The Cosmological Argument For the Existence of God

Posted By Thomas Perez. August 10, 2010 at 8:52pm. Copyright 2010.

The Cosmos

The cosmological argument is an argument for God’s existence based on the belief that the world must have been caused by some supreme being. The term “cosmological” comes from the Greek word “kosmos” which means “world.”

According to the cosmological argument, all contingent things, including our world, must have a cause. But since there cannot be an endless series of causes, there must be one “uncaused cause” that started the process of contingent beings. For Aristotle, this ultimate cause of motion or change was the “Prime Mover.”

Saint Thomas Aquinas refined Aristotle’s cosmological argument and used it in defense of the Christian God. In short, the cosmological argument, within a Christian context, goes like this: The world could not exist on its own so there must have been a first cause, who himself has no cause, that brought it into being. This first cause is God. It is the attempt to prove that God exists by appealing to the principle that all things have causes. There cannot be an infinite regress of causes, therefore, there must be an uncaused cause: God.

The cosmological argument is still a major argument for theism today. Some have argued against this view saying that matter is eternal. Others have said that even if it is true that some being caused our universe to exist, this does not prove the existence of the Christian God. All it shows is that there is some powerful being that created the universe.

The cosmological argument is one of four major arguments for the existence of God along with the teleological, ontological, and moral law arguments.

The teleological argument (or the “argument from design”) is an argument for God’s existence based on the belief that the complexity in the universe argues for a creator. The title “teleological” comes from the Greek word telos which means “purpose” or “design.” The teleological argument goes like this: The universe and its contents evidence great complexity. Since great complexities such as the human body and the movements in our solar system cannot happen by random chance, some powerful and intelligent being must have created the universe. This divine architect is God.

One modern proponent of the teleological argument was William Paley (1743-1805) who used the analogy of a watch to promote the view that God created the world. According to Paley, just as a watch implies the existence of a watchmaker, the function and complexity of the universe implies that there is a universe-maker.

Some believe that David Hume seriously damaged the validity of the teleological argument when he challenged traditional views concerning cause and effect. There have been three traditional responses to the teleological argument. First, some say the teleological argument is guilty of a “weak analogy” because it assumes a significant resemblance between natural objects (ex. rocks, trees) and objects we know have been designed (ex. watches, skyscrapers). Second, some say that the theories of the big bang and evolution better explain the complexities in the universe. Third, some say that even if the teleological argument is true, it does not prove the existence of the Christian God.

Nevertheless, the teleological argument has many proponents and is still considered to be one of the strong natural evidences for the existence of God.

Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) was a French philosopher and mathematician. He contributed to the development of hydraulics and calculus, but he is most remembered for what has come to be known as “Pascal’s Wager.”

The ontological argument is an argument for God’s existence and can be stated in this way: “God is the greatest being imaginable. One of the aspects of perfection or greatness is existence. Thus, God exists.” Or put another way—“The fact that God can be conceived means that he must exist.”

This argument for God’s existence was developed by the twelfth century theologian and philosopher, Anselm. It is based on Anselm’s declaration that God is “that which nothing greater can be conceived.”

The ontological argument is unlike the cosmological and teleological arguments in that it does not argue from evidence in the natural world. Thus, it is not a “cause and effect” argument. The famous French philosopher, Rene Descartes, believed in the validity of the ontological argument.

But this much is certain, of the many major conflicts between science and religion, two have been already been settled. It is now accepted that the earth is round, not flat and that the earth revolves around the sun, rather that the sun circling the earth. However,, within religious and scientific communities there exists an unresolved conflict. This third major conflict among many concerns the origins of the universe, the earth, and all its living creatures. In Western culture until the middle of the 19th century until 1859, the answer to the question of origins was divine creation as described in Genesis, the first book of the Judeo-Christian Bible. However, an alternative explanation of life appeared in 1859. This alternative explanation came about by an English scientist by the name of Charles Darwin (1809-1882).

