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The Teleological Argument. By Nicole and Kirsty . About;. The Teleological Argument is also known as The Design Argument. It comes from the Greek telos which means “the study of final ends”. It is an argument set out to prove God’s existence.

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The Teleological Argument

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the teleological argument

The Teleological Argument

By Nicole and Kirsty 

  • The Teleological Argument is also known as The Design Argument. It comes from the Greek telos which means “the study of final ends”.
  • It is an argument set out to prove God’s existence.
  • The Teleological Argument is an a posterioriargument – this means that we gain our knowledge from our senses and past experiences.
arguments from analogy
Arguments from analogy 

What is an analogy?

Paley’s analogy

  • An analogy is where you compare two objects to find out new information about them, to see how similar or different they are, and to understand complex ideas.
  • If you were walking along a beach and found a stone you would not wonder where it came from as it is in it’s natural habitat, but if you found a watch you would wonder, as it is so complex, and has a function (to tell the time) so it must have a designer. The universe is even more complex, so it must to have an intelligent designer – this is known as GOD.
supporting evidence
Supporting evidence
  • There does seem to be design in nature. For example:
  • Penguins are so suited to their habitat, they live in icy, wet and cold conditions in the Antarctic, they could not survive in the rainforest or the dessert.
the anthropic principle
The Anthropic Principle 
  • There is also further evidence in the universe to support Paley.
  • Gravity - if gravity was only slightly stronger, we would all be crushed and die. But if it was somewhat weaker then we would not stay on the ground.
  • The Earth - if the Earth was any closer to the sun we would burn and die. But if we were any closer to the moon then we would freeze and die.
Strengths 
  • It does seem to make sense, as all we have to do is look around us and we can see design in the world.
  • Also, there does seem to be some science behind it, because of the Anthropic Principle and Intelligent Design (ID)
Weaknesses 
  • David Hume criticised arguments from analogy by saying that they are TOO WEAK – they analogy is not similar enough as it is comparing a mechanistic object (watch) to an organic one (universe) and this is a bad analogy.
  • However, Paley’s argument is not about analogies but about FUNCTION – so no analogies are in fact being made. So, Hume’s criticism is refuted and discounted.
  • Hume furthermore stated that even if there was a designer, why does it just have to be the ONE designer, could it not be a team of Gods or and inferior God? He says that a team of builders are needed to build a ship, so why not a team of Gods to build the universe?
  • Although this seems to make sense, Hume is actually contradicting himself by using an analogy to defeat Paley, whereas before he said that analogies are weak if you compare two different things... Here again he is comparing a ship to the universe
  • So therefore his criticism is again deafeated.