Explain the origins and development of the teleological argument
The existence of God is one of the greatest unsolved questions of humanity. For centuries theologians and philosophers have formulated arguments, including the teleological argument. The teleological argument was first formulated by Aquinas. Aquinas wrote at a time when there was renewed interest in Aristotle, he attempted to apply the philosophy of Aristotle to Christianity. In Summa Theologica Aquinas detailed five arguments for the existence of God, the last of which is the Argument from Design, or teleological argument.
The teleological argument infers the existence of God from the presence of order, regularity or purpose in the world. Order, regularity and purpose are seen as marks of design, with God being the Supreme Designer. The word teleological is derived from the Greek word telos meaning end or purpose. More popularly it is referred to as the "argument for design". Design arguments are a posteriori meaning they are derived by reasoning from observed facts. The argument is also synthetic, meaning it requires physical evidence, and it is inductive. An inductive argument is an argument that is intended by the arguer merely to establish or increase the probability of its conclusion. This is because Aquinas was writing primarily to justify the faith of those that are already theists.