mod7-s18Cosmolgical - Module VII Session 19 The...

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Unformatted text preview: Module VII Session 19 The Cosmological Argument (introduction) Read Stewart: 131-135 Highlights Review of module VI & preview of module VIII We will be studying the first of the three a posteriori arguments for God’s existence: The cosmological arguments What is the relation between these arguments and theories of astrophysics, e.g., the Big Bang? The other a posteriori arguments still ahead of us are: • • ii/ The argument from design & ii/ The moral argument (note well what Kant says about all proofs, what he says about the moral and ontological arguments, see on this sessions 17, 18, 23) Definitions Used By The Cosmological Arguments • cosmos = ordered world • chaos = random world • creatio ex nihilo: creation out of nothing can mean either making the world appear in time or ordering the chaos into a cosmos, and in both senses, then, God becomes the ultimate cosmological explanation or the world. Creationism vs. Science? • Creation explanation (creationism) is not the same as an astrophysical or evolutionary explanation. These are apples and oranges: There is, thus, no necessary conflict between philosophical theology (session 2) and science, or between creationism and evolution. To oppose creationism to evolution, or vice versa, produces both “bad theology” (creationism is not astrophysics) and “bad science” (astrophysics does not theorize ultimate reality). The cosmologists as well as astrophysicists and evolutionary biologists, proceed from the order of the world, inductively, or a posteriori, to its causal explanation. Yet cosmologists seek ultimate explanation, and the scientists seek proximate causes in physical or biological space and time. The biblical story of Genesis is not in competition with the Big Bang. Three Ways of the Cosmological Argument • The First Way: The argument from change • The Second Way: The argument from causation • The Third Way: The argument from contingency • Note: St. Thomas Aquinas formulated 5 ways or proofs (you may read ahead this blackboard essay assigned for Module VIII). Of Aquinas’s five ways, the first three ways are basically the above cosmological arguments (discussed in session 20), while his fifth way is the design argument (discussed in session 22). After studying the readings in Stewart, and before session 23, re-read Aquinas to review this material. Building Blocks of the Cosmological Argument • Contingency (observation of the existing world of events “now”) • Contingency is a form of dependency: – Change – Causation • Contingency is the opposite of necessity. • The principle of sufficient reason (the ultimate way of explaining the world of events as they exist “now” that would stop the infinite regress of explanations) • Aseity (necessary being or event that is neither contingent nor requires another explanation for itself) Note: Both ontological and cosmological arguments arrive at the existence of necessary being that is the ultimate cause of and explanation or sufficient reason for every other world of events. ...
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This note was uploaded on 09/16/2010 for the course PHIL 206 taught by Professor Draper during the Spring '08 term at Purdue.

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