An Intelligent Person's Guide to Atheism
Anarchism and Islam
Animals in Buddhism
Anselm of Canterbury
Answer to Job
Argument from a proper basis
Argument from beauty
Argument from consciousness
Argument from degree
Argument from desire
Argument from free will
Argument from inconsistent revelations
Argument from love
Argument from miracles
Argument from morality
Argument from nonbelief
Argument from poor design
Argument from religious experience
Aristotelian view of a god
Augustine of Hippo
Avraham son of Rambam
Baptists in the history of separation of church and state
Basic Points Unifying the Theravāda and the Mahāyāna
Best of all possible worlds
Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival
Brian Davies (philosopher)
British Humanist Association
Buddhism and evolution
C. S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis bibliography
C. Stephen Evans
Charles Blount (deist)
Christian de Quincey
Christianity and environmentalism
City of God (book)
Clement of Alexandria
Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion
Contemporary Islamic philosophy
Continuum of Humanist Education
Credo ut intelligam
Criticism of Christianity
Criticism of Hinduism
Criticism of Islam
Criticism of Jesus
Criticism of Judaism
Criticism of monotheism
Criticism of religion
Criticism of the Bible
Criticism of the Catholic Church
Criticism of the Latter Day Saint movement
Criticism of the Qur'an
Cultural materialism (anthropology)
Cultural materialism (cultural studies)
Curt John Ducasse
David ben Merwan al-Mukkamas
David Braine (philosopher)
David Ray Griffin
De Coelesti Hierarchia
De divisione naturae
De Mysteriis Aegyptiorum
Decline of Greco-Roman polytheism
Dietrich von Hildebrand
Divine command theory
Dwight H. Terry Lectureship
E. David Cook
Early Islamic philosophy
Epistemic theory of miracles
Epistle to Yemen
Essentially contested concept
Eternal return (Eliade)
Ethics in religion
Evolutionary argument against naturalism
Existence of God
Faith and rationality
Faith, Science and Understanding
Faraday Institute for Science and Religion
Fate of the unlearned
Fazlur Rahman Malik
Fi Zilal al-Qur'an
Four stages of enlightenment
Fourteen unanswerable questions
French law on secularity and conspicuous religious symbols in schools
Friedrich Nietzsche and free will
Friedrich von Hügel
Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling
George H. Smith
God in Buddhism
God Is Not Great
God of the gaps
God, A Guide for the Perplexed
Gödel's ontological proof
Good and necessary consequence
Great chain of being
Greek hero cult
Gregory of Nyssa
Guru Nanak Dev
Holy History of Mankind
Human beings in Buddhism
Humanism and Its Aspirations
Humanism in France
Humanism in Germany
Humanist Manifesto I
Humanist Manifesto II
Humanist Society Scotland
Infinite qualitative distinction
Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society
Integral humanism (India)
International League of Humanists
Invincible ignorance fallacy
Invisible Pink Unicorn
Is God Dead?
