Creation-Faith and the Value of the Cosmological Argument

The cosmological argument takes off from the common-sense idea that every effect must have a cause. From a rational point of view, the idea of something being created or effected out of nothing is absurd. Therefore, in many religious cosmologies, God is seen as either the material cause or the formal cause or the final cause of the world. In many cosmogonies, the universe is looked at as created out of something (and not nothing), many times the body of God (the eternal One). The idea of creation out of nothing does not originate in reason, though it may seem sensible to the imagination.

Immanuel Kant had raised an important issue with the cosmological argument that looked to God as the source of the chain of cause-effect phenomena (or the world). He said,
"If the supreme being should itself stand in this chain of conditions, it would be a member of the series, and like the lower members which it precedes, would call for further enquiry as to the still higher ground from which it follows. If, on the other hand, we propose to separate it from the chain, and to conceive it as a purely intelligible being, existing apart from the series of natural causes, by what bridge can reason contrive to pass over to it? For all laws governing the transition from effects to causes, all synthesis and extension of our knowledge, refer to nothing but possible experience, and therefore solely to objects of the sensible world, and apart from them can have no meaning whatsoever." [The Critique of Pure Reason, Trs by NK Smith, 518-19)
While there has been much significant work done on the cosmological argument, the argument itself is not supposed to function as the proof for the existence of God. Of course, attempts to debunk the cosmological argument do not accomplish much than the popular "If God created the world, who created God?" or "If God could be eternal, why can't the universe be eternal?" And, apologists have devised strong arguments as an answer.

Perhaps, the greatest value of the cosmological argument lies in exposing the irrationality of cosmogonies that are bereft of the idea of an uncaused, transcendent cause. For instance, it argues that an infinitely temporal universe would be impossible. It would certainly be too hasty for cosmologists to find evidence in a big bang theory or the similar. The cosmological argument, however, does allow a rational anticipation of the belief in a creation out of nothing.

Ultimately, the idea of creation out of nothing is not a mere common-sense tenet of reason, but is a tenet of faith. And the revelation is particular to the Biblical account of creation. Therefore, we are told:
"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." (Heb 11:3)

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