Premium Essay

What Is the Teleological Argument for the Existence of God?

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By tommal3
Words 532
Pages 3
Got Questions

What is the Teleological argument for the existence of God?

Subscribe to our Question of the Week:

Teleological argument
Question: "What is the Teleological argument for the existence of God?"

Answer: The word teleology comes from telos, which means "purpose" or "goal." The idea is that it takes a "purposer" to have purpose, and so, where we see things obviously intended for a purpose, we can assume that those things were made for a reason. In other words, a design implies a designer. We instinctively make these connections all the time. The difference between the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore is obvious—one is designed, one is not. The Grand Canyon was clearly formed by non-rational, natural processes, whereas Mount Rushmore was clearly created by an intelligent being—a designer. When we are walking on a beach and find a wristwatch, we do not assume that time and random chance produced the watch from blowing sand. Why? Because it has the clear marks of design—it has a purpose, it conveys information, it is specifically complex, etc. In no scientific field is design considered to be spontaneous; it always implies a designer, and the greater the design, the greater the designer. Thus, taking the assumptions of science, the universe would require a designer beyond itself (i.e., a supernatural designer).

The teleological argument applies this principle to the whole universe. If designs imply a designer, and the universe shows marks of design, then the universe was designed. Clearly, every life form in Earth's history has been highly complex. A single strand of DNA equates to one volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica. The human brain has approximately 10 billion gigabytes of capacity. Besides living things here on Earth, the whole universe seems designed for life. Literally hundreds of...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Question a - What Are the Main Strengths and Weaknesses of the Teleological Argument, for the Existence of God?

...Philosophy essay – the teleological argument Question A - What are the main strengths and weaknesses of the teleological argument, for the existence of god? The teleological argument is a posteriori, this means that it is able to support its argument based of the empirical evidence that we can see around us. It states that we can easily observe that there is order and complexity in the universe around us, such as the changing of seasons or the human eye, therefore as things that have order and complexity have designers such as a watch or a computer the world must too have a designer as it is infinitely more complex than many human designs that have designers. This means that the universe must too have a designer (God), yet there are many strengths and weaknesses to this argument. On the one hand this could be perceived as a strong argument for the existence of god as it is backed up by inductive reasoning, meaning that the whole argument is started by something that we can observe, this means that it is difficult to deny that there is order and complexity within our universe. This argument has been backed up by sir Thomas Aquinas in his book ‘summa theologica’ when he talks about qua purpose and qua regularity. Qua purpose can prove the existence of god by looking at things within nature and realizing that everything has a purpose, for example there are species of bird that’s life solely depends on the fruit from a single species of tree, yet the tree depends on the...

Words: 1926 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Does God Exist

...3, 2015 McCloskey Response Paper “On Being an Atheist” Does God Exist? That is the question we face! For many years Theists and Atheist have debated this question for many years along with their central views and beliefs that we as human being rely on as it relates to Life and God. The Point of views and debates center around the Cosmological Argument, the Teleological argument (argument from Design) and the most debated argument as it relates to this topic called the Problem with evil? When questioning wither or not God Exist these traditional arguments play significant roles in investigating and proving or discrediting someone’s view or stance on this specific Philosophical belief. As you read McCloskey article “On Being an Atheist” he argues the Theist stance who believe in the Existence of God from the perspective view of an Atheist. McCloskey in writing this Article is not trying to discredit their belief in the Existence of God, but to raise questions, doubts and uncertainties concerning their arguments on which they stand on to prove their belief by ultimately concluding that the Theist arguments are not valid and should be disregarded as evidence to prove their belief in the existence of God. The problem with McCloskey argument against the argument of Theistic View is the Theist argument is not to literally prove their belief concretely on the existence of God, but there view is design to give us what is called “Best Explanation”. According to Forman Best......

Words: 2421 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Response Paper

...of the theistic arguments. He argues against the existence of God by attempting to refute the cosmological and teleological arguments; as well he endeavours to discredit a God based upon the presence of evil. In doing this, he extends the boundaries for arguing God, whilst opening the floor to debate free will and the apparent comfort of the atheistic belief system. However, through careful analysis of the arguments for God, and an insight into the mysterious free will that God has given man; we see that a theistic belief is logically more sound and preferred. McCloskey says that the proofs for the argument of God cannot definitively establish a case for the existence of God. Therefore, all those proofs for God cannot be used in the logical argument for a God. However, McCloskey didn’t recognize the three aspects when approaching the question: does God exist. Through these three studies, we are shown that though no one person can empirically prove the existence of God, He in fact still exists (Foreman, Lesson 18). The three aspects to approaching the question of God are: best explanations approach, cumulative case approach, and the minimalistic concept of God. The best explanations aspect refers to the existence of God as the best way of explaining the effects that we can empirically observe within our universe. The cumulative case view tells us that no one argument can get us to the existence of the God of Christianity. Finally, the minimalistic concept of God argues for a......

