Outline of the Teleological Argument

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Teleological Argument




Plato's Teleological Argument

  • The Universe was pre-existent
  • A being in the Universe, a divine craftsman or demi-urge had the power to shape worlds
  • The being changed the Universe from chaos to order
  • This being did not create the Universe, but shaped it

Aristotle's Teleological Argument

  • The Universe reflects inherent purposiveness and direction
  • Similar to Plato's argument, God isn't a creator but a prime mover
  • Aristotle describes the mover as self-thinking thought
  • However unlike traditional theists Aristotle believed that

Aquinas' Fifth Way

  • Aquinas argues that every body tends towards it's goal
  • For there to be order, there must be a designer
  • This end-directedness of natural bodies must have a designing force behind it
  • From this we can conclude that every natural body has a designer, God
  • Aquinas compares it to a bow and arrow, an arrow cannot naturally move towards its goal of hitting a target, unless an intelligent being (an archer) picks it up and directs it towards its goal with a bow.

Paley's Watch Analogy

  • Paley analogises existences to a watch, arguing that if he found a watch on a heath, he couldn't assume that it'd lain there forever, as its complexity would prove that…


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