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

What are the key ideas of the design argument?

Extracts from this document...


a) What are the key ideas of the design argument? (7) b) What are the strengths and weaknesses? (7) c) To what extent are these strengths more convincing than the weaknesses? (6) The design argument is a posterior, inductive argument which tries to prove the existence of G-d. There are many criticisms as well as strengths to the argument and the aim of this essay is to show that the weaknesses are more convincing than the strengths. There are many key ideas to the design argument, but the most important thought is that there is 'order, purpose and regularity' in the world. Paley said this to illustrate that there are complications in the world and for these complications to exist there must have been a designer, who Paley says, is G-d. He takes this further by comparing the world to a pocket watch, which was a new invention at the time. A pocket watch is made of intricate parts which all fit together and the world is made up of complex elements which also fit together. Hume, who is a critic of the design argument said, 'the world is nothing but one great machine, subdivided into an infinite number of lesser machines'. ...read more.


the watch has an intelligent designer so therefore the world has an intelligent designer. Hume criticises this saying that by using these analogies, G-d appears to be more human than divine. To prove that analogy leads to a non-moral G-d, Hume lists some horrible things that occur in nature, for example earthquakes, disease and war. He questions how a just and good G-d could have designed these unpleasant things. Darwinism is another weakness for the Design argument. It is the theory that humans evolved from apes and we were not just put on the earth by G-d. Natural selection is also part of Darwinism, and both of these things rely on chance and are completely random, there are no designers or plans and therefore no G-d. The design argument is inductive, Premise 1; The world is full of designed things Premise 2; Designed objects have intelligent designers Conclusion; The world has an intelligent designer, who is G-d. Inductive arguments are weak because there is always one unsound fact within it which is not valid and they can never provide 100% proof. Kant is a critic and claimed that 'the world is in chaos and that humans interpret the world through their minds and whilst doing this, imposes order onto the world that they see.' ...read more.


This is saying that there is no purpose for beauty in the world and so beauty is the evidence that G-d is involved. Scientists would answer these theories by saying there is no proof for them and there is evidence of Darwinism. Just because the design argument is easy to understand does not make it convincing, it just indicates that it was written well. Again the use of analogies does not prove that G-d exists and Hume would say that analogies have problems, for example the house analogy that he made, may lead people against monotheism. As mentioned above, the argument is 'common sensual'. This is a strength as it means you do not have to be a scholar to understand it, but it does not mean that it has scientific proof. The argument is inductive which immediately indicates that it can not be proven. But some may disagree and say it is not fair to criticise an inductive argument about G-d because we do not have facts to make the premises out of. Also, if the argument was deductive then it would mean the existence of G-d had been proven. Therefore there would be no discussion about it as the conclusion would be true. Overall the weaknesses are more convincing than the strengths because you cannot prove the existence of G-d by using common sense or making the argument easy to understand by using analogies. JESSICA MANN ...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. summary of the design argument

    The source of intelligence must be God, as he is the only rational explanation of beneficial order. Secondly, in 1802 William Paley proposed his well- renowned version of the teleological argument; in which a watch is compared to the world.

  2. Synoptic Study, Satre, Engels and Marx

    Marx and Engle's argued that man does not have a fixed human nature as many attributes through to be apart of a permanent human nature are radically different in different cultures and time periods. The only consistent feature is mankind like animals need to labour on nature in order to satisfy its self.

  1. The Design argument

    not to an omnipotent, omniscient God, but rather to a "superhuman" designer. The classical form of the argument was presented by Thomas Aquinas, who took his philosophy from Aristotle. Aquinas argued that everything has a purpose and therefore there must be an intelligent being that directs all things to their

  2. The Design Argument

    William Paley is undoubtedly one of the most important people in the history of the Design Argument. He published the most famous form of the argument in 1802, twenty-three years after David Hume's critiques. Paley's argument evolved around analogy. He asks us to consider what we would think if we came across a watch while walking across a desert.

  1. Critically assess the design argument

    David Hume was a philosopher who strongly criticised the God hypothesis as well as the design argument. According to him we don't have enough knowledge and experience to conclude that God is a designer. Also - he says - if there is a God who theists claim is benevolent then

  2. How convincing is the design argument?

    Darwin deals a blow to the argument with his theory of evolution as this showed the world could change and evolve freely without the need of an external force, we merely exist today because the right conditions for our existence came about in the past.

  1. Examine the key ideas and strengths of the design argument for the existence of ...

    William Paley suggests that if you were walking in the dessert and saw a stone you would think nothing of it but later if you see a watch and examine it, you would see the workings are very complicated and there must have been an intelligent designer (watchmaker)

  2. Outline the key ideas of the design argument.

    This is an analogy for the world as the watch is like the universe, it is full of small parts that work perfectly together, if one part wasn?t there or in a different place it would not function correctly, like the universe.

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