The Teleological Argument

Key ideas surronding the Teleological Argument.

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  • Created by: Bethany
  • Created on: 15-10-14 12:18
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  • The Teleological Argument
    • Aquinas
      • Book = Summa Theologica
        • Aquinas' fifth Way - design qua purpose
          • Manmade objects are products of intelligent design; they have a purpose
          • The universe resembles these manmade objects, so its probable  the universe has a purpose and was designed
          • The universe is vastly more complex and bigger than a manmade object so the designer must be powerful and vastly intelligent designer (God)
          • Aquinas' fifth way is an argument FROM design, not an argument FOR deisgn.
    • Paley
      • Book = Natural Theology
        • "If you were walking on a heath and you saw a watch on the ground you would assume that its parts had not come together by chance because it is too complicated. Therefore someone must have designed it or it would not work.
          • Paley furthers his argument by comparing a human eye with a telescope. "there is precisely the same proof that the eye was made fro vision, as there is that the telescope was made for assisting it"
          • Arthur Brown argued the ozone layer was also evidence of design
        • How do we know a watch is designed?
          • Made from lots of materials
          • In order
          • Beautiful
          • Ticks regularly
          • Complex
          • Serves a purpose - tells the time and has functions
        • Design qua regularity
    • Frederick R. Tennant - MODERN
      • Came up with the 'anthropic principle' which means revolving around humankind.
        • Aesthetic principle refers to the idea that Darwins theory of evolution can't explain why humans have a love and appreciation of art, music or literature.
          • These characteristics do not help us to survive so must have been put there by God.
    • Swinburn
      • Book: 'The Existence of God'
        • His idea was not to prove that God exists beyond all doubt, but to show that his existence is probable. Probable NOT necessary.
        • Evidence for God's existence has a cumulative effect as not one individual argument is convincing but together they form a 'strong case'.
        • Response to Hume
          • 5) The cause of the universe doesn't need an external explanation
          • 4) God may have more attributes than the universe can tell us.
          • 6) The universe can't be chance as it continues to remain in order
          • 3) God is very different from human designers as he must be powerful with no restrictions.
          • 7)The universe may be unique but it has things in common with its parts.
          • 2) What generated the laws of nature?
          • 8) Accept the simplest explanation (Ockham's razor)
          • 1) Evil doesn't affect the argument as it doesn't seek to prove the benevolence  and omnipotence of God.
    • Aristotle
      • Four causes
        • Material cause, Formal cause, Efficient cause, and FINAL CAUSE
          • Final cause = What is the purpose of the object and does it fulfil it?
    • Hume
      • Book = Dialogues concerning Natural Religion
        • Fictional voices: Cleanthes = Paley and Philo = Hume / general criticisms
          • Hume has 8 criticisms
            • 5) Why should there be only one designer? Many people work together to build a house.
            • 4) The argument anthropomorphises God (makes him too much like a human)
            • 6) Why can't we think of the universe as a living organism rather than a machine?
            • 3) If the world was designed then who was the designer. Contradictory argument.
            • 7) The universe could be a result of chance. Periods of chaos and calm.
            • 2) the analogy of human design and God is a poor one. The universe is unique.
            • 8) There are many 'inexplicable difficulties' such as evil. Perhaps God made many worlds before he got one right, perhaps God is dead.
            • 1) Only qualities for that design and no others, has to be directly apparent in the design
        • Sympathises with the Epicurean Hypothesis = initial chaos then natural forces calmed everything down so now there is order giving the illusion of design
    • Mill
      • Book = Nature and the Utility of Religion
        • "Either there is no God, or there exists an incompetent or immoral one"
          • Inconsistent triad - Omnipotent - doesn't have the power to do anything, Omniscient - doesn't know anything is wrong, Omnibenevolent - doesn't love us enough to do anything about it
            • "Nature has no mercy or justice"
            • Any evil that humans can do, nature can do better (or worse)
            • God's power must be limited - otherwise there wouldn't be evil
    • Darwin
      • Book = The Origin of Species
        • Theory of evolution explains why there doesn't have to be a designer
    • Dawkins- MODERN
      • Book = The Blind Watchmaker
        • Dawkins was  an atheist and a scientist. He strongly agreed with Darwin.
          • 4 criticisms
            • 3) The teleological argument uses God to fill a gap that science has not yet been able to provide an answer for.
            • 2)Nature is amazing we can't simply say there must be a designer
            • 4) Natural selection is the blind, unconscious and automatic process, there is no purpose - it's just chance.
            • 1) Nature is just as a result of a really impressive process of natural selection.
  • Fictional voices: Cleanthes = Paley and Philo = Hume / general criticisms
    • Hume has 8 criticisms
      • 5) Why should there be only one designer? Many people work together to build a house.
      • 4) The argument anthropomorphises God (makes him too much like a human)
      • 6) Why can't we think of the universe as a living organism rather than a machine?
      • 3) If the world was designed then who was the designer. Contradictory argument.
      • 7) The universe could be a result of chance. Periods of chaos and calm.
      • 2) the analogy of human design and God is a poor one. The universe is unique.
      • 8) There are many 'inexplicable difficulties' such as evil. Perhaps God made many worlds before he got one right, perhaps God is dead.
      • 1) Only qualities for that design and no others, has to be directly apparent in the design
  • Darwin
    • Book = The Origin of Species
      • Theory of evolution explains why there doesn't have to be a designer

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