Words: 1875 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Philosophy

...philosophical arguments in the book is the Ontological Argument. Ontological Argument is highly recognized as one of the most remarkable arguments ever set forth not just an argument for God’s existence but a purely analytic argument. Ontological argument was regarded as the most intriguing of all arguments for theism. It also regarded as family of arguments. This particular argument is also called “a priori” argument. This does not rely mainly on the facts on observable world. But , it tries to show that the existence of God comes from the very definition of God itself as the most perfect being without using facts. An “a priori” argument about God’s existence depends on how we define God. The point of this argument is very crucial because, if the Ontological Argument proves to be valid, it is not just the mere existence of God is established, but more significantly, also traditional attributes that theists believe God to have. Nonetheless, the Ontological argument has been influential that it has both earned numerous passionate critics and defender of various philosophical learning from the time it was advocated until today. One of them is Immanuel Kant who is believed to have delivered a fatal blow to the this argument by pointing out that “existence” is not the real predicate. The problem to say “God exists” does not tell us anything about God. The use of the word exist does not add anything new to our understanding of God. Another argument is also the Cosmological......

Words: 1246 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Theistic Response to H.J. Mccloskey

...INTRODUCTION In 1968, atheist philosopher H.J. McCloskey composed a strong argument on how being an atheist was far superior to the theistic lifestyle. This imperious article was published in the journal Question and reflects McCloskey’s view that “atheism is a much more comfortable belief than theism, and why theists should be miserable just because they are theists.”1 In his article, McCloskey seeks to disprove many of the arguments that theists believe and often seemingly ridicules or persecutes those who believe in God. Among the arguments McCloskey attempts to minimalize, there are three common proofs that many, if not all, theists lean on for their belief in God. These proofs include the cosmological proof, the teleological proof, and the argument from design. Furthermore, McCloskey speaks on the problem of evil and how the existence of evil disproves the reality of a God. Near the end of McCloskey’s article, he also insists that atheism is comforting, claiming that it is more comforting than theism. This paper will debate the validity and truth of the three claims that McCloskey seeks to discount in his article and will further debate the problem of evil and disprove the idea that atheism is comforting. PROOFS VS. ARGUMENTS ------------------------------------------------- McCloskey often slights the theistic view as one of vagueness and ignorance. He states, when referring to those who believe in God, “they do not think far enough nor hard enough about......

Words: 2514 - Pages: 11

Premium Essay

Existence of God

...Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary The Existence of God; Science As Justification Submitted to Dr. michael chiavone Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary In Partial Fulfillment Of The Requirements For THEO 626 D02 By Daniel Martin Student ID: L25178504 New Orleans, LA December 12, 2013 TABLE OF CONTENTS Page I. Introduction 1 a. Thesis and introductory explanation b. Historical development of doctrine II. Arguments for the Existence of God 3 c. Cosmological Argument d. Teleological Argument e. Anthropological III. Atheism Versus Existence of God 11 f. Evidence used to disprove God’s existence g. The believers evidence to counter IV. Conclusion 13 h. Summary of the arguments i. Applications in the church today V. Introduction The existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, immutable, monotheistic God has come up against enormous resistance from the beginning of time. Early believers such as Moses, Elijah, Paul, and Peter all had to demonstrate that their God is the one true God at times. These believers even encountered persecution and ridicule for holding on to these beliefs at times. Nevertheless the challenges to these early believers tended to be demonstrating that their God was greater than their accuser’s god or gods. At times, it was through the words of men that the God of the Bible was shown to be greater, and......

Words: 5137 - Pages: 21

Free Essay

Gbghrthh

...SECTION I: State Your Position: ( 2.5/2.5) I am a: (Theist) SECTION II: State Your Belief: ( 2.5/2.5) I believe that: (God and the afterlife exist ) SECTION III: Clarify Your Belief and Position: (10 /10) A Supreme Being: (Maximum 200 words) I am a theist and I believe that God exists. One key reason why is because my mom has raised me to believe that there is a God since I was a baby, I have been to church multitudes of times and also have read the bible many times so naturally I am going to believe that he is real. Yes my mom “raised me in the church” but that’s not the only reason I believe in God though, I believe because after observing and living life on this planet for the past 20 years I have came to my own conclusion God exists. I feel life it self is too far too complex and diverse for there not to be one (The Teleological Argument). Just like how we know a car or a skyscraper was created by people because of the complexity of the creation so is the same logic I use when I defend the existence of God, after taking biology this year it only made my belief in a God stronger by learning how life on earth works, from my point of view It really amazes me how people think that there is no God. The Afterlife: (Maximum 200 words) I am a theist and I believe that there is an after life. I am a firm Believer in God so naturally that would make me a firm believer in the after life as well. Proving that the after life is real is a very......

