- Published: September 6, 2022
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June 2011: Examine the ways in which the design argument provides evidence for the existence God? A famous philosopher Kant commented on the proof of the design argument which shows the existence of God stating “ This proof always deserves to be mentioned with respect. It is the oldest, the clearest and most accordant with the common reason of mankind. This was mentioned in his book the Critique of Pure reason. The argument that I am going to put forward and the proofs I am going to provide is the teleological argument.
The word teleological comes from the Greek word telos which means end or purpose and logical which means the study of therefore this is the study of the purpose. The teleological argument is an inductive argument therefore proofs are based on premises which means they are drawn from experience and the conclusion is not logically necessary. Aquinas is a very important philosopher in the design argument. In his famous work “ summa theological” Aquinas had his five ways in which he is most remembered for. In the design argument we are most concerned with the final way which is that God is the divine designer of everything.
Here Aquinas suggests that non intelligent material requires an intelligent being behind it to make it beneficial. Aquinas used the example of an arrow and a archer; he stated that for an arrow to reach its destination it must be directed by the archer which is the intelligent being therefore applying this to the universe for us to reach are destination and purpose in the universe there must be a higher intelligent being before us which is directing us. Aquinas stated natural bodies seem to act in a regular way to reach some sort of final purpose; this shows Aquinas using science to back up the views of God in the Bible.
Also Aquinas argued for design qua regularity; he saw the overall regularity in the world as proof for a designer God. William Paley another famous philosopher mainly known for his Watch Analogy took Aquinas’s ideas further and formed his own version of the teleological argument. Paley compares the world to a machine and sees it made up of all intricate parts which work together for an end result. He saw all the small adaptations in the nature and for him these were proofs of a designing intelligence.
An example of the small intricacies in the nature is the water cycle and how it all works together. The watch serves an analogy which demonstrates purpose and telos. All evidence would show that the watch had been designed for a purpose, design and designed with the necessary regularity to meet its purpose. He said every design requires a designer and that all designs have an end function. Paley claimed that in the same way as the watch and other machine’s the universe was full of small intricacies that could not have come about by chance.
Paley used the example of the eye. The way the eye is so complexly designed there is no way it could have all come about by chance moreover science till date is unable to create a replica of the eye. Also Paley was fascinated by the solar system and the rotation of the planets. He saw the evidence of a divine hand at work in the universe. F. R. Tennant a philosopher of the 1930’s elaborated on the teleological arguments with his anthropic principle. This principle basically is saying that the world is revolving around human kind.
Tennant believed the best evidence of design could be seen in the way the universe supports intelligent life. An example of this would be how the trees release oxygen which supports us humans to live and without oxygen we wouldn’t be alive. This is an astonishing proof of design and existence of God. Also another example of Tennant’s anthropic principle which shows that the world is designed around us human beings is that the sun is placed in the perfect distance. Tennant developed his anthropic principle to add the aesthetic argument in this Tennant argued against Darwin’s Theory of evolution.
He said that the theory of evolution cannot explain why humans have feelings as they are not necessary for survival also natural selection cannot account for the existence for the feelings of appreciation etc. Tennant believed that the capacity for joy was putt in us by our designer which is God. Richard Swinburne accepts the anthropic principle. Swinburne believes that the earth is so finely tuned that there is no other explanation other than a designer God. He believes that science explains how the things in the world are so finely tuned in the world and that the Bible explains why.
Swinburne believe that we should understand the existence of scientific laws in terms of a purpose which has been put in place for the. The purpose can be best explained by an omnipotent being. Due to the design argument being an a posteriori argument it strengthens the argument as we can see the complexities with our naked eye. However due to it being inductive meaning based on experiences people interpret the experiences differently moreover it can negatively be argued that the designer or creator does not have to be God and that the jump to conclusion of god is too big…
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