An influential argument (or family of arguments) for the existence of God. Its premises are that all natural things are dependent for their existence on something else; the totality of dependent beings must then itself depend upon a nondependent, or necessarily existent, being, which is God. Like the argument to design, the cosmological argument was attacked by Hume and Kant. Its main problem is that it requires us to make sense of the notion of necessary existence. For if the answer to the question of why anything exists is that some other thing of a similar kind exists, the question merely arises again. So the ‘God’ that ends the question must exist necessarily; it must not be an entity of which the same kinds of question can be raised. The other problem with the argument is that it unfortunately affords no reason for attributing concern and care to the deity, nor for connecting the necessarily existent being it derives with human values and aspirations.
Subjects: Religion — Philosophy.