What did Bertrand Russell say about the cosmological argument?

What did Bertrand Russell say about the cosmological argument?

According to the cosmological argument, there must be a self-existent being, because, if every being were a dependent being, we would lack an explanation of the fact that there are any dependent beings at all, rather than nothing.

What is the main objection to the cosmological argument?

One objection to the argument is that it leaves open the question of why the First Cause is unique in that it does not require any causes. Proponents argue that the First Cause is exempt from having a cause, while opponents argue that this is special pleading or otherwise untrue.

What is Russell’s objection to the first cause argument?

The first cause argument asserts that everything we see around us is causal in nature, therefore if one goes up the chain of causality, one will encounter the First Cause, and that would be God. Russell criticizes this argument by quoting a story from his days of youth.

What is the cosmological argument from contingency?

The “Argument from Contingency” examines how every being must be either necessary or contingent. Since not every being can be contingent, it follow that there must be a necessary being upon which all things depend. This being is God.

What type of argument is the cosmological argument?

The cosmological argument is less a particular argument than an argument type. It uses a general pattern of argumentation (logos) that makes an inference from particular alleged facts about the universe (cosmos) to the existence of a unique being, generally identified with or referred to as God.

What are the weaknesses of the cosmological argument?


  • No proof of God’s existence.
  • Lots of Inductive Leaps (Hume)
  • No imperial evidence (Hume)
  • Assumptions between cause and effect.
  • The world may be infinite and doesn’t need to have a cause (Russell and Oscillating Universe Theory)
  • Contradicting statements – Everything needs a cause, but God doesn’t need a cause.

Who Criticised the cosmological argument?

This thesis sets out to examine Kant’s criticism of the cosmological argument. Kant’s general philosophical views are expounded and his reasons for the rejection of metaphysics are explained. In the course of the argument Kant’s own analysis of the cosmological proof is discussed.

Is the cosmological argument a posteriori?

As an a posteriori argument, the cosmological argument begins with a fact known by experience, namely, that something contingent exists. We might sketch out a version of the argument as follows. A contingent being (a being such that if it exists, it could have not-existed) exists.

What is the strongest objection to the cosmological argument?

What is the difference between Copleston’s and Russell’s arguments?

In the first section, the Argument from Contingency, Copleston argues that God must exist because the universe requires a Necessary Being to explain it, but Russell argues that the universe is a brute fact .. on people’s lives makes the existence of God more likely, but Russell argues that these are subjective experiences.

What are the objections to the cosmological argument?

Objections to the Cosmological Argument: Cleanthes then raises a number of objections to this argument. These are: 1. Denying the conclusion: Even if this argument were successful, Cleanthes asks why it must be the case that the necessary being is God? He asks, “why may not the material universe be the necessarily existent being?” For, it seems

Why does Russell reject the idea of contingent existence?

Russell, however, rejects the whole idea of calling things ‘contingent’ because he doesn’t think there can be any necessary things. ‘Necessary’, for Russell, is a word that belongs in logic, not in the universe of things and beings. He won’t “admit the idea of a Necessary Being”.

How does Copleston feel about the cosmological argument?

Copleston seems to feel things have reached a stalemate. Russell agrees that “it’s illegitimate even to ask the question of the cause of the world” and Copleston agrees that this makes it impossible to discuss the Cosmological Argument any further.