Sunday, 17 January 2010

Introduction to rebranding

What is rebranding and why is it needed in some places?

What is rebranding?

Rebranding is the way or ways in which a place is re-developed and marketed so that it gains a new identity. It can then attract new investors and visitors.

The purpose of rebranding is to develop a place economically, socially and even environmentally in some cases.

Towns which are deprived are given a second chance at reliving through rebranding.

The examples of rebranding I have studied:
  1. London Docklands - Newham and Tower Hamlets.
  2. Manchester
  3. Cornwall - St Austell 

How have places rebranded themselves?

Towns can rebrand themselves by re-imaging. The term ‘image’ means the impression that is given to the public of the place. 

If rebranding is like marketing a place to attract visitors and investors; then an image is similar to an advertising campaign. The image of a place is important as that is what ultimately decides what group of people it brings in.

For example if a place had an image of being young and trendy then this would pull in all young people who are perhaps very outgoing and technologically advanced. Whereas a place which had an image of tranquillity, peace and greenery will attract people who are more older and have more love for nature.

What are the different ways in which places rebrand themselves?

  1. Sports - through events such as Commonwealth games, Olympics etc. e.g. 2012 Olympic games in London Docklands
  2. Music- festivals and famous bands can attract people to an area e.g. Take That were from Manchester.
  3. Destination Tourism - where specific attractions such as the Eden Project are created to attract tourists.
  4. National Parks - they offer many facilities such sailing which attracts many people who live in cities as they cannot do these activities there.
  5. Festivals - music festivals, cultural festivals etc. ‘Garden festivals’  took place during the 1980s to provide a green image of inner cities so young people stopped leaving the place due to a lack of jobs.
  6. Industrial heritage - from wine tasting experiences to buildings and museums named after the original use of the building. 
  7. Eco-friendly images - these attract many investors and visitors as with climate change this is seen to be the new way forward.
  8. Flagship developments - these are similar to destination tourism but the emphasis is more on providing benefits for locals e.g. Trafford Centre in Manchester.
  9. And there are many other strategies.
Why is rebranding needed?
  1. Loss of industry - In the 1980s, Asia grew in manufacturing goods and resources. Hence, importing goods from overseas became so cheap that firms stopped buying goods and resources from the UK and switched to imports. This meant that people who were trained and working in the primary and secondary sector lost their jobs as firms could not compete with import prices.
  2. Population change - This meant that people started emigrating to other part of the country in search of jobs for which they had skills. The state of the economy changed because economy was now made up of majority of service sector and many people did not have the skills to deal with these jobs.
  3. The spiral of decline - This is the negative multiplier effect. People emigrating, business declining and a lack of jobs meant that even if a business did start up as people did not jobs they did not have the money to spend on it hence the new business would suffer to. This would carry on into a negative multiplier circle.

Why did London Docklands need rebranding?

London Docklands used to be one of the largest docks in London. However, they had to shut which lead to the deprivation of the area. They had to shut because ships increased in size and they needed deeper water which the docks could not provide. So Tilbury 20 miles downstream and Felixstowe 70 miles away was better adapted to larger ships and commerce moved to those places leaving the original docks deprived and derelict.

Why did Cornwall need rebranding?

Cornwall is peripheral town in the South West of England. Due to lack of access and cheaper abroad holidays the number of visitors has been declining in Cornwall. Seasonal tourism is what is prevalent in Cornwall and this means that many business suffer. Also, as with the docklands many primary sectors jobs especially farmers lost there job because importing agricultural goods become cheaper.  The end result was that the negative multiplier effect took place and Cornwall became deprived.\

Why did Manchester need rebranding?

Manchester had a negatively perceived image because of the decline in textile and mill factories which led to the spiral of decline just like in the Docks.It led to gun crime and violence, giving Manchester the name 'Gunchester'. To put the icing on the cake, Manchester was bombed by the IRA making the rebranding process a necessity.

Fieldwork and research 

What is a ‘profile’ of an area?

It is a short description which is sometimes accompanied by a fact file and photos which gives one a taster of a place. A great example of a profile can be found on ‘’.

