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

Philosophy - Religion

Extracts from this document...


Explain and illustrate two criticisms of the claims that the universe shows design Many philosophers have suggested that world shows design to the extent that there can be no other conclusion other than there is a God who created it. This argument has come to be known as the teleological argument (from the Greek 'telos' meaning 'purpose'). The argument is an inductive one, a posterior (knowledge gained from experience) and is put forward to prove the existence of God. Design can refer to qua regularity and qua purpose. The former focuses on order and regularity in the world and the latter focuses on purpose and beauty but does this hold up to scrutiny? One criticisms was put forward by Hume in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion says that there is no evidence for order in the world. In fact the evidence given seems to suggest an evil creator; the arbitrary destruction in the world that affects everyone included innocents seems to suggest that there is no design or order in the world. ...read more.


For a Christian, the purpose of life is to create a relationship with God so that they can be eschatologically reunited and the universe allows this (it's purpose) however a humanist would say that the universe has no purpose and that we are here to live our lives to the full. Thus Paley's claims are left redundant. To conclude, these two criticisms have shown that there is question as to whether there is design in the world. Hume has shown that design qua (in relation to) purpose and regularity are merely positions which are nothing more than falsities. Explain and illustrate two claims that God's existence is incompatible with the existence of evil Evil has come to pose one of the single largest threats to theism, indeed, many such as John Stuart Mill and David Hume concluded that God no longer existed because of the existence and the incompatibility of it. Evil has been defined to be the "absence of good" by Aristotle but it mainly refers to two types, either natural evil which entails natural disasters such as tsunamis or moral which refers to morally wrong actions and intents taken by humans such as infanticide or examples such as the Holocaust. ...read more.


However this leads to the second criticism which is predominantly put forward by William Row, Charles Darwin and David Hume says that even if we were to accept that evil should exist and it is compatible, the sheer amount and the distribution of it shows that the existence of God and evil is less probable. This inductive argument cites points in history that show that the distribution doesn't seem to amount justification for soul-making; it can accept the death of an adult, but what of the Gulag and Holocaust? Rowe also notes that there are evils which do not lead to spiritual growth such as people who never recover such as child who has had his whole family burned. Rowe also gives the example of a fawn who burns in a forest but no one is around to see it, who is growing spiritually, what compassion has been encompassed? This anthropocentric approach (by implication) also fails because it leaves animal suffering unanswered. Thus, the view that evil and God's existence is compatible is made redundant not only in the face of the incompatibility of God's very nature and the existence of evil but the sheer amount and distribution of it. ...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. A Critical Analysis of Lao Tzu's Tao Teh Ching - Chineses philosophy.

    and "rational" that a philosophical argument will supply reasons for believing one thing rather than another. "Systematic" means that philosophy, to a certain extent, aims to build a view in which different arguments form a whole that explains various phenomena of human experience.

  2. Introduction to Philosophy.

    * For him change int reality is divine. * MONISM --> says that everything is 1 substance even if everything changes. The terms of being and becoming Being Becoming Indivisible Changing progress Unchanging Eternal Static & does not change * He said that change is an illusion. * There is only one being --> Monism.

  1. Synoptic Study, Satre, Engels and Marx

    Take for example a man who is living in a politically damaged country in the third would. He has to work all day for next to nothing to try and keep himself and his family alive. The options and choices the man faces are extremely limited.

  2. How, and with what success, does Hume deal with the apparent anomaly of the ...

    Hume follows this line of argument with some modifications. He claims he 'restores' the term ideas to its original sense by classifying the objects the mind is perceiving as perceptions, not directly as ideas as Locke have used, and from perceptions he then distinguished them into impressions and ideas, where

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