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Mentor05
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#1
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#1
Hey,

I have completed this essay and I was wondering if anyone could give me any feedback? I'm trying to aim for 36/40 in my Mock.

Thanks so much!

To what extent can teleological arguments for the existence of God be defended against the challenge of ‘chance’? [40]


The design argument is a posteriori inductive argument which suggests that because of the complexity and order within nature there is evidence of an intelligent designer, God, reinforcing the idea that it could not have appeared through chance. The focus of the argument is the idea that the world has a purpose (telos), which is explained through an analogy. There are conflicting arguments for and against the existence of God however despite the heavily convincing arguments in support for a designer it could be argued that the overriding belief in God creating the world is a manifestation of psychological need, the idea that humans feel as though that there needs to be evidence and therefore refusing to accept the possibilities of chance and evolution. This is supported by Immanuel Kant, “design is a trap that we fall in to: we see design and a designer because we want to see design and a designer”.

Aquinas provided logical thinking to the Christian faith by reinforcing the reason for believing in God, he identified that nature has both order and purpose. For example, the sun cannot decide to rise in the morning and make each day the right length although this does happen. This therefore enabled him to draw the conclusion that nothing inanimate is purposeful without a guiding hand, this being God, “some intelligent beings exists by whom all-natural things are directed to”. However, Aquinas’ argument may be deemed as self-defeating as the aim to provide reason for Christians to believe in God could be juxtaposed by Hume’s criticisms. The design argument does not specifically identify and relate directly to the God of Classical Theism, it could have been the work of several lesser Gods or as such Aquinas’ theory proposes an anthropomorphism approach, which highlights the weaknesses of Aquinas’ fifth way. Despite this weakness, order provides a convincing argument for the existence of God, the idea that the universe seems to work to definable rules such as laws of nature and allows a sense of purpose rather than having blind nature moving in random direction. Kant contrasts this by highlighting that as humans we are motivated by the idea of order and so therefore unintentionally seek it; our perceptions deceive us and the order within the universe may not be genuine. Similarly, Epicurus argued that order can come from chaos with time, although it may seem that the world is almost in need of a designer now, what once was chaos proves differently as a so called chaotic universe would not need to support the existence of God.

F.R Tennant promoted the existence of God through the anthropic principle, which proves that the universe has provided suitability for human life with the element of benefit, for example the ‘natural’ occurrence of the water cycle and the idea that the earth is just the right distance from the sun in order for survival. These harmonic motions of the cosmos are unexplained by Darwinism, as evolution is solely restricted to living things, whereas Tennant’s design argument confidently explores the unjustified from within the evolutionist theories. Although, evolution is heavily convincing as it proves that God does not exist through the idea of natural selection, humans came into existence because of survival of the fittest. Survival of the fittest can be flawed by Tennant’s quote “the survival of the fittest presupposes the idea of the arrival of the fit” which proves that the ‘fit’ needed to be placed here originally by God to therefore then evolve and adapt. However, evolution itself is the sole explanation for the complexity within biology and consequently rejects the idea of an external designer. As well as this Tennant holds a convincing argument which proves that there is more to life than mere existence, humans are experiencing aesthetic activity which could only be designed, beauty. Beauty can not be created through natural selection or chance and so there must be a designer; Plato disregards this approach. Plato identifies that the perfect from of beauty does not exist in this world, instead it belongs in the world of the forms and so the beauty we are faced with in the modern world is false and therefore God does not exist as he omnipotence would allow perfection in this world, which is also not present. Similarly, John Stuart Mill criticises the design argument, by suggesting the presence of suffering and evil in the world suggests a cruel designer which immediately goes against the idea of the God of classical theism.

William Paley supports the idea that there is designer, Paley reveals that as the universe is complex and intricately designed, it would take an all-powerful and all- knowing designer in order to exist. To prove his argument Paley created an analogy where compares a “watch-maker to the world maker”, the analogy expresses the idea that, suppose you found a watch, it has not occurred by chance, instead there has been a designer and a purpose, the idea that the watch has been designed in such way that the purpose is successfully fulfilled, “if there had been any other than a transparent substance, the hour could not been seen without opening the case”. If you saw a watch on the ground, he argues, you would not believe the watch had simply always been there. You also know if something is man made, because of its complexity and intricate nature; he uses the watch as an example “I could not account for it in that natural way… reveals an array of intricate, beautifully made cogs…”. Its existence would need to be explained by some sort of intelligent design. A pebble, in contrast, does not require the same explanation of its existence. Paley argues that the difference is that a watch is composed of many parts organised for a purpose. This, he says, is the hallmark of design. Paley then goes on to argue that there are many examples in nature of things that have many parts organised to serve a purpose. The eye, for example, is a very complex natural object that has a very clear purpose: to see. Just as the existence of the watch can only be explained in terms of a designer, so too can the eye only be explained with reference to a designer. Paley argues that this designer is God. However, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution provides an alternative explanation of complexity within nature without a designer. The competition to survive and breed in nature means that certain advantages, features, and genetic mutations become exaggerated to adapt to the environment. This creates the appearance of design even though there is no intelligent design behind it. However, this complexity is borne of necessity, rather than design. Thus Darwin’s theory refutes Paley’s assumption that anything that has parts organised to serve a purpose is designed. Additionally, the watch maker analogy is only partially convincing as Hume’s criticisms juxtaposes it effectively. Hume suggests that we cannot liken the universe to a machine as the universe is more like a vegetable, something which is natural and not man made. The universe is similar to a vegetable because it grows at its own accord, however a weakness of this argument is that even a vegetable needs to be created and planted which means there must be a designer this designer being God. Despite this small weakness, Hume successfully identifies that there is ‘inexplicable difficulties in the works of nature’, which proves God is not perfect.

Swinburne accepts that evolution can explain how complexity can arise within nature without a designer. He calls this spatial order. However, he argues that temporal order – the order of the laws of nature – cannot be explained in this same way. For example, the force of gravity is strong enough such that it keeps the moon in orbit around the earth and the earth in orbit around the sun. But the laws of nature have not evolved the same way fish eyes have, they just are. But if gravity had the opposite effect – it repelled objects, say – then planets would never be able to form and therefore life wouldn’t be able to form. Swinburne argues that this cannot be a coincidence: the laws of nature are too perfectly suited to sustain life that they cannot be explained without a designer. David Hume’s objection to the original teleological argument can be adapted to accommodate Swinburne’s objection. Hume argued that given an infinity of time and a finite amount of matter, the matter would combine in ways that appear to be designed just through sheer chance. Today, multiple universes is a popular idea in modern physics, with many scientists arguing that there is an infinite number of these universes. If this is true, then it is inevitable that some of these universes will have laws of nature (temporal order) that are perfectly suited for life. However, this isn’t intelligent design, it’s just luck. For every universe like ours, there may be millions of other universes where gravity does repel objects or is too weak or strong. So, if there are multiple universes, the chance of one having perfect temporal order becomes increasingly likely – even without a designer. Even if the multiverse theory is not true, Swinburne’s argument still does not successfully prove that God exists. God is traditionally thought of as omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, and the creator of the universe. But none of these attributes is evident in the design of the universe. Firstly, designers and creators are often separate. The woman who designs a car, say, is not necessarily on the production line building each one. So even if Swinburne’s argument does succeed in proving that God designed the universe, it does not prove that God created the universe. Secondly, the existence of evil within the universe may suggest that the designer – whoever he is – is not omnibenevolent. Finally, we may argue that while the universe is enormous, there is no evidence to suggest it is infinite. So whilst this may be evidence that the designer of the universe is very powerful, we cannot prove he is infinitely powerful (omnipotent).

