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Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the Teleological Arguments

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Introduction

Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the Teleological Arguments There are many different arguments that stem from the Teleological Argument, which are a special form of the Cosmological Argument. The arguments came into being, when people tried to answer the following questions: 'Why is the Universe as it is?' and secondly, 'Why is the Universe ordered, regular and beautiful?' These arguments reject the fact that the Universe was created by chance, as it is too improbable to be reasonable. The two main arguments that I will be looking at in this essay were established by William Paley and David Hume. Hume, the earlier of the two philosophers, criticised arguments looking at the nature around us and using that as proof for the existence of God (such as Paley's theories). He does this in 'Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion'. He uses different character to represent different things, as a literary device, to put across his points of view. ...read more.

Middle

He does not believe that the assumption from order to design can be made and thinks that it is easily plausible that the universe did occur by chance. As an example, to back up his point, he tells us that animals are not designed as, according to Darwin, they shape themselves into their own environment. Hume beleivs, and allows us to believe through Philo, that we cannot judge whether the Universe has a designer as ther is no substantial evidence supporting one side or another. William Paley, twenty two years after Hume, tells us his argument via analogy. He explains to us his argument by asking us to compare the watch and the world. If somebody did not know what a watch was, there would be evidence that there had been intelligent design for it to have been created and therefore, an intelligent designer would have been at play. ...read more.

Conclusion

The last of the Teleological Arguments was supported by Paul Rout who was a modern Franciscan thinker. This argument is called the Argument from Beauty. Beauty and human appreciation of beauty has no survival value other than attraction of the sexes. It is though, therefore, to have been created by God as a 'pointer' to lead us to Him. Rout says that ' We [as humans] are not involved in an intellectual exercise; it is more that we are drawn beyond ourselves and our rational concepts by what is desirable.' Overall, I think that these arguments can point to the God of 'Process theology' rather than to a traditional monotheistic God. However, there is no proof for this and I do not think people will be able to prove what they have experienced in the life time of the human race. These arguments all rest on probability and individual judgement and therefore cannot be said to perform the function of 'proofs'. 1 Josh Bradshaw ...read more.

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