The principle of causality does not apply to the universe

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Parent debateThis argument is used in the debate Does God exist?.
Argument againstThis argument is an objection to God is the first cause of the universe.
Keywords: Cosmological argument, First cause, God, Causality, Universe[ edit ].


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  • We cannot speak of causality for the universe because causality is a notion that is the fruit of our habits derived from our senses (Hume).
  • The principle of causality applies only to the sensible world (Kant)
  • Sophism of composition (Russell)


“Add to this the fact that in tracing an eternal succession of objects, it seems absurd to ask for the general cause or first author. How can a thing existing from all eternity have a cause, since this relationship presupposes an anterior time and a beginning of existence? Also, in a chain or succession of objects, each part is caused by that which precedes it, and causes that which follows it. So where does the difficulty lie? But the great Whole, you say, requires a cause. I reply that the union of these parts into a Whole, just as the union of several diverse provinces into a single kingdom, or of several members into a single body, is only the effect of an arbitrary act of the mind, and has not the slightest influence on the nature of things. If I were to show you the particular causes of each individual in the collection of twenty molecules of matter, I would regard it as very unreasonable if you were then to ask me what was the cause of these twenty parts united into a whole. The thing is sufficiently explained by the explanation of the cause of the parts.”



Arguments forJustifications

Arguments againstObjections

  • Argument againstThe fallacy of composition is not a fallacy
  • Argument againstWe must follow the truth of our senses
  • Argument againstWithout a first cause, the series of causes cannot be explained.

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