Teleological Argument


Aquinas and the Teleoglogical Argument

  • Aquinas 5th Way
  • Influenced by Aristotle
  • Summa theologica
  •  Governance
  • Design
  • Intelligent being
  • Analogy of the Archer
  • Design qua regularity
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William Paley and the Design Argument

Context – new scientific discoveries

Natural Theology

Watch analogy

Human body as complex

Design qua purpose

Bird example

Design qua regularity

 Knowledge of Creator

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Anthropic Principle

John Polkinghorne quote

Brendon Carter Weak/Strong form

F.R Tennant Philosophical Theology

3 pieces of evidence

Richard Swinburne

 Guardian Quote

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Aesthetic Principle

F R Tennant

Answer to evolution critique

Natural beauty


Intelligent human life

Omnibenevolent God

Tennant Quote

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David Hume and the Teleological Argument

Context - dialogues

Philos Analogies


Organic universe

Apparent design

Poor design

Many builders

Absent designer

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Other Criticism

Experience – human mind and reason

Evil and suffering. Nature and the Utility of Religion


Survival of the fittest


Realms of science

Blind watch maker

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Ancient argument 

Based on observation – synthetic and a posteriori

Scientific theories always need updating

Contemporary scientists agree with the teleological argument

Is a cumulative case

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Many scientists argue against it

Natural selection explains evil whereas argument from design doesn’t

Inductive arguments do not prove certainty

‘God of gaps’ Doesn’t prove the God of classical theism

Use of analogy is unsound.

May be apparent not intelligent design

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