Explain the cosmological argument for God’s existence?

Author: BibleAsk Team


The cosmological argument is one of the oldest and most influential arguments for the existence of God. It seeks to demonstrate that the existence of the universe requires the existence of a transcendent cause, which is identified as God. This argument has been articulated in various forms throughout history by philosophers, theologians, and thinkers from different religious traditions. Let’s explore the cosmological argument in depth, supported by references from Bible.

Principle of Causality

The cosmological argument is rooted in the principle of causality, which asserts that every event or contingent thing has a cause. This principle is intuitively plausible and widely accepted across philosophical and scientific disciplines.

  • NKJV Reference: The principle of causality finds biblical support in passages such as Genesis 1:1, which states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This verse affirms the idea of a causal relationship between God as the creator and the existence of the universe.

Argument from Contingency

The cosmological argument often takes the form of an argument from contingency, which highlights the contingent nature of the universe and argues that it must have a necessary or non-contingent cause.

Argument from the Beginning of the Universe

Another aspect of the cosmological argument focuses on the beginning of the universe, positing that the universe had a temporal beginning and therefore requires a cause outside of itself.

  • NKJV Reference: The temporal beginning of the universe is implied in passages such as John 1:3, which declares, “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” This verse attributes the creation of all things to the Word, identified with Jesus Christ in Christian theology.

Argument from the Principle of Sufficient Reason

The cosmological argument appeals to the principle of sufficient reason, which asserts that everything that exists has an explanation or reason for its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.

  • NKJV Reference: Isaiah 40:28 states, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.” This verse emphasizes God’s role as the ultimate explanation for the existence of the universe, beyond human comprehension.

Argument from Dependency

A central theme of the cosmological argument is the idea of dependency, highlighting the contingent and derived nature of the universe in contrast to the self-existent and necessary nature of God.

  • NKJV Reference: Acts 17:28 affirms, “for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’” This verse underscores humanity’s existential dependency on God as the sustainer of life and existence.

Refutation of Infinite Regress

The cosmological argument aims to avoid an infinite regress of causes by positing a first cause or uncaused cause that initiates the chain of causation.

  • NKJV Reference: Revelation 1:8 asserts, “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,’ says the Lord, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’” This verse portrays God as the ultimate source and culmination of all reality, transcending the limitations of temporal causation.

Historical Background

These arguments go back to Plato (c. 427–347 BC) and Aristotle (c. 384–322 BC) that posited first cause arguments. Plato posited a basic argument in The Laws (Book X), where he reasoned that all movement in the world and the Cosmos was “imparted motion.” This required a “self-originated motion” to set it in motion and to maintain it. And Plato presented this being of supreme wisdom as the creator of the Cosmos in his work Timaeus.

And this argument was re-introduced in the thirteenth century as the Argument from Motion. It argued that things in motion could not have brought themselves into motion but must be caused to move. And since there cannot be an infinite regression of movers. Therefore, there must be an Unmoved Mover. This Unmoved Mover is God.

These types of arguments have been used by notable philosophers and theologians ever since. The cosmological argument is associated with the modern explanation of the “principle of sufficient reason” presented by Gottfried Leibniz and Samuel Clarke, that claims that “nothing comes from nothing.”

Thus, according to the cosmological argument, the universe had to have a first cause to get started and it needs a thing to give it its existence now. This thing would always exist, have no cause, have no beginning, be outside of time, and be infinite. This thing is God.

    In conclusion, the cosmological argument for God’s existence presents a compelling case based on the principles of causality, contingency, and sufficient reason. By appealing to the universe’s contingent nature, temporal beginning, and dependency, this argument points to the necessity of a transcendent cause beyond the physical realm. Supported by biblical references affirming God’s role as the creator, sustainer, and ultimate explanation of the universe, the cosmological argument offers profound insights into the nature of existence and the rational grounds for belief in God.

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    In His service,
    BibleAsk Team

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