I am sure the cosmological argument has been raised here by people like me who know nothing about philosophy numerous times before on this board. But I'm wondering if a slightly different approach can strengthen it.
It seems to me that all forms of the argument (at least that I've seen) sets itself up for failure by laying out as a PROPOSITION that "everything in existence demands an explanation for its existence", but then of course crashes and burns at the end because it somehow secretly sneaks a "god exists but needs no explanation" in there, of course contradicting the beginning proposition.
But what if we "argue by contradiction". That is,
Suppose that every entity in existence owes its existence to some other entity other than itself.
It follows from (1) that the universe owes its existence to some other entity other than itself, which itself owes its existence to some other entity other than itself, ad infinitum, leading to an infinite regress.
Because 1 implies 2, and 2 is an infinite regress, it cannot be that 1 is true. The logical negation of claim 1 is "There exists an entity that does not owe its existence to some other entity other than itself".
If you are using this argument to argue for some sort of god, the guaranteed (?) entity at the end of point 3 is what one would call god. Of course, it keeps open the possibility that there are a multitude of these "necessary beings", as the argument only guarantees the existence of at least one.
Lastly, one may ask why we reject the infinite regress as an impossibility. This is where my philosophy fails me. I know that other philosophical arguments have been rejected if they lead to such a regress, and so I apply that here. I also know that modern philosophers such as William Lane Craig have argued that such regresses are unobserved in the physical world and hence should be rejected on that basis.
Anyway, let me know what you think. Am I a famous philosopher now? Haha!