To conclude, in spite of the strong arguments in support for the existence of God the idea of a designer who brought order and purpose to the world is unconvincing. The teleological argument is an a posteriori which means with experience, however as Hume identified humans do not have sufficient knowledge and experience of the creation of the world to conclude that there is a designer. The argument is also inductive which means based on probable circumstances and it is almost impossible to create a premise and conclusion on something of which is not definite and therefore the belief that God designed the world is a manifestation of psychological need as science has proved otherwise. Neither spatial nor temporal order necessarily prove that God exists. Darwin’s theory shows that spatial order can emerge in response to environment, removing the need for a designer. Temporal order cannot be explained in the same way but can nonetheless be explained without intelligent design if there are multiple universes. Finally, even if Swinburne does succeed in proving the existence of a designer, his argument from temporal order does not necessarily prove that this designer is an omnipotent creator (God). Therefore, the order of the universe is not sufficient to prove that God exists. I believe you cannot rule out design completely, because for example, Behe said there are things in nature that are ‘irreducibly complex’ parts have no function for natural selection to work unless they are together. These incredibly complex things in the universe, for example the process of blood coagulation, makes you question whether there is any design in that. I have argued that on balance the challenges to intelligent design are more persuasive than the teleological arguments. The evolutionary theory especially is a very strong argument for the universe coming about naturally, and is solid evidence against the universe being designed. For example, the finch’s beaks that changed over time to adapt to their environments, indicates no design because their original beaks had to change and were not sufficient enough for their purpose in the universe.
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Cheekyanon
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#2
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#2
(Original post by Mentor05)
Hey,

I have completed this essay and I was wondering if anyone could give me any feedback? I'm trying to aim for 36/40 in my Mock.

Thanks so much!

To what extent can teleological arguments for the existence of God be defended against the challenge of ‘chance’? [40]


The design argument is a posteriori inductive argument which suggests that because of the complexity and order within nature there is evidence of an intelligent designer, God, reinforcing the idea that it could not have appeared through chance. The focus of the argument is the idea that the world has a purpose (telos), which is explained through an analogy. There are conflicting arguments for and against the existence of God however despite the heavily convincing arguments in support for a designer it could be argued that the overriding belief in God creating the world is a manifestation of psychological need, the idea that humans feel as though that there needs to be evidence and therefore refusing to accept the possibilities of chance and evolution. This is supported by Immanuel Kant, “design is a trap that we fall in to: we see design and a designer because we want to see design and a designer”.

Aquinas provided logical thinking to the Christian faith by reinforcing the reason for believing in God, he identified that nature has both order and purpose. For example, the sun cannot decide to rise in the morning and make each day the right length although this does happen. This therefore enabled him to draw the conclusion that nothing inanimate is purposeful without a guiding hand, this being God, “some intelligent beings exists by whom all-natural things are directed to”. However, Aquinas’ argument may be deemed as self-defeating as the aim to provide reason for Christians to believe in God could be juxtaposed by Hume’s criticisms. The design argument does not specifically identify and relate directly to the God of Classical Theism, it could have been the work of several lesser Gods or as such Aquinas’ theory proposes an anthropomorphism approach, which highlights the weaknesses of Aquinas’ fifth way. Despite this weakness, order provides a convincing argument for the existence of God, the idea that the universe seems to work to definable rules such as laws of nature and allows a sense of purpose rather than having blind nature moving in random direction. Kant contrasts this by highlighting that as humans we are motivated by the idea of order and so therefore unintentionally seek it; our perceptions deceive us and the order within the universe may not be genuine. Similarly, Epicurus argued that order can come from chaos with time, although it may seem that the world is almost in need of a designer now, what once was chaos proves differently as a so called chaotic universe would not need to support the existence of God.

F.R Tennant promoted the existence of God through the anthropic principle, which proves that the universe has provided suitability for human life with the element of benefit, for example the ‘natural’ occurrence of the water cycle and the idea that the earth is just the right distance from the sun in order for survival. These harmonic motions of the cosmos are unexplained by Darwinism, as evolution is solely restricted to living things, whereas Tennant’s design argument confidently explores the unjustified from within the evolutionist theories. Although, evolution is heavily convincing as it proves that God does not exist through the idea of natural selection, humans came into existence because of survival of the fittest. Survival of the fittest can be flawed by Tennant’s quote “the survival of the fittest presupposes the idea of the arrival of the fit” which proves that the ‘fit’ needed to be placed here originally by God to therefore then evolve and adapt. However, evolution itself is the sole explanation for the complexity within biology and consequently rejects the idea of an external designer. As well as this Tennant holds a convincing argument which proves that there is more to life than mere existence, humans are experiencing aesthetic activity which could only be designed, beauty. Beauty can not be created through natural selection or chance and so there must be a designer; Plato disregards this approach. Plato identifies that the perfect from of beauty does not exist in this world, instead it belongs in the world of the forms and so the beauty we are faced with in the modern world is false and therefore God does not exist as he omnipotence would allow perfection in this world, which is also not present. Similarly, John Stuart Mill criticises the design argument, by suggesting the presence of suffering and evil in the world suggests a cruel designer which immediately goes against the idea of the God of classical theism.

William Paley supports the idea that there is designer, Paley reveals that as the universe is complex and intricately designed, it would take an all-powerful and all- knowing designer in order to exist. To prove his argument Paley created an analogy where compares a “watch-maker to the world maker”, the analogy expresses the idea that, suppose you found a watch, it has not occurred by chance, instead there has been a designer and a purpose, the idea that the watch has been designed in such way that the purpose is successfully fulfilled, “if there had been any other than a transparent substance, the hour could not been seen without opening the case”. If you saw a watch on the ground, he argues, you would not believe the watch had simply always been there. You also know if something is man made, because of its complexity and intricate nature; he uses the watch as an example “I could not account for it in that natural way… reveals an array of intricate, beautifully made cogs…”. Its existence would need to be explained by some sort of intelligent design. A pebble, in contrast, does not require the same explanation of its existence. Paley argues that the difference is that a watch is composed of many parts organised for a purpose. This, he says, is the hallmark of design. Paley then goes on to argue that there are many examples in nature of things that have many parts organised to serve a purpose. The eye, for example, is a very complex natural object that has a very clear purpose: to see. Just as the existence of the watch can only be explained in terms of a designer, so too can the eye only be explained with reference to a designer. Paley argues that this designer is God. However, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution provides an alternative explanation of complexity within nature without a designer. The competition to survive and breed in nature means that certain advantages, features, and genetic mutations become exaggerated to adapt to the environment. This creates the appearance of design even though there is no intelligent design behind it. However, this complexity is borne of necessity, rather than design. Thus Darwin’s theory refutes Paley’s assumption that anything that has parts organised to serve a purpose is designed. Additionally, the watch maker analogy is only partially convincing as Hume’s criticisms juxtaposes it effectively. Hume suggests that we cannot liken the universe to a machine as the universe is more like a vegetable, something which is natural and not man made. The universe is similar to a vegetable because it grows at its own accord, however a weakness of this argument is that even a vegetable needs to be created and planted which means there must be a designer this designer being God. Despite this small weakness, Hume successfully identifies that there is ‘inexplicable difficulties in the works of nature’, which proves God is not perfect.

