'Aquinas' and Paley's teleological arguments cannot be defended' Discuss. (10)

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a)      'Aquinas' and Paley's teleological arguments cannot be defended' Discuss. (10)

To state that Aquinas’ and Paley’s argument cannot be defended appears a little hasty. For example thinkers such as Arthur Brown and Morowitz would suggest that these teleological arguments can be defended. Arthur Brown asks us to see the ozone layer and its ability to block out harmful UV rays yet not blocking out heat and light as evidence of design in much the same way that Paley or Aquinas might; that the order of the universe is such that one could only conclude that God created the universe. This is seen in Aquinas’ claim that the universe did not come about ‘fortuitously but designedly’ which suggests that there is intelligence behind the creation of order or regularity in the universe. So in some sense Arthur Brown backs up Aquinas’ view of order and regularity through design.

However, Arthur Brown was writing in the 1940s prior to the modern ozone crisis. Surely an omniscient creator would have known that the ozone layer would not stand up to human abuse through CFC usage? A challenge to this would be that God knew that humans would do this but left it up to us as to how we respond to this environmental problem. It seems as though some support could be lent to Aquinas at very least. Morowitz (a bio-chemist) suggests that the very complexity of the protein molecules that go towards making the building blocks of life means that there hasn’t been enough time for this life to come about any other way except design. He suggests that the chances of life coming about by chance were 1/10236. So Morowitz argues that God is needed as an anti-chance factor.

This notion would lend support to Paley’s design qua purpose argument as…


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