Some fieldwork and research techniques used to sample and profile an area...

  1. Environmental quality survey is a survey where you select your opinion of certain aspects of a place e.g. litter. From this bi-polar charts can be produced and it is easy to compare different places on their level of environmental quality.
  2. Photo panoramas  are a complication of photos depicting what a place looks like. They help us get a visual feel for place. 
  3. Goad maps are historic maps showing what is in a place and physical landscape features such as river. Comparing them to maps of today can give some idea of how an area has progressed or might I say regressed.
  4. Census data is a database which is updated every 10 years (last one was in 2001) and sample census takes place every 5 years. They help you see a range of data for different places and comparing figures to averages of the country and so on help you see exactly how a place is doing. For example, we can measure the health of citizens, employment status, residential quality and much more.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Contending with extreme situations

How can we best respond to and cope with the impacts of extreme weather?

Key idea: Adaptation vs. Mitigation 

Extreme weather can bring some very adverse impacts onto area socially, economically and environmentally. So there are ways of dealing with it. We can either adapt to the situation or mitigate. Adaptation is usually used in  these event because these event are either caused by complex human causes such as climate change or natural such as the Milankovitch cycles which are hard to mitigate. Below I have defined each term as it is important to  understand them:

Adaptation: Any change in the structure or functioning of an organism or system that makes it better suited to the environment. For example; Boscastle is a flood prone village thus they have changed the shape of the river so it can hold of more water and cutting the impacts of flooding - not causes.

Mitigation: The process by which you make something less harmful or serious. For example; it is claimed the European heatwave in 2003 was caused by climate change. So people governments have got together like in the Copenhagen  treaty to discuss how we can cut carbon emission to mitigate climate change.

Key concept: Short-term strategies vs. long-term strategies 

Short-term strategies used to contending with difficulties with extreme weather can include increasing the number of medical staff around or evacuating people from a certain area. LEDCs tend to rely ons short-term strategies as they cannot around long-term strategies and they also rely on foreign aid for the short-term strategies.

Long-term strategies tend to be hard engineering and quite costly. The work in reducing the impacts in the long term. So for example to reduce the impact of cars being swept away by floods, Boscastle raised the level of the car park and added extra barriers to it.

How are was Hurricane Katrina predicted?

Wind speed and temperature across hurricane forming regions are measured with satellites.On these satellites we can even see the cloud formation and swirling winds. From these meteorologists can predict hurricanes. Hurricane Katrina was predicted accurately 6 days before. The official hurricane forecasting organisation is the 'National Hurricane Centre'.(Link: )
The hurricane was so violent that people were commanded to evacuate. However, 20% of the population (low income groups) didn’t have their own private transport or due to financial reasons were not able to evacuate and were left stranded in the disaster.

What did strategies did the environmental agency take in Boscastle?

They went for 4 long-term hard engineering strategies to reduce the impacts of flooding. 
  1. The environmental agency made a decision to lay a large relief culvert that would carry excess rainwater. It is twice the size of the old one. 
  2. The River Valency is being widened and lowered from the lower bridge to the car park, so that it has a bigger capacity and can carry more water.
  3. The height of the car park is being raised using stone removed from the river bed. Also barriers are being made for the car park so that if it floods it takes much longer for the cars to be swept away.
  4. There are plans to demolish the lower bridge near the harbour and replace it with a higher bridge further downstream. This will give the river more capacity and help to reduce flooding.

Risk assessment 
Risk assessment is way in which organisations such as the environmental agency can decide whether certain solutions are suitable to the particular hazards.
Boscastle flood risk assessment is done by a method called recurrence interval. It is a graph which displays the probability of floods of different levels occurring. The 2004 flash flood had a 1 in 400 years chance of coming. This does not mean the next one this big will happen after 400 years it could happy after a month and then not happen for 800years. Therefore, it isn’t particularly accurate.