Swinburne accepts that evolution can explain how complexity can arise within nature without a designer. He calls this spatial order. However, he argues that temporal order – the order of the laws of nature – cannot be explained in this same way. For example, the force of gravity is strong enough such that it keeps the moon in orbit around the earth and the earth in orbit around the sun. But the laws of nature have not evolved the same way fish eyes have, they just are. But if gravity had the opposite effect – it repelled objects, say – then planets would never be able to form and therefore life wouldn’t be able to form. Swinburne argues that this cannot be a coincidence: the laws of nature are too perfectly suited to sustain life that they cannot be explained without a designer. David Hume’s objection to the original teleological argument can be adapted to accommodate Swinburne’s objection. Hume argued that given an infinity of time and a finite amount of matter, the matter would combine in ways that appear to be designed just through sheer chance. Today, multiple universes is a popular idea in modern physics, with many scientists arguing that there is an infinite number of these universes. If this is true, then it is inevitable that some of these universes will have laws of nature (temporal order) that are perfectly suited for life. However, this isn’t intelligent design, it’s just luck. For every universe like ours, there may be millions of other universes where gravity does repel objects or is too weak or strong. So, if there are multiple universes, the chance of one having perfect temporal order becomes increasingly likely – even without a designer. Even if the multiverse theory is not true, Swinburne’s argument still does not successfully prove that God exists. God is traditionally thought of as omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, and the creator of the universe. But none of these attributes is evident in the design of the universe. Firstly, designers and creators are often separate. The woman who designs a car, say, is not necessarily on the production line building each one. So even if Swinburne’s argument does succeed in proving that God designed the universe, it does not prove that God created the universe. Secondly, the existence of evil within the universe may suggest that the designer – whoever he is – is not omnibenevolent. Finally, we may argue that while the universe is enormous, there is no evidence to suggest it is infinite. So whilst this may be evidence that the designer of the universe is very powerful, we cannot prove he is infinitely powerful (omnipotent).

To conclude, in spite of the strong arguments in support for the existence of God the idea of a designer who brought order and purpose to the world is unconvincing. The teleological argument is an a posteriori which means with experience, however as Hume identified humans do not have sufficient knowledge and experience of the creation of the world to conclude that there is a designer. The argument is also inductive which means based on probable circumstances and it is almost impossible to create a premise and conclusion on something of which is not definite and therefore the belief that God designed the world is a manifestation of psychological need as science has proved otherwise. Neither spatial nor temporal order necessarily prove that God exists. Darwin’s theory shows that spatial order can emerge in response to environment, removing the need for a designer. Temporal order cannot be explained in the same way but can nonetheless be explained without intelligent design if there are multiple universes. Finally, even if Swinburne does succeed in proving the existence of a designer, his argument from temporal order does not necessarily prove that this designer is an omnipotent creator (God). Therefore, the order of the universe is not sufficient to prove that God exists. I believe you cannot rule out design completely, because for example, Behe said there are things in nature that are ‘irreducibly complex’ parts have no function for natural selection to work unless they are together. These incredibly complex things in the universe, for example the process of blood coagulation, makes you question whether there is any design in that. I have argued that on balance the challenges to intelligent design are more persuasive than the teleological arguments. The evolutionary theory especially is a very strong argument for the universe coming about naturally, and is solid evidence against the universe being designed. For example, the finch’s beaks that changed over time to adapt to their environments, indicates no design because their original beaks had to change and were not sufficient enough for their purpose in the universe.
INTRO:
“The focus of the argument is the idea that the world has a purpose (telos), which is explained through an analogy” - what analogy? Specify! I’m assuming you mean the analogy of the watch and the watchmaker - I would briefly summaries it as such “the focus of the argument is the idea that the world has a purpose (telos), [evident in its seemingly perfect and complex structure] which is [ illustrated by William Paley] through [the analogy of a watch found in an empty plane]” - avoid brushing over any explanations and even if you want to just briefly mention it in the intro and expand on it later, make it clear you know what you are talking about by giving it a sort of summary title.

Furthermore in your intro, I would briefly and more explicitly outline what this “challenge of chance” is, just a sentence maybe saying “despite arguments for evidence of design in the world through the teleological argument, one could argue that the world is the way it is due to nothing more than chance, and that this “apparent design” is nothing more than coincidence”, you do use the example of Kant and our need to seek design in the world, but i would make this link more clear, you present it as if Kant’s idea *is* the challenge of chance, when you have thinkers such as Bertrand Russell saying “I should say that the universe just is and that is all” - a complete radical rejection of any need for God in the world!

also your evolution example, perfectly good but just as a counter argument to consider, the process of evolution in itself could be a perfect design for an ever fluctuating and changing world - the things in the world are able to adapt and change with it! What neat design that could be!

PARA 1:

Emphasise why Aquinas is relevant - the Teleological argument is his! And not to mention, in any cosmology/teleology essay in general with aquinas you must mention his “five ways” and emphasis that the teleological argument specifically is the fith of his five ways - this is specifically mentioned in the spec - When mentioning him, start off with “Thomas Aquinas formulated the Teleological argument as the fifth of his five ways in the summa theologica” and outline what he says in this. - you do mention his fifth way, but very briefly and in a way that it is very easy to gloss over

furthermore the ‘anthropomorphism’ criticism form Hume doesn’t apply to aquinas since he doesn’t use the watchmaker analogy, yes he suggests design but not in the same way paley does by directly comparing design in our world with the way a watch is designed by a watchmaker.

Is Aquinas’ argument “self defeating”? Does it defeat itself??

I wouldn’t say Kant “contrasts” I would say Kant “Refutes” or that he “rejects this reasoning on the grounds…” since “contrasts” just seems more comparative just not the right word for what you mean.

At the end of the paragraph give a bit more of your own opinion! Is kant’s argument effective? You dont have to say ‘I think’ and definitely don’t just leave it as a quick statement, outline why it is or isnt effective and vice versa with Aquinas - you sort of start to evaluate ideas but at the same time just state what people thought. Sometimes its hard to specifically say “x is effective” but you could integrate this evaluation in your presentation of arguments and views, eg “Hume puts forward the reasonable argument, assuming Aquinas is correct in there being design, that perhaps the universe was not made by one god but a council of many, this emphasises how quick Aquinas was to simply assert the Christian God’s existence first and justify around it”. If you disagree with arguments against aquinas say “..however these do not stand as X Y Z”

PARA 2:

”promoted” again not the right word to use - in exam conditions do not worry too much about this, it makes sense what youre saying but say perhaps “F.R. Tennant argues in favour of Gods existence, countering the criticisms of Hume and Kant with his ‘Anthropic principle””

absolutely love the evaluation in this paragraph, you can really see what your thoughts on everyone’s arguments are and it is far less just a matter of writing what you know

link this back to the question - why is Tennant’s argument important? He is explicitly saying that none of this could have happened through mere “chance” it is just so unlikely! Without intelligent design to increase the chance of there being processes that promote life etc everything would be seemingly impossible - a rather convincing argument agains chance!

PARA 3:

a major criticism of Paley’s development of the teleological argument is how some design isnt perfect - disabilities and the classic example of the appendix can be used to illustrate this - not everything works perfectly and Paley proposes!

