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Examine the design argument for the existence of God.

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Introduction

Q1) Examine the design argument for the existence of God. (10) The Greek word telos means distance. The teleological argument is based on the fact that things seem to have a distant purpose, an aim, an end. The argument sees an orderliness in the universe in things such as the changing season, the intricacy of an eyeball, the complexity of the human brain. The argument states that this orderliness argues that there is a Designer or Architect, i.e. God. The argument has been put forward in many different forms throughout history. In the Bible, the first chapter of the book of Genesis describes how God created the world in seven days. The book of Job presents the argument as a series of questions. "Where were you when I (God) laid the earth's foundations? ..." The Greek philosopher Aristotle was also a strong supporter of the argument. He thought that "we are in the dark about the purpose of many things. ...read more.

Middle

There does seem to be an order, a design, a purpose to the world and the things within it. It therefore stands to reason that something must have created this order, design, purpose for how else would they have come into existence? However, we must be careful that we do not turn the argument from design upside down. For example human arms were not designed to be at the right height for door handles, it was the other way around. Similarly eggs were not designed to fit egg cups it was the other way around. Also as science develops it has raised more questions. Darwin's studies have suggested that the world and nature were not simply created instantly but have evolved over millions of years. Nature has proved to be red in tooth and claw which has resulted in many millions of painful years of evolution. Science can also be used to support the design argument. There is nothing to say that the process of evolution is not the way in which God decided to create his design. ...read more.

Conclusion

If natural disasters are added to this (earthquake, plague, volcanic eruption etc) one could question the wisdom and the goodness of the Designer. Even if one could prove the existence of a Designer who is to say (as the Scottish philosopher David Hume asked) whether the Designer is not plural, or stupid or downright evil? Or whether the order, which we see, is imposed on the chaos in which we live by humans who are insistent in finding a pattern and a meaning? With such considerations in mind more recent forms of the teleological argument such as those proposed by F. R. Tennant and Richard Swinburne are less than absolute than those of the past. What we can say is that an intelligently designed universe cannot be proved, however, it is more probable than a universe, which is ruled by blind forces or by chance. How can the sheer orderliness, uniformity and predictability of our world be simply put down to a coincidence? Although a purposeful Designer cannot be proved to exist it is a more plausible and satisfactory explanation of the evidence that we have than any other. Matthew Ebbs ...read more.

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