Explain Paley's Argument for the Existence of God Essay

1047 Words Feb 18th, 2014 5 Pages
4a. Explain Paley's argument for the existence of God (25)

William Paley's argument for the existence of God is an important aspect of the Design argument, which argues that the universe is being directed towards an end purpose due to the a posteriori (subject to experience) evidence of an intelligent designer, who is God. This is because it is perhaps arguably the most famous version, and the theory which modern-day theories for the Design argument are built upon. The first version of the Design argument came from Plato, a Greek philosopher, who developed it to address the universe's apparent order. Plato proposed in his book Timaeus that a “demiurge”, a divine being of supreme wisdom and intelligence, was the creator of the
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He does this through his Watch analogy, in which a man walks across a heath, and finds a rock, which he attributes to nature. He carries on until he stumbles on a watch, which after some examination concludes that it's purpose is to tell the time. Due to the complexity of the watch, it is not possible to suggest such a thing was made without the agency of a “Watch-maker”. The rock and the watch are vastly different, and therefore must have a different source. In this way, the universe is essentially the watch and the watch-maker God. Paley also gives other evidence for this logic at work, such as the wings of birds being perfectly designed to allow flight, so as such shows that it must be designed as nature is highly efficient in the tasks it fulfils. In Design qua regularity, Paley argued that there is evidence for a creator in the regularity of the universe. This argument was based on the science of Paley's time, such as Isaac Newton's laws of motion, and Johannes Keplar's three laws of planetary motion. The relationships held between the planets and the effect of gravity could not have come about without some kind of designing principle at work, and that designing principle would be God. This means therefore that the parts of the universe must fit together in order to work, very similar to a machine, and this can be applied to nature, for example the way in which bees and pollination work

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