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summary of the design argument

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Introduction

Examine the main strengths and weaknesses of the design argument for the existence of God. (21 marks) The design argument , otherwise known as the teleological argument, for many people provides a strong basis for belief in the existence of God. It is an a posteriori argument as it is based on experience and observation. The argument demands that there are certain features within our universe that display strong, deliberate design that could not be the result of mere coincidence. The teleological argument believes that this conscious and almost calculated design can only be explained by the presence of an intelligent and personal designer. For countless people, this is God. There are various well-known forms of the teleological argument and I will touch upon what I consider to be the most vital, in order to examine the main strengths and weakness of this argument as a claim for God's existence. To begin with I will look to the works of Thomas Aquinas in order to strengthen the teleological argument as a proof of God's existence. In his most famous work, "Summa Theologica" he provides five ways for the existence of God, in which he believes God is revealing true qualities. ...read more.

Middle

Upon stumbling across a watch, built with such complex and calculated design, you would have to infer that it had a designer- Paley maintains that we must also infer that our intricate world must have a designer. Paley explains how the world is made up of such detailed parts, all of which work towards a goal for the benefit of the whole. William Paley's theory is a strong one as it demonstrates how all of the small adaptations in nature are proof of an intelligent designer. Expanding on William Paley's theory; even the atheist philosopher David Hume acknowledged that "A purpose, an intention, a design, strikes everywhere the most careless, the most stupid thinker". We must acknowledge the immense design and order in our universe, and this is the strongest proof of God's existence. F R Tennant would have agreed as he said that the rules and natural laws of science and maths, show the world to be orderly and not chaotic. Tennant explained that things appear so precisely that they suggest deliberate design, "fluke or fortuitous events can be ruled out". Also, any signs of chaos are simply consequences of a rule maker ensuring that everything in the universe can be explained rationally. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore religious beliefs about the existence of God arise from a natural desire to blame natural problems on invisible forces, instead of examining them scientifically or at least rationally. To expand, Kant argued that it is human nature to impose order upon things. As humans we try to look for order and regularity, we would impose order on whatever universe we were in, be it orderly or chaotic. A main weakness of the design argument is the acknowledgement of universal design but the dismissal of a God-imposed design. Aside from all else mentioned, it is so very obvious that the design argument can only be seen as flawed when considering Darwin's theory of evolution. Evolution, science and natural selection outweigh any possibility of a designer of any kind. Evolution provides us with a much more verifiable and rational account of how the universe and all species within it display order and purpose. Science provides a more logical account of creation compared to the design argument because it holds no responsibility of the imperfections in the world. Whereas the design argument is contrary to the classical theistic view of God; if there is a conscious designer of our universe (God) then He cannot be omniscient and benevolent. He cannot be classical theistic God. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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