Give an outline of the Teleological argument with reference to its origins and how it's developed over time

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The Teleological Argument for the existence of God is an a posteriori argument; it’s based on the observation that there is purpose, order and design in the Universe. Pioneered by the major Greek thinkers of Athens, it’s been adapted hundreds of times by theologians and critics into its current form.

Plato & Aristotle

It began over two thousand years ago with Plato’s teleological argument, in which he points out the clear order of the Universe, and argues, instead of a creator, there must be a ‘demi-urge’ a being with the power to shape Universes out of pre-existing matter. This is where Plato’s God differs from the God of Christian theism, who created ex nihilo or out of nothing. This ‘demi-urge’ came into the Universe and created the order that we see today from the chaos. Aristotle, one of Plato’s pupils, then went on to develop his own form of the Teleological argument, in which he points to the clear design of the Universe, and states that since all things must have a ‘telos’ or a purpose, as must the Universe itself. For Aristotle, this means that it’s more likely that there is a creator or a first cause, unmoved mover whose work is evident in the motion of the planets and in the natural world.


St Thomas Aquinas, a 13th Century Christian theologian then developed the teleological argument into his own, more Christian form, he argued that all things have a purpose, or Telos, but beings without intelligence cannot move towards their purpose by themselves. Aquinas uses the example of an archer with a bow and arrow, the arrow’s purpose is to hit the target, but it cannot achieve this purpose without an intelligent being directing it towards its end. While…


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