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

summary of the design argument

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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. Critically assess the design argument

    Criticisms of Aquinas' arguments come from Richard Swinburne, he states that each individual argument is weak and only appears strong when they are put together. However, it could be argued that it is difficult to understand what Aquinas meant as it is surely dependent upon the context that an individual

  2. Assess the view that the design argument provides a convincing proof for the existence ...

    Thus, the world has been formed in such a way as to make our life more pleasant and enjoyable. Paley argued that as the world has been designed to enhance the quality of life, for mankind, the designer must have been very loving.

  1. Sartre is a very strong proponent of strong determinism, that is, he does not ...

    No action that is rooted purely in the physical world can be considered free. It is subject to rules and laws that determine predictable patterns. Not only do we describe physical objects as following these rules, we expect them to.

  2. Assess What Can Be Concluded From The Teleological Argument

    This is a strong argument as many would argue a watch and the universe are by no means comprisable. In contrast there would also be the argument that God had designed and created the watchmaker with the skills to be able to make the watch, which would further the argument for an ultimate designer.

  1. "The design argument is challenged far more by science than by philosophy." Discuss with ...

    Darwin's theory removes the entire need for God and gives an explanation of the world that removes the need for him. Darwin (and Richard Dawkins afterwards) have said that natural selection is just random and is not intended and designed.

  2. Outline the teleological proof of the existence of God

    A good example of this is the human eye and any other eye for that fact because many creatures have evolved from different generations of animals but have developed a method of seeing in a very similar way. A good way of explaining how God could be the great designer would be to think of an arrow and a target.

  1. Outline one version of the design argument for the existence of God

    "Natural Theology" is a celebration of his faith becomes an even more fundamental question. I shall use this idea later in my essay when I investigate ways in which the argument, in spite of the criticisms against it, might remain strong today.

  2. A Critical Analysis of Lao Tzu's Tao Teh Ching - Chineses philosophy.

    The opposites in Chinese mind are not dualistic in the Western sense, but complementary and mutually explicatory.11 "Tao is nameless. Small as it is in its Primal Simplicity, It is inferior to nothing in the world. If only a ruler could cling to it, Everything will render homage to him.

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