The Teleological Argument-AS Philosophy UNDER CONSTRUCTION

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  • Created by: Kasey
  • Created on: 20-05-11 15:53

The teleological argument

The Teleological argument ('Telos'=design)


  • Analogy 
  • Cause + effect
  • Inductive argument-inference to the best explanation
  • Probabilities


  • Order in the universe
  • Empirical
  • Teleological
  • Argument for or from existence of order in the universe as the foundation
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2 challenges

Hume: But there's like cancer and stuff! 

Chaos: The world is the product of chaos (X purpose X direction)

    • Paley's watch 
      • Complex
      • Harmonious
      • Planned
      • Intelligence-Fine tuning
      • Purpose
    • ALL indications of design are evident in the universe, the whole universe operates with the same design features and the universe is infinite in space, time, etc.
      • The Eye

Hume: It is but a weak analogy, comparing the universe to a machine with a small number of similarities and more differences.

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So, is it weak or strong?

  • What is it's purpose?
  • Empirical similarity is weak.
  • Disorder in the world challenges harmonious aspects.
  • We can't stand outside the universe to judge whether it is harmonious.
  • Anthropomorphic difficulties: incompatible with other attributes of God.
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The argument for cause and effect

If the universe is the effect, there must be a cause.

  • Conclusions about causes require prior experience-empirical inquiry.

Causes are often proportional to effect.

  • Hume: We have no experience of the creation of the universe. We need empirical knowledge to not be making mere guesses.

The problem is trying to reach backwards from a unique event to determine the cause.

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Hume's suggestion

  • There are many planets, experiments could have been 'bungled'?
  • Is there a team of designers?
  • Or an unknown intelligence? 'The Giant Spider'
  • 'Giant vegetable argument'

There is, at the end of the day, sufficient doubt to discount the argument as proof and any other possibilities are just as likely.

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F.R. Tennant (1866-1957)

 Accepted and included the theory of evolution, which has a purpose and is created and guided by an intelligent God. Progress is not random but makes progress.


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