A point to note also which will get you brownie points from examiners (saw an exemplar essay which did this that an examiner mentioned was refreshing) is that Hume’s points and criticisms were written far before Paley’s arguments - the watchmaker analogy is a common one that Paley used that existed before for Hume to criticise - Hume was Dead by the time Paley wrote natural theology!

also this is where the issue of comparing God to a human designer comes in!

with Essays like this in the future - I’m assuming youre in year 12 since youre talking about mocks and this actual exam is next week, where you get 40 minutes, i would definitely recommend finding a way to summaries Paley’s analogy more, and reduce unnecessary quotes. Quotes are great to show that you know what you’re talking about, Same with elaborating on analogies, however they can and will waste a lot of time which could be used for more evaluation and argument, remember the facts part is only 16 marks, the other 24 are for evaluating and arguing and comparing things!

PARA 4:

Solid paragraph but dont forget what you’ve been asked to evaluate in teleology, yes the argument is attempting to prove God, however this is not entirely relevant in looking at how well it counters the argument that the universe came about by chance - if you think perhaps it doesnt prove a God of the classical theistic idea, but does quite effectively prove there may be a designer or something to cause the universe, be it God, demigod, super intelligent microbe, that stands just as much against the idea that there is *nothing* that caused or made anything the way it is, and that everything just was!

PARA 5/CONCLUSION:

Brilliant conclusion, could be cut down a little by adding more of this evaluation throughout the essay! - spreading it out more gets you more of that juicy AO2

Only issue - you didn’t answer the question, you answered “How effectively does the teleological argument prove God exists”, rather than in regards to chance, which is what you seem to believe, by saying design isn’t ruled out, is not likely! Make sure you are clear on what to evaluate, you can mention how the argument is ineffective at proving a Christian God, but you must must must show that you are mainly focusing on what is relevant to the question!!

overall brilliant essay, just make sure you link back to the question more and evaluate more throughout so youre showing how relevant the info you choose to use in your essay is! Best of luck with the mock!
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Mentor05
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#3
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#3
(Original post by Cheekyanon)
INTRO:
“The focus of the argument is the idea that the world has a purpose (telos), which is explained through an analogy” - what analogy? Specify! I’m assuming you mean the analogy of the watch and the watchmaker - I would briefly summaries it as such “the focus of the argument is the idea that the world has a purpose (telos), [evident in its seemingly perfect and complex structure] which is [ illustrated by William Paley] through [the analogy of a watch found in an empty plane]” - avoid brushing over any explanations and even if you want to just briefly mention it in the intro and expand on it later, make it clear you know what you are talking about by giving it a sort of summary title.

Furthermore in your intro, I would briefly and more explicitly outline what this “challenge of chance” is, just a sentence maybe saying “despite arguments for evidence of design in the world through the teleological argument, one could argue that the world is the way it is due to nothing more than chance, and that this “apparent design” is nothing more than coincidence”, you do use the example of Kant and our need to seek design in the world, but i would make this link more clear, you present it as if Kant’s idea *is* the challenge of chance, when you have thinkers such as Bertrand Russell saying “I should say that the universe just is and that is all” - a complete radical rejection of any need for God in the world!

also your evolution example, perfectly good but just as a counter argument to consider, the process of evolution in itself could be a perfect design for an ever fluctuating and changing world - the things in the world are able to adapt and change with it! What neat design that could be!

PARA 1:

Emphasise why Aquinas is relevant - the Teleological argument is his! And not to mention, in any cosmology/teleology essay in general with aquinas you must mention his “five ways” and emphasis that the teleological argument specifically is the fith of his five ways - this is specifically mentioned in the spec - When mentioning him, start off with “Thomas Aquinas formulated the Teleological argument as the fifth of his five ways in the summa theologica” and outline what he says in this. - you do mention his fifth way, but very briefly and in a way that it is very easy to gloss over

furthermore the ‘anthropomorphism’ criticism form Hume doesn’t apply to aquinas since he doesn’t use the watchmaker analogy, yes he suggests design but not in the same way paley does by directly comparing design in our world with the way a watch is designed by a watchmaker.

Is Aquinas’ argument “self defeating”? Does it defeat itself??

I wouldn’t say Kant “contrasts” I would say Kant “Refutes” or that he “rejects this reasoning on the grounds…” since “contrasts” just seems more comparative just not the right word for what you mean.

At the end of the paragraph give a bit more of your own opinion! Is kant’s argument effective? You dont have to say ‘I think’ and definitely don’t just leave it as a quick statement, outline why it is or isnt effective and vice versa with Aquinas - you sort of start to evaluate ideas but at the same time just state what people thought. Sometimes its hard to specifically say “x is effective” but you could integrate this evaluation in your presentation of arguments and views, eg “Hume puts forward the reasonable argument, assuming Aquinas is correct in there being design, that perhaps the universe was not made by one god but a council of many, this emphasises how quick Aquinas was to simply assert the Christian God’s existence first and justify around it”. If you disagree with arguments against aquinas say “..however these do not stand as X Y Z”

PARA 2:

”promoted” again not the right word to use - in exam conditions do not worry too much about this, it makes sense what youre saying but say perhaps “F.R. Tennant argues in favour of Gods existence, countering the criticisms of Hume and Kant with his ‘Anthropic principle””

absolutely love the evaluation in this paragraph, you can really see what your thoughts on everyone’s arguments are and it is far less just a matter of writing what you know

link this back to the question - why is Tennant’s argument important? He is explicitly saying that none of this could have happened through mere “chance” it is just so unlikely! Without intelligent design to increase the chance of there being processes that promote life etc everything would be seemingly impossible - a rather convincing argument agains chance!

PARA 3:

a major criticism of Paley’s development of the teleological argument is how some design isnt perfect - disabilities and the classic example of the appendix can be used to illustrate this - not everything works perfectly and Paley proposes!

A point to note also which will get you brownie points from examiners (saw an exemplar essay which did this that an examiner mentioned was refreshing) is that Hume’s points and criticisms were written far before Paley’s arguments - the watchmaker analogy is a common one that Paley used that existed before for Hume to criticise - Hume was Dead by the time Paley wrote natural theology!

also this is where the issue of comparing God to a human designer comes in!

with Essays like this in the future - I’m assuming youre in year 12 since youre talking about mocks and this actual exam is next week, where you get 40 minutes, i would definitely recommend finding a way to summaries Paley’s analogy more, and reduce unnecessary quotes. Quotes are great to show that you know what you’re talking about, Same with elaborating on analogies, however they can and will waste a lot of time which could be used for more evaluation and argument, remember the facts part is only 16 marks, the other 24 are for evaluating and arguing and comparing things!

PARA 4:

Solid paragraph but dont forget what you’ve been asked to evaluate in teleology, yes the argument is attempting to prove God, however this is not entirely relevant in looking at how well it counters the argument that the universe came about by chance - if you think perhaps it doesnt prove a God of the classical theistic idea, but does quite effectively prove there may be a designer or something to cause the universe, be it God, demigod, super intelligent microbe, that stands just as much against the idea that there is *nothing* that caused or made anything the way it is, and that everything just was!

