The Teleological Argument. “Design Must Have a Designer” William Paley. The Teleological Argument. To gain an understanding of the Teleological Argument To understand how the theory of evolution might present a challenge to the design argument
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“Design Must Have a Designer”
telos = purpose
The teleological argument starts with the idea that many things in nature appear as if they have been designed for a specific purpose.
Many philosophers have asked the question: “Does nature have a designer?”
Try this a few times.
It’s very unlikely that the pieces will form a flower shape by chance. The only way to get a perfect flower design is to arrange them yourself.
A form of reasoning in which a similarity between two or more things is inferred from a known similarity between them in other respects.
(Collins English Dictionary)
William Paley argued that nature must have a designer. He used an analogy to explain his view.
If you found a watch you would see that it is very complex and conclude that an intelligent being, a watchmaker, had designed it for the purpose of telling the time.
Paley noted that many things in nature were just as complex as a watch.
It also has a specific purpose (helping us to see).
Paley argued that if a watch has a designer then the eye must too.
Paley believed that God, like the watchmaker, had carefully designed the universe.
The Scottish philosopher David Hume claimed that Paley’s watch analogy was flawed because:
It’s not right to compare a watch to an eye because there are important differences between them (one is living while the other is manmade).
Also we can’t be sure whether the world was designed by one god or many.
What examples can you give of poor design in nature?
The main challenge to the design argument came from Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
According to Darwin complex life forms evolved from simple ones over millions of years through the process of natural selection.
Write down the viewpoint you agree with most.
Give reasons to support your view.