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The Teleological Argument Essay

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William Paley and David Hume’s argument over God’s existence is known as the teleological argument, or the argument from design. Arguments from design are arguments concerning God or some type of creator’s existence based on the ideas of order or purpose in universe. Hume takes on the approach of arguing against the argument of design, while Paley argues for it. Although Hume and Paley both provide very strong arguments, a conclusion will be drawn at the end to distinguish which philosophiser holds a stronger position. Throughout this essay I will be examining arguments with reference to their work from Paley’s “The Watch and the Watchmaker” and Hume’s “The Critique of the Teleological Argument”.
Paley’s analogy came about from the concept of a stone. He encountered this stone during his walk and wondered how it came about (Paley, 1802, 196). He applies the idea that since a designer must have created this stone, this designer must have created other things just like how a watch is created by a watchmaker. His analogy for a watch and its watch maker becomes his key argument because he argues is that you cannot come to a conclusion that a stone was formed by a natural process, just like how when you look at a watch it has a watchmaker(Paley, 1802, 96). When comparing it back to a stone, Paley says someone must have created it. He says design requires a designer, the works of nature also requires a designer and that designer would be God. From this Paley creates his four arguments for God’s existence from analogies, which are argument from design is based on experience, argument from design assumes that we are different in kind, but same in degree, argument from design argues from mind/ thought to design, and argument from design...


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...hat the universe is not the same as a human and these two vastly different ideas cannot be compared with each other, Paley argues that the purpose of a watch in terms of its function and complexity, that it had to be created by a designer. Same goes for humans. Hume proves that Paley has a weak conclusion by stating that this does not prove that there is a God, just someone of higher intelligence.

Works Cited
Projman, Louis P., and Fieser James. Introduction to Philosophy – Classic and Contemporary
Readings Fourth Edition. A Critique of the Telelogical Argument, 1779, David Hume,
199-205. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc, 2008

Pojman, Louis P., and Fieser, James. Introduction to Philosophy - Classic and Contemporary
Readings Fourth Edition. The Watch and the Watchmaker, 1802, William Paley, 196-
198. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc, 2008.


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