So you think you understand the cosmological argument?

Upon just encountering an atheist asking “What caused God?” in the context of a discussion of cosmological arguments it seems appropriate to link to this post from Edward Feser: So you think you understand the cosmological argument?

The gist of the post is as follows:

  1. The argument does NOT rest on the premise that “Everything has a cause.”
  2. “What caused God?” is not a serious objection to the argument.
  3. “Why assume that the universe had a beginning?” is not a serious objection to the argument.
  4. “No one has given any reason to think that the First Cause is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good, etc.” is not a serious objection to the argument.
  5. “The argument doesn’t prove that Christianity is true” is not a serious objection to the argument.
  6. “Science has shown such-and-such” is not a serious objection to (most versions of) the argument.
  7. The argument is not a “God of the gaps” argument.
  8. Hume and Kant did not have the last word on the argument.  Neither has anyone else.
  9. What “most philosophers” think about the argument is irrelevant.
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