Explain Paleys argument for the existence of God (25 Marks) The universe has no purpose (10 Marks)

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Explain Paley’s argument for the existence of God (25 Marks)

The 19th century philosopher William Paley argued for the existence and based his belief on the teleological argument. Paley believed that there was evidence of order and purpose in the world that means there must be a designer, i.e. God. The teleological argument, or design theory had been previously supported by Aquinas and his 5th way, stating that all natural beings need a director to push them towards their goal. It has previously been supported by Tennant’s anthropic and aesthetic principles which tell us that humans have a special aesthetic sense that was not the result of natural selection. Paley however, used a watch in his analogy to convey his beliefs. Teleological means that the argument is a posteriori, it is something that needs experience or evidence first, in order for us to learn it. In Paley’s case, it was the watch.

Paley’s teleological argument aims to show that the universe must have been created for a purpose, for example: the purpose of a seed is to grow into a flower. Therefore, the Teleological Argument based on the design qua regularity and the design qua purpose ideas, suggests that the universe is so complicated that it can't have been created by mistake surely something must have created and designed the universe. Paley argued that the natural world was full of apparent examples of design. For this reason he suggested that elements of the universe fit together to meet a function.

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Paley asks us first to imagine what thoughts we would have if we came across a stone on a desert. He said that we would not think it strange that the rock was there, it wouldn’t lead us to believe that a designer had made it and placed it there. However he then asks us to imagine we have come across a pocket watch in the same surroundings. If we found a watch, we would observe that it has form and order because it works in a regular ticking action. We would also conclude that it was created with a ...

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