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Also known as the design argument, it uses our aposteriori (what we have observed) knowledge to
show that there must be a God behind it.
Thomas Aquinas' argument
Everything in the natural world follows natural laws, even things that aren't conscious or
Following these laws causes them to do well and have a goal/purpose.
If something doesn't think for itself and still have a goal/purpose it has to be directed by
something that thinks. This something is God.
Human beings, although they think for themselves and cause things to have a goal/purpose,
they are still immortal and die.
The argument is in favour of regularity of succession; things in nature follow certain laws that
lead to certain results.
He uses the analogy of an archer shooting an arrow to illustrate his argument of regularity.
The arrow hitting the target symbolising the world following natural laws without thinking.
The archer that shot the arrow being God having a mind of His own and causing the natural
world to follow the laws of nature.
Aristotle & Aquinas
Aquinas was a follower of Aristotle.
Used Aristotle's idea of the final cause to show how God is behind everything, like Aristotle.
Assumes everything has a purpose/goal when it might not.
The natural world could be just the way it is without a designer, the laws of nature are just
there. Flew claims something directing things in the world is inconsistent with the evidence
Swinburne claimed that God might exist but he might not impose the regularity and laws of
Paley's Watchmaker Analogy
If you went on a walk and found a rock you wouldn't give it a second thought but if you saw a
watch you would examine and find a number of things.
The watch has a purpose, all the parts fit together exactly for that purpose, the parts are
ordered in a certain way in order to fulfil its purpose as had it been arranged in a different
way it would not function.
Paley compared the watch and all of the observations made about it to the Earth causing him
to conclude that there must be a designer behind it.
Paley's argument is an argument of purpose not regularity unlike Aquinas. He makes no
reference to the laws of nature.
Other pages in this set
Here's a taster:
Weak analogy comparing a watch to the Earth when they are nothing alike. We have some
kind of knowledge showing us that the watch is down to a watchmaker but none about the
Here's a taster:
People are killed for the same acts that happen in nature day to day, does God will misery?
God of the gaps fossils could have been destroyed by Earth.
Could be practice attempt left behind which is why the world is flawed.…read more