An argument from design is an argument that is close to the Teleological approach, which are arguments for the existence of God because of a general pattern and order in the universe, as opposed to arguments from providence, which are arguments from the provision of needs; of conscious beings.
The teleological argument attempts to prove the existence of God by explaining that the world, in its seemingly perfect and ordered state could not have come about without the existence of a designer. The argument attempts to demonstrate that complexity, order and purpose are not attributes that can occur randomly, but must be implemented by a designer. By analogy, a form of induction, the argument compares the way the universe works, with its complex phenomena and intricacy, to that of an object, and in the case of William Paley, a watch. A watch has many different parts and shows all the marks of contrivance and design. Just as the existence of a watch implies a watchmaker, the existence of the world implies an even greater designer: God. We also do not need to know the purpose of the watch to infer a designer, simply that design implies a designer.
The first thing to consider is the nature of the argument. The design argument is an empirical argument from analogy; a type of induction. Therefore, the argument will never be conclusive, but can only be more or less probable. There are certain doubts raised when analysing the analogy between the universe and products of human design. When we experience a watch, we know that it has been designed, as we experience items such as watches, engines, houses being designed and made all the time, but what experience do we have of the universe? A sound analogical argument is one where shared characteristics given, really are shared characteristics. It is a huge assumption that the universe shows order and purpose: we have no experience of this. This point was looked at further by Mark Wynn: “We have no experience of the origin...
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