This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

A Teleological Argument For The Existence Of A Supernatural Designer Of The Universe

2746 words - 11 pages

A teleological argument is an argument for the existence of a supernatural designer of the universe based on an empirical observation of order, purpose and design in nature. It is argued that nature is too complex, orderly and adaptive to have occurred randomly or accidentally. Therefore, there must be an intelligent designer behind the whole process. This intelligent designer in most versions of the teleological argument is a direct inference to God. Due to the fact that the teleological argument is presented in many forms, I will set its boundaries in this paper by focusing on William Paley's analogy of the watchmaker and Thomas Aquinas' fifth way for the argument of the existence of God. In order to weigh the soundness of the argument in question, I will outline some of its criticisms, looking particularly at the views of Immanuel Kant, David Hume and Darwin's theory of natural selection. Finally, I will conclude with my own assessment of the teleological argument.2. Presenting the argumentA teleological argument involves the claim that the universe is designed for something. To be more accurate, a teleological argument is a claim that the universe 'has been programmed to evolve towards some final goal' (Davies 1983:165). For example, predators such as dogs and wolfs have ears facing forward so as to detect more easily the sounds from their prey. The resultant argument from such observations, in its various logical forms, concludes that the universe is a planned, purposive and intentional design of some intelligent mind. As already been said above, the intelligent mind, in most versions of the teleological argument is thought to be God. Before we consider Paley's analogy of the watchmaker, let us look at Thomas Aquinas' presentation of this argument.2.1 Thomas AquinasIn the Summa Theologia, Aquinas outlines five proofs for the existence of God. The fifth proof is a teleological argument. Although Aquinas is living in the 13th century and he is not well acquainted to the fundamental laws of physics, as known in our modern age, he observes how the material bodies obey the laws of nature such as the gravitational force. Aquinas argues from the governance of the universe, and empirically observes that things which lack knowledge, such as natural bodies, act for an end: they always act in the same way, which shows that they are purposefully directed to a goal. However, Aquinas logically reasons that anything that lacks knowledge cannot initiate a movement towards its end. That is possible only if some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence directs it. Thus, Aquinas writes: 'Nothing… that lacks awareness tends to a goal, except under the direction of someone with awareness and understanding; the arrow, for example, requires an archer' The intelligent being by which all natural things are directed to their end, is what Aquinas calls God. This is how Aquinas accounts for the existence of an intelligent designer of the universe. What...

Find Another Essay On A teleological argument for the existence of a supernatural designer of the universe

Confirming the Character of a Teleological System

735 words - 3 pages , Gassendi, Descartes and Harvey have all had recourse to teleological arguments. The teleological argument has often been used by theologians to show that the universe obeys a grand design that may have been ordained by God according to a purpose which is the salvation of man. This is precisely what has made the teleological principle suspect in the eyes of many scientists. From the seventeenth century until the mid-twentieth century, the

'Religious experiences present a convincing argument for the existence of God'

1392 words - 6 pages awe and wonder, provoking attraction and repulsion at the same time. Otto argued that this perception of the holy is not the result of rational thinking or reasoning, but is a form of direct intuition.Conversion of faith can be categorized as a religious experience. This experience can be sudden or gradual, or it can be planned or searched for. There is some sort of divine communication with a feeling of certainty.Paul of tarsus converted to

Weinberg's A Designer Universe

938 words - 4 pages as a society or one as an individual could produce other life forms. Humans, animals, plants and other such living organisms could most definitely be created with society’s knowledge of DNA. However, the theist might include in his argument that if the DNA that first came into existence were never here any replication would be possible. So, if one were to reproduce a universe by cloning, for example, how would one be able to say that other

The Design Argument For The Existence Of God

1577 words - 6 pages The Design Argument For The Existence Of God This argument is also called the teleological argument, it argues that the universe did not come around by mere chance, but some one or something designed it. This thing was God. This argument is a prosteriori because the observation of the natural world is taken into the mind to conclude that there is a designer. The belief that the universe was designed by God was triggered

The Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God

1245 words - 5 pages cause, which means there is no cause of existence. Since the universe exists, it must have a cause, therefore there must be an uncaused cause of all things. This uncaused cause must be God. Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274) had a version of the Cosmological Argument called the Argument from Motion. He stated that things in motion could not have brought themselves into motion but must be caused to move. There cannot be an

The cosmological argument for the existence of God

1445 words - 6 pages , moved by no other, and this everyone understands to be god"He calls God the unmoved mover because God did not have to be caused.The second way in which he argues for the existence of God is by saying that everything that exists has a cause. Nothing can come to existence without being caused. Everything that exists depends on something causing it; he concludes he's argument by saying that God is the first cause. He did not have to be caused as he

The Moral Argument for the Existence of God

2811 words - 11 pages The Moral Argument for the Existence of God Kant did NOT put forward a moral argument and anyone who said he does is wrong!!!! Kant rejected all attempts to argue from the world to God, he regarded such an exercise as impossible. However he thought that God was a POSTULATE of practical reason. If you share Kant’s assumptions, then it becomes necessary to assume that there is a God. Kant’s reasoning

The Existence of a God

1059 words - 4 pages . Without this first mover, there will be no further movement. However, if there is nothing powerful enough to move itself, than this sequence will recede into infinity, which is impossible. Thus, there must be a "god", a first mover. Creation in and of itself is an indisputable example of the existence of a higher being. The very existence of our universe and the things in it proves beyond a doubt that there is a creator. The quote, "that

Examining the Existence of Dark Matter in the Universe

899 words - 4 pages matter is, is still unknown. Of all the mysteries in our universe, none is more difficult to understand than dark matter. Astronomers have figured out that dark matter is present due to the unusual bending of light in places where nothing but empty space exists as well as the unusual movement of stars and galaxies that can not be accounted for. The dark matter problem arose because of a difference in the masses of galaxies and larger cosmic

Paley vs. Hume This is a inductive argument about the origin and nature of God, religion, and the universe

1025 words - 4 pages argument for the existence of God, "The Argument from Design", Paley attempts to prove with his arguments that God is the Sole designer and creator of the universe. He compares the universe to a watch, and God to the watchmaker. In this argument, Paley asserts that the universe is so intricate and orderly that only a being of extreme immense intelligence could have designed and created it.Paley makes the argument that everything that exhibits design

Exploring the Possibility of Updating the Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God

1344 words - 5 pages Exploring the Possibility of Updating the Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God The term cosmological comes from the Greek language, meaning ‘world’ or ‘universe.’ The argument is based on facts about the world. The topic of cosmology refers to the study of the universe. The cosmological argument begins with a general claim about the physical universe e.g. that some events have causes and that there must be a

Similar Essays

Teleological Argument For The Existence Of God

2740 words - 11 pages . P6. If a watch is immediately recognisable as the work of an intelligent designer, then the same must be said of complex biological entities. C. The world is the creation of an intelligent designer, and that designer is God. There is much to be said for both forms of the argument. David Hume stands as the most notable challenger of the teleological argument, even though his criticisms have historically held little support

The Argument For The Existence Of God

1710 words - 7 pages The Argument for the Existence of God It is an undisputed fact that some people claim to have experienced God. It is these religious experiences that have been used by philosophers to argue for the existence of God. The main way of expressing the argument from religious experience is as follows: P1 Someone experiences an entity C1 The entity exists P2 Someone has experienced God C2 God exists Those

Craig's Argument For The Existence Of God

1028 words - 5 pages existence or if it has just always existed. In this paper, I will describe Craig's argument for the existence of God and defend Craig's argument. William Lane Craig is not the original creator of this argument. It was originally created by Ilm al-Kalam, but Craig is a modern philosopher that has restored this argument. In this argument, Craig asserts that the reason the universe exists is because God created it. This cosmological argument

Descartes Argument For The Existence Of God

1209 words - 5 pages best because it is straight forward and relatively easy to follow. It is also useful when trying to understand Descartes to keep in mind that he talks about two types of existence. There is the normal everyday existence we experience and a special type of existence which he calls, necessary existence. Necessary existence is something our mind can impose on normal existence. Descartes argument can be presented quite simply as: (1) Clear and