Teleological Argument Essay

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What are the strengths of the teleological argument?
The teleological argument is an a posteriori style of argument, also known as an empirical argument which uses the evidence using observations of the world through the five senses to argue the existence of God. The argument is based on an interpretation of teleology in which purpose or telos appear to exist in nature. The teleological argument suggests that, given this premise, the existence of a designer can be assumed, typically presented as God. Because the design argument needs and looks for the evidence to prove the existence of God, by saying ‘God exists’ it’s a synthetic statement. Furthermore for empiricists, the existence of God is said to be factually necessary (de re) because the
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The universe is compared to a man-made object in which a designer fits all the parts together for specific function. For example a television is designed to receive picture and sound but if the parts were fitted together in a random manner then the television would not work. Similarly, there are complex arrangements within nature that have been fitted together by a designer for special purposes. The first part William Paley’s argument is related to design qua purpose and puts forward his argument for design in the form of an analogy. If we came across a watch we can conclude all the parts have been fitted together for a purpose and wouldn’t have come into existence by chance, just as the world must have been created for a purpose. Paley also used the idea of an eye and how it’s been designed especially for the purpose of sight. Paley believes the design of an eye suggests an intelligent designer. This is a strength because something as complex as an eye must have had a designer because it couldn’t possibly have come into existence on its own. Such evidence could only be the result of a ‘designing creator’ which for Paley is God. Richard Swinburne backs up Paley with integrated complexity and Swinburne states that the complexity in the universe makes it more probable there is design and therefore a designer – God. Antony Flew also looks at integrated complexity and it was the reason he converted from atheism and theism. About DNA, Flew mentioned that the meeting of these two parts at the right time by chance is simply minute. It is all a matter of the enormous complexity by which the results were achieved, which looked to me like the work of intelligence. Even though there are arguments that agree with Paley there are criticisms. Paley’s view can be criticised by Hume who is a major opponent of the design

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