Teleological Argument: Aquinas

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The Teleological Argument is also known as the “Design Argument” and argues for the existence of God due to the world being so designed and set. Everything follows a natural linking pattern and everything corresponds to live and grow amongst other things. Is this possible when beings are incapable of thinking?

The teleological arguments are often divided into two types by philosophers:

  • Arguments based on purpose

  • Arguments based on regularity

Aquinas’ teleological arguement

  1. When you look at the natural world you can see that everything follows naturally set laws, even things that are not conscious or thinking beings. For example, the lifespan of a tree. The tree knows how to produce food for itself and take in water from the ground as if it is “programmed” to do so. As the tree does not have a brain, how does it know to do this?

  2. If things follow natural laws then they tend to do well or have some goal or purpose (the goal of the tree would be to keep itself alive)

  3. If a thing cannot think or does not have a brain to do so, it must have been set or directed by something else that thinks

  4. Conclusion: Everything in the natural world which does not have the capability to think is directed by something that does, in which we call, God.

Next, Aquinas said… even though human beings can think for themselves and cause other things to be aimed at another goal or result, the reason why humans exist is yet to be explained. There must be something special about humans as we are not immortal, we grow but we also die.

His main point is that… everything in the natural world is destined towards a goal and every living being follows this natural law whether they have the capability to think or not.

Example) If you drop something, then it falls to the ground; it obeys the


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