• 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)

    Supporters and Critics Brown, in the 20th century, supported the argument. He pointed to the ozone layer, its purpose is to filter out ultraviolet rays in order to protect life and this could not have happened by chance. Tennant was a supporter of the teleological argument and proposed his own version.

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

    Mill chose to maintain God's goodness, thus accepting that God was limited in some way, although Mill said he could not tell by what or by whom. If one of the aforementioned flaws in the designer is not the case then it is difficult to argue a case for the

  1. Assess the view that conscience is given to us by God.

    Aquinas states that it is our duty to keep our conscience well informed by going to church and reading the bible as this will avoid us from making the wrong decisions. Even though we cannot knowingly do wrong it may be wrong of us to allow ourselves to have an uninformed conscience.

  2. Conscience is the voice of God - discuss

    Pelagius, an ascetic monk, recognised that humans have the capacity to decide whether or not to follow the good. Even if one knew something was wrong, such as torture of an innocent child, one still has the potential to carry it out.

  1. God is most clearly revealed to humanity through scripture. Discuss

    Hume believed we should proportion out belief to evidence we have for it. The more unlikely an event that comes to us through scripture, the more likely we are to assume that the account is wrong and has either been misunderstood or exaggerated.

  2. The Goodness of God

    The difficulty of seeing God as omnibenevolent can also be seen in Exodus 20, where some of the commands God lay down seems to be immoral. For example, in verse 5 God describes himself as "for I the Lord your God am a jealous God."

  1. Assess the view that conscience is not the voice of God, but is learned?

    things which you do without thinking; they are your unconscious self, to an extent they are animalistic natures. Another 19th century theologian who would disagree with Freud is John Newman, who believed that the conscience was not just a gift from God but is in fact the voice of God.

  2. Conscience is innate. Discuss

    He believed that conscience was a part of the mind that strived to make sense of disorder and to deal with guilt. Freud said that during our childhood we are subject to accepting certain values and beliefs about morality that we reject in later life due to our moral reasoning.

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