Key Features of the Design Argument for the Existence of God Essay

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Key Features of the Design Argument for the Existence of God

Design arguments seek to move from facts about the world to the existence of God. As such they are inductive, a posteriori arguments. The Design argument is actually a broad title under which a number of arguments fall. Swinburne in his book 'The Existence of God' suggests three different groupings of these arguments. There are Teleological arguments which argue from what is seen as a general pattern of order in the Universe. Arguments from providence are those which seek to argue in favour of God's existence from the provision for the needs of conscious beings. The third type of argument is known as The Argument from Beauty.

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Aquinas also cited an acorn which has a goal of becoming an oak tree. The acorn behaves in such a way as to achieve its goal, however, it posses no intelligence of its own and so must have been designed in order to behave in such a manner. This designer is God.

Swinburne is a contemporary supporter of the argument. Using the analogy with a kidnapper and an explosive card-shuffling machine, Swinburne argues that because of the exacting conditions needed for the existence of the universe the Teleologist's basic point that the existence of the universe is extraordinary is still valid in today's world of science.

Whilst the Teleological Argument is derived from the general pattern of order in the universe, the argument from Providence, by contrast, argues from the provision of the needs of intelligent beings within the universe.

A.E. Taylor put forward the classical form of the Argument from Providence, although it should be noted that Swinburne also has such an argument. Taylor argues that Nature seems to plan in advance for the needs of animals and humans. Such planning cannot be accounted for by physical laws alone as there are innumerable ways that electrons could run. Therefore there must be more than physical laws to account for the tremendously high improbability of life. Taylor maintains that mind or intelligence is required in order to explain how

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