God exists because there cannot be an infinite number of causes

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Parent debateThis argument is used in the debate Does God exist?.
Argument forThis argument is a justification of God is the first cause of the universe.
Keywords: Cosmological argument, First cause, Causality, God[ edit ].



“Let's say you're riding in a wagon on a railroad track. You ask your neighbor why the car is rolling. If he answers: "It's very simple, the car is rolling because it's hooked onto the car in front of it, which is rolling and dragging it along", you won't be satisfied, so you'll ask the same question again about the car in front. Your neighbor then repeats his question: "The car in front of us rolls because it's pulled by a third car, which rolls and pulls it." And if your neighbor persists and replies that the train you're on has an infinite number of carriages, and that it will always be possible to find a preceding carriage to explain the movement of any given carriage, you won't be satisfied and will end up concluding that your neighbor hasn't understood the question properly. By way of explanation, your neighbor will, in fact, take the question back a notch. But this is pointless. Clearly, you're not trying to understand how motion is transmitted, but how it is produced. If only the transmission is explained, but not the production, then the question has not been answered. And lengthening the series of wagons cannot disguise the inability to answer. However long it may be, even if it's infinite, a train without a locomotive won't move.”

Frédéric Guillaud, God exists, p.112-113, Éditions du Cerf, Paris, 2013.



Arguments forJustifications

Arguments againstObjections

  • Argument againstThe existence of the universe is explained by the infinite chain of causes of physical events.

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