Teleological Argument Criticisms

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  • Teleological Argument criticisms
    • David Hume
      • Rejection of analogy-argument limited in strength because of poor analogy. You cannot compare the blood circulatory system with the way sap travels around a tree
      • Other explanations-epicurean hypothesis: random activity can lead to order.  "Matter may contain spring of order originally within itself"
    • Richard Swinburne
      • Anthropoid principle- universe must have been designed as the world can be analysed in a rational manner and the world provides the basic necessities for life to flourish
      • Ockham's razor- simplest explanation is god
    • John Stewart mill
      • The nature and the utility of religion- questioned the goodness of nature given the apparent cruelty to be found in nature.
        • If animals were included in a calculation of the amount of suffering in  the world, the amount of goodness in nature would be outweighed by the suffering. This leads to the rejection of design
    • F.R. Tennant
      • Aesthetic Principle- humans appreciate beauty, culture etc but these are not necessary for human life to continue
        • Therefore they cannot be a result of natural selection, this implies that they must have been part of a design
    • Charles Darwin
      • Origin of the species- Darwin noticed that a range of species were very similar but slightly different.
        • This is the principle of natural selection which explains order and regularity in the world without there having to be a designer
    • William of Ockham
      • Supported by Swinburne- there is no need to make the explanation about the universe more complicated than it need to be
        • This would break Ockham's razor, therefore the simplest explanation is that God designed the universe


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