The Teleological Arugment

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The Teleological Arugment

  • The basic argument
    1. The universe has order, purpose and regularity.
    2. The complexity of life on earth and the harmonious organization of living organisms exhibits evidence of intelligent design.
    3. A design suggests the presence of a designer.
    4. That designer is God.
    Teleological' comes from the Greek word 'Teleos' - meaning 'end' or 'purpose'.
  • A posteriori argument - It is backward-looking; it starts from the results and tries to work out what causes the result.
  • There are two main types of The Teleological Argument
    - Arguments based on regularity (Design qua Regularity)
    Thomas Aquinas ideas with William Paley
    - Arguments based on purpose (Design qua Purpose)
    William Paleys ideas with Newton.
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Design Qua Regularity


  • Natural world - everything follows natural laws, for example - if you let go of a glass, it will fall to the floor, as a result of the law of gravity.
  • If things follows natural laws they must have a goal or purpose.
  • If something can't think it must have a thinker to move it to its goal = God, for example - Arrow analogy - An arrow hits a targer even though it has no mind of its own (an effect), the archer (someone with a mind of their own) shoots the arrow (a cause), things in the natural world follow natural laws; someone with a mind of their own caused the natural world to behave this way - we call this someone God (the untimate cause).


  • Astronomy laws of motion
  • Planets - obey universal laws, this does not come about by chance = God
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