The following is Thomas Aquinas’ cosmological argument from contingency I used in the VT debate on the existence of God. This version of the cosmological argument can be traced back to antiquity originally advocated by Plato and Aristotle. For my method of argumentation please see: VT–My Method of Argumentation.
- What we observe and experience in our universe is contingent.
- A network of causally dependent contingent things cannot be infinite.
- A network of causally dependent contingent things must be finite.
- Therefore, There must be a first cause in the network of contingent causes.
In this context, what I mean by contingent is that if X is contingent then X owes its existence to something else. For a thing that has the potentiality of movement cannot actualize its own potential; some other thing must cause it to move. The universe consists of a network of causes. A was caused by B, but only because B is caused by C, and so on. We know of nothing that spontaneously initiates its own causal activity. (Even supposed quantum indeterminacy requires a state of affairs, or preceding causal conditions, such as the governance of the laws of nature, for the event to occur). This is a hierarchical network of causation and not temporal. Note that nothing here turns on our having to know about everything.