cosmological argument


cosmological argument
an argument for the existence of God, asserting that the contingency of each entity, and of the universe composed wholly of such entities, demands the admission of an adequate external cause, which is God. Also called cosmological proof. Cf. first-cause argument.

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Form of argument used in natural theology to prove the existence of God.

Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa theologiae, presented two versions of the cosmological argument: the first-cause argument and the argument from contingency. The first-cause argument begins with the fact that there is change in the world, and a change is always the effect of some cause or causes. Each cause is itself the effect of a further cause or set of causes; this chain moves in a series that either never ends or is completed by a first cause, which must be of a radically different nature in that it is not itself caused. Such a first cause is an important aspect, though not the entirety, of what Christianity means by God. The argument from contingency follows by another route a similar basic movement of thought from the nature of the world to its ultimate ground.

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Universalium. 2010.

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