Islam and democracy
Islamic fundamentalism in Iran
J. J. C. Smart
J. P. Moreland
Jakob Guttmann (rabbi)
Jakub of Gostynin
Johann Friedrich Flatt
Johann Joachim Lange
Johann Nepomuk Oischinger
Johannes Scotus Eriugena
John E. Hare
John of Głogów
Joseph de Torre
Joseph Priestley and Dissent
Kalam cosmological argument
Karl Heinrich Heydenreich
Karma in Buddhism
Knight of faith
Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion
Letter to a Christian Nation
Letters to a Philosophical Unbeliever
Life of Jesus (Hegel)
List of female mystics
List of new religious movements
Logic in Islamic philosophy
Macrocosm and microcosm
Maximus the Confessor
Melville Y. Stewart
Michael Gottlieb Birckner
Michael Martin (philosopher)
Miracle of the roses
Mircea Eliade bibliography
Monad (Greek philosophy)
Morality without religion
Muhammad Husayn Tabatabaei
Muhammad ibn Muhammad Tabrizi
Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi
Mumbo Jumbo (phrase)
Mystical philosophy of antiquity
Myth of Er
National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies
National Secular Society
Neoplatonism and Christianity
New religious movement
Nicholas of Kues
Noble Eightfold Path
Numenius of Apamea
Occasion of sin
Olavo de Carvalho
Opium of the people
Orlando J. Smith
Outline of humanism
Outline of theology
Paul Draper (philosopher)
Paul J. Griffiths
Peter van Inwagen
Phenomenological definition of God
Phenomenology of religion
Phillip H. Wiebe
Philo's view of God
Philosophical Foundations of Marxist-Leninist Atheism
Philosophy of religion
Plantinga's free will defense
Politics Drawn from the Very Words of Holy Scripture
Problem of evil
Problem of evil in Hinduism
Problem of Hell
Problem of why there is anything at all
Proof of the Truthful
Protestant work ethic
Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite
Psychoanalysis and Religion
Quietism (Christian philosophy)
R. De Staningtona
Ralph Tyler Flewelling
Rational Response Squad
Reality in Buddhism
Relationship between religion and science
Religion & Ethics Newsweekly
Religion and abortion
Religion and happiness
Religious intellectualism in Iran
Religious interpretations of the Big Bang theory
Religious views on business ethics
Religious views on suicide
Robert Cummings Neville
Robert Merrihew Adams
Rule of Three (Wiccan)
Sam Harris (author)
Samuel Maximilian Rieser
Sathya Sai Baba
School of Saint Victor
Science and Christian Belief
Secularism in the Middle East
Self-Indication Assumption Doomsday argument rebuttal
Self-referencing doomsday argument rebuttal
Seven Factors of Enlightenment
Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi
Stephen R. L. Clark
Submission (2004 film)
Summa contra Gentiles
Syed Ali Abbas Jallapuri
Ten spiritual realms
Tetrad (Greek philosophy)
The Age of Reason
The Case for God
The End of Faith
The Essence of Christianity
The Freethinker (journal)
The God Delusion
The God Makers
The God Makers II
The Guide for the Perplexed
The Incoherence of the Philosophers
The Necessity of Atheism
The Only Possible Argument in Support of a Demonstration of the Existence of God
The Primordial Tradition
The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam
The Teachings of the Mystics
The True Word
Theognostus of Alexandria
Theories of religion
Theosophy (history of philosophy)
Thomas Aquinas and the Sacraments
Thought of Thomas Aquinas
Three marks of existence
Time and Eternity (philosophy book)
Transcendental argument for the existence of God
Triad (Greek philosophy)
Turtles all the way down
Two truths doctrine
Types of Buddha
Ultimate Boeing 747 gambit
Ultimate fate of the universe
Varadaraja V. Raman
Walter of St Victor
War of Anti-Christ with the Church and Christian Civilization
What I Believe
Why I Am Not a Christian
Willem B. Drees
William F. Vallicella
William L. Rowe
William Lane Craig
Works by Thomas Aquinas
Works of Madhvacharya
Zofia ZdybickaInfinite regress
An infinite regress in a series of propositions arises if the truth of proposition P1 requires the support of proposition P2, the truth of proposition P2 requires the support of proposition P3, and so on, ad infinitum.
Distinction is made between infinite regresses that are "vicious" and those that are not.KCA
KCA may refer to:
IATA code for Kuqa Qiuci Airport, China
Kalām cosmological argument
Kerala Cricket Association
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards
Kiev Christian Academy
Kikuyu Central Association
Kings County Academy, a school in Kentville, Nova Scotia
Krupp cemented armour
The Kentucky Center, formerly known as the Kentucky Center for the Arts
Kenya College of Accountancy
KCA DEUTAG, oil and gas company with 9.000 employeeskca may refer to:
The ISO-639-3-Code for the Khanty, or Ostyak, languageKalam cosmological argument
The Kalām cosmological argument is a modern formulation of the cosmological argument for the existence of God; named for the kalam (medieval Islamic scholasticism), it was popularized by William Lane Craig in his The Kalām Cosmological Argument (1979).
