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William Paley (CE 1743-1805) believed that the universe must have a designer; he believed this designer was God.

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William Paley (CE 1743-1805) believed that the universe must have a designer; he believed this designer was God. His first argument to support his theory was design qua purpose. Paley believed that it was evident that nature came together for a purpose and not by chance. He used the human eye as an example. He argued that the eye was designed to serve a purpose for seeing and its complexity proposes that it must have come from an intellectual designer. Paley also uses the example of the watch and the stone. A stone has no purpose and no outstanding design. A watch however comprises of complex components that serve the purpose of telling the time and if one component were out of its order then the watch would fail to work. Therefore someone must have designed it with, intelligence, wisdom and thought. ...read more.


David Hume was a philosopher during a time where there were very strong catholic beliefs. He criticised Paley's argument of God as a designer. He was urged by friends not to speak publicly about his beliefs, as this would cause great uproar, so he asked that his views were published after his death. He criticised that "this world, for all he knows, is very faulty and imperfect, compared to a superior standard."(Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, 1779)." Hume believed that the world had its faults and questioned why such a superior being like God would leave it imperfect. This is a very strong criticism because although there are such beautiful things around us for example rainbows and trees yet there are also many aspects that cause hurt and suffering such as hurricanes, earthquakes and disease. Hume questioned whether God gave up on this world and continued to make another perfect world. ...read more.


Darwin's theory could well be accurate, as a giraffe has adapted to have a long neck in order to survive. A chameleon changes its colour to adapt to its surroundings. However this theory still does not include a designer and does not give explanation of the formation of complexity and design of things such as the human eye. In conclusion to both sides of the argument, the argument for the belief that the universe has a designer at work appears to be stronger than its criticisms. Both aspects of Paley's argument have evidence behind to support what he says. It is also possible to relate what Paley says to the things around us, for example a bird has wings for the purpose of flight and the regularity of the solar system. Hume gives good criticisms, but to say that the world has evolved with no designer does not give explanation for the beauty, regularity and purpose around us. The Design Argument Holly Devlin ...read more.

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