PARA 5/CONCLUSION:

Brilliant conclusion, could be cut down a little by adding more of this evaluation throughout the essay! - spreading it out more gets you more of that juicy AO2

Only issue - you didn’t answer the question, you answered “How effectively does the teleological argument prove God exists”, rather than in regards to chance, which is what you seem to believe, by saying design isn’t ruled out, is not likely! Make sure you are clear on what to evaluate, you can mention how the argument is ineffective at proving a Christian God, but you must must must show that you are mainly focusing on what is relevant to the question!!

overall brilliant essay, just make sure you link back to the question more and evaluate more throughout so youre showing how relevant the info you choose to use in your essay is! Best of luck with the mock!
Hey, thanks so much! What mark would you give this out of 40? Also, how could I answer the question more? Should I just edit the last sentence for each paragraph and mention chance and then refer to the question? I really appreciate it!
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(Original post by Mentor05)
Hey, thanks so much! What mark would you give this out of 40? Also, how could I answer the question more? Should I just edit the last sentence for each paragraph and mention chance and then refer to the question? I really appreciate it!
Imma be real, I’m sitting this paper like this week so I’m not an official examiner but it reads as a high scoring essay, and looking at the bands, you’re at a minimum in band 5 in AO1, only really let down by the straying from the question, and band 6 on the AO2 so its definitely between 32 and 37 so in your target range!

I wouldn’t just mention the question at the end of each paragraph necessarily, but a comment justifying the relevance to the question for each bit of info would be good, especially if you want to mention a point and emphasise which part is most relevant, as sometimes only part of someone’s argument will be useful in your essay

basically, some of the things you argue come across as if you didn’t understand the question - a selective use of information is marked highly! (as tempting as it is to try and fit everything you know in). Just make sure you’re clear on what is relevant to the question and when you bring in irrelevant info, try to say something along the lines of ‘despite this, teleology still gives support of design of some kind’ also just clarifying, the challenge of chance doesn’t challenge the nature of the designer, hence why these challenges aren’t chance related

the chance criticism is saying its not god because its not designed in the first place, meaning it doesn’t matter what else the teleological argument proves or doesn’t prove, so long as it some how proves, or provides evidence that there is a creator

Your intro perfectly links back to the question so thats fine, but i would emphasise what the challenge of chance in its pure form is, its always good to sort of unwrap the question in your intro

paragraph 1 again you do well with focusing on chance, maybe straying a bit with the criticisms of aquinas in relation to the nature of god, since for the sake of disproving chance, it doesnt matter if there’s one God or 5, but your points from Epicurus and Kant bring it back nicely

paragraph 2 the views you bring in are relevant, I would definitely be explicit with how tennant’s anthropic principle is literally ‘the world couldn’t have come about by chance because that would imply really specific coincidences which is very unlikely’, and at the end of this paragraph you start to stray from the question, bringing in mill and the fact that god should be omnipotent etc which doesn’t rule out a designer aside from God and isn’t a chance challenge

Paragraph 3, this one is fine, the Darwinism is relevant if you argue it for chance, only thing is humes criticisms aren’t super relevant again since he argues agaisnt the nature of this designer, but its very brief so there isnt too much focus on it which is fine

Paragraph 4, this one is good until you get about halfway through with “even if the multiverse theory is not true”, by which point you start criticising Swinburne on the grounds he doesnt prove a Christian God, this really isn’t relevant to the question; you can mention it, but bringing the focus to it makes it look like you’re straying from what the question is asking, if Swinburne can prove a designer, of any nature, that discredits the idea of chance

Conclusion, this is good, but i think the main issue is you sort of see the question your evaluating as ‘does the teleological argument *prove* a god’ as opposed to does it stand up to the challenge of chance alone, or is the challenge of chance in itself more convincing, you sort of just look at it in response to challenges against it being specifically God, but some of these arguments you use against it could be used for it as evidence why its not just chance. I mean you could argue the same things, the Darwinism definitely supports the chance challenge its just a matter of in your conclusion I would in some way restate the question to make it super clear you know what your evaluating. In the same way you say “I have argued that on balance the challenges to intelligent design are more persuasive than the teleological arguments” change that to “I have argued that the challenges posed by chance to teleology are more convincing” or “I have argued thus that teleology fails to stand up to the challenge of chance”

see the question like evaluating a debate based on what is said in the debate alone, one side can be more convincing or stand up better even if it wouldn’t have if the other side had brought in better criticisms, you gotta weigh it based on the criticisms proposed

also your point about the teleological argument being inductive - completely fine I’m just being pernickety for the lolz but i gotta say pretty much all of science is inductive since scientific theories are just ones that seem to explain data most convincingly - not saying its wrong so you can criticise it on those grounds but i would not say science *proves* otherwise but, rather than criticising teleology on inductive grounds, you can say we lack the methods of falsification - cheeky bit of Karl popper for you, basically how are we supposed to test for a God (you do learn about falsificationism from Anthony flew, but no i hate him its not his theory and he tries to apply it to language which i hate)

And finally when you’re using someone to argue for chance, id elaborate on how it proves chance, for instance, mentioning how survival of the fittest and the natural mutations that occur are a matter of *chance* and actively not predestined or designed

i hope that all makes sense and is at least somewhat useful
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#5
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(Original post by Cheekyanon)
Imma be real, I’m sitting this paper like this week so I’m not an official examiner but it reads as a high scoring essay, and looking at the bands, you’re at a minimum in band 5 in AO1, only really let down by the straying from the question, and band 6 on the AO2 so its definitely between 32 and 37 so in your target range!

I wouldn’t just mention the question at the end of each paragraph necessarily, but a comment justifying the relevance to the question for each bit of info would be good, especially if you want to mention a point and emphasise which part is most relevant, as sometimes only part of someone’s argument will be useful in your essay

basically, some of the things you argue come across as if you didn’t understand the question - a selective use of information is marked highly! (as tempting as it is to try and fit everything you know in). Just make sure you’re clear on what is relevant to the question and when you bring in irrelevant info, try to say something along the lines of ‘despite this, teleology still gives support of design of some kind’ also just clarifying, the challenge of chance doesn’t challenge the nature of the designer, hence why these challenges aren’t chance related

the chance criticism is saying its not god because its not designed in the first place, meaning it doesn’t matter what else the teleological argument proves or doesn’t prove, so long as it some how proves, or provides evidence that there is a creator

Your intro perfectly links back to the question so thats fine, but i would emphasise what the challenge of chance in its pure form is, its always good to sort of unwrap the question in your intro

paragraph 1 again you do well with focusing on chance, maybe straying a bit with the criticisms of aquinas in relation to the nature of god, since for the sake of disproving chance, it doesnt matter if there’s one God or 5, but your points from Epicurus and Kant bring it back nicely

paragraph 2 the views you bring in are relevant, I would definitely be explicit with how tennant’s anthropic principle is literally ‘the world couldn’t have come about by chance because that would imply really specific coincidences which is very unlikely’, and at the end of this paragraph you start to stray from the question, bringing in mill and the fact that god should be omnipotent etc which doesn’t rule out a designer aside from God and isn’t a chance challenge

Paragraph 3, this one is fine, the Darwinism is relevant if you argue it for chance, only thing is humes criticisms aren’t super relevant again since he argues agaisnt the nature of this designer, but its very brief so there isnt too much focus on it which is fine

Paragraph 4, this one is good until you get about halfway through with “even if the multiverse theory is not true”, by which point you start criticising Swinburne on the grounds he doesnt prove a Christian God, this really isn’t relevant to the question; you can mention it, but bringing the focus to it makes it look like you’re straying from what the question is asking, if Swinburne can prove a designer, of any nature, that discredits the idea of chance