Words: 1667 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Everyman

...searching for definitive proof that God exists. He is unable to find proof and therefore comes to the conclusion that God must not exist. He believes that the existence of evil discredits arguments made in support of believing in God. There is not one single thing in this world that we can know definitively without looking at the evidence. You have to look at the whole picture. Just like in a criminal investigation, the crime scene investigators gather evidence they are not looking for just the bullets or just the body. They look and gather all the data before coming to any conclusions. We will discuss each of the arguments and some additional reasons McCloskey gives as reasons not to believe that God exists. Cosmological Argument When we examine the cosmological argument we find that for something to exist there has to be a cause for its existence. The universe exists and was necessary for human beings to exist. We are contingent beings; our existence relies on the existence of the universe. We exist, and therefore so does the universe exist and there must be an ultimate cause of that existence. McCloskey makes a good point when he says the cosmological argument does not prove there is an all powerful, perfect uncaused cause but it provides strong evidence that there is some necessary cause to the world we live in and instead of being dismissed it should move us to investigate that “necessary cause” in more detail. The argument certainly has its weaknesses. For......

Words: 1573 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Phil 201 Week 6

...Guide: Lesson 18 Arguments for the Existence of God Lesson Overview: In this lesson, we arrive at 1 of the most important questions of the course for Christians: Do we have good reasons to believe that God exists? Today, many are claiming that there is no evidence for God’s existence and those who believe in God are just deluding themselves. However, this lesson will show that some very interesting arguments have been developed throughout the history of philosophy that demonstrate that the theist is within his epistemic rights in believing in God. While the case is not 100% certain (few things are in philosophy), it is certainly reasonable in the absence of any contrary evidence to hold that God exists as the best explanation for certain effects we observe in creation. Tasks: View and take notes of the presentation: “Arguments for God’s Existence.” Read “The Absurdity of Life without God” by William Lane Craig. This reading by Christian philosopher William Lane Craig is titled the “The Absurdity of Life without God.” In this powerful argument, Craig seriously considers the ramifications for us if in fact there really is no God. I assign it to my students on campus and they always tell me it is their favorite reading of the semester. I think you will really enjoy it. It is not a difficult reading and is very powerful on a personal level. While it does not prove God's existence, it does add positive epistemic evidence for the cumulative case for God as the......

Words: 704 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Respone Paper

... Self-proclaimed atheist H.J. McClosky attempts to promote atheism as a superior belief to that of theism in his paper “On Being an Atheist”. McClosky begins his paper by referring to philosophical arguments for the existence of God as proofs. Right away there is a problem with this language and the usage of the word proof if one intends to argue with the majority of philosophers who present arguments for the existence of God or most standard arguments. The basic outline of a philosophical argument follows that an argument is either inductive or deductive. A deductive argument holds that the premise entails the conclusion and an inductive argument holds that a premise renders the conclusion likely to be true. Neither form claims to have empirical proof but only to convey validity and soundness of an argument to be accepted by one who is sane, rational and possesses properly working faculties. Secondly, before abandoning an argument for the question of God’s existence because it cannot be definitively proven one can look to three main concepts for approaching the question of His existence. The first of these is the best explanations approach which states that the existence of God is the best explanation for the effects that are observed in the...

Words: 2182 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

A Response to H.J. Mccloskey's "On Being an Atheist

...docx 2 It has long been the contention of the atheist that there are no good arguments for the existence of God. In his article “On Being an Atheist,” H.J. McCloskey seeks to nullify the classical arguments for God’s existence by contending that they are not rationally sound. He further holds that the existence of evil proves the impossibility of an omnipotent, all-good necessary being who has created the universe. This missive is an attempt to give refutation to Mr. McCloskey’s argument, also by means of reason and logic. It is the presupposition of the author that God does in fact exist, that He is a necessary being, and that the existence of evil in no way poses a problem to the logic of His existence. Mr. McCloskey essentially begins his argument by implying that the known arguments for the existence of a theistic God are made up of a series of proofs, none of which can be definitively proven. In fact, he is dismissive of such proofs, contending that “most theists do not come to believe in God as a result of reflecting on the proofs, but come to religion as a result of other reasons and factors.”1 While this statement is most likely true, it is erroneous to dismiss the theist’s belief on the basis of its origins. In doing so, McCloskey commits the fallacy of genetics. At the outset, McCloskey demands that the teleological and cosmological arguments provide definitive proof of God’s existence; failing this, they should be abandoned. This is an unreasonable standard,......

