The Design Argument

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Fran99
  • Created on: 04-04-16 15:10

The Design Argument is...

  • Teleological: Search for meaning of universe and existence of God based on analogy and obervation.
    • The world seems to have a sense of order and law so begs the questions why is the universe how it is.
  • A Posteriori Argument: An argument based on the evidence of our observation of the world.
  • A Analogical Argument: An argument based on analogies or similarties - for example, seeing the link between the world and objects of human design.
1 of 12

What is the argument?

1) The world contains order, regularity, purpose and beauty.

2) By looking at an object containing the properties in part one.

3) the world is an obkect containing the properties in part one.

Conclusion: The world was designed, the designer we call God.

2 of 12

Crucial features that indicate the existence of an

  • Order: Objects and scientific laws operate in a regular way.
  • Benefit: The universe provides all that is necessary for life.
  • Purpose: Objects within the universe appear to be working towards an end or purpose.
  • Suitability for human life: The univese provides the right environment for human life.
  • Appearance: The beauty of nature and the universe suggests that it is intended for something more than basic survival.
3 of 12

William Paley - Watch Analogy

1. From a complex object of many parts, containing th qualities of regularity and purpose, we may infer it was designed.

2. The world and its contents are complex, and many parts containig the qualities of regularity and purpose

3. We may infer that the world was designed.

Conclusion: The world has a designer, God

  • Design qua Purpose: The universe was designed to fulfil a purpose.
  • Design qua Regularity: The universe behaves according to some order.
4 of 12

Thomas Aquinas - Bee and Arrow Analogy

  • Non-rational beings act in a way which produces benefit.
  • If non-rational beings can work towards a goal, something must direct them.
  • Everything works towards an end or purpose - this benefical order could not happen by chance.
  • The unintelligent need direction from an intelligent being.
  • Conclusion: God exists.
5 of 12

F.R. Tennant and the Aesthetic Principle

  • The existence of an intelligent designer is found not just in the order of the universe but in its beauty.
  • The universe is more than just orderly; it possess a natural beauty beyond that which is necessary to live.
  • Aesthetic Principle: The beauty in the world is proof of an intelligent designer.
6 of 12

Anthropic Principle

  • Reason for the universe is the supportof human life.
  • Humanity is at the  forefront of creation, because circumstances of the universe uniquely and surprisingly enable human life to emerge.
  • The universe is life-nurturing.
  • Anthropic Reasoning: Argues from the human perspective.
7 of 12

Anthropic Teleological Argument

1) The emergence of human life in our universe depends on the numerous factors: planetary conditions, fundamental laws of physics ect.

2) Human life has emerged in our universe.

3) A life-friendly universe such as ours is highly improbable; almost any other set of circumstances we can think of would have been life-hostile.

4) A designer or intelligent creator would make sense of our improbable universe

Conclusion: God exists.

8 of 12

Intelligent Design

  • The design argument has been developed into a theaus called the intelligent design.
  • Claims the theory of evolution is wrong or over-stated.
  • God may have caused the process of evolution as a means of bringing order and purpose into the universe.
9 of 12

David Hume

  • Paley's watch analogy was unsound, since we have no certain knowledge of the universe in the way that we do have certain knowledge of a watch.
  • The universe is unique and cannot be compared to anything else and certainly not a watch.
  • Whislt we might agree that parts of the universe appear to have a purpose, how do we know for certain?
  • this leads to anthropomorphism where, in this case God's qualities and characterisitcs are identified with those humans.
  • If God is compared with a human designer then it serves only to limit his power.
  • No supreme designer would have created a universe with so much suffering Hume observes: "The worldis very faulty and imperfect... it is the work only of some inferior deity."
10 of 12

Charles Darwin

  • Life developed in evolutionary steps.
  • Living things change and adapt to fit in with the environment. The environment was not made by God for living things.
  • There is too much suffering in the natural world for it to have been made by a kind and loving God.
11 of 12

Richard Dawkins

  • The universe does not show it purpose. We cannot take individaul parts of the universe see their purpose and then assume the whole universe has a purpose.
  • Mark Twain: "The world was not created as an amazing habitat for man; man exists because of the world, not the other way around."
    • We over-state our importance.
12 of 12


No comments have yet been made

Similar Philosophy resources:

See all Philosophy resources »See all The Design Argument resources »