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

Outline the design argument for the existence of God.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

1 (a) Outline the design argument for the existence of God. The Design Argument for the existence of God has a pre-Christian pedigree, having originated with the Greek philosophers Aristotle and Plato and also having been developed in the Middle East. It is an a posteriori argument, making it also synthetic and inductive. The Design, or Teleological Argument, is actually made up of many different arguments - either arguing 'design for' or 'design from', however the most well known argument is that put forward by William Paley at the very beginning of the nineteenth century. Paley basis his argument on Aquinas's Fifth Way. Their argument (also seen as the classical one) observes that the universe has purpose, order and regularity: indeed, the complexity of the universe shows evidence of design. In the opinion of some theologians, such design implies a designer, whom Aquinas and Paley identified as the Christian God. To illustrate this, Paley used the analogy of discovering a pocket watch upon a heath. Even if you didn't know what it did, he said, you could still see that it was so intricately designed that it could not therefore just have formed, like a rock, but must have been fashioned by a designer. If we see the universe as this pocket watch, it follows that similar effect has similar cause, and therefore the universe must have a designer, 'this being we call God.' (Aquinas). ...read more.

Middle

is unsound, as the world and universe in which we exist, for whatever reason, is clearly not a machine, but an organic vegetable. It is therefore wrong to use such an analogy, as any conclusions drawn from a machine will not cohere with that of a vegetative universe. The weaker the similarity of the analogy, the weaker the argument. In addition to this, Hume argued that similar effects do not necessarily imply similar causes. No one has seen the cause of a universe. Is it not wholly possible for similar effects to be the result of different causes? Also, we know that a machine has been built, as we are able to see it, and there fore know it has a designer. However, we have no knowledge or evidence of creation of other universes, and therefore do not know that there is a designer behind the universe. Hume also argued that it was wrong to see the necessary driving force of the universe to be that of an intelligent designer, when it could just as easily be generation, gravity, etc instead. Indeed, why not have a different governing motion for each part of the world? Similar to his first argument, Hume asked why should not other analogies be possible? Hume argued that 'the world plainly resembles more an animal or a vegetable than it does a watch or a knitting loom' does it not follow, therefore, that there is greater reason to compare it to a vegetable or fruit? ...read more.

Conclusion

By including Darwin's theory, this means that the argument has added scientific impetus. Richard Swinburne accepted the Anthropic Principal, but thought that the universe could just as easily be chaos (as mentioned above). As it is not, it is more probable that there is a Designer. In mathematics (another science) higher probability has the stronger argument, and by also using Ockman's Razor, whereby the simplest explanation is the most likely, the existence of a God is much strengthened. Thirdly, Tennant also put forward the Aesthetic argument. It is based upon the human ability to appreciate beauty, art, music and literature. Beauty is in abundance in this world, and it clearly has no necessary function. Beauty is pleasing to intelligent life, but is not always the most practical or easy way for something to be. Beauty in this world suggests that this world has been designed, and therefore points to a designer who is outside of time as we know it, who Christians would identify with as the Creator in the Book of Genesis. There are many more arguments for and against design, however, such an argument can go on and on ad infinitum. In my opinion, I think that the Design Argument is a very strong argument, however, I think that once the critics have had their part to say, the argument is too full of holes to stand up, and consequently neither succeeds or fails, but can be used in weak support of other arguments, such as the Cosmological. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Existence of God 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 GCSE Existence of God essays

  1. The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Cosmological Argument

    If there was a possibilty, claims Mackie, then there would be no need to hypothesise the existence of a neccessary being. A school of thought may argue that the God that Aquinas is describing is different from the religious Gods.

  2. Outline the key features of the Cosmological Argument for the existence of God

    claim that it possessed some essential requirement, God makes more sense and fits the bill. Another key criticism of the argument is how it makes the assumption of the world being finite; this criticism is made by Peter Vardey among others.

  1. What are the main strengths and weaknesses of teleological argument for the existence of ...

    If a pattern does exist, could it simply be nature's way of surviving? Those who fit the pattern will survive and those who do not will perish. Who can say whether humans are not the survivors of a million failed worlds?

  2. The Teleological Argument.

    Although he says this, he does not deny that the design argument doesn't work. What he says that if it does work, then the God it portrays is one who is anthropomorphic, limited and imperfect. He makes his point clearly, 'The world, for aught the user of the design argument

  1. Outline the Design Argument for the Existence of God

    In his "Natural Theology" book, 1802, after his theory of the analogy of the watch, he came to a similar conclusion relative to the intricate mechanisms of the human body. He looked at the eye and the way it is so efficiently adapted to sight.

  2. Discuss the teleological argument for the existence of God. How viable is this argument?

    Darwin argued that all species descended from a common ancestor which contradicts the traditional Biblical view that each species was created independently by God. Secondly, the instant creation of the world, the Biblical account portrays God as creating the world in seven days, after which nothing changes.

  1. What are the key features of the design argument for the existence of God? ...

    Brown argues that this could not be due to an evolutionary process but of a plan made by a creator. It is interesting that Brown refers to an evolutionary process; Brown wrote this argument in 1943, which came after the theory of evolution4.

  2. Free essay

    Comment on The Design Argument

    So by natural selection particular variations are favored and effect a gradual transformation in the appearance and behavior of any species. The way in which Paley describes his views on the design argument is all put into simple and understandable analogy.

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