Conclusion, this is good, but i think the main issue is you sort of see the question your evaluating as ‘does the teleological argument *prove* a god’ as opposed to does it stand up to the challenge of chance alone, or is the challenge of chance in itself more convincing, you sort of just look at it in response to challenges against it being specifically God, but some of these arguments you use against it could be used for it as evidence why its not just chance. I mean you could argue the same things, the Darwinism definitely supports the chance challenge its just a matter of in your conclusion I would in some way restate the question to make it super clear you know what your evaluating. In the same way you say “I have argued that on balance the challenges to intelligent design are more persuasive than the teleological arguments” change that to “I have argued that the challenges posed by chance to teleology are more convincing” or “I have argued thus that teleology fails to stand up to the challenge of chance”

see the question like evaluating a debate based on what is said in the debate alone, one side can be more convincing or stand up better even if it wouldn’t have if the other side had brought in better criticisms, you gotta weigh it based on the criticisms proposed

also your point about the teleological argument being inductive - completely fine I’m just being pernickety for the lolz but i gotta say pretty much all of science is inductive since scientific theories are just ones that seem to explain data most convincingly - not saying its wrong so you can criticise it on those grounds but i would not say science *proves* otherwise but, rather than criticising teleology on inductive grounds, you can say we lack the methods of falsification - cheeky bit of Karl popper for you, basically how are we supposed to test for a God (you do learn about falsificationism from Anthony flew, but no i hate him its not his theory and he tries to apply it to language which i hate)

And finally when you’re using someone to argue for chance, id elaborate on how it proves chance, for instance, mentioning how survival of the fittest and the natural mutations that occur are a matter of *chance* and actively not predestined or designed

i hope that all makes sense and is at least somewhat useful
Hey, thanks so much! You're more helpful than my teacher. I have edited the essay again with all your feedback and was wondering if you could have a final read of it? I would really appreciate it! I'm trying to secure the 36/40 boundary

The design argument is a posteriori inductive argument which suggests that because of the complexity and order within nature there is evidence of an intelligent designer, God, reinforcing the idea that it could not have appeared through chance. Despite arguments for evidence of design in the world through the teleological argument, one could argue that the world is the way it is due to nothing more than chance, and that this “apparent design” is nothing more than coincidence. There are conflicting arguments for and against the existence of God however despite the heavily convincing arguments in support for a designer it could be argued that the overriding belief in God creating the world is a manifestation of psychological need, the idea that humans feel as though that there needs to be evidence and therefore refusing to accept the possibilities of chance and evolution. This is supported by Immanuel Kant, “design is a trap that we fall in to: we see design and a designer because we want to see design and a designer”.

Thomas Aquinas formulated the Teleological argument as the fifth of his five ways in the summa theologica. Aquinas says natural bodies, which lack intelligence, act for an end and whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end (and this being we call God). The first proposition – that natural bodies which lack intelligence act for an end – could easily be disputed. Might it not be that direction in natural bodies is more about how we see and understand them than about how they actually are? Arguably, the human brain is hard-wired to see patterns and infer causation in the natural world. Of course, without proposition one the whole argument will founder. ven if this objection is dismissed as taking scepticism too far, proposition two – that whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end unless it be directed by some intelligent being – is problematic. For example, a banana, Creationists often cite it as an example of “intelligent design” in the universe. The banana is a great size, shape, sweetness and colour for human consumption (even its skin features a reliable indicator of ripeness) it seems well designed for the end of being a tasty snack. Yet to say that ignores the fact that neither the colour, nor the shape, nor the sweetness nor the size of the banana has anything to do with a divine designer – modern bananas have been selectively bred by farmers to have these attributes from parent plants which evolved to appeal to other animals such as monkeys who would spread the seeds of the plant by consuming its fruit. While we can infer the existence of an intelligence from the brilliance of the modern banana in suiting the average human palate, to suggest that that intelligence is divine is a big step too far. Even setting aside the modern banana in favour of the original “wild banana”, the “intelligence” that designed it is more probably evolution by natural selection than any God. It seems that the second proposition “whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence” is seriously flawed and on this grounds as well could be said to fail in its aim of being a good argument for God’s existence. Further, Aquinas proceeds to use the analogy of an arrow and an archer to illustrate his claim that all natural things act for an end and so must have been designed to do so by an intelligent being. The analogy is far from perfect and suggests a certain circularity in Aquinas’ reasoning. As Hume’s character Philo observes, the selection of an analogy for the universe is far from neutral. Scholars (including Aquinas) assume their own world-view in selecting something to compare the universe with and so by saying “the universe is like an arrow” or “the universe is like a watch” commit the fallacy of begging the question. If I compare teleology in the universe with an arrow then the suggestion of a necessary divine archer seems reasonable, yet if I compared the universe with a rock rolling down a mountain, which seems just as sensible an analogy – elements of the universe go through cycles, grow increasingly complex and make progress after all – then the inference that there must be an intelligent designer behind the process seems less obvious. Rocks can roll down mountains as a result of non-intelligent actions, whereas arrows don’t tend to hit their marks randomly. The “ends” which Aquinas claims that non-intelligent things act for could well be accounted for by natural processes such as evolution through natural selection and chance, so it seems unnecessary to conclude that an intelligent designer, let alone the Christian God, exists.
F.R Tennant attempted to prove the existence of God through the anthropic principle, which proves that the universe has provided suitability for human life with the element of benefit, for example the ‘natural’ occurrence of the water cycle and the idea that the earth is just the right distance from the sun in order for survival. These harmonic motions of the cosmos are unexplained by Darwinism, as evolution is solely restricted to living things, whereas Tennant’s design argument confidently explores the unjustified from within the evolutionist theories. Tennant argues that none of this could have happened through mere “chance”, without intelligent design to increase the chance of there being processes that promote life everything would be seemingly impossible. Although, evolution is heavily convincing as it proves that God does not exist through the idea of natural selection, humans came into existence because of survival of the fittest. Survival of the fittest can be flawed by Tennant’s quote “the survival of the fittest presupposes the idea of the arrival of the fit” which proves that the ‘fit’ needed to be placed here originally by God to therefore then evolve and adapt. However, evolution itself is the sole explanation for the complexity within biology and consequently rejects the idea of an external designer. As well as this Tennant holds a convincing argument which proves that there is more to life than mere existence, humans are experiencing aesthetic activity which could only be designed, beauty. Beauty can not be created through natural selection or chance and so there must be a designer; Plato disregards this approach. Plato identifies that the perfect from of beauty does not exist in this world, instead it belongs in the world of the forms and so the beauty we are faced with in the modern world is false and therefore God does not exist as he omnipotence would allow perfection in this world, which is also not present. Thus, the presence of beauty in the world does not mean that an intelligent designer is present, as if they were the universe would be perfect, and the universe is not perfect. This beauty has come by chance which is why it is not perfect.

