The Design Argument

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What is the Design Argument?[edit]

The Design Argument for the existence of God focuses on the perceived order and regularity of nature and the universe to posit the existence of a higher being or deity. Also known as the teleological argument (from the Greek telos, meaning end or purpose; it focuses on empirical evidence and sense experience as opposed to a priori internal logic and rationality - it is, therefore, an a posteriori argument.

There are two forms of this argument, the analogical argument, as proposed by Paley (and discussed below in the analogy of the watch), and the inductive argument which can be breiefly summarised as stating that when we observe the world we see regularity, and regularity implies adherence to laws. Laws have to have been put in place, and that something was God.

There is another side the design argument by david hume he says that why compare the eye to a watch? why not compare it to a dandelion instead.We do not know if this god is a good god e.g. because of earthquakes, tsunamis, disease.

The Analogy of the Watch[edit]

The argument was first put forward by William Paley with the analogy of the watch. He claimed that if a man were to walk across a heath and were to see a watch, he could easily tell it apart from the inanimate and technically simple other entities on the heath, for example rocks and stones. He could do this because of the many parts and mechanisms that comprise the form of the watch, and Paley claims that it would be rational to say that the watch is the product of a designer due to the fact that all of the parts work together in perfect unison to tell the time. Paley therefore claimed that this was true of the world; the earth is so perfect for human life that it could not have happened by chance. This would indicate that had been designed, and Paley claimed that this designer was God.

How does the argument work?[edit]

The basic formation of the argument can be outlined as follows:

1. x is a complex, highly intricate biological being. All of its parts function perfectly, in unison, towards some kind of goal (for example, eye = seeing)

2. Therefore, x must have been created by something intelligent, because it is such a complex entity.

3. This intelligent force is God.

4. Therefore, due to the existence of x, God exists.


About the Contributors[edit]

Albert Fenton and Grant Robinson are Philosophy of Religion students from Kent, England.