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Thomas Aquinas' Cosmological Argument

Despite cultural differences, broadly speaking, humans worldwide have a vague idea of what is right and what is wrong; a moral argument for the existence of God would say that this mutual understanding is proof of God's existence.

William Paley put forward perhaps the most famous version of this with the watchmaker argument.

If the argument from structure to design is convincing when drawn from a particular animal, say a Newfoundland dog, and is not weakened by the knowledge that this dog came from similar parents, would it be at all weakened if it were ascertained that he was a remote descendant of the mastiff or some other breed, or that both these and other breeds came (as is suspected) from some wolf? If not, how is the argument for design in the structure of our particular dog affected by the supposition that his wolfish progenitor came from a post-tertiary wolf, perhaps less unlike an existing one that the dog in question is to some other of the numerous existing races of dogs, and that this post-tertiary came from an equally or more different tertiary wolf? And if the argument from structure to design is not invalidated by our present knowledge that our individual dog was developed from a single organic cell, how is it invalidated by the supposition of an analogous natural descent, through a long line of connected forms, from such a cell, or from some simple animal, existing ages before there were any dogs?

The cosmological argument is basically an argument about causation.

We can summarize the analogical version of the design argument as follows:

The Argument from Design purports to demonstrate the existence of God by citing as evidence the appearance of design or purpose in the natural world. This argument differs from the others we have considered in that it does not depend on any exotic or potentially controversial metaphysical assumptions. The ontological argument assumes as a premise that existence is a perfection; the cosmological argument assumes that every positive fact must have an explanation. And whatever else one thinks of these arguments, their appeal is limited precisely because the rational atheist or agnostic seems to be entirely within his rights in resisting these assumptions. The Argument from Design, by contrast, appeals only to evident facts of experience and to a principle of reasoning that seems to be firmly embedded in ordinary common sense and in scientific thinking.

Hume criticizes the Argument from Design in his (best known as his essay on miracles) but his most completeanalysis is in , published shortlyafter his death in 1776.

Therefore I am defending the existence of God.

Arguments for and against the existence of a Creator abound, but two of these stand above the rest.

The teleological argument, also known as the argument from design quite simply states that a designer must exist since the universe and living things display elements of design in their order, consistency, unity and pattern.

Part IX Demea argues that since arguments are inconclusive, the only way to go is an declaration of faith. Cleanthes points out that the usefulness of anapproach doesn't make it valid, then, to anticipate Philo's arguments, attemptsto show that one cannot demonstrate the existence of God .

Swinburne in his book 'The Existence of God' suggests three different groupings of these arguments.
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There are really only two arguments in favor of the existence of God.

Part IV Cleanthes demolishes Demea by pointing out that a mind which hasno thought is not a mind, and a view of God that makes him utterly unknowable isnot very different from atheism. Philo, meanwhile, has caught his breath andwades back in. He attacks the idea of reasoning from earthly particulars to theuniverse as a whole, and pretty well lays out the modern skeptical opposition tothe Argument from Design, asking why, if ideas in God's mind organize themselveswithout cause, why matter couldn't do the same thing. Cleanthes retorts that,regardless of Philo's "abstruse doubts, cavils and objections," thechain of inference from order to designer is too clear and straightforward todoubt.

The argument from reason is an ontological argument....

Part V Philo fires a broadside against Cleanthes. He points out that thethen-new discoveries in astronomy and under the microscope undermine Cleanthesby making the universe less and less like human design. He points out thathumans are in no better position to judge whether the universe is well designedthan an illiterate peasant is to evaluate the Aeneid. He argues that we have noway of knowing whether the universe might not be the work of a team of deities,or perhaps a discarded trial run [positions that run counter to orthodoxChristianity, of course, but not to the idea of intelligent design]. Cleanthes replies that not one of thesearguments successfully refutes the fact of design itself.

Most of these arguments can be termed as ontological.

This essay purposefully attempts to break down Paley’s argument and does so in the following manner: firstly, Paley’s basis for the teleological argument is introduced; secondly, Paley’s argument is derived and analyzed; thirdly, the connection between Paley’s argument and th...

The main point in the cosmological argument is the first cause.

Sotnak analyzes "some of the more common manifestations" of the teleological argument, including those of Hume and Plantinga, finding that the argument "fails to make it even probable that living things were designed." From Appendix of (1995) by .

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