The Teleological Argument

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  • Teleological Argument (design argument)
    • empirical evidence/posterori reasoning
    • 1) harmonious order in world
    • 2) all works together perfectly
    • 3) suggests purpose + design to uni
    • 4) intelligent designer = GOD
    • William Paley (from design)
    • St.Thomas Aquinas (to design)
      • 5 ways prove God's existence
      • Teleological = 5th way
      • Book - Summa Theologica
      • work based on natural law
    • 5th Way (purpose)
      • 1) evidence in world it is designed
      • 2) all works to some purpose
      • 3) not luck bc things have no ration powers but still have purpose
        • e.g. a tree has no brain but purpose = providing oxygen
      • 4) there4 must be directed by external power
      • 5) Intelligent being (GOD) directs all towards purpose
    • Criticisms
      • David Hume
        • 1) humans have limited understanding of possible designer
          • to speak of design, implies designer
          • great design implies great designer
          • if great design, must be great designer
          • argument implies superhuman perspective (ANTHROPOMORTHIC)
        • 2)
          • world is ordered
          • either chance or design
          • possible world came about by chance
        • supports natural selection b4 Darwin
        • nothing in Aquinas or Paley argument suggest only one designer
      • J.S. Mill
        • nature guilty of crimes - goes unpunished
        • "nearly all the things which men are hung or imprisoned for doing to one another are natures everyday performances"
        • there4 world cannot be ordered + no intelligent design
    • Darwin
      • Book = Origin of the Species
      • individuals most suited to environment survive to pass their advantageous genes to next generation
    • If Evolution is right...
      • no telos / purose
      • break things down to individual functions
      • consciousness evolved to help us better survive
      • 'apparent design' = a 'series of successful mistakes'


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