The first cause implies God exists

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Cosmological arguments conclude that a first cause created the universe. However, a further argument would be needed to demonstrate god exists, let alone a particular God. These arguments are notoriously weak but without it, the relevance of cosmological arguments is questionable. Cosmological arguments that have this weakness include:

Contents

The argument

The argument runs: [1]

  1. If something exists apart from the universe, it is God.
  2. From the cosmological argument, something apart from the universe created the universe.
  3. Therefore, God exists. (from 1 and 2)

Counter arguments

Unjustified premise: God is the only thing apart from the universe

Main Article: Which God?

"Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God."

Thomas Aquinas

The assumption that God is the only thing that could exist apart from the universe is an unsupported assumption. If apologists are content to label the entity that created the universe as "God", they have not shown it is anything like the God of their religion. If they assume these concepts is equivalent, they are equivocating their terminology.

Arguments that the cause of the universe is like a god are largely based on an argument from ignorance, since they have not ruled out non-thinking/non-agent causes or natural causes. Science often solves problems that were formally a mystery; the origin of the universe could be discovered in future. Therefore, the argument is also god of the gaps.

This argument assumes that the cause of the universe is still in existence. The reason for the existence of the universe may have ceased to exist a long time ago.

MW: The false dilemma you are making is because you can't have an infinite regress, and you can't have something coming from nothing, therefore the only other possible option is, not just an uncreated creator, but the uncreated creator that specifically happens to be the biblical God. How do you know that?
Caller: The reason you know it is the biblical God is that you personally cannot find a natural explanation for the origin of the universe.[2]

William Lane Craig uses a different tactic by making it a premise (which is unsupported or based on circular reasoning):

"If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is a transcendent, personal being.[3]"

No one ever argued this

"This straw man argument has never been defended by any philosopher in the history of thought. [4]"

The argument is implicit any time an apologist makes the cosmological argument to demonstrate that God exists. It is usually stated informally by apologists because it is a weak argument.

If we, for the sake of argument, accept that "no one every defended this argument", then claiming the cosmological argument demonstrates God exists is a non sequitur.

References

  1. [1]
  2. Something cannot come from nothing, The Atheist Experience #675, 19th Sept 2010
  3. [2]
  4. [3]
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