The argument is a variant of the unmoved mover in Aristotelianism due to its basis in the nature of causality, though Aristotle did not himself believe or argue that the universe began to exist. It is named for medieval Islamic scholasticism because Craig, arguing against the possibility of the existence of actual infinities, traced the idea to 11th-century philosopher Al-Ghazali.
Since Craig's original publication, the Kalam cosmological argument has elicited public debate between Craig and Graham Oppy, Adolf Grünbaum, J. L. Mackie and Quentin Smith, and has been used in Christian apologetics.
According to Michael Martin, the cosmological arguments presented by Craig, Bruce Reichenbach, and Richard Swinburne are "among the most sophisticated and well argued in contemporary theological philosophy", while also noting that, in reference to Craig's argument specifically, "there may have been trillions of personal agents involved in the creation".The Kalam argument's underpinning is the impossibility of an actual infinite, which is what distinguishes it from other cosmological arguments such as that of Thomas Aquinas, which rests on the impossibility of an essentially ordered infinite regress, and that of Leibniz and Clark, which uses the Principle of Sufficient Reason.Metaphysical naturalism
Metaphysical naturalism (also called ontological naturalism, philosophical naturalism, scientific materialism and antisupernaturalism) is a philosophical worldview which holds that there is nothing but natural elements, principles, and relations of the kind studied by the natural sciences. Methodological naturalism is a philosophical basis for science, for which metaphysical naturalism provides only one possible ontological foundation. Broadly, the corresponding theological perspective is religious naturalism or spiritual naturalism. More specifically, metaphysical naturalism rejects the supernatural concepts and explanations that are part of many religions.Metaphysical necessity
In philosophy, metaphysical necessity, sometimes called broad logical necessity, is one of many different kinds of necessity, which sits between logical necessity and nomological (or physical) necessity, in the sense that logical necessity entails metaphysical necessity, but not vice versa, and metaphysical necessity entails physical necessity, but not vice versa. A proposition is said to be necessary if it could not have failed to be the case. Nomological necessity is necessity according to the laws of physics and logical necessity is necessity according to the laws of logic, while metaphysical necessities are necessary in the sense that the world could not possibly have been otherwise. What facts are metaphysically necessary, and on what basis we might view certain facts as metaphysically but not logically necessary are subjects of substantial discussion in contemporary philosophy.
The concept of a metaphysically necessary being plays an important role in certain arguments for the existence of God, especially the ontological argument, but metaphysical necessity is also one of the central concepts in late 20th century analytic philosophy. Metaphysical necessity has proved a controversial concept, and criticized by David Hume, Immanuel Kant, J. L. Mackie, and Richard Swinburne, among others.
Metaphysical necessity is contrasted with other types of necessity. For example, the philosophers of religion John Hick and William L. Rowe distinguished the following three:
factual necessity (existential necessity): a factually necessary being is not causally dependent on any other being, while any other being is causally dependent on it.
causal necessity (subsumed by Hicks under the former type): a causally necessary being is such that it is logically impossible for it to be causally dependent on any other being, and it is logically impossible for any other being to be causally independent of it.
logical necessity: a logically necessary being is a being whose non-existence is a logical impossibility, and which therefore exists either timeless or eternally in all possible worlds.While many theologians (e.g. Anselm of Canterbury, René Descartes, and Gottfried Leibniz) considered God to be a logically or metaphysically necessary being, Richard Swinburne argued for factual necessity, and Alvin Plantinga argues that God is a causally necessary being. Because a factually or causally necessary being does not exist by logical necessity, it does not exist in all logically possible worlds. Therefore, Swinburne used the term "ultimate brute fact" for the existence of God.Natural theology
Natural theology, once also termed physico-theology, is a type of theology that provides arguments for the existence of God based on reason and ordinary experience of nature.