Words: 3927 - Pages: 16

Free Essay

Response Paper Phil 201

...A Response to the Article: "On Being An Atheist" by H. J. McCloskey Joshua Cottrell PHIL 201-D32 Professor Pensgard August 12, 2013 The belief in a Creator and a literal God has been a subject of many arguments down through the centuries. Despite a written record and a large contingency of believers, there has arose a strong group of people who believe there is no God and that man just happens to exist and that there is nothing beyond this life. In 1968 H.J. McCloskey published an article entitled "On Being an Atheist". He argued that theories such as the Cosmological or Teleological arguments did nothing to prove in his mind the presence of God. He strongly believed that evil further cemented the idea that a righteous God did not exist. With his writing he attempted to empower the atheist and once and for all prove that God did not exist. I. "Proofs" McCloskey indentified theistic arguments for God as "proofs", and in so doing opened himself up to much scrutiny. He quotes a colleague as saying "...most theists do not come to believe in God by reflecting on the proofs, but to come to religion as a result of other reasons and factors." I do not believe that his colleague was referring necessarily to Cosmological or Teleological arguments as "proofs", as McCloskey ends of doing. I believe his associate was merely stating that most people do not come to religion because they see the sky and think there must be a Creator. There are a number of......

Words: 2242 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Phil 201 Response Paper Mccloskey Article

... Response Paper Mccloskey Article In his article, On Being an Atheist, H.J. McCloskey tried to show that atheism is a more reasonable and comfortable belief than that of Christianity.   McCloskey argued against the three theistic proofs, which are the cosmological argument, the teleological argument and the argument from design.   He pointed out the existence of evil in the world that God made.   He also pointed out that it is irrational to live by faith. According to McCloskey, proofs do not necessarily play a vital role in the belief of God.  Page 62 of the article states that "most theists do not come to believe in God as a basis for religious belief, but come to religion as a result of other reasons and factors."  However, he feels that as far as proofs serve theists, the three most commonly accepted are the cosmological, the teleological, and the argument from design.  It is important to note that he considers these arguments as reasons to "move ordinary theists to their theism." (McCloskey 1968) This is not necessary the case and contradicts the former statement that most theists do not hold to these proofs.  As such, the attempt to dispute these arguments as a reason not to believe in God is almost not worth attempting.  If theists do not generally hold to these proofs as reasons for faith, then why bother trying to dispute them to theists?  Continuing to do so seems as though he is motivated to prove a point few are not interested in disputing, and thus is......

Words: 2073 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Does God Exist?

...meaning of life, how to make the best of it, what happens afterwards and if there is anyone or anything "out there." The world of philosophy consists of so many unanswered questions. One such question is whether or not God exists. This is the very question that has grasped the imagination of humanity since the birth of reason, and the same question that has plagued scientists and philosophers without coming close to an accepted conclusion. God is a word that means different things to different people. The definition for God, according to most monotheistic religions is the creator and ruler of the universe, and the source of all moral authority. When it comes to the possibility of God's existence, the Bible states that there are people who have seen sufficient evidence, but they have suppressed the truth about God. Up to this day, there are many differing opinions as to whether a God exists or not. The great controversy has led to my personal belief that God exists through the teleological, ontological and cosmological arguments. These major ideas help to back up my statement that God exists. Based on our everyday experiences, just about everything seems to have a beginning. William Paley was a philosopher during the eighteenth century who is best known for his exposition of the teleological argument for the existence of God. Derived from the Greek word "telos" which means "design or purpose", the teleological argument proposes that God must exist because the inner......

Words: 1973 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Response Paper to Mccloskey Article

...McCloskey shares with us his arguments on why being an atheist is more comforting (if you will) than being a Christian. McCloskey believes that the three proofs (Cosmological, Teleological, and the argument from design) are not a basis for proving God’s existence. McCloskey discharges the proofs by saying in his article, “, theists do not come to believe in God as a result of reflecting on the proofs, but come to religion as a result of other reasons and factors.” (McCloskey, 62). Although there are many ways that one could come to believe in Gods existence, thinking cosmologically, I can’t help but to look at Gods splendor around me or think of the universe, and doubt that God does in fact exist. In “Approaching the Question of God’s existence, Foreman says, “There are certain effects we see in the universe that show God exists.” (Foreman). Foreman touches on the fact that there is no one argument that proves one hundred percent that God exists. He goes on to share that these three arguments do have value, and when put altogether they all do prove to some degree that God does in fact exist. McCloskey attempts to break down each of the proofs to in a way persuade the reader on why these proofs are invalid. The first one he addresses is the cosmological argument. This proof or argument is the one that is most argued. First we must define a cosmological argument. A cosmological argument is an attempt to infer the existence of God from the existence of the cosmos or......

Words: 1827 - Pages: 8