Examine the key strengths of the Design Argument in proving the existence of God

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Katie Wyatt 20th October

Examine the key strengths of the Design Argument for the existence of God

The Design Argument can be split into two sides: design qua purpose and design qua regularity. The key idea of design qua purpose comes from William Paley. He used analogy as the basis for his argument, noting how the complex design of a watch allows all the parts to work together perfectly to achieve its purpose. He then noted the complexity, order and purpose of the universe, stating that "every manifestation on design, which existed in the watch, exists in the works of nature." Therefore if a watch's intricacy stands as evidence that it has been designed, by analogy the universe must also have a designer and, as the designer is required to be supremely powerful, the designer must be God.

Aquinas also presented an argument to support design qua purpose. Similarly to Paley, he argued that all natural occurrences show evidence of design.

He claimed that this suggested there is a being which directs all things, and as humans have knowledge this being must also be knowledgeable. Therefore there is an intelligent being that directs everything towards its purpose, and Aquinas stated that this being must be God. Unlike Paley, Aquinas explained that God is a designer at work who continues to direct us towards our purpose as well as regulating the universe (e.g. the planets and the seasons). He also attempted to explain how free-will plays a part in design, claiming that we are programmed to reproduce but free-will allows us to choose who we reproduce with. Through these points he also demonstrated a key aspect of the design qua regularity side of the Teleological Argument.

Another aspect of the argument is the anthropic principle, which was first introduced by...