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Give an account of the design arguments from Aquinas and Paley.

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Introduction

a) Give an account of the design arguments from Aquinas and Paley. The Design Argument is perhaps one of the most well known arguments for the existence of God, this may be down to the wealth of philosophers that developed their own versions, or the sometimes simplistic nature of the argument which, initially, states that a designer must exist since the universe and living things exhibit marks of design in their order, consistency, unity, and pattern. As an 'a posteriori' argument it uses empirical evidence from our natural world in order to prove our world is ordered, consistent, united and patterned. The teleological argument fits true to our human nature which frequently observes these marks, perhaps even when it is not there. Although the design argument is generally attributed to Paley due to his analogy, his own approach is greatly influenced by St Thomas Aquinas, and even those before him, such as Plato, Aristotle and Socrates who all formed their own versions of a teleological argument. ...read more.

Middle

Beings that lack rationality tend towards an end only if they are directed by something that has rational thought and intelligence, just as an arrow is directed by an archer. The archer of the universe, according to Aquinas, is God. Aquinas, as one of the greatest Christian philosophers, had a profound impact philosophical thought and it is his approach to the teleological argument that laid the foundations for Paley's more modern argument. Paley's teleological approach can be divided into two parts, the first of which is arguing qua purpose, whilst the second argues qua regularity. The first part of Paley's teleology is put forward in the form of a simple analogy, the watch analogy, the most well known one for the teleological argument. The argument goes as follows. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is only in the combined total that they exhibit their total function. This function is by design. The second part of Paley's argument is for design qua regularity, where he identifies natural world examples of the order that is evident in our universe. Paley used evidence from astronomy and Newton's laws of motion and gravity to prove design in the universe. Paley pointed towards the orbital movement of the planets in the solar system and how they obey the same universal laws, and hold their orbits because of gravity. Paley stated that the rigid order on such a large scale to a point where it affects the whole universe must point to a designer that created this order, believing that such order cannot be a product of chance. He concluded that an external agent must have imposed order, and that this agent must be God. ...read more.

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