This distinguishes it from revealed theology, which is based on scripture and/or religious experiences, and from transcendental theology, which is based on a priori reasoning. It is thus a type of philosophy, with the aim of explaining the nature of the gods, or of one supreme God. For monotheistic religions, this principally involves arguments about the attributes or non-attributes of God, and especially the existence of God, using arguments that do not involve recourse to supernatural revelation.
Marcus Terentius Varro (116–27 BC) established a distinction between political theology (the social functions of religion), natural theology and mythical theology. His terminology became part of the Stoic tradition and then Christianity through Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas.Religious interpretations of the Big Bang theory
Since the emergence of the Big Bang theory as the dominant physical cosmological paradigm, there have been a variety of reactions by religious groups regarding its implications for religious cosmologies. Some accept the scientific evidence at face value, some seek to harmonize the Big Bang with their religious tenets, and some reject or ignore the evidence for the Big Bang theory.Temporal finitism
Temporal finitism is the doctrine that time is finite in the past. The philosophy of Aristotle, expressed in such works as his Physics, held that although space was finite, with only void existing beyond the outermost sphere of the heavens, time was infinite. This caused problems for mediaeval Islamic, Jewish, and Christian philosophers, who were unable to reconcile the Aristotelian conception of the eternal with the Genesis creation narrative.Modern cosmogony accepts finitism, in the form of the Big Bang, rather than Steady State theory which allows for a universe that has existed for an infinite amount of time, but on physical rather than philosophical grounds.The Kalām Cosmological Argument
The Kalām Cosmological Argument is a 1979 book by William Lane Craig, in which the author offers a contemporary defense of the Kalām cosmological argument and purports to establish the existence of God based upon the alleged metaphysical impossibility of an infinite regress of past events. According to Craig, given that an infinite temporal regress is metaphysically impossible and that everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence. In a further analysis Craig discloses that this cause is a personal creator who changelessly and independently willed the beginning of the universe.Unmoved mover
The unmoved mover (Ancient Greek: ὃ οὐ κινούμενον κινεῖ, translit. ho ou kinoúmenon kineî, lit. 'that which moves without being moved') or prime mover (Latin: primum movens) is a concept advanced by Aristotle as a primary cause (or first uncaused cause) or "mover" of all the motion in the universe. As is implicit in the name, the "unmoved mover" moves other things, but is not itself moved by any prior action. In Book 12 (Greek: Λ) of his Metaphysics, Aristotle describes the unmoved mover as being perfectly beautiful, indivisible, and contemplating only the perfect contemplation: self-contemplation. He equates this concept also with the active intellect. This Aristotelian concept had its roots in cosmological speculations of the earliest Greek pre-Socratic philosophers and became highly influential and widely drawn upon in medieval philosophy and theology. St. Thomas Aquinas, for example, elaborated on the unmoved mover in the Quinque viae.William F. Vallicella
William F. Vallicella is an American philosopher.William L. Rowe
William Leonard Rowe ( July 26, 1931 – August 22, 2015) was a professor emeritus of philosophy at Purdue University who specialized in the philosophy of religion. His work played a leading role in the "remarkable revival of analytic philosophy of religion since the 1970s". He was noted for his formulation of the evidential argument from evil.William Lane Craig
William Lane Craig (born August 23, 1949) is an American analytic philosopher and Christian theologian. He holds faculty positions at Talbot School of Theology (Biola University) and Houston Baptist University. Craig has developed and defended the Kalam Cosmological Argument for the existence of God. He also focused in his published work on a historical argument for the resurrection of Jesus. His research on divine aseity and Platonism culminated with his book God Over All. He has also debated the existence of God with public figures such as Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Lawrence M. Krauss and A. C. Grayling. Craig established and runs the online apologetics ministry ReasonableFaith.org.
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|Existence of God|
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