William Paley supports the idea that there is designer, Paley reveals that as the universe is complex and intricately designed, it would take an all-powerful and all- knowing designer in order to exist. To prove his argument Paley created an analogy where compares a “watch-maker to the world maker”, the analogy expresses the idea that, suppose you found a watch, it has not occurred by chance, instead there has been a designer and a purpose, the idea that the watch has been designed in such way that the purpose is successfully fulfilled, “if there had been any other than a transparent substance, the hour could not been seen without opening the case”. If you saw a watch on the ground, he argues, you would not believe the watch had simply always been there. You also know if something is man made, because of its complexity and intricate nature; he uses the watch as an example “I could not account for it in that natural way… reveals an array of intricate, beautifully made cogs…”. Its existence would need to be explained by some sort of intelligent design. A pebble, in contrast, does not require the same explanation of its existence. Paley argues that the difference is that a watch is composed of many parts organised for a purpose. This, he says, is the hallmark of design. Paley then goes on to argue that there are many examples in nature of things that have many parts organised to serve a purpose. The eye, for example, is a very complex natural object that has a very clear purpose: to see. Just as the existence of the watch can only be explained in terms of a designer, so too can the eye only be explained with reference to a designer. Paley argues that this designer is God. However, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution provides an alternative explanation of complexity within nature without a designer. The competition to survive and breed in nature means that certain advantages, features, and genetic mutations become exaggerated to adapt to the environment. This creates the appearance of design even though there is no intelligent design behind it. However, this complexity is borne of necessity, rather than design. Thus, Darwin’s theory refutes Paley’s assumption that anything that has parts organised to serve a purpose is designed as survival of the fittest and the natural mutations that occur are a matter of *chance* and actively not predestined or designed. Additionally, the watch maker analogy is only partially convincing as Hume’s criticisms juxtaposes it effectively. Hume suggests that we cannot liken the universe to a machine as the universe is more like a vegetable, something which is natural and not man made. The universe is like a vegetable because it grows at its own accord, however a weakness of this argument is that even a vegetable needs to be created and planted which means there must be a designer this designer being God. Despite this small weakness, Hume successfully identifies that there is ‘inexplicable difficulties in the works of nature’, which proves God is not perfect and reinforces the idea that the world came around by chance, which is why some things in the world are not perfect.
Swinburne accepts that evolution can explain how complexity can arise within nature without a designer. He calls this spatial order. However, he argues that temporal order – the order of the laws of nature – cannot be explained in this same way. For example, the force of gravity is strong enough such that it keeps the moon in orbit around the earth and the earth in orbit around the sun. But the laws of nature have not evolved the same way fisheyes have, they just are. But if gravity had the opposite effect – it repelled objects, say – then planets would never be able to form and therefore life wouldn’t be able to form. Swinburne argues that this cannot be a coincidence: the laws of nature are too perfectly suited to sustain life that they cannot be explained without a designer. David Hume’s objection to the original teleological argument can be adapted to accommodate Swinburne’s objection. Hume argued that given an infinity of time and a finite amount of matter, the matter would combine in ways that appear to be designed just through sheer chance. Today, multiple universes is a popular idea in modern physics, with many scientists arguing that there is an infinite number of these universes. If this is true, then it is inevitable that some of these universes will have laws of nature (temporal order) that are perfectly suited for life. However, this isn’t intelligent design, it’s just chance. For every universe like ours, there may be millions of other universes where gravity does repel objects or is too weak or strong. So, if there are multiple universes, the chance of one having perfect temporal order becomes increasingly likely – even without a designer.

To conclude, in spite of the strong arguments in support for the existence of God the idea of a designer who brought order and purpose to the world is unconvincing. The teleological argument is an a posteriori which means with experience, however as Hume identified humans do not have sufficient knowledge and experience of the creation of the world to conclude that there is a designer. The argument is also inductive which means based on probable circumstances and it is almost impossible to create a premise and conclusion on something of which is not definite and therefore the belief that God designed the world is a manifestation of psychological need as science has proved otherwise. Neither spatial nor temporal order necessarily prove that God exists. Darwin’s theory shows that spatial order can emerge in response to environment, removing the need for a designer. Temporal order cannot be explained in the same way but can nonetheless be explained without intelligent design if there are multiple universes. I have argued that on balance the challenges to intelligent design are more persuasive than the teleological arguments and thst teleology fails to stand up to the challenge of chance”. The evolutionary theory especially is a very strong argument for the universe coming about naturally and by chance and is solid evidence against the universe being designed.
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(Original post by Mentor05)
Hey, thanks so much! You're more helpful than my teacher. I have edited the essay again with all your feedback and was wondering if you could have a final read of it? I would really appreciate it! I'm trying to secure the 36/40 boundary

The design argument is a posteriori inductive argument which suggests that because of the complexity and order within nature there is evidence of an intelligent designer, God, reinforcing the idea that it could not have appeared through chance. Despite arguments for evidence of design in the world through the teleological argument, one could argue that the world is the way it is due to nothing more than chance, and that this “apparent design” is nothing more than coincidence. There are conflicting arguments for and against the existence of God however despite the heavily convincing arguments in support for a designer it could be argued that the overriding belief in God creating the world is a manifestation of psychological need, the idea that humans feel as though that there needs to be evidence and therefore refusing to accept the possibilities of chance and evolution. This is supported by Immanuel Kant, “design is a trap that we fall in to: we see design and a designer because we want to see design and a designer”.

Thomas Aquinas formulated the Teleological argument as the fifth of his five ways in the summa theologica. Aquinas says natural bodies, which lack intelligence, act for an end and whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence. Therefore some intelligent being exists by whom all natural things are directed to their end (and this being we call God). The first proposition – that natural bodies which lack intelligence act for an end – could easily be disputed. Might it not be that direction in natural bodies is more about how we see and understand them than about how they actually are? Arguably, the human brain is hard-wired to see patterns and infer causation in the natural world. Of course, without proposition one the whole argument will founder. ven if this objection is dismissed as taking scepticism too far, proposition two – that whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end unless it be directed by some intelligent being – is problematic. For example, a banana, Creationists often cite it as an example of “intelligent design” in the universe. The banana is a great size, shape, sweetness and colour for human consumption (even its skin features a reliable indicator of ripeness) it seems well designed for the end of being a tasty snack. Yet to say that ignores the fact that neither the colour, nor the shape, nor the sweetness nor the size of the banana has anything to do with a divine designer – modern bananas have been selectively bred by farmers to have these attributes from parent plants which evolved to appeal to other animals such as monkeys who would spread the seeds of the plant by consuming its fruit. While we can infer the existence of an intelligence from the brilliance of the modern banana in suiting the average human palate, to suggest that that intelligence is divine is a big step too far. Even setting aside the modern banana in favour of the original “wild banana”, the “intelligence” that designed it is more probably evolution by natural selection than any God. It seems that the second proposition “whatever lacks intelligence cannot move towards an end, unless it be directed by some being endowed with knowledge and intelligence” is seriously flawed and on this grounds as well could be said to fail in its aim of being a good argument for God’s existence. Further, Aquinas proceeds to use the analogy of an arrow and an archer to illustrate his claim that all natural things act for an end and so must have been designed to do so by an intelligent being. The analogy is far from perfect and suggests a certain circularity in Aquinas’ reasoning. As Hume’s character Philo observes, the selection of an analogy for the universe is far from neutral. Scholars (including Aquinas) assume their own world-view in selecting something to compare the universe with and so by saying “the universe is like an arrow” or “the universe is like a watch” commit the fallacy of begging the question. If I compare teleology in the universe with an arrow then the suggestion of a necessary divine archer seems reasonable, yet if I compared the universe with a rock rolling down a mountain, which seems just as sensible an analogy – elements of the universe go through cycles, grow increasingly complex and make progress after all – then the inference that there must be an intelligent designer behind the process seems less obvious. Rocks can roll down mountains as a result of non-intelligent actions, whereas arrows don’t tend to hit their marks randomly. The “ends” which Aquinas claims that non-intelligent things act for could well be accounted for by natural processes such as evolution through natural selection and chance, so it seems unnecessary to conclude that an intelligent designer, let alone the Christian God, exists.
F.R Tennant attempted to prove the existence of God through the anthropic principle, which proves that the universe has provided suitability for human life with the element of benefit, for example the ‘natural’ occurrence of the water cycle and the idea that the earth is just the right distance from the sun in order for survival. These harmonic motions of the cosmos are unexplained by Darwinism, as evolution is solely restricted to living things, whereas Tennant’s design argument confidently explores the unjustified from within the evolutionist theories. Tennant argues that none of this could have happened through mere “chance”, without intelligent design to increase the chance of there being processes that promote life everything would be seemingly impossible. Although, evolution is heavily convincing as it proves that God does not exist through the idea of natural selection, humans came into existence because of survival of the fittest. Survival of the fittest can be flawed by Tennant’s quote “the survival of the fittest presupposes the idea of the arrival of the fit” which proves that the ‘fit’ needed to be placed here originally by God to therefore then evolve and adapt. However, evolution itself is the sole explanation for the complexity within biology and consequently rejects the idea of an external designer. As well as this Tennant holds a convincing argument which proves that there is more to life than mere existence, humans are experiencing aesthetic activity which could only be designed, beauty. Beauty can not be created through natural selection or chance and so there must be a designer; Plato disregards this approach. Plato identifies that the perfect from of beauty does not exist in this world, instead it belongs in the world of the forms and so the beauty we are faced with in the modern world is false and therefore God does not exist as he omnipotence would allow perfection in this world, which is also not present. Thus, the presence of beauty in the world does not mean that an intelligent designer is present, as if they were the universe would be perfect, and the universe is not perfect. This beauty has come by chance which is why it is not perfect.

