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How did the universe begin? Throughout history, that question has probably been the most debated topics between the philosophical, scientific and religious communities. I believe it is human nature in us that continues to seek the answers to “why” and “how” and not just sit back on blind faith. Even with today’s advances in science about our universe and its origin, we are no closer to providing solid proof for what caused the beginning of the universe or proving if it just always existed. I actually find that very interesting in the fact that through the major advancements in the medical field, scientist have successfully found vaccinations for diseases that have killed millions, robots that perform surgery, cloned animals, and the list could go on and on. But science has provided no solid evidence on how the universe got its beginning. Many philosophers and theologians believed that the existence of the universe needed an explanation. Plato (c.427-347 BCE) and Aristotle (c. 384-322 BCE) were among the earlier philosophers who attempted to answer the question in what became known as the cosmological arguments. According to Plato in his dialogue “The Laws” he argued that motion in the world and the cosmos was “imparted motion” that required some kind of “self-originated motion” to set it in motion and to maintain that motion. Aristotle’s arguments were centered around the fact that things just don’t exist, nothing comes from nothing, there needed to be a cause. During his study he realized that for every cause, there is one before it that caused it to happen, which eventually he realized, caused an infinite backwards cause of causes. Ultimately coming to the conclusion that there must have been a first cause. St. Thomas Aquinas is considered to be one of the greatest Christian philosophers that ever lived. He was also an Aristotelian scholar. Aquinas adapted Aristotle’s first cause for things in motion but did not stop there. Aquinas began under the assumption that if things are in motion then it had been caused to be in motion by something else. But if that were the case, that would create an infinite regression which he believed to be incorrect because that meant there was still no starting point but he knew at some point, it was set in motion. Aquinas’ explanation was, there must have been a first-case, the un-caused, cause. Aquinas believed that the un-caused causer was God. Another way he tried to proof his point was the argument for contingency. He explained that there are natural things that are possible to exist or not to exist. But it is impossible for these to always exist. So if it is possible for things not to exist, than at one time, nothing could have existed. Aquinas cosmological argument for the existence of God is known to be the most popular by philosopher and religious scholars. In his theological masterpiece, Summa Theologia, he proposed varies forms of cosmological arguments to explain “ways” that he thought would prove God exists. Many skeptics do not accept the existence of God because to them, there is no logical explanation for his existence. Some of the oppositions are listed below:
If everything has a cause, what caused the first cause – God?
If God did create the universe, how do we know it was just one God?
If we accepted the argument that such a being created the universe, how do we know he had anything to do with religion?
The counter argument indicated that the cosmological argument do not necessarily lead to the conclusion that there was a being that is responsible for the creation of the universe. Theists believe that God is self existent. God is omnipotent (all powerful), omnipresent (everywhere at once), omniscient (all knowing) and omnisapient (has all wisdom). They believe that God is exempt from the uncaused cause because he is eternal and not dependent on a cause for his existence. They go on to say that we may never know why or how creation took place or to explain Gods intentions of the event but he is an omniscient and omnipotent being. God does not need a reason to exist. The cosmological arguments seeks to prove the existence of God. To those that belief in God, there are no questions concerning his existence. For it is him that created everything. They believe that The Bible has scripture that goes along with these arguments and proves his existence. To the non-believers, they think that the cosmological arguments provide no evidence of the existence of God and that it just raises more questions about the origin or the universe. Could it be that there is no explanation? Did the universe just happen or has it always existed? This may be one of those questions that science will never have an answer for and to that everyone will accept. Until then, religion is a personal choice. No answer is right or wrong. I personally believe that God exist and that there is proof, to me everyday that he does.
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