In 1859 Darwin published a paper entitled ‘The Origin of the Species’, in his paper, Darwin proposed that may different kinds of plants and animals we see around us have not been immutable since the beginning of time. Instead they have changed dramatically as the environment has changed, dividing again and again into new species that fill new niches. Until over vast periods of time a huge number of different species has come into being. Darwin called that process ‘evolution’. Many people saw his radical theory as conflicting with the religious teachings from the book of Genesis and indeed it did, and still does today.

Belief in a creation sort is not unique to the Judeo-Christian tradition. Most societies believe that the world and its living inhabitants have not existed forever, but rather that everything was created by some deity or supernatural force in the remote past. Many different scenarios for the mode of creation can be found. Each one constricted to its own culture and even to a period in history. For example, the Hebrew cultural belief in a six day explanation of creation became part of its scared beliefs due to its oral transmissions and written recorded histories. The Hebrew belief of creation has, not only survived, but also permeated societies in the west, through the early Christian Church, thus creating a Judeo-Christian belief in creation.

While the earth and the observable universe are debated with reference to their beginnings, ages, life span, and possible extinction; the observable universe and its age, or at least the one that we live in, with notable possibilities of other parallel universe’s – whether springing from them or not, or created or not, can now be measured by what is known as the “Cosmic Calendar.” A calender based on no actual pre-recorded events recorded in history. The “Cosmic Calendar” calendar is based on radiometric dating. It is by radiometric dating that scientists tell us that the universe is 5 to 50 billion yrs old. Moore places the birth of the universe via the big bang at 15 billion yrs old (110 fig 8). The oldest moon rock is about 4.5 billion yrs old, while the oldest earth rock is 4.0 billion yrs old. Moreover, according to Eldredge, “The universe is even older, some 15 billion years old or so. An estimate based on the speed of light and the calculated distance between the center of the universe and its most remote objects”(109). The apparent age of the universe is fixed in a some what calendar form, depicting events in geological eons, era’s, and periods. According to Moore they are as follows:

Ancient times from the Big Bang to the present.

1. The Big Bang 15 billion years ago.
2. The Cooling of the Universe 12 billion years ago. Permitted complex atoms to form.
3. The Milky Way Galaxy is formed 10 billion years ago.
4. The Solar System is formed 4.5 billion years ago within what scientists call The
Hadean Eon.
5. The Archean Eon begins about 3.8 billion years ago, allowing the Earth’s crust to
become solid. The earliest evidence of life (bacteria) appears about 3.5 billon years
ago.
6. The Proterozoic Eon. Cells with nuclei are first known from about 2 billion years ago.
the earliest known multicultural organisms date to about 1.7 billion years ago.
7. The Phanerozoic Eon. The oldest known animal fossils date to about 650 million years
ago. This final eon of Earth’s history, gave birth to the variety of complex animals and
plants about 540 million years ago.
Ancient times: the past 600 million years.
8. The Vendian Period (670mya) began during the Proterozoic Era. Long periods of
intense cold probably exterminated most creatures. The Ediacarian organisms, first
discovered in Australia are now known to have been widespread. They are simple
animals with uncertain relations to the Cambrian fauna and a variety of algae.
9. The Cambrian Period (543-490mya), The Ordovician Period (490-443mya), The
Silurian Period (443-417mya), The Devonian Period (417-354mya), The
Carboniferous Period (354-290mya), The Permian Period (290-248), began The
The Paleozoic Era.
10. The Triassic Period (248-206mya), Jurassic Period (206-144mya), The Cretaceous
Period (144-65mya), began the Mesozoic Era..
11. The Tertiary Period (65-0mya) began the Cenozoic Era.
Ancient times: the past 65 Million years.
12. The Cenozoic Era within the Tertiary Period has 6 epochs:
A. The Paleocene
B. The Eocene
C. The Oligocene
D. The Miocene
E. The Pliocene
F. The Pleistocene (commonly known as the Ice Age. It began about 1.8mya and
ended about 8,000 BCE.