William Paley supports the idea that there is designer, Paley reveals that as the universe is complex and intricately designed, it would take an all-powerful and all- knowing designer in order to exist. To prove his argument Paley created an analogy where compares a “watch-maker to the world maker”, the analogy expresses the idea that, suppose you found a watch, it has not occurred by chance, instead there has been a designer and a purpose, the idea that the watch has been designed in such way that the purpose is successfully fulfilled, “if there had been any other than a transparent substance, the hour could not been seen without opening the case”. If you saw a watch on the ground, he argues, you would not believe the watch had simply always been there. You also know if something is man made, because of its complexity and intricate nature; he uses the watch as an example “I could not account for it in that natural way… reveals an array of intricate, beautifully made cogs…”. Its existence would need to be explained by some sort of intelligent design. A pebble, in contrast, does not require the same explanation of its existence. Paley argues that the difference is that a watch is composed of many parts organised for a purpose. This, he says, is the hallmark of design. Paley then goes on to argue that there are many examples in nature of things that have many parts organised to serve a purpose. The eye, for example, is a very complex natural object that has a very clear purpose: to see. Just as the existence of the watch can only be explained in terms of a designer, so too can the eye only be explained with reference to a designer. Paley argues that this designer is God. However, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution provides an alternative explanation of complexity within nature without a designer. The competition to survive and breed in nature means that certain advantages, features, and genetic mutations become exaggerated to adapt to the environment. This creates the appearance of design even though there is no intelligent design behind it. However, this complexity is borne of necessity, rather than design. Thus, Darwin’s theory refutes Paley’s assumption that anything that has parts organised to serve a purpose is designed as survival of the fittest and the natural mutations that occur are a matter of *chance* and actively not predestined or designed. Additionally, the watch maker analogy is only partially convincing as Hume’s criticisms juxtaposes it effectively. Hume suggests that we cannot liken the universe to a machine as the universe is more like a vegetable, something which is natural and not man made. The universe is like a vegetable because it grows at its own accord, however a weakness of this argument is that even a vegetable needs to be created and planted which means there must be a designer this designer being God. Despite this small weakness, Hume successfully identifies that there is ‘inexplicable difficulties in the works of nature’, which proves God is not perfect and reinforces the idea that the world came around by chance, which is why some things in the world are not perfect.
Swinburne accepts that evolution can explain how complexity can arise within nature without a designer. He calls this spatial order. However, he argues that temporal order – the order of the laws of nature – cannot be explained in this same way. For example, the force of gravity is strong enough such that it keeps the moon in orbit around the earth and the earth in orbit around the sun. But the laws of nature have not evolved the same way fisheyes have, they just are. But if gravity had the opposite effect – it repelled objects, say – then planets would never be able to form and therefore life wouldn’t be able to form. Swinburne argues that this cannot be a coincidence: the laws of nature are too perfectly suited to sustain life that they cannot be explained without a designer. David Hume’s objection to the original teleological argument can be adapted to accommodate Swinburne’s objection. Hume argued that given an infinity of time and a finite amount of matter, the matter would combine in ways that appear to be designed just through sheer chance. Today, multiple universes is a popular idea in modern physics, with many scientists arguing that there is an infinite number of these universes. If this is true, then it is inevitable that some of these universes will have laws of nature (temporal order) that are perfectly suited for life. However, this isn’t intelligent design, it’s just chance. For every universe like ours, there may be millions of other universes where gravity does repel objects or is too weak or strong. So, if there are multiple universes, the chance of one having perfect temporal order becomes increasingly likely – even without a designer.

To conclude, in spite of the strong arguments in support for the existence of God the idea of a designer who brought order and purpose to the world is unconvincing. The teleological argument is an a posteriori which means with experience, however as Hume identified humans do not have sufficient knowledge and experience of the creation of the world to conclude that there is a designer. The argument is also inductive which means based on probable circumstances and it is almost impossible to create a premise and conclusion on something of which is not definite and therefore the belief that God designed the world is a manifestation of psychological need as science has proved otherwise. Neither spatial nor temporal order necessarily prove that God exists. Darwin’s theory shows that spatial order can emerge in response to environment, removing the need for a designer. Temporal order cannot be explained in the same way but can nonetheless be explained without intelligent design if there are multiple universes. I have argued that on balance the challenges to intelligent design are more persuasive than the teleological arguments and thst teleology fails to stand up to the challenge of chance”. The evolutionary theory especially is a very strong argument for the universe coming about naturally and by chance and is solid evidence against the universe being designed.
That is the most gorgeous essay i have ever seen oh my god that is so good, you link back to the question in a subtle yet clear way throughout, you don’t diverge from the question your evaluation is amazing you make it so clear who argues for what side literally such a banging essay genuinely enjoyed reading it

Only thing which isn’t major is possibly try citing the works of people you talk about - particularly when you talk about Hume’s character Philo - would be good to just say from dialogues concerning neutral religion since its referencing something very specific

Genuinely a fab essay certified A* for sure well done fr
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(Original post by Cheekyanon)
That is the most gorgeous essay i have ever seen oh my god that is so good, you link back to the question in a subtle yet clear way throughout, you don’t diverge from the question your evaluation is amazing you make it so clear who argues for what side literally such a banging essay genuinely enjoyed reading it

Only thing which isn’t major is possibly try citing the works of people you talk about - particularly when you talk about Hume’s character Philo - would be good to just say from dialogues concerning neutral religion since its referencing something very specific

Genuinely a fab essay certified A* for sure well done fr
Oh My God! You're so kind. Thanks so much. I was a bit stressed for my Mock but this has definitely boosted my confidence. Best of luck in your Exams! You
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