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what is the teleological argument?

-attempts to prove the existence of God by claiming that everything that exists seems to have some sort of telos


What does Aquinas argument about the teleological argument. Aquinas way 5

-points out that even inanimate things which lack knowledge or intelligence still fulfil their purpose.
-e. g a heart continues to beat and pump blood around the body. It is not self aware but still manages to fulfil its end purpose (keeping the animal alive)
-the animal itself goes around doing the things that particular species is suppose to do, fulfilling its own purpose .
-if things which lack knowledge contribute to sort of 'beneficial order' they then must be directed by a being with knowledge which suggests a designer


what is Aquinas example

-the archer firing an arrow
-the arrow needs to be directed to its target by the archer
-without the archer the arrow doesn't reach the target (it's purpose)
-things have to be directed by something towards their telos


what are the two parts of William Paleys argument

-Design qua purpose
-Design qua regularity


Parley uses the analogy of the watch to explain design qua purpose. Explain it

-a man walks across a heath and finds a rock.
-he attributes the existence of the rock to nature
-he walks further and stumbles across a watch
-after examination, he concludes that the watch has a purpose. Each tiny cog, wheel and balance inside the watch contributes to the measurement of time
-he concludes that this couldn't have come about without the agency of a watch maker / designer. The watch couldn't have come about by accident


link Paley's watch analogy to design in the universe

-the universe is intricate in its design (e.g. the position of Earth from the sun)
-the universe could not have come about by accident
-things in the universe have purposes (e.g cows make milk)
-the universe itself is proof of an intelligent designer
-the universe is so complex that there has to be a designer. For Paley this is God


what are Paley's 3 other examples of design qua purpose

-the birds wing designed for the purpose of flight
-the fins of fish designed for the purpose of swimming
-the lacteal system in mammals designed for the purpose of feeding the correct number of young


3 problems with Paleys watch analogy

-complexity doesn't necessarily mean design
-natural selection shows a way of understanding how species develop without reference to God
-Purpose is something we give to things


a possible objection of Paleys watch analogy is that we have never seen a watch made so we don't know the watch was made. Likewise we have never seen a universe being created so we can't assume it was created by God. What would Paley argue?

-this wouldn't matter as not may people have seen a watch being made, but you know it has been designed. Watch has a purpose so must have been designed.

-no one has seen a universe being created but we still know it was designed as we can see its purposes


another possible objection of Paley's watch analogy is that the watch sometimes goes wrong. Likewise the universe sometimes goes wrong (e,g, natural disasters) . What would Paley argue ?

-even if the watch went wrong you can still see a purpose of the watch and the evidence of design

-Paleys argument is not addressing the quality of the design


what is Paley's argument for design qua regularity

-there is evidence for a designer in the regularity and order of the universe
-e.g. the regular rotations of the planets
-e.g. the predictable effects of gravity
-these couldn't have come about without a designer


explain David Hume's epicurean hypothesis which is a criticisms of the teleological argument

-nature is throwing particles around in unlimited time and these particles get scattered in every combination that is possible

-eventually 1 of these chance throws produces a pattern which allows life to emerge and produce creatures like ourselves

-when we arrive on earth the temptation is to be impressed by the pattern that we see in the universe and think that it could have only been created by design.

-but this is simply because we weren't present during natures other throws of the particles which only produced chaos.

-that's because a chaotic combination of the particles never produces creatures like ourselves.

-we will only turn up on the scene when a complex pattern has been thrown by nature as only this sort of pattern allows us to exist


what is Hume's criticisms of Paley's using an analogy

-e.g. if we consider a cabbage, examine its leaves, they are wonderfully fitted together and serve a purpose. But, if we found a cabbage, we could not go from that to draw the inference that there exists a cabbage maker. We know cabbages are natural things. The universe could be natural

-the universe isn't like a machine, more appropriate to compare it to a living organism which is growing and changing.

-a machine is made by many hands so likewise the universe might have been designed by many gods.


Hume then criticises the religious worth of the design argument. Why does he think the possibility of a designer doesn't not necessarily point or God ?

-the universe might have been designed by many gods

-if we look carefully at some designs they are faulty, so if there is a designer he must be inadequate, even faulty. Note the mistakes in the design of the universe (e.g. natural disasters)

-designers usually take more than 1 attempt to get their product right. Nothing is made perfect the first time. If this is the case then is the universe just a first draft?


explain Hume's criticism of argument from effect to cause

-similar effects don't necessarily imply similar causes.

-since humans have limited knowledge, it is impossible to make assumptions about how the universe came to be as it is.

-the most we could infer from the existence of s watch is that there was a watchmaker. We cannot know whether he is still active or if he made the watch alone. Likewise, we cannot go from the facts of this world, with all its limitations, to the infinite, all-loving, all-powerful, all-knowing God.

-the fallacy of composition. Just because things inside the universe have a designer, it doesn't follow that the universe itself has a designer


what is Charles Darwins theory of natural selection? include example

-the fittest survive and pass on their characteristics to the next generation.

-throughout the generations, many small random changes are either passed on by the survivors, or they die out because they weakened the individual .

-animals thus evolve by adapting to their environment

-e.g. Galapagos finches. Each island of the Galapagos had its own kind of finch, with a specific type of beak. Some had beaks adapted for eating large seeds, small seeds, some had parrot like beaks for feeding on fruits etc. Each was slightly modified from an original finch, with a beak that had adapted through natural selection according to the food source on its island.


how does the theory of natural selection challenge the teleological argument

-if species gave survived due to adaptation to the environs,not then there is no need for an ultimate designer.

-if evolution is a random process, there is no overall purpose or planned design. The apparent design is merely a result of chance.

-it challenges the status and dignity of humankind. The world is me longer centred around humans. Humans have evolved in the same way as animals. Where is the soul or the uniqueness of humankind?


Richard Dawkins criticises Paley. What does he argue?

-argues that evolution is carried on through random but cumulative mutations in DNA which produce variations in living organisms.

-this process is 'blind' - it has no overall purpose or plan. There is no need for a designer or God


5 things against the design debate

-Hume's criticisms about analogy
-Hume's criticisms about what kind of designer can be inferred
-Hume's criticisms about an alternative explanation (epicurean hypothesis)
-Darwinism. Evidence for natural selection as an alternative explanation
-Dawkin's blind watchmaker


4 arguments for the teleological argument

- Aquinas
-Paleys argument from purpose
-Paleys argument from regularity
-Paleys response to potential criticisms


what does Harold Morowitz claim about life being brought about by chance

-the chance that a protein molecule occurred by chance is 1:10 X 236

-extremely unlikely that life originated by chance


F.R Tenant proposed the anthropic principle. Explain how this challenges the idea of chance

-this world is finely balanced to allow life to exist
-e.g. if they earth was slightly closer or further away from the sun, life could not exists. The favourable conditions suggest a designer, God.


What did Brown argue for the teleological argument

-the thickness of the Ozone layer being just right for life to flourish on earth suggests design