Again, the age of the universe; according to the scientific community is based on the speed of light. However, this deduction creates a paradox. Time is not fixed, the further we travel to distant objects the slower time ticks, thus resulting in the speed of light decreasing in acceleration. In theoretical physics, one can travel through time/space and back without aging. Perhaps, a day can truly be considered a thousand years and a thousand years can truly be considered a day; as quoted in the apostolic writings of Peter found in our Bible ( II Peter 3:10). Moreover, there are numerous problems with radiometric dating when we consider statistical facts. There are over 80 facts which would indicate a recent creation date. According to Willmington, 5 are outstanding. They include; but, are not limited to:

1. Population Statistics
2. The amount of helium-4 in the atmosphere
3. The absence of meteorite dust
4. The decay of earths magnetic field
5.The imbalance of carbon-14 and carbon-12

Another form of calendar dating is what is what is known as the radiocarbon method. If this is the case, then the estimated age of the universe is just a theory, not a fact. If this is so, the plausible truth pertaining to evolution, the alternative explanation for the appearance of all living organisms, can be indeed just a theory and should not be thought as a scientific fact as Carl Sagan cited in his book entitled “Cosmos.”

According to Sagan, “evolution is a fact not a theory.”(27). Here Sagan and all before him, and after him, in the scientific community make the most harshest decision ever known to human reasoning; a conclusive deduction based on what Darwin himself called a theory. According to Darwin “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”(The Origin of Species 1859). In addition, Darwin is also recorded as citing “Not one change of species into another is on record…we cannot prove that a single species has been changed.”(My life and Letters Vol. 1 210, 1905). If the theory of evolution cannot be proven by empirical facts; beyond a reasonable doubt, then what becomes of the naturalist like Hume, Kant, and Spinoza? All of these men were great philosophers, well educated, and quite responsible for the ever growing skepticism prevalent today. Moreover, such skepticism is thought often as a fact instead of a theoretical possibility in our educational systems. Though it is theoretical, how in the world can a theory be considered a fact without teaching its polar opposite – theism – as an alternative hypothesis – this is beyond me.

While this may be the case, the same is true for creation. The Biblical account of creation or creation science should be thought as an alternative to evolution. In simpler terms, man as a whole can not prove or disprove the the theory of evolution or the existence of a deity. Nor can we prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the world was formed by natural selection through the product of some evolutionary chain. However, throughout history (even to this present day) there have been men who attempted to reveal the existence of a Creator through reasons of logic outside the conditions of common faith and belief (outside the traditional literal six day creation) – suggesting other cosmological and theological theories. They are as follows:

Creationism
Also referred to as creation theology is the belief that humans, life, the Earth, and the universe were created by a supreme being or deity’s supernatural intervention. The intervention may be seen either as an act of creation from nothing (ex nihilo) or the emergence of order from pre-existing chaos. Some creationists hold to the theory that God created – sat back – and is not involved in human affairs, but will let creation run its course until intercession onto Him or creation of another universe – a another story. Where man fits into this theory is unknown. Some say its salvational, others say the extinction of the universe will take place when man becomes one with its Creator – literally.

Day-Age Creationism
A type of Old Earth creationism, it is an effort to reconcile Creation as presented in Genesis with modern scientific theories on the age of the Universe. It holds that the six days referred to in Genesis are not ordinary 24-hour days, but are much longer periods, thus interpreting Genesis as cosmic evolution.

Evolutionary Creationism
A lesser used term for theistic evolution, the general opinion that some or all classical religious teachings about God and creation are compatible with some or all of the modern scientific understanding about biological evolution. Theistic evolution is not a theory in the scientific sense, but a particular view about how the science of evolution relates to some religious interpretations.

Gap Creationism
Also called Restitution creationism or Ruin-Reconstruction, are terms used to describe a particular set of Christian beliefs about the creation of the Universe and the origin of man. The concept of the Gap Theory is widely thought to have been promulgated by William Buckland and Thomas Chalmers in the early 19th century, though some adherents maintain that it can be traced back to biblical times. Certainly it became quite popular when it was promoted by the Scofield Reference Bible in 1909.

Old Earth Creationism
A variant of the creationist view of the origin of the universe and life on Earth. As a theory of origins it is typically more compatible with mainstream scientific thought on the issues of geology, cosmology and the age of the Earth, in comparison to Young Earth creationism.

