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

The Design Argument

Extracts from this document...


The Design Argument In this essay I intend to look at the Design Argument in depth. I will outline the key features of the Design Argument, looking at the historical aspects, the modern version (including the anthropic principle) and the important people in the Argument for Design;, such as William Paley and David Hume. I will then examine the strengths and weaknesses, and evaluate. The Design Argument is also known as the Teleological Argument coming from the Greek word 'telos' meaning 'end' or 'purpose'. It is a form of natural theology based on reason rather than special revelation. Its basis is on the evidence of design that people can see in the world around them. The biblical writers assume that the world exhibits order and design and is the 'handiwork' of the Creator (God). Quote: 'For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse'. The Argument from Design originated with Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas said that nature points to the notion of order in that things seem to have an innate sense of purpose/design. ...read more.


It states that how even a slight change in the way the world is made up then intelligent life would have been unlikely to develop. This theory is often labeled 'the new design theory. Tennant argued that there were 3 types of natural evidence in the world to favor a natural designer: * The world can be analysed in a rational manner. * The fact and way in which the inorganic world sustains life. * The fact that evolution has moved towards intelligent life. The Design Arguments main strength is of being based on empirical observation rather than the abstract reasoning found in arguments like the ontological argument, and, to a lesser extent, the cosmological argument. The evidence that supports the Design argument can be seen in the world around us. This argument is simple to understand. It is very logical and has value since humans are designers by nature and it is natural to think in terms of things having purpose. It is also strong because it is consistent with Scripture: Quote: "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." ...read more.


Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution/Natural Selection is important as it gives an explanation to what has happened that does not include God. The theory is that animals with the fittest genes (those which best suit its environment) survive and others are wiped out, hence giving the effect/image of evolution over generations as they adapt to the precise conditions in which they live. There is no place for any designer, for God, in this theory. Darwin said that things such as the complex structure of the eye evolved as a progression of slight improvements in answer to anti-evolutionists argument that things such as the eye are too complicated too have evolved. In conclusion, I side with the critics of the design argument. I think that its key arguments are too easily picked apart and turned against it such as in the way which Hume did so. In my opinion as well, the universe and a watch are too dissimilar to be used to argue such a point. I also think that it has very little in defense against the theory of evolution/natural selection. The defense that complex structures such as the eye could not have evolved lacks foundations and I think that there is enough evidence of time in which a gradual progression of slight improvements (as Darwin said) could have lead to the evolution of the eye. ...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. Describe the main strengths and weaknesses of the cosmological argument for the existence of ...

    It could be that God is beyond our understanding but that does not necessarily mean that he is. The cosmological argument seems to be saying that there cannot be an infinite series of causes; that the buck, so to speak, stops somewhere.

  2. summary of the design argument

    achieved his creation. Furthermore and more generally, the design argument shows great strengths for the existence of God when the principle of Ockham's Razor is applied. Which quite simply maintains that "the simplest explanation is often the best". "Entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity" and so the classical

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

    As far as experience go, a child who does not know what 'turquoise' mean does not necessarily have an idea of the colour 'turquoise'. So this case is certainly not an exceptional case and Hume had not dealt with it satisfactorily.

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

    The argument goes as follows. If you found a watch in an empty field, you would logically conclude that it was designed and not the product of random chance. Likewise, when we look at life and the universe, it is natural to conclude there is a designer since we see how perfectly the universe and life forms operate.

  1. Do the Strengths of the Design Argument out way the Weaknesses

    Hume puts his argument, and the one his personal viewpoint follows through the character of Philo. Philo states that we should postulate many gods rather than one. He uses the analogy that many men co-operate in building a boat, just like many deities could co-operate to build the cosmos.

  2. Critically assess the design argument

    that the cause of this order is design and planning, he argued that order and design could have evolved. Similarly, Einstein is against the design argument as he argues that it is more probable that the universe came about by chance and is ruled by blind forces.

  1. What are the key ideas of the design argument?

    This is because he must be knowledgeable and powerful in order to have the ability to design the world and have the power to make it happen. The final key idea of the design argument is that it is inductive because the conclusion is not sound even though the premises

  2. Outline the key ideas of the design argument.

    For example, every year groups of grey whales migrate from their sub-arctic feeding grounds off the Alaskan coast to their Mexican breeding grounds. This is a journey of 20, 000 kilometres which takes up to three months. These behaviour patterns rarely change, and their end result is beneficial to the whales, so there is purpose in them.

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