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Flashcards in The Teleological Argument Deck (10)
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1

What is the 5 premise explanation of the teleological argument? (For a 5 marker)

1) All design requires a designer
2) There is compelling evidence of design in the universe
3) Therefore, the universe has a designer
4) The design of the universe is such that the designer can only be God
5) Therefore, the designer of the universe is God

2

What is the 7 premise explanation of the teleological argument? (For a 9 marker)

1) The natural worlds is a highly organised system, accurately suited to bring about certain outcomes
2) Certain humanly created objects are highly complex systems, accurately suited to bring about particular outcomes
3) The natural world resembles some humanly created objects
4) Where two thing resemble each other, so do their causes
5) The cause of the natural world resembles the cause of humanly created objects
6) Humanly created objects are caused to exist by intelligent designers (humans)
7) Therefore the natural world was caused to exist by an intelligent designer, namely God

3

What is meant by regularity in the argument from design?

We live in a universe that can be described by consistent laws such as the law of gravity. Some theists believe these regular or consistent laws are evidence of design.

4

What is meant by purpose in the argument from design?

By purpose is meant things fitting together, for example the roles of different creatures in the food chain. Some theists would claim that this phenomenon is evidence of design.

5

Describe the Paley's watch analogy.

A walker finds a stone and a watch by a trail while on a walk. He concludes, from the complexity of the items, that the watch was designed, but the stone was not. Paley suggests that if the walker were to walk past the universe, he would conclude that it was designed, like the watch.

6

Briefly outline Hume's three criticisms of the argument from design.

1) If everything in the world is designed, who designed God?
2) The design exhibited in the world can be imperfect, so why would God create such things?
3) The argument does not prove that God is alive, nor that he is the only God

7

Outline Kant's two criticisms of the argument from design.

1) If we follow this argument, we reach a designer-God at best. There is a gap between designing the universe and creating the universe, and this argument does not offer an explanation for how God made the universe come into existence.
2) The argument compares God to a human designer, which contradicts his traditional representation - omniscient etc.

8

Outline a further criticism of the argument from design.

The order displayed in the universe could be due to non-intelligent causes e.g. evolution, natural selection, environmental adaptability. The universe is able to find a perfect balance itself, without need for a God.

9

What is the 'chairs in a whirlwind' analogy? What does it show?

Imagine if you walked into your garden and found a circle of chairs organised perfectly so they were equidistant from the centre and each other. You would most likely conclude that the chairs were arranged by a man, rather than by a freak accident, like a whirlwind. This analogy suggests that the universe is too complex and perfect to have been created by a freak accident, like the Big Bang.

10

How would Paley respond to Hume's 'imperfections' criticism?

Just because the world is imperfect, it does not follow that it was not designed. A watch can malfunction, but this would have no effect on whether it was designed or not.