THE TWELVE COSMOLOGICAL ARGUMENTS
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
By John J. Bannan (4/12/2020)
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1. God is the creator of the cosmos. The cosmological arguments prove the existence of God by demonstrating the necessity of a Creator for the cosmos. The cosmological arguments offer good reason through circumstantial evidence taken from the nature of the cosmos itself to believe in God. The following is a listing and explanation of all the known cosmological arguments for the existence of God:
I. THE DICHOTOMY OF EXISTENCE
(BY JOHN J. BANNAN)
The dichotomy of existence proves the existence of God by demonstrating the necessity of an uncaused Creator with the power to create any or all of the infinite potentials for physical reality to the fullest extent logically possible under everythingness. In terms of the uncaused, there are only two possibilities. The first is the uncaused reason for the existence of all physical reality. The second is the uncaused absence of any reality called absolute nothingness. These two are mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive of all logical possibilities forming an abstract metaphysical dichotomy of existence. Because each side of the dichotomy is uncaused, there can be no cause for either of the two being real. Rather, one side is real and the other is not real without reason or necessity. Moreover, an uncaused thing does not have parts, because it would otherwise be caused by those parts. Because an uncaused thing does not have parts, an uncaused thing cannot be destroyed because destruction demands the disassociation of parts. As a result, the side of the dichotomy that is real can never be destroyed, and the other side that is not real can never become real.
Because physical reality can differ in the most minute way logically possible from another potential physical reality, there is no good reason to believe that the uncaused reason for the existence of all physical reality could not also create that potential physical reality. Because this uncaused reason can create this potential physical reality, then it can also create another potential physical reality differing from the former potential physical reality in the most minute way logically possible. Repeating this ad infinitum, this uncaused reason must be capable of creating any or all of the infinite logically possible physical realities called everythingness. Because potential physical realities can be created, there must be a reason for the existence of physical reality and the creation of any or all infinite potential physical realities. This reason must be uncaused, because the creation of any or all physical realities is contingent on this reason which leaves this reason without anything else to cause it.
Because the creation of less than everything that is logically possible is itself a logical possibility falling within everythingness, then this uncaused reason must necessarily be able to decide what to create out of the infinite possibilities for physical reality. This uncaused reason must have knowledge of all the infinite potentials for physical reality, the power to create any or all of these potentials, and a presence to control, sustain, alter or destroy any such creation. Moreover, this uncaused reason must have the greatest decision-making ability logically possible in order to be able to create up to the fullest extent of everythingness. We call this uncaused real side of the dichotomy of existence God.
II. THE FIRST CAUSE ARGUMENT
(BY ST. THOMAS AQUINAS)
The first cause argument proves the existence of God by demonstrating that all causes and effects in the cosmos must ultimately derive from a very first cause we call God. In the cosmos, we observe that for every cause, there is an effect. We also observe that every effect is itself a cause for a subsequent effect. Like a line of falling dominos, the first falling domino causes the fall of the second domino, and the second falling domino causes the fall of the third domino. The cosmos unfolds as a series of causes and effects over time.
Because an infinite regress in time of causes and effects is impossible, there must be a very first cause of the cosmic series of causes and effects. We observe that cause and effect in the cosmos follows an order where A causes B, and B causes C, whether the intermediate cause B is only a single cause or several causes. Now to take away the cause is to take away the effect. Therefore, if there is no cause A, there will be no ultimate cause C, nor any intermediate cause B. But, if an infinite regress in time of causes and effects were possible, there would not be a first cause, and so neither would there be an ultimate cause, nor any intermediate cause. Therefore, the existence of the series of causes and effects over time in the cosmos necessitates a very first cause for the beginning of the series.
The very first cause in the beginning of the cosmic series of causes and effects over time must not itself be caused. If it were caused, then regress would continue backward in time infinitely, which is impossible. Moreover, the very first cause cannot be self-created. It is impossible for a thing to cause itself, because it would have to exist prior to itself. Therefore, the very first cause must itself be uncaused. We call this uncaused first cause God.
Because God is uncaused, God cannot be made of parts. A thing that is made of parts is caused by those parts. God being uncaused cannot Himself be caused by parts. We call this principle that God is not made of parts – divine simplicity. Divine simplicity is a mystery, because we cannot imagine a thing without parts. However, because we know a very first cause is necessary for the cosmos to be created, and we know that this very first cause cannot be made of parts, we know that divine simplicity is real. An ancient classical philosophical truth known as “ex nihilo nihil fit” states that nothing comes from nothing – or that you can’t get something from nothing. Because nothingness cannot create the cosmos, an uncaused very first cause of the cosmos is necessary to which we give the name God.
III. THE FIRST ORDER ARGUMENT
(BY JOHN J. BANNAN)
The first order argument proves the existence of God by demonstrating that the cosmos must have had an initial order created by an uncaused orderless cause we call God. We observe from the cosmos that everything has an order. This order is the relative position or arrangement of things in physical reality at any given moment in time. We observe that this order is caused by an antecedent order, and that this antecedent order is caused by an earlier antecedent order. Because an infinite regress in time of antecedent orders is impossible, there must be a very first order.
We observe that order in the cosmos follows a pattern where order A causes order B, and order B causes order C, whether the intermediate order B is only a single order or a series of consecutive orders. Now to take away order A is to take away order B. Therefore, if there is no order A, there will be no ultimate order C, nor any intermediate order B. But, if an infinite regress in time of consecutive orders were possible, there would not be a first order, and so neither would there be an ultimate order, nor any intermediate order. Therefore, the existence of the series of consecutive orders over time in the cosmos necessitates a very first order for the beginning of the series. This first order requires an orderless cause, because a first order cannot come from nothing. A cause without order is a cause without parts, and therefore must be uncaused because otherwise its parts would be its cause. Because all physical realities possess an order, this orderless cause cannot be any sort of physical reality. We call this uncaused orderless immaterial cause of first order God.