• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

(A) Explain Hume's objections to teleological arguments (B) God is the most likely explanation for design in the universe". Discuss.God is the most likely explanation for design in the universe". Discuss.

Extracts from this document...


(A) Explain Hume's objections to teleological arguments Teleological arguments argue from a general pattern of order/design to the necessity for there being an original "designer" of the universe, i.e. "God". The word "teleological" is derived from the Greek word telos, meaning end or purpose. This argument has been one of the most persuasive of all the traditional arguments of the existence of God. In Hume's dialogs concerning natural religion he uses the characters Cleanthes and Demea to put forward a posteriori and a priori versions of the design argument. His own character, Philo, puts forward critiques of the arguments. Cleanthes' argument is based on a belief that the world has great design and that this necessarily implies a great designer. This is similar to Paley's analogy of the watch maker; Voltaire emphasised his analogy by stating "If a watch proves the existence of a watchmaker but the universe does not prove the existence of a great Architect, then I consent to be called a fool." Hume's criticisms of Cleanthes are not of the deductive nature of his argument, but a based on what he believes would be the dubitable God which Cleanthes would have of the designer of our imperfect world. Also, Hume puts the possibility that there may be many God's as many complicated things have a number of designers, who's to say there is only one designer? ...read more.


(B) "God is the most likely explanation for design in the universe". Discuss. In examining this question, the key phrase is "most likely". In exploring the existence of God we are drawn to look at what is "probable" or "most likely" rather than "what is". Many believers in God accept that there needs to be a leap of faith as without it religion is undermined as faith is the integral part of belief in a God. However, there is value, as Hume has shown, in exploring the likelihood of there being a benevolent God and arguments supporting His existence. For Christians, by far the most popular of all the traditional arguments for the existence of God is the argument from or to design - the teleological argument. There are two versions of the argument for believing in God due to design in the universe; one is that we can deduce the existence of God from instances of design (teleological) and the other is an argument from experience of a regulated and organised world to the conclusion that this must be the work of a designer (Providence). God is a probable or possible explanation for either version of the argument, but that does not make him necessarily exist. One of the criticisms of the teleological argument is that complexity does not imply design. ...read more.


Philosophers from Aristotle through to Dawkins have debated what this argument has to say about the problem of infinite regress - if the universe must be designed why should its designer not also be designed and so on? Thus it brings us back to the major problem of using the design argument to prove the existence of God because who designed the designer? Counter arguments have been that the designer does not have to be as complex as the objects he designs and that God contains within his essence the ability to design and order the universe and does not need a designer himself. What is persuasive about using the design argument to prove the likelihood of God's existence is that we generally interpret our world as being ordered and not completely chaotic. There is no compelling evidence from the design argument that God exists as the Christian God whose qualities are clearly taught through the Bible. However, if one is looking for God as a likely explanation of design in the universe the fact that the universe appears to not be randomly created does lead one to suppose that it must have been created by a powerful entity, however it would require a leap of faith to conclude that this entity it God. Those who argue against the teleological theories however do not in general provide a positive alternative as to how the universe began but rather focus on its faults. ?? ?? ?? ?? Nick Cameron ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philosophy essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The design argument is also known as the teleological argument. The argument looks at ...

    3 star(s)

    Further, It appears to be beautiful at all levels. He also pointed out that evolution itself works to the advancement of species, supported by a world that provides all that is necessary to promote life.

  2. Assess What Can Be Concluded From The Teleological Argument

    However, all human objects vary in size and complexity, with many natural phenomena now being able to be explained or recreated (e.g. the cloning of sheep, artificial methods of pregnancy or the growth of organs outside the body) which may suggest that eventually we could create a world.

  1. The Goodness of God

    even if God does command it. These problems in Exodus leave us with an ongoing problem today - how can a good and loving God expose mankind to the sheer amount of undeserved suffering that they experience?

  2. Compare and contrast arguments for and against belief in life after death.

    be deceptive, as sometimes our senses can be mistaken regarding the physical world. Why should we be an exception? For example a drunk man may perceive himself to be sober when actually this is not the case. However, we may point out that this analogy is at fault because if

  1. Outline the teleological proof of the existence of God

    The archer (God) would aim to some sort of goal (the target). As the target in itself has no mind of its own, God gives the final purpose. The Argument is an ancient argument that stretches from ancient Greek Philosophy with people like Cicero, Plato and Socrates, all the way through history to people like Behe.

  2. What are they key features of the design argument for the existence of God?

    This leads to the argument's next strength, visibility of evidence. The argument is based on the way in which the world appears to be designed and so therefore the evidence for this is all around us. This wealth of what some maintain to be evidence of design would therefore give

  1. Mills objection to the teleological argument is stronger than the objections of Hume. Discuss.

    Many such as Aquinas agree and believe that God?s goodness is infinitely different to human goodness, and therefore it can be argued that God allows evil and suffering to exist as part of his greater plan of love. Mill?s criticism of the TA is weakened as there are alternate explanations for evil within nature other than an unloving God.

  2. The design arguments prove Gods existence. Assess this view.

    Paley foresees certain criticism of his argument, by stating the following. He claims that we may be in ignorance of how watches are made, however we still know that the watch has been made. For example, we know that a computer is designed even though we may be ignorant of

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work