Outline and assess the key design argument of the existence of God ?
The design argument is concerned to find the meaning or purpose in this world; they seek to move from facts about the world to God. Like the cosmological argument, the design argument draws back to arguments put forward by Socrates and Plato who said that ‘the human body, with all its principles and elements must owe its origin…of Zeus’. The design argument considers a number of issues for example; why is the universe the way that it is? As expected, it has undergone many different transformations that have transformed it into a theistic argument (on that seeks to prove the existence of the God of classical theism). It suggests that certain aspects in the universe are adapted to fulfil their purpose, therefore being deliberately designed by an intelligent designer. There are numerous types of arguments and different philosophers give them different names. Paley’s watchmaker is the most famous version; it is based on analogy between a watch and the world. The watch shows that it was made for a specific purpose (to tell the time). If we came across this watch even if we didn’t know what it was for, we can tell that is shows evidence of a design and therefore a designer, as the existence of the watch implies a watchmaker. The watch serves as an analogy for the world; it demonstrates purpose, design and telos. For Paley, the world was like a machine made up of several different parts which worked towards an end purpose and small adaptations in nature were for Paley, proof designing evidence of a intelligent designer. David Hume’s (1711-76) rejected Paley’s idea even before it was put forward, in Hume’s Dialogues concerning Natural Religion, he employs three characters; Cleanthes, who believes in Natural Theology and argues a posteriori to God. Demea, who also believes in God but whose arguments are a priori and Philo, who is their critic and puts forward Hume’s own views. (note: that a...
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