Young Earth Creationism
The religious belief that Heaven, Earth, and life on Earth were created by a direct act of God dating between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago. Its adherents are those Christians, Jews and Muslims who believe that God created the Earth in six 24-hour days, taking the Hebrew text of Genesis as a literal account.

Omphalos Creationism
Named after the title of an 1857 book, Omphalos by Philip Henry Gosse, in which Gosse argued that in order for the world to be “functional”, God must have created the Earth with mountains and canyons, trees with growth rings, Adam and Eve with hair, fingernails, and navels(omphalos is Greek for “navel”), and that therefore no evidence that we can see of the presumed age of the earth and universe can be taken as reliable. The idea has seen some revival in the 20th century by some modern creationists, who have extended the argument to light that appears to originate in far-off stars and galaxies, although many other creationists reject this explanation (and also believe that Adam and Eve had no navels).

All of the theories listed above are indeed plausible.

However, the rebuttals mentioned above are answers in reference to the western thought and its secular philosophies, but no one takes the time to ponder the eastern view concerning creationism. According to Hindu cosmology there are four epochs. Each epoch will see a decline in dharma, knowledge, wisdom, intellect, life expectancy, emotional, and physical strength.

The epochs/Ages or Yuga’s In the Indian Faith Are As Follows:

Satya Yuga: Human life expectancy 100,000 yrs at 21 cubits (31 feet 6 inches). Humanity at its highest virtues (a whole).
Treta Yuga: Human life expectancy 10,000 yrs at 14 cubits (21 feet). Humanity has 3 quarters of a whole of virtue.
Dwapar Yuga: Human life expectancy 1000 yrs at 7 cubits (10 feet 6 inches). Humanity has one half of virtue.
Kali Yuga: Human life expectancy 100 yrs – this will decrease down to 70, 60, 40, and 20 at 3.5 cubits (5 feet 3 inches). Humanity has 1 quarter of a virtue left. Man is in a state of deterioration. A time of disintegration and moral depravity.

Each age or Yuga are destroyed once every 4 to 8.2 billion years which is considered one day and night (II Pet 3:8). According to the Laws of Manu (Manusmriti – Sanskrit) – a discourse given by Manu, the progenitor of mankind, upon which the earliest metrical work of the Dharmasastra of traditional Hinduism can be found, describe the length of the Yugas as 12,000 years for one arc or 24,000 years to complete a cycle (one equinox). This thought correlates with “The Holy Science.”

The Srimad Bhagavatam disagrees with this, stating a longer duration of each Yuga. Satya being 1,728.000 years, Treta 1,296.000, Dwapar or Dvapara 864,000, and Kali 432,000 years (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.11.19). The long Yuga count is the most popular of the two views in Hinduism. The Satya Yuga is also known as the Golden Age. Each age is depicted as a cow. However, during the 1st Yuga the cow is depicted as standing on all four legs – thus the Satya Age – demonstrating spiritual stability and virtue. The Treta depicts the cow standing on 3 legs – the Treta Age, then 2 – thus the Dwapar Age, then finally one – thus the Age in which we live in, the Kali Age – the age where brother is against brother. An age of wickedness and departure into darkness. At the end of this cycle (the Kali) a Divine Being is to be born and reestablish virtues and righteousness lost – thus the beginning of a new Satya Yuga or Age. “Whenever there is decay of righteousness…and there is exaltation of unrighteousness, then I Myself come forth…for the destruction of evil-doers, for the sake of firmly establishing righteousness, I am born from age to age.” – Krishna- Bhagavad Gita- 4th discourse.

The Vishnu Purana states the following; “Social status depends not upon your accomplishments, but in the ownership of property; wealth is now the source of virtue; passion and luxury are the sole bonds between spouses; falsity and lying are the conditions of success in life; sexuality is the sole source of human enjoyment; religion, a superficial and empty ritual, is confused with spirituality.

If the latter age (the age of Kali) is considered superficial – then all that we see is superficial. Therefore our Priori’s are (as to the great question) is thus tainted.

But for our intent and purposes let us continue in our studies – this is honorable.

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