What is the Cosmological Proof, the First Cause Argument? (Cosmological Evidence for God’s Existence)June 29, 2021
The First Cause Argument, also called the Cosmological Argument, is not based on facts about how the universe came to be, but only on the empirical fact that the universe exists.
In the cosmological proof, the existence of God is tried to be proven based on the universe. Sometimes this type of argument is also called first cause proof.
According to the First Cause Argument, absolutely everything is the result of something that preceded it: nothing comes into existence without a cause. Since we know that the universe exists, we can no doubt assume that it was brought about by a chain of sequential causes and effects. If we trace this chain all the way back, what we will find is the original cause, that is, the first cause. This first cause that the First Cause Argument refers to is God.
The historical source of this debate goes back to Plato and Aristotle. During the Middle Ages, it was further developed during the reign of Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus. Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologica shows five proofs for the existence of God, the first three being seen as cosmological proofs. Later, similar views were defended by Samuel Clarke and Leibniz. In the twentieth century, Richard Taylor defended this view.
The topic of discussion in this talk is quite broad. This is due to the fact that this evidence is quite old. It is possible to see the first and simple forms of cosmological proof in Plato’s laws (Book 10). It is also possible to see it in Aristotle’s Metaphysics (Book 12). For example, Aristotle explains motion, at the last point, by basing it on the Immovable Mover. This is a very influential idea in the history of philosophy.
This evidence later attracted the attention of some Jewish and Christian theologians, who were influenced by Greek philosophy. Later, it attracted the attention of Islamic religious scholars. In the history of Islamic thought, theologians preferred the “proof of hudus” and the philosophers the “proof of possibility”. Later, there were those who tried to establish a connection between the two. Al-Kindi tried to find a proof with the finite-infinite relationship. At the same time, it was seen that Islamic thinkers such as Kindi and Ghazali tried to use the movement as a proof.
Cosmological proof has always been important in the history of philosophy. In his book “The Last Source of Beings”, Leibniz defended the cosmological proof in the conference text “The Existence of God and the Proof of His Attributes” by his contemporary Samuel Clarke.
Of the various types of cosmological proof, the Hudus proof is the most important. Hudus means to come into being, to come into being out of nothing. The beings that exist later are called Hadith. By using the causality principle, it is possible to prove the existence of God by comparison:
The universe with all its parts is not later (Hadith)
Every afterlife needs a creator (Muhdis).
So, this universe has a creator.
He is God whose existence is necessary.
This is a very valid conclusion, since it is impossible for every cause to have a cause forever. There must be a reason without reason. This reason has been used by Western philosophers such as Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and Islamic philosophers such as Farabi. Of course, there were those who opposed these views, like Kant. According to him, this is only speculative and metaphysical proof, it does not definitively prove the existence of God.
The result of cosmological evidence can sometimes lead people to pantheistic approaches. For this reason, we need to pay attention to the fact that God’s real existence and the existence we create in our minds are not different when we go to the conclusion. Cosmological evidence is important as it provides us with evidence for the existence of God. God’s presence “Is there a Loch Ness monster?” It is not connected to a parallel question with the question. The question of the existence of God is a question that includes the character of the entire universe. Misunderstood this proof of existence will throw us into the lap of Pantheism or Naturalism, as we have said before. It is possible to see this in Islamic thinkers from time to time. While reaching God from the universe, beings gradually begin to act as intermediaries and even to reflect God. The best thing for a person who believes in the existence of God with cosmological proof is to try to know and understand the real God from the Bible, in which he expresses himself as he expresses himself.
Proof of possibility is another type of cosmological proof. It is similar to the Hudus proof. It proves the existence of God based on the possibility of beings in the universe.
The universe is a collection of possible (not necessarily existing) possibilities.
The possible is that which is not the cause of itself. There are other reasons that make it exist.
What is possible (non-necessary) needs another reason to exist.
This cause is God, whose existence is necessary, eternal, and first cause.
As it is seen, it is the necessary being that creates the possible being. Acknowledging its existence prevents the vicious circle. But it is worth paying attention to Kant’s criticisms directed against this evidence.