Role of Technology 
As technology advances we are able to predict events faster and more accurately and we are able to find solutions which are more smart and suited to our environments.
So for example in the case of Hurricane Katrina the National Hurricane Centre were able to use new satellites to predicted accurately the hurricane would come in 6 days and help the resident of the New orleans prepare for it.
The met office use technology to forecast weather and throughout time the technology has become more efficient and accurate. For example, the snow we experienced in December 2009 and January 2010 the met office were able to give severe warnings about.
Technology is also used to reduce the impacts if disaster. River Flooding can be a great disaster and in a city like London if there was a big flood so much would be destroyed. With technology engineers were able to create the Thames Barrier which has helped reduce the risk of flooding.
GIS (geographical information systems) is a complex computer system which will show you the geography of an area including demo-graph, physical landscape and buildings in an area. They can be used for flood monitoring because they can monitor flood levels and with the weather forecast; meteorologists can put 2 and 2 together to prepare for a flood.
In extreme heat event like drought technology has been useful here as well because through genetic modification we have been able to create drought resistant crops which means that even in the worst conditions farmers will still have agricultural goods to distribute.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA is a similar organisation to the met office and national hurricane centre. They forecast weather, give warning and advice people of coping methods. They use the latest technology and produce some very accurate results. Check their about me section out:

Increasing the risk of extreme weather...

How are people and places increasingly at risk from and vulnerable to extreme weather?

We are increasing our risk to these events by both human and natural causes.

  1. Global warming - all over the globe scientists are saying that global warming is creating more and more disastrous events like heat waves, droughts, floods etc.
  2. Demographics - Our population is increasingly on such are large scale that now it is hard to split resources evenly. This is also means that more people are living within one area of land so when there is a extreme weather event like a hurricane more people than before are being affected.
  3. Land management - As we become more technologically advance and progress; more and more land become urbanised. This means that we have to exploit nature i.e. deforestation, dig land for precise resources. This leads to increased risk of flooding, more people in extreme weather prone area and more risk of destruction.
  1. Sunspots - Variations in levels of solar radiation levels can have effects on the Earth’s climate. Increased solar activity can have short-term warming effects on Earth.
  2. Volcanoes - Volcanic eruptions such as Mount Tembora in 1815 can have major effects on the Earth’s climate because of the huge excretion of volcanic dust and various gases.
  3. Milankovitch cycles - extreme weather is affected by changes in climate and according to one theory the Earth’s orbit varies every 100,000 years which means its distance from the sun and glaciation cycles vary. 

Increasing the risk 2004 Boscastle Flash Floods 

Lets first remind ourselves of the location of Boscastle....

View Boscastle in a larger map

Meteorological reasons why the flood risk was increased:
  1. Localised rain; There was a trough passing straight through Boscastle which meant that rainfall in boscastle was 184mm and in surrounding areas only 1.5mm.
  2. The trough was part of a depression which had develop over the eastern atlantic ocean. In this the air had even sucked in remains on Hurricane Alex in the USA.
Physical characteristics of the place that increased the risk.
  1. The village is based at the bottom of a steep hill.
  2. The upper part of the village has been urbanising recently which means deforestation increased there.
  3. The overall land use of the area has been changing - it is becoming more and more built up. The consequence of this that there are more impermeable surfaces and surface runoff is increased.
So how was the flood managed?

4 long-term hard engineering defence systems were put into place to reduce the risk of such a destructive flood happening again. It cost £4.6 million.
  1. The environmental agency laid a large relief culvert that would carry excess rainwater (a bit like a drain). It was made twice the size of the old one.
  2. The river shape is being altered. The River Valency is being widened and lowered from the lower bridge to the car park, so that it has a bigger capacity to carry water.
  3. As the so many cars swept; the car park is now being raised with stone from the river bed and barriers are being added to it so next time less cars are swept away.
  4. There are plans to demolish the lower bridge near the harbour and replace it with a higher bridge downstream. This will give the river more capacity and help reduce the impacts of flooding.

For more information on the Boscastle Flash Flood in 2004 please see my post on Boscastle 2004 flood.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Impacts of extreme weather

What are the impacts of extreme weather on people, the economy and the environment?

