I have always considered the refutation to the Cosmological argument as saying God would also need a cause. He took a different approach and simply argued that something must be uncaused. Here was his model:
1. Something has a cause and could not exist, in the sense that they could be broken. (He used his glasses as an example, saying they were greater than the sum of their parts due to a glasses factory)
The thing that created it also had a cause (stuck in a loop of infinite regression)
Infinite regress is not actually a problem. This is because "infinity" is only an abstraction. No matter how far back you go in an infinite timestream, as soon as you pick any actual
starting point, it is a finite temporal distance away from the present. In other words, there is no "infinity ago" where you can start a temporal sequence and from whence it is impossible to reach the present. Even if there was such a thing, as long as you also have an infinite amount of time to get here from there, the infinities cancel one another out. Example: the set of real numbers. No matter how far "back" you go into negative numbers, there's always a larger negative number beyond it. And yet, we are somehow able to count to four without bewailing the infinite regress of numbers less than four.
Furthermore, "God" is not immune to infinite regress. Theists usually present "God" as a thinking, emoting, talking person
. If this is so, and "God" is also unchanging (it did not evolve from some simpler arrangement of "God-stuff" or come into being somehow) then it must have always been thinking, emoting, etc. The moment before creation, it would have thought, "I'm going to create my Cosmos--now
!" Before that: "I'm going to design this Cosmos I want to create." Before that: "I think I'll create a Cosmos." And so on. So, either: "God" had a "First Thought" before which it was not a thinking entity, or it has an infinite regress of thoughts (emotions, experiences, etc.).
Since "God" is equally subject to the problem of infinite regress, either infinite regress is not a problem, or it is as fatal to "God" as it is to a Universe of infinite duration.
2a.1: Universe is finite but unbounded in time. Think of the surface of a sphere. It is finite in area and diameter, but if you walk around it you will never find a "beginning."
2a.2: Time is cyclical. The moment "after" the "Big Rip" (when cosmic expansion and particle decay has swept away all matter/energy leaving an omnisymmetric and ultimately simple "nothing") is identical to the moment "before" the Big Bang. Rinse, lather, repeat--again, and again, and again....
2a.3: Our Cosmos is only one of many in a larger spacetime manifold, and due to the physics of its Big Bang, it is temporally discontinuous from events "before" the BB in the spacetime manifold. So it looks like this: (1, 2, 3, 4....n)(1, 2, 3, 4....n)(1, 2, 3, 4....n)(1, 2, 3, 4....n)(1, 2, 3, 4....n)... ...where each set of parentheses encloses a Big Bang Cosmos, from its Big Bang until whatever ultimately happens to a Cosmos. The temporal sequence within each set of parentheses is finite, though incredibly vast. Where two opposite parentheses meet: )( is a Big Bang temporal singularity. In this model, time cannot be counted back past the singularity because the equations that model time break down under the conditions that exist in a singularity.
2b. The thing that created it did not have a cause.
Since a "God" is equally vulnerable to infinite regress, and is also vastly (in fact, infinitely
, if the god is supposed to be an omnimax) more complex than an omnisymmetric spacetime manifold, the latter is a far more parsimonious candidate for "First Cause." Physicists have equations that can model how a Cosmos can emerge spontaneously from a spacetime manifold. Theists have nothing comparable for their "God" model.