He is rather claiming that he must still exist; Coppleston used the example of winding up a pocket watch every night rather than knocking over the first domino in a chain.
These two ways leave Aquinas’ argument open for several criticisms, as well as showing some strength.
While it may indeed be true that everything in the universe does have a cause, it does not necessarily mean that the universe itself has a cause; the fact that everything which humans can observe can be explained by a precedent cause, this doesn’t mean that the universe can be explained in the same way.
The atheistic philosopher Betrand Russell agrees with this point and claims that while all humans have mothers, ‘Obviously, the human race hasn’t a mother, that’s a different logical sphere’ in his book Why I Am Not a Christian.
Using a posteriori knowledge, it may seem apparent that every effect has a cause.
However, if you use a priori knowledge, you could easily reason that, not everything which exists has a cause.The first of these give ways make similar points based on the idea that infinite regression is not possible; there must have been one thing that started off everything that happened. The first way is an argument for an ‘Unmoved Mover’.Here, Aquinas claims that everything in the world is in a constant state of change or ‘motion.’ He goes on to argue that something cannot be both potentially and actually the same thing; a cup of boiling tea could not be both hot and potentially hot, though it could be potentially cold and actually hot.One such strength is the way in which it is a satisfying argument for Humans to understand.It is true that, by human, a posteriori logic, things must indeed have a cause which exists outside its own essence or self.However, Aquinas’ argument can be re-strengthened through Anscombe’s criticism of Hume’s criticism in ‘Whatever Has a Beginning of Existence Must Have a Cause’: Hume’s Argument Exposed.In this work, Anscombe argues that while it possible to imagine something coming into existence without a cause, this does not mean that it is ‘possible to suppose “without contradiction of absurdity”’ that this is the case.He argued that we make assumptions about the relationship between Cause and Effect which are by no means necessarily true.While it is true that, according to human logic, infinite regression does not seem logical, in mathematics, it is possible to have an infinite series of regression; numbers can keep increasing or decreasing in size infinitely, thereby proving that infinite regression is entirely possible.We as humans were caused by our parents and the universe was caused by the big bang.However, if the big bang required matter to take place, then that matter, logically, had to have been caused by something and put into the correct environment for the event to take place.