The Teleological Argument (against)

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  • Teleological criticisms
    • Hume
      • Although Hume wrote several years before Paley, his criticisms can still apply
      • WEAK ANALOGY = his strongest argument - comparing God the creator to anything on earth is not valid
      • SIMILAR EFFECTS = similar effects do not imply similar causes and we cannot assume there is a designers because we would have to have experienced to origin of the universe
      • Things appear to work together but it could all be chance
      • The world does not resemble something man-made
    • Darwin
      • His book 'origin of the species' goes against this and questioned beliefs about God through reason
      • THEORY OF NATURAL SELECTION = plants and animals change and adapt to their environment, and those who failed did not survive
      • Change had come about gradually through chance and it is simply survival of the fittest
      • Scientific evidence to back up Hume
    • Mill
      • If the world is designed by a loving God, then why is nature so cruel?
      • Problem of evil =an all-good God cannot be responsible for the evident evil
      • If process comes through pain and suffering, what does it say about the nature of the designer?
    • General criticisms
      • Flew argued that Aquinas' claim that things are directed goes against evidence we see today
      • Some argue that the world is just the way it is and doesnt need purpose
      • Aquinas assumes things have a purpose and goal but never gives evidence to back up
      • Humans don't have proper knowledge to assume
      • Paley's analogy would suggest that it is possible to believe more than one god created the world as there is more than one watchmaker


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