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Design Argument

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DESIGN (TELEOLOGICAL) ARGUMENTS

Design arguments are empirical, a posteriori and synthetic

Telos = end/purpose

Arguments state that order design purpose God

William Paley – the divine watchmaker

* This is an argument from analogy

* If one came across a stone on a hill, one would conclude that it was there naturally. However, if one came across a watch, one would assume that it was not there naturally.

* This is because the watch is complex, harmonious, planned, functional and purposeful

* We would say that such a watch must have an intelligent designer.

* The universe is similar – there are many different parts that work together harmoniously and in an apparently purposeful way. It is also complex, self-sufficient and interdependent

* Therefore we should assume that the universe has an intelligent designer – God

* However, arguably the universe is more akin to a stone than a watch – how can nature itself stick out as something unnatural?

* Hume – the world is dissimilar to a watch, and so because the effect is different, we cannot infer the same cause

* Also, this argument assumes that there is purpose to the universe, even though there is no evidence as such.

* There is much disorder in the world due to natural disasters and wars, unlike a watch

* If the universe is flawed, this implies that the creator was flawed. God is supposed to be perfect.

* This analogy also anthropomorphises God by saying that he is similar to a person

* Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection provides a scientific explanation for how the universe came to be as it is

* Function is not the same as purpose, which implies a higher meaning. The universe may be functional (support life), but this does not mean it is purposeful

Argument from cause and effect

* If the universe is…...

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