The design argument is also known as the teleological argument. The argument looks at the idea of purpose and order within the universe to argue for the existence of God.

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The Teleological Argument

The Argument

The design argument is also known as the teleological argument. Telos means goal, aim or purpose. The argument looks at the idea of purpose and order within the universe to argue for the existence of God. The argument is an a posteriori, inductive, synthetic argument. A posteriori arguments have statements that rely on proof from the external evidence. In inductive arguments the argument is only brought in at the conclusion.

Aquinas’s 5th way in the cosmological argument (purpose) is strictly teleological as it argues for the existence of God, in regards to the evidence of purpose in nature. The cosmological argument was put forward in the 12th century. Paley posed the most prominent teleological argument in the 18th century. Paley was a clergyman and put forward his argument for the existence of God during the period of enlightenment (where science was being used to prove evolution). Paley used the famous analogy of the watch. He said that if walking across a heath and he came across a stone he could assume that the stone came about through nature. However, if he were to come across a watch the same could not be suggested. The watch shows order (cogs, etc) and purpose (telling the time) and therefore it’s not reasonable to assume that the watch came about without the agency of a watchmaker. Paley’s analogy compared the watch with the universe, arguing that it is equally unreasonable to suggest that universe, with all its intricacies, came about without the agency of a world-maker. Paley proposed that this world-maker is God.

This argument has also been applied to other comparisons between nature and manufactured items. Such as the human eye and an auto-focus camera.

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The basis of Paley’s argument is that there is evidence of design in the universe around us. Everything appears to have been designed to fulfil some function. This argument is Design qua purpose. Paley argued that the way that each aspect of the natural world appears to fulfil its purpose is further evidence of design. Paley therefore argues for a Designing creator – God.

Paley goes on to argue that there is further evidence for a creator God in the regularity of the universe. Astronomical discoveries and Issac Newton’s laws of motion, demonstrate a controlled, rather than random, principle at ...

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3/5 This essay includes a good range of different thinkers and different points concerning the argument from design. Most of these are not developed in any detail though and so many of these basically contribute nothing to the essay. For example, conclusions are just mentioned without explanation of why they are supposed to be the case. In order to be rewarded for knowing thinkers and their arguments, it is necessary to demonstrate that you actually understand the arguments referred to. Adding critical comment, e.g. evaluation of the arguments, is a bonus but, again, is not demonstrated here. Most of the content is accurate, but there are a few mistakes. It would be better to focus on explaining the things that you do understand, rather than writing superficially about a variety of things loosely remembered, but not understood.