27 March 2010

Who Caused God?

In a recent debate between atheist Dan Barker and Cardinal George Pell, Barker asserted that the retort, "Who caused God?" is a sufficient refutation of the cosmological argument. Does this even address the cosmological argument? The cosmological argument says that everything within the universe (and consequently the universe itself) is a receiver of existence; it comes into being and, as such, has a cause. Even if the "chain" of cause and effect goes back infinitely, nothing along that chain would ever have come into existence if there wasn't something which first had existence to give--the Uncaused Cause of all things. A pertinent challenge to this argument might be that an Uncaused Cause is not necessary to explain the chain of cause and effect, or that if any being is uncaused, why not the universe? But to simply retort, "Who caused the Uncaused Cause?" seems to me to miss the matter entirely.