The Teleological Argument


Explain the form of the argument

The search for meaning and purpose in the world.

Analogical means...

Drawing an analogy between the world and its parts and objective of human design.

Inductive means...

Based on the observation that the universe demonstrates regular motion in both its parts and as a whole.

How has it been made into a theistic argument (one that seeks to prove the existence of a God of Classical Theism)

It has undergone many formulations. It suggests that certain aspects of the universe are so perfectly adapted to fulfil their function that they display evidence of being deliberately designed, and that such design can only be explained with reference to an intelligent, personal designer.

Outline the issues raised by the question 'Why is the universe as it is?'

Order: Regularities in the behaviour of objects and laws in the universe.

Benefit: The universe is an orderly structure and provides all that is necessary for life.

Purpose: Objects within the universe appear to be working towards a purpose.

Suitability: Provides the ideal environment for human life to exist.

Appearance: The appearance of the universe, which could be said to exhibit beauty, suggests that it is intended for something more than basic survival.

Identify things about the world that couldn't be different without tremendous implications for human life:

  • If the sun was slightly further away.
  • If there was 60 planets in the solar system.
  • If the moon was closer.

Outline Dave Hunt's parable. How does this relate to the Teleological argument?

  • Two men are shipwrecked on a desert island.
  • They find a factory that is operating and producing goods, but there is no one operating it. One man thinks that this means that the island is inhabited, but the other thinks it is a coincidence.
  • They then find a watch, that one man thinks means the island is inhabited, but the other thinks it came to be there by chance.
  • This links to the Teleological argument because the watch and the factory cannot be by chance, they have not randomly come into being on their own, and they have had a cause or designer. This is the concept of the Teleological argument.

Aquinas' Fifth Way

  • There is beneficial order in the universe e.g. inhabitants working towards a purpose, such as migrating whales.
  • Beneficial order could not happen by chance.
  • Many objects do not have the intelligence to work towards an end or purpose (non-rational beings).
  • Therefore, they must be directed by something that does have intelligence.
  • Therefore God exists as an explanation of beneficial order.

William Paley: Outline Paley's Watch Theory

The world was like a machine that was made up of intricate parts, all of which worked towards an end or purpose for the benefit of the whole and all the small adaptations in nature were proof of a providential designing intelligence. All parts of a watch unite to fulfil that function and this unity cannot be explained by chance (a watchmaker has…


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