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What are the key features of the design argument for the existence of God? Identify the strengths of this argument - To what extent are these strengths more convincing that its weakness?

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Introduction

a) What are the key features of the design argument for the existence of God? (10) b) Identify the strengths of this argument. To what extent are these strengths more convincing that its weakness?(10) "With such signs of forethought in the design of living creatures, can you doubt they are the work of choice or design?" When Socrates said this over 2000 years ago he was referring to the possible argument for a designer of the universe. This is the teleological argument (Teleological comes from the Greek Teleos meaning end or purpose), and this approach to the existence of God has been divided into two sections: the first concerns design qua regularity, this assumes the universe has an order. The second is design qua purpose, this argues the probabilities of aspects in the universe and nature has been created to fulfil a purpose. The teleological is an a posteriori argument, meaning conclusions, which are not necessary logical, are drawn from premises of past experience. In summary, the teleological argument assumes nature has been designed by an intelligent being, "otherwise it would not look so nice"1 So what are its key features and how strong is the argument? Thomas Aquinas'2 supported the design argument and in his book Summa Theologiae he stated that there are five ways to proving God. The "fifth way" was the teleological argument, as Kant puts it. He declared that in nature there is order and regularity that directs a natural body to a "goal", and therefore this cannot be the result of random chance but of a designer. As Thomas Aquinas states "Nothing lacking awareness can tend to a goal except it be directed by someone with awareness and understanding; the arrow, for example, requires an archer. Everything in nature, therefore, is directed to its goal by someone with understanding and this we call "God". Thomas Aquinas' approach was approved by Sir Isaac Newton who said: "...can it be accident that all birds, beasts and men have their right side and left side alike shaped? ...read more.

Middle

The teleological argument is fairly convincing for it is compliant with the way humans understand the universe, for example humans understand the universe and the world to have an order. But also the approach from probabilities presents the argument in a coherent manner and allows universal understanding. In accordance with scientific theory, indeed probability, it is certainly feasible that the order in the universe has been planned. Furthermore, the teleological argument is an attractive one, especially from Tennent's perspective, which places humanity in a secure position. The universe has an order, as science shows. This theory is universal from the Platoian view of the universe, Cartesian to the theory of relatively. Plato argues that everything in the universe goes towards a goal, the apple falling from a tree falls to seek perfection. Thomas Aquinas supported this view in his five ways: "Nothing lacking awareness can tend to a goal except it be directed by someone with awareness and understanding; the arrow, for example, requires an archer. Everything in nature, therefore, is directed to its goal by someone with understanding and this we call "God". During the late renaissance Descartes came up with an updated idea of the cause and view of the universe's order. Descartes argued that the universe was like a machine, and has a mechanical reason for exactly everything that occurs,6 and it is God who supplied the movement at the beginning of time and the universe runs from that. Descartes neglects to mention a purpose to the universe as Aquinas did, but it must known that Descartes was approaching the argument from design qua regularity. It was Descartes' view of the universe that philosophers and scientists used until Einstein's theory of relatively. Yet with changing scientific theory the argument for regularity remains, because the argument evolves along with science. It has been argued that science is man's attempt to understand the universe; the universe does not contain an inch of science it is imposed by humans. ...read more.

Conclusion

Perhaps not, for Tennant argues, in the anthropic principle, that natural selection is the process that God began for creation of life. For some this highlights God's greatness. However, what remains a mystery with the theory of evolution via natural selection, that even Darwin was perplexed by, is the question that if nature was the survival of the fittest then why do humans have morality and appreciate beauty? Tennant ask this question in the aesthetic argument. Perhaps humans were created to appreciate God's work; if that is the case then God must have an ego problem. The teleological argument is very controversial, and has been since its creation. The teleological has been reformed over the centuries, competing yet often compatible with modern scientific thinking, such as Tennant's anthropic principle. Philosophers have supported the argument because it explains the very obvious point that the universe has an order, as the theory of relativity dictates. Indeed, considering the vastness of the universe, even if there is only one, it is certainly questionable that order came about by chance and it is indeed more probable that order is the product of God. But this probability approach seems to argue from ignorance than knowledge, so is the argument from probability really convincing? Furthermore, the teleological assumes that the universe has an order, perhaps it does not. For order is an idea of humans, there may be no such thing in the universe. In conclusion the teleological argument has both its strengths and weaknesses, and as humans sitting on an insignificant tiny planet in the cosmos how is it possible that we can fully understand the universe and argue for or against that may or not be somewhere in the universe, or indeed outside it. The teleological argument does not precisely state what God is, merely what we are supposed to think God does. In the end all philosophical theological arguments are an attempt to understand God, and one can prove or understand anything with argument alone. Until further evidence turns up all we have to go on is personal faith. ...read more.

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