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Flashcards in Teleological Argument Deck (14):

Teleological argument is also known as?

Design argument


Who came up with it?

Thomas Aquinas
In summa theologica the 5th way


What type of argument is it?

A posteriori


What is aquinas’ theory?

Natural bodies like the solar system and eco systems all fit well together to achieve their purpose (telos)
Everything has a purpose but it can’t direct itself
Needs a designer/ creator -god


What analogy did aquinas use?

The archer
And archer directs the arrow towards its target, it can’t reach the target on its own
God is like the archer directing everything towards its purpose


Who else argued for a designer of the universe?

William paley


What was paleys first point

Design qua regularity

Parts of the universe are organised in a way to achieve their function
The nitrogen cycle, parts of the eye


Paleys second point

Design qua purpose

Things in the universe have a specific purpose
Eye for sight


What analogy did paley use?

The watch

If you came across a pocket watch you’d see the parts are ordered and fit together for the purpose of telling the time
Must be designed, can’t be explained without the explanation of a watchmaker
Same as the universe with god


Who criticised the design argument?

David Hume


What were hume’s criticisms?

We weren’t there- no empirical evidence, why god?
Analogies are weak- can’t use a mechanical watch to explain the natural universe
Epicurean hypothesis- given finite resources and infinite time you will get order from chaos. Monkeys and typewriters and Shakespeare
He was a pre runner for natural selection


What scientific objections are there?

Big Bang theory
Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection


What’s the anthropic principle?

The idea that conditions are just perfect on earth for human survival. Any tiny adjustment in the entirety of the solar system would mean we couldn’t exist. This indicates the work of an intelligent designer. Not necessarily god.


Who thought of the anthropic principle?

FR Tennant in the 1930s