Teleological Argument Essay

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Religious studies – Cosmological Argument or Teleological Argument The Teleological Argument Introduction • Also known as design argument • Teleos is a Greek word meaning end or purpose • Many versions e.g. St Thomas Aquinas. • The most famous one is William Paley…the watchmaker argument • Design argument is a posteriori argument. • Design argument is a argument for the existence of god • Paley’s argument is in two parts…the design qua regularity and design qua purpose. • It is based on observation of the apparent order in the universe and the natural world, to conclude that it not the result of mere chance, but of design. • The evidence from design points to a designer and the argument concludes that this designer is God. • ‘With such signs of forethought in the design of living creatures, can you doubt they are the work of choice or design?’ (Socrates) Design qua purpose • First part of Paley’s argument is design qua purpose • Argument was put forward for design in the form of a simple analogy • If we were to come across a watch, we would conclude that all the parts are fitted together for a purpose and had not come into existence by chance. • An intelligent person would infer a designer for the watch. • In the same way, if we look at the world we can infer a design because of the way in which things fit together for purpose. Design qua regularity • The second part of Paley’s argument is design qua regularity • Paley pointed to the rotation of the planets in the solar system, and how they obey the same universal laws, and hold their orbits because of gravity. • This couldn’t have about by chance. • He concluded that an external agent must have imposed order on the universe as a whole, and on its many parts, and that this agent must be god! Conclusion • The argument makes basic assumption that there is order and design in
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