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How Convincing Is the Design Argument as an Argument for the Existence of God?

  • Date Submitted: 03/16/2010 07:56 AM
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How convincing is the design argument as an argument for the existence of God?

In this essay I will attempt to prove that the design argument does little to tell us anything about the existence of God. I will examine the strength the analogy used in the argument as well as primary objections such as the notion of intent and evolution. Upon my findings I will conclude as to weather I am convinced that teleology provides sufficient grounds for the existence of God

The design argument or 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 into existence without a designer. The argument hinges on the supposition that complexity, order and purpose are not attributes that can occur randomly or by accident but must be deliberately implemented by a designer.   Working in an analogous manner, the argument compares the way the universe, with all its diverse and complex componants, works together to achieve its purpose in much the same way as a car engine for example.   A car engine has many different parts, all functioning in harmony to make the car go, however, it is not by chance that the parts of the engine work together in a functioning manner, we know that the engine must have had an intelligent designer who created it with the primary function of moving the car in mind. Followers of the design argument believe it is possible to make the same statement about the universe; the way in which the universe functions is so complex and purposeful that it too must have had a designer outside of the universe and that designer must have been God.

The first point to consider when assessing the suitability of the design argument for the existence of God is the reliability of the analogy between the universe and products of human design. It is fair to say that in our experience of objects such as a mechanical engine and in the case of William Paley’ classic example of the...

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