I have linked an electronic copy of a table I created to depict the impacts.

Click the link above.

Click on photos to enlarge them...

Introduction to extreme weather

This post aims to answer the enquiry question: What are extreme weather conditions and how and why do they lead to extreme weather events?

What are extreme weather events?
They are severe and usually unanticipated weather conditions which cause chaos and disruption to our lives.

Why do they occur?
They occur for several reasons from global warming to natural changes in Earth e.g. El Nino.

Lets look at some extreme weather events...


A storm with widespread snowfall accompanied by strong winds. This is formed when there is a ridge of high pressure. It is when a region of high pressure interacts with an area of low pressure. It forces the warm high pressure air to rise up and cool and condense. As a result, snow falls with strong winds.


A long period of abnormally low rainfall, especially one that adversely affects growing or living conditions. This is caused by high pressure systems causing a blocking high. This means that the same hot and dry conditions in an area last for day upon end.


If temperatures get too high this can initiate forest fires and other fires throughout the country. e.g. in the European Heatwave 2003, Portugal experiences many forest fires. 


A downpour of precipitation which causes water stores to over flow. 


heat wave is prolonged period of excessively hot weather, which may be accompanied by high humidity.


It is any product of condensation that occurs in the atmosphere that falls on the Earth's surface; it can include sleet, ice, snow, rain, etc.

Summer Anticyclone

An area of high pressure in the summer which may lead to a heatwave. 

Temperate storms 

Any storm that happens in a temperate area i.e. in the middle latitudes rather than tropical or sub-tropical.It is also another name for a depression.(Depression: An area of low atmospheric pressure.)


A violently rotating column of air, falling from cumulonimbus cloud, and nearly always observable. They form like depressions in areas of low pressure. 

Tropical cyclones (hurricanes)
They are low pressure weather systems which have very strong sustained winds over 120 km/h are bring torrential rainfall. To find out more about how hurricanes form please look at my post on hurricanes

Winter anticyclone 

An area of high pressure in the winter that may lead to snow or ice and below freezing temperatures.

Air masses

They are large bodies of stable air that have acquired the characteristics of the areas over which they have been resting.

There are 4 types: 

Polar Continental 

Large bodies of air rest of cold areas of land. For example in the UK this air mass comes from Scandinavia, Siberia and Eastern Europe. As it travels down it warms and becomes more unstable. In the UK this brings snow, ice, cold snaps of air.

Polar Maritime 

Large bodies of air rest in cold areas of water e.g the ocean or lakes.  For example in the UK it comes from the Arctic water. As it travels down it warms up and becomes unstable. In the UK it brings precipitation, frost and fog.

Tropical Continental 

Large bodies of air rest in hot areas of land e.g. Southern Europe and America. As it travels it cools and becomes more stable. In the UK it brings hot, dry and often dusty conditions. We sometimes experiences red snow with this air mass.

Tropical Maritime 

Large bodies of air in hot areas of water e.g. Atlantic Ocean. As it travels it cools and becomes more stable. In the UK it brings warm, humid and sunny weather. Along with showers, fog and cloud cover.

Pressure Systems 

Air pressure is force pushing down on the Earth. If it is high then air is sinking and tends to move is a clockwise direction and an area with high pressure is known as an anticyclone. If air pressure is low it tends to rising and this forms clouds and an area of low pressure is know as a depression.  Air pressure can be measured with a barometer; see my post on weather instruments for further detail.

Can summer anticyclonic conditions be classed as an extreme weather event?

What are the weather conditions shown in this synoptic chart?

It is showing a summer anticyclone. We can see high pressure (pressure over 1000) and clockwise winds. Typically in this conditions the air mass is Tropical Continental - warm and dry winds from places like the Sahara. We can see no rain as in summer anticyclones we do not see much cloud formation as it is high pressure.There are light winds over England and Eastern Europe - we can see this through the knots and gap between the isobars.  However Scotland an Ireland have higher wind speeds and more cloud cover. 

