The cosmological argument is an attempt to prove the existence of God by choosing to observe and isolate different parts of the world around us humans. It starts with one definitive, obvious truth: things exist in some form in our world. From there, the cosmological argument posits that the mere existence of tangible things within the universe proves that there has to be some sort of God-like entity that has created everything. The most famous of all of the arguments for the existence of God in this fashion is that of the “five ways” that Thomas Aquinas elaborated upon in his work. One attribute of this argument is that of the “first cause” argument, which essentially states that there is some original cause that has occurred to construct the universe. (Gale, 15) According to Aquinas, the very existence of the universe confirms that some “uncaused” cause exists that was present before the universe itself. Everything exists for some reason and there is a sufficient explanation which can be attached to the existence of any individual entity or thing within the material world. (Gale, 17)
This mentality is known as the Principle of Sufficient Reason. Essentially, this asserts that in order for things to exist in the world that we know, they had to have some sort of defined origin. Our first attempt at explaining the existence of something comes from a physical explanation. If there appears to be no physical cause that can be associated with the existence of something, we attempt to find if it has a psychological or mental origin. Lastly, if both of these conditions can’t be explained, then we attempt to find if the entity exists for a supernatural reason, such as a miracle. (Gale, 22) Given how utterly expansive and complex the universe is as a whole, each of the parts that cause it to interact and exist must therefore have some sort of cause for their conception. Each individual person or thing within the world can attribute their existence to billions and billions of interactions between other entities within the world.
The universe itself is merely a vast and intricate chain of complex, interrelated events. There must exist a first, definitive cause for everything though because if there isn’t, then the Principle of Sufficient Reasoning is defied in essentially every way. (Rowe, 32) There can be no long-term explanation of any of the universe’s events if there is no existence of a first, defining cause for the universe itself. The passage of time has seen an infinite number of events occur in infinite renditions. Each of these events is the cause of whatever event happens to follow it, and the effect of whatever event happens to precede it. (Rowe, 38) The world itself as a whole is devised from the world that existed before the current one became a reality. The first cause argument essentially tells us that the universe must have a beginning and this beginning must be catalyzed by something outside of its defined existence bringing it forth into the existence in which it currently resides. This first cause can be seen as a celestial sort of deity, or simply a force that isn’t defined by our universe’s concepts of reality and is in itself entirely existent without our reality. (Rowe, 46) The only other option is that the universe itself is infinite and cannot be defined in terms of a beginning or an end.
Building on this idea, take for example the notion that it is impossible to find the beginning or ending of a infinitely repeating series. One cannot simply count down or up to infinity from zero, as it would continue given that infinity itself is never-ending. As such, any individual who claims to have counted from one end of infinity to the other is positing a false claim as this is impossible, given the constraints of our reality. (White, 106) By extension, the universe’s past itself cannot be represented infinitely, because time would have to stretch from infinity to the present, and in turn would be entirely unable to do so. The existence of a first cause in this situation must be one that is not defined by the constraints of time or space, as we can define it. Thus, in order for an entity to exist without violating the two principles set forth, it would simply have to exist in a differently defined realm than the one that we currently occupy.
If a Creator in this situation were to bare any similarities with the universe itself, then that being would be subject to the existence of time and its effects. As such, it would have to be created by something as well. Thus, in order for an entity to exist that defies the conditions that we know, it must never be fully brought into our defined existence and must exist as a being that is detached from time, with no connection to its beginning or end. (White, 110) The transcendence of time and space would provide for the necessary components to ensure that it is not originated from nothing, as it would not be defined by this or the existence of the universe by extension. The First Cause would have to represent an extension of infinity, capable of defining its own existence and the conditions that exist around it. Our world would then be constructed through this First Cause’s reality and it would set forth to define the conditions on its own accord for the reality that we are in.