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

Examine the main ideas and strengths of the design argument for the existence of God

Extracts from this document...


(A) Examine The Main Ideas And Strengths Of The Design Argument For The Existence Of God The argument of design observes how and why the features of the cosmos have come to be in their positions. I'm going to examine the key ideas in this essay. The argument can be split into two main categories, purpose and regularity. A good example of an argument that focuses on the purpose is that of William Paley's. His main idea is teleological and is that God does exist because the natural world shows evidence of order and purpose. Therefore, by analogy the natural world must also have a designer. He pointed out that a watch looks as if it has been designed because all the parts fit together that directly work towards a purpose. Paley clarified that "every manifestation on design, which existed in the watch, exists in the works of nature" He then suggests that this could not have come about by chance, so God must be the designer. David Hume criticises the analogical form of the argument, and his criticism particularly applies to Paley. ...read more.


He (uncritically) accepts Paley's argument from design: "This analogy of animals to complex machines seems to be correct, and its conclusion justified." (By conclusion he means that animals and humans must have had God as their designer). However, he says, this argument does not give any reason to suppose that God made humans and animals on one particular day in history, rather than through a gradual process of evolution. (This is in direct conflict with the creation story in Genesis). Remarkably he accepts Darwinism as told by Richard Dawkins, including the involvement of chance in evolution. It seems to be in conflict with his own statement that chance cannot produce beautiful adapted organisms (Paley's argument from design). The strength of Swinburne's analysis is the fact that he is not speaking as the theologian arguing from a basic story line but is rather speaking as a distinguished professor of philosophy from Oxford University, working well within the boundaries of his own discipline, acknowledging the data of all the sciences, making it a relevant to the subject. Swinburne has used his hypothesis and said nothing whatsoever of his defence of why God, by definition, would likely be motivated in the creation of an orderly, universe. ...read more.


It has also been argued that the creation of the universe could just happening by random chance is very inevitable. However, someone could oppose that idea and say that it is as plausible as an explanation. There is also a contrast between the movements from designer to God. When they say a designer do they mean God or something else? It sometimes hard to define what point the philosopher is trying to make. Coming to a conclusion I have identified that the weaknesses can sometimes seem more appealing than the strengths. To decide whether the view is a more convincing weakness or strength you have to decide whether the view is acceptable by seeing if the design could be due to chance, looking at how valid it is to move from a designer to the idea of God and if the argument is better as part of a cumulative argument. Overall both the weaknesses and the strengths are fairly in balance with each other, therefore causing the argument to be acceptable. If the argument just happened to be unbalanced with just strengths or weaknesses then it would be hard to justify the means of the idea with society. ?? ?? ?? ?? Carmen Barlow R.S Essay ...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 Christianity 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 Christianity essays

  1. Literary Criticism of Uncle Tom's Cabin [Psychological Lense].

    It led her to take abolitionism into her own hands, and "educate" the country (and in hopes, the world) of how negative slavery was. Being raised in a very strict Presbyterian home, she was taught all about the value of life through the gospel.

  2. Discuss whether the ontological argument would convince an atheist

    Furthermore Aquinas went on to reveal more weaknesses in the ontological argument which proves that it is unlikely to convince an atheist by arguing that the concept of a God as 'that than which nothing greater can be conceived' even if universally shared, doesn't indicate that such a being existed in reality.

  1. RS Dualism Essay

    He described Descartes model as 'the ghost in the machine' with the 'ghost' being the mind and the 'machine' being the body. He was indicating that he did not think that the mind, as a separate entity and nature, existed.

  2. Outline the cosmological argument for the existance of God. and plan.

    The argument did not initially apply its conclusions to a classical theistic God, but Craig reapplied its characteristics to that same being. The Kalam argument is often included as part of the cosmological argument because it seeks to prove that God is the first cause of everything.

  1. Outline the cosmological argument for the existence of God.

    Aristotle also put forth the idea of a First Cause, often referred to as the "Prime Mover" or "Mover" in his work Metaphysics. For Aristotle too, as for Plato, the underlying essence of the Universe always was in existence and always would be (which in turn follows Parmenides' famous statement that "nothing can come from nothing").

  2. The controversy that is evolution. I shall start with the argument against evolution.

    45% of Americans agreed with the statement: 'God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10 000 years or so' (3, page 499). They believe and stand on what they believe so much that it creationist materials have been published not only in English but in 13 other languages (3, page 500).


    Perhaps to some extent subconsciously Paul is reflecting upon the nature of the Galatians salvation within this verse, surely albeit they were fallible, as Christians their attention should be on God not acts of sin. As a statement it provides encouragement, not admonishment, it is as though on some level

  2. 1.) Examine the evidence and reasons to support belief in God based on religious ...

    There are other forms of the argument based on religious experience, which are less favoured by modern philosophers, however they supply reason to support belief in God. The ?historical argument? states that the experiences of key individuals have been so great and impressive that they must be true, such as St Paul and Mohammed.

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