There is also an occluded front passing over this part of the UK - traditionally we do not see front in anticyclonic conditions- but just goes to show the weather isn't as simple as the textbook suggests. The occluded front occluded front occurs where a warm front and a cold front meets. the means the amount of warm air that rises is larger than just a warm or cold front. This means that in that area there will be a down pour of torrential rain possibly.

What is an extreme weather event?

It is severe or unusual weather conditions e.g. hurricanes which causes severe impacts on the environment, economy and people.

So what are the risks associated with this weather system?

  1. As temperatures can become extremely high we will see many health risks of dehydration etc and this worst affects the elderly and the young.
  2. Water levels can become extremely low which means hydroelectric power and thermal power station may have to shut as the cooling process becomes impossible.This is dangerous because it is in a time when people will need Air conditioning in their homes.
  3. Once again there is a high risk of fog, which is hard to forecast, and this may cause breathing difficulties. Especially because pollution can get caught in sinking air causing smog - which is terrible for asthmatics.
  4. In extreme event 'blocking highs' can occur where the normal pattern of weather is diverted and we are stuck with the anticyclone for long periods of time.

For a real life example look at my post on the EU heatwave in 2003.

Can winter anticyclonic conditions be an extreme weather example?

What are the weather conditions shown in this map?

Firstly there is an winter anticyclone. The pressure is over 1000 (high pressure) and winds are blowing in a clockwise direction. There is also quite a large gap between isobars showing winds aren't that high which fits in the model of a winter anticyclone. There will be hardly any clouds allowing the sun to shine through although the temperatures will still be low as there is a lack of clouds which allows heat to escape back into the atmosphere. We can see this through the symbols on the chart. The winter anticyclone has built up through cold and dry condition in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. The Polar Continental air mass is the main one associated with this weather system.

There is also a cold front passing through North East England and Scotland. Traditionally, in anticyclonic conditions we do not see fronts forming but it just goes to show that real weather is much more complex than what the textbook says. In this front the cold air advances and force the warm air to rise sharply.

When the warm air rises quickly is condenses and causes a short rapid snap of heavy rain. Hence around the front we see symbols of rain.

What is an extreme weather event?

It is severe or unusual weather conditions e.g. hurricanes which cause severe impacts on the environment, people and economy.

So what are the risks with this condition?
  1. Firstly, temperatures can become extremely low bringing many health risks like hypothermia especially to children and the elderly.
  2. Many who suffer with breathing difficulties will probably have many problems. This is because first off the air is cold and dry and secondly there is a high risk or fog which is known to making breathing difficulties bigger.
  3. Fog is difficult to forecast in these situations do to cloud cover or the lack of it! This makes forecasting difficult and when extreme anticyclonic conditions are arising it is hard to forecast hence hard to act appropriately.
  4. Some extreme situations see heavy snow of ice falling. As we have seen in the last too months this can cause severe disruption. Many lives are lost, over a million people are not able to reach work and livestock are dying as they are not able to cope with these cold conditions.

    Tuesday, 12 January 2010

    The theory of demand (AS-Level Economics)

    What is demand?

    It is desire from consumers for a particular good/service/commodity.

    The demand curve...

    The demand curve shows the quantity demanded by consumers at each price of a good/service.
    Price and demand are inversely related i.e. as price increases the quantity demand decreases. This describes the demand curve is downward sloping.

    There are two reasons one must know for why price and demand have an inverse relationship.

    1. The real income effect
    As the price of a good/service increases it will eat a bigger chunk of the consumers income making them feel poorer so there are only a few people who are rich enough not to feel this impact. Also, the purchasing power has decreased (and all this means is that only a few people can afford expensive goods and services as they have the financial power.)

    2. The substitution effect-

    This is that in our economy there is a lot of competition which keep prices low which is good for consumers. This means that there are many alternatives to the particular product you are looking for. For example if you wanted to buy window cleaning spray and saw it was £5.99 that may be relatively expensive for you so you might go into another shop and buy a different brand or similar cleaning product which will be cheaper therefore as the price of a good increases the demand decreases as consumers' will switch to alternatives.

