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AS Religious Studies Revision: The Teleological Argument
AO1 Material: i.e. `what goes in part a)?'
How the argument goes...
P1: There is order and complexity in the universe: e.g. the changing of the seasons
or the human eye;
P2: Things that exhibit order and complexity have designers;
C: The universe has a designer a.k.a. God.
It is an argument that uses analogy: it moves from our experience of things in the
world to try to explain the cause of the world itself.
Type of argument...
Inductive: inductive reasoning is where the premises support the conclusion, but
they do not entail it. It is usually based upon information coming from the senses
(the order and complexity we observe with our eyes). It is therefore not
deductive, which is where the premises of an argument do entail the conclusion,
i.e. the conclusion is necessary e.g. 1+1=2..
A posteriori: it is based upon experience: it comes `after the fact' of order and
complexity, it is not a priori which is based upon reasoning before experiencing.
Theistic all forms of the argument argue that God exists
Reject chance all reject chance as a means by which the universe has
Natural theology all cite evidence from the natural world around us; rejecting
revealed theology as a source of evidence for their arguments
Scholars whose versions of the argument you must explain...
Thomas Aquinas: The Archer.
Aquinas believed that everything in the universe has a purpose and that this
purpose is given to it by God, just as the arrow flying through the sky is given its
purpose by the archer who fires it. It was the 5th of his 5 ways of showing the
existence of God. His key premise is "unintelligent things cannot achieve their
purpose by themselves" and argues that, just as an arrow needs an archer
directing it, so too do unintelligent things he concludes that God must exist to
enable elements in the universe to achieve their purpose. Analogy!!
All too complex to be achieved by chance!
William Paley: The Watchmaker. (In Natural Theology)
Paley believed that just as watches, which exhibit complexity and purpose in
order to tell the time for us, have watchmakers, the world, which has complexity
and the purpose of sustaining life has a worldmaker; God. He uses the analogy of
a watch to demonstrate his point. Key premise: the world shows evidence of
design so must have a designer.
Other pages in this set
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He distinguished two features within the world: qua order and qua regularity.
Supported by John Wisdom and Arthur Brown (modern day)
All too complex to have arisen by chance!
F. R. Tennant: The Anthropic Principle.
This argument emerges in response to Charles Darwin's work on Natural
Selection and evolution. Charles Darwin's work responded to both Aquinas' and
Paley's work and rendered them weak.…read more