Examine the strengths and weaknesses of the design argument for the existence of God.
The design argument, also referred to as the Teleological Argument, stemmed from the Greek work ‘telos’ meaning ‘end’ or ‘purpose’. It is an a posteriori argument (from experience) based on our empirical senses and it is synthetic meaning that it is from observation. The argument is also inductive meaning there a number of possible conclusions. The main origin of the Teleological argument is based on a designer commonly known as ‘the classical God of theism’ (hereafter referred to as God).
The argument from design find its origins in Thomas Aquinas’ ‘Summa Theleologica’ and is the fifth of his five ...view middle of the document...
This designer can only be God. A strength of the argument is that the use of the analogy (watchmaker) in the argument makes it easy for us to understand, as it moves from something within our experience to try to explain something behind it (the creation of the universe). However, this argument is still weak, as proven by Hume who argues against the design argument when it comes to proving the existence of God because there could be multiple gods, and apprentice god etc. who could have created it, just as there could’ve been multiple watchmakers designing the watch.
Another example of the design argument comes from Richard Swinburne who clarifies the modern version of the design argument, which is called the Anthropic Principle. From this argument, he argues that the universe functions by rules e.g. each day has 24 hours and this is not by chance it has been designed to have 24 hours, and the most likely explanation is God. He argues that although science can explain a reason behind these laws occurring, it cannot confirm the presence of these laws and so God is the most logical explanation for this as he is above human power. Frederick R. Tennant also added the Aesthetic Principle, which states that proof of God’s design is that beauty exists in world. Tennant points out that beauty cannot be derived through natural selection as it provides no survival benefit to species and therefore beauty has to have a designer. Tennant concludes his argument by stating that the designer must be God. God is omnipotent and only someone as great as him would have the power to make something as great and beautiful as the universe. Nevertheless, this is a weak argument because it fails to mention that the world is not always beautiful and great and there is a lot of evil in it, as stated by J.S. Mill, who argues that either God does not exist, or he is not all-loving.
Comment on the view that this argument is inconclusive as a proof for the existence of God.