    Important key term:

    Demand schedule: This is a table showing quantity demanded by consumers at each price level. This is table used to draw a demand curve.

    What about shifts?

    Well a shift in the demand curve will only exist if a non-price determinant changes and the quantity demanded by consumers changes at every price.

    In the demand curve above we can see that the demand for shares has decreased and this can be for several reasons.

    Why does the demand curve shift?

    1. Tastes - social trends and fashion changes and this affects the demand for a good, For example at one point cassettes were very popular but as soon as CDs came the fashion changed to listening to CDs. The demand for cassette tapes decreased.

    2. Income - If income increases then people have more purchasing power so the demand at every price level will increase. Vice versa if incomes suddenly decreased than the demand would decrease as people do not have a strong purchasing power.

    3. Price of substitutes - substitutes as we mentioned before are alternatives. So if these decrease people are likely too buy more of them as their consumer surplus increases. This means that the good itself will incur a reduction in demand. For example if Pantene Pro-V hairspray became cheaper the demand for L'oreal hairspray would decrease because people would switch to the pantene Pro-V hairspray.

    4.The price of complements - these are goods which complement each other i.e. go with each other. For example tea and milk. If the price of complement increases then the demand decreases. So for example if the price of milk rises then the demand for tea will decrease as people may switch tcheapero other cheaper alternative like black coffee or herbal tea,

    5. Expectation of future price change - this doesn't tend to be as big as other factors. But in markets such as the housing industry or the share it has a big impact. If for example houses were supposed to increase prices in the future then the demand for houses will increase because people will wan to buy as they know they can sell it at a later date for a profit.

    6. Population increase/migration- If there are more people then the demand for a product is likely to be be bigger. The two main ways in which a population can change are (i) population increase/ decrease through baby boom or increased availability of contraception and (ii) migration - this means people moving in and out of a country.

    7. Distribution of income - This is by far the most interesting one. this suggest if the government increased taxes or benefits to the poor then demand for necessities will increase as that is what poor people will demand and the demand for luxuries will decrease as rich people loose some of their purchasing power for it,


    1. Demand for a normal product may cause the demand curve to shift outwards if...
    a) price increases
    b) price decreases
    c)the price of a substitute falls
    d) the price of a substitute rises.

    2.A decrease in income should:
    a) Shift demand for an inferior product outwards
    b) Shift demand for an inferior product inwards
    c) Shift supply for an inferior product inwards
    d) Shift supply for an inferior product outwards

    Answers under photo...


    1) D- The demand curve will only shift outwards because of non-price factors such as the price of substitutes. If the price of substitutes increases then people are more likely to switch and buy this product. For example; orange juice and apple juice are close substitutes and if the price of apple juice goes people more people will be attracted to buy orange juice.

    2) A - if income decreases then the quantity demand of an inferior will increase as they have an inverse relationship. Supply is not affected by the income elasticity of a product.

    Monday, 11 January 2010

    The Moral Argument by Kant and criticisms by Freud

    This is a video of me below explaining the moral argument and its criticisms:

    • It is an a-posteriori argument.
    • The argument starts from our experience of morality (right and wrong) and concludes that God must exist to explain this fully.
    • Kant didn't believe the argument proved God's existence. Rather, Kant said it was reasonable to postulate God in order to make final sense of reality.
    • It is based on three assumptions:
                    (i)  We are free to do both right and wrong.
                   (ii)  God will reward the person that lives dutifully.
                   (iii) There us an after-life to make this possible.

    So here is how it goes...

