The First Cause Argument

Key Terms:

  • Cosmological: referring to the origin and structure of the universe.
  • Creation: the act by which God brought the universe into being.

The argument from First Cause is fairly straightforward. It says:

  1. Everything that exists was caused to exist by something else.
  2. The universe exists, so the universe was was caused to exist by something else.
  3. This ‘chain of cause and effect’ cannot go on and on forever, there must be a starting point, or ‘first cause’.
  4. The only thing that this could be is God.
  5. So, God exists.

Strengths of the Argument:

  • It starts with something that we can all agree on, that the universe does exist.
  • It uses scientific principles (the law of cause and effect) to work to God.
  • It is supported by some major Christian and Islam thinkers, such as Thomas Aquinas and Al Ghazali.

Weaknessed of the Argument:

  • It claims that everything must have a cause, and then says that God doesn’t.
  • Even if we prove the universe does have a (first) cause it doesn’t prove this is the same God that Christians, Muslims and Jews all believe in.
  • Scientists think the Big Bang (which started the universe) does not need a cause.
  • It is based on a primitive understanding of science in which time existed before the big bang. Scientists think it did not.
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