Essay On The Teleological Argument

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The teleological argument is an argument attempting to prove God’s existence based on the evidence of design and order in the universe. It works based on the belief that there must have been an intelligent designer, and the only being powerful enough to have created the universe is God. The argument is a posteriori and inductive; it looks at our experience of the universe and draws inferences from it. As they are based on inferences, these conclusions are statements of probability rather than perfect proofs. Many philosophers have worked on the teleological argument – for example, Thomas Aquinas and William Paley. As a whole, the teleological argument seems rather successful, and provides many good points, however there are also many valid …show more content…
Thomas Aquinas came up with the ‘Five Ways’ in his book ‘Summa Theologica’. These ways are based on his belief that one can know God by observing the world; the Fifth Way is his version of the teleological argument. He comes up with the analogy of an archer aiming and shooting an arrow: every aspect of the universe is directed by a designer “as the arrow is directed by the archer”. Everything works too well to simply happen by chance, and therefore there must be a being who designed it: God. Aquinas describes everything to achieve their end “not fortuitously, but designedly”. This argument for design qua regularity was also spoken about by William Paley in his book ‘Natural Theology’. In particular, he considered the motion of the planets in the solar system, and concluded that they must have had a designer. The relationship between and the effect of gravity on the planets could not have come about without a designer; even minor changes in the laws of physics could completely change the way the universe works together. The arguments for design qua regularity are rational and easy to understand, as they contain premises and a conclusion. This therefore means it is likely to be logical to people, and could be persuasive. If the world has structure and order, there must have been a reason for it.
Paley also argued for design qua purpose. He came up with an analogy of a watch on a heath: if someone were to find a watch on a heath, they would contemplate its intricate design and how there must have been a watchmaker involved in its creation. From this, one would notice the intricacies of the world and realise that that, too, must have been designed. He reasoned that we do not have to have seen a watch being made to know that it was created; this is similar to the

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