What are the main strengths and weaknesses of teleological argument for the existence of god?
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What are the main strengths and weaknesses of teleological argument for the existence of god? A teleological argument is an argument for the existence of god based on evidence of design in nature. Design in the universe, the existence of god. The teleological argument is considered to have certain basic notions of god that can be understood from the created order without needing references to any special revelation i.e., the bible, or messiahs. The Teleological Argument was described by Immanuel Kant as the 'oldest, clearest and most reasonable argument for the existence of God though he himself admitted to finding it personally unconvincing. Part of the argument's strength lies in its straightforwardness, it is a very simple argument to understand. One can relate to the argument as humans are considered to be designers themselves by nature, for example the watch analogy brought by Paley, so it is understandable for humans to think of things as having a purpose. The argument uses of analogy. Whether this is using a watch, an eye, or an acorn using concrete images to explain ideas and theories to help with the understanding of the argument by using in a context that can be easily understood. If the argument is easily understood, it is understandable that it will become a more convincing line of argument. Aquinas backs up the teleological argument.
A major problem with the design argument is the fact that whilst some of the universe may seem well designed there is much that could be considered bad design, natural disasters for example. This creates a whole host of problems with the main thrust being that with all of the features of bad design that we find, any designer or 'blind watchmaker' as Richard Dawkins put it, would possibly have to be either not wholly good or not wholly powerful. Mill chose to maintain God's goodness, thus accepting that God was limited in some way, although Mill said he could not tell by what or by whom. If one of the aforementioned flaws in the designer is not the case then it is difficult to argue a case for the existence of a designer of a world, which exhibits so many elements of 'bad design'. David Hume put forward the thought that if it could be proved that there is design in our world, who is to say whether the Designer is not in fact referring to more than one designer, in other words designers. Hume also suggested that the designer(s) could be stupid or even downright evil, whatever the case may be it is hard to think of any of these properties could be proven. He also asked whether the order we see is imposed upon the chaos in which we live by humans, who insist upon finding a pattern and a meaning where non may exist.
Even if a pattern should eventually emerge in the future it does not necessarily mean it would bolster the strength of the design argument for any pattern could simply be nature's way of surviving. Perhaps those who fit this pattern survive, whilst the rest perish. It could even be that human race is the survivor of a million failed worlds. One may also question the use of analogy, which can be found in many forms of the Design Argument. It is quite right to say that we are not comparing like with like and so one could conclude that the use of analogy fails as a result. In conclusion I personally believe that the introduction of modern scientific theories, through the years have managed to disprove many people's beliefs that the universe has been designed. The introduction of these theories has planted an element of doubt into people's minds (those who believe in the teleological theory). The new theories provide a much more logical explanation of the creation of the universe. To be fair, however, all the theories brought by previous philosophers such as Paley and Aquinas their theories may have produced answer for their present situation. However, for our discoveries and situations that we are faced in, the scientific theories that are presented to us seem more logical. Who knows whether the current scientific theories will last, considering there is are new discoveries all over the world, which calls for new theories to be made.
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