the teleological argument

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  • Created by: Katy
  • Created on: 19-04-14 14:13

the teleological argument

The teleological argument starts froms observing apparent design and order in the natural world and tries to demonstart a designer of it 

there are 2 main arguments 

  • Regularity by Aquinas
  • Design que purpose (designed to fufill a purpose) and Design que regularity 

there is 1 main criticism of these arguments

  • David hume and his 5 steps  
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the teleological argument


  • the universe is directed towards a telos, there is evidence of design showing a designer 
  • everthing natural follows natural laws,if things follow natural laws they tend to meet their telos
  • if something cant think for itself it will not meet its telos unless it is directed there by something else, eg a bow it directed to its goal (target) by an archer this archer is god 
  • Aquinas was in favour of regularity of succesion, follows certain laws which lead to certain rules 

Paley; design qua purpose

  • man comes across a watch and examines it and concludes that the watch is so complex within the mechanism that it would be impossible for it not to be designed. this is the same for the world and the designer being god 

Design qua regulariy 

  • the planets and their motion in the solar system are kept in place by laws of gravity, this could have not come about by chance, there must be a designer 
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the teleological argument

Hume's criticisms 

  • implies that there is a designer. we cannot deduce a builder or an architect of the universe just like a house as the universe and a house have no similarity. 
  • it also gives god anthropocentric charactreristics which doesnt fit well with god and perfection as the universe is flawed suggesting an incompetent designer
  • possible to world could of come about by chance
  • nothing in the creation of god suggests one designer, there may be several 
  • supported the idea of natural selection, random adaptations or changes could bring about order

Mill's criticisms

  • nature is guilty of some serious crimes 
  • suffering that humans and animals have gone through would not go unpunished if there were a result of human decisions
  • evil within nature rejects notions of design
  • the amount of goodness within nature is far outweighed by suffering
  • if there was a designer, he is cruel and incompetent
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