Challenges to the argument

Click on a Philosopher to read their views and then rank them according to how convincing you think they are.

The cosmological argument – Page 2

Hawking

  • The ‘Big Bang’ theory does not require God as a cause.
  • There are limits as to what God could create.
  • The ‘Big Bang’ may have happened spontaneously, like atomic particles in a vacuum.

Hume

  • Because events in the universe have a cause does not mean that the universe as a whole has a cause (Fallacy of composition)
  • We cannot know that every event must have a cause
  • The links between cause and effect are beyond our experience and therefore unknowable
  • The idea of a factually necessary being cannot be demonstrated
  • We have no experience of how worlds are made so we cannot know how this world came into being
  • God is not the only possible explanation. Infinite regression is also possible
  • If everything has a cause then God must have a cause
  • The cosmological argument is based on assumptions about God

Russell

  • The whole universe does not have an explanation because it cannot be related to any other things
  • To look for an extra cause for the world – which cannot be observed or compared – is meaningless
  • The universe ‘just is” and has no explanation nor requires one
  • Fallacy of composition – since the parts have a certain property (eg. causes), then it is mistaken to conclude that the whole likewise has that property
  • If atoms can appear out of nothing, so can the universe