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The Cosmological Argument Is Logically Unsound

If you have spent any time on the internet, you’ve likely learned that it is a great way to spread information (and a great deal more misinformation).  If you have a penchant for discussing the religious as we do, you’ve likely encountered a number of logical proofs for the existence of God.  Sadly, while these proofs seem to appease many of the mindless regurgitators, they simply are not very logical at all.

Here are examples of the Cosmological argument, which we will destroy in time to enjoy some mindless television.  Before reading them or trying to justify them with transcendental garbage, remember that these arguments are meant to be logical.

Example 1:

  1. Whatever exists has a cause.
  2. The universe exists.
  3. Therefore the universe has a First Cause.

If we look at the first part of the proposition, in Example 1.  We can note that it offers no validity or gainful meaning when coupled with the conclusion.  By accepting the initial proposition, we must also accept that the so-called First Cause must also have a cause. If that First Cause is God, then God must also have a cause, which must also have a cause, and so on into infinity.  Thus, in the case of explaining the logical existence of the First Cause, the argument only opens itself up to a loop of infinite regress.

Some, having realized this, attempted to strengthen the argument.  They failed.

Example 2:

  1. Whatever exists has a cause.
  2. The universe exists.
  3. Therefore the universe has an uncaused First Cause.
Do you see what happened? We removed the problem presented above by insisting that the First Cause be “uncaused.” However, this only further weakens the argument, as now the conclusion is in direct conflict with the first proposition.   If the First Cause does not have a cause, then the first proposition must be false.  If the first proposition is false, then the conclusion cannot follow.
Some theologians, God help them, have attempted to become more creative with their semantics.

Example 3:

  1. Every finite and contingent being has a cause.
  2. A causal loop cannot exist.
  3. A causal chain cannot be of infinite length.
  4. Therefore, a First Cause exists.

We can attack the semantics of this argument in a similar way to how we have above.  But first, we should discern a few additional details from the premise.

A side note: Can anyone explain where they get this idea of the impossibility of an infinite chain.  Do most Christians not believe they will spend eternity in heaven after they die? Would the idea of eternity not imply an infinite end, from which there would precede infinitely many moments?

If every finite and contingent being has a cause, and there is a First Cause, then the First Cause must be either infinite, necessary, or both.  As a First Cause, the necessary being’s definition implies that there exists the repercussions of the cause.  The causer, for lack of a better word, cannot exist without having caused.  So the existence of the First Cause is necessarily contingent upon the existence of whatever it caused.  In other words, we end up with another loop.

If the First Cause is infinite, would this not directly conflict with the idea that causal chains of infinite length cannot exist?  In order to move information from one part of an infinite to another part an infinite distance away, it would require infinitely many steps, thus rendering the premise of the lack of an infinite causal loop null.

There really is no way to save these arguments, as they all boil down to this:

The Cosmological Argument in a Nutshell

For some verb (v) make the following statement:

  1. Everything that is (v)ed must have a (v)er.
  2. The universe is (v)ed.
  3. Therefore, there must be an un-(v)ed (v)er.

It would seem that Russell’s Paradox in naive set theory would have dismantled the use of this argument altogether a century ago.  But like so many things, it continues to resurface.

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