(Original post by burritosnake)
I'm well aware of the cosmological arguments having done AS RE.
The person I was replying to didn't use the cosmological argument, they just said that God must have created the universe.
All of these cosmological arguments never prove that this first cause must be the God of theism, nor must it be anything resembling a God. Why must some things necessarily exist? Existence in itself is arbitrary. Why can't the universe be the first cause of itself, as I said, cutting out the 'middle man'. All of these arguments rely on logic, but empirically we simply don't know how the universe started, nor how it works.
I'm don't know, I think alluding to God as the cause of the universe is basically as a cosmological argument.
A few points;
The arguments from classical theism (Aquinas' five ways being the most common example) attempt to show that which is pure actuality (or colloquially the unmoved mover) has divine traits like omnipotence etc. You may disagree with these points but that means dealing with the arguments given for 'and this we call God'.
The universe cannot in any way 'cause' itself as self causation is unintelligible. That's why no one defends the idea that the universe itself is the first cause. Rather, the typical atheist response is that the universe is neccessary. Or that the universe has it within the necessity of its own nature to exist.
You talk about logic and empiricism. Generally, the idea of scientism plays a role in the assumptions of many objectors to cosmological arguments. If that's what you mean by highlighting that we need empiricism in order for a cosmological argument goes through, it's not hard to show scientism to be wrong.
Also, science may play a role in the Kalam cosmological argument in whether the universe had a beginning or is eternal, but is almost irrelevant to all other types. The First Way of Aquinas starts from the general notion of change, for example, and is simply something that science must presuppose if it is to work. Similarly, the Principle of Sufficient reason is something science needs in order to work, a rejection of the PSR undermines scientific ideas.
Ofcourse, you may wish to argue that the Cosmological argument from contingency fails or the Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics which are the foundation for the Five Ways of Aquinas are wrong, but this is an argument from philosophy.
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