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The Teleological Argument

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Introduction

The Teleological Argument The word 'teleological' comes from the Greek word 'telos' which means 'end' or 'purpose'. The teleological argument is also known as the design argument, which is an a posteriori argument because it is an argument based on external evidence. The argument makes the basic assumptions that there is order, purpose and regularity in the universe and that all things function to fulfil a specific purpose. The argument further states that the complexity of the universe shows evidence of design and such design implies a designer, and therefore the designer of the universe is God. There are two aspects of the teleological argument and they are design qua regularity and design qua purpose. Design Qua Regularity looks at design in terms of order and regularity in the universe. Those who support this argument think that the order and regularity in the universe is the evidence, which shows that there is a designer at work. One of supporters of this aspect of the argument was St Thomas Aquinas. ...read more.

Middle

He particularly uses the analogy of the watch. Suppose if you are on your way, walking to the newsagent, and on the way you come across a watch lying on the ground. Paley argued that even if you never seen that watch before, you would know that the instrument did not happen by chance. However it was designed and created by someone for a purpose i.e. to look at the time. Likewise, the universe demands a designer such as the eye, which has the specific purpose of seeing and its complex design suggests a designer. In conclusion, the teleological argument basically states that the universe has order, purpose and regularity and its complexity shows evidence of design. Both Aquinas and Paley suggest that such design refers to a designer, which is God. Darwin's criticisms of the design argument are more damaging than Mill's and Hume's. Discuss... The teleological argument basically states that the universe has order, purpose and regularity and its complexity shows evidence of design. Both Aquinas and Paley suggest that such design refers to a designer, which is God. ...read more.

Conclusion

He argued that if the designer were all loving, then evil and suffering in the world would not have been included in the design. However, the teleological argument states that there must have been a designer who designed the universe, which does not suggest that the designer must be all loving. Charles Darwin, a 19th Century naturalist, who formulated the theory of natural selection in his work 'The Origins Of Species'. It challenged the argument of design, because the theory proposes that certain species have become extinct and new species emerge overtime. He also provided an explanation for the creation of the universe without referring to the creation by God. Darwin argued that random variation that have an advantage to a plant or animal in the struggle to survive, adapt that variation in order to survive as the fittest member of the species. This fact dismisses the idea of the apparent design, which is in fact is a result of natural process. Hume and Darwin both question the existence of a designer, however Darwin's work on natural selection is more damaging as it provides facts about adaptation of every living things in the world, other than a criticism that is also based on theory. ...read more.

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