The local teleological argument of paley in support of gods existence

Tweet Most Christians have a presupposition that the Bible is true. They accept it as containing the very words that God wanted written, and they accept those Words as containing everything necessary to the knowledge of salvation 2 Corinthians 4: I am one of those Christians. However, the lost do not accept the authority of the Bible.

The local teleological argument of paley in support of gods existence

The Classical Versions of the Design Argument a. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.

Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse. Perhaps the earliest philosophically rigorous version of the design argument owes to St.

We see that things which lack knowledge, such as natural bodies, act for an end, and this is evident from their acting always, or nearly always, in the same way, so as to obtain the best result.

Hence it is plain that they achieve their end, not fortuitously, but designedly. Now whatever lacks knowledge cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence; as the arrow is directed by the archer. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end; and this being we call God Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Article 3, Question 2.

Accordingly, the empirical fact that the operations of natural objects are directed towards ends shows that an intelligent Deity exists. This crucial claim, however, seems to be refuted by the mere possibility of an evolutionary explanation. If a Darwinian explanation is even coherent that is, non-contradictory, as opposed to truethen it provides a logically possible explanation for how the end-directedness of the operations of living beings in this world might have come about.

According to this explanation, such operations evolve through a process by which random genetic mutations are naturally selected for their adaptive value; organisms that have evolved some system that performs a fitness-enhancing operation are more likely to survive and leave offspring, other things being equal, than organisms that have not evolved such systems.

If this explanation is possibly true, it shows that Aquinas is wrong in thinking that "whatever lacks knowledge cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence. The Argument from Simple Analogy The next important version of the design argument came in the 17th and 18th Centuries.

Pursuing a strategy that has been adopted by the contemporary intelligent design movement, John Ray, Richard Bentley, and William Derham drew on scientific discoveries of the 16th and 17th Century to argue for the existence of an intelligent Deity.

William Derham, for example, saw evidence of intelligent design in the vision of birds, the drum of the ear, the eye-socket, and the digestive system. It is noteworthy that each of these thinkers attempted to give scientifically-based arguments for the existence of God.

David Hume is the most famous critic of these arguments. Look round the world: All these various machines, and even their most minute parts, are adjusted to each other with an accuracy which ravishes into admiration all men who have ever contemplated them. The curious adapting of means to ends, throughout all nature, resembles exactly, though it much exceeds, the productions of human contrivance; of human designs, thought, wisdom, and intelligence.

Since, therefore, the effects resemble each other, we are led to infer, by all the rules of analogy, that the causes also resemble; and that the Author of Nature is somewhat similar to the mind of man, though possessed of much larger faculties, proportioned to the grandeur of the work which he has executed.

Accessibility links

By this argument a posteriori, and by this argument alone, do we prove at once the existence of a Deity, and his similarity to human mind and intelligence.

Since the world, on this analysis, is closely analogous to the most intricate artifacts produced by human beings, we can infer "by all the rules of analogy" the existence of an intelligent designer who created the world.

Just as the watch has a watchmaker, then, the universe has a universe-maker. As expressed in this passage, then, the argument is a straightforward argument from analogy with the following structure: The material universe resembles the intelligent productions of human beings in that it exhibits design.

The design in any human artifact is the effect of having been made by an intelligent being.

The local teleological argument of paley in support of gods existence

Like effects have like causes. Therefore, the design in the material universe is the effect of having been made by an intelligent creator. Hume criticizes the argument on two main grounds. First, Hume rejects the analogy between the material universe and any particular human artifact.

As Hume states the relevant rule of analogy, "wherever you depart in the least, from the similarity of the cases, you diminish proportionably the evidence; and may at last bring it to a very weak analogy, which is confessedly liable to error and uncertainty" Hume, Dialogues, Part II.

Hume then goes on to argue that the cases are simply too dissimilar to support an inference that they are like effects having like causes: If we see a house,… we conclude, with the greatest certainty, that it had an architect or builder because this is precisely that species of effect which we have experienced to proceed from that species of cause.

But surely you will not affirm that the universe bears such a resemblance to a house that we can with the same certainty infer a similar cause, or that the analogy is here entire and perfect Hume, Dialogues, Part II. Since the analogy fails, Hume argues that we would need to have experience with the creation of material worlds in order to justify any a posteriori claims about the causes of any particular material world; since we obviously lack such experience, we lack adequate justification for the claim that the material universe has an intelligent cause.

Second, Hume argues that, even if the resemblance between the material universe and human artifacts justified thinking they have similar causes, it would not justify thinking that an all-perfect God exists and created the world.

For example, there is nothing in the argument that would warrant the inference that the creator of the universe is perfectly intelligent or perfectly good.

Indeed, Hume argues that there is nothing there that would justify thinking even that there is just one deity:William Paley's teleological watch argument is sketched together with some objections to his reasoning. State Paley's argument for God's existence as clearly as possible.

and distributors— would seem to suggest many gods are involved in universe-making.

The local teleological argument of paley in support of gods existence

The disanalogy that watchmaker has parents but the universe-maker does not have. Notes are arranged in response to the questions stated above in reference to "The Teleological Argument," an edited selection from Paley's Natural Theology: or evidences of the existence and attributes of the deity, collected from the appearances of nature as .

The teleological argument was used by St Thomas Aquinas as one of his Five Ways of knowing that God exists, but the most cited statement of the argument is that of William Paley.

An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers.

Paley likened the universe to a watch, with many ordered parts working in harmony to further some purpose. Paley's Teleological Argument For The Existence Of God "For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.

Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and diety, has been clearly percieved in the things that have been made. The Teleological Argument for the existence of God is also sometimes called the Design Argument.

Biblical support for the Teleological Argument.

The teleological argument was used by St Thomas Aquinas as one of his Five Ways of knowing that God exists, but the most cited statement of the argument is that of William Paley. Paley likened the universe to a watch, with many ordered parts working in harmony to further some purpose. Question: "What is the Teleological argument for the existence of God?" Answer: The word teleology comes from telos, which means "purpose" or "goal."The idea is that it takes a "purposer" to have purpose, and so, where we see things obviously intended for a purpose, we can assume that those things were made for a reason. Teleological Argument for the Existence of God Essay Words 9 Pages This paper will examine the argument put forward by William Paley in , in his Natural Theology.

The Bible tells us that the Teleological Argument, although not specifically called by that name, is not a man-made construct, but it truly exists. Design Arguments for the Existence of God. Since the concepts of design and purpose are closely related, design arguments are also known as teleological arguments, which incorporates "telos," the Greek word for "goal" or "purpose." Paley's argument, unlike arguments from analogy, does not depend on a premise asserting a general.

What is the Teleological argument for the existence of God?