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RE:QUEST

A space for resources to help RE teachers and their students explore the Christian faith

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The Cosmological Argument

The First Cause argument explained

 

Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) was a medieval Christian theologian from Italy. He proposed a set of philosophical arguments which he said offered evidence for God’s existence. These are known as cosmological arguments.

The cosmological arguments (also known as The Five Ways) are based on the order of the cosmos and the natural laws and logic therein. A summary of these five arguments were published in Aquinas’ 'Summa Theologiae' in 1485.

You can find a summary of each of these five arguments in a separate resource here.

The second of these arguments is the First Cause argument. It is arguably the simplest argument of all the classical arguments for the existence of God. It postulates that God can be shown to exist with reference to an indisputable fact: the universe exists.

Here is a summary:

  • Events do not just happen, there is something that causes them. For example, a bow cannot fire itself, an archer is needed to pick it up and direct it.
  • Every event has a cause.
  • In order to have been caused, there has to have been a cause: nothing comes from nothing.
  • If each event has been caused by a cause, there has to be an original cause, right at the start; it can’t go back forever.
  • This original, or first cause, can only be God.
  • Therefore, God exists.

Basically, nothing happens on its own, there is always a cause for everything. The world didn’t just appear; it was 'caused' into being by God.

To find out more about this topic, download the following resource:

Cosmological Argument PDF