Teleological Argument

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Background/key terms

Names for God

  • God of Mono Theism - The idea of one God only
  • God of Classical Theism - The idea that God is Omnipotent and a Necessary Being
  • Deity and the Divine

God's Attributes

  • Omnipotent - God is all powerful
  • Necessary Being - Everything on earth is a contingent being. God is a necessary being.

Types of Proof

  • A posteriori (Emperical) Proving something based on our senses
  • A-priori (Logical) Believing something from logical deduction.

Background on the Teleological Argument

  • Seeks to prove God's existence by trying to show the world was designed with a purpose in mind. So the Design Argument and the Teleological Argument are the same thing.
  • Teleological arguments are based on the fact that the world is in a perfect order. And so the arguement concludes that the order was not by chance, but by design.
  • It's an A-Posteriori argument

Design Qua Regularity - The version of the Teleological Argument that argues that the universe is to ordered/regulated to have come about by chance, and must therefore have a designer, who is God.

Design Qua Purpose - The version of the Teleological Argument that argues that objects (such as eyes) have too specific a purpose to have come about by chance, and must therefore have a designer, who is God. 

Teleological Arguments For

Aristotle (Design Qua Regularity)

  • Aristotle believed everything had a Final Cause. e.g final cause of a child is to grow into an adult. 
  • Fascinated by their orderliness, he said "When people gain sight of the earth, seas, and the sky...their courses fixed and changeless throughout all eternity, most certainly they would have judged that these marvellous works are the handiwork of the gods"
  • Example is the worm, chicken, human argument. Aristole concluded there must be an ordering power behind these Final Causes as it was too ordered to have come about by chance. He called this ordering power the Prime Mover.

Aquinas (Design Qua Regularity)

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