Explain the design argument as presented by Paley and by Swinburne

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  • Created by: evie
  • Created on: 12-05-13 13:34

The design argument is a teleological, posteriori argument because it is based on external evidence. 
Paley put forward two design arguments, the first and most famous argument was Design qua Purpose. He used an analogy of a watch, stating that if he was out walking and picked a rock up off the ground, examined it and then questioned where it came from, he would be quite content if the answer was it'd been there forever. However, if he picked a watch up off the ground, examined it and then questioned where it came from, he wouldn't be happy with the previous answer, as he would see how each individual peice of the watch fitted together, and how they all worked perfectly well together to produce the time. He would notice the how complex the watch was and note the intricate design and the thought that had gone on before creating the watch, and he would conclude that it must have been designed by someone, i.e a watchmaker. He likens this to the Earth, saying that if we look around and examine our earth we will realise just how complex it is and how everything works together to produce a purpose, we would then conclude, like the watch, that there must be a designer behind it, the designer being God. He uses other examples to back up this argument, including the human eye, saying how each of its many parts works together to produce its purpose; sight, and the lacteal system in animals; how animals always have enough…


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