    1. People who are good should be happy.However, this is not always true. Some good people are very unhappy because life treats them badly.
    2. There must be something else which makes them act morally. This is the highest good or what Kant call 'Summum bonum' and their sense of duty to achieve the highest good.
    3. Our 'reason' tells us which laws should be obeyed; these are laws that can universalised.For example, we know stealing is wrong because if everyone went around stealing, society would fail.They are called categorical imperatives; non-negotiable and absolute requirements fulfilling their duty.
    4. There must be a reward for our moral behaviour in the next world- the summum bonum.
    5. Hence,  it is reasonable to believe God exists as he is entity that promises to reward us.
    Sigmund Freud's criticisms

    • He believed our sense of duty and moral awareness can be explained by socialisation i.e. the adaptation of behavioural patterns of the surrounding culture.
    • He said our conscious (decisions to do right or wrong) was a product of our unconscious mind or super-ego of he human psyche.
    There are 3 parts to the human psyche...
    1. ID- Basic instincts and primitive desires e.g. hunger, lust, greed etc.
    2. Ego- Perception of the external world that makes us aware of the 'reality principle'. It is one's most outward part and personality.
    3. Super-ego - This is the unconscious mind which consists of: (i) the ego ideal: this praises all good actions and (ii) conscious who makes you feel guilty for bad actions.
    • For Freud, moral awareness cannot derive from a divine origin because then the commands would be absolute and we all would come to the same conclusion. For example; in the case euthanasia some find it unmoral and other find it moral (relieving loved one rom pain)
    A further development on the criticism...

    • If the conscious which makes good and bad decisions is the word of God than you would expect the moral code enforced by God to be consistent.
    • However, this does not explain cases such as the Yorkshire Ripper who claimed to follow voices in his head.
    • It can be implied from that, that the conscious is not truly objective.
    • Therefore, it has a human not divine origin.

    Sunday, 10 January 2010

    Cosmological Argument

    St. Thomas Aquinas expressed an a-posteriori Cosmological argument in 3 of his five ways: (a) The unmoved mover (b) The uncaused causer and (c) Possibility and Necessity. Later, Frank Copleston developed this argument in radio debate with Bertrand Russell. Hume also added several criticisms to the argument later.

    So what was Aquinas' first way? 
    The unmoved mover
    1. Everything in the world seems to be moving.
    2. Motion in an object is caused by an external force for example a car will only move if petrol is added.
    3. Furthermore, he said that every object has a potential form and an actual form e.g. a log has a potential of being a heat giver but actually it is just a log. It takes something to cause it to change into its potential form i.e. it takes a human to set it alight for it be heat giver.
    4. Aquinas rejected that these causes could go back to infinity.
    5. He said there must be something external which causes motion which it self is unmoved.
    6. This he said is the Prime Mover or the unmoved mover which we know as God.
    What about the second way?
    The uncaused causer- This is similar to the first way but it explores cause rather than motion.
    1. He looked at everything in world and said nothing comes about by itself. For example, my computer didn't come about by itself it required somebody to get all the bits and put it together.
    2. Again, Aquinas rejected this chain of causes could go back to infinity.
    3. He said there must of been something external which itself was uncaused.
    4. This is caused the uncaused causer which we know as God.
    And the third way?
    Possibility and necessity...
    1. This argument revolves around two 'assumptions' as such: (i) time is infinite and (ii) all things in this world are contingent i.e. one day these things will cease to exist.
    2. Therefore, there must have been a time when nothing was around [where all contingent things ceased to exist].
    3. Since nothing can come from nothing; there must have been a necessary being which explains why contingent things came into existence.
    4. This cause is what we know to be God.
    Radio Debate Frank Copleston and Bertrand Russell
    • Copleston developed the Cosmological argument. He said that individual things on Earth do not themselves have a reason or a cause. He says reality is a compilation of these unexplained objects. Therefore, the explanation of the world must lie outside and it must be its own sufficient reason.
    • Russell responded to this saying just because individual parts of the universe require an explanation does not mean the universe itself does too. The universe has to be accepted as a brute fact. He gave a metaphor for this - he said just because individual humans have a mother it does not mean there is one mother for the whole human race.
    • To this Copleston famously replied "one cannot be checkmated if one refuses to sit at the chessboard."
    David Hume's Criticisms:
    1. You can deny the argument of possibility and necessity without contradicting oneself because you can reject the concept of a necessary being all together.
    2. If the universe requires a cause then why doesn't God?
    3. Also, isn't of funny how the argument starts off with the idea of universal causation and ends up with something which is uncaused.