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The design argument for the existence of God (also called the teleological argument).

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Introduction

Mark Smith The design argument The design argument for the existence of God (also called the teleological argument). The design argument is an aposteriori argument. It is based on observation of the apparent order the universe and the natural world, to conclude that it is not the result of mere chance, but of design. The evidence from design points to a designer and the argument concludes that this designer is God. 'With such signs of forethought in the design of living creatures, can you doubt they are the work of choice or design?' (Socrates) The classical argument for design states that: the universe has order, purpose and regularity, the complexity of the universe shows evidence of design, such design implies a designer, the designer of the universe is God. The argument makes the basic assumption that there is order and design in the universe, and that all things function to fulfil a specific purpose. For example, the changing seasons, the lifestyles of animals and birds, the intricate organism of the human body and the perfect adaptation of its parts to the whole appear to provide evidence that the universe was designed. The design argument is in two parts, design qua regularity and design qua purpose. Design qua regularity looks at design in relation to the order and regularity in the universe. Philosophers who support the argument consider that the order and regularity evident in the universe is evidence of a designer at work. ...read more.

Middle

All these various machines, and ever' their most minute parts, are adjusted to each other with an accuracy which ravishes into admiration all men who have ever contemplated them. The curious adapting of means to ends, throughout all nature, resembles exactly, though it much exceeds, the productions of human contrivance - of human design. Thought, wisdom and intelligence. Since therefore the effects resemble each other, we are led to infer, by all the rules of analogy, that the causes also resemble, and that the Author of nature is somewhat similar to the mind of man, though possessed of much larger faculties, proportioned to the grandeur of the work which he has executed. By this argument aposteriori, and by this argument alone, do we prove at once the existence of a Deity and his similarity to human mind and intelligence. The central claim of the argument from design is that our studies of nature reveal an orderliness and a pattern in the features of the physical, chemical and biological aspects of the world. The more that nature is studied, the more impressed one becomes with the intricate relation ships within its pans, and with the general plan of the universe. The order and design of nature resembles greatly the order and design of human artefacts, such as houses and watches, in which each part is perfectly adjusted to each other in order to achieve some purpose or end of the whole object. ...read more.

Conclusion

Paley's argument is made with passionate sincerity and is informed by the best biological scholarship of his day, but it is wrong, gloriously and utterly wrong. The analogy between telescope and eye, - between watch and living organism, is false. All appearances to the contrary, the only watchmaker in nature is the blind forces of physics albeit deployed in a very special way. A. true watchmaker has foresight: he designs his cogs and springs, and plans their interconnections, with a future purpose, in his mind's eye. Natural selection, the blind, unconscious, automatic process which Darwin discovered, and which we now know- is the explanation for the existence and apparently purpose ful form of all life, has no purpose in mind. It has no mind and no mind's eye. It does not plan for the future. It has no vision, no foresight, no sight at all. If it can be said to play the role of watchmaker in nature, it is the blind watchmaker.' All the arguments for and against design have valid points but none are fully successful in proving anything because each argument can be criticised where it has flaws. Therefore design in the universe comes down to probability and so it can be thought that the universe it just as probable to have been designed then it has not. However it can be argued that it was more probable that the universe was designed and that there was a designer. On the other hand there